My Spiritual Journey from Atheism to Catholicism


Having been born into a highly secular society and raised in an irreligious and agnostic family background, I have been an atheistic materialist and naturalist for most of my life until my late thirties, and was only interested in nature and natural sciences. Due to my popular science interest in modern physics (cosmology, relativity theory, and quantum mechanics) I came to realize fundamental philosophical problems concerning time, causality, laws of nature, and the effectiveness of mathematics. I also realized the hard problem of consciousness, the problem of reason (incl. intentionality / aboutness), the problem of universals, the standard problem of free will, and the problem of objective morality, as well as the ultimate question „why is there anything rather than nothing“. This led to a spiritual journey spanning about 15 years in search for a coherent world view, which implied the exploration of very different approaches like mathematical monism (Max Tegmark), pantheistic neopaganism (panpsychism, hylozooism, animism), Eastern philosophies like Daoism and Shintoism, non-dualism (Advaita Vedanta) and neoperennial integral thought (Ken Wilber), Whiteheadian panentheistic process thought, Bergsonian and Nietzschean flux, quantum idealism (Amit Goswami, Johanan Raatz and Michael Jones from Inspiring Philosophy), Neoplatonism with objective idealism (Timothy Sprigge, John Leslie), and finally classical theism.

 

I then thoroughly evaluated the pro and con arguments for Christianity, esp. Roman Catholic and Reformed theology, as well as Biblical exegesis and history. After a while of denominational confusion I settled for Catholicism with Thomistic metaphysics (just for the record: no, I was not converted by my wife, who was a Cafeteria Catholic and "Chreaster", before I re-converted her to real Catholic belief). My conversion from atheistic materialism and naturalism to a Christian world view did not involve any prior faith in holy scriptures, but was based on reason and a careful critical evaluation of empirical evidence and philosophical arguments. However, I am meanwhile convinced that even without sophisticated arguments we can simply know as a properly basic belief that materialism is wrong and that a universal mind (aka God) exists as ground of all being. However, I do not think at all that my spiritual journey and ultimate conversion was my own intellectual achievement and merit, but was purely based on the Grace of God and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

 

I strongly reject the modern surrogate religion of atheistic naturalism (esp. "New Atheism"), secular humanism (incl. the myth of progress), eliminative materialism, functionalist physicalism, mechanistic determinism, and reductionistic scientism as incoherent, irrational, empirically refuted, and thus absurd faith, which is mostly based on sloppy argumentation and shallow philosophy (esp. among internet infidels), and ultimately implies detrimental nihilism.

 


 

DISCLAIMER:

After some years of bad experiences especially with social media interactions I am no longer willing to debate issues like Christian theism or intelligent design theory with stubborn atheists, naturalists, and hardcore Darwinists. I am also tired to discuss Catholicism with ignorant fundamentalist Bible thumpers. I generally block all such fruitless attempts on social media, which I now only use to publish my own views and arguments for those few folks, who are really interested and open minded. My spare time is simply too limited to waste it fighting an endless army of clueless trolls and their silly platitudes. I publicly present the arguments that convinced me, and I welcome if they should make others think too, but I couldn‘t care less about those, who reject these arguments or remain unconvinced. Likewise, I am simply not interested in further amateurish objections from infidel armchair philosophers, because you can be pretty sure that I already read several book length sophisticated academic discussions about each of them and have my well-thought-out reasons why I consider them as failures. I also do not have the time to answer common objections or common questions for the umpteenth time by email (Google is your friend). That said, if you are open minded and should have special questions concerning ID implications from my own field of expertise (paleontology), then you are of course welcome to ask and I will try my best to answer your questions adequately as far as my time permits.