[The following passage is from Atheism in Our Time: A Psychoanalyst’s Dissection of the Modern Varieties of Unbelief, 1963. The author, Ignace Lepp, was a dedicated Marxist in his youth, but was eventually ordained to the Catholic priesthood.]
In philosophy class I learned the traditional metaphysical proofs for the existence of God. When I took my comprehensive examination, the professor questioned me, probably because he knew I was a Communist, about those proofs, and I got the highest mark. But my knowledge of these proofs did not existentially concern me any more than the a priori categories of Kant or the monads of Leibnitz: these were questions one studied to pass an examination and not to take a personal stand on. Many years later, when I had become a Catholic and was studying theology, imagine my surprise to find my teachers explaining these same proofs and affirming that they truly and irrefutably proved the existence of God. It had been my experience that they prove nothing to one who does not have the faith. When I informed my teachers and classmates of this, they were properly scandalized and reproached me for my “bad spirit.” They quoted propositions defined by the Council of Trent or the Vatican Council! In vain did I try to make them understand that no defined proposition could serve as an argument against a man’s personal experience.
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