Jesus meets Aristotle

Dear Friends,

St. Patrick meets Jesus meets Aristotle over a nice corn beef and cabbage dinner on March 14 at 6:30 PM in our Parish Hall. If you have no plans yet on how to celebrate an awesome Feast of St. Patrick, please join us for a delicious dinner and a Jesus meets Aristotle first talk on philosophy and Catholicism.

Following is a sample of the topics we will discuss in the future, starting with our first talk this coming Thursday.

Have you ever wondered while gazing upon a starry sky: Is anybody out there? Am I alone here? What is my destination and purpose in life? How do I know what I know? If you have, on very basic level you have become a philosopher. My own journey with philosophy began over 20 years ago. It is with every day, with every question asked, with every book read and problem solved, I cannot get enough of it. Fascination that comes from the simple idea that I can think, and such process will continue for as long as I live, forces me each morning to not only be very thankful and appreciative of such gift, but makes me so eager to share it with others. General questions and ideas give field to more specific aspects of our knowledge and its unfolding in matters of our mind and brain dualism. Macro and Micro Cosmos with M – Theories and pos- sibilities of organic life being discovered on surrounding planets in neighboring Galaxies is only a fraction of what human mind is capable to comprehend and process through critical thinking. In addition to scientific fields of knowledge, philosophi- cal anthropology and even ethology fuels numerous philosophical conclusions that need to be categorized and systematized and possibilities and endless. Such attitude in my own world of exploration and meditation I will call philosophy.

Philosophy is sometimes dismissed as a wholly head in the clouds” discipline with no relevance to everyday life. The truth is that philosophy can be, and often is, very relevant indeed. Philosophical questions include some of the most exciting, puz- zling and important questions ever asked. They can challenge our most fundamental beliefs.“ (Law, Stephen; Philosophy, p. 14).

Philosophy, strictly speaking is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as reality, existence, knowledge, val- ues, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Ancient Greek φιλο σοφία (philo sophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. According to Karl Jaspers (1883 – 1969) during the period from 800 to 200 BC, similar revolutionary thinking appeared in Persia, India, China and the Occident (The West). The period is referred to as the Axis or Axial Age and Jaspers, in his Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte (The Origin and Goal of History), identified a number of key Axial Age thinkers as having had a profound influence on future philosophies and reli- gions, and identified characteristics common to each area from which those thinkers emerged. In other words, German Philosopher describes a particular phenomenon that took place and grow roots in VI century B.C., when people slowly began a transformation from various Theogonies and Mythologies towards more precise and critical thinking, that in time would be called Philosophy, and continues to this day in many forms and schools of thought. Western philosophy has a long history, conventionally divided into four large eras – the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary. The Ancient era runs through the fall of Rome and includes the Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. The Medieval period runs until roughly the late 15th century and the Renaissance. The “Modern” is a word with more varied use, which includes everything from Post-Medieval through the specific period up to the 20th century. Contemporary philosophy encompasses the philo- sophical developments of the 20th century up to the present day.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM and lecture and discussion will follow at 7:00 PM. BYOB, any beverage of your choice. If you plan on attending, please RSVP before Tuesday, 3/12 by calling the parish office or email [email protected].

I hope to see many of you! Fr. Mirek