The Three Absolutes

Botticelli_three_graces

[W]e have the true, the good, and the beautiful as the three absolutes. The three things every human being wants infinitely, and is not satisfied with only a little bit of. We’re satisfied with a little bit of food; we’re satisfied with a little bit of power; we’re satisfied with a little bit of sex; but not a little bit of truth. “I’ll be ignorant about fifty percent of truth and knowledgeable about fifty percent” — nobody says that. I’ve got a couple of things that are good for me, but I want some things that are not good for me — nobody says that. I like to enjoy beauty on Monday, but ugliness is okay on Tuesday — nobody says that. And therefore these are the three things that don’t get boring and therefore they are the three foretastes of heaven, because they are three attributes of Almighty God himself.

aquabar-moyra

But without God, there really is no truth, because there’s no being. God, being, and truth are a kind of progression. Truth means truth about what is real, and if there’s no ultimate being, no ultimate reality, then reality is just what we call it. It falls apart, ultimately. Deep down, everything is empty. So if there’s no truth, there’s nothing for either reason or faith to grab onto, so you’re a sceptic. And that’s certainly one of the deep distresses of modern society — scepticism. Second, without truth there’s no goodness. Nothing’s truly good. Goodness too is kind of a fake, or purely subjective. So another aspect of the diagnosis of our society is amoralism. And without goodness, there’s really no beauty. Gothic cathedrals were not made by moral sceptics; they were made by saints.

–Peter Kreeft,
http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/philosophy/the-church-and-secularism-part-2.html

God on the hook

Peter-Kreeft[Let’s think about] suffering in a world supposedly created by a loving God. How to get God off the hook? God’s answer is Jesus. Jesus is not God off the hook but God on the hook. That’s why the doctrine of the divinity of Christ is crucial: If that is not God there on the cross but only a good man, then God is not on the hook, on the cross, in our suffering. And if God is not on the hook, then God is not off the hook. How could he sit there in heaven and ignore our tears?

There is . . . one good reason for not believing in God: evil. And God himself has answered this objection not in words but in deeds and in tears. Jesus is the tears of God.

–Peter Kreeft

Civilization without God

Peter-KreeftWhen Nietzsche, back in the 19th Century, said, “God is dead,” he didn’t mean simply that God is a myth and a superstition and never did live.  He meant that this superstition, this thing that never was literally alive, was the energy of Western Civilization.  Nietzsche, like the saints, understood that there is no Western Civilization without God.  Although he believed that we created Him in our image, rather than that he created us in His image, he realized that the image and the model go together.  

When there’s a mirror on the wall in a room, and you walk out of that room, due to the finite speed of light, though you can’t see it, your image remains in the mirror for a split second after you leave the room.  Well, if we’re made in God’s image, and God is dead, it may take a split second, or a century, for man, His image, to die.  But man cannot live without God.  An image cannot live without its model.  If God leaves, man leaves.  Nietzsche knew that.  Half of him rejoiced in it; half of him was agonized over it, but he called for the new man, the man without religion and without morality.  We’re seeing it gradually happen.  

–Peter Kreeft

No culture has survived moral relativism

Peter-KreeftMoral relativism is the “politically correct” orthodoxy of our moldy culture. In the minds of the mind-molders, nothing is worse than “intolerance,” and moral absolutism is intolerant. Thus the popularity of sayings like “Don’t impose your values on me,” “Different strokes for different folks,” and “Live and let live.”

No culture in history has ever embraced moral relativism and survived. Our own culture, therefore, will either (1) be the first, and disprove history’s clearest lesson, or (2) persist in its relativism and die, or (3) repent of its relativism and live. There is no other option.

–Peter Kreeft

Where did the crazy idea come from?

Peter-KreeftIndeed, how could this crazy idea, this crazy desire, ever have entered into the mind and heart of man? How could a creature without a digestive system learn to desire food? How could a creature without manhood desire a woman? How could a creature without a mind desire knowledge? And how could a creature with no capacity for God desire God?

–Peter Kreeft
God’s Answer to Suffering

Suppressing the most valuable stuff

Peter-KreeftBut if you run your life by the scientific method, nothing’s left. Not only do you throw out God, you throw out persons. Science doesn’t know what a person is. If you’re a doctor and you’re operating on a patient, you have to treat that patient as a machine in order to be an efficient doctor. If you think, “That patient has a soul,” or “That patient is my grandmother,” or “That patient is someone I’m in love with,” your hands are going to shake, and you’re going to botch the operation. So you have to deliberately suppress the most valuable stuff in you in order to be an effective surgeon or an effective scientist. That brain is a computer that is not working; let me figure out why. But to take that over into life as such is devastating. But, more or less, our society has done that. And therefore there’s no purpose: “Oh, everybody needs a purpose, but it’s just a fiction. It’s something you make up. It’s not real. It’s not true. It’s just a little game you play with yourself in order to motivate yourself. You’re the donkey and you invent a carrot and you put it on a stick in front of your own head to make you move.” That’s not going to really motivate you.

–Peter Kreeft
The Church and Secularism

Evolution, God and Sex

Two current writers, Paul Johnson, in Intellectuals, and E. Michael Jones, in Degenerate Moderns, have documented the fact that typically modern ideology stems from sexual deviants and deviance. Sir Julian Huxley, the world’s most famous biologist and evolutionist, freely admitted on public radio that the reason natural selection was gobbled up by both scientists and the public as soon as Darwin served it up, was that “it got rid of God, and God was a great bother to our sex life.”

–Peter Kreeft
The Angels and the Ants