Atheists can never be truly happy, say priest
Jesuit priest Father Robert Spitzer, above, is an American philosopher, author and academic who recently mapped out four levels of happiness that he says are available to humankind.
After a great deal of incomprehensible psycho-babble contained in this article, Spitzer – President of the Magis Center (motto “Shining Light on Transcendence and Eternity” – explains that the all-important fourth level of happiness involves folk:
Awakening … to the eternity to which they’re called.
This fourth phase deals with a belief in a higher power, so the priest then addressed whether it’s possible for an atheist to find true and perfect happiness.
Without qualification, no. You can get absolutely to a very high level three, but if you denied God altogether, I don’t see how you could get there. When you deny any aspect of level four, you’re basically denying the transcendent.
He said that denying a higher power would mean denying perfect justice, truth, love and beauty – but that’s not all.
It’s a denial not just of God, it’s a denial of transcendence. You deny transcendent fulfillment.
He also believes God has placed a desire in everyone’s heart to seek him out.
We are desperately in need of being in contact with God. God has been in contact with people since the beginning.
Spitzer said that he crafted the four levels of happiness after researching 100 thinkers, ranging from Plato to St Thomas Aquinas, to analyse how they examined personal happiness. In the end, he noticed similarities that helped inform his thinking.
The priest concluded with a warning:
I think if the culture stays in level one and level two … it will destroy the individuals within it, it will destroy relationships, it will destroy the family. If all that goes, the culture will implode on itself and it will be no different than the Roman Empire.