Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Friday, June 26, 2015

Religious and philanthropic apologists and identity problems

Scheduled for 9:00am-10:30am Eastern Time, Plenary Session papers and panel discussion 5
Chair: Lois Eveleth (Salve Regina University)

Speaker: Curtis L. Hancock (Rockhurst University): “Apologetics and the new atheism”

To clarify the task of apologetics, a preliminary discussion of the relationship of faith and reason is in order. The principal alternative views on this relationship in the history of the philosophy of religion are fideism, rationalism, dualism, and “the overlapping view.” This last (awkwardly expressed) position states the position of Thomas Aquinas, whose view this presentation will defend. The first three positions will be defined and criticized, indicating by contrast why the Thomistic view is defensible. This presentation will especially discuss dualism, whose best known defender is Stephen Jay Gould. Dualism deserves attention because it is popular and a temptation to many theologians and scientists. Nonetheless, it is sophistical, as can be readily shown. With these clarifications and criticisms out of the way, this presentation will highlight some remarks by Richard Dawkins as representative of the new atheists. His remarks illustrate that the new atheists have degraded the debate in the philosophy of God and reveal that a twenty-first century apologist has nothing to fear from their flimsy attack on theism and religion in general.

Speaker: Heather M. Erb (Great Books Academy/International Étienne Gilson Society): “Modernism and the Christian identity problems. Some Thomistic reflections on possible solutions”

Speaker: Joseph Indelicato (Catholic Education Foundation/Caritas Consulting): “Was Satan the first philanthropist?: Charitable giving versus Enlightened philanthropy”

Aquinas and Chesterton are both noted for their keen "Common Sense." They both were acutely aware of the diabolical nature of the large institutions, and the destructive effect those institutions have on individuals and society. Chesterton identified Hudge and Gudge,(big government and big business) as the culprits. To these have been added big philanthropy. Equally coercive. We discuss specifically the destructive elements, along with methods to restore controls to individuals and small entities.

Livestream of video from the Conference will be at the Holy Apostles College and Seminary YouTube Channel.

Next session scheduled for 11:00am.

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