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Can A Person Be Good Without God: Follow Up

Last month I posted a poll on my blog asking this simple question: "Can a Person Be Good without God?"  Over 81% answered that they felt that a person could be good without God while 18% answered the opposite. 

Now my response:

Surprisingly I find myself partially agreeing with the majority.  I too feel that a person can be good without God.  History is full of examples of outstanding men and women who didn't believe in God but still did great things for their respective societies.  For example Socrates sacrificed his life to preach the truth.  Plato taught about ultimate beauty. St. Paul even commented on the goodness and religiosity of the Ancient Greeks. (see Acts 17:22)  The Founding Fathers even though possessing a limited enlightenment view of God managed to create a Constitution that was humane and fair.  Surprisingly the Catholic Church even agrees partially with this sentiment.

The Catholic church believes that there are two sets of virtues, the cardinal and theological virtues.  The Cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude can be obtained without God, but are a necessary prerequisite in attaining the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.  These latter virtues can only be obtained through the mysterious grace of Christ.  But without the Cardinal virtues one does not possess the foundation necessary for the greater theological virtues.   My personal belief is that a moral person who possesses these cardinal virtues is living a half life.  Let me explain with this strange metaphor:

The person without God is like cell phone that is only half charged.  Sure the phone still functions, but it is only able to last about half the time since it is not full charged.  In the same way the moral person might be doing great things on this earth, but without the spiritual gifts given by God he/she is essentially living a blinded life, not seeing beyond the earthly existence, ignorant of a transcendent existence. This person only sees the visible picture of existence.

In contrast the person who believes in God is like a cell phone fully charged.  He/she is able to function fully, making total use of their human capacity.  This person lives a full life integrating natural morality and spiritual morality.  This person not only does great things for this world but is also simultaneously laying the foundation for a transcendent spiritual life.  This person sees the entire picture the visible and the invisible.

I know that I am coming from an explicitly Christian Catholic perspective and that some of you will think that I am biased not taking into account the noble contributions of other faiths.  I can understand this sentiment and I will explain myself more in a future post.

Now for the next question of the month:  Which political ideology is more compassionate? Liberalism or Conservatism? Why?


Comments

  1. Humm, I read somewhere that one of the marks of the spirit of the antichrist is the attempt to build--or rebuild-- paradise, utopia, or the ideal society on earth without reference to God. This is always doomed to failure, human nature being what it is: flawed.

    Some examples from history: The French, Russian, Mexican, and Cuban revolutions; Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Soon to come: the European Union once it becomes the United States of Europe.

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