Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fr. Thomas Weinandy has a website.

Friday, January 15, 2010

30 Giorni: If everything is grace there is no longer grace by Cardinal Georges Cottier, OP
The distinctions are essential especially in a time in which Gnosticism is the evident alternative to the reality of faith

Today, the absolute necessity of grace for every moment of the Christian experience, and the dynamics of its action, seem to have disappeared from theological debate and preaching. On this point, even in the ordinary pastoral, one notes confusions, ambiguities, misconstruction, misunderstandings, which are indications of a general obfuscation regarding the terms and basic criteria of Christian doctrine and the life of faith, and they risk misleading the people of God.

And Catholics have become Pelagians, or semi-Pelagians...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is it permissible to euthanize an enemy soldier?

In the movie Saving Private Ryan, after the Americans are able to scale the cliffs, they begin to assult the machine gun bunkers with grenades and flame throwers. Some of the German soldiers, on fire from the flame throwers, jump out of the forward slits and in front of some of the Americans still on Omaha beach. Their NCO (or officer) tells them to hold them fire, "Let them burn." (A paraphrase.) Might it be that they would not be allowed to shoot them in order to euthanize them? One cannot take away the life of those who are innocent, even for a "good end" such as to relieve them from further pain and suffering. But what of enemy soldiers? If it is lawful to take their lives in defense of a community, then might it not also be lawful to euthanize them in order to prevent them from suffering even further?

However, it seems that one is permitted to kill enemy soldiers, not in order to take their lives, but in order to neutralize them. If they have been neutralized, i.e. incapacitated, by being set on fire, or rendered ineffective as a threat (and thus ready to be taken prisoner) then to kill them would be wrong, and considered a war crime. How then can euthanasia be acceptable in this case, if the act itself is wrong, regardless of its further purpose? It would seem that the prohibition against euthanasize is absolute, applicable even to enemy soldiers during war.

Of course, one can ask if the use of flame throwers and other weapons which seriously maim or injure and cause great suffering go against Christian charity.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A discussion of essences and substantial forms (viz-a-viz a debate between a Thomist and a Scotist) here: A nominalism you must refuse.

Edward Feser recommends to those with an analytic background David S. Oderberg's Real Essentialism (GB).
The International Society of Scholastics has as forum for online Scholastic disputation: Disputatio.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All Together Now -- Russell Hittinger reviews Biblical Natural Law: A Theocentric and Teleological Approach by Matthew Levering

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scholasticism and philosophy

It should be obvious to educated people that the art of teaching and the art of writing essays are two separate habits, and that the possession of knowledge does not mean that one can write well. Neither is the converse true, that one who is able to write also possesses knowledge, much less wisdom. We may reject the rather dry and bare, terse writing of the scholastics, but can it be denied that their treatises are generally more clear than contemporary essays? How much of the essay's being the standard for academic writing is linked to the 19th century model of the research university and the rise of modern literature, and how much to Renaissance ideals?

As teachers of philosophy, what do we seek to impart first? Reasoned-out knowledge? Or the art of writing an essay?
James Chastek on res significata and modus significandi.