Faith & Reason

Identity — Can What We Do Diminish Who We Are?

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

This thing about identity—there’s more here than meets the eye, more here than most psychologists talk about, more here than we can understand, and what I’m going to present is more questions than answers. But I think it’s a profound point, so I’ll say it. This point that our very selfhood is by nature unstable and in question, this is […]

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

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

“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 […]

I Believe in God

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

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. […]

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

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

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 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 […]

A Pro-Life Philosophy

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

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 […]

Christ’s Divinity is the Key

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

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 […]

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

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

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 […]

A Pro-Life Philosophy

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

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 […]