Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
From Atheism to Catholicism
How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to Truth
by Kevin Vost
Our Sunday Visitor
The author of this persuasive easy to read book was an atheist who is now a Catholic. He certainly has the correct credentials.
He was led into atheism by some of its greatest proponents: Friedrich Nietzsche, for example. He was the philosopher who proclaimed the death of God and went insane. And then there was Bertrand Russell, a truly horrible man in his personal life. The MeToo movement would have had a field day.
Russell influenced Albert Ellis the psychologist, who in turn influenced the author. Ellis was the founder of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. He was also an atheist.
Vost also discusses Ayn Rand, a fascinating figure still popular in some conservative circles. Rand's philosophy appears to boil down to the aphorism: Always put your own interests first. There is no such thing as society.
It goes without saying that there is a chapter on Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin. Dawkins did not influence Vost in his journey into atheism. But he is a poster boy of the new atheism. As such, he deserves to be discussed. For Dawkins, science explains everything and there is, therefore, no need for God. All is explained by the theory of evolution.
For me, Dawkins proved in his The God Delusion that Thomas Aquinas did not exist. At least the Aquinas we know and love. It is fairly obvious that Dawkins has not studied what Aquinas actually said when discussing his proofs for God's existence.
The author also discusses Alfred Adler, the "other one" of the three great psychologists of the twentieth century, the two others being Freud and Jung.
Adler too was an atheist, but who believed that God is our ultimate Good.
Adler believed that loving our neighbour is fundamental to our ultimate good. We are far removed from Ayn Rand and her pursuit of self interest.
From Alfred Adler, we move to Mortimer Adler, the great Aristotelian-Thomist. From Mortimer Adler, Vost learned that we can come to a knowledge of God through the application of reason. From Mortimer Adler to Thomas Aquinas is a logical move. And that is what Kevin Vost has done: his recent works on Aquinas are brilliant.
Vost also discusses the influence that G K Chesterton and John Paul II have had in his own journey back to God.
A very helpful book in the field of Catholic apologetics.