The fatal mistake of Modernism

Every civilization has a theory about what man knows and how he knows it. The theory of a particular civilization will influence every area of human thought and action. Such fields as science, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, education, religion, and popular morality will be directly affected. Fields like art, music, poetry, and literature will be deeply, although indirectly, influenced, as well.

Theories about how man knows are found in a branch of metaphysics that philosophers callepistemology. Epistemology is a Greek compound word meaning the study of knowledge.

The intellectual leaders of the West took a sharp turn in the wrong direction in epistemology during the period 1750-1800, as a result of disillusionment with rationalism without understanding the fallacies of the rationalist philosophers. Empirical philosophy was offered as a substitute for rationalism, which had equally serious fallacies.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) harmonized the two kinds of philosophy and temporarily curbed some of the fallacies. However, partly due Kant’s critique of metaphysics, the study of epistemology fell out of favor, and men lost their ability to detect epistemological errors. The dual errors of rationalism and empiricism have been steadily increasing in intensity since 1800.

After 1800, the general culture began to show the effects of this change in thought. The unraveling of Western culture in the twentieth century is in no small measure the cumulative effect of two centuries of bad epistemology.

Let us consider natural epistemology, or how every man thinks if they have not been corrupted with false epistemology, so that we can better understand the errors of Modernism.

Part one

Part two

How to Survive the Fall of Western Civilization. (The Catholic Church has experienced such things, in the past.)


Four Horsemen

At Mass last Saturday morning, the priest stated during his homily: “We are experiencing the decline of Western Civilization.”

Sunday’s Gospel reading continued the end-of time theme warning of the return of Christ.

“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26).

Is our worst nightmare upon us as we watch society undermine and ridicule our Catholic values?

Read more

The Church Jesus founded is also a great gift to the world

The spirit of Catholic charity — that we help those in need not out of any expectation of reciprocity, but as a pure gift, and that we even help those who might not like us — finds no analogue in classical Greece and Rome, but it is this idea of charity that we continue to embrace today.

The university was an utterly new phenomenon in European history. Nothing like it had existed in ancient Greece or Rome. The institution that we recognize today, with its faculties, courses of study, examinations, and degrees, as well as the familiar distinction between undergraduate and graduate study, come to us directly from the medieval world.

By the time of the Reformation, no secular government had chartered more universities than the church. Edward Grant, who has written on medieval science for Cambridge University Press, points out that intellectual life was robust and debate was vigorous at these universities — the very opposite of the popular presumption.

It is no surprise that the church should have done so much to foster and protect the nascent university system, since the church, according to historian Lowrie Daly, “was the only institution in Europe that showed consistent interest in the preservation and cultivation of knowledge.”

Read more

“Let us set aside business and fall on our knees in thanksgiving to God, for he has given our fleet a great victory.”

Battle of Lepanto – 1571

Pro Life leader Randall Terry (in is own, inimitable fashion) has also recently been confronting the Muslim problem, head-on.

In a recent post, Mr. Terry reminds us of the fact that in various moments of history, Christians stood against Islam (such as in the battle of Lepanto, or the battle at the gates of Vienna); others gave illustrations such as St. Boniface chopping down the Oak of Thor, clearly making the point that Christianity, at points, IS (and indeed, must be) confrontational!

Read all of Mr. Terry’s post here, and then please take a few minutes to read about some of the most significant Christian historical events of all time, which may provide you with a fresh understanding of the problems faced today, by our modern, western civilization.

Why do Christians focus their attention on Jesus’ death when it was really his life’s examples that “saved” us?

Q: Why do Christians focus their attention on Jesus’ death when it was really his life’s examples that “saved” us? Why focus so much on the crucification when it was his life that influenced western society, not death?

A: Your premise couldn’t be more wrong!
Without the crucifixion, Jesus’ human existence would have been essentially pointless, since no matter what else he might have achieved, if Jesus had not died on the cross, we (and all of mankind) would still be eternally and hopelessly enslaved to Satan, sin, and death. In short, knowing what we know (for sure) about God’s plan for our salvation, a Jesus who was never crucified would have been little different than any other man, no matter how well (or for what) he might have been otherwise remembered.