Nature and Grace Not the Cause of Modern Atheism

Human Action and God

From Ed Feser’s latest post:

As to the allegation that the Neo-Scholastic understanding of nature and grace paved the way for modern atheism, it is simply aimed at a ludicrous caricature. The charge is that Neo-Scholastics sealed off the “two tiers” of nature and grace in a way that made the former entirely self-contained, so that man has no natural need of God. But this presupposes that the Neo-Scholastic understanding of “nature” is the same as that of the modern philosophical naturalist or materialist, which it most definitely is not. On the contrary, for the Neo-Scholastic, rational demonstration of the existence of God is something of which natural reason is capable, and the knowledge and worship of God is thus part of our natural end. Hence the Neo-Scholastic conception of nature, far from entailing atheism, positively excludes it. It is the conception of nature affirmed by thinkers like Aristotle…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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One Response to Nature and Grace Not the Cause of Modern Atheism

  1. Atheism is partly caused by the fact that Bible reading is tiresome without some motivation or mission oriented motivation. It is historical story telling (which happens to be true). Part of the problem is translations, which give wrong impressions. Historically, leaving the religion of the parents was taboo. [Our tribe vs. your tribe.] The Empire of Constantine made Christians members of a warrior state, and since it was a warrior state others like Muslims decided to counter with their own opposing forces (ISIS concept). Christians became Roman soldiers with crosses on their shields and wielding swords, ignoring Jesus who said not to take the sword. Ignoring Paul who said Christians do not have a physical fight but instead a spiritual fight with forces in heavenly places. People see people succeeded (Werner Von Braun, Einstein, Zuckerberg, Shrodinger, and others with wrong spiritual values succeeding). Judges believe criminals may be psychologically off, but they do not believe they are demonized. People get hurt in families and in nations due to wars. People fail to see a connection between success and godly behavior. And material success is the standard, not spiritual success.

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