Critique of John Paul II's Personalism & Defense of Thomism
#31
Quote:WWI, WWII, Hilster, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, nuclear bombs, abortion(!), suicide, self-mutilation, pornography and the world-wide sex trade, depictions in media or every sort of dehumanization, and many other ailments.

Yes, and Benedict XV, Pius XI, and Pius XII were around for this. As Sacred Scipture says, there is nothing new under the Sun. Yet, the conciliar orientation and obsession with "human dignity" couldn't be more apparent.
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#32
(10-25-2012, 01:53 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Human dignity being emphasized was in contrast to the absolute carnage of humanity against humanity in this time. Do I need to remind anyone of that? WWI, WWII, Hilster, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, nuclear bombs, abortion(!), suicide, self-mutilation, pornography and the world-wide sex trade, depictions in media or every sort of dehumanization, and many other ailments. The teaching on human dignity is not masonic, but based on the teaching that we have a rational soul in the image and likeness of God -- we are not simply "worm feed".

As for the death penalty, none other than someone like Alex Jones has discussed how the death penalty leads to a devaluation of human life in society. There is a very fine line between portraying order, punishment, and deterrence, and portraying devaluation and condoning of killing. The minute you decide this one is less valuable than that one, you're on the road to a lot of compromises in morality.

So the Church has been wrong about the death penalty for nearly 20 centuries?  How does God espouse inherent evil in the Old Testament?

If the death penalty necessarily leads to a devaluation of human life (and not other factors like, say, the loss of faith or reverence for the Creator) then it must certainly be inherently evil, but that brings up some pretty big conundrums (as spelled out above).
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#33
Does St. Thomas ever say that a human loses all dignity?

The dignity of being in the state of grace, of course we can lose. Of being a disciple, we can lose.

But the dignity of being created in the imago Dei, or the dignity of the seal of baptism, we can never lose, I thought.

This my ignorant/simple non-philosophically nuanced understanding, I'm open to correction.

The way I'm gathering this issue in general is that personalism is kinda tricky, can go into different directions, but can still be useful. Thomism is much less likely to lead to problems (though it can, not all Thomists said only useful and correct things). A Thomistic approach can probably be best useful for putting "checks" on personalist approaches, but I don't see why personalist approaches cannot be useful at all.

If I try to see what the philosophical "method" is of Scripture, it's not obviously systematic like Thomism.  There is aphorism, story, personal experience ... and yet it all communicates truth.
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#34
There's an inherently subjective slant to Personalism.
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#35
While I don't personally oppose it, I believe most of the Fathers did reject the death penalty. Anyway, sinners still have the dignity of rational animals created in the Image of God. They can tarnish this dignity to some extent, but they cannot lose it because they are essentially rational. I do think that the language of human dignity gives too much ground to secular humanism, and it would probably be better to reject it and the related language of rights altogether, but the idea that non-Catholics are subhumans to whom we can do whatever we like, which would seem to be the implication of the idea that they lose all human dignity, is equally troubling. I think the Christian position has traditionally been a middle way between the originally pagan belief that there is no inherent worth in life and so the lives of the weak are ultimately unimportant and the post-Christian exaltation of man and emphasis on inherent rights and dignity.
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#36
(10-25-2012, 01:58 PM)Walty Wrote: So the Church has been wrong about the death penalty for nearly 20 centuries?  How does God espouse inherent evil in the Old Testament?

If the death penalty necessarily leads to a devaluation of human life (and not other factors like, say, the loss of faith or reverence for the Creator) then it must certainly be inherently evil, but that brings up some pretty big conundrums (as spelled out above).

I did not say that. In fact I am voting this election to retain the death penalty in California. I did not say it leads by necessity to devaluation, but there is a very fine line. There are many factors involved, including many negative feedback loops. But it may be opportune, at this time in humanity, to voluntarily drop the death penalty, to send a universal message of LIFE. That was the gist of JPII's thoughts, which Christopher Ferrara explored here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/can-t...punishment.

Note also that the state is the only body on earth who has the power to directly take human life. All other cases are reckoned as defense with death indirectly willed in the performance of the act.
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#37
(10-25-2012, 02:09 PM)Walty Wrote: There's an inherently subjective slant to Personalism.

That's why Kreeft says it needs Thomism. By itself, it is unusable. That's why St Benedicta, JPII, Von Hilderbrand, etc. tried to find the balance. Read the link I gave from Kreeft.
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#38
(10-25-2012, 02:15 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Note also that the state is to only body on earth who has the power to directly take human life. All other cases are reckoned as defense with death indirectly willed in the performance of the act.

Agreed.
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#39
(10-25-2012, 02:16 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-25-2012, 02:09 PM)Walty Wrote: There's an inherently subjective slant to Personalism.

That's why Kreeft says it needs Thomism. By itself, it is unusable. That's why St Benedicta, JPII, Von Hilderbrand, etc. tried to find the balance. Read the link I gave from Kreeft.

What is lacking in Thomism?  Why does it need Personalism at all?  How can an inherently relativistic philosophy be reconciled with Catholicism?
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#40
(10-25-2012, 02:10 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: While I don't personally oppose it, I believe most of the Fathers did reject the death penalty.

"Most" is a pretty big claim.  I'd be interested to hear some proof for that.  But at any rate, the Fathers are not one in the same with the Magisterium.
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