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Pope John Paul 2

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Part 1: Chapter Two Summary

Pope John Paul II was very wise. He was a person of intellect, he cared about humanity, and the way it was heading. In his encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio Pope John Paul II discusses his concerns for humanity, and the battle between reason and faith. In this letter (addressed to the Cardinals) he brings up a bunch of topics in today's society regarding concern, including the relationship between faith and reason, and also the journey for truth. He connects topics such as these to the search for meaning in society today and gives us ideas about how not understanding that both faith and reason have a necessary role has resulted in humanity's struggle to find meaning in everyday life.

In the second chapter of Fides et Ratio, John Paul II discusses human beings' want for knowledge. Humans want to know more about things, and how they work, and they strive to gain a better understanding of the world. He uses the Old Testament to prove that happiness is knowledge. Pope John Paul II states that the pursuit of knowledge and truth using both faith and reason can lead to an individual finding real wisdom that is relevant to the important questions that are central to our everyday lives. For a person to be truly happy (wise) faith and reason must stay joined and cannot be separated. He argues that faith cannot survive without reason and reason cannot survive without faith. Thus, he believes that if a person's knowledge is based on only faith or reason, their knowledge will be imperfect. Pope John Paul II suggests that to find the meaning to life, discover the truth about life, and answer all questions concerning life, a person must use both faith and reason.

Throughout this chapter Pope John Paul II also discusses how according to the Old and New Testament of the bible, faith and reason and coexist and work with each other. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament provide reasons as to why faith and reason cannot be separated. In the Old Testament, focuses on the source of knowledge and how God has provided us with all the answers we need, and the source of knowledge but it is up to use to learn how to interoperate them. God has revealed the mystery to us but understanding this mystery will take faith and reason. After God came to us in the flesh human beings were able to put aside the doubts they had on life, and see that life indeed did have a purpose. The New Testament however, focuses on the challenges that are placed on our faith and reason when trying to understand the cruxifixation of Jesus. Pope John Paul II understands that both faith and reason get challenged but they both contrast each other and in the end help us to find a medium where both faith and reason have their role.

According to Pope John Paul II faith and reason go hand in hand. Faith and reason are used to answer the questions that the other cannot. To have a balanced society according to Pope John Paul II faith and reason learn to be dependent on each other. Without the balance of faith and reason, humans will suffer spiritually, and logically.


There are many proofs to the existence of God. Many of the philosophers we studied this semester all have their own proofs for the existence of God, St Anslem, St Augustine and St Thomas are just a few. The meaning and/or purpose of life is easy for humans to capture when focusing on their life experiences and actions.

There are many pieces of evidence that prove the existence of God but this does not stop some philosophers from opposing this idea. There are many philosophers ho continue to deny the existence of a higher power or being, or God. These are some of the reasons why the rift between reason and faith is so large. Many people chose to shrug off what is happening, and let it be, but Pope John Paul II decided otherwise.

Many people today would consider Pope John Paul II a philosopher because he made it known about the rift between reason and faith, and informed people of what the possible outcome could be. In his encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II continues to state that faith and reason can co-exist and that they need each other to exist. He feels that if faith and reason are separated the perfect knowledge can never be. According to Pope John Paul II, reason can lead us to the truth, but we need faith to answer the unanswered questions. God intended for us to treat faith and reason as one, and without that humans are leading themselves further and further into deceit. This is a huge problem, people are going further and further away from the truth and ultimately God.

Pope John Paul II stated in order to understand a historical doctrine, you must understand



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