in comment, Father Luke's, 'The rise of the individual - the fall of the community'Father Luke Fong:
The rise of the individual - the fall of the community, a thought-provoking article.
French philosopher Rene Descartes who lived in the early 17th century is hailed as the “Father of modern philosophy”. The ‘individualistic’ revolution is generally attributed to his thought of ‘cogito ergo sum’ or ‘I think therefore I am’. It made the world sit up and believe, erroneously, of course, that the “I” is what everything should revolve around....
Maybe then, we can hear ourselves say: “Even though I may not be getting anything from Mass, even though the hymns aren’t lively, even though I may view some of the Church laws as archaic and infringing on my individual freedom, I still go to Mass, still sing hymns, and still abide by Church laws. Because it’s really not about me.”
what a timely reminder on this article. There's no such thing as "pick and choose" or either You are a catholic or not. period.
As a catholic.. we must accept the the teachings of the church of the magisterium "wholesale" and not at yr whims and fancies..
If we take the church at its word, then wouldn't some of the evils perpetrated by the church in the past continue ad infinitum? I know that the church isn't a democracy, and shouldn't be one as that only serves to tether the church to the whims and fancies of the populace whom are themselves subject to socialisation within the socio-economic system. Given the above 2 points, there is quite a problem here isn't it.
Hi Father Luke,
With regards to Descartes, if i'm not mistaken, the only thing he realised that he could be certain of was not the 'I' but his ability to 'doubt'. This, in part, founded the basis for the scientific method which attempted to discern the means by which we could 'doubt' correctly. I do stand by the scientific method without question though, as i'm aware that the only thing we can be certain of is the certainty of the fallibility of humanity.
With regards to 'the rise of the individual' and 'the fall of the community'. I am, on persuasion by reason, a Socialist - no, i am not an atheist...that's an illogical concept - and believe in the value of the community that abides by the 13th Commandment of the Christ. However, without the rise of the individual, would not the individual be subject to the dictates of the elite within a community? I suppose it is not the 'rise of the individual' that is the problem, but the 'rise of the individual' within particular socio-economic conditions, such as those which hold the class-system as sacrosanct, that compromises the community.
If we were to all live within a community where we hold true and fast the 13th Commandment of Christ, and bring about the institutions that do not put obstacles in the way of its practice, then the rise of the individual would further elevate the community would it not?
I am, officially, a Catholic by the way (parish, Risen Christ, where i was an alter boy between 1978-81 before i was sacked for bringing potato chips to a retreat amongst a couple of other ridiculous reasons). But have ceased to attend mass since 1999 as i find the church in singapore to be more of an opiate than a solution - unlike the Church in the UK where the priest proffers perspectives on how we can live good Christian lives in consideration of the socio-economic system and whilst acknowledging the evils of the capitalist system. It was quite the eye-opener for myself. This particular priest reminded me of a Father Adrian Anthony back in the 80s whose sermons drew thousands on the first sunday of the month. Gone are those days with the emergence of singapore as a Confucian state.
Thank you for the above perspective, it is an issue that i've been concerned about for the last couple of decades, and in essence, I do agree with your perspective. Keep them coming.