Author Topic: Why not hedonism?  (Read 6041 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #210 on: March 04, 2019, 08:14:15 PM »
It sounds like you have no belief in Catholicism.  Why are you interested in it then?  Are there some aspects that are still valuable to you, or is it just your paranoia of "what-ifs" that keeps you loosely attached?  If the former then let's discuss that.  If the latter then that's another animal.
It's probably some mix of both, but primarily the latter. As I said before, I find some aspects to be appealing. But I highly suspect that Catholicism is not true. I have no definitive proof against Catholicism, but I do have a lot of evidence against Catholicism; I think it's morally wrong for a person to ignore the evidence and pretend that Catholicism is true, yet I also think it's morally wrong for a person to claim that the Catholicism is false without any proof.
edit - There's also the fear which the Catholic Church is imposing on me, basically telling me that I'm going to hell if I refrain from making a judgement despite the fact that I'm in no position to make such a judgement. For all I know, this fear is completely baseless. Yet because of this fear, I am unwilling to reject Catholicism.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 08:45:15 PM by Daniel »
 

Online Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #211 on: March 04, 2019, 10:05:57 PM »
Daniel,

There are four options:  established religion, make it up as you go, agnostic, atheist.  There are no other options.  When you consider Catholicism, is the evidence against it so much so that its better to, perhaps, make it up as you go?  I'm still fairly young but I've seen enough to realize that tradition exists for very good reasons even if not at all obvious on the surface, and deviating from tradition often ends up in creating newer, bigger errors.  If you come across in a field an abandoned house that is sealed behind a locked fence with a sign "Do not enter" then its best not to enter, despite not knowing why one should not enter.  On a personal level, I myself moronically in my youth violated this in a very similar scenario - I was visiting Kinmen Island, a Taiwanese island off of the coast of mainland China, where there had been for a while some brief fighting ages ago.  The Taiwanese mined the coasts of the island.  When I visited there was a sign banning entry to the beautiful beach due to landmines, but I thought this was silly and went on it none the less (but I hopped from rock to rock, just in case!).

A few months later I visited again and there was a full bomb squad out on that very same beach combing it for mines.  As some were returning for a lunch break I asked one if they found any mines and he said yes, several.

This is not a tradition per say, but its a rule that existed for a reason that, at that time, I could not make sense of (beautiful tourist island, beautiful beaches, a trail leading right to the beach, and then one tiny sign warning of landmines, I assumed it was nonsense).  I would have been better off not going it on my own.

Very long run traditions exist for good reasons. There is enormous collective wisdom built up in them that is not easily explained, but its there.  Its easy to poke around the edges and criticize, its hard to explain the value of the tradition, and its often only after lifetime experiences that one internalizes and knows the value and truth held within the tradition.

We also have the benefit (though at our expense), of seeing what happens to society when it abandons its traditions and questions everything.  If you think the modern society is excellent then go join it.  If you think its an absolute pile of garbage then consider whether it always has been.  If it was once better, why was it better.  To me, I see that society was not always so wretched, and that it had been Catholicism that lifted man up out of squalor.  It is not the only thing that has lifted man out of his squalor, but it has far exceeded the rest in the beauty it brought forth.

But if this does not hold much stock with you, and the seeming flip on usury, or baptism of desire, or whatever other "gotcha" type thing there is far outstrips this, then that is most unfortunate.

I like to see results, I care little for theory.  For me, seeing the culture Catholicism brought forth, the saints its made, the pious lives it has inspired, the beautiful families raised under it, the goodness of its pious followers, that all to me is very powerful evidence that something very true is going on here.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #212 on: March 05, 2019, 08:52:49 PM »
Davis Blank - EG,

Thanks for that explanation... I think I now better see where you're coming from. Your approach, then, is basically to choose the best side? You're basically saying that we should believe in whichever philosophy/religion we see to be good, because nothing else is worth believing in. And, having chosen a side, we then commit ourselves to it.

The problem I see is that this still seems to disregard truth. Because how do you know that you're on the right side? Is it not conceivable that, despite the appeal of the Catholic Church, and all the good that the Catholic Church has done, that the Catholic Church might still be wrong? But if truth is God, and if you are choosing the Catholic Church even at the expense of truth, then what you're doing is disregarding God... choosing the Catholic Church (which could possibly be evil) over God. That's how I'm seeing it at the moment, anyway.



Xavier,

Daniel, if you do not wish to take even simple 15 minutes to pray 5 decades of the Rosary every day, which you should try to do, at least wear the Scapular, say an Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, the Glory Be, and some other short and simple prayers (even in your own words) whenever we can. It may well be a start and help you save your soul. We're discussing these things here only to help you save your soul in charity, and so we hope you will at least begin to do that. Jesus and Mary have shown a million times that they accept all who come to Them. God will give you His grace, blessings and help, if you call on the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary often, with love and reverence.

So to say praying to God is too risky and such things is a trap. A trap for your soul laid by the enemy. Pray, always pray. Even in simple words. Whenever you can. Speak to God as if He were your Father. Yes, God's Majesty is great and He is our King, but He is also our Most Loving Father. And so, in spite of our sins, God loves us and waits for us to call on Him, and if we do in sincere love, He comes to us. Jesus is our great High Priest and atoned for our sins; Mother Mary intercedes powerfully. Call on Jesus and Mary and you will know. Make one good confession and everything will be all right. Don't wait till it may be too late. Love God, do good, pray, and seek the Truth.

But Xavier, how do you know that any of what you said is true? The subjective evidence that I've personally experienced suggests otherwise.

A few months ago, before I had sufficiently reasoned things through, a priest succeeded in getting me to pray to God. So I once prayed to God, more or less commanding God to reveal Himself to me. (In hindsight this was an evil prayer. See next paragraph.) But God gave me no answer then, nor any time since. I still do not possess knowledge of God's essence or even of His existence, nor knowledge of whether Jehovah is God or an imposter, whether Jesus is God or a deceiver, whether the Catholic Church is the true Church or a false church, whether there even is a revealed religion, etc..

But setting all these questions aside, it is clear that my prayer was not merely inefficate but that it positively offended God. Because it is not man's place to tempt God, or force His hand, or command Him like He's some sort of a genie or something.

But a deeper question is in the whole idea of vocal prayer and especially "prayers of petition". The fact is, if God's will is unchangeable then no amount of prayer is going to cause God to will anything which He does not already will. So why pray? Either God wills to give me what I need, or else He does not. God is omniscient; He reads our minds and hearts. He already knows what I need, and He already knows that I desire to receive it from Him if only He will give it to me. The only thing for me to do, then, is to hope in Him and wait things out. I'd say that this sort of resignation/devotion is itself a kind of prayer. It's not vocal or petitionary, but it seems like prayer. At least it makes a lot more sense than the seemingly-illogical 'prayers of petition' and the often-mindless/heartless 'vocal prayers'. (Of course, if God revealed otherwise, then I have no choice but to admit I'm in error. However, I do not know God to have revealed otherwise.)

But anyway, this all raises the question: if God knows that I need faith and contrition in order to be saved, and if He knows that I am resigned to His will and that I am willing to accept the faith and contrition if only He will give it to me, then what is going on? Why is God choosing to deprive me of what I need?
The Catholic Church's theology here is a mess... there's not even any one clear teaching.
Some theologians simply deny that God is depriving me of faith and contrition. But the evidence seems to refute them, seeing as I don't have faith or contrition (unless I'm to believe that God is surely going to give me these things at some unknown future time before my death? Seems a bit presumptuous...).
Other theologians provide a better answer: they say that I'm one of the unfortunate people among the massa damnata, whom God has chosen not to save. This is quite plausible, but it contradicts the Catholic Church's other claims that God is a merciful father who wants to save everybody and give everybody the knowledge of the truth. If God wants to save me, then He'd save me. Not deprive me of the means to forgiveness.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 09:13:57 PM by Daniel »
 

Online Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #213 on: March 06, 2019, 02:50:44 AM »
Quote
You're basically saying that we should believe in whichever philosophy/religion we see to be good... And, having chosen a side, we then commit ourselves to it.

Should it magically be different than the other millions of decisions, important or not, that we make throughout our lives?  I think some people are very hung up on the aspect of God giving us the faith.  I think people think of it as if its a switch inside a robot brain that God flicks on and then wham, the faith is activated, you now are forced into belief.  Let's just ignore for a moment the entire theology of God giving the faith.  Let's instead see what God did from purely human perspective - He sent a bunch of prophets and endowed them with miracle working abilities to prove that they speak for Him.  He then incarnated Himself and did the miracles Himself to show us that yes, He is the real deal.  Then when He left us He gave His successors miracle working capabilities to continue evidencing that this all is real.  Bleeding Eucharists, dancing suns, flying saints, stigmatas, whatever, it all serves the purpose of convincing people of the reality of what the Church teaches.

Do not get all hung up over the fancy theology.  Man believes through evidence.  God knows this (duh), and thus provides the evidence (miracles) for us such that we can believe.

Quote
The problem I see is that this still seems to disregard truth. Because how do you know that you're on the right side? Is it not conceivable that, despite the appeal of the Catholic Church, and all the good that the Catholic Church has done, that the Catholic Church might still be wrong? But if truth is God, and if you are choosing the Catholic Church even at the expense of truth, then what you're doing is disregarding God... choosing the Catholic Church (which could possibly be evil) over God. That's how I'm seeing it at the moment, anyway.

A couple things.

First, and...?  What is your plan of action?  You have four options, your objection does not change the reality that you are faced with these four options alone.  Are you thus going to go it alone?  I'd rather stick with the collective wisdom of the billions of my forefathers.  Maybe you are wiser and more experienced in life than all of those trillions of human man-hours, though.

Second, would you like to tell me how you know what the truth is?  Because as I'm sure you are aware, the deeper you analyze reality, the more you realize that what you know is all built upon axioms.  If you were, say, to throw out the axiom that your senses represent the truth, then you are to fall down a very deep chasm.  But why not throw it out?  How would you like to prove, beyond the shadow of a single doubt, absolutely positively really truly truly true that your senses represent the objective truth?  It's impossible, and the best we can do is take it as an axiom.  But if you are on this quest for super duper absolute undeniable cannot possibly be doubted 100% truth, then you are a new Sisyphus.  You can always doubt anything you want to doubt.  Your quest is insane.

You and I are here exchanging ideas and yet, for the life of me, I cannot comprehend what an idea even is.  What is an idea, where did it come from, why did it come, how did it come, where does it go when I no longer have it?  I am absolutely baffled when I think about what an idea is, or what thinking even is.  As I see it, we've got no clue about the most basic fundamentals underpinning all this fancy reasoning we are discussing.  Its like Wile-E-Coyote being troubled by an obstacle in his path up ahead when all the while he's running on air.  I don't see how you can demand to know the truth when you are hamstringed by not knowing what an idea is, what thinking is, or perpetually in doubt due to being forced to take as an axiom that sensory data is truthful.

You demand what is impossible, at least in this life.  Maybe in the Beatific Vision its possible, but who knows.

And so I loop back to my previous comments.  You have four choices.  Whether or not you have this impossible demand for knowing the truth does not change that you have these four choices.  What are you going to do?  Pick the best evidenced organized religion and live it, go it alone, say "f it, this is too confusing" and be agnostic, or reject it out right?  I see the latter three options as being complete disasters for civilization, that alone is evidence enough for me that they are wrong. 

By the way, since I think its relevant for your debacle, if you value my belief in the slightest, my guess is that EENS is indeed true, but that God will find a way to convert before death those with good hearts whom did not believe in Christ for intellectual reasons.   But I think most people do not have good hearts and thus its not applicable.  I also think believing in Christ vastly improves man's ability to extinguish the evil within his heart.

May God give you peace of mind.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #214 on: March 06, 2019, 03:19:04 PM »
Quote
But a deeper question is in the whole idea of vocal prayer and especially "prayers of petition". The fact is, if God's will is unchangeable then no amount of prayer is going to cause God to will anything which He does not already will. So why pray?
. That doesn’t follow. You’re confusing temporal mutability with cause. It’s entirely conceivable that my prayer serves as a reason for God willing something, absent which he would will otherwise, without any change implied (just as reprobates are willed to damnation on account of their sins, for the Quares among you who think this somehow violates God's nature via divine simplicity).
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 03:54:30 PM by Kreuzritter »
 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #215 on: March 07, 2019, 01:44:45 AM »
Quote from: Daniel
But Xavier, how do you know that any of what you said is true? The subjective evidence that I've personally experienced suggests otherwise. A few months ago, before I had sufficiently reasoned things through, a priest succeeded in getting me to pray to God. So I once prayed to God, more or less commanding God to reveal Himself to me. (In hindsight this was an evil prayer ...

Yes, it is an evil prayer to try to command His Divine Majesty; Angels bow in worshipful reverence before God. Don't be rash. But God is ready and willing to pay the price for this sin, and to pardon all your faults, if but you turn to Him in Confession and say to His Priests, Mea Culpa. Bishops and Priests are the Representatives of His Majesty, Christ our King - also Himself both High Priest and Sacrifice - upon this Earth, please go to them, and follow their directions in the confessional, and you can be sure you are doing God's Will, and will save your soul if you do. But don't stay away.

Dear Daniel, Christ Our Lord, by the Super-Abundance of His Mercy, by the Satisfaction He made for us in His own Blood, has made Salvation easy and simple for all of us, if only we really wish to be saved. What is easier than to go to Mass at least once a week, confess our sins at least once a month, pray at least for 15-20 mins during the day, and offer up all the work we do as a a sacrifice of love to God? It will be a labor full of consolation, and a means to acquire a treasury of merit in Heaven, and benefit others, and have God's blessing on it. St. Joseph is the model of labor for love of God.

Please begin to do this, and don't fall again into these crippling doubts and this insane agnosticism which will ruin your soul if you persist in it.

How do I know? Daniel, I know God is more real than the air we breathe and the visible reality we see around us - and please note, I'm not by any means defending an anti-realism some may have fallen into, but I am only saying the visible reality we see is only a small spectrum of the entire spectrum of reality that the Blessed Saints and Angels in Heaven perceive in the Light of God. When I receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, when I adore His Majesty in Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, the Lord God confirms to me in a way you will only discern when you know by experience - and I know, and from Fr. Mueller's book posted earlier, you can read, that this has been the experience also of hundreds of millions of other Catholics down throughout the centuries; all that is beside Eucharistic and other miracles, including the miracle of His Resurrection, and the millions upon millions of people who have actually seen and experienced the Risen Christ, including many Muslims and others - that He is more real than every other real thing in the whole Universe.

The Our Father is the most beautiful of prayers, taught by the Lord God Himself, and all who say it and believe in Jesus will be accepted by Him and receive or be renewed in the grace of adoption as sons of the Eternal Father. It is a privilege to call God, "Our Father, which the Lord makes possible for us by His goodness. You say you would be afraid to go to the King. If the Prince comes to you and gives you a prayer Himself, will you so despise His goodness and Truth that you will refuse to pray the words of that simple prayer? Will you call Him a liar, even after He has worked so many wonders and marvels especially in His Eucharist for 20 Centuries, and still does today?

The Hail Mary is the most sublime of prayers. You will win the Heart of the Mother of God and Her powerful intercession on your behalf - like a new Queen Esther, whose intercession saved Israel; like brave Judith, who crushed Holofernes, like so many other Biblical types - simply by saying it often with childlike simplicity and loving reverence toward the Queen of Angels, before Whom all Heaven bows with the veneration of Hyperdulia, with the Holy Angels frequently chanting the Angelic Salutation, and the Saints praising the Mother of God.

By all means, pray in your own words also, with goodness and sincerity of heart, speaking lovingly to your Father, reverently to your King.

I will tell you a simple Novena which if you practice and complete, with desire to love God and grow in His Grace, I can promise you, your doubts and difficulties will vanish in the end; for the Lord promised, "22 ... they will never be tormented by anxiety or doubt.", and I can tell you by experience this Great Novena works and is powerful. https://sites.google.com/site/doublegreatnovena/the-33-promises

It consists simply in going to Mass, after Confession and a good preparation, on 9 First Fridays and Saturdays, to make reparation for sin.

You may well pray, "Jesus, you have said you will clear the doubts of those who make this Novena. I'm going to make it. Help clear my doubts!" and then go ahead and do it.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 05:14:18 AM by Xavier »
Please pray the Association of Precious Blood prayers daily, especially in the great month of July: https://www.preciousbloodinternational.com/prayers4k.html Please pray for aborted and for babies every day. You can save unborn children with every prayer for their Baptism that you say and help efficaciously end terrible abortion-killing worldwide.

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. Please also offer the Precious Blood of Jesus' Heart to the Eternal Father, and our Lives in Sacrifice in Union with It, and with Mary's Immaculate Heart, that Jerusalem may be saved, Judah be restored, and the Jews may at long last happily be returned to saving Faith in Jesus Christ.
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #216 on: May 15, 2019, 02:15:50 PM »
Why not hedonism? Because spiritual goods are superior:
Fr. Garrigou.-Lagrange, O.P.'s Life Everlasting (pt. 1, §3 "Soul Immensity and Beatific Vision"):
Quote
Following St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas writes: Temporal goods appear desirable when we do not have them; but when we do have them, we see their poverty, which cannot meet our desire and which therefore produces disillusion, lassitude, and often repugnance. In spiritual goods the inverse is true. They do not seem desirable to those who do not have them and who desire especially sensible good. But the more we possess them the more we know their value and the more we love them.4 For the same reason, material goods, the same house, the same field, cannot belong simultaneously and integrally to many persons. Spiritual goods, on the contrary, one and the same truth, one and the same virtue, can belong simultaneously and completely to all. And the more perfectly we possess these goods, the better we can communicate them to others.5 This is especially true of the sovereign good.
 
See also SCG III qq. 26-44, where he addresses questions like "That human felicity does not consist in pleasures of the flesh," "That ultimate felicity does not lie in the act of prudence," "That felicity does not consist in the operation of art," ending with (q. 37) "That the ultimate felicity of man consists in the contemplation of God." But he goes further, arguing "That human felicity does not consist in the knowledge of God gained through demonstration" and even that "Human felicity does not [even] consist in the knowledge of God which is through faith"!
 
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #217 on: May 15, 2019, 09:14:07 PM »
And the ultimate happiness that that is possible in this life even by Saints in contemplation scarcely compares to what is reached in the Beatific Vision:

"...there is nothing in this life so like this ultimate and perfect felicity as the life of those who contemplate truth, to the extent that it is possible in this life. And so, the philosophers who were not able to get full knowledge of this ultimate happiness identified man’s ultimate happiness with the contemplation which is possible in this life. On this account, too, of all other lives the contemplative is more approved in divine Scripture, when our Lord says: “Mary has chosen the better part,” namely, the contemplation of truth, “which shall not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42) . In fact, the contemplation of truth begins in this life, but reaches its climax in the future..." SCG III qq. 63

Even a Saint like St. Martha who does not strictly speaking live the higher contemplative life on earth will go on to contemplate God in heaven. She did not have the greatest possible happiness on earth (the better part), but had she practiced hedonism she would ultimately have had no happiness at all.

Of course all Saints contemplate God to some extent, even when they cannot focus all their attention on it, or do it as well as others who have chosen "the better part".
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 
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