Friday, September 28, 2007

More than ever, Developed West needs Natural Law

It is truly an unusual time in history. While the first and second principles of the Natural Law are still given "lip service"(do good/avoid evil and treat your neighbor fairly) there is no agreement at all about what constitutes good and evil or what it means to treat your neighbor fairly. This causes a disturbing degree of cognitive dissonance.

Pope Benedict XVI has correctly identified the problem; widespread acceptance of (doctrinal) moral relativism. That is to say, despite the irrationality involved, it is simultaneously held that there are no moral absolute's while in practice rigid adherence to various yet contradictory "moral" standards is enforced.

For example, the so-called political left holds (correctly) that it is morally wrong to wage a war of aggression [the underlying principle being that it is always and everywhere wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being] yet paradoxically embraces abortion on demand which intentionally kills an innocent human being.

The social (conservative) right properly holds that abortion is morally wrong but accepts preventive (aggressive) war which intentionally seeks to kill those who have not actually attacked us (the innocent) that is, in an offensive not defensive way. This is justified not on the basis of moral certainty that an attack is either underway or imminent but on the basis of a probability calculation that an attack might take place in the future. Such thinking is irrational since it is impossible to know with cognitive let alone moral certainty what might occur in the distant future. Therefore, it is clear and thus intended from the outset that innocent human beings will be killed simply as a matter of commencing the attack.

It should be apparent to all clear-thinking persons that some universal standard must exist by which every human being can determine right and wrong, good v: evil and thus what constitutes fair treatment of our neighbor. Such a standard was discovered by the ancient Greeks particularly Socrates and Aristotle--what today we call the Natural (moral) law.

The natural law was also codified and promulgated in the ancient Hebrew Decalogue (10 commandments; particularly #'s 4-10) which was summarized by Jesus Christ in the form of His 2 laws. Later the best of Greco-Roman (pagan/pre-Christian) and Judaic moral philosophy was harmonized with Christianity by St. Thomas Aquinas; memorialized in his Summa theologiae and Contra-gentiles.

The so-called Aristotelian/Thomistic synthesis--the classical/scholastic moral philosophical system--is the most completely developed and ever propounded. It is worthy now more than ever of our detailed consideration and adoption. Failure to abide by what is also referred to as the "golden-rule" ethic will mean a continued devolution in societal mores. Rank Utilitarianism (the reigning immoral [post-Enlightenment] philosophy in the developed West) must be repudiated.

---Dr. J. P. Hubert

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Exquisite Intuition of Being

Please see the excellent piece entitled above by Stephen Hand in which contrary to Descartes the metaphysical necessity of "being" is not only recognized but celebrated at">

---Dr. J. P. Hubert