My Spiritual Journey from Atheism to Catholicism


I was 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 metaphysical nihilism (Gary Drescher, Peter Unger), mathematical monism (Max Tegmark), pantheistic neopaganism (panpsychism, hylozooism, animism), Eastern philosophies like Daoism and non-dualism (Advaita Vedanta), neoperennial integral thought (Ken Wilber), Whiteheadian panentheistic process thought, Bergsonian and Nietzschean flux, panpsychism (Giulio Tononi, Donald Hoffman) and cosmopsychism (Philip Goff, Ludwig Jaskolla), quantum idealism (Amit Goswami, Johanan Raatz and Michael Jones from Inspiring Philosophy), Neoplatonism with objective idealism (Timothy Sprigge, John Leslie), and finally classical theism (Edward Feser).

 

I then thoroughly evaluated the pro and con arguments for Christianity, esp. Roman Catholic and Reformed theology, as well as Biblical exegesis and history, including the historical evidence for the resurrection. 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 rather a bit of 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. Nevertheless, 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. Of course, 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.