Yesterday we looked at the problem of “pseudo virtue,” that is, something that gives someone a feeling of righteousness, but that is contrary to or negates the principles of natural or supernatural law. “Pseudo virtue” includes “charity” that violates, negates, or rejects justice, and “faith” that contradicts or rejects reason.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Yesterday we talked about the nature of truth. That’s just a starting point, however. Nowhere is the problem of truth, and the application of truth, more evident today than in the question, “What is virtue?”
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Every now and then we get something from one of our readers that starts a train of thought, or forces us to clarify either our thoughts on something, or how we expressed those thoughts. This is understandable. When you’re dealing with something that is “so old it’s new” as the Just Third Way, sometimes you need some kind of shock (in a nice way, of course) to try and get not only your critics, but yourself, out of a rut you may be in.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Does science prove natural law? Yes — but unfortunately last week we came across an article in which the author included supernatural law (faith, hope, and charity) under natural law — and that cannot be proved by science. So, last week we left you with a cliff hanger: Why is basing our understanding of the natural law on faith instead of reason such a dangerous error? Isn’t everyone entitled to his or her opinion? What the heck difference does it make? Who really cares?
Friday, July 25, 2014
Although summer (especially July) is typically a slow month around Washington, D.C., things seem to be picking up at CESJ. A number of meetings are being planned, we have a good fellow from Belgium doing yeoman service, new funding sources are being explored, and a number of projects are starting to get underway:
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Knowing our interest in explaining and promoting an Aristotelian-Thomist understanding of the natural law (the basis of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic social teaching as well as that of ethical pagans who follow Aristotle), one of our correspondents sent us a link to a recent article in The National Catholic Register, “Science Proves Natural Law,” by Agnes M. Penny. The subject line of the e-mail read, “For Your Reading Pleasure.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
No, this isn’t a new television series review. Maybe it should be, but it isn’t. This is just a little dissertation about the difference between the natural virtues, and the supernatural virtues, and why it might not be all that good an idea to mix or confuse the two. What triggered this was the comment someone made to us recently that Thomas Aquinas had expanded the natural virtues into the spiritual realm. Not exactly. . .
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In this brief series we’ve again been looking at the issue of faith and reason. As we’ve already known, the bottom line here is that there is massive confusion today (as there has been for centuries) over some very fundamental issues. What is the role of the Church? What is the role of the State? Most immediately and importantly, what is the role of the human person?
Monday, July 21, 2014
You know what the problem is with (other) people? That’s right. They. Just. Won’t. Do. What. I. Want. Them. To. Do. All those stupid (other) people simply refuse to acknowledge that I know what’s best for them. They just won’t do the right thing.
Friday, July 18, 2014
As the global economic, social, and political situation continues to worsen, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that nothing can be done to halt the seemingly inevitable descent into chaos. Fortunately, that is not the case. The more unreasonable and nonsensical the situation appears, the more apparent it becomes that the only real and sustainable solution depends on a return to reason and common sense, and to begin study and implementation of the three principles of economic justice.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
So far we’ve stated the problem and summarized both the liberal and the conservative positions on the issue. Today we look at what we’ve identified as the fundamental error of both the liberal and the conservative positions, and then give our opinion as to what we think is the correct or “orthodox” position.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Yesterday we summarized the liberal Catholic position. Today we will summarize the conservative Catholic position in this whole faith versus reason issue.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Yesterday we began a series on tradition, faith, and reason in government and organized religion. We decided to focus on organized religion, specifically the Catholic Church, since the issue seems more clear cut there than in most institutions. Today we’ll look at the liberal Catholic position.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Last week we received an e-mail containing a link to an article in Crisis magazine by Dr. James Kalb, “A Vindication of Tradition.” We thought the article was good, but also that the question of tradition is somewhat more complex than Dr. Kalb suggests in his article. The debate over tradition is part of a much larger problem that has wreaked havoc in both civil society (the State) under the name of positivism, and religious society (organized religion, i.e., “the Church”) under the name of modernism, at least in the Catholic Church.
Friday, July 11, 2014
The financial and political powers-that-be throughout the world remain baffled by the fact that you can’t get out of debt by spending more money that you don’t have, and you can’t consume what is not produced in the first place. We think that the Just Third Way might have a few answers to this odd situation, but the problem is getting people to open doors for us so that we can surface leaders to carry the message:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Despite all the baggage and misconceptions that have been loaded on to the term, we can look to the laws and characteristics of social justice for guidance in what to do with the Export-Import Bank of the United States. First and foremost, of course, the goal of social justice is not the destruction of institutions or the social order, even if we believe with all our hearts and souls that is the only way to build new, presumably more just institutions and a social order.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
In yesterday’s posting, we noted that we do not believe that it is a proper function of government to be engaging in commercial activity. We also noted, however, that not everything is black and white. Especially in today’s society, in which so many people lack knowledge of fundamentals, such as basic principles of reason and justice, our institutions have become flawed to the point of incomprehensibility. Many institutions no longer serve their original function, or serve them in ways that have results the complete opposite of what was intended.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
One thing is painfully clear from all the brouhaha over the Export-Import (“Ex-Im”) Bank of the United States, a government agency that promotes exports of U.S. products by providing financing and loan guarantees. That is that virtually no one involved in the debate has any idea whatsoever what a commercial or mercantile bank is or does.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Last week we looked at the questions Pope Francis has been raising, what to do in the short term about the increasingly serious problems that are being raised, and whether capitalism (or socialism) could really bring peace or a lasting solution to poverty. Frankly, increasing charity and redistribution, while essential at present, can in no way be considered any kind of a solution.
Friday, July 4, 2014
Thursday, July 3, 2014
A June 20, 2014 article in the British financial periodical The Economist, “Francis, Capitalism, and War: The Pope’s Divisions,” was a pleasantly positive spin on a subject with which many people have difficulties. We were especially impressed that the author agreed, that whatever his economic expertise or lack thereof, Pope Francis is asking the right questions, and that his insights deserve serious discussion and consideration.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Everyone seems to be bent out of shape over the decision the U.S. Supreme Court handed down in the Hobby Lobby case (or “jobby” if you want to try and be cute). Half the people are screaming for the blood of Hobby Lobby (which, as an artificial person, doesn’t actually have any), while the other half are trumpeting a great victory for religious liberty.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Actually, the title of this posting should be, “How Work Can Be Both Fulfilling and Remunerative,” but that doesn’t draw the reader in . . . besides seeming a little crass and materialistic, don’t you think?