VATICAN CITY (AP) â€” Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that euthanasia is a "false solution" to suffering, adding his voice to a bitter debate in Italy over the fate of a comatose woman whose father wants to remove her feeding tube.
During his Sunday blessing, Benedict said that love can help confront pain and that "no tear, from those who suffer and those who are with them, is lost before God."
Mayo, 1) If your quote is supposed to be Matt. 13:14, it's hard to see its relevance to this debate, for my opponent is neither inspired nor speaking in parables; 2) That's too sweeping to be helpful; I have no idea what you think I misunderstand or misrepresent; 3) Please let the other party speak for himself.
Why *ought* society exist? Just because it *is*? And maybe it's "natural" for *some* men to be thieves, or *some* to be murderers (perhaps to kill off the weak).
From your answer I assume you believe homosexuality is wrong because it cannot reproduce. But even some heterosexual couples aren't physically capable of offspring either, so are their unions immoral for the same reason?
Can homosexuals have children, Neil? If all men were theives, could human society exist? Is heavy drug use healthy? What kind of destruction are you talking about? Someone bursting into flames? What about any of this is question begging?
Neil wrote: "There is a lot that we can learn about what is best for a human, say, merely by observing humans themselves." Which humans? Homosexuals, thieves, murderers? Not all come to destruction. How does one choose which are representative w/o begging the question?
Neil wrote: "There is a lot that we can learn about what is best for a human, say, merely by observing humans themselves."
Which humans? Homosexuals, thieves, murderers? Not all come to destruction. How does one choose which are representative w/o begging the question?
We don't have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, Neil, in order to quickly "short-circuit" Natural Law as it pertains to man and what's supposedly ... best for him.
Take, for example, the goodly lives lived by many Christian martyrs. Now, did these so conduct their lives against Natural Law thereby finding themselves at last bound to fiery wooden stakes or in the jaws of ravenous beasts?
And the PRIME example of how one could still wind up tragically by following Natural Law to a "T" would be: Jesus Christ. Look where it got Him! Maybe He's a bad example, afterall, didn't He break Natural Law on quite a few occasions? Well, at least not behaviorally, He didn't.
So, should Ayn Rand be the model?
The problem with Natural Law is that it falls within the grand matrix of a Fallen Creation. The Hebel of Life.
Natural Law theory appeals precisely to such things as human nature in the broadest sense, if by nature we mean "that which is proper for the kind of thing in question". In other words, "nature" here appeals to "natural kinds". Primates are not rational animals, and therefore are a different sort of thing than humans. There is a lot that we can learn about what is best for a human, say, merely by observing humans themselves. Last I checked, humans are part of the created order. It seems plausible that Paul is making an appeal to nature in this respect, especially with regards to things in the natural order like procreation. What primates do is irrelevant, precisely because humans have minds and can intellectually understand the correct ordering of biological relations, at least in a general sense, and can act accordingly. Even the Greek pagans understood this much. Paul seems to appeal to this in the passages I cited in Romans. As a Christian you may deny that this is the whole story since there may be things that need to be revealed to us. This, however, is not incompatible with Natural Law.
"Unregenerate man seems to be able to know something from creation--nature, if you will."
*What* in the creation, precisely? You apparently object to primate studies as having any ethical relevance for man. OK, but where should one look then?
Now in 1 Cor. 11:14, he writes, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" This is probably the most plausible evidence of appeal to natural law, but I must ask as above: what part of "nature" teaches his readers anything here? Zoology, geology, biology, physics? Surely he means the local culture if not innate moral knowledge, & N.B., it is not Paul's primary argument. Hence "nature" only makes sense here (as in Romans) if it is *human* nature, & nothing else.
"Your view of 'nature' doesn't allow for Paul's usage of 'nature'" How so? Where does Paul say or imply that moral knowledge is gained by observation of things outside of man? Where does his definition of "nature" mean the rest of the cosmos, which is what you seem to be saying?
You don't need to deduce the doctrine in its complexity from this handful of verses. The point was to look at the way Paul uses "natural". It's not a mountain out of a mole hill, especially in regards to Romans 1:20. "Unregenerate" man seems to be able to know something from creation--nature, if you will. And this view of "nature" seems to be at odds with your view about what nature can tell us. Your view of "nature" doesn't allow for Paul's usage of "nature". Besides, we're talking about how to make sense of Natural Law theory itself, not whether the Catholic Church correctly applies it to distribution of goods.
Neil wrote: Re Rom. 1, one can hardly deduce the complex, thoroughgoing Thomistic doctrine of Natural Law from a relative handful of Pauline statements about unregenerate man's knowledge.
Or, you might look at even earlier verse: Romans 1 24Wherefore God gave them up also in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, to dishonour their bodies between themselves:
JFB Commentary wrote: 24. Wherefore God alsoâ€”in righteous retribution. gave them upâ€”This divine abandonment of men is here strikingly traced in three successive stages, at each of which the same word is used (Ro 1:24,26; and Ro 1:28, where the word is rendered "gave over"). "As they deserted God, God in turn deserted them; not giving them divine (that is, supernatural) laws, and suffering them to corrupt those which were human; not sending them prophets, and allowing the philosophers to run into absurdities. He let them do what they pleased, even what was in the last degree vile, that those who had not honored God, might dishonor themselves" [GROTIUS].
or something a little later, "....Here is the explanation for man's horrible depravity, his vile sexual depravity and immorality as a result of the judgment of God upon him for his rejection of God...." Gil Rugh, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1804112751]]]Idolatry: The Root of All Sin[/URL]
Re Rom. 1, one can hardly deduce the complex, thoroughgoing Thomistic doctrine of Natural Law from a relative handful of Pauline statements about unregenerate man's knowledge. It is a mountain out of a mole-hill.
Example: it is one thing to say natural man knows theft is wrong; quite another, to claim, as Rome does, that "what is of principal concern to the common good is the just distribution of [produced] goods among individuals, families, [etc.]"
"So, Neil, do you think Paul derives an 'ought' from an 'is'?"
No, since Paul is an inspired author who did not need observation to learn about natural man's innate ethical knowledge.
Perhaps we should look a little more closely at the word "Natural". What do you make of the references in Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)?
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."
Paul uses "Natural" here in an ethical context. Also, take a look at Romans 1:20. So, Neil, do you think Paul derives an "ought" from an "is"? I suspect this is your problem with Natural Law theory.
Lance, then what you call "Natural Law" isn't natural at all; it is supernaturally revealed. Therefore (so far as I can tell), we are not discussing the same thing here. OTOH, when I see Rome appeal to natural law (as in the Catechism), I see them make no connection with Scripture at all, as if "Natural Law" simply meant "what the Church says is according to reason," that is unconvincing without logical elaboration.
BYNSE, indeed my example may be classified that way. Now if this exposes my misunderstanding of what Catholic Natural Law really is, then please enlighten me. It must be what you're on about, or else you would've had no reason to object to my 1st post.
It is interesting to see the Pope make occasional appearances and give his views on any topic. It is like looking at the veneer on a coffe table. What is important is not what the Pope looks like or sounds like in these public moments but what the Pope is, in actuality, behind the closed doors of the Vatican. He is like any other politician in the world, acting and saying as he thinks best to 'woo' the crowd. All the while he remains the head of the largest apostate body of souls in the world and the ex 'Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith', the organization which, until as late as 1965, had been called the Holy Office of the INQUISITION.
Could you explain how this is a counterexample for a Natural Law theorist? It looks like you are equating Natural Law theory with evolutionary psychology.
Neil wrote: "Only sex between males and females is in accordance with Natural Law." But Bonobo apes are a disturbing counterexample - they have been observed in gratuitous homosexual copulation in the wild (presumably not imitating Man): [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo]]]Bonobo[/URL] So by this standard, bisexuality is also IAW Natural Law. Marquis de Sade would be pleased. Unsurprisingly, Bonobos fascinate biologists, because chimps, OTOH, are heterosexual, patriarchal, violent, & even cannibalistic (per popular stereotypes about Christians). So how do we decide which is normative? Both kinds are supposedly "equidistant" from man (genetically speaking). And the Bonobos obviously haven't become extinct by their perversion; I think they're no more "endangered" than chimps.
By Your Standards, Not Elect wrote: Are ethical norms "facts"? Or are they something else?
If ethical norms are not facts, then they are just human inventions and not worth worrying about.
Not quite on topic, but... Universities have "ethics committees", whose task is to evaluate the "ethics" of various projects involving humans or animals. But the real task of such committees is to determine whether the particular project could result in the university getting sued.
I would say that all Natural Law is probably included in God's revealed will, though God has revealed much more that just what is in Natural Law.
We don't "learn" Natural Law, we know what is right and wrong without learning it. However, the knowledge of what is right and wrong can be obscured by our environment, and in that case only God can determine to what extent the individual is innocent or guilty of his actions.
Neil, the Natural Law is written by God on the heart of man. Regardless of his religious beliefs (or lack of them), man, through having an immortal soul and being made in the image and likeness of God, knows what is in accordance with Natural Law.
Instinct, not Natural Law, is written on the hearts of bonobos.
We also may simply follow our instincts, but when we do, the results are not conducive to social order.