Faith & Reason

“if Catholicism means a true universalism – not the false universalism of science, technology, or various ideologies – then selecting one truth (haeresis in Greek means selection) and setting it against others, or exaggerating it beyond its proper place has consequences for the One that rescues us from the chaos of the mere Many.

Many think, for example, that the way mercy, accompaniment, discernment are being exercised in the current papacy distorts the roles of truth and justice, and risks turning mercy into sentimental indulgence in matters such as divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, and the death penalty. Unity can’t rest on nice feelings.

Similarly, current emphases on synodality and evangelization over unity and doctrine often seem to be promoting mere local preference and personal emotion, but little substance in a world where Christianity has already been reduced to a few tired buzzwords about love and inclusion – which the world long ago showed it finds uninspiring and is tired of hearing.

Reconciling the proper multiplicity of human liberty with the demands of consistent truth is never easy, and it’s become harder now that technical reason has become so powerful that it has all but crowded out reflection on the good, true, and beautiful.

But true wisdom is always there, like a seed under the snow, waiting for the right conditions – and right people – to blossom again.”

“As faith in Christianity recedes in the West, a strange thing is happening. Having shaken off belief in God, people are not becoming more rational, they’re becoming more gullible. They believe that babies in the womb aren’t really human beings, that same-sex “marriage” is the equivalent of real marriage, that there are roughly 52 varieties of gender, that boys can become girls, and vice versa. In general, they believe that wishing makes it so.

Rejection of God does not lead to a flowering of civilization, but rather to a primitivization. Many of the ideas that are now current are pre-scientific and even anti-scientific. Science is solidly on the side of those who say that babies are babies, and that boys cannot become girls, yet when science comes into conflict with today’s magical beliefs it is rejected out of hand. For many, the ultimate source of truth is not reason, or science, or God, but feelings.

It was belief in a rational God who created a rational and ordered universe that provided the main impetus for scientific study centuries ago. Christian and Jewish scholars thought it worthwhile to study the nature of things because the nature of things was considered to be rational and discoverable. Thus, the scientific revolution was a product of the Judeo-Christian world.”

“Wherever I see an obsessive need to control, to shut down dialogue, to label and marginalize others, to mock and disparage, there is an immediate red flag. In The ReframersI noted that one of the key harbingers of The Growing Mob today is, rather than engage in a discussion of facts, they often resort to simply labelling and stigmatizing those with whom they disagree.

They call them “haters” or “deniers”, “homophobes” or “bigots”, “anti-vaxxers” or “Islamophobes”, etc. It is a smokescreen, a reframing of the dialogue so as to, in fact, shut down dialogue. It is an attack on freedom of speech, and more and more, freedom of religion. “

Objective versus subjective ethics

“Many states have begun passing laws against shooting, stabbing, or punching other humans to death. At first, this seemed like the obvious, humane thing to do in a civilized society.

Not so fast, experts say.

“Here’s the problem: if you ban murder, murder will happen anyway,” said Dr. Penny Lois, an expert in the field. “People are still going to break the law and murder other people. So the real question is, do we want murders to happen and be safe, legal, and rare, or do we want them to happen in a dark alley somewhere?”

Lois pointed out that it’s much safer for the murderer if they’re allowed to commit the killing in broad daylight and not behind a dilapidated warehouse in some remote, rural location.

“We need safe and legal murder access for everyone if we really want murder rates to go down in any significant way,” she said. “If you outlaw it, it’s gonna happen still. And we’d much rather it be done in, say, a brightly lit clinic during the day than behind a dumpster at night.”

“It’s better for everyone this way—well, except for the victim, but this isn’t about the victim.”

“While St Augustine is the genius who, in unequalled depth, describes the antithesis between the two cities, no one except Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (1908-1995), in his succinct work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, has better described the history of the struggle between the Civitas Dei and Civitas diabuli in recent centuries. For the Brazilian thinker, a revolutionary process exists whose origins date from the XIV to the XV centuries, when Europe was experiencing a profound change in the spirit of the age.

The philosophy of pleasure associated with humanism triggered the Protestant religious Revolution which, excluding apparent divergences, was one with humanistic beliefs. The French Revolution welcomed the liberal and egalitarian tendencies of humanism and Protestantism and introduced them to the political and social spheres. The Communist Revolution spread throughout the world and led the egalitarian hatred of the French Revolution to its ultimate consequences. “