Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Catholic Civil War, Part 6: Two Truths?

We've cited Fr. Schall here quite a few times, for good reason.  Here he remarks on the civil war ongoing in the Catholic Church today.  Along the way, he mentions other loci of the 'two-truth' problem.

Considerable turmoil has been generated by a Vatican-related Tweet. It proposed that two plus two equals four in science, but in theology the sum could equal five. This “possibility” of five was not exactly new or even startling, except perhaps for its source. The two-truth theory has its uses, no doubt.

Machiavelli famously proposed that human freedom would be exponentially expanded if at least the prince rid himself of the distinction between good and evil. In effect, he proposed a version of this theory that is usually associated with the Muslim thinkers, Averroes and Al-Ghazali. The “truth” of politics and the “truth” of morality are both true. We affirm that evil should not be done. But sometimes it should be done. In that case, evil becomes good.

The two-truth theory held, in its purest form, that a truth of reason and a truth of religion/theology could contradict each other. But both are still true. The Aristotelian tradition held that this situation could not be the case. One view was right; the other was wrong. Reason cannot contradict reason, be it human or divine....


(The above should also help those who are willfully blind about the nature of the Muslim heresy, by the way. )

A Christian/secularist version of this theory exists, particularly in moral and political philosophy....The Machiavellian version is simply “What the prince (democracy) wills is the law,” to cite a Roman law adage, later cited by Aquinas. In a conflict of individual and collective will, the latter almost always wins, as Hobbes saw....

(So, yes, "democracy" can also conclude wrongly. See, e.g., queer "marriage", abortion, or gender theory, or the majority-vote for Hildebeeste.)

...Ultimately, the justification of “heresy” always involves, in its logic, the denial of reason. Or to put it the other way around, when we see that what is called “revelation” needs to resort to arbitrary will, divine or human, to justify itself, we know that we have reached incoherence.
Now, then. The source of the tweet Schall mentioned was Pp. Francis. You get why this is truly a civil war in the Church? 

1 comment:

GOR said...

One of the basic tenets in Philosophy (Logic) is that two contradictory statements cannot both be true. Or as my old professor of Logic put it: “You are either a horse or you’re not a horse.” Basic and self-evident. Of course, he was a Dominican, not a Jesuit.

While Our Lord was described as a “sign of contradiction”, the present successor of St. Peter is full of contradictions. Preaches mercy but acts with intolerance. Preaches dialogue but squelches discussion. Preaches humility but acts like a dictator. Preaches zero tolerance of abuse but cossets enablers (Daneels, Barros, etc.).

And on and on… But then he’s a Jesuit, not a Dominican.