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Descartes vs Christianity May 31, 2017

Posted by anagasto in history.
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H. Avercamp: A Scene on the Ice — In public domain acording to http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia

Quoting JPII

Descartes marks the beginning of a new era in the history of European thought. He inaugurates the great anthropocentric shift in philosophy.
“I think, therefore I am” is the motto of modern rationalism.

All the rationalism of the last centuries — both Anglo-Saxon  and Continental  — can be considered a continuation and an expansion of Cartesian positions.

How different from the approach of Saint Thomas, where it is not thought which determines existence, but existence which determines thought!

Descartes turns his back on metaphysics and concentrates on the philosophy of knowledge. Kant is the most notable representative of this movement.

The father of modern rationalism cannot be blamed for the move away from Christianity, but he created the climate  where the estrangement became possible.

It did not happen right away, but gradually.



Oliver Cromwell and John Milton receiving a deputation seeking aid for the Swiss Protestants; see http://hoydensandfirebrands.blogspot.com.es/2013_04_01_archive.html

In fact, about 150 years after Descartes, all that was fundamentally Christian in the tradition of European thought had already been pushed aside.

Crossing the Threshold of Hope Crossing.the.Threshold.of.Hope.pdf
by Pope John Paul II

Pope JPII wrote and published this book in his own name, almost as a private citizen , in the format of an interview with one of Italy’s famous journalists.

As part of this interview he answers basic questions about church history and gives a summary of how religion and philosophy took separate paths starting with Descartes.

Selected chapters:
How does the Pope pray?
Does God exist?
Why is there so much evil?
Why are there so many religions?
What about Judaism?