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Totalitarianism takes many different forms, writes Pope Benedict XVI in his article in the forthcoming issue, “Europe and its Discontents.” In the course of his reflection, there is this: "This scientific façade hides an intolerant dogmatism that views the spirit as produced by matter and morals as produced by circumstances. According to its dictates, morals should be defined and practiced on the basis of society’s purposes, and everything is moral that helps to usher in the final state of happiness. This dogmatism completely subverts the values that built Europe. It also breaks with the entire moral tradition of humankind by rejecting the existence of values independent of the goals of material progress. Depending on circumstance, anything can become legitimate and even necessary; anything can become moral in the new sense of the term. Even humankind itself can be treated as an instrument, since the individual does not matter, only the future, the cruel deity adjudicating over one and all." (To become a subscriber to FIRST THINGS, check out the “Subscribe” button above.)

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