Taking philosophy at public university

I want to study philosophy, but I go to very large,public, something :smiley: university. Whenever I have philosophical debates about the existence of God, I always get trampled, insulted, and irritated. I might be supposed to become a priest, but I don’t know if this environment is right for me to study philosophy in. Is it ok to study philosophy in this environment?

Yes. You’ll learn to think deeply and you’ll learn to hold your own in an argument. And if you are honest about your philosophy work and work hard at it, while keeping up your faith life, it will enhance your faith, not damage it.

I don’t think so. and some seminaries will make you retake it.

IMO you are being attacked because of the content/topic of discussion, not because the students hate or don’t understand or respect philosophy. Philosophy is HIGHLY valuable to understand and will help you in most any profession. Many adults don’t understand simple stuff about how to reason. I think you should continue studying philosophy, but recognize what it’s marketability is, realistically, wherever you study it.

God Bless,
Bill

If you take Philosohy your arguement should hold in favor of the Existence of Our LORD. I am taking an online Philosophy course offered through another school board. They are certainly not religious and when we had the debate about Our LORDS Existence, I was pretty much the only one arguing in Favor of HIM. Needless to say, thanks to St. Thomas Aquinas, Quantam Physics and simple logic, my arguement held as I was able to offer a rebbutal for every point made against me and mine. I personally know as I am taking a secular version of Philosophy, which has no Catholic roots to it, and I find that it helps strengthen my Faith. I say go for it, but do read some of Peter Kreefts books, particularly the 20 arguements for the existence of GOD. Also read St. Thomas’ five proofs. Look up Quantam physics and the odds for a Creator created world etc…

I hope and pray that the LORD JESUS makes You a Priest and a Saint for Our Holy Church!!

Philosophy is one of the few branches of learning that you can study on your own for the rest of your life.
You can get the names of all the textbooks used by all the courses at your university, or any other university, as a guide to what you need to be well-rounded in all branches of philosophy, and buy these or similar books until you have to start using diapers again.

Why, then, would you want to use up your precious university years studying something that you can’t use to make a living?

I’m not sure I understand the OP correctly- is he currently in RCIA and feels drawn to the priesthood? If one or both are true, he should be taking philosophy through a Roman Catholic college and seminary. The philosophy departments of secular universities are staffed largely by atheists and for someone who is not completely formed in the Catholic faith, it will an even more difficult environment in which to succeed. He will certainly have a very tough time finding Roman Catholic apologetics in such a milieu.

Philosophy is often part of the general education requirements for undergraduates in one form or another. And a major in philosophy segues very well into post-grad degrees such as law.

As for the OP - I’ve taken a handful of philosophy classes thus far and when discussing metaphysics such as religion the professor always made sure to remind everyone that discussions are supposed to be safe places to discuss ideas and not a place to shout at people for their beliefs. Especially in lower division courses, you will be learning what peopleor cultures thought, not how you are supposed to think. You can learn about ideas without having to believe them.

I remember one girl raising her hand during a discussion of Cartesian Duelism asking “So, is this right?” The instructor sort of chuckled and explained that she will have to make up her own mind whether she believes Descartes was ‘correct’, and that all he cared was that we learn what Descartes thought. (As Descartes’ philosophy is historically important, even though it’s mostly obsolete). You shouldn’t be using philosophy courses to drink up and regurgitate ideas. You should be using philosophy courses to flex your critical thinking skills so you can come to your own truth.

Whenever and wherever possible, Roman Catholics should take philosophy courses from Roman Catholic institutions, preferably those on the Cardinal Newman Society-approved list.
Period.:highprayer::highprayer:

Agreed. I however at the moment, don’t have this luxury. So I am stuck to hammering on the heads of the secularists in my philosophy course. H-core evangelisation!! :thumbsup:

Well, a fully formed and informed Catholic such as yourself is going to be in far less danger than the OP, who in RCIA is likely just starting the journey.

In my honest opinion, absolutely not. It would be better to study on your own (that’s what I did) and find a knowledgeable priest or religious to converse with on topics. Furthermore, most seminaries don’t allow transfer credits in philosophy from public universities, so that poses a very practical issue.

If you’re considering the priesthood, you need to talk to your vocations director. I see you are in RCIA right now. In order to apply for seminary, you need to be a practicing Catholic for at least two years. If you’re smart, you would use these two years ahead of you to discern. The first year will be more focused on what it “feels like” to be Catholic. It is my understanding that converts usually discover the vocation to holiness within the Church to be that magnificent and glorious tug they were feeling.

If you are still discerning on your second year, that’s when things will need to start rolling. For now, contact your vocations director and set up an appointment with him. Don’t neglect that! The sooner you get in contact with him, the longer he’ll have to assess you, and the better information you’ll get as year number two comes around.

In Christ,
Anthony

Whenever and wherever possible, Roman Catholics should take philosophy courses from Roman Catholic institutions, preferably those on the Cardinal Newman Society-approved list.
Period.

The total enrollment of all the Cardinal Newman Society approved colleges is about 22,000
which is a fraction of one percent of America’s millions of Catholic college students.

Good luck trying to squeeze into these places, everybody.

I don’t know why there even is such a list. It’s like announcing to the Democratic national Presidential convention, “Joe’s hot dog cart down the street has the best hot dogs in town. You all gotta meet Joe during lunch and buy one of his hot dogs.”

If we have more religious vocations, then we can teach more people to teach more people :smiley:

I would like to be a Priest, and of course, with the permission of the Ordinary, teach Philosophy. I find Philosophy essential to a proper defense of the Beauty of the Faith. We need to reclaim Philosphy!!

St. Thomas Aquinas, Help us!!

St. Augustine, Help us!!!

St. Anslem, Help us!!

It might help it I told everybody which courses I am actually planning on taking next semester. I have an intro course in philosophy, an intro course in metaphysics, and an intro course in symbolic logic. I am registered for courses called “Philosophy of Religion” (the course description says we will be reading Thomas Aquinas) and “17th Century Philosophy.”

As more people apply for admission the schools will be encouraged to further expand. What a wonderful way to test out those supply and demand theories…and to support schools which have committed themselves to upholding the magisterium by signing onto Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_15081990_ex-corde-ecclesiae_en.html

With the distance education opportunities offered by some of these schools, one might not even feel the squeeze,:thumbsup:

Tom:

Hopefully, you’ll be using Being and God, by Frs. Klubertanz and Holloway. If not, get a copy and read along side of whatever the school wants you to use. It’s a text book, so its easy to traverse.

Good fortune and God bless,
jd

I’ve taken versions of a few of those courses; I recognize the titles.:smiley: Professors have a great deal of freedom (which I support) to structure their classes as they see fit.
I learned the hard way that the title of a course does not necessarily reflect its content. My philosophy of Religion course was taught by an atheist. He was a nice guy, but I could have spent my hard earned tuition dollars much more productively. Once bitten twice shy…
Now I’m shopping for those Newman approved courses-I’d rather get in-depth with the philosophy of my religion.:thumbsup:

[quote]Originally Posted by empther
The total enrollment of all the Cardinal Newman Society approved colleges is about 22,000
which is a fraction of one percent of America’s millions of Catholic college students.

Good luck trying to squeeze into these places, everybody.

As more people apply for admission the schools will be encouraged to further expand. What a wonderful way to test out those supply and demand theories…
[/quote]

Forget it.

We already had giant Catholic universities in the 1970s, Boston College, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and many others,

however,

to maintain a large full service school with all the bells and whistles that will attract students from all over the world to major in every conceivable major,
costs a lot of money,
and by the 1970s the religious orders that ran these places found out they could no longer finance the schools.

So…
they turned over day to day control and financing to “boards of directors”, most of them secular, most of they from the outside, who had the connections to financing and government grants to keep the places going. The religious still have a presence on the campuses, but they can’t control everything that goes on there.
This is the reality of present day education on a large scale.

The “approved list” schools can’t expand without facing similar problems.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.