“Seeking and Responding to Truth” by Dr. Peter Kreeft

2 types of philosophers

1. those who take clear things and made them muddled. 

2. those who take things muddled and make them clear. 

Talk subject: “The honest search for truth and our docile response.” 

Define terms:

honesty = everyone praises honesty but hates fanatical. honesty must be an absolute in all occasions and all circumstances. even a relativist knows he must be honest. honesty is a relationship. my thinking about something or somebody. 

total honesty with god is key to total honesty with self. total honesty with self key to total honesty with others. 

search = search for truth vs. search for physical things. when you search for truth, it’s changes you while staying the same. must be humble, passionate and idealistic. Pascal = God gave us just enough truth so that those who seek will find and not too much truth so that those who don’t seek won’t find. 

truth = what are we looking for? 3 different levels of what we mean by truth, so 3 different kinds of search. 

  1. truth means knowing what is, correspondence of thought and speech to objective reality. 
  2. analogy the best philosophers use is that truth is like light. enables you to see (analogy). 
  3. “emeth” = quality of a person. God is True. you can totally trust God. Jesus = Logos. a word for Truth. truth is sense of the ultimate light, the ultimate law that governs the cosmos, the mind of God. John 1:9 – Jesus Christ true light that enlightens all minds. 

docile = “doceo” = to teach. our fundamental part is to be teachable, receptive. catcher in baseball is an art, not entirely passive. 

response = how do you respond to truth? by grasping it. to say thank you. gratitude is a fundamental moral prerequisite to grasp truth. 

(m. 41) Belief in Santa Claus when you were a kid on Dec 24 made you very good and very happy. Why don’t you still believe in it? Because it’s not true. Truth is the root and goodness is the fruit. Truth is necessary. 

You must love truth purely for it’s own sake first. Aristotle, wonderfully commonsensical. 3 reasons to pursue truth: 

1. power over world – technology = rocket ships. 

2 power over yourself – ethics, politics = behaviour even better. 

3. expands your mind – makes you better. = perfect yourself = best. 

Is it arrogant to claim Catholic Church only infallibly true religion? Well if its a ladder we make up to heaven, yes. but if it’s a ladder down from heaven, no. 

Why are we so busy? because we don’t have the energy to be quiet and contemplative. Proof = be 5 minutes all alone totally quiet not distracted by anything. Bet you can’t do it. Kierkegaard = 1 remedy for all ills of modern world would be silence b/c even if word of God proclaimed, no body will hear it b/c the world is too loud.

Love is not all you need. You need truth or else you can have fake love. “My love is my weight” ~ St Augustine. All good is rightly ordered love by truth. 

Aquinas — the kindest thing you can do for your neighbour is to help them find the Truth. God is truth & love = that’s why they are absolutes. 

3 biggest enemies of truth — 1. pride. 2. lust. 3. greed. vs. 1. poverty. 2. chastity. 3. obedience. Truth isn’t just an intellectual problem, it’s also a moral problem. 

Science is like a laser beam. Philosophy is like a flood light. 

If you can’t explain a book by random chance, how can you think about explaining the universe? A book exploded out of a printing factory comparison to big bang. 

A human being is always somewhat inhuman. “That’s just natural” we say. But it’s really unnatural because it doesn’t fulfill human nature but destroys it. 

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