Atheism & Secularism – the Scourge of the Third Millennium


By Rev Fr William Goh


By Rev Fr William Goh
Set of 4 talks

Talk 1: What Really is Atheism?
Atheism is a complex phenomenon. It is confusing because it does not have a single meaning. There are various forms of atheism, namely, methodological atheism, reductionist atheism, existential atheism and Christian atheism. Unless we have a clear grasp of the kind of atheism we are dealing with, we will not be able to find an appropriate response to the objections against the existence of God.

Talk 2: Vatican II’s Response to the Challenges of Atheism
Atheism most often takes the form of an attack upon all religions because they are perceived to be superstitious, oppressive and alienating. It claims that abolishing God is the only way to advance human transcendence and freedom. In the light of the different forms of atheism and the questions they raise, we will examine how Vatican II in a non-apologetic but critical and analytical way responds to the challenges posed by Atheism and secularism.

Talk 3: A Theological Response to Atheism
St Paul tells us that faith comes from hearing (Rom 10:14). Our secular culture however, impairs our ability to hear. The socio-culture of our day, which is rooted in agnosticism, atheism, pluralism, materialism and relativism, thus demands a theological response that corresponds to the human person who, although is a historical being who lives in space and time, seeks to go beyond himself in the search for absolute truth, love and eternal life.

Talk 4: Ministering to the Atheist
The root of contemporary unbelief is often not so much at the theoretical level but rather a case of the lack of spiritual and cultural freedom. Belief in God must be profoundly existential and personal for anyone to come to faith. Hence, the obstacles to faith must be dealt with. Principally we need to challenge the false images of God in believers and debunk the false gods of secularism. Ministering to unbelievers also requires that we have some understanding of faith development and the necessary pastoral skills to free them from a culture that hinders the freedom to believe.