Sinful To Read About Anti-Christian Writers/Philosophies?


#1

Hey, I don't know if I'm being scrupulous about the matter, but would it be sinful to read about the works of writers such as Nietzsche, for example. Concerning the Index of Prohibited Books, a priest told me that its not necessarily sinful to read books on the list, but you should stay away from Atheistic books and those that attack the church and can be damaging to your faith. So basically I have this book which is pretty much an overview of some of the major thinkers, such as the Greek philosophers, Augustine, and Marx. The book itself is completely unbiased, but would it be wrong to read it, as it puts out the ideas of writers who are clearly against church teaching, and possibly on the Index?


#2

No, it is not sinful. Yes, IMHO thinking it is sinful is overscrupulous. Some observations:

  1. If no one reads anti-Christian philosphers, no one can rebut them.

  2. For that matter, reading them critically exposes the anti-Christian thinkers for the wrongheadedness they show. For example, read Nietzsche...then read,say, Thomas Aquinas, and ask yourself if Neitzsche is anywhere near Aquinas' league (he isn't...but without reading both, how do you know that?).

  3. Many of the older pagan thinkers, i.e., Plato, etc., predate Christianity and are harmless. They demonstrate IMHO mostly that, after numerous wrong turns, philosphers came to certain conclusions that paved the way for later Christian though, i.e., Aquinas' philosophy is largely an outgrowth of Aristotle.


#3

It's not sinful, but some people have written under the clear guidance of the father of lies and their writings can be very enticing to the soul that does not have the rock-solid faith of a child. Therefore I would not think it's a sin (and after all the Index was abolished) but it's definitely better to stay away from such books if we risk getting in trouble.

You are, of course, free to read them. But I'd first check what the Church says about those authors individually, so you will know what you are facing. Honestly, some authors are not worth reading, no matter how much of a fuss this world makes about them...

Prudence is a great virtue and a gift. It is only scrupulous if taken too far. This does not seem to be the case, to me.


#4

It’s not sinful. In fact, some of those authors (namely Jack Chick) have actually lead people TO the Church


#5

It is no more sinful than watching a debate on You Tube between a Christian and an Atheist.

How are we to defend our faith if we do not know the weapons (propaganda) the enemies of the faith are using against us?

Even if you don't participate as a player, apologetics is a great spectator sport. :thumbsup:


#6

[quote="Mnhs10, post:1, topic:315032"]
Hey, I don't know if I'm being scrupulous about the matter, but would it be sinful to read about the works of writers such as Nietzsche, for example. Concerning the Index of Prohibited Books, a priest told me that its not necessarily sinful to read books on the list, but you should stay away from Atheistic books and those that attack the church and can be damaging to your faith. So basically I have this book which is pretty much an overview of some of the major thinkers, such as the Greek philosophers, Augustine, and Marx. The book itself is completely unbiased, but would it be wrong to read it, as it puts out the ideas of writers who are clearly against church teaching, and possibly on the Index?

[/quote]

Unless it's for a class, I wonder why you would want to use the time you have on earth to put things into your head that don't foster your journey to God? There are a rather large number of writings that are deeper, more complex, and esoteric enough to challenge your intellectual capacity and also inform and deepen your faith.

I am against censorship on principle, but I learned through a lifetime that it's important to be discriminating in what we allow to enter our senses when we can choose. The world will foist enough empty and ugly on you without any assistance.


#7

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