I it is always rather pleasing to be quoted, apparently I said this in a sermon.
Descartes's "Cogito Ergo Sum", I think therefore I am, is highly problematic.
If I am not very good at thinking, am I less?
If I don't think at all do, I cease to be?
If someone else doesn't think like me, are they less than me?
If I don't think of you, do you cease to be?
If I am unaware of your existence, and therefore don't think of you, do you not exist?
Do you only come into existence when I think of you?
What about God,
If I don't think of Him, does he cease to exist?
If I am only conscious of some of His attributes, does He only exist in those aspects I am conscious of?
The tendency in thinking since Descartes is to place "I" at the centre of everything, it is ultimately solipsistic. Catholicism sees mankind in a totally different way "God is therefore I am", from this we understand that man is not the centre of the universe but contingent on God who is.
I think these two understandings of what a human being is, are at the heart so many of our modern problems. Within the Church it is at the heart of what might appear to be squabbles over liturgy, it is what lies behind Fr Z's phrase Save the Liturgy, Save the World. I see it behind the US election debate, Obama is a Cartesian. It is certainly there behind the abortion debate, a child exists, simply because the state acknowledges its existence. It is behind the religion versus secularist debate, and behind the increased conflict between the Islam and West.