Mark 9:24

Archive for the ‘Faith and Reason’ Category

Samaritan, the mountain pass

In Faith and Reason on March 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm

When truth is such an uphill climb, how many men remain in the valleys; how praiseworthy are they who even make the attempt upward.

Among those approaching us at our mountaintop siesta, hopping on the left foot, are the anti-metaphysicians, those materialists who deny even philosophy. Closely behind them, hopping on the right foot, are the apostasists, encumbered by their fathers’ ecclesial fallacies.

We must stand men we cannot stand, for they cannot stand at all.

Where materialists and amaterialists hop, wobble, fall, convicted in belief, Catholics must be the Good Samaritan. Why would we worry? Our faith is the true footing.

Anti-metaphysicians have both faith and reason, lauding the latter to distraction. Denying the metaphysical as much as possible, they prefer a bare minimum faith in one’s senses; not just irrefutable things but inevitable things are their dogmas. True things must be obvious, say they, and so they bind themselves to nothing but that which is already bound. In practice, these materialists test the binding by breaking out of it, at which point it becomes rebellion and willfulness.

Apostasists represent manhandling little truths, unreasonably forcing facts to fit faith. As with all rationalization, all true things bound their way are distorted, a shield against things bound against them. In this way, convenient truths and inconvenient truths are likewise bound to their will. Apostasism is the reverse of the anti-metaphysicians, and it is the same — it becomes rebellion and willfulness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kant, can’t we?

In Faith and Reason on February 19, 2012 at 1:38 am

When seeing high-stakes comments online, even at a better blog than mine, I find the time to not mind the climb. Rhymelessly, Mary writes:

Categorical imperatives are principles that are intrinsically valid; they are good in and of themselves; they must be obeyed in all, and by all, situations and circumstances if our behavior is to observe the moral law. Therefore, if Catholic doctrine is true regarding sexuality, it must be true for all, for all time.

If it is true, it is true forever and always.

We can imagine a world where everyone stopped murdering, stopped lying, stopped committing adultery. But a world where everyone eschewed contraception would be a world of very, very, very high birthrates — forever.

Clearly, in a finite world this presents a problem. Perhaps it is not a problem today or in the very near future. But, had world fertility rates not fallen, sometime in the future we would have had to deal with the finiteness of the earth. I cannot see any way around this.

You’re concerned that the Church’s mandate does not fit the moral imperative. Why? I see two options, only one of which you’re directly worried about:

  1. Overpopulation, and
  2. Finite resources.

Read the rest of this entry »