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JMJ, Come Holy Spirit

Back to Virtue Chapter 1 – Guided reading questions


Due: Wednesday, March 14th

Name: ___________________________________________________________________

Students, I know that this book may be wordy or deep for some, but just try to understand it in
simple terms. PLEASE write down any questions you may have so we can discuss them in class.
“…(W)hen you are edging closer and closer to the abyss, the most progressive direction is
backwards.” – Peter Kreeft, alluding to the title, Back to Virtue

- Answer the following questions by referencing the text and making logical deductions.
You must write at least 3 sentences (except for #1, #6, and #8)
Chapter 1
1. Does Kreeft argue that technology is bad, or that another problem is leading us away from
truth?
Technology is not bad, but we can use inventions to produce more good and moral things. As
humans we shouldn't just use dumb inventions for the sake of it but use items that will heighten
our morality.
2. Kreeft quotes C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and says that in older civilizations, man’s
goal in life was discovering how to live in reality; he achieved this by using wisdom, self-
discipline, and virtue. Now he says that instead of wanting to live in reality, we want to
change reality so that it coincides with our wishes. We hope to change what is
objectively true so that it fits what is most convenient or comfortable for us.
a. How do you see this in the culture or in your own life? Why do you believe that
people no longer seem to care about what is true, but instead they want to create
their “own truth”? What do you believe has led us to think that we have control
over reality? At this point in the book, can you see any dangers of not living in
objective reality but creating our own realities?
I feel as though people deem their own truths. There is no such thing as one moral standard that
we should live by because it is constantly changing. The morals and customs of one generation
are different from the morals and truths of another because of the time progression and human
evolvement. I feel that humans create their own truth to make it seem as though what they are
doing isn’t doing that bad. I have personally compared a bad action that I did to someone else’s
to make it seem like what I was doing was not as bad as someone else. Creating our own realities
are dangerous because it can alter our perception of the actual truth that leads us to Christ.
3. The section “Two World Views” (p. 22 & 23) discusses “man’s conquest of nature”
which basically refers to man’s desire to have control over creation and understand it in
our own terms. He discusses naturalism which is the belief that nothing else
exists/matters but the material world (so that would exclude God). He also discusses
supernaturalism, the belief that objective reality includes nature but also includes
something bigger than nature, like God (something supernatural). When no God or
Higher Power exists, who determines truth? When no Higher Power is acknowledged,
how can we determine whose opinion matters more? Even if we argue that human beings
can feel and love, aren’t all humans on the same playing field as far as being right or
wrong.
When no higher power exists humans make the rules. This supports the theory that we can all
create our own truth depending on what we feel right and wrong. When there is no higher power
though, no ones ideas or opinions as more relevant than another’s. When there is nothing to base
our ideas off of we can’t determine what the actual truth is. We have emotions, but each vary
between humans and there would be no set standard. Therefore, if there is no higher power there
is no absolute truth.
4. (p. 25-26) What is the difference between “sharing views” and seeking truth? Why do
you think we seem to be so afraid of the truth? Are we afraid to say “this is the truth” and
instead find ourselves saying things like “I believe that…”?
Sharing views is a conversation of opinion and a truth that is created by a person. Seeking truth
is actively searching for the truth that is going to lead to Christ. I do find myself saying that i
believe something instead of actually seeking out the correct answer or response to a subject
matter.
5. Kreeft says “In an age of ‘anything goes’, virtue is a revolutionary thing. In an age of
rebellion, authority is the radical idea.” (p 26) Do you agree with this in our society?
Why do you believe virtue isn’t always valued? What are some traits or achievements
that you think our current society values instead?
Our current society does not value virtue. Those who are the leaders and most famous in today’s
day and age are so of the least virtuous, and this goes to show that virtue is not near the top
priority of society. Virtue is not valued because its easier to do what we want instead of whats
hard. Our culture values having money, being the best looking, and having political power to be
more that being virtuous.
6. Fill in the blank for this quote on page 26: “_________consensus_____________
determines rightness or wrongness, and democracy becomes our religion…”
7. p.28 – Kreeft says that teachers are no longer teachers but facilitators. What is the
difference between a teacher and a facilitator?
A teacher is someone who shares the moral truth and wants you to comprehend it. A facilitator
on the other hand is someone who poses you with an issue and allows you to make your own
definition for a truth. There are pros and cons to both, but when sharing the actual truth about
Christ we would want a teacher to learn exactly what Christ wants to share with us.
8. Towards the top of page 29, Kreeft indicates that there is only one sin and that sin is
being _____________________judgemental_______________________.
9. P. 31 – “But the kind of ethics that is usually taught is ethics without bite, without
substance…ethics without a vision of what a good man or woman is…” In your
estimation, what is a good man or woman according to society? What is a good man or
woman according to Christ? Why is it important to have a mission in life, even if you
don’t have everything figured out?
According to society a good man or woman is a person who follows the rules in school, work, or
church and those who donate to charity. According to Christ a good man or woman is someone
who devotes everything in life to finding Him and working on building a relationship with Him
by living or acting as He wanted. It is always important to have a mission because without a
mission, life loses purpose. When life loses purpose we lose a sense of closeness to Christ
because He is the one who gives us life and purpose.

Final question:
- Summarize the main points of this chapter in 3-5 sentences before answering the
remaining questions.
o Did this first chapter make you think at all? Did anything you read strike you or
help you to understand the importance of truth and virtue? After reading the first
chapter, how do you think virtue can help you to navigate the “road of life”?
One main point was that there are two ways of moral thinking, one where we do respond to a
higher power, and one where we create the truth and don’t turn to christ for the truth. We should
always believe that there is a higher power because if not truth can become skewed. He also
discusses that it is harder for people to follow God in society because it has become the normal
in society to be rebellious from him. It takes more effort to follow christ that it does to not
Follow him. He also discusses the importance of having teachers and facilitators in life. WE
must look to both to understand the actual truth and to be able to create our own truth regarding
certain issues. I felt like this chapter did make me think, because I fall to easily in creating my
own truth and thinking that certain things I do aren't that bad because everyone else does it. The
part where the author discussed that “authority is radical” it struck me that that statement is
horrifically true. It is difficult in life to act with virtue but so easy to disregard it. Overall, I feel
that virtue can help me navigate life because with virtue in the front of my mind I can work to
strengthen my relationship with Christ instead of turning away from it.