Wednesday, February 28, 2018
My essay “Freedom in the Scholastic Tradition” appears in The Oxford Handbook of Freedom, edited by David Schmidtz and Carmen Pavel and just out from Oxford University Press. The other contributors to the volume are Elizabeth Anderson, Richard Arneson, Ralf M. Bader, David Boonin, Jason Brennan, Allen Buchanan, Mark Bryant Budolfson, Piper L. Bringhurst, Kyla Ebels-Duggan, Gerald Gaus, Ryan Patrick Hanley, Michael Huemer, David Keyt, Frank Lovett, Fred D. Miller Jr., Elijah Millgram, Eddy Nahmias, Serena Olsaretti, James R. Otteson, Orlando Patterson, Carmen E. Pavel, Mark Pennington, Daniel C. Russell, David Sobel, Hillel Steiner, Virgil Henry Storr, Steven Wall, and Matt Zwolinski.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
In an article at his blog, pop atheist writer Richard Carrier grandly claims to have “debunked!” (exclamation point in the original) Five Proofs of the Existence of God. It’s a bizarrely incompetent performance. To say that Carrier attacks straw men would be an insult to straw men, which usually bear at least a crude resemblance to the argument under consideration. They are also usually at least intelligible. By contrast, consider this paragraph from the beginning of Carrier’s discussion of the Aristotelian proof:
Monday, February 19, 2018
The immorality of perverting a faculty is far from the whole of natural law moral reasoning, but it is an important and neglected part of it. The best known application of the idea is within the context of sexual morality, and it is also famously applied in the analysis of the morality of lying. Another important and perhaps less well known application is in the analysis of the morality of using alcohol and drugs. The topic is especially timely considering the current trend in the U.S. toward the legalization of marijuana.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Samuel Clarke’s A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God is one of the great works of natural theology. But Clarke’s position is nevertheless in several respects problematic from a Thomistic point of view. For example, Clarke, like his buddy Newton, takes an absolutist view of time and space. Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy of nature does not take an absolutist position (though it does not exactly take a relationalist position either). There are independent metaphysical reasons for this, but for the moment I want to focus on a theological problem.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
In the latest issue of New Oxford Review, F. Douglas Kneibert kindly reviews By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment. From the review:
Catholics are so accustomed to hearing that opposition to capital punishment is pro-life that few may realize there are good reasons to support it. Those reasons are set forth in a systematic and convincing manner in By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed. Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette find the pendulum has swung too far in one direction in the capital-punishment debate (to the extent there is one today), and Catholics are confused when told that something their Church upholds, and has always upheld, is now considered immoral…
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Check out a short interview I did for EWTN’s Bookmark Brief, hosted by Doug Keck, on the subject of Five Proofs of the Existence of God. The much longer interview I did for Bookmark will appear before long.
At First Things, Dan Hitchens reflects on how the arguments of Five Proofs might be received in an age of short attention spans.
Jeff Mirus at Catholic Culture recommends Five Proofs.
At Catholic World Report, Christopher Morrissey kindly reviews Five Proofs. From the review: