Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"Relativism" Explained, and Chesterton, Too!

Pope Benedict mentioned "relativism" in his Regensburg address, and was criticized by an author at First Things. Now comes the rebuttal, from Cosmos-Liturgy, who traced it back to Scotus through Ockham, then summarized:

However, if in God, freedom comes before His nature it must also be so with men. If it does, then now freedom becomes not the freedom for excellence but the freedom to choose arbitrarily. In fact, now man is placed in opposition to God. If freedom has nothing to do with perfecting oneself then it has nothing to do with happiness. God’s freedom and man’s are arbitrary. God is free to will however He chooses and so man’s has freedom only where God has not restricted it by His arbitrary will. Thus, now God’s will comes at the expense of man’s freedom. Freedom becomes not a means to happiness but an end in itself. Is it any wonder then that the rabid atheists, such as Nietzsche, thought that they had to “kill” God. They fancied themselves as the rescuers of man’s freedom. Chesterton observed this when he said that modern freedom then is not anything more than fear:

Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.” - What’s Wrong With the World

That's the short course. The rest of the post is worthwhile, too!

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