Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rome Reports: Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Claudio Magris speak about the Pope's new book in the Vatican
Rome Reports: François-Marie Lethel explains what he is saying to the pope in spiritual retreat

Is Aquinas a liberal?

In this one respect -- how he defines injustice.

Lydia McGrew: Contract killing

As Wesley J. Smith points out, when he was in law school he was taught that X's agreeing to be murdered does not make killing X legally something other than murder. And a good thing, too. Well, as usual, the UK is leading us into a new world. In Brave New Britain, that isn't true anymore, evidently.

Michael Bateman put a bag over the head of his wife Margaret and pumped in gas to kill her. She was in a lot of pain that wasn't getting properly treated because the moronic medical establishment didn't diagnose her broken pelvis. (It was discovered after her death.) She was also depressed about not being able to do normal things like taking showers. That's it. She wasn't dying, if you think that's a relevant consideration. (I don't.) So she and Michael planned her death, and he killed her, because she apparently couldn't do it herself. The prosecutor has declared that it "isn't in the public interest" to prosecute Michael, presumably because Margaret agreed to be murdered.

In the current context of recent posts, I'm almost afraid to ask whether mere libertarianism would mean that agreeing to have yourself killed with plastic bags and gas means that everything is A-okay and no prosecution should be carried out against your killer. I'm pretty sure I know the answer. And that, folks, is just one reason that, while I'll defend small government all over the place, I don't carry a libertarian card.
Aquinas asks, "Whether we can suffer injustice willingly?" Is it no longer injustice if we suffer the action willingly? In the body, Aquinas argues that no one can suffer an injustice except involuntarily. But he adds in the response to the third objection:

Suffering is the effect of external action. Now in the point of doing and suffering injustice, the material element is that which is done externally, considered in itself, as stated above (Article 2), and the formal and essential element is on the part of the will of agent and patient, as stated above (Article 2). Accordingly we must reply that injustice suffered by one man and injustice done by another man always accompany one another, in the material sense. But if we speak in the formal sense a man can do an injustice with the intention of doing an injustice, and yet the other man does not suffer an injustice, because he suffers voluntarily; and on the other hand a man can suffer an injustice if he suffer an injustice against his will, while the man who does the injury unknowingly, does an injustice, not formally but only materially.

And so the agent may nonetheless be guilty of committing an injustice, even if the victim consents to it. How is this so? Because the action in itself is unequal. That is to say, injustice is not defined by consent, but by the lack of what is due.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More from Miller on MacIntyre

He writes in response to David Schaengold's Defending Alasdair MacIntyre’s Economics: On Aristotle’s Wide Applicability.

(The link to the First Things piece that started this discussion can be found here.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fr. Anthony mentioned this book in his homily today: The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy, by C. FitzSimons Allison

A public police force: a fitting republican institution?


The Object of the External Act

A source of confusion for some trying to understand Catholic moral theology. St. Thomas teaches that the object is the term of the act--what it brings about. We often have an implicit understanding of this, as is shown by our use of a name for both a thing and the action that leads to the making of that thing. For example, section and partition. What are some other examples of this analogical naming?

Swinburne on science

BQO: The True Morality.Is science capable of providing a common morality? Philosopher Richard Swinburne answers.

Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, answers the question, "Is science capable of providing a common morality?"