Children Must Learn Philosophy
I, like many of my readers, grew up in a generally evangelical, Protestant household. In the circles I ran in, the question was often asked, “how do we stop the mass apostasy of our children?“ The answer which was often given was to make sure they went to church on Sunday and youth group on Wednesday. This was so that they would form certain communities of Christian friends, learn the contents of scripture, and grow in the spiritual life. While this all is certainly true and good, still, most of my friends do not practice anything like orthodox Christianity. What was missing? Why do many, who may seem to be strongly Christian, almost instantaneously apostatize upon leaving their parents house?
Fr. Louage, in his introduction to his course of philosophy, answers the question of how a Catholic can more readily prepare their children for defending and retaining the faith. Much of the issue that he found had to do with the lack of philosophical education.
As St. Thomas Aquinas writes “A small mistake in the beginning is a big one in the end.” Errors in the basic principles of philosophy do not remain there (as Fr. Louage notes), but war against the entirety of man, eventually leading to Atheism.
It is important to note that in his day, late 19th century America, there were fewer social pressures to apostatize,