The Pope Vs. The Mind

by | Apr 26, 2005 | POLITICS

According to the new Pope: “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires. Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism,” he said, […]

According to the new Pope:

“We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires. Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism,” he said, making clear that he disagrees with that view [from a FoxNews.com story].

Relativism is, of course, bad, and ultimately can lead to dictatorship. Relativism is the cognitive state in which people conclude there are no absolutes and there is no objective knowledge. It undermines science, rationality, mental coping and, at the core, decimates human reason. It’s the guiding philosophy of our day, and the consequences are chaos and uncertainty, not to mention growing vulnerability to terrorists whose role is to simply prey on such weaknesses. Relativism causes individuals to give up on their minds. Once mass numbers of people give up on their reasoning, thinking and knowing minds, they have surrendered themselves, first, to a dictatorship of living by their whims and insecurities (the state in much of the U.S.A. and the West today); then, the next stage is political dictatorship which, at present, is primarily taking the form of terrorists seeking to chip away at our freedoms and morale.

Relativism is most definitely a bad thing. At the same time, the Pope blames this problem on “ego.” This is profoundly mistaken and based upon an incorrect (though widespread) notion of ego. The ego refers to the orientation towards reality. The ego is the means by which man separates his feelings and the opinions/pressure of others from what is actually, factually and verifiably true. If one doesn’t hold one’s ego in high esteem, then one undercuts one’s ability to fight the uncertainty and chaos of relativism and subjectivism. If one has a strong ego, then one can act on his desires because he knows his desires are rational. Notice how the Pope wipes out all ego and personal desires in one fell swoop, deliberately refusing to distinguish between rational and irrational desires. Evidently all desires are irrational, except those sanctioned by the Catholic faith.

Ego is everything. Without ego, human life as we know it is unsustainable. We’re reduced to the status of barbarians or, perhaps worse, to the stagnant, dark Middle Ages (an era not known for its ego). Strong egos lead to human productivity, accomplishment and achievement. Weak egos lead to insecurity, regression and mediocre conditions of life. The new Pope, like his predecessor, has accurately diagnosed the problem: too much relativism in the world. But his cure is simply more faith; more trust in authorities who make decisions behind closed doors and communicate their decisions to hapless, hopeless losers with nothing more than smoke; to blind faith in out-of-context, dogmatic and unreasoning commandments. The Pope says the world is perishing from too much self and too little faith in entities outside oneself.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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