Fides Et Ratio Analysis

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The Catholic Church’s teaching on human freedom undergirds John Paul II’s explication of faith and reason in Fides et Ratio. In a simple yet nuanced depiction, the Church defines freedom as “the power, rooted in reason and will… to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility” (1731). However, it also declares that “the more one does what is good, the freer one becomes” (1733). Such a statement stands in stark contrast to the secular perception of freedom, which divorces it from all moral standards.The disparity between the religious and secular understanding of freedom [lies at the root of] the crisis of faith and reason that John Paul II addresses in his encyclical (Citation?). Furthermore, Church’s teaching on freedom has been …show more content…
Furthermore, if one does not orient themselves towards God, instead turning inward, he has not only lost the Truth, but also freedom. On the contrary, secular culture contends that truth limits one’s freedom. Regarding freedom as license, modern culture recognizes that truth possesses authority and that it forbids that which does not coincide with it. Therefore, the rejection of truth is regarded as a protection of freedom. However, when man denies truth, he loses the ability to look for something greater than himself, rendering purposeless and adrift within his own finite being. In separating one’s self from truth, man becomes free to explore within the confines of his own person, but cannot go beyond. John Paul II compares the fullness of Truth with the open sea, and the limits of the human person with a harbor (23). Just as a ship must leave a harbor in order to be free, so must man transcend his own finite capacities. Therefore, the ordering of man’s freedom towards truth does not limit it, rather “once the truth is denied to human beings, it is pure illusion to set them free” (90). While it may seem paradoxical that freedom is attained by binding one’s self to truth, freedom is relational by its nature and cannot therefore exist in isolation. Each man’s freedom is ordered to some purpose, but if it is not truth, then he is limited by his end’s …show more content…
God, through the gift of faith, reveals himself to man as the Truth for which he has been yearning so as to enter into a fuller relationship with him. Elucidating faith’s role in man’s search for truth, John Paul II asserts that “faith liberates reason in so far as it allows reason to attain correctly what it seeks to know and to place it within the ultimate order of things” (20). The relationship formed with God through faith allows reason to glimpse the infinite so that it “can always go beyond what it has already achieved” (42). Thus, in God, human freedom is realized through the fulfillment of the human person. Furthermore, man’s soul is liberated through an act of his free will. By giving the free assent of faith to God’s gift of self-revelation, man’s reason comes to know the mystery of truth more profoundly than it ever could alone (43,

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