Edward Feser on the Road from Atheism

imagePhilosopher Edward Feser in The road from atheism explains his journey.  He starts out:

As most of my readers probably know, I was an atheist for about a decade — roughly the 1990s, give or take.  Occasionally I am asked how I came to reject atheism.  I briefly addressed this in The Last Superstition.  A longer answer, which I offer here, requires an account of the atheism I came to reject.

I was brought up Catholic, but lost whatever I had of the Faith by the time I was about 13 or 14.  Hearing, from a non-Catholic relative, some of the stock anti-Catholic arguments for the first time — “That isn’t in the Bible!”, “This came from paganism!”, “Here’s what they did to people in the Middle Ages!”, etc. — I was mesmerized, and convinced, seemingly for good.  Sola scriptura-based arguments are extremely impressive, until you come to realize that their basic premise — sola scriptura itself — has absolutely nothing to be said for it.  Unfortunately it takes some people, like my younger self, a long time to see that.  Such arguments can survive even the complete loss of religious belief, the anti-Catholic ghost that carries on beyond the death of the Protestant body, haunting the atheist who finds himself sounding like Martin Luther when debating his papist friends. . . .

It concludes thus (but you should read everything in between even though it has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin. But to me that can be the point.):

. . .  Speaking for myself, anyway, I can say this much.  When I was an undergrad I came across the saying that learning a little philosophy leads you away from God, but learning a lot of philosophy leads you back.  As a young man who had learned a little philosophy, I scoffed.  But in later years and at least in my own case, I would come to see that it’s true.

2 thoughts on “Edward Feser on the Road from Atheism”

  1. A fascinatng story, however an exact factual account does not need to be quite so detailed in its narration, otherwise the point may be lost. I found several of the bloggers’ comments of equal interest, including one that identified the source of the quote “A liitle philosophy … etc … leads you back.” I was sufficiently intrigued to pass the URL on to a few oher philosophiles. Here’s a comment back from a Catholic priest-scholar:-

    “Some Catholic academic philosophers need to take a deep breath, state their central thesis and then demonstrate this. Those who quote Aquinas and Gilson might learn from their methodology. While I admire Feser’s intent, he makes too many references and so his central point is not always easy to follow. In the groves of academe some groves are more intelligible than others – and so one is tempted to linger longer.”

    Personally I have not come across Feser previously, but his web-site demonstrates that he has a large community of followers. But his presentation would benefit by the self-discipline of more concentration on conciseness, and thus communicate his intent more effectively.

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