Monday, November 28, 2016

Mexican link off

Argentine standoff: Pope Francis and the four cardinals, as reported by National Catholic Register and Catholic Herald.  Commentary from First Things and Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Richard Dawkins misrepresents science, according to British scientists

Enter the Brotherhood of Steely Dan, at Vinyl Me, Please.  Live for Live Music looks back on Gaucho.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Does God damn you?

Modern defenders of the doctrine of eternal punishment often argue that those who are damned essentially damn themselves.  As I indicated in a recent post on hell, from a Thomistic point of view that is indeed part of the story.  However, that is not the whole story, though these modern defenders of the doctrine sometimes give the opposite impression.  In particular, they sometimes make it sound as if, strictly speaking, God has nothing to do with someone’s being damned.  That is not correct.  From a Thomistic point of view, damnation is the product of a joint effort.  That you are eternally deserving of punishment is your doing.  That you eternally get the punishment you deserve is God’s doing.  You put yourself in hell, and God ensures that it is appropriately hellish.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The pre-existence of the soul

Our visit to hell hasn’t ended.  (How could it?)  More on the subject of damnation in a forthcoming follow-up post.  But first, a brief look at another topic which, it seems to me, is illuminated by the considerations raised in that previous post.  Can the soul exist prior to the existence of the body of which it is the soul?  Plato thought so.  Aquinas thought otherwise.  In Summa Contra Gentiles II.83-84 he presents a battery of arguments to the effect that the soul begins to exist only when the body does.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Can schadenfreude be virtuous?

Bill Vallicella asks: Is there a righteous form of schadenfreude?  The Angelic Doctor appears to answer in the affirmative.  Speaking of the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have of the damned, Aquinas famously says:

It is written (Psalm 57:11): “The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge”…

Therefore the blessed will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked…

Friday, November 4, 2016

Swindal on Neo-Scholastic Essays

In the latest issue of the International Philosophical Quarterly, Prof. James Swindal kindly reviews my book Neo-Scholastic Essays.  From the review:

Feser… is thoroughly steeped both in analytic philosophy and Scholastic thought…

[T]his review touches on only a few aspects of Feser’s extensive achievement and the many arguments he deftly crafts and cogently defends.  He furnishes substantial hope for a further productive, and neither dogmatic nor defensive, dialogue between Thomism and analytic philosophy.  Success in moving this dialogue forward requires scholars, precisely like him, who [have] a deep familiarity with and respect for both traditions.