Dr. Samuel Gregg: Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

Dr. Samuel Gregg: Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization


Robert R. Reilly: It’s a tremendous pleasure to welcome our
penultimate speaker at this location, Dr. Samuel Gregg. I should mention that he’s a veteran Westminster
speaker, albeit the prior talk he gave was when Katie Gorka was director. I was here, listening to the presentation. In any case, Sam on that occasion spoke on
an earlier book, Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid
a European Future. Correct? That was a wonderful book – on that occasion. But this is many books later, so he’ll be
talking about his new book, but first I’ll just explain. As I think you know, he’s Director of Research
at the Acton Institute. He’s covered questions of political economy,
economic history, ethics, finance, and natural law theory on which he’s very strong, having
studied that subject under the great John Finnis at Oxford University. You studied in Australia? And then of course he got his PhD at Oxford
University in England. I’ll just mention a couple other of his
books, not them all because there are fifteen, and there would go half the evening: Morality,
Law, and Public Policy, Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded, On Ordered Liberty. I’m going to mention his book Wilhelm Röpke’s
Political Economy, Röpke being one of the best economists of the 20th century. Sam has published broadly in many of the prestigious
journals, academic and otherwise. You’ve probably seen his op-ed pieces in
The Wall Street Journal, First Things, Investor’s Business Daily, etc. Tonight, he’s going to address us on the
subject of the title of his new book, “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization.” Welcome, Sam. Dr. Samuel Gregg: Well, thank you Bob. I’m grateful to be here and happy to be
spending some time with you at the Westminster Institute. As Bob mentioned, I last spoke here six years
ago about one of my previous books called Becoming Europe, and I’m very happy to be
with you this evening to talk maybe thirty or forty minutes about my new book, which
came out in June, which is called Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization,
which is available for twenty dollars out there, even cheaper on Amazon. Okay, well, to tell you the truth I have been
pleasantly surprised by the amount of attention that’s been received by the book. I haven’t stopped talking about it, I haven’t
stopped being interviewed about it, I’ve forgotten how many podcasts I’ve done, but
I’m surprised by the amount of attention the book has gotten because as its rather
broad title suggests, it’s concerned with some rather broad themes, right? It’s concerned with reason and faith, rationality
and religion, and how the relationship between these two dimensions of knowledge have helped
to make the West different, as Niall Ferguson famously said, from the rest. But it’s also about disorders, disorders
between religion and faith have and I think continue to do enormous damage to Western
societies. Now, the very first thing I say in the book,
right at the preface, actually, I say is that the topic has long occupied my mind, in fact
for more than thirteen years, but over that period nothing has changed my view that the
primary challenge that’s facing the West today is not political and it’s not economic. Economics and politics matter, they really
do, but I’ve become even more convinced that the most important questions facing Western
societies logically precede these subjects and in many respects predetermine how we address
those types of subjects. Now, the ways in which the relationships between
reason and faith has shaped the West and in many ways subterranean. We don’t notice them going on. Occasionally, however, they thrust themselves
directly into our view. Now, one such manifestation has been clearly
the religiously motivated violence that Western nations have confronted during the 21st century’s
first two decades. Now, this issue was first surfaced directly,
and I have to say I think very courageously, by Benedict XVI in his 2006 Regensburg Address. The address I think will be retrospectively
remembered as one of the 21st century’s most important speeches. Now, most of us I suspect remember this address
because of the response it received from much of the Muslim world. But if you read the speech carefully, you
realize very quickly that it’s less about the Muslim world than it is about us, we who
are the inheritors of what this civilization that we call the West. That speech concerns how this integration
of reason and faith that was developed in the West is fundamental to the West’s identity,
and how the separation of reason and faith is core to many of the West’s problems. Indeed, my book argues that if we want to
understand the bloodshed of the 20th century’s darkest decades, we need to understand just
how much they owe to what Joseph Ratzinger once called pathologies of faith and pathologies
of reason. Now, fortunately, there’s more to this story
than the ways in which the Western societies become unmoored when reason and faith get
separated from each other, and one of my arguments is that not only can reason and faith correct
each other’s excesses, but they can also enhance each other’s comprehension of the
truth, thereby I think renewing the civilization we call the West. Another theme of the book, one which I know
is controversial for some people, is that the various movements of peoples and ideas
that we often group together under that broad catchphrase called the Enlightenment – I
suggest that some of these ideas and some of these people need not be seen as perpetually
at odds with what I call the faiths of the West. Now, it’s not a question of ignoring tensions
because there’s plenty of them. They abound in fact, and I highlight many
of the tensions throughout the book, but I also argue that the ideas that began emerging
towards the end of the 17th century cannot be explained I think without the background
of the Jewish and Christian cultures out of which the various Enlightenments arose. Likewise I think more than a few of the freedoms
and achievements now embraced by believing Jews and Christians would I think have struggled
to see the light of day without the efforts of particular Enlightenment thinkers and particular
Enlightenment texts. Now, there are many parts of the book I could
highlight to you this evening, but our time is limited, so I’m going to focus on just
one theme, and that theme is the relationship between what I call the religious faiths of
the West and that broad movement of ideas called the Enlightenment, that movement of
ideas which has shaped for better and for worse the world in which we live today, so
the title of my brief remarks tonight is, “From Logos to Enlightenment and Back Again.” So many of the ongoing tensions I think that
permeate modern Western societies today come back I think to two things. One, the first, is an uneasiness among many
people of faith about the Enlightenment project. The second is skepticism about religion among
many of those who consider themselves to be the contemporary heirs of the Enlightenments. Let me give you an example: it’s my view
that Christianity has still not yet fully come to grips with the full implication of
the economic revolution that was launched by the Scottish Enlightenments greatest and
most enduring monument, which of course is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Many Christians I would argue have tended
to marginalize and sometimes ignore some of Adam Smith’s key and I think empirically
valid insights. Now there’s many reasons for this, but one
reason I think is the fact is that much of the Christian world is still, three hundred
years later, still struggling to deal with many of the consequences of the various Enlightenments. So some people of faith, I’d argue, basically
see the whole Enlightenment project, the whole Enlightenment experience, as something to
be rejected, holos-bolus. It’s seen as being at the root of all the
West’s deepest problems. Other people of faith however, seem frankly
subservient to anyone or anything who claims the title of being modern, of being enlightened. But that in its own way I think also betrays
an inability to deal with or think clearly about the whole Enlightenment experience. On the other side of the ledger, many self-described
modern Westerners plainly regard religion per se as obscurest, repressive, as something
humanity will eventually liberate itself from. Religion is considered a type of avatar of
a world in which things were accepted simply on the basis of authority, usually coercive
authority, and as being something that’s at odds with the natural and the social sciences. Now, I think to my mind there are two difficulties
that characterize some of these trends. The first I think is that they overestimate
the break which the various Enlightenments made with the pre-Modern world. But second I think these attitudes also embody
a major blindspot, and that blindspot is just how seriously the faiths of the West have
taken reason and the ways in which the ways of the West – by which I mean Christianity
and Judaism – the ways in which they liberated the pagan world from irrationality and superstition,
and how these two faiths gave impetus to the seriousness with which the West takes reason. Now, the rise of reason in the West is often
associated with Greece and Rome. To be sure, many of the roots of philosophy
and the natural sciences go back to figures like Plato and Socrates. One of my book’s central contentions is
that the real revolution of reason does not begin with the Greeks. I think it begins with the Jewish people. Indeed, I would say that without the Hebrew
prophets, there is no Western civilization. So when we read for example the Hebrew Scriptures,
the Old Testament, it’s very clear that on one level the Israelites reject pagan idolatry
because the one god had commanded them not to worship other gods, but the Hebrews hostility
toward idolatry also reflected their radically different conception of god and therefore
of the material world because before anyone else did, Jews came to the realization that
the entities worshipped by Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans were not what these peoples
claimed them to be. To ascribe divinity to physical elements like
water or characteristics or events like war was literally nonsense for the Jews. So to this extent, Judaism’s audacious confrontation
of pagan mythology was a powerful affirmation of human rationality because when the Hebrew
prophets rebuked pagan idolatry, they were doing something strictly reasonable. So it’s on these grounds that I argue in
the book that the Jews’ liberation of human reason from mythology and from nature worship
amounted to one of humanity’s most powerful enlightenments. Hebrew prophets were not philosophers as the
Greeks understood that term, but they did play a major role in opening the human mind
to objective reality. So why does this matter? Well, it matters because one of the obstacles
that inhibited the Greeks’ mind ability to make sense of reality was the frankly stupid
pagan religions that dominated the ancient world. All of the pagan religions without any exception,
they all promoted the idea that humans were ultimately at the mercy of some deeply unpleasant,
very fickle, shortsighted, greedy deities. Now, that belief gave rise to an enormous
intellectual problem because how could a universe of selfish, irrational gods – how could
this universe be reconciled with some of the great insights into reality that were being
achieved by Greek philosophers? How does a world ruled by such destructive
deities – how can it be reconciled with Aristotle’s assertion that man can discern
the laws of nature by studying physical phenomena. or with Archimedes’ mathematics, or with
Plato’s insistence that there must be some type of first cause, a rational creator with
whom everything begins? These things were irreconcilable. What changed the situation in the ancient
world forever was of course Christianity. Christianity’s teaching that god first revealed
to the Jewish people was a god who loved humanity so much that he had entered directly into
human history to redeem human beings. This was a remarkably attractive alternative
to the likes of selfish, deceptive beings like Zeus, Mars, and Venus. But there was something else, something else
underscored by the new religion. This something else which comes directly from
Judaism was that god had a rational and creative nature. We find this theme powerfully expressed in
the opening words of the Gospel of John. Now, I’m sure almost everyone here knows
this took the first verse of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and
the earth,” and adapted it to, “In the beginning was the Word,” in Greek, “In
the beginning was the Logos,” logos. Now to Greeks, to Romans, and to Diaspora
Jews, audiences who were deeply familiar with the language of Logos, this word made the
point that the Christian god was not irrational. He was different to these pagan entities because
while Christ was certainly love, he was also divine reason, logos, in all its forms. This logos had created the world, infused
the world and humanity with order, and had written the reasonability that’s integral
to logos himself into the human being made in his image. Now, when you think about it from that perspective,
you start to see why this faith was so attractive to many Greeks and Romans who were rightly
proud of their intellectual and cultural accomplishments because in Christianity they found a faith
they respected many of their successors but also reconciled these achievements with the
idea of a rational creator in ways that paganism never could have done. So Christianity’s integration of what might
be called the Greek Enlightenment into Judaism’s unique religious achievement set the pagan
religions that had blurred intellectual horizons of the Greek and Roman worlds – it set these
religions on the way to extinction. People now understood that religion should
be concerned with the truth, the truth about ultimates realities, and therefore being concerned
with the truth ought to be compatible with reason. And the result I think was a civilizational
platform that Greek and Roman philosophers I don’t think could have constructed on
their own, so it’s this synthesis, this synthesis of reason and faith achieved by
the West, which I argued is core to the identity of the West. It underlies for example the commitment to
rational inquiry into truth, which is the central feature of Western culture. It’s also crucial to understanding another
characteristic Western emphasis, which is that of liberty. Now, by that I don’t just mean liberty in
the sense of minimizing unreasonable coercion – that’s important – but by liberty,
I also mean the self-mastery that we achieve when we freely choose virtue and flourishing
over vice and decadence. The West’s integration of reason and faith
also helps to explain why universities arose in the medieval period, why we saw the natural
sciences develop in the West the way they did, and why 13th century Christian theologians
like Albertus Magnus, a teacher of Thomas Aquinas, why people like him underscored the
importance of observation, experimentation, and what we today call data. So when you think about all that, it is in
that light I think that we realize that the usual story of the Enlightenment with its
emphasis on reason, the scientific method, progress, improvement, liberty from superstition,
etc., we realize the idea that the Enlightenment marks a total rupture with the pre-Enlightenment
world, you start to see that that is a less than plausible story. Take for instance the publication of Isaac
Newton’s Principia Mathematica on the 5th of July 1687. Now, in many ways this book proved to be decisive
for the Western world, stating basic hypotheses from which an astounding range of calculations
could be developed. The Principia represented a revolution in
the natural sciences. Nature’s secrets it seemed had not only
been unlocked they had also become quantifiable. Now, Newton is of course widely regarded as
the hero of Enlightenment. You see pictures all through the 18th century
of Newton with lightning strikes around him, with light – as if he’s an angelic being
– surrounding him. Well, rather less attention is paid to the
fact that Newton was also a devout Christian, albeit with some heterodox views concerning
the Trinity. One reason that Newton wrote the Principia
was to refute what he regarded as the material premises underlying René Descartes’ Theory
of Planetary Movements. For Isaac Newton, god was much, much more
than a master clockmaker. Newton’s god was a creator who had called
the world into being and who was intimately involved in that same world all the time. Newton’s creator was the god of the Hebrew
and Christian scriptures, and he was also the preexistent logos. This is a phrase used by Newton, the rational
force within the universe. Impatient with those who mocked religion,
Newton held that god had revealed in the scriptures a great deal about himself and the world,
that human beings would not otherwise know. Newton, it turns out, was just as impressed
by the learning of the Hebrew prophets as he was with Greek thinkers, but there were
two critical differences introduced by the various enlightenments. The first was an emphasis upon applying reason
to human beings’ habits, customs, and traditions to assess whether these habits, customs, and
traditions contributed to human wellbeing or whether they were in fact masks for oppression. Nothing – Enlightenment thinkers believed
– should be exempted from the application of critical reason. The second difference was the development
of highly specialized ways of thinking. In the 18th century, very distinct branches
of science started to emerge. What had once been grouped together under
the title of natural philosophy was gradually separated into specialized disciplines like
biology, zoology, and geology. We see similar developments with the emergence
of what we call social sciences: topics like politics and economics, which had hitherto
been grouped collectively under the title of natural jurisprudence, these subjects started
to be studied separately. Now, the benefits of this approach I think
can be observed around us today. Enlightenment thinkers working in the natural
social sciences spurred forward enormous advances in economic development in our ability to
cure disease, to diminish poverty, to prolong human life, and grow in our understanding
and even mastery of the natural world. It’s also true that some Enlightenment thinkers
and their way of studying world alerted more and more people to genuine injustices existing
in the world. Adam Smith’ s Wealth of Nations for example
showed how the then dominant mercantile system was not only inefficient in creating wealth,
his book also highlighted how mercantilism involved widespread denial of economic freedom,
how it fostered rampant corruption, and how it privileged those with political power at
everyone else’s expense. Now, would insights like these, which have
helped make the world more materially prosperous, economically freer, more creative, physically
healthier – would all of these insights have been achieved without some of these Enlightenment
thinkers? Well, we can never definitively answer such
questions, but I have my doubts. Are the economic and scientific achievements
fostered by particular Enlightenment thinkers something that today’s religious believers
would want to do without? Personally, I don’t think so. The flip side however to all these positive
developments are the negative aspects of Enlightenment thought. They include – I’d suggest just to give
you a quick list – the growing absolutization of the scientific method, the tendency to
limit rationality to empirical rationality, the collapse of the specialization of knowledge,
into a fragmentation of knowledge, the growth of the belief that human nature itself can
be altered through science or power, the development of ideological projects fostered by intellectuals
– of course – who want to redesign society from the top-down, and maybe above all, efforts
to fill the void left by religion’s marginalization with utopias, socialist utopias, marxist utopias,
fascist utopias, liberal utopias, and now, we see in our own time, environmentalist utopias. Then there is the way that the same trends
have needed religion’s relegation to the realm of preference, to feelings, and subjectivity
because one side effect of the scientific triumphs flowing from the Enlightenment was
that some people began treating the empirical sciences as the only form of true reason and
the primary way to attain true knowledge. But if reason is reduced to the scientific,
the empirical, then reason’s ability to contemplate religious questions I think is
radically compromised. And when religion is relegated to the realm
of subjectivity, of emotions, of feelings, it means that god’s nature can no longer
be one of logos, and when that happens, we’re left with one of two things: either god is
pure will, a being who we must obey blindly even if he commands us to do terrible things,
which is the fundamental theological problem facing the Islamic world today, or one the
other hand we have to conclude that god is a celestial teddy bear, a being who never
warns us, never corrects us, who does nothing but affirm us no matter how irresponsible
or stupid or evil our choices and actions might be. Now, the things of which I’m speaking are
not stuff of everyday political discourse or debates about economic policy, they don’t
even feature significantly in what passes for high level cultural discussions today,
yet the stakes are really high. They’re very high for the West because it’s
clear that the integration of reason and faith that’s core to the West’s identity has
broken down, perhaps especially among intellectuals and the shapers of culture, and somehow that
integration needs to be restored. But let’s be clear, there’s no going back
to a pre-Enlightenment world. We can’t go back in time. We can’t pretend that the various Enlightenments
never happened. At the same time, I don’t think we need
to settle for a civilization that marginalizes the faiths of the West in the name of reason
and science. So what do we do? How do we bring the world of the Enlightenment,
the world of what was called the republic of letters back into some type of constructive
contact with the world of the faiths of the West out of which of course the various enlightenments
had emerged? Well, to my mind there’s two tasks to undertake. One is historical, the other is philosophical. When I say historical, I mean we have to correct
the historical record. We have to refute the myth that the various
enlightenments were uniformly hostile to religion and that the faiths of the West were somehow
holos-bolus completely opposed to everything and anyone associated with Enlightenment. Now, the good news is that there has already
been much scholarly work done in this area. Over the past ninety years, a range of scholars
have illustrated that quote, “only a small fraction of Enlighteners were anti religious,
that the overwhelming majority were interested in finding a balanced relationship between
reason and faith,” end quote. Enlightenment thinkers it turns out were intensely
interested in religious questions and not necessarily from a hostile standpoint. Even those working in as scientific a field
as geology in the 18th century did not set out with the intention of trying to eliminate
god from natural history. Instead, quote, “They searched for the regular
natural laws that they believed god had set in motion at the beginning of time,” end
quote. So god was understood clearly to be working
directly in history but also as Newton had suggested in impersonal, secondary ways, which
were observable by human beings just as Saint Paul had explained in his Letter to the Romans. When it comes to specific religious traditions,
the Catholic Church is often perceived as the Enlightenment’s great opponent. Now, no doubt that was true in many, many
cases, but plenty of 18th century believing Catholics from laymen and laywomen to bishops
combined constructive reflection on Enlightenment ideas with loyalty to Rome. Many Catholics supported Enlightenment inspired
political and economic reforms without compromising their religious beliefs one iota. Openness to the new learning can be seen in
the willingness of Catholic missionaries to promote practices such as vaccination. Eighteenth century Jesuits even introduced
the writings of decidedly non-Catholic thinkers like Benjamin Franklin into Spanish Colonial
America alongside curricula stressing the natural sciences. In North America not very far from here, prominent
Catholics like the Carroll family, religiously devout but well read in Enlightenment thought,
supported the American Revolution and the subsequent experiment in republican government. In Protestant Europe, openness to the new
learning was perhaps even greater. The most famous example of course is the Scottish
Enlightenment. A very large proportion of Scottish Enlightenment
thinkers – the Reverend Francis Hutchison, the Reverend William Robinson, the Reverend
Hugh Blair, the Reverend Adam Ferguson, the Reverend Thomas Reed – these people combined
Protestant Christian faith with a deep interest in Enlightenment approaches to subjects ranging
from philosophy to history to economics, and the same men insisted that the best of the
new learning was compatible with Christian faith. Now, I could go on and on and I do go on and
on in my book about this, but I stress this historical side because I’ve always thought
that we can’t have a clear debate about the present unless we have a clearer understanding
of the past. My second suggestion concerns the need for
religious believers to insist that they take reason just as seriously if not more seriously
than those who consider themselves contemporary heirs of the Enlightenments, and that I think
above all concerns renewed reflection upon God’s nature, God’s nature as love and
mercy but also God’s nature as the Logos. Now, of course there’s a risk to reemphasizing
God’s nature as Logos because there have been points in the past when some Christians
have drifted in the direction of hyper rationalism. We saw this with some of the later medieval
scholastics, people who, by the way, were deeply criticized by other Catholics such
as Thomas Moore and John Fisher. But hyper rationalism is hardly the primary
problem facing the religions of the West today. It’s just not. On the contrary, a very real problem facing
the two faiths of the West is the rampant sentimentalism in which so many synagogues
and churches in the West presently drown in from the bottom to the very top. When you separate faith from reason, many
pathologies of faith and reason today – and I talk about these in my book – one such
pathology is fideism, blind obedience, a deep suspicion of reason. Again, [this is] the fundamental problem facing
much of the Islamic world today. But another pathology is sentimentalism, when
faith becomes seen primarily as the realm of feelings, of emotions, even of unreason. Now in that world, this world drowning in
sentimentalism, attention to logic, to coherence of thought, to evidence, to things as basic
to human reasoning as the principle of noncontradiction, are presently being dismissed as rigidity
of thought. Hence, we end up with absurdities such as
prominent clergies trying to tell us that two times two sometimes equals five… or
not for who are we to assume that God will not betray his own nature as Logos? Seen from this standpoint, the Fideist and
the Sentimentalist – they certainly have one thing in common and that thing they have
in common is neither of them regard God as having the character of Logos. What’s also clear is that the sentimentalism
presently affecting large swathes of Judaism and Christianity in the West is all about
diminishing of faith, the clarity of faith, and the seriousness of faith because the god
fully revealed in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures is certainly merciful but he’s
also just, and that means that God is reasonable and very clear in his expectations of us because
He takes us seriously. [unintelligible] if we don’t return the
compliment. So I return to identifying God as divine reason,
to emphasizing the logos in the Gospel of John. It is not about us downgrading the importance
of emotions like love and joy, anger and fear. We are not robots. Feelings are central aspects of our nature
and they often give us insight into reality, but human emotions need to be integrated into
a coherent account of faith, of human reason, of human choice, of human action, and human
flourishing, and then we need to live our lives accordingly. So the return to logos is not just about restoring
inner coherence to the proclamation and practice of for example the Christian faith. It’s also about helping the world bequeathed
to the West by the Enlightenment to understand that human reason can’t come from nowhere,
that being can’t come from nothingness, and something can’t come from a void. One of the people who was kind enough to write
an endorsement of my book is the 2002 Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith. Now, for those of you who don’t know, he’s
the inventor of an entire field of economics called experimental economics. Now, you might assume that Professor Smith
is the Enlightenment man par excellence. Well, much later in his life, because he’s
93 years old now, Professor Smith embraced the Christian faith, and until relatively
recently, he had not discussed this publicly, but he did so during a 2016 lecture about
religion and science that he gave at the Acton Institute. Now, one thing that Professor Smith stressed
in this lecture was his realization that quote, “What is inescapable is the dependence of
science on faith,” end quote. What does he mean by this? Well, by faith Professor Smith had in mind
St. Paul’s definition that quote, “Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.” The point is this: that just as the natural
sciences that are so prized by the Enlightenment cannot arise from fundamental irrationality
nor can human reason arise out of nothingness. We may not yet see it face to face, but in
the beginning there must have been the logos. It’s this commitment to full-bodied reason
that includes but transcends the empirical that really matters, but that commitment in
turn depends on recognition that if there is a god, and whether we call him First Cause,
Yahweh, Cristos, Pantocrator, divine providence or supreme being, he must be the logos, the
logos whose rationality and liberty are reflected in our reason and our ability to choose freely
to know and live in the truth. So the stakes are this: without this commitment
to logos, I’m afraid the West is lost, but I don’t believe the decline is inevitable. I say it again. There’s nothing inevitable about the fate
of the West. Why? Because the free choice for logos and therefore
for reason and for faith is never beyond us. The desire for truth, for liberty, and for
justice is simply part of who we are. To give rational form to these human longings
is thus to act in a way that’s truly enlightening and fully consistent with the faiths of the
West, and I think it is to build a future for the West that’s firmly grounded on the
sure knowledge that it is in the end the truth embodied in the logos that sets us free. Thank you.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

5 thoughts on “Dr. Samuel Gregg: Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

  1. Read the transcript here: https://westminster-institute.org/events/reason-faith-and-the-struggle-for-western-civilization/

  2. The book by Dr Samuel Gregg seems to be: "Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization"
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40680120-reason-faith-and-the-struggle-for-western-civilization

  3. The book referenced by the first audience member seems to be:
    "Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World
    " by Tom Holland
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43885149-dominion

  4. Mr Gregg didn't specify the values giving energy to Reason and Faith. That's important to understand their struggle. We have in fact a struggle between a True Value and fake value. In Western civilisation Reason was the best tool to find the Truth. So the motor of Reason is the value Truth. In the same civilisation Truth was also identified with Jesus Christ ( Jewish rabbi recognized by the Catholic Roman Church as God Himself or a Third of Him). Its credo is always "Jesus IS the Truth" .
    That's the delusional value giving energy to Faith. A Fake value because the motor of Faith is not a universal value like Liberty Justice or Truth but a positive feeling and at its best an act of love.
    In the XX th century with the development of Science ( a daughter of Reason ) the Christian Faith lost the struggle and a new Faith emerge : the Faith of Humanity as the God of the world. Man as the Supreme Being. A faith born in the core of Science. It's why the western civilisation is on the verge of collapse. The science is no more a tool for the search of truth but the Truth itself. Science with its Academies and LaboraTories has became the new Catholic ( universal in Greek) Church. With the same cult of the Reason in China, Russia, Europe , America ( a reason becoming crazy by its belief of being God) . Reason why any opposition is no more authorized inside and outside the modern scientist clergy.
    Eqality is the false value animating this scientist Faith with his gender theory ( fluidity between sexes), social justice ( eqality of results imposes by the state) and so many other crazy ideas..
    Eqality is a product of the French Revolution ( Equality was the first value before Liberty in the second Constitution of 1792). A new cult was invented to replace the Christian Faith : the religious cult of the Reason and Robespierre was Chief Priest.
    First time in history that Reason and Faith was merging. This merging gave birth to a virus of the mind : Eqality.
    The history of the last two centuries ( wars, revolutions, genocides) can be explained by the worldwide infection of the minds by this French virus.

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