How to Answer Atheists and New Agers
On September 14, 1998, Pope John Paul II released Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason). In this encyclical, the Holy Father stresses the need for sound philosophy. Good philosophy enables us to understand our faith more deeply and to recognize contemporary errors more clearly. It also enables us to find true answers to the problems of human existence.
In this encyclical, as well as in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, the Pope traces the many serious errors of our day to bad philosophy. He points out that many false philosophies, such as rationalism and atheism, originated from the philosophical errors of the period known as the Enlightenment. The Pope wants us to understand the foundations of these errors so that we can identify and refute them in whatever form they appear.
Several weeks after releasing Faith and Reason, John Paul II emphasized that sound philosophy must be taught to all Catholic laymen, not just seminarians and theology students. He wants the average Catholic to have at least a beginner's grasp of current philosophical errors.
In order to help carry out the wishes of the Holy Father, we have compiled this booklet for those Catholics who don't have an extensive background in philosophy. We focus on the many ways that atheism is promoted today as well as on the false philosophies that are used to defend it. We devote a lot of attention to the French Enlightenment, which the Pope identifies as the source for many of the present atheistic ideologies.
Before we deal with the Enlightenment, we first discuss the pursuit of truth, errors in that pursuit, and proofs for the existence of God. We then look at some of the early modern philosophies that paved the way for the errors of the Enlightenment. Finally, we examine the period of the Enlightenment itself and the many atheistic systems it spawned.
We hope this booklet will give you a good overview of the philosophical origins of modern atheism as well as the tools to expose and refute them.
- Introduction to Atheism
- Finding the Truth
- The Pursuit of Truth and Belief in God
- Why People Go Astray in the Search for Truth
- Proofs for the Existence of God
- The Roots of Modern Atheism
- The Enlightenment
- Atheistic Systems of the 21st Century
- Refuting Atheism
- Introduction to the New Age Movement
- The Roots of the New Age Movement
- Eastern Religions
- Modern Philosophy
- Modern Psychology
- The Human Potential Movement
- Miscellaneous Sources
- Refuting New Age Beliefs
- Refuting Hindu Pantheism
- Refuting Reincarnation