Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Journal Entry #4 (Smith, 122-139 & Taylor, 1-22, 146-171)

In the introduction of his magnum opus, A Secular Age, Charles Taylor explores humanity's innate desire to discover a strong sense of purpose behind life. He emphasizes the differences between human flourishing and the transcendent, stating, "We all see our lives, and/or the space wherein we live our lives, as having a certain moral/spiritual shape. Somewhere, in some activity, or condition, lies a fullness, a richness; that is, in that place (activity or condition), life is fuller, richer, deeper, more worth while, more admirable, more what it should be" (Taylor 5). The multitude of cross pressures faced by every single individual on a consistent basis causes them to attempt to uncover the meaning of life. As a devout member of the Catholic faith, I firmly believe I must use my life to completely commit myself to the sacraments, serve others before myself and to spread the word of God in order to experience salvation. From my personal perspective, the meaning of life comes from loving everyone else without reservation and serving God to the best of my God-given abilities. Countless citizens have gravitated towards a secularized lifestyle because of the "lack" of evidence for the existence of God; however, He is always with us (especially through the numerous miracles He performs). The members of BarlowGirl, an American, Christian and all-female rock band, express their discontent with God's absence (presumably when they needed him the most); however, they continue to have faith in spite of the cross pressures they continue to face. This holds true for many of the 1.2 billion Catholics across the globe. Mankind will continue to strive for a sense of meaning in its existence through religion and spirituality alike.


  1. I too am Catholic, and a Libertarian, and a staunch defender of Capitalism, all of which intermingle very well in my mind. As a libertarian, I believe that people should be free to practice any religion they so choose, as long as it doesn't violate the rights of others blah blah blah. As a capitalist (and a Biologist taught about natural selection) I believe libertarianism is the best 'system' because it allows for every belief system to flourish in their fullest ways, cross-pressuring everyone as they wish. The key is, because everyone has options, people will gravitate towards the best options - the superior product, so to speak - which display the highest success in terms of achieving fullness. As a Catholic, I am a salesman of Catholicism. I hope that by my life, I increase our 'brand awareness' and bring about 'customer satisfaction' by being on retreat teams and by helping out in various areas of campus ministry.
    The problem with secular2 socialism/communism/fascism is that they eliminate competition in the area of religion, trying to make it so that kids get no exposure to it in the education process (except by villifying certain religions in history classes). The benefits of secular3 can only be truly reaped in a society which lets everyone get and give a full view of religions/atheisms, thereby preserving those which bring about the greatest fullness.


  2. I agree with everything Austin said. I feel my purpose in my life is to serve others and commit myself to the catholic faith. I understand there is many things that can lead us away from our faith like the cross pressures present in our lives. We as a society do not support religion as much as generations before us did. It is hard to stay strong to your own opinion when people do not always support you. We live in a society of doubters and naysayers who try to encourage us to live in a way that is mostly against my beliefs as a Christian. I agree With Austin we must stay strong in what we believe in to reverse how cross pressures affected society.