Critique of John Paul II's Personalism & Defense of Thomism
#51
(10-25-2012, 03:30 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote: Or what Goldwater said.

"...moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."  Or, to put it in a more relevant way, moderation in the pursuit of truth and devotion to what is holy is no virtue.
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#52
Here is what St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the killing of sinners: "By sinning man departs from the order of reason, and consequently falls away from the dignity of his manhood, in so far as he is naturally free, and exists for himself, and he falls into the slavish state of the beasts, by being disposed of according as he is useful to others.  This is expressed in Psalm 48:21: "Man, when he was in honor, did not understand; he hath been compared to senseless beasts, and made like to them," and Proverbs 11:29: "The fool shall serve the wise."  Hence, although it be evil in itself to kill a man so long as he preserve his dignity, yet it may be good to kill a man who has sinned, even as it is to kill a beast.  For a bad man is worse than a beast, and is more harmful, as the Philosopher states (Polit. i, 1 and Ethic. vii, 6)" (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 64, a. 2, ad 3).

We also know that St. Augustine and St. Alphonsus Liguori, along with Cardinal De Lugo and Fr. Palazzini admit the liceity of capital punishment (and of torture, as well).  Add to these the teaching of Pope Pius XII: "It is reserved to the public authority to deprive the criminal of the benefit of life, when already, by his crime, he has deprived himself of the right to live" (Address to the First Int'l Congress on the Histopathology of the Nervous System, Sept. 14, 1952).  I'm also aware that Pope St. Leo the Great and one of the Innocents approved of the death penalty (I think Leo XIII did as well), but I am unable to find those quotes right now (the page which had both of them is not working - traditioninaction.org; I probably have it saved on my other computer).  Then there's Pope St. Pius X's Catechism.  And who could forget the utterly authoritative teaching of the Roman Catechism (pt. II, ch. 6) on the matter?

While I cannot comment much on the Thomism vs. Personalism/Phenomenological debate (other than to express my agreement with Walty), I don't think any serious Thomist would agree that theological and philosophical thought have ceased, but would instead argue that Thomism must continue to engage society, with its new discoveries, situations and problems.  The Ite Ad Thomam blog is a very helpful resource, one which I cannot recommend too much.  Lastly, I prefer neat and tidy (i.e. clarity and precision) over sloppy and messy (i.e. ambiguity and vagueness).  :)

P.S. -- I find it hard to believe that the same Fathers of Trent who professed to uphold the unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers would fail to recognize their unanimity regarding capital punishment (assuming that it exists), as the Roman Catechism was published right after the conclusion of the Council.
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#53
(10-25-2012, 02:18 PM)Walty Wrote:
(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?

Just going to point out that most theologians in the 13th century said the same thing about diabolical Aristotelianism being unnecessary and possibly damaging to traditional Catholic though.  Hence why St. Thomas' work was condemned on multiple points by the bishop of Paris in 1277.  The work of great saints can mine anti-Christian philosophies, like that of Aristotle or Heidegger, and find true worth in them.  I wouldn't put any of the phenomenology-leaning theologians on the level of St. Thomas, but St. Theresa-Benedicta of the Cross isn't too shabby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condemnatio...%80%931277
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#54
(10-25-2012, 03:34 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: "Hence, although it be evil in itself to kill a man so long as he preserve his dignity, yet it may be good to kill a man who has sinned, even as it is to kill a beast.  For a bad man is worse than a beast, and is more harmful, as the Philosopher states (Polit. i, 1 and Ethic. vii, 6)" (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 64, a. 2, ad 3).

This is why the Church can be justified in using lethal force and it is also why the push for dignified man is irreconcilable with the reality of man fallen.  We might as well ask ourselves whether Satan is a dignified creature.
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#55
(10-25-2012, 03:38 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(10-25-2012, 02:18 PM)Walty Wrote:
(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?

Just going to point out that most theologians in the 13th century said the same thing about diabolical Aristotelianism being unnecessary and possibly damaging to traditional Catholic though.  Hence why St. Thomas' work was condemned on multiple points by the bishop of Paris in 1277.  The work of great saints can mine anti-Christian philosophies, like that of Aristotle or Heidegger, and find true worth in them.  I wouldn't put any of the phenomenology-leaning theologians on the level of St. Thomas, but St. Theresa-Benedicta of the Cross isn't too shabby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condemnatio...%80%931277

Yes, but, you see, that really doesn't matter because the anti-Greek theologians of the 13th century were wrong and the Scholastics were right.

Superficial conservatism or traditionalism is not what is inherently best.  Truth is what is best.  We reject the Modernists not because they teach something new, but because they teach something new in replacement of what is true.
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#56
(10-25-2012, 03:09 PM)James02 Wrote:
NYC Wrote: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 is correct.  But the grave defect in this philosophy, making it in my opinion the biggest threat to the Catholic Faith, is the preaching of a FALSE dignity in man.  Therefore, because Jesus was Incarnate, ALL individual men now have this new dignity.  It ignores faith and baptism, as well as charity.  It carries undertones of Protestantism (ignoring the requirement for Charity) and Marxism (leading to false utopias, e.g. Liberation Theology).  It also lends itself to Universalism.  It is a poison in the Church.

The Catholic teaching is that all men, in their natural state, are damned by Justice (Original Sin and actual sin).  Jesus satisfies this Justice through His Merciful passion.  However, this is not the end of the story.  Jesus substitutes His own Justice, which He called His light yoke.  This is the requirement for Baptism, Faith, and Charity.  Man can be under either system of Justice.  So even someone who is in the state of Sanctifying Grace can't really be held to hold a special dignity.  In reality, it is the Divine life in him, through the Grace of Jesus Christ.

This teaching is ignored by this philosophy.

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Quote: or the dignity of the seal of baptism, we can never lose, I thought.
  I have never read anything where JP II makes the dignity of man contingent upon baptism.  This is one of his grave defects.

Whether or not any philosphers taught or rejected any particular thing is on them, but personalism doesn't require a false view of dignity, just an interest in human dignity and wanting to understand it better.

I don't know if Thomism lacks this or not, or if not whether personalism can add something or not. But I do see dignity that can't be taken away ... even the worst sinner can repent. A beast cannot. Therefore though we may liken an evil idolatrous pagan to a beast, he is not really a beast.

Dignity is not so simple, and as long as we are not trying to demolish the traditional ways of thinking about it which focus more on God's perfection and our lack of it, I don't see the necessary harm in considering our dignity from God.

Quote:Deus, qui humanae substantiae dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti: da nobis per hujus aquae et vini mysterium, ejus divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostrae fieri dignatus est particeps, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus: per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
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#57
(10-25-2012, 03:09 PM)James02 Wrote: But the grave defect in this philosophy, making it in my opinion the biggest threat to the Catholic Faith, is the preaching of a FALSE dignity in man.  Therefore, because Jesus was Incarnate, ALL individual men now have this new dignity.  It ignores faith and baptism, as well as charity.  It carries undertones of Protestantism (ignoring the requirement for Charity) and Marxism (leading to false utopias, e.g. Liberation Theology).  It also lends itself to Universalism.  It is a poison in the Church.

It doesn't have to ignore these things. The events of Christ's life don't demand these conclusions of necessity. We can argue with people, and tell them they're wrong in drawing those conclusions. We can point to the teachings of the Church. None of these things are inherent in the philosophy as proposed in personalistic Thomsism.

(10-25-2012, 03:09 PM)James02 Wrote: The Catholic teaching is that all men, in their natural state, are damned by Justice (Original Sin and actual sin). Jesus satisfies this Justice through His Merciful passion.  However, this is not the end of the story.  Jesus substitutes His own Justice, which He called His light yoke.  This is the requirement for Baptism, Faith, and Charity.  Man can be under either system of Justice.

Our nature is wounded, not destroyed. The dignity that comes with the creation of our unique and unrepeatable souls was and is never lost. This dignity of itself does not call into question any of the teachings of the Church, and I believe are absolute non sequiturs, but rather precludes us from mistreating our fellow man. It upholds a basic modicum of treatment. John Paul II would say this is love, against use. No objectification. No selfishness.

(10-25-2012, 03:09 PM)James02 Wrote: So even someone who is in the state of Sanctifying Grace can't really be held to hold a special dignity.  In reality, it is the Divine life in him, through the Grace of Jesus Christ.

This seems to flirt with Protestantism in which the changes to us are only superficial, and only attributable to Christ (I guess he "covers" us with dignity; or dignity is "imputed".). We gain dignity through grace we do not merit, it is a truly free gift, but the Church teaches that the changes to us are real, the cooperation we have with God is real, and therefore the increased dignity of baptism and sanctifying grace is real and properly belongs to us. It is not simply about His divine life in us, but about Him being is us, and us in Him.
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#58
(10-25-2012, 03:39 PM)Walty Wrote: This is why the Church can be justified in using lethal force and it is also why the push for dignified man is irreconcilable with the reality of man fallen.  We might as well ask ourselves whether Satan is a dignified creature.

Was Satan created in the image and likeness of God? Did Christ sacrifice Himself for Satan? Salvation concerns man, not angels.
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#59
(10-25-2012, 03:56 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-25-2012, 03:39 PM)Walty Wrote: This is why the Church can be justified in using lethal force and it is also why the push for dignified man is irreconcilable with the reality of man fallen.  We might as well ask ourselves whether Satan is a dignified creature.

Was Satan created in the image and likeness of God? Did Christ sacrifice Himself for Satan? Salvation concerns man, not angels.

Yes, Satan was created in the image and likeness of God, in some ways much more so.

I'm not denying that there is a dignity to being a creature of God or that one stops being a creature of God when they fall into mortal sin.  But the emphasis on human dignity wallowed in original sin is a deception, a trick propagated to make men forget about sin and our own fallen nature.  In an age of monumental pride, we do not need to remind ourselves of our dignity but instead our indebtedness the Almighty.

As St. Thomas points out, man's inherent dignity (in sin) doesn't give one any special rights to go on sinning or to not be treated with justice.  The human dignity line is intellectually true, but in practice is used to justice man's "rights" over the rights of God.
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#60
Quote: Sure, but an unbalanced and absolutist obsession with the magisterium, to the neglect of tradition, is what led to our current problems in the first place.
  Good point CP.  What is the 1900 year tradition of the Church with regards to capital punishment?
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