Faith & Reason

The Contradiction of “Pro-Choice but Not Pro-Abortion”

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). Our beloved Holy Father calls us to let mercy temper our conversations about publically sanctioned offenses against the fifth, sixth and ninth commandments, particularly abortion, and indeed there is great […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

A Pro-Life Philosophy

Introduction Thank you. Does this [microphone] work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. Whoever’s absent, please raise your hand. A Review of Logic A couple of preliminary rules. I’m a philosopher, I like to argue, so I’d like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I Believe in God

Credo When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Christ’s Divinity is the Key

The doctrine of Christ’s divinity is the central Christian doctrine, for it is like a skeleton key that opens all the others. Christians have not independently reasoned out and tested each of the teachings of Christ received via Bible and Church, but believe them all on his authority. For if Christ is divine, He can be trusted to be infallible […]

The Apple Argument Against Abortion

  Abortion Defies Common Sense I doubt there are many readers of this magazine who are pro-choice. Why, then, do I write an argument against abortion for its readers? Why preach to the choir? Preaching to the choir is a legitimate enterprise. Scripture calls it “edification,” or “building up.” It is what priests, ministers, rabbis, and mullahs try to do […]

Disputa (Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament - Detail) by Raphael

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

The great philosopher Aristotle said “The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.” These modern times bear out this wisdom. When influential thinkers of the past such as William of Occam, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel and several others took deviations from the truth in their philosophies, it […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I Believe in God

Credo When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. […]

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

A Pro-Life Philosophy

Introduction Thank you. Does this [microphone] work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. Whoever’s absent, please raise your hand. A Review of Logic A couple of preliminary rules. I’m a philosopher, I like to argue, so I’d like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the […]

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

“In the Nicene Creed we profess the four Marks of the Church which are one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These four marks are intrinsically intertwined. These are those things by which we can distinguish the true Church from a false one provided all four are properly fulfilled by the true nature and essence of the One True Church built upon […]

“Do Not Impose Your Morality on Me!”

When teaching about virtues and the moral life, I often think of a discussion I had with a college friend. He was taking an ethics class with a professor who promoted moral relativism—the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong. According to a relativist, all truth claims are subjective, merely reflecting one’s own feelings, opinions, […]