St. Augustine: Reason And Reason

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In Catholicism, faith and reason are harmonious elements that build off of one another. Reason is the basis of philosophy and philosophers work to understand life through their own logic and understanding. The ability to reason and to think by utilizing the human mind is truly extraordinary. However, the Catholic Intellectual Tradition believes that human reason alone, while a powerful tool to utilize, cannot take our understanding of the world very far. Utilizing reason, man can determine the existence of God by examining creation, but humans cannot get too far with natural theology. Pope John Paul II states, “Reason lays the foundation of faith”. Human reason must be coupled with a strong faith in order to grow in knowledge and be able to…show more content…
Augustine is a prime example of the understanding of relationship between faith and reason. As a philosopher, Augustine heavily relied on reason. In The Confessions, St. Augustine reflects on his past and realizes his limited understanding. For example, he was a part of the Manichee sect, which focused primarily on the origin of evil. He ultimately refutes this religion as he believed that evil does not arise from God because he is incorruptible. He reflects on the steps that he had to go through in order to reach faith. Augustine was always curious and wanted to know more about the world around him. Augustine thinks about astrology and ultimately refutes it as well because he and his friend rationalized through the discrepancies and unsubstantiated beliefs. They gave a real world example of two babies who were born at the same time, yet one grew to be rich, and the other poor. St. Augustine states that whatever was predicted correctly by looking at constellations and stars was merely due to chance and whatever was not accurate was not due to lack of skills, but was also attributed to mere chance. Through reason, he also tried to understand the nature of God. He writes, “Just as the body of the air which is above the earth does not prevent the light of the sun from passing through it, … so I imagined the body of heaven, and air and sea, to be penetrable with you”(108). This however is not true because this would mean that God is present in larger beings, such…show more content…
As we have discussed in class lectures and read in various pieces, one is insufficient without the other. Pope John Paul the Second writes about this ideology and explains that humans cannot only rely on their own minds because the human mind can easily become corrupted and influenced by sin. Humans are also limited because they are finite, while God is infinite and if individuals want to understand God, they must have faith in Christ Jesus first. In addition, humans cannot only rely on faith. Many believers in my experience tend to believe that the purpose of reason and the Natural Law is to be able to converse with people who are not Catholic/ Christian. However, reason is used often in order to strengthen faith. Reason is given to humans from God and it is meant to lead the way towards understanding. It is, as Pope Paul II wrote, “a foundation” on which faith can utilize and build off of. To have faith, humans have to accept it with our minds For example, according to Catholicism, when reading the Scripture, humans use their reason to understand the Word of God. It is not simply blind faith. The verses in The Bible usually have a deeper meaning than the literal words on the pages. In order to reach that deeper meaning, humans must use reason.According to Catholicism, Jesus provides a multitude of answers and understandings because He is the Truth. It is only when one comes to Christ and

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