Comments about Fides et Ratio : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

"I ask everyone to look more deeply at man, whom Christ has saved in the mystery of his love, and at the human being's unceasing search for truth and meaning...."

What comments have been made about John Paul II's 18 September 1998 Encyclical Letter, Fides et Ratio.

-- richard (, June 01, 1999


Fr. F.X. Brown has been covering this in monthly installments. He is up to around lesson six now, but I think that all are archived. Look at

-- Jane (, June 04, 1999.

The search for truth is the most important claims on human's heart.Both the science and religion looks for the same,but they go by diferents ways,when both finish will be in the same place. Faith is the highest use of reason,so they are deeply conect to each other.The meaning of live moves the hearts of scientist and believers both inspired by God.

-- yuri labrador (, August 28, 1999.

after having read some of the text of fides et ratio (very deep philosophy), i posted an inquiry re: the use of inclusive language in catholic publications and considering the fact that in order to "tinker" with various publications be the icel, meanings were altered to such an extent that it resulted in the withdrawal of the imprimature by the vatican. the question then becomes, is the truth what some-one says it is today to further a particular thought process for today, or is the truth what it was before the tinkering?

-- juan (, September 04, 1999.

sheer genius...i plan on getting into philosophy now that i've educated myself in poetry. i'm delighted to read a catholic perspective on the relationship between faith and reason and the role of philosophy to develop our love of knowledge in our quest toward the ultimate truth, God.

-- aleksandra pienkowski (, February 21, 2002.

June 2002: I just read alot of "Fides et Ratio" and wonder out loud, is this the same man who continues to let the hundreds, maybe thousands of preists molest childred? The Church is in ruin. HELP!

-- James Freeman (, June 13, 2002.


This isn't "amateur night." Please read the forum rules and act a little more mature if you choose to post again.


-- (, June 13, 2002.

Our Holy Father took a bullet in the 80's. I'm confident he can take a cheap shot from this cretino now, at 82.
Viva Il Papa!

-- eugene c. chavez (, June 13, 2002.

Viva EL Papa o Viva Il Papa?


In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (, June 13, 2002.

In Roma, Il Papa; in Espana, El Papa. Poor John Paul; he rarely smiles anymore. Let us all pray for him. We won't see another like this one, I'm afraid. He has been a wonderful Holy Father to us.

-- eugene c. chavez (, June 13, 2002.

You're right, Eugene, I don't think we will ever see another Pope like John Paul. He is truly a holy, holy man. He is so Christ-like, the way he traveled all over the world for peace, to the most dangerous places and he stood his ground, despite the opposition - never worried about being politically correct.

I saw movies of him last night when he was younger. He was so vital, energetic, athletic, and always 'holy.' It is sad to see him suffering the way he is now.


-- MaryLu (, June 13, 2002.

It's not that he doesn't want to smile, Gene.
The disease from which he suffers causes partial facial paralysis. This impairs his speech too.
PS: I think that the next pope will be a great one too.

-- J. F. Gecik (, June 14, 2002.

. Seeking a greatest purpose for the existence of the universe. An Ultimate Truth.

There is a way to search for a greatest purpose for the creation of the universe and life by finding answers to three questions.

Only search for the greatest meaning and the greatest purpose as you read this.

What greatest thing can the Triune God create?

God could create all the stars and planets of the universe; he would then become God the builder. He could create a whole variety of life with almost no intelligence like plants; he now become God the gardenerí He could create life with more intelligence to hunt for food, look for shelter, mate, and breed a future generation. If the knowledge and intelligence is limited he has now created the animal kingdom. He is now God the gamekeeper. God could create life with a progressive way of gaining knowledge and intelligence. God could create life in his own image, a life that could understand him. Creating life in his own image is the greatest form of creation open to him. He now becomes God the parent; his children must be real children to him in the literal sense. He can create nothing greater because he cannot create anything greater than himself.

What greatest purpose can God have, to create children?

From humanities point of view what would be the greatest reason to be created by a God?

Would God need to create a competitive world where everyone would have to compete against each other for his attention? Would God want to create life that would need to be forgiven and shown mercy? Would he want to create life so that it would conform to his way of doing things? Would it give him pleasure, to sit back and look at the wonderful universe and life he has created? Would he be lonely and have the need to walk and talk with others? What would he talk about? Philosophy? Religion? Football? Knitting? Television?.

Can the greatest reason for God to create children be love? Therefore the ultimate God humanity can have, is a God who loves in the greatest way. 1, There must be a God who willingly loves all of his children as he loves HIMSELF, for all time and unconditionally.

Can this be the greatest reason to create children? Can this be the greatest God for humanity?

What would be the greatest purpose that God can give his children?

Would it be for everyone to turn to His kind of religion and pray the way that he stipulates, or would it be to banish poverty, gain intellectual superiority, conquer sickness and death, and conquer the universe or is there more?

If the greatest reason God can have to create mankind, is to love each and everyone of us, as he loves himself, then God must create mankind, with the freedom to return Godís love

2. All of mankind to be created with the freedom to love God the creator unconditionally.

God willingly loves everyone as he loves himself; we also need this same freedom to love everyone in the same way, so that the truth can be complete for God and mankind.

3. All of mankind to be created with the freedom to love all of Godís children (neighbours) as they love themselves, unconditionally.

Christ loves the father as he loves himself. The Father loves Christ as he loves himself. Is this how Christ is one with the father? Is this how Christ wants us to be one? He wants us to love each other as we love ourselves.

God loves all of mankind as he loves himself. Would this be the greatest love that he can have for each one of us?

This is the same language used in the greatest commandments. Can it be that the language used in the greatest commandments applied to God and Christ first?

If we were created in the image of God, would it make more sense if humanities greatest purpose were based on the greatest purpose for God?

Can it be, the two greatest commandments are the ultimate purpose, for the creation of the universe and life? Look at some choices that must have been available to an all-powerful God. If God wanted to create everyone as a Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu he must have had the power to do so. Does God need everyone to have the freedom to love rather than to have them conform to any one way of life?

We can marvel at the great attention to detail that is evident in everything from the tiniest single cell of life right up to the giant structures of galaxies. Can you find a greater purpose for all this to exist by challenging the above statements in your mind in an honest way, test them against any religious beliefs, test them against any form of logic. Can there be any greater purpose for God to create life? Can there be any greater purpose for humanity to exist? In human terms could this be the ultimate truth, the ultimate purpose for the existence of the universe and life.

------------------------------------------------------ ------------------

To make any sense for the creation of the universe there is a need to start from an ultimate purpose; and ask a forth question.

What is the greatest way to create children that can love unconditionally?

Maybe, when it comes to creating life that can love, there is a greatest way to do this as opposed to a perfect way. The dictionary defines Ďperfectioní as the highest standard and without fault,

If God were to create life with one supreme purpose in mind, it follows that he would be resolute in the way he creates, so that he could then satisfy this one intention. What would God have to sacrifice if his one uncompromising goal is to create life that can love? What price would humanity have to pay if they were created to love? Is humanity created in the greatest way that it is possible for an ultimate loving God to form us? Is the price worth paying?

PURPOSE- DESIGN AND RISK. When you design anything and have a demanding and uncompromising purpose to accomplish, it means some other aspects have to be sacrificed, so that you may achieve your one aim. For example if you were to design a car purely for speed and acceleration today it would look something like a dragster. This car is intended to get to its maximum speed in the shortest time then come to a stop. This design for a car would be useless to carry a family in comfort with their luggage and also give them the ability to hold a conversation with each other. If you have a very exacting purpose to achieve such as speed there is a price to pay, you must be willing to forgo comfort, quietness, economy and the choice of shape so that you may have a chance to increase speed. Throughout humanityís history countless thousands of people must have died in the pursuit of speed in so many different ways from horse racing right up to space travel. It must mean that any of these people like test pilots, or racing drivers who were aware of the dangers in advance knowingly risked their life to try and achieve a purpose.

LOVE AND FREEWILL. Many people doubt the existence of God because of all the conflict and suffering that mankind has to endure; surly a loving God would not allow this to happen. If you think life is a mess, try and think of all the options open to God in the way that he could create life that can love. We have a general knowledge about the workings of the universe; we have a general knowledge about the history of life. This puts us in a unique position it gives us the power of hindsight. With your knowledge you now have the free choice to look for all the ways that life could be created with the freedom to love; so there must be a greater way to create new life in a new universe. For this exercise to have any meaning, there is a need to ask these questions from the creators point of view, so that you may experience the emotional conflict of creation for yourself.

As a parent, or as God the parent, would I put off having children in case they may become evil? I know that any children that I have will be open to the same kind of temptations and feelings that are open to me, greed, lust, anger, pride envy, covetousness, sloth, and love. These are the temptations that we all can succumb to. As a parent, or as God the parent, with free will would I control my children and prevent them from making their own decisions, or would I teach them the difference between right and wrong and allow them to grow and make their own decisions? The choices open to any loving parent in creating life seem to be the same choices that were open to God. Can it be we have the same needs as God when it comes to creating? It is not enough to be a builder, gardener, and gamekeeper; there is a greater need to be a parent. As a parent, or as God the parent, I should love all of my children, even if they turn to murder and by their actions they show no love in return. As God the mother or God the father, how could I give out free will? As the creator of life I have the freedom to choose from good or evil, as the creator I do not misuse this great power. If I pass it on, I know this gift can be abused; what choices are open to me? I could with hold free will and create the ideal society where no one would fall to the temptations of anger, lust, envy, gluttony, pride covetousness, sloth, and love. Everyone would work for the good of others, putting the needs of society before their own needs freely with no grumbles. This would be like the ant society; there is no free will involved. As God, would I be satisfied in creating creatures with a predictable behaviour and with no freedom to love like the ant society? Would mankind swap free will to live selflessly like ants, or can I create in a greater way? As God I could create life that is programmed to do anything as long as it is good and not harmful or offensive to anyone else. Would this be the greatest form of creation open to me? But how can they have the freedom to love?

I could create life on another planet the same as we have on Earth with total freedom to love, it is an awesome risk, I know that great things good and evil will happen if I do because I have already witnessed what happens on Earth. We can be disturbed when we watch news programmes on the television and see in graphic detail the horrors and extreme conditions of life. These are Godís children, just imagine what God the parent must go through being the creator this makes him responsible and he must also feel responsible for all the good and evil that his children commit on Earth.

What kind of an emotional burden does humanity place on a loving God? It seems that God must pay a very high price emotionally to create children with the freedom to love.

If I were God how could I live with myself when I look at life on Earth? How could I put things right? Should I intervene and stop evil happening? Do I just intervene in extreme cases like murder, rape, child abuse, and violence? What about the murder of a drugs dealer, or injustice, theft and fraud? Where do I draw the line on when I should intervene? If I know evil is about to happen, how do I prevent it happening? Do I have that person executed? Do I cause events to happen so evil is prevented? Do I have them locked up before the event? Do I impose my thoughts on a personís mind so they will do things my way? To do any of these things I am ĎGod the Dictatorí a controlling God because I become judge, jury, and executioner, probably thousands of times every day. Intervention takes away free will because I am going to decide what I will allow you and everyone else to do.

If I had the power of creation to create a completely new structure of life on another planet would I have the emotional courage to create children in my own image and give them total freedom to love? Or would I create a lower form of life and only give them a conditional freedom; that is you can only do the things that I allow you to do.

If God has total freedom himself then I feel that for God to create in an ultimate way he must create real children in his own image and love them as he loves himself unconditionally. Therefore he could not control them in any way by with holding or restricting freedom.

To have freedom in this way seems the greatest way that a loving God could create life and this is the model for life that we can perceive existing on Earth today. To create life that can love is a risk, because this freedom also gives us the choice to be a saint or a serial killer or anything else

When God found that Adam and Eve could not obey his commands, could it be that he needed an alternate way to teach us how to make choices between good and evil? After Adam and Eve sinned; did God need life on Earth to be a fragile and limited existence; So that he could minimize the power but not the choices that we have to choose between good and evil? Mankind has used stone, iron and nuclear tools for both good and evil purposes.

If all of humanity where immortal and if we had the ability to gain supreme knowledge we can imagine for ourselves the chaos that would follow because we would still have the freedom to choose between good and evil.

Sadly to create life with total freedom will mean that the innocent will suffer. In terms of mans inhumanity to man it can seem that human suffering is to high a price to pay for the freedom to love. A loving all-powerful God must have known the risks involved to create life with the freedom to love. There has to be more to life. The innocent must not suffer in vain.

LOVE GOD If we are created in Godís image and we have the freedom to love, then mankind was created to act in accordance with this ultimate purpose. But how can it make sense for God to say that the greatest quality we can have is to love God, when God can only exist in our imagination. Can we only love an imaginary God? Would God the creator be content to create life that could only live a few years, would he be content if he never had the chance to come into contact with his children on equal terms. If God went to all the trouble of designing and creating a vast universe for the purpose of creating children in his own image, he should then also have a need to be with his children on equal terms.

If God has the capacity to create life from nothing then he must also have the ability to resurrect life after death. If we choose to show our love for God and our neighbours in this life, we can then meet God face to face in a greater life after death, loving God can then become a reality. The greatest commandment is now making more sense. Life after death with God must be Godís final purpose for humanity.

CHRIST. How can God teach humanity his ultimate purpose without imposing his will on us by force? What role did Christ have in the creation of the universe? Was there a contingency plan of Christ dying put in place before creation began, because God knew the risks involved in creating life with the freedom to love? Or was Christís destiny decided for him at the time of the prophecies, which were written during the Old Testament? Or was Christís destiny decided for him on the day he took human form? Did God know that if humanity were to be created with the freedom to love, that many of his children would be innocent victims? Did Christ know in advance the price that he would have to pay if humanity were to be created? Did he know that he would also have to be an innocent victim? With our knowledge and hindsight could there have been any other options open to God that could have had a greater impact on humanity?

We can look at the choices available to create life in an open way, we can see the risks involved, we know the price that would have to be paid by humanity, Christ, and God.

Godís final purpose for humanity must outweigh all the suffering, sacrifices and hardships that humanity has to endure while we spend our time on Earth, otherwise he cannot be a loving God.

Was Christís mission to inform us of Godís purpose for the creation of life?

CHRIST ON EARTH. Christ asked us to do many things, but what is the ultimate purpose that we can have.

Is the greatest purpose we can have in life to believe in a certain way, or acknowledge and obey authority, is to spread the gospels, or to take communion or to gain salvation? If it were any of these things Christ would have said so very clearly. If there were one ultimate purpose for humanity, God would let us know this purpose very clearly. There is one passage in the bible that everything else in the bible depends on. Jesus delivers these commandments with authority in a powerful way. No other passage in the bible is so forcefully emphasized.

Mathew 22- ĎTeacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?í Jesus replied Ďlove the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.í

. What importance did Christ place on these commandments, are they one percent greater, or are they greater than everything else by a factor of ten?

Christ died to forgive us our sins. Why did he forgive us? It was because he loved us as he loves himself. Why does he love us in this way? Because it is the greatest love that he can have.

When I read the Bible from this perspective it seems to make a greater sense.

Is this the prayer we should make,

Help me Lord that I may learn to love all of my neighbours as I love myself regardless of who they are or how they believe, so that I may strive to be one with them as you are one with the father.

A journey begins to try and understand the power of the greatest commandments, are they the ultimate motivating force that would compel God to create the universe and life? I have written this story in human terms because I cannot know the mind of God. This is just a collection of words for you to challenge

Please feel free to use any or all of this article if you wish, I do not desire to claim any copy write at all. Please feel free to write it in a clearer or greater way.

In peace

Eric Hyom

-- Eric Hyom (, February 02, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ