Thomistic Insights on Social Media’s Effect on the Soul, by T.J. Burdick

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By T.J. Burdick, Catholic Exchange, March 23, 2022

T.J. Burdick the author of several books and articles on the Catholic faith. He writes and speaks on how to grow in holiness amongst the distractions and difficulties of the current age. …

St. Thomas Aquinas is known by Catholics and non-Catholics alike as one of the greatest (if not the) greatest thinker of medieval times. His steadfast balance of contemplation and preaching led the Church to declare him a Doctor of the Catholic faith.

In his masterpiece, The Summa Theologica, Aquinas showcases his style of thinking through the strategy known as via negativa. Through this method, he takes every possible objection to truths about the faith and then scrutinizes them so as to siphon from the deposit of faith the philosophical and theological truths for his answers. 

I’ve taken the liberty of using Aquinas’ via negativa strategy to lay out the arguments of how social media affects the soul.

Aquinas on Social Media’s Effect on the Soul

Secunda Tertia Pars Question 91

Article 1. Whether social media is good for the soul

Objection 1. It would seem that social media harms the soul due to its innate temptation toward narcissism on behalf of the soul that uses it. Accounts are opened willfully through the use of one’s intellect and posts are curated to provide an audience only the positive actualizations that befit one’s progress toward attaining “likes” and “followers.”….

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