Sunday, January 20, 2019

Washburn contra the “new natural lawyers”


I highly recommend theologian Christian Washburn’s excellent article “The New Natural Lawyers, Contraception, Capital Punishment, and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium,” from the latest issue of Logos.  Is there anything new to say about the “new natural law” (NNL) position on capital punishment?  There is, as Washburn shows.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Materialism subverts itself


A naïve understanding of materialism attributes to it a naïve understanding of matter.  Matter, common sense says, is more or less the way it appears to us in ordinary experience.  It is solid, colored stuff that always tastes, smells, sounds, and feels a certain way.  Materialism, on a naïve understanding, is the view that everything that exists is like that.  Even unobservable particles are assumed to be tiny solid, colored objects that have their own tastes, smells, sounds, and feels to them.  Like little stones or marbles.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Finnis on capital punishment (Updated)


John Finnis holds that the Catholic Church could reverse her traditional teaching that capital punishment can be legitimate in principle.  I criticized his position in the course of an exchange at Public Discourse several months ago.  Last month Finnis replied in an article at Public Discourse.  Today I respond to Finnis’s reply in an article at Catholic World Report.

Meanwhile, at Denver Journal, Ben Crenshaw kindly reviews By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment.  From the review: