(Note to Christian apologists: This is why atheists are worth your time.)
Mortimer Adler was the 20th Century’s most prominent American philosopher, living almost the entirety of it, 1902-2001. Well into my 30’s (the 1970s), as his name flitted in an out of my consciousness, I always assumed he was an atheist, only to find out later that others, by the same token, considered him a deist, perhaps even a Christian. He was an authority on Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas, and published a very handy how-to-think book “Aristotle for Everyone” in 1978. (Recommended, used, under $5 at Amazon.com) In 1981, he published “How to Think About God, a Guide for the 20th Century Pagan”, but in which he cast himself as the pagan. He had a memorable interview about the book with William F Buckley that year, transcribed here. (11 minutes.)
In 1984, at age 82, Adler finally came home, well almost, professing a belief in Christ, and joined the Episcopal Church, some say out of deference to his wife, an ardent Anglican. But it was not until after her passing and on his death bed that he finally joined the Roman Church.
For Christian apologists, Adler was the sort of man who could reach out to atheists, even the faux- or- pseudo variety, especially in the science community, in ways many Christian missionaries can’t. A worthy study.
Enter the Catamounts of Styx, proving a reluctant agnostic’s lifetime search for God
As if on cue, yesterday’s Women’s March in Washington, indeed worldwide, and the very pagan nature of its exhortations…not to mention some incredible lapses into sheer insipidity…proved not only why outreach to the rich, profane and lost is important to the well-being of the whole of our society, but as a sign of just how deeply paganism has sunk its roots in America.
Adler had a summarized version of his notion about God, which I heard sometime in the 1990’s, and recite from memory here:
If there is a God, then all things are possible
But if there is no God, then everything is permissible
Adler wasn’t being cute with this use of “possible” and “permissible”, for as you will pick up in that 11-minute colloquy with William Buckley, his description of a Being that can create something from nothing is so indescribably immense It can certainly perform the sorts of miracles and super-natural events laid out in the Book of Genesis and those surrounding the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Everything is therefore possible.
But yesterday, January 21, 2017, we got a fuller glimpse of the other half of Adler’s maxim, the impact of a god-less “permissible”. The Harrowers from Hell gave us a look of “permissible” we won’t long forget.
Nowhere in recorded history can I find examples where such large aggregations of “civilized society”, it’s preening self-professed betters, largely of one sex, have turned out en masse to advertise, dare I say, market, its paganism and it’s rejection of any type of common morality.
In other eras these higher class members of society at least would have had the decency to gather in a wooded glen under a full moon and dance around mushrooms, incanting hexagonal hexes against the likes of Donald Trump, for fear a neighbor might get wind of their moonlit romps without underwaer and stop inviting to them to Thursday tea[…]
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