Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon for 2010–The Christian Answer to Atheist Scientism

In this first meditation we will examine scientism. To understand what is meant by this term we can begin with the description made of it by John Paul II: “Another danger is scientism; this philosophic conception refuses in fact to admit as valid ways of knowing different from those that are proper to the positive sciences, relegating to the confines of mere imagination either religious conscience and theology, or ethical and aesthetic learning.”[2] We can summarize the main texts of this current of thought thus:

First thesis. Science, and in particular cosmology, physics and biology, are the only objective and serious ways of knowing reality. “Modern societies are built upon science. They owe it their wealth, their power, and the certitude that tomorrow far greater wealth and power still will be ours if we so wish …. Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the riches they owe to science, our societies are still trying to live by and to teach systems of values already blasted at the roots by science itself.”[3]

Second thesis. This way of knowing is incompatible with faith that is based on assumptions which are neither demonstrable or falsifiable. In this line the militant atheist R. Dawkins goes so far as to define as “illiterate” those scientists who profess themselves believers, forgetting how many scientists, much more famous than he, have declared themselves and continue to declare themselves believers.

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One comment on “Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon for 2010–The Christian Answer to Atheist Scientism

  1. Dan Crawford says:

    I have always learned much from Fr. Cantalamessa’s sermons and books. He has many wise things to communicate.