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Author Topic: Contraception & Natural Law  (Read 41974 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #315 on: March 09, 2011, 08:11:14 PM »

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm

IN BRIEF

1975 According to Scripture the Law is a fatherly instruction by God which prescribes for man the ways that lead to the promised beatitude, and proscribes the ways of evil.

1976 "Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 90, 4).

1977 Christ is the end of the law (cf. Rom 10:4); only he teaches and bestows the justice of God.

1978 The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.

1979 The natural law is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. It is a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law.

1980 The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments.

1981 The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally accessible to reason. God has revealed them because men did not read them in their hearts.

1982 The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.

1983 The New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit received by faith in Christ, operating through charity. It finds expression above all in the Lord's Sermon on the Mount and uses the sacraments to communicate grace to us.

1984 The Law of the Gospel fulfills and surpasses the Old Law and brings it to perfection: its promises, through the Beatitudes of the Kingdom of heaven; its commandments, by reforming the heart, the root of human acts.

So the Natural Law is superior to the Old Law, as it "is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid," while on the Old Law, the New Law "In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Heb. 8:13).  But this contradicts Scripture, i.e. Revelation, the New Law, which says  "For the form of this world is passing away" (I Cor. 7:31)

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties," and thus surpasses the Old Law "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never....make perfect those who draw near" (Heb. 10:1). Yet that contradicts the words of the Word of the New Law, "the end of the law": "For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished" (Mat. 5:18).

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties" and so of more value than than the Old Law, "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them." (Gal. 3:10)  But when Scripture consisted only of the Old Law, the New Law stated "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (II Tim. 3:16-7).

So your magisterium clings to Natural Law while disgarding the Old Law as merely "the first stage of revealed law," and "a preparation for the Gospel," as "The Law of the Gospel fulfills and surpasses the Old Law and brings it to perfection," without, evidently (given your magisterium dependenc on it for theology), surpassing or perfecting the Natural Law as "a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law." So the Graeco-Roman philosophers as the vehicle of Natural Law outdo the the prophets of the Jews.  But we'll stick with the assessment of the Apostle of the New Law "Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?  Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God." (Rom. 3:1-2), and the "end of the law": "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." (John 4:22)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 08:13:57 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #316 on: March 09, 2011, 08:34:07 PM »

All this has nothing to do with Catholic teaching.  This is all the Teaching of Ialmisry.  It may be of interest to some but it is of no consequence to what I posted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Perhaps you don't want to discuss what is there...?


So the Natural Law is superior to the Old Law, as it "is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid," while on the Old Law, the New Law "In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Heb. 8:13).  But this contradicts Scripture, i.e. Revelation, the New Law, which says  "For the form of this world is passing away" (I Cor. 7:31)

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties," and thus surpasses the Old Law "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never....make perfect those who draw near" (Heb. 10:1). Yet that contradicts the words of the Word of the New Law, "the end of the law": "For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished" (Mat. 5:18).

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties" and so of more value than than the Old Law, "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them." (Gal. 3:10)  But when Scripture consisted only of the Old Law, the New Law stated "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (II Tim. 3:16-7).

So your magisterium clings to Natural Law while disgarding the Old Law as merely "the first stage of revealed law," and "a preparation for the Gospel," as "The Law of the Gospel fulfills and surpasses the Old Law and brings it to perfection," without, evidently (given your magisterium dependenc on it for theology), surpassing or perfecting the Natural Law as "a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law." So the Graeco-Roman philosophers as the vehicle of Natural Law outdo the the prophets of the Jews.  But we'll stick with the assessment of the Apostle of the New Law "Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?  Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God." (Rom. 3:1-2), and the "end of the law": "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." (John 4:22)
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« Reply #317 on: March 10, 2011, 12:52:04 AM »

This thread feels so not in the spirit of Lent.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #318 on: March 10, 2011, 12:59:45 AM »

All this has nothing to do with Catholic teaching.  This is all the Teaching of Ialmisry.
Ialmisry confesses the Orthodox Faith that the Catholic Church teaches.

It may be of interest to some but it is of no consequence to what I posted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Perhaps you don't want to discuss what is there...?
You mean what I quoted from the "Cathechism of the Catholic Church" that you quoted? (in bold face below.  In red I put the quotes from scripture, or does that of no consequence to the CCC too?

So the Natural Law is superior to the Old Law, as it "is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid," while on the Old Law, the New Law "In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Heb. 8:13).  But this contradicts Scripture, i.e. Revelation, the New Law, which says  "For the form of this world is passing away" (I Cor. 7:31)

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties," and thus surpasses the Old Law "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never....make perfect those who draw near" (Heb. 10:1). Yet that contradicts the words of the Word of the New Law, "the end of the law": "For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished" (Mat. 5:18).

So "The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties" and so of more value than than the Old Law, "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them." (Gal. 3:10)  But when Scripture consisted only of the Old Law, the New Law stated "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (II Tim. 3:16-7).

So your magisterium clings to Natural Law while disgarding the Old Law as merely "the first stage of revealed law," and "a preparation for the Gospel," as "The Law of the Gospel fulfills and surpasses the Old Law and brings it to perfection," without, evidently (given your magisterium dependenc on it for theology), surpassing or perfecting the Natural Law as "a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law." So the Graeco-Roman philosophers as the vehicle of Natural Law outdo the the prophets of the Jews.  But we'll stick with the assessment of the Apostle of the New Law "Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?  Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God." (Rom. 3:1-2), and the "end of the law": "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." (John 4:22)
[/quote]
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 01:01:30 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #319 on: March 10, 2011, 09:31:54 AM »

No one is going to benefit from this thread and it is a gigantic waste of your time. Cut your losses now.
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« Reply #320 on: March 10, 2011, 12:00:34 PM »

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm

1978 The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.

There is a Synergy in the Old, New and Natural Laws that will never be allowed to shine through in this discussion thereby making it, indeed, a waste of time to try to continue.
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« Reply #321 on: March 10, 2011, 12:40:43 PM »

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm

1978 The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.

There is a Synergy in the Old, New and Natural Laws that will never be allowed to shine through in this discussion thereby making it, indeed, a waste of time to try to continue.

All this has nothing to do with Catholic teaching.  This is all the Teaching of Elijahmaria.  It may be of interest to some but it is of no consequence to what was posted from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," which casts the Old Law aside but upholds Natural Law as eternal.  Perhaps you don't want to discuss what is there...?
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #322 on: March 10, 2011, 12:53:09 PM »

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm

1978 The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.

There is a Synergy in the Old, New and Natural Laws that will never be allowed to shine through in this discussion thereby making it, indeed, a waste of time to try to continue.

All this has nothing to do with Catholic teaching.  This is all the Teaching of Elijahmaria.  It may be of interest to some but it is of no consequence to what was posted from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," which casts the Old Law aside but upholds Natural Law as eternal.  Perhaps you don't want to discuss what is there...?


Dearheart,

This is simply not true.  This is your own interpretation of it, but it is simply wrong.

I am sorry but there's nothing to do but say so and move on.

Mary
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ialmisry
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« Reply #323 on: March 10, 2011, 01:26:35 PM »

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a1.htm

1978 The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.

There is a Synergy in the Old, New and Natural Laws that will never be allowed to shine through in this discussion thereby making it, indeed, a waste of time to try to continue.

All this has nothing to do with Catholic teaching.  This is all the Teaching of Elijahmaria.  It may be of interest to some but it is of no consequence to what was posted from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," which casts the Old Law aside but upholds Natural Law as eternal.  Perhaps you don't want to discuss what is there...?


Dearheart,

This is simply not true.  This is your own interpretation of it, but it is simply wrong.

I am sorry but there's nothing to do but say so and move on.

Mary
Simply pontificating that it is wrong ex cathedra doesn't cut it.  The Vatican can move on (though, as we have discussed before, its followers on this issue are not following), but that problem remains.  I brought this problem up on a like thread:
I was rereading HV, and this struck my eye:
Quote
Interpreting the Moral Law
This kind of question requires from the teaching authority of the Church a new and deeper reflection on the principles of the moral teaching on marriage—a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.

That seems to be the problem with much of the Vatican's moral (and even theological) teaching: in Orthodoxy, the principles of the moral teaching on marriage are based on divine Revelation, and illuminated and enriched by natural law. This confusion is continued in HV:
Quote
No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, (See Pius IX, encyc. letter Oui pluribus: Pii IX P.M. Acta, 1, pp. 9-10; St. Pius X encyc. letter Singulari quadam: AAS 4 (1912), 658; Pius XI, encyc.letter Casti connubii: AAS 22 (1930), 579-581; Pius XII, address Magnificate Dominum to the episcopate of the Catholic World: AAS 46 (1954), 671-672; John XXIII, encyc. letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), 457) that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, (See Mt 28. 18-19) constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation. (See Mt 7. 21)

In carrying out this mandate, the Church has always issued appropriate documents on the nature of marriage, the correct use of conjugal rights, and the duties of spouses. These documents have been more copious in recent times. (See Council of Trent Roman Catechism, Part II, ch. 8; Leo XIII, encyc.letter Arcanum: Acta Leonis XIII, 2 (1880), 26-29; Pius XI, encyc.letter Divini illius Magistri: AAS 22 (1930), 58-61; encyc. letter Casti connubii: AAS 22 (1930), 545-546; Pius XII, Address to Italian Medico-Biological Union of St. Luke: Discorsi e radiomessaggi di Pio XII, VI, 191-192; to Italian Association of Catholic Midwives: AAS 43 (1951), 835-854; to the association known as the Family Campaign, and other family associations: AAS 43 (1951), 857-859; to 7th congress of International Society of Hematology: AAS 50 (1958), 734-735 [TPS VI, 394-395]; John XXIII, encyc.letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), 446-447 [TPS VII, 330-331]; Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, nos. 47-52: AAS 58 (1966), 1067-1074 [TPS XI, 289-295]; Code of Canon Law, canons 1067, 1068 §1, canon 1076, §§1-2
.)

None of those "predecessors" predate Vatican I.

Mt. 7:21 "Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Natural law, might also declare the will of God, but He has spoken more clearly in revelation: why would one want to read tea leaves when you can read a straight forward letter? Orthodoxy looks to the telos, the End, for moral theology and order nature towards that goal, not the other way around.

The only statement predating Vatican I HV cites here comes from the catechism of Trent

Quote
THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY
IMPORTANCE OF INSTRUCTION ON THIS SACRAMENT
As it is the duty of the pastor to seek the holiness and perfection of the faithful,.
...
quoted in full there.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 01:29:46 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #324 on: March 10, 2011, 02:28:51 PM »

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6humana.htm

18. It can be foreseen that this teaching will perhaps not be easily received by all: Too numerous are those voices -- amplified by the modern means of propaganda -- which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine Founder, a "sign of contradiction",22 yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man.

In defending conjugal morals in their integral wholeness, the Church knows that she contributes towards the establishment of a truly human civilization; she engages man not to abdicate from his own responsibility in order to rely on technical means; by that very fact she defends the dignity of man and wife. Faithful to both the teaching and the example of the Savior, she shows herself to be the sincere and disinterested friend of men, whom she wishes to help, even during their earthly sojourn, "to share as sons in the life of the living God, the Father of all men."23

19. Our words would not be an adequate expression of the thought and solicitude of the Church, Mother and Teacher of all peoples, if, after having recalled men to the observance and respect of the divine law regarding matrimony, we did not strengthen them in the path of honest regulation of birth, even amid the difficult conditions which today afflict families and peoples. The Church, in fact, cannot have a different conduct towards men than that of the Redeemer: She knows their weaknesses, has compassion on the crowd, receives sinners; but she cannot renounce the teaching of the law which is, in reality, that law proper to a human life restored to its original truth and conducted by the spirit of God.24

20. The teaching of the Church on the regulation of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflects well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community.
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« Reply #325 on: March 10, 2011, 10:31:39 PM »

LOL well someone should read what the pope has recently said on this topic... apparently contraception is ok for male prostitutes. but the 'infallible one' forgot that not long before he was condemning all uses of contraception. something really doesn't add up LOL
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« Reply #326 on: March 10, 2011, 10:47:28 PM »

LOL well someone should read what the pope has recently said on this topic... apparently contraception is ok for male prostitutes. but the 'infallible one' forgot that not long before he was condemning all uses of contraception. something really doesn't add up LOL

I was told that a Catholic male prostitute may use a condom when he is working with a male client, but he may not use a condom for a female client.
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« Reply #327 on: March 10, 2011, 11:40:37 PM »

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6humana.htm

18. It can be foreseen that this teaching will perhaps not be easily received by all: Too numerous are those voices -- amplified by the modern means of propaganda -- which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine Founder, a "sign of contradiction",22 yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man.

In defending conjugal morals in their integral wholeness, the Church knows that she contributes towards the establishment of a truly human civilization; she engages man not to abdicate from his own responsibility in order to rely on technical means; by that very fact she defends the dignity of man and wife. Faithful to both the teaching and the example of the Savior, she shows herself to be the sincere and disinterested friend of men, whom she wishes to help, even during their earthly sojourn, "to share as sons in the life of the living God, the Father of all men."23

19. Our words would not be an adequate expression of the thought and solicitude of the Church, Mother and Teacher of all peoples, if, after having recalled men to the observance and respect of the divine law regarding matrimony, we did not strengthen them in the path of honest regulation of birth, even amid the difficult conditions which today afflict families and peoples. The Church, in fact, cannot have a different conduct towards men than that of the Redeemer: She knows their weaknesses, has compassion on the crowd, receives sinners; but she cannot renounce the teaching of the law which is, in reality, that law proper to a human life restored to its original truth and conducted by the spirit of God.24

20. The teaching of the Church on the regulation of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflects well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community.
Well, let's see what Pope Paul of Rome (or Card. Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II of Rome, co-author of the adopted Minority Report of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control) means by "divine law," the revealed or the natural.

Going through and putting in red that teaching on marriage/child-bearing/rearing which the Vatican based (or attempted to base) on Revelation, general appeals to authority based on revelation (but not on point on married life) in blue, and in bold those pronouncements based on Natural Law.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
Quote
LATIN TEXT: Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 60 (1968), 481-503.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: The Pope Speaks, 13 (Fall. 1969), 329-46.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
HUMANAE VITAE
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
PAUL VI
TO HIS VENERABLE BROTHERS
THE PATRIARCHS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS
AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE,
TO THE CLERGY AND FAITHFUL OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC WORLD
, AND TO ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL,
ON THE REGULATION OF BIRTH

Honored Brothers and Dear Sons,
Health and Apostolic Benediction
.

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions.
The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #328 on: March 10, 2011, 11:41:16 PM »

Quote
I.
PROBLEM AND COMPETENCY
OF THE MAGISTERIUM


2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger. There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man's stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.



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« Reply #329 on: March 10, 2011, 11:44:59 PM »

Quote
New Questions

3. This new state of things gives rise to new questions. Granted the conditions of life today and taking into account the relevance of married love to the harmony and mutual fidelity of husband and wife, would it not be right to review the moral norms in force till now, especially when it is felt that these can be observed only with the gravest difficulty, sometimes only by heroic effort?

Moreover, if one were to apply here the so called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth? Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act? A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their own bodies.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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« Reply #330 on: March 16, 2011, 03:36:16 AM »

Not on contraception (except that the Vatican links them), but as an example of disordered thinking that Natural Law engenders:
Quote
Yet, from the logic of divine charity and, in particular, the theology of the sacrament of marriage, the Church's teaching about the gravity of masturbation makes perfect sense. Indeed, I would note that it can (not must, but can) be argued that it is, in fact, graver than adultery. After all, which sin -- adultery or masturbation -- at least involves the disordered love of another person and so participates, to that degree, in divine love (albeit, I repeat, in a radically disordered way)? Answer: adultery. With masturbation, even disordered love of another person is totally excluded. It is a much more purely selfish sin, reducing the core act of marriage to something ordered completely toward one's own appetite with no love for any other human being involved at all.
http://www.insidecatholic.com/feature/in-which-we-deal-with-a-delicate-subject.html
The author of this nonsense seems unaware that HV also condemns mutual masturbation with your spouse.  Most spouses, given the horrendous choice of their spouse engaging in intercourse with a third party or their spouse masturbating with a third party, would most probably choose the latter.  Can't tell what the author would do with that fact.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #331 on: March 16, 2011, 02:23:31 PM »

"But sweetie, it was divine love.  Radically disordered, yes; but divine!"

Can't see that excuse working for me, but maybe it's just me.

What rubbish.
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« Reply #332 on: November 27, 2011, 06:13:26 PM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
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« Reply #333 on: November 27, 2011, 06:25:11 PM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #334 on: November 27, 2011, 06:28:52 PM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
I wrote it for a project that I am doing for my course in Natural Law and Life Issues. The blog will be up and fully functional by Wednesday evening. In the mean time I will cite the source.... me.  Smiley
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« Reply #335 on: November 27, 2011, 06:49:19 PM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
I wrote it for a project that I am doing for my course in Natural Law and Life Issues. The blog will be up and fully functional by Wednesday evening. In the mean time I will cite the source.... me.  Smiley
+ Sic papistus dixit. November 27, 2011.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #336 on: November 27, 2011, 06:55:59 PM »

If one wants to get a good grasp of the Natural Law, I also suggest reading Aquinas entire Treaties on law:
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2.htm

You'll have to scroll down to the section on "law". It includes information on Law in General, Eternal Law, Natural Law, Human Law, and Divine Law
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« Reply #337 on: November 27, 2011, 10:15:52 PM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
I wrote it for a project that I am doing for my course in Natural Law and Life Issues. The blog will be up and fully functional by Wednesday evening. In the mean time I will cite the source.... me.  Smiley

That's very nicely done.

Don't let Professor Assertion bother you.
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« Reply #338 on: November 28, 2011, 10:36:18 AM »


What Natural Law is Not
   When one surveys modern discussion on the ethical theory of Natural Law, one will come across an astounding fact. The concept of Natural Law is grossly misunderstood by many people, including some who are educated concerning philosophical and theological issues. One casual example can be found here at a popular Eastern Orthodox forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.225.html

At post 255, one Eastern Orthodox Priest states,
“The 'Natural Law' is a tricky thing. We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral sex, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another. It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and persuade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.”


His argument takes the form of a sort of a reductio ad absurdum, where one follows the logic of an argument to a ridiculous conclusion, in order demonstrate the absurdity of the argument. Basically, this priest is suggesting that if one looks to the natural or intended purposes of sexuality, one finds that the oral and anal sex are contrary to such goals. Thus, in animals, if they engage in such things, then they are guilty of morally depraved actions. Of course the conclusion is absurd because animals are never held to be morally responsible for their actions. For this reason, the priest rejects Natural Law theory as a faulty in its foundations.
However, he does not reach this erroneous position because there is a defect in Natural Law theory. Rather, its because his argument contains a an implied premise that is false. That premise is that man and animals relate to God's ordering of reality in the same way. This is incorrect. Animals participate in the Eternal Law of God in a lesser way when compared to man. As Aquinas states, “Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident for itself and for others.”, The manner in which man partakes of the Eternal Law of God, is in that he can make rational decisions with regard to such a rule, and thus, his actions take the form of moral acts. As a result, when man acts contrary to this order, he can be said to be guilty of sin or moral defect. Animals, on the other hand, because they do not possess the power of reason, cannot be held responsible for their actions. Thus, everything they do is the result of of instinct for aimed towards survival. True, some actions of animals may not be the result of the direct will of God in through his Eternal Law, and, for this reason might be viewed by man as somewhat distasteful. Yet, such acts might be considered matters of defect in the material order due its limited nature. In any case, the lesson that can be drawn from this matter is that the Natural Law is not simply a teleological code of conduct intended for all created beings. Rather, it is “the rational creature's participation of the eternal law”.

Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
I wrote it for a project that I am doing for my course in Natural Law and Life Issues. The blog will be up and fully functional by Wednesday evening. In the mean time I will cite the source.... me.  Smiley

That's very nicely done.

Don't let Professor Assertion bother you.
Thanks Maria. I'm not sure why Izzy sees this as an assertion. I cite Aquinas as evidence for my position. What is more, all of the reasoning in my posts is based on Thomistic thought. I think Izzy needs to realize that I have spent the entire semester studying Thomistic Natural Law theory and this all comes my studies of the Summa Theolgiae.
In any case, Maria, thanks for your support.
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« Reply #339 on: November 28, 2011, 12:00:39 PM »

This seems to be quoted from somewhere, but where?
I wrote it for a project that I am doing for my course in Natural Law and Life Issues. The blog will be up and fully functional by Wednesday evening. In the mean time I will cite the source.... me.  Smiley

That's very nicely done.

Don't let Professor Assertion bother you.
Professor Assertion is free to do anything he wants on his blog, with sister Assertion doing the cheerleading.
Further on in this conversation, at post number two-hundred sixty five, another Eastern Orthodox posters mocks the philosophy of Natural law, stating, “You're the ones basing your 'morality' on what happens in nature. Not us.” He, thus, charges Natural Law philosophers with holding the particularly grave error that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good. Given this view of Natural Law, just about any grave crime can be justified. For example, it is often suggested that because animals sometimes engage in what appear to be homosexual acts, that they then must be “natural and are morally justified”. Another example is the sexual impulse in man. It can be argued, via this particular view of Natural Law, that sex is “natural” and the desire to have sex with many people is equally “natural”; therefore, one should conclude that fornication and adultery are morally justified acts. As result of such thinking, one would have to adopt the “if it feels good, do it” philosophy. Consequently, the  Eastern Orthodox poster in this forum believes that a Natural Law philosophy is entirely untenable.
However, as in the case of the Priest's reasoning discussed above, this poster is also guilty of faulty thinking. He has engaged in the material fallacy known as “equivocation”. The terms “natural” does not mean the same thing in this posters argument as it does in Thomistic Natural Law theory. In the former case, naturally merely means what comes easily or what happens in the natural world. However, in the case Natural Law, “natural” refers to the fact that the moral law can be know by means of natural reason, apart from supernatural revelation. For this reason, Aquinas calls it “the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil”. What is more, it is called “natural” because “according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order and precepts of natural law.”Or, in other words, the natural law ethics, which are not determined by the desires that come most easily to man, are determined by the objective inclinations or purposes of man's nature.
Thanks Maria. I'm not sure why Izzy

Who?
sees this as an assertion. I cite Aquinas as evidence for my position.
You also fail to cite the evidence for the position you are trying to dismiss as "faulty thinking."  Shaving just the upper layer off that pearl, you then complain that it doesn't shine.  Some complained about cherry picking to make some whine
You didn't quote the rest of what I said. Nice try Father.

As for Orthodox#265, Thomism, the foreign irritant that caused that pearl to grow, was the link (I have edited out the more explicit stuff (and it is explicit, if forensic) and tried to leave just an idea of what his "point" is):
http://www.catechism.cc/articles/marriage-bed.htm#10
Quote
10. Refutation of Examples of These Errors
There are numerous moral theologians who teach this same set of errors. In most cases, they are merely repeating what they learned from other theologians; it is not their own original work. This set of errors has gradually arisen over the course of many years.
a. Christopher West
....
There are several errors in the above quote. First, an appeal to intention is made, as if good intentions could justify an act that is intrinsically evil. The claim is made that 'sincere efforts,' and a 'loving' intention, and her own desires contribute to the justification of an unnatural sexual act [stimulation of the wife other than penetration]. But this claim, that good intention makes the act moral, is contradicted by the definitive teaching of the Church:
"If acts are intrinsically evil, a good intention or particular circumstances can diminish their evil, but they cannot remove it. They remain 'irremediably' evil acts; per se and in themselves they are not capable of being ordered to God and to the good of the person." (Veritatis Splendor, n. 81).
Next, West rhetorically redefines the unnatural sexual act...an act that is intrinsically evil and always immoral, regardless of circumstance, or context, or intention. Intrinsically evil acts are evil in and of themselves, regardless of anything and everything else; nothing at all can make an inherently immoral act moral. The only moral choice is to refrain from doing the intrinsically evil act.
He then goes on to claim that such an act is not "inherently...since it is within the context of a completed act of intercourse." Elsewhere in his writings, West himself rejects the idea that a married couple can commit completed unnatural sexual acts on each other. But in this case, the act itself has not changed. The entire unnatural sexual act is present, from stimulation to climax. So, in fact, the act is inherently masturbatory.
His main justification for the claim that the husband can commit such an act on his wife is that this act occurs "within the context" of an act of natural marital relations. Yet the Pope definitively rejected the idea that a number of sexual acts, some open to life and some not open to life, can be justified as a set: "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life." (Humanae Vitae, n. 11). And the Catechism specifically states that circumstances or context cannot justify intrinsically evil acts:
"There are some concrete acts - such as fornication - that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.
"It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1755-1756).
Therefore, the position taken by Christopher West on this point of marital sexual ethics is in clear and direct contradiction to definitive Church teaching. In the same section of his book, after approving of the unnatural sexual act of a husband...his wife, West gives his approval to oral and anal sexual acts, before or after natural marital relations.
"…but it's not inherently wrong...so long as it's within the context of a completed act of intercourse…. Furthermore, while there's nothing wrong per se with...such expressions require the greatest degree of purity and reverence…." (West, Good News About Sex and Marriage, p. 93).
West goes on to say that..."as a form of foreplay" is to be avoided, but it is not "absolutely and in every case immoral." (West, Good News About Sex and Marriage, p. 94). This rhetorical redefinition of unnatural sexual acts as 'foreplay' or 'stimulation' is like a criminal who changes his name and identity in order to escape from justice.
Again, West makes an appeal to intention as a partial justification for intrinsically evil sexual acts, as if the alleged "purity and reverence" of the spouses during such acts somehow justifies intrinsically evil acts. Here West ignores, and even openly contradicts, the teaching of the Church that intention cannot justify intrinsically evil acts. West states that one unnatural sexual act or another is not 'inherently wrong' or not 'wrong per se' or not 'absolutely and in every case immoral'. Such phrasings are an oblique reference to a theological term he generally avoids: "intrinsically evil." The use of such terminology might call to the reader's mind the teachings of the Catechism, and Humanae Vitae, and Veritatis Splendor, which directly contradict what West asserts.
In addition to rhetorical arguments, West's main justification for the claim that unnatural sexual acts can morally be performed within marriage is two-fold. On the one hand, he states that an incomplete unnatural sexual act prior to natural marital relations is merely foreplay. This baseless claim is refuted by the understanding (explained above) that an incomplete sexual act is still a sexual act, and that an incomplete intrinsically evil act is still an intrinsically evil act, and that each sexual act must be evaluated as to its morality on its own. A partial sexual act, one that lacks both the unitive and procreative meanings, cannot be justified by combination with a completed act of natural marital relations open to life. No immoral act can be justified by combining it with a moral act.
On the other hand, West also states that a completed act of unnatural sexual relations is justified by the context of the act. So an intrinsically evil sexual act by itself is immoral, as West elsewhere admits, but if it occurs before or after an act of natural marital relations, it is said to be justified. Such a theological position contradicts the teaching of the Church that "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life." (Humanae Vitae, n. 11). It also contradicts the teaching of the Catechism, which in this case is merely a statement of the constant teaching of the Church, that intrinsically evil acts are not justified by circumstance or intention. The Church teaches that sexual acts lacking in either or both the unitive and procreative meanings are intrinsically evil, and also that the context of an intrinsically evil act cannot justify that act. West's position is indefensible, as it is in essence a rejection of moral absolutes in the area of marital sexual ethics.
"An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values." (Veritatis Splendor, n. 104).
It should be noted that, on numerous other points of sexual ethics, West takes the correct position and defends Church teaching with some eloquence. His failure to take the correct position on this point is an indication of how much he is influenced by the writings of other moral theologians, and of the weakness of his understanding of the fundamentals of moral theology.
b. Fr. Vincent Serpa
On the Catholic Answers website, at forums.catholic.com, on a section of the site where Catholics write in to receive answers from either a priest or an apologist, Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P. gives the following answer: "....is allowed as foreplay-but it does differ from other such forms because it is so unsanitary." In another answer, Fr. Serpa asserts that..."would be allowed as foreplay only". Other apologists on the same website have answered similarly.
To the contrary, intrinsically evil acts are never moral. The intention to use such an act as foreplay does not justify the act. The circumstance in which an intrinsically evil unnatural sexual act occurs before, during, or after an act of natural marital relations does not justify the intrinsically evil act. Intrinsically evil acts are not justified by circumstance or intention. Intrinsically evil acts are never justifiable. Renaming an unnatural sexual act as 'foreplay' does not justify the act; such acts remain substantially the same type of act, regardless of their intended purpose as foreplay, and regardless of whether or not they are completed. The claim that an intrinsically evil sexual act is permitted because it has a particular intended purpose (foreplay, i.e. to prepare for an act of natural marital relations) cannot justify the act. Intrinsically evil acts are always immoral, regardless of anything else, and each sexual act must have both the true unitive and the true procreative meanings in full.
c. Fr. Vincent Genovesi, S.J.
"According to the Church's traditional teaching, it is neither unnatural, perverted, nor immoral for couples to seek....by means of....but such activity should not be continued to the point of…On another matter of marital sexuality, some wives may need reassurance. Should it happen that she fails to...a woman is morally permitted, according to the Church's teaching, to seek and achieve...by other means." (Fr. Vincent Genovesi, S.J., In Pursuit of Love: Catholic Morality and Human Sexuality, p. 242-43).
The claim that this error is "the Church's traditional teaching" is unsupportable, especially given the quotes presented above from Veritatis Splendor, Humanae Vitae, and the Catechism. Notice that this priest-theologian makes a series of claims with no theological argument, nor any quotes from magisterial documents, to support the claims. He states that these ideas are "according to the Church's teaching," but actually these are merely the opinions of some moral theologians.
As with other theologians, Fr. Genovesi promotes the erroneous view that an unnatural sexual act which lacks orgasm is therefore not a sexual act at all. He speaks as if such incomplete unnatural sexual acts have no morality of their own, as if these acts were above or outside of the moral law. In the first case that he presents, the supposed justification for the act is that the unnatural sexual act is not continued to completion. But in the second case, he even justifies an unnatural sexual act with completion, on the grounds that "some wives need reassurance." Such rhetorical arguments are common in theological tracts on this subject.
But the teaching of the Church is absolutely clear on this point. A husband cannot morally perform an unnatural sexual act on his wife, even in the circumstance of an immediately prior act of natural marital relations, in which the husband reached...and the wife did not. He cannot perform an unnatural sexual act on his wife, nor can she perform an unnatural sexual act on herself, even immediately after natural marital relations. The prior circumstance of an act of natural marital relations, in which he climaxes and she does not, is unable to justify the subsequent unnatural sexual act. No circumstance whatsoever can justify an intrinsically evil act. That which is inherently evil cannot become good by means of intention or circumstance.
Sexual acts are only moral if they contain both the unitive and procreative meanings; all other sexual acts are intrinsically evil. And intrinsically evil acts cannot be justified based on circumstance or context, such as the circumstance whereby an unnatural sexual act follows an act of natural marital relations, nor can intrinsically evil acts be justified by any intention, such as the intention to reassure the wife. Thus, seeking and achieving...by any means other than natural marital relations is intrinsically evil and always objectively gravely immoral.
d. Fr. Joe Jenkins
"...is frowned upon, however, if it is a component of foreplay that makes possible sexual intercourse, and the...are not misdirected, moralists would make an allowance for it. Similarly, while...is usually deemed sinful; even authorities from the old manual tradition contended that a man could...his wife immediately at the end...so that she could achieve...-completing an element of the initial act. Of course, in both these cases there still exists an openness to life and a possibility of conception." (Fr. Joe Jenkins, Church of the Holy Spirit, Washington D.C., http://fatherjoe.wordpress.com)
There are twelve theological errors in the above three sentences. First,..., as well as any type of sexual act not inherently capable of procreation and of true union, is intrinsically evil and always objectively gravely immoral. Calling an intrinsically evil act 'frowned upon' implies that it is not always immoral and not gravely immoral.
Second, unnatural sexual acts are not properly referred to as foreplay. Natural marital relations is a part of the Sacrament of holy Matrimony; it consummates the Sacrament in a way that no other act can do. Thus, it is not possible for licit foreplay prior to natural marital relations to include unnatural sexual acts. Such acts lack the unitive and procreative meanings and are therefore opposed to all that is good within marriage and the marital act. The marital act symbolizes, expresses, and summarizes the entire Marriage, which is blessed as a Sacrament of grace by God. Marriage is good because it is unitive and procreative and a source of grace. Unnatural sexual acts cannot be a licit means to the end of natural marital relations, because the former is intrinsically evil and the latter is part of a Sacrament. Unnatural sexual acts cannot be a source of grace.
Third...does not make natural marital relations possible. Fourth, in any area of morality, each act must be evaluated as to its morality on its own. No one can justify an act, which by itself is gravely immoral, by combining that act with other acts. The marital sexual ethics is not an exception to the moral law.
Fifth, natural marital relations is not properly understood as the mere proper direction of semen. Such a reduction of the marital act detracts from the true and full meaning of this unitive and procreative act. The unitive meaning is not merely a physical union of body parts, but a union of two whole persons within marriage; the procreative meaning is not merely the conception of new life, but the union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and as father and mother, for the sake of the procreation and nurturing of children, within the family. The whole of the marital act, not merely its conclusion, symbolizes and expresses this great union.
Sixth, no one can licitly make an allowance for an intrinsically evil act. Such acts are always immoral, regardless of circumstance or intention. Seventh,...is intrinsically evil and always objectively gravely immoral; its morality is not correctly described as 'usually deemed sinful.'
Eighth, the term 'authorities from the old manual tradition' is essentially meaningless; it is the teaching of Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium that is the basis for the Catholic faith, not the opinions of theologians from a particular school of thought. Ninth, the act described as a husband...his wife is...(manipulative sex), which is an intrinsically evil sexual act. This kind of sexual act offers neither the unitive nor the procreative meanings, and so it is intrinsically evil and always immoral.
Tenth, when an act of natural marital relations occurs prior to an unnatural sexual act, the latter cannot be justified by the former. For each and every marital act must be open to life. And the intrinsically evil act of unnatural sexual relations cannot be justified by any circumstance or intention, not even the circumstance of a prior act of natural marital relations. There is no area of morality in which an evil act becomes good by being preceded by a good act.
Eleventh, an act of....after natural marital relations does not offer the completion of "an element of the initial act." The so-called initial act is natural marital relations, which is an essential element of the Sacrament of Marriage; the Sacrament of Marriage is not consummated and does not exist without natural marital relations. Unnatural sexual acts cannot be considered to be an element of natural marital relations, because then unnatural sexual acts would be a part of the Sacrament of Marriage. Even the theologians who promote these errors will at least admit that unnatural sexual acts are, by themselves, intrinsically evil. So how can an act, which by itself is a grave offense against God, become a part of the holy Sacrament of Marriage merely by being done in closer proximity of time and place to an act of natural marital relations? It cannot. Unnatural sexual acts lack both the unitive and the procreative meanings, which are essential to make sexual relations a part of this Sacrament of grace, rather than an act that is offensive to God. Proximity of time and place between an intrinsically evil act and a moral act does not give the former the moral value of the latter.
Twelfth, it is not true that "in both these cases there still exists an openness to life and a possibility of conception." The unnatural sexual acts are unnatural precisely because they are neither truly unitive nor procreative. And the fact that an act of natural marital relations open to life occurs before or after such acts does not justify them, nor does it make them open to life in and of themselves. For Humanae Vitae clearly teaches that "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life." (Humanae Vitae, n. 11). And in all areas of morality, each act must be judged as to its morality on its own. Unnatural sexual acts cannot borrow openness to life from a prior or subsequent act of natural marital relations, nor can they borrow the true union that only occurs in natural marital relations open to life. The idea that, within a set of sexual acts, it is only the totality of the set of acts which must be open to life was an idea decisively rejected by Humanae Vitae. This more recent version of the principle of totality narrows the scope of the acts encompassed by totality, but the fundamental idea remains the same.
e. Rev. Nicholas Halligan, O.P.
"Merely to touch or to penetrate....(mouth or other part) without danger of pollution, or to begin intercourse in such manner with the intention of consummating or completing it in the...., is probably not more than a slight sin; it is no sin at all if it is a necessary means in the individual case…. Although a woman is not obliged to do so, she may immediately after her husband's....or immediately after his withdrawal....obtain her own complete satisfaction through her own or her spouse's efforts performed by means of touches or in some other manner…. there is no serious sin if a woman seeks her own complete satisfaction before the....of the husband but at least after the latter's..... There would be no sin at all if there were good reason for doing so." (Rev. Nicholas Halligan, O.P., The Ministry of the Celebration of the Sacraments, Volume 3, Sacraments of Community and Renewal, p. 199).
Notice that this priest-theologian give no theological argument or explanation for his assertions. He merely states that one act or another is a 'slight sin' or not a sin at all.
When the Pope teaches under papal infallibility, declaring, pronouncing, and defining a dogma of the Catholic Faith which is required belief for the Universal Church, he does not have to give a theological explanation to accompany the infallible definition. But it is generally the case that the Pope does give such an explanation, going on at some length about support for the dogma in Tradition, and in Scripture, and in previous teachings of the Magisterium. But some theologians today have placed themselves, in effect, above the Pope, above Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium. They no longer feel the need to offer any kind of theological argument to support their assertions. When they are alone with God at the particular judgment, they will have no excuses.
Since we have no "definitive teaching" that any of the documents he cites are "ex cathedra," this paragraph both demonstrates the uselessness of that dogma and the positions he is taking here.
Quote
Some of the faithful, impressed by either the eloquent expression of these assertions or by the scholarly credentials of certain theologians, merely accept whatever the particular theologian that they favor says. Worse yet, some of the faithful (or unfaithful, as the case may be) seek out whichever theologians are asserting the opinions that they prefer, and then they claim their own opinions are thereby justified. Some theologians have become like politicians, bending their stated opinions to fit whatever is the most popular point of view. These theologians and their listeners deserve each other. But when each one stands before God at the particular judgment, they will not be able to excuse their own sins by referring to the opinions of others. Each and every act of their life will be judged on its own merits.
Now consider Halligan's assertion that an incomplete unnatural sexual act, done with the intention of subsequent natural marital relations, "is probably not more than a slight sin; it is no sin at all if it is a necessary means." To the contrary, the Humanae Vitae teaches that sexual acts which lack the unitive or procreative meanings are "intrinsically wrong" (Humanae Vitae, n. 14). The Catechism teaches that intrinsically evil acts are not justified by intention or circumstance. And the Church has always taught that sinful sexual acts are objective mortal sins, because the matter is grave. Therefore, any sexual act that lacks either or both the procreative and unitive meanings is an intrinsically evil act and an objective mortal sin, which cannot be justified by intention or circumstance. A sinful sexual act cannot be "a slight sin," nor can it become no sin at all if it is "a necessary means."
Halligan next asserts that, after natural marital relations, the wife may "obtain her own complete satisfaction through her own or her spouse's efforts performed by means of touches or in some other manner." This phrasing is a euphemistic description of unnatural sexual acts[emphasis added]. Again, any sexual act which lacks either or both the unitive and procreative meanings is intrinsically evil. Intrinsically evil acts are not justified by circumstance or context, such as by a prior or subsequent act of natural marital relations. Even God cannot make an intrinsically evil act into a moral act. The only moral choice is not to do the intrinsically evil act. The idea is false and absurd, in any area of morality, that an act, which by itself is an intrinsically evil mortal sin, becomes good if it is preceded or followed by a good act.
One wonders how he would explain God's instructions on taking the Promised Land, or His command to Hosea to take a harlot to wife.
Quote
Notice also that, like other moral theologians, Halligan first asserts that unnatural sexual acts are moral when partial and when prior to natural marital relations. But then he justifies unnatural sexual acts when completed and when subsequent to natural marital relations. So it is clear to reason alone that the justification is not really based on the act being incomplete. The claimed justification is merely that the unnatural sexual act occurred about the same time as an act of natural marital relations. Yet Humanae Vitae teaches that "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life." (Humanae Vitae, n. 11). And this is true in all areas of morality. Each and every act of the will and intellect must be good on its own; no act that is evil on its own becomes good when preceded or followed by a good act. If any theologian tried to make such a claim in any area of morality outside of sexuality, he would be ridiculed. But secular society and human sinfulness are particularly solicitous to protect and defend sexual sins, and so in this area of morality, the rule of the moral law is ignored or distorted.
I would love to see the defense of the Medieval marriages for alliance and inheritance, where marriage was reduced to a treaty.
Quote
Next, Halligan asserts (again, without any theological argument) that the wife may seek "her own complete satisfaction" during natural marital relations. He is not referring to the wife reaching sexual climax as a result of natural marital relations, which would be moral. Rather, he is referring to the wife performing on herself (or the husband performing on his wife) an unnatural sexual act during natural marital relations. For example, if the husband or wife were to perform an act of...during natural marital relations, this is the type of act that he is trying to justify. To the contrary, in all areas of morality, each knowingly chosen act must be moral; one act cannot borrow the morality of another act, even if two acts occur at the same time or one after the other.
Finally, Halligan asserts the following: "There would be no sin at all if there were good reason for doing so." To the contrary, the Catechism teaches the following:
" 'An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention' (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. Praec. 6). The end does not justify the means." (CCC, n. 1759).
Halligan is not the only moral theologian who claims that intention can justify unnatural sexual acts with marriage. It is a common premise within this popular set of errors. To the contrary, the Church teaches that sexual acts which lack the unitive or procreative meanings are intrinsically evil. Such acts cannot be justified by their end or purpose or intention or circumstances or context.
f. John F. Kippley
Kippley's position on this issue is self-contradictory. In one book, he asserts the usual rhetoric on unnatural sexual acts within marriage:
"Foreplay...is not condemned as foreplay to completed genital-genital marital relations, if it is esthetically acceptable to both spouses." (John F. Kippley, Sex And The Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality, p. 45.)
He gives no theological argument here, unless one considers the absurd phrase "if it is esthetically acceptable" to be an argument. In another place, Kippley does give a theological argument, condemning the common idea that a set of sexual acts can be grouped together, so that some acts, which would be immoral on their own, become justified by being part of a larger set.
"Despite centuries of teaching that sexual acts are individually important, the revisionists taught that individual acts were only partial acts. To put the best possible face on this argument, we have to imagine that its proponents had so disciplined their minds and were so pure that it did not occur to them that their argument could be used as a rationalization for adultery as well as contraception. After all, if individual sexual acts are only partial acts that take their morality from the big picture of the marriage as a whole, what is to prevent the traveling spouse from rationalizing that an act of adultery is just a partial act that takes its morality from the most-of-the-time fidelity in the marriage? …
"One has to wonder how even revisionist theoreticians could come up with such a rationalization. It shows that intelligent and well-educated people, encouraged by their think-alike peers, can sometimes get so caught up in their own ivory tower theories that they can come out with things that ordinary faithful people have to call simply stupid.
This is particularly rich, given that most of those cited (including Mr. Conte himself?), up in their ivory tower have only theory, no flesh and blood, flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone, to deal with these issues, and those faithful people do.  And guess who many of them call "stupid."
Quote
It illustrates once again that, where sexuality is concerned, self-interest can cloud one's reasoning, and the revisionist theologians had considerable self-interest at stake. They wanted to be accepted by the contraceptionists both inside and outside the Church, and indeed they were-both before Humanae Vitae and in their years of dissent." (John Kippley, The Argument from Totality, Catholic United for the Faith Blog, http://www.cufblog.org/?p=95)
This latter part of the quote is an excellent explanation as to how such a clearly erroneous view could have become the majority view among moral theologians. And notice that, in the initial part of the quote, Kippley correctly refutes the idea that more than one sexual act can be grouped together. What he apparently fails to realize is that the false argument of 'totality' is essentially the same as the current popular idea that partial or completed unnatural sexual acts are justified by being part of a set of sexual acts which include natural marital relations. The error in this new version of 'the principle of totality' is the essentially same; only the rhetoric has changed.
g. Fr. Ronald Lawler, S.J.
"…the goods of marriage cannot be properly pursued in...activity on the part of married couples. The Church's teaching that natural intercourse open to procreation is the only legitimate form of complete sexual expression, even between spouses, does not imply that mutual genital stimulation other than intercourse is forbidden for spouses as part of the preliminaries to marital intercourse.
"Marriage is a mutual commitment in which each side ceases to be autonomous, in various ways and also sexually: the sexual liberty in agreement together is great; here, so long as they are not immoderate so as to become slaves of sensuality, nothing is shameful, if the complete acts - the ones involving ejaculation of the man's seed - that they engage in are true and real marriage acts." (Fr. Ronald Lawler, S.J., et al., Catholic Sexual Ethics, p. 164)
Lawler, like most other moral theologians writing on this topic, makes the usual contradictory assertions. First, he correctly asserts that unnatural sexual acts are immoral even within marriage. But then he immediately claims that such acts are justified "as part of the preliminaries to marital intercourse". To the contrary, all sexual acts lacking in the unitive or procreative meanings are intrinsically evil, and cannot be justified by circumstance or context. Unnatural sexual acts, which Lawler correctly condemns even within marriage, do not become good and just by being followed by, concurrent with, or preceded by an act of natural marital relations; unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically evil and always immoral.
Now consider the last part of the above quote. Moderation and the completion of the marital act are said to justify all other sexual acts, such that "nothing is shameful." Again, in any area of morality, one act cannot justify another act; if a particular act is intrinsically evil, then no intention, circumstance, context, or other act, whether before, during, or after the particular evil act, can justify what is intrinsically evil. Furthermore, it is never true, in the area of sexuality, that "nothing is shameful." That which is in itself shameful remains so, even if followed by an act of natural marital relations, or even if accompanied by good intentions.
Which led to this first layer of the pearl:
His logic is flawed because he doesn't prove that oral sex, for example, is evil in it's own right. Rape is evil in it's own right, therefore, any form or amount of rape is evil. He doesn't prove this with oral sex, but assumes it, then claiming any amount of oral sex is evil. But what would make oral sex evil? Catholic teaching is because the sexual act is finished in a way that doesn't allow for life. So it's not the act of oral sex that's evil, it's the openness to life that is evil due to the reduction of the sex act for pure sexual gratification.
I think he dissects it nicely to prove his point. What he doesn't prove, is the action theory of natural law that he shares with the Vatican, gotten from Aquinas.  Which of course, is the problem.
Which the reader can see above:the determinism of the ends reduces all actions to mechanics of agents fulfilling their role.  Mr. Conte I would think would have problems with kissing  Shocked let alone French kissing  Shocked. That doesn't make babies, tho many a kiss have led to a baby  Cheesy.

Of course, the Vatican's Amen corner had to chime in
Which is of course some twisted figment of your imagination.  
M.
Amen!
causing the shell to add luster to the pearl:
The "Natural Law" is a tricky thing.   We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral size, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another.  It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and perusade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.
Now that is just stupid, as bulls don't have a rational nature, and so there is no issue of morality with regard to how they use their bodies. Wow Fr. A. I expected better from you.... Oh wait. No I didn't.

Did you expect more of St. Gregory?  The quote trawls for Humanae Vitae always quote him, but I haven't seen them with this quote from him

"Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor." (The Instructor 2.10).
If we were to follow this advice from Saint Gregory, are you suggesting that when the female of our species is not in a fertile period that males should turn to other males as happens in nature?  I know that one enquirer here may agree, at least in broad principle, but I am not sure if the Church would accept that reasoning.
Yet further demonstrating the "Natural Law" of the Scholastics as the grotesque combination of pin-headed (literally) theory with natural philosophy which formed the materialism of the Stoics, something latter documented in full:
I just noticed that we don't have the official (or semi-official, or infallible, or authoritiative-we can't get a straight answer on what exactly is the status of the CCC in the hierarchy of certitude) definition of natural law:
Quote
I. The Natural Moral Law

1954 Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good.

The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:

The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin . . . But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted. (Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 597)

1955 The "divine and natural" law (GS 89 # 1) shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. the natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one's equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called "natural," not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature:

Where then are these rules written, if not in the book of that light we call the truth? In it is written every just law; from it the law passes into the heart of the man who does justice, not that it migrates into it, but that it places its imprint on it, like a seal on a ring that passes onto wax, without leaving the ring. (St. Augustine, De Trin. 14, 15, 21: PL 42,1052)

The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. I)

1956 The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties:

For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon to duty; its prohibitions turn away from offense .... To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely. (Cicero, Rep. III, 22, 33)
!
Quoting the Stoic as its authority, the Vatican reveals the origin of its "Natural Law."

Quote
1957 Application of the natural law varies greatly; it can demand reflection that takes account of various conditions of life according to places, times, and circumstances. Nevertheless, in the diversity of cultures, the natural law remains as a rule that binds men among themselves and imposes on them, beyond the inevitable differences, common principles.

1958 The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history;(Cf. GS 10) it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. the rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies:

Theft is surely punished by your law, O Lord, and by the law that is written in the human heart, the law that iniquity itself does not efface. (St. Augustine, Conf. 2, 4, 9: PL 32, 678)

1959 The natural law, the Creator's very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.

1960 The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known "by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error." (Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3876; cf. Dei Filius 2: DS 3005) The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.

I note that in the last reference (Humani generis) Pope Pius XII of Rome took a swipe at us existentialists. Oh well. I would like to know how he, the CCC and the rest of the Vatican would distinguish this clinging to Natural Law from the foolishness of the Judaizers of the Galatians.
.

To give another definition:

Quote
the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us

Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

Which of course brought more assertions
What a jolly good time you two seem to be having...One of you is fixated on oral sex and the other on anal sex with bulls.

Another good example of why we need to stay away from Orthodoxy on moral grounds!!
which of course was capped with the final luster of this pearl:

You're the ones basing your "morality" on what happens in nature. Not us. And neither of us are as fixated as the likes of your friend Mr. Conte
but since you flung this mud
Another stupid post. We are talking about the metaphysical concept of a nature or physis. We are not talking about the law of the jungle. Geesh.
I had to apply this polish
What's your point? St. Gregory had a mistaken view about a matter that pertains to emperical science.
You mean this matter
Quote
Clement of Alexandria
"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted" (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 [A.D. 191]).

"To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature" (ibid., 2:10:95:3).
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
http://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp

Where he was not mistaken in is that it is not proper to human nature (again, not the law of the junle) to engage in homosexual acts. Another swing and a miss for you isa.
Another misread for you Papist.

I didn't quote St. Clement on homosexual acts. Unless you are calling a man ejaculating into a woman during her unfertile period a homosexual act.

The sad little fact is that St. Clement goes in great detail, as does Mr. Conte, into the marital act with the viewpoint of animal husbandary, making a visit to the sperm bank the height of romance.  And because they go into such detail-your Aquinas depending on St. Clement and your friend Mr. Conte following Aquinas-there is no mistake on the iron clad connection between them, forging links that bind your "natural law."  St. Clement cites the "law of the jungle" as you call it as the proof of natural law at work in nature:males should not penetrate females unless the latter are fertile.  To do so is an "unnatural act" "outraging nature."  Or so the foundations of your "natural law" would have it. The Fathers of your action theory leave no room for ANY unitive act without being procreative, as Mr. Conte amply demonstrates.  That, and no theory "that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good," is the correct thinking of Orthodox #265.
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« Reply #340 on: November 28, 2011, 12:06:15 PM »

Izzy, now you are just being dishonest. You say that I don't cite evidence, but I am quoting Aquinas himself. Since he is the one who provided substantial development of the Patristic teaching of Natural Law theory, I think that he is the right guy to quote. I'm not sure how quoting Aquinas is not citing evidence. Why not try honest debate for a change?
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« Reply #341 on: November 28, 2011, 12:15:45 PM »

Izzy,
Who?
now you are just being dishonest.
Caveat Lector.
You say that I don't cite evidence, but I am quoting Aquinas himself.
Yes, his usual method: set up a strawman, and then knock him down.

Perry had a cogent observation on Thomism and Orthodoxy, that the problem with Thomism is that it is straight-jacketed with pagan philosophy's depenedence on opposites, and in Orthodoxy there is no opposite to God.  Maybe Aquinas would have made a better Zoroastrian.
Since he is the one who provided substantial development of the Patristic teaching of Natural Law theory, I think that he is the right guy to quote.
Mr. Conte does him justice.
I'm not sure how quoting Aquinas is not citing evidence.
Given that you take your supreme pontiff as infallible because he says he is, I'm not surprised.
Why not try honest debate for a change?
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« Reply #342 on: November 28, 2011, 12:20:41 PM »

Izzy,
Who?
now you are just being dishonest.
Caveat Lector.
You say that I don't cite evidence, but I am quoting Aquinas himself.
Yes, his usual method: set up a strawman, and then knock him down.

Perry had a cogent observation on Thomism and Orthodoxy, that the problem with Thomism is that it is straight-jacketed with pagan philosophy's depenedence on opposites, and in Orthodoxy there is no opposite to God.  Maybe Aquinas would have made a better Zoroastrian.
Since he is the one who provided substantial development of the Patristic teaching of Natural Law theory, I think that he is the right guy to quote.
Mr. Conte does him justice.
I'm not sure how quoting Aquinas is not citing evidence.
Given that you take your supreme pontiff as infallible because he says he is, I'm not surprised.
Why not try honest debate for a change?

Actually, when I addressed your error concerning Natural Law, it was in order to get rid of the straw man that you keep beating. Natural Law is not an ethic derived from observing what happens in nature. Aquinas teaches no such thing. Thus, if anyone is guilty of building up and attacking a straw man, it is you. Why not approach this debate with some honesty?
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« Reply #343 on: November 28, 2011, 12:40:12 PM »

Why not try honest debate for a change?

Actually, when I addressed your error concerning Natural Law, it was in order to get rid of the straw man that you keep beating. Natural Law is not an ethic derived from observing what happens in nature. Aquinas teaches no such thing. Thus, if anyone is guilty of building up and attacking a straw man, it is you. Why not approach this debate with some honesty?
I have.  You skipped over Mr. Conte (which necessitated quoting him AT LENGTH) and the foundation of it all-Cicero (according to your CCC) and St. Clement (according to your Humanae Vitae apologists).

Take on Mr. Conte, Ciceor and St. Clement: explain how you can seperate "the unititive aspect" from the "procreative" to justify HV.
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« Reply #344 on: November 28, 2011, 12:46:41 PM »

There are four living organs of infallibility in the Catholic Church - (1) Sacred Tradition; (2) a teaching on faith and morals proposed by the Pope ex cathedra; (3) a teaching from an Ecumenical Council on faith and morals; (4) a definitive teaching by the bishops of the world on a matter of faith or morals even while dispersed throughout the world.

Not all statements on faith or morals by the Pope is ex cathedra.

Humanae Vitae is considered infallible by a majority of Catholics on the authority of #1, NOT #2, #3, or #4.

I have to differ.  It is known to all that Humanae Vitae contains not one patristic quote.  It is also known why - because Humanae Vitae is NOT consistent with patristic tradition and any patristic quote would have highlighted that rupture with tradition.
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« Reply #345 on: November 28, 2011, 12:56:29 PM »

What is more, all of the reasoning in my posts is based on Thomistic thought.
So is Mr. Conte's.  Can you explain the difference in results?
I think Izzy
Who?
needs to realize that I have spent the entire semester studying Thomistic Natural Law theory and this all comes my studies of the Summa Theolgiae.
Then can you cite it to show where Mr. Conte is wrong?

I also realize that there should be a preposition between "comes" and "my," but I'm not sure which.  I wouldn't want to put words in your mouth.  Or your post.
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« Reply #346 on: November 28, 2011, 03:14:03 PM »

What is more, all of the reasoning in my posts is based on Thomistic thought.
So is Mr. Conte's.  Can you explain the difference in results?
I think Izzy
Who?
needs to realize that I have spent the entire semester studying Thomistic Natural Law theory and this all comes my studies of the Summa Theolgiae.
Then can you cite it to show where Mr. Conte is wrong?

I also realize that there should be a preposition between "comes" and "my," but I'm not sure which.  I wouldn't want to put words in your mouth.  Or your post.
I'm not address "Mr. Conte". I'm addressing you. You say that Natural Law is based on what we observe in Nature. I say that that is not what Natural Law is. According to Aquinas, Natural Law is "nothing else than the rational creature's participation of the eternal law." (S.T., I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2). Or, in other words, it is the actual knowing of those precepts of God's Eternal Law that are knowable.
All things partake of the Eternal Law, according to Aquinas, "in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends" (S.T., I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2). In Thomisic thought, this means that God governs all things in that he has imposed natures or essences on them. These essences, are determined to be directed toward certain ends. For example, when two hydrogent atoms combine with an oxygen atom, they always produce water. When a male and female cat reproduce, it produces kittens and not puppies. Of course, some substances do not reach these ends because they are interrupted by other lines of causality, this does not violate God's rule over all things since he is even the source of these lines of causality that interrupt one another. Such is the nature of material reality.
Now before you jump up and down and start yelling, "see, see I told you that you determine morality based on what you observe in nature," let me finish. When it comes to substances that are material in nature only, the Eternal Law does not have the quality of a moral rule for them. The concept of Eternal Law, with regard to such substances, has only the quality of causality. Material substances do not have a will that can determine whether or not they achieve or frustrate the natural ends of their natures. Thus, no animal can be held morally accountable for its actions, and observing what animals do or do not do cannot be a measure of human morality.
According to Aquinas, "Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others." (S.T. I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2). You see, rational creatures do not partake in the Eternal Law in the same way as irrational creatures. While irrational creatures act by necessity, rational creatures act by a free and rational will. Thus, they can choose whether or not to follow the objective inclinations or telelogical purposes of their nature. For this reason, because rational creatures participate in the Eternal Law in a manner different than irrational creatures, such a participation is given a different name, i.e. Natural Law. Again, as Aquinas states, "the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature's participation of the eternal law." (S.T. I-II, Q. 91, Art. 3) Further, because it is a participation by a rational creature that has an intellect and a will, such creatures can be held responsible for their actions, and consequently, these actions can be evaluated on a moral level, whereas those of an irrational creature cannot.
I think where people get most confused with Natural Law, is when, concnering the rational creature, Aquinas states, "Wherefore it has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end." (S.T. I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2). Here some are confused by the term "natural inclination". Some understand it to mean that Natural Law justifies what "comes naturally" or most easily. For example, some see masturbation as quite "natural" because it comes easily. Others see "natural inclination" as that which some scientists have labeled as instincts. Thus, the drive to procreated with many people would be justified under this theory. However, this is most certainly not what Aquinas means by "natural inclination". By "natural inclination" he does not mean man's subjective urges but the objective end and purpose toward which his nature directs him.
For Aquinas, the metaphysical concept of nature or form is wrapped up in the metaphysical concept of final cause, or teleological end. Edward Fesar discusses this in detail in his book "Aquinas: A Beginners Guide". I'll provide citations when I get home later. But in the mean time I will summarize what he has to say. Final Causality is the reason why substances do one thing rather than another. It's the reason why two hydrongen atoms and one oxygen atom combine to make water rather than carbon. In human acts, he shows that we act for ends because if we did not there would be no rational action, no reasonable reason for acting reasonably. Now final causality finds its source in each substance' formal cause. Because a thing has a certain nature, that is why it acts for a particular end. Now this is the intended means of "natural inclination". It is the things objective end. This is why aquinas calls it a "natural inclination to its proper act and end". Notice, it is an inclination to a proper act and end. The fact that it is towards that which is "proper" means that it is objective and not subjective. It flows from the nature of the thing and not from the rational creature's subjective feelings and desires at a given time. Thus, the "natural inclination" of the rational creature is not about what the rational creature feel, but about what is the purpose of its nature.

OH, and btw, you can now post all of your maps.
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« Reply #347 on: November 28, 2011, 03:28:49 PM »

As you see, you're both wrong.

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« Reply #348 on: November 29, 2011, 06:52:22 PM »

What is more, all of the reasoning in my posts is based on Thomistic thought.
So is Mr. Conte's.  Can you explain the difference in results?
I think Izzy
Who?
needs to realize that I have spent the entire semester studying Thomistic Natural Law theory and this all comes my studies of the Summa Theolgiae.
Then can you cite it to show where Mr. Conte is wrong?

I also realize that there should be a preposition between "comes" and "my," but I'm not sure which.  I wouldn't want to put words in your mouth.  Or your post.
I'm not address "Mr. Conte". I'm addressing you. You say that Natural Law is based on what we observe in Nature.
LOL. I say that "Natural Law" is baseless.

Mr. Conte accepts your basis and comes to different conclusions, so your bigger problem is with him. Or do you accept his conclusions?

This is the first faulty basis of your "natural law":based on Aquinas' misinterpretation of what Aristotle observed in nature, and the philosophy he induced from his obervations.  That is the problem with philosophy:rather than functioning as a science like mathematics, it strays into founding schools and taking on an identity as a religion with dogma, the scholastics rivaling Confucianism and Taoism in that.  It is this tradition bound thinking that blinds you from seeing the basis of your "natural law" on observations of nature: you actually think you are seeing something rather than imposing a figment of the imagination passed onto you.
I say that that is not what Natural Law is.
Well, I guess Rome-or rather the Vatican-has spoken.  

"Natural law" in general and on this topic in particular continually begs the question of "what is natural" as it appeals to nature to prove its case, and those who bear the responsibility of introducing it into Christianity (no, it's not St. Paul in Romans) do so in the quote mines that the apologists of HV proffer, e.g.
Quote
Lactantius
"God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital [’generating’] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring"
(Divine Institutes, 6:23:18).  
http://www.catholic.com/tracts/contraception-and-sterilization
And my favorite
Quote
St. Clement of Alexandria Paedagogos 2. 10
Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom we should take as our instructor
http://www.ewtn.com/library/PROLIFE/CONTRACE.TXT
St. Augustine at least had some idea that his idea of the "law of nature," the prelapsidarian world, was not attainable now.
Paradise in antiquity: Jewish and Christian views By Markus N. A. Bockmuehl, Guy G. Stroumsa
http://books.google.com/books?id=3m3jtyN_wdMC&pg=PA103&dq=Augustine+natural+law+prelapsarian&hl=en#v=snippet&q=natural%20law%20augustine&f=false
Augustanianism, ever more dependent on philosophy, dispensed with such a distinction, and increasingly conflated the natural right/justice (δικαιον φυσικον, Latin ius naturale) of the early philosophers (and St. Paul) and natural law of the Stoics, trying to spiritualize the latter's materialism, hence:
According to Aquinas, Natural Law is "nothing else than the rational creature's participation of the eternal law." (S.T., I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2).
Yes. Aquinas is wrong.

The second faulty basis of your "natural law":based on the philosophical anthropology of man as a rational creature/being.  God did not create man a rational being, but a being with reason.
Or, in other words, it is the actual knowing of those precepts of God's Eternal Law that are knowable.
The third faulty basis of your "natural law":based on the idea that through reason man has an immediate access to true reality. Such access comes only through the theoria/comtemplation of the nous/mind seeing the divine energies at work in the logoi of created beings. Such things do not begin with St. Gregory Palamas, e.g. in the thought of St. Maximus the Confessor:
Union and distinction in the thought of St. Maximus the Confessor By Melchisedec Törönen
http://books.google.com/books?id=kgsxmj6i_uEC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=logoi+created+beings&source=bl&ots=E8GnhSrZ7E&sig=-bos0EobRMccTUhnoeZyBm8CRNw&hl=en#v=onepage&q=logoi%20created%20beings&f=false
The body in St. Maximus the Confessor: holy flesh, wholly deified By Adam G. Cooper
http://books.google.com/books?id=9RjCCA1IaYcC&pg=PA94&lpg=PA94&dq=logoi+created+beings&source=bl&ots=R3xIYQpxmz&sig=i-gWN4a_SDC5JpRgG6hjTGIOSgM&hl=en#v=onepage&q=logoi%20created%20beings&f=false
The Christocentric cosmology of St. Maximus the Confessor By Torstein Tollefsen
http://books.google.com/books?id=1BMB8UWNFLcC&pg=PA96&lpg=PA96&dq=logoi+created+beings&source=bl&ots=MXzrQy-AOI&sig=6UgWwmwfa_nL65iN0GuDzgao6cs&hl=en#v=onepage&q=logoi%20created%20beings&f=false
Even earlier than St. Maximus-St. Evagrius Ponticus, the companion of the Cappadocian Fathers, the Scythian Monks and the Desert Fathers:
Quote
Julia Konstantinovsky - Evagrius Ponticus: contemplation as infinite creation
The contemplation of the inner essences of created beings (the logoi), theoria physike, is foundational to the ethical, spiritual and systemic thought of Evagrius Ponticus. A key message of his paideia is his exhortation to abandon every distraction of life for the exclusive privilege to have leisure to contemplate the world of beings.    The perfection of the art of contemplation is a self-building activity, whereby a new state of self-awareness arises, so that a new ‘Adam’, the perfect gnostikos, the knower is revealed.
The building up of the self in contemplation is effected through the experience of adoration.  The observer begins by entering into inner silence. In this silence one then meditates on the world and beings in it. The eureka moment comes about when the ordinary suddenly reveals itself as light-filled and super-natural. The luminosity present in the ordinary things is reflections of the eternal creative luminous principles of beings (logoi), eternally present in the mind of the Logos. The following antinomy then presents itself to the contemplating human mind: on the one hand, the world of beings is temporary and contingent and on the other, it reveals itself as a replica of an eternal pattern within the eternal God.  Contemplation, then, produces the realisation that the world is in a sense simultaneously temporal and eternal, physical and spiritual, material and immaterial. This revelation transforms its recipient: through it the contemplating self ascends to a superior stage of the true knowledge of beings, God and oneself.  
More paradoxically still, we are told (see Evagrius’ Gnostic Chapters) that man’s contemplation of beings is precisely what God himself did when he created the world.   It is true that even prior to the creative act God, who is the superabundance of vitality and activity, is not devoid of the activity of contemplation. The Logos eternally contemplates the eternal logoi everlastingly contained in him. Yet, Evagrius seems to postulate a logical moment when God’s eternal contemplation enters a new mode turning specifically to fashioning contingent beings. Now Evagrius is very clear that this divine generative act is God’s variation of the theoria physike. There is therefore a close parallel between the contemplation that men do and God’s activity of creative contemplation.   There is a sense in which the two are identical.
http://oxfordpatristics.blogspot.com/2011/07/julia-konstantinovsky-evagrius-ponticus.html
As Lossky sums up nicely in the "Mystical Theology"
Quote
...It is often forgotten that the creation of the world is not a truth of a philosophical order, but rather an article of faith. Ancient philosophy knows nothing of creation in the absolute sense of the word; the demiurge of Plato is not a creator-God, but rather an ordainer of the universe, a craftsman, a fashioner of the kosmos, a word itself implying order and comeliness. 'Being' in Hellenistic thought signifies existence in some ordered manner, the possession of an essence. The demiurge creates substances giving form to amorphous matter which exists eternally and independently of himself as a chaotic and unqualifiable mass, capable of receiving every possible form and quality. In itself, matter is thus non-being, a pure potentiality of being, of becoming something; it is the me on (μη ον), but it is not the ouk on (ουκ ον), which is absolute nothingness. The idea of creation ex nihilo is first found in the Bible (2 Mac. vii, 28) where a mother, urging her son to have courage to undergo martyrdom for the faith, says: Ί beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not; and so was mankind made likewise.' (hoti ek ouk onton epoiesen auta ho theos (ότι εξ ουκ όντων εποίησεν αυτά ο Θεός) according to the Septuagint translation.)  'All creatures are balanced upon the creative word of God, as if upon a bridge of diamond; above them is the abyss of the divine infinitude, below them that of their own nothingness,' says Philaret of Moscow...
...The creation is not a kind of spreading out or infinite diffusion of the Godhead, a spontaneous communication of the energies producing beings in virtue of some necessity of the divine nature— 'the Good diffusing itself by itself of neo-Platonism is not the God of St. Paul who 'calleth those things which be not as though they were' (Rom. iv, 17). The creation is a work of will and not of nature; and it is in this sense that St. John Damascene opposes the creation of the world to the generation of the Word: 'Since,' he says, 'the generation is a work of nature and proceeds from the very substance of God, it must necessarily be that it is eternal and without beginning, otherwise the begetter would undergo a change, and there would be prior God and posterior God: God would develop. With creation, on the other hand, it is a work of the will, and is thus not coeternal with God. For it is not possible that which is brought from not-being into being should be coeternal with that which exists always and without origin.[iii]

We are, therefore, dealing with a work which has had a beginning; and a beginning presupposes a change, the passage from not-being into being. The creature is thus, by virtue of its very origin, something 'Which changes, is liable to pass from one state into another. It has no ontological foundation either in itself (for it is created from nothing), nor in the divine essence, for in the act of creation God was under no necessity of any kind whatever. There is, in fact, nothing in the divine nature which could be the necessary cause of the production of creatures: creation might just as well not exist. God could equally well not have created; creation is a free act of His will, and this free act is the sole foundation of the existence of all beings. The very intention of the divine will, in the act of God's willing it, becomes a fact, and is realized in the immediate existence of a being by the power of the Almighty, who, when in His Wisdom and creative power He desires something, does not leave His will unrealized. And created being, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa, is this realization of His will...
...In the book of Genesis God is represented to us as saying: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness' (i, 26), as if the Trinity consulted within Itself before creating. 'Counsel' signifies a free and considered act: 'God creates by His thought which immediately becomes a work', according to the same St. John Damascene.[vi] 'God, he says, 'contemplated all things before their existence, formulating them in — His mind; and each being received its existence at a particular moment, according to His eternal thought and will - kata ten theletiken autou achronon ennoian - (κατά την θελητικήν αυτού άχρονον έννοιαν), which is a predestination - proorismos (προορισμός), an image - eikön (εικών) and a model - paradeigma (παράδειγμα).[vii]

The term theletike ennoia (θελητική έννοια) 'thought-will', or, more accurately, 'volitional thought', is very important. It is a perfect expression of the Eastern doctrine of the divine ideas, of the place which the theology of the Eastern Church gives to the ideas of created things in God. The ideas are not, according to this conception, the eternal reasons of creatures contained within the very being of God, determinations of the essence to which created things refer as to their exemplary cause, as in the thought of St. Augustine which later became the common teaching of the whole Western tradition and was more precisely formulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. In the thought of the Greek Fathers the divine ideas are more dynamic, intentional in character. Their place is not in the essence, but in 'that which is after the essence', the divine energies: for the ideas are to be identified with the will or wills - thelemata (θελήματα) which determine the different modes according to which created beings participate in the creative energies. It is thus that Dionysius characterizes the 'ideas or models' which are 'the reasons of things which give them substance .......... for it is by them that all things have been determined and are created by the super-substantial God'...
...And if the divine ideas are not the essence of God itself, if they are thus as it were separated from the essence by the will, then it follows that not only the act of creation but also the very thoughts of God Himself can no longer be considered as a necessary determination of His nature and part of the intelligible content of the divine Being. The created universe is thus not seen, as in platonic or platonizing thought, under the pale and attenuated aspect of a poor replica of the Godhead; rather it appears as an entirely new being, as creation fresh from the hands of the God of Genesis 'who saw that it was good', a created universe willed by God and the joy of His Wisdom, 'a harmonious ordinance', 'a marvellously composed hymn to the power of the Almighty', as St. Gregory of Nyssa says.[ix]

The attempt to bring the ideas into the inner being of God necessarily gives an ideal content to the divine essence and places the platonic kosmos noetos (κόσμος νοητός) in it; the consequence of this is to face us with the following alternative, which will be decided according to the view one holds of this ideal world in God: either the created world will be disparaged, and deprived of its original character as the unconditioned work of the creative Wisdom, or else creation will be introduced into the inner life of the Godhead with its ontological roots established within the Trinity itself, as in the so-called sophiological doctrines. In the first case (that of St. Augustine), the divine ideas remain static-unmoving perfections of God; in the second (that of Eastern sophiology) the essence - ousia (ουσία) of God itself becomes dynamic. It is interesting to note that John Scotus Eriugena (whose theological system is a curious amalgam of Eastern and Western elements, a transposition of the doctrines of the Greek fathers upon a basis of Augustinian thought)
  • , represents the divine ideas as creatures, the first created principles by means of which God creates the universe (natura creata creans).

Together with the Easterns, he puts the ideas outside the divine essence, but at the same time he wants to maintain with St. Augustine their substantial character; and so they become the first created essences. Eriugena did not grasp the distinction between the essence and the energies; on this point he remained faithful to Augustinianism, and was therefore unable to identify the ideas with God's creative acts of will.

The ideas or acts of will, which Dionysius calls 'models' - paradeigmata (παραδείγματα), 'predestinations' - proorismoi (προορισμοί) or 'providences' - pronoiai (πρόνοιαι), are not identical with created things. While they are the foundation of everything which is established by the divine will in the simple outpourings or energies, relationships between God and the beings which He creates, the ideas remain nevertheless separate from creatures, as the will of the craftsman remains separate from the work in which it is manifested. The ideas foreordain the different modes of participation in the energies, the unequal statures of the various categories of beings, which are moved by the divine love and respond to it each according to the proportion of its nature. The creation then appears as a hierarchy of real analogies in which, as Dionysius says, 'each order of the hierarchical disposition achieves co-operation with God according to its proper analogy, accomplishing by the grace and power which is given by God that which God possesses by nature and without measure'[xi].

Thus all creatures are called to perfect union with God which is accomplished in the 'synergy', the co-operation of the created wills with the idea-willings of God. The notion of creation in Dionysius is so close to that of deification that it is hard to distinguish between the first state of creatures and their final end, union with God. In fact, because this union, according to Dionysius, presupposes 'co-operation', the agreement of wills and therefore liberty, it is possible to see in the initial state of the created cosmos an unstable perfection in which the fullness of union is not yet achieved and in which created beings have still to grow in love in order to accomplish fully the thought-will of God.

This consideration is developed by St. Maximus, for whom creatures are defined in the first place as beings who are limited,, which is as much as to say (according to St. Maximus) that their end is outside of themselves, that there is something towards which they tend, that they are in a perpetual state of becoming. Wherever there is diversity and multiplicity there is becoming; everything in the created world is in a state of becoming, the intelligible as well as the sensible, and this limitation and this movement of becoming are the domain of the forms of space and time. God alone remains in absolute repose; and His perfect unmovability places him outside space and time. If one attributes movement to Him in His relationship to created being, it is meant that He produces in creatures the love which makes them tend towards Himself, that He draws them to Him, 'desiring to be desired and loving to be loved'

His will for us is a mystery, for the will is a relationship with another, and there is nothing which is 'other' to God: creation ex nihilo is in comprehensible to us. We only know the will of God in so far as it is His relationship to the world which is already created; it is the point of contact between the infinite and the finite, and in this sense the divine 'willings' are the creative ideas of things, the logoi (λόγοι), the 'words'. In spite of the terminological identity, these 'words' have little in common with the logoi spermatikoi (λόγοι σπερματικοί) or 'seminal reasons' of the stoics. Rather they are the 'words' of creation and of providence which are found in Genesis and the Psalms (Ps. cxlvii). Every created thing has its point of contact with the Godhead; and this point of contact is its idea, reason or logos (λόγος) which is at the same time the end towards which it tends. The ideas of individual things are contained within the higher and more general ideas, as are the species within a genus. The whole is contained in the Logos, the second person of the Trinity who is the first principle and the last end of all created things. Here the Logos, God the Word, has the 'economical' emphasis proper to ante-Nicene theology: He is the manifestation of the divine will, for it is by Him that the Father has created all things in the Holy Spirit. When we are examining the nature of created things, seeking to penetrate into the reason of their being, we are led finally to the knowledge of the Word, causal principle and at the same time end of all beings. All things were created by the Logos who is as it were a divine nexus, the threshold from which flow the creative outpourings, the particular logoi (λόγοι) of creatures, and the centre towards which in their turn all created beings tend, as to their final end. For creatures, from the moment of their first condition, are separate from God; and their end and final fulfilment lies in union with Him or deification. Thus the primitive beatitude was not a state of deification, but a condition of order, a perfection of the creature which was ordained and tending towards its end.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogma/created_being.htm
which of course contrasts with
All things partake of the Eternal Law, according to Aquinas, "in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends" (S.T., I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2). In Thomisic thought, this means that God governs all things in that he has imposed natures or essences on them. These essences, are determined to be directed toward certain ends. For example, when two hydrogent atoms combine with an oxygen atom, they always produce water. When a male and female cat reproduce, it produces kittens and not puppies. Of course, some substances do not reach these ends because they are interrupted by other lines of causality, this does not violate God's rule over all things since he is even the source of these lines of causality that interrupt one another. Such is the nature of material reality.
Such, rather, is the figment of the scholastics' imagination.  Created beings are not means to accomplish principled ends.  Creator meets creation in the divine energies sustaining the embodied logoi, and are thus ends in and of themselves, having their end, telos, in God.

Take in particular your tautology:When a male and female cat reproduce, it produces kittens and not puppies: if they produce puppies, they would not be reproducing, and to reproduce a cat, it takes a male and female cat-two male cats, two female cats, a dog and a cat, two non-cats won't do it.  That, however tells us nothing of their essence:cats are not kitten producing machines (though they do produce kittens, and kittens are only produced with a cat involved) many cats do not produce kittens and yet remain cats, and cats do not become such when they reproduce.  Further, given the mechanism of cat reproduction, with both male and female cats only being able to produce packages of 19 chromosones to pass on, half of the 38 chromosones of feline genetics, again disproves this appeal to reproduction in nature to define "essence" and "ends":the Stoics' "logoi spermatikoi," the ancestor of your "imposed natures of essences determined to be directed toward certain ends," held semen as the essence of an organism, something genetics shows to be patently untenable:how does one have half and essence?  Theological Darwinism, reducing "cathood" to making more cats, tells us nothing of the feline essence and its telos.
Now before you jump up and down and start yelling, "see, see I told you that you determine morality based on what you observe in nature," let me finish. When it comes to substances that are material in nature only,

The only thing not material in nature is God, all else is relative.  Angels, though pure spirit, are in reality as dense as rock to God.
the Eternal Law does not have the quality of a moral rule for them.

then why do you appeal to their example?  You are not making an analogy, you are claiming that they are examples of your "eternal law."
The concept of Eternal Law, with regard to such substances, has only the quality of causality.

did you misspell casuistry?
Material substances do not have a will that can determine whether or not they achieve or frustrate the natural ends of their natures. Thus, no animal can be held morally accountable for its actions, and observing what animals do or do not do cannot be a measure of human morality.
Your great grandfather St. Clement of Alexandria disagrees with you, as do those who passed on and elaborated on his Stoicism in the pedigree of your "natural law."  We are not even at a point where we can get into my disagreement with you:not only do we not have the same goal in mind, we don't even share a starting point.

Call it will or instinct, any one of your female cats will not reproduce with any one of your male cats. And if they did, would that be achieving the natural ends of their natures? I'll pick up here, Lord willing, more to the point of the specific issue here (according to the OP).
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« Reply #349 on: November 29, 2011, 07:38:51 PM »

Wait, so we don't accept natural law?
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« Reply #350 on: November 29, 2011, 08:10:28 PM »

Wait, so we don't accept natural law?

http://blog.acton.org/archives/14324-review-an-orthodox-christian-natural-law-witness.html

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8076
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« Reply #351 on: November 29, 2011, 09:26:08 PM »

Rather strange choices, given for the positions take:
The latter references something that might be more fruitful to your purpose:HARAKAS, STANLEY S. "The Natural Law Teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church." Greek Orthodox TheologicalReview, Winter 1963-1964, pp. 215-224.
The link itself only has this:
Quote
Law, motive, intent.
Based on the above, ethical reasoning in Orthodoxy is a balanced combination of law, motive, and intent. Moral law is based in large part on the donatum of human nature. For Eastern Orthodoxy, natural law refers primarily to the elementary relationships that are necessary for the constitution and maintenance of human society. For the Fathers of the Church, the Decalogue is an excellent expression of the natural law common to all men (Harakas, 1964). In a similar yet more flexible pattern, there are modes of behavior that are either prescribed or proscribed for the lives of Christians growing in the image and likeness of God toward theosis or full humanity. These positive and negative injunctions are found in the Holy Scriptures, in the writings of the Fathers and in the canons of the Church. For the Orthodox these statements are normative in the sense that they embody the mind of the Church and reflect standards of behavior that are appropriate and fitting for the members of the Church and, potentially, for all human beings growing in the image and likeness of God -for the full realization of personhood.

This first level of ethical direction is saved from legalism and rigid prescriptivism by the fundamental emphasis on love as a motive of action. Grounded thoroughly on a Trinitarian theology that understands the Holy Trinity first as a community of persons united in love, the Church teaches that being God-like means being loving. In general, the commandments - of the moral law are embodiments of loving concern for the welfare of others. Consequently, in most situations the loving action is in conformity with the guidelines provided by the commandments (Harakas, "An Orthodox Christian Approach to the 'New Morality'." Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Spring 1970, pp. 107-139).

Fr. Jensen has even less:
Quote
Theokritoff wrestles with the cosmological and anthropological implications of Orthodox theology as they apply to contemporary concerns about the environment. In so doing she sketches out what I would call a theory of natural law grounded in the Scriptures, the Fathers and the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church. For many outside the Orthodox Church, and for not a few within, the notion that there even is an Orthodox understanding of natural law might come as a surprise. But such tradition exists and while Theokritoff does not use the term, her work is very much a work concerned with natural law.

Following St. Maximus the Confessor, Theokritoff argues that as a “‘bond of unity’ in creation,” humanity’s vocation “is progressively to unite the disparate aspects of the created order, and ultimately to unite the whole with God” (p. 31). For this reason, “It is necessary to accept that human beings are the cause of the world’s plight.” Unlike many in the environmental movement however, the author does not  take this to mean that humanity is a blight or a cancer on the enviroment. Rather she argues “that we are also God’s chosen instruments through which all things are to be brought to fulfillment in Christ” (p. 32).
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« Reply #352 on: November 30, 2011, 03:56:04 AM »

I say that "Natural Law" is baseless.
Baseless or worse.

"I cannot see why man should not be just as cruel as nature" -Adolf Hitler

Natural law theory can in principle justify just about anything one wants it too, as the example of Hilter suggests.

"Nature evolves" has taken a great deal of the wind out of the sails of "purpose"/telos in nature as self-evidencing moral laws via autonomous human reason. Not to mention the collapse of classical foundationalism in philosophy. The Reformers rejected natural law and rather held to natural revelation. Philosophical based theology and/or philosophically based morality, which became staples of the Latin Catholic tradition from the middle ages, have never been of any sort of central import dogmatically or otherwise for Orthodoxy. Father Gregory R. Jensen relates "two contemporary Orthodox theologians—Fr Alexander Schmemann and Vladimir Lossky—seem to reject the idea that natural law has any application in Christian theology since (following ironically enough, an argument which St Augustine, that paragon of Western theology, would have embraced) what is “natural” for human is our state before Adam’s transgression. Now what we know about humanity is profoundly unnatural" (http://palamas.info/?p=522).

"...most ethicists today are skeptical of reliance on natural law. Yet natural law ethics is not without its defenders... theology of the evangelical type has difficulties with this conception. Instead of a universal moral law, which connotes a certain independence from God, it is more biblical to speak of the personal law rooted in the very being of God. Our appeal is not so much to a general moral law as to the living voice of the Lawgiver... There is no revealed morality in the sense of divinely given moral principles that are accessible to natural reason and universally binding" Donald Bloesch, Freedom For Obedience: Evangelical Ethics in Contemporary Times, p. 21.

Arguably it was failure to achieve the inflated claims regarding the capacity of rationalism to create a scientific natural ethic and a natural theology which contributed respectively to the postmodern moral malaise and the Death of God in the West (and/or retreat from the God of the Gaps to the God of the Guts etc.). It is not so easy to get round those like Nietzsche and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who thought Nietzsche did Christendom one of the greatest favors in the history of philosophy by showing the Emperor that is natural law morality has no clothes at the end of the day.

Most contemporary secular thinkers deny the possibility of discovering in nature any reason for restraining natural passions. Atheist James Sanson believes natural law establishes an ethic of self-indulgence. Hugh Hefner defends a natural law ethic of sexual indulgence on the basis of “a sense of connection to nature on this planet.” Peter Singer of Princeton University sees nothing in nature making sex with animals “an offense to our status and dignity as human beings” (Peter Singer, “Heavy Petting,” http://www.Nerve.com).Homosexual advocate Andrew Sullivan argues natural law justifies “a diversity of moral sexual experience and identity” because, “by empirical observation, Homo sapiens is a moderately adulterous species, made up primarily of mildly unfaithful male-female couples with a small minority of same-sex coupling" (Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul (NY: Harper, 2006), p. 97).

Natural law theory itself has "evolved." Arthur Harding, in Origins of the Natural Law Tradition, says “concepts of natural law are almost as varied as are the philosophical systems which have been evolved in the history of Western civilization” (Arthur L. Harding, ed., Origins of Natural Law Tradition, p. v). Daniel O’Connor affirms “various versions of the doctrine differ so much both in their detail and in their philosophical bases that it is very misleading to talk of the theory of natural law" (Daniel John O’Connor, Aquinas and Natural Law (London: Macmillan, 1967), p. 57). Carl C. F. H. Henry affirmed natural law means so many different things to so many different people some have argued natural law has no “precise content” and “changes with an evolving society” (First Things (January 1995): 54-60).

Catholic theologian Charles Curran claims "the concept of natural law as a deductive methodology based on eternal and immutable essences and resulting in specific absolute norms is no longer acceptable to the majority of Catholic moral theologians writing today" (Curran, Charles, "Catholic Moral Theology Today" in New Perpectives in Moral Theology, ed., Charles Curran (Notre Dame: UNDP, 1982), p. 6).

The notion of immutable essences or purposes has completely evaporated with the advent of contemporary paradigms of biology, as biologist/paleontologist Stephen J. Gould explains: "Natural selection may build an organ 'for' a specific function or group of functions. But this 'purpose' need not fully specify the capacity of the organ. Objects designed for definite purposes can, as a result of their structural complexity, perform many other tasks as well... Jury rigging of ordinary components for special functions as confutation of design -not "ideal engineering." (Stephen J. Gould, The Panda's Thumb, pp. 57, 20-21). For Gould social and moral norms cannot be derived from nature period "Darwinism compels us to seek meaning elsewhere -and isn't this what art, music, literature, ethical theory, personal struggle... is all about?" (ibid, p. 83). There are evolutionary ethicists who disagree, yet their conclusions are invariably at odds with revealed theology at many points, e.g. the common claim that human beings were biologically designed for unfaithfulness to a single spouse.

Carl F. H. Henry reminds us "proponents of evolutionary theory who stressed the variation of human nature in its supposed stages of development (cf. Poddimattam, Relativity of Natural Law) dealt a serious blow to natural law theory and prepared the way for merely sociological and behavioristic conceptions of law and justice. The Utilitarians and Pragmatists then soon championed law on merely sociological grounds. Today the focus in law and justice centers on specific rights, although the concept of human rights often balloons into vague and vacuous notions like freedom and secularity. Such terms mean different things in different societies. Humanist attempts to deduce human rights simply from the nature of man cannot vindicate such rights as normative. When rights have only pragmatic justification, they soon become postulates that can be easily modified and overturned..." (C. F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, Vol II, p. 423).

Natural law theories and their content are culturally conditioned. "...every attempt to spell out the intellectual content of natural law can be shown to be historically and culturally conditioned. While all people seem to have a moral sense, when they begin articulating what this means, their own cultural and religious background proves to be determinative in their judgments. We need to take seriously this telling criticism of Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: 'Is there such a thing as a natural law in the sense that we all 'naturally' reject murder, lies, deceit, wanton cruelty, adulterary, theft, or contempt of parents? As a world traveler and student of ethnology I deny this in the face of certain Christian theological tradition " Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, "Jews, Christians, and Gentiles," National Review 35, no. 20 (Oct. 14, 1983), p. 1282).

Jacques Ellul has pointed out that speculative natural law theory -whether that of the Stoics or of Thomas Aquinas -has exerted only limited juridicial influence since in practice juridicial systems pay little if any attention to it. Human beings disagree over the content as well as over the source of law and justice.

In his essay “Pastoral Considerations on Current Problems: Sex, Natural Law and Orthodoxy,” Fr. George Morelli, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Orthodox priest  (Antiochian) writes "Extra-marital sex is not against the natural law. In science, when we speak of natural we mean what is in nature. In nature, many types of behaviors exist. There are many varieties that we see in our own culture and even more varieties that we can see in cross cultural comparisons. Sociological and anthropological studies lead the way here. Thus monogamy, polygamy, war, murder, chastity, and homosexuality, etc., are all equally lawful in nature because they all exist. For example, we may observe that in a certain culture, homosexual behavior occurs and thereby deviates from what the average individual does. But that neither makes it unnatural nor immoral. The fact that it exists means it is natural, as natural as a sunrise or an earthquake, a flower or a flood." For Fr. George moral norms cannot be based on empirical science, but on the Gospel and the witness of God to the heart alone. “We do not obey a proscription, sexual or otherwise, because it adheres to some so-called “pseudo” natural law. We obey according to the measure of our faith. The measure of our faith will be based on the depth of heart and sincerity of our prayer. It would be well to keep in mind what our holy fathers have taught us – obedience leads to faith and prayer, and in turn, faith and prayer lead to obedience. Being excellent psychologists, the fathers tell us that the main pitfalls to prayer and obedience to God’s will are forgetfulness, ignorance and laziness. Possibly we could sum up these three categories into two: knowledge and perseverance (or persistence). Real knowledge of the Christian spiritual-moral life can only come from the light of faith in accordance with the Gospels and the guidance of the Church. Persistence in seeking the will of God and obedience to His commandments also comes through faith. Obedience itself makes for even greater love, faith and obedience."

Protestant/Reformed author Gary North writes "Natural law theory has always suffered from the dualism of all Greek thought: law vs. change. The unchanging pure logic of Parmenides cannot be reconciled to the constant historical flux of Heraclitus. Greek philosophy never resolved this dualism. No humanist philosophy ever has, either. The problem today is that the tiny handful of natural law theory defenders are trying to breathe life into a long-dead horse. They are wasting precious time. Natural law theory has never worked as the basis of any social order, but after Charles Darwin, the academic community abandoned natural law theory. Darwin taught that nature is impersonal and not normative. There is no universal ethics. There is only a constant struggle for personal survival... If the vast majority of men refuse to accept a concept of a fixed, universal common logic, let alone fixed, universal social and ethical laws, we cannot build a society based on natural law. This has always been true, but after Darwin's theory of natural selection, it has become more obvious to all but a handful of natural law defenders. They defend the idea of a universal theory of ethics and social order, the details of which have yet to be presented in a form that more than a few social theorists are willing to accept. Natural law theory requires logical universality to be true, yet the supposedly universal practical details of the system have never gained anything like a simple majority. Christian social theorists (there are not many) are among the few remaining defenders of natural law theory. This is ironic..."
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« Reply #353 on: November 30, 2011, 10:30:44 AM »

Wait, so we don't accept natural law?
Not as a basis of Christian morality, no.  We have revelation, why would we choose conjecture instead?
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« Reply #354 on: November 30, 2011, 12:59:29 PM »

Wait, so we don't accept natural law?
Not as a basis of Christian morality, no.  We have revelation, why would we choose conjecture instead?

I have to interject here that you, Al Misry, have NO idea what is meant by natural law as it is used in my Church, the Catholic Church.

I don't intend to argue it with you but I will put on record periodically that what you talk about as natural law is so badly misrepresented by you that it is absurd to even try to discuss it. 

That criticism stands for all of the on-line Orthodox critiques of natural law.

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
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« Reply #355 on: November 30, 2011, 01:34:13 PM »

Wait, so we don't accept natural law?
Not as a basis of Christian morality, no.  We have revelation, why would we choose conjecture instead?
I have to interject here that you, Al Misry, have NO idea what is meant by natural law as it is used in my Church, the Catholic Church.
Is that an assertion that your Vatican, and not the Catholic Church which confesses the Orthodox Faith and whose bishops the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church commemorate in the Orthodox diptychs of the Catholic Church, is the Catholic Church?  Because I know of no Ruthenian, nor even much of a "Byzantine, "natural law" theory that means much.  This much the Tradition of the Catholic Church has in common, shared by even those in schism in the East from their Churches in the Orthodox diptychs, and even those Oriental Orthodox not (can't say for the Nestorians, nor would I wish to) Fr. Ambrose pointed that to Mardukm long ago on this thread, as I just bumped.

I have quoted your Vatican sources more than enough to demonstrate that I know exactly what your Vatican means by natural law as it is used in your ecclesial community, e.g.
Yet further demonstrating the "Natural Law" of the Scholastics as the grotesque combination of pin-headed (literally) theory with natural philosophy which formed the materialism of the Stoics, something latter documented in full:
I just noticed that we don't have the official (or semi-official, or infallible, or authoritiative-we can't get a straight answer on what exactly is the status of the CCC in the hierarchy of certitude) definition of natural law:
Quote
I. The Natural Moral Law

1954 Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good.

The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:

The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin . . . But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted. (Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 597)

1955 The "divine and natural" law (GS 89 # 1) shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. the natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one's equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called "natural," not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature:

Where then are these rules written, if not in the book of that light we call the truth? In it is written every just law; from it the law passes into the heart of the man who does justice, not that it migrates into it, but that it places its imprint on it, like a seal on a ring that passes onto wax, without leaving the ring. (St. Augustine, De Trin. 14, 15, 21: PL 42,1052)

The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. I)

1956 The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties:

For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon to duty; its prohibitions turn away from offense .... To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely. (Cicero, Rep. III, 22, 33)
!
Quoting the Stoic as its authority, the Vatican reveals the origin of its "Natural Law."

Quote
1957 Application of the natural law varies greatly; it can demand reflection that takes account of various conditions of life according to places, times, and circumstances. Nevertheless, in the diversity of cultures, the natural law remains as a rule that binds men among themselves and imposes on them, beyond the inevitable differences, common principles.

1958 The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history;(Cf. GS 10) it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. the rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies:

Theft is surely punished by your law, O Lord, and by the law that is written in the human heart, the law that iniquity itself does not efface. (St. Augustine, Conf. 2, 4, 9: PL 32, 678)

1959 The natural law, the Creator's very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.

1960 The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known "by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error." (Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3876; cf. Dei Filius 2: DS 3005) The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.

I note that in the last reference (Humani generis) Pope Pius XII of Rome took a swipe at us existentialists. Oh well. I would like to know how he, the CCC and the rest of the Vatican would distinguish this clinging to Natural Law from the foolishness of the Judaizers of the Galatians.
.

To give another definition:

Quote
the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us

Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

I don't intend to argue it with you

Of course not: you intend to issue a "+Sic Maria Dixit," and proclaim Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

but I will put on record periodically
The record shows many Sic Maria Dixit with no accompanying facts (anonymous Orthodox sources don't count).

that what you talk about as natural law is so badly misrepresented by you that it is absurd to even try to discuss it.
Caveat Lector.

Anyone is free to follow up the links I provide, check the citations I provide from your "magisterial approved" sources, etc. and judge for themselves.

I don't have time to look through the whole thread:have you EVER provided anything but your own assertions on the matter?  ANY substantiation even from your "magisterium" for you claims?  Not that you are not free to post your assertions, you are. Just the readers should take them for what they are worth.

That criticism stands for all of the on-line Orthodox critiques of natural law.
Let the record show:+Sic Maria Dixit.  November 30, 2011 ex cathedra sua (is that like hoisting yourself by your own petard?) Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
No, just to bricks.

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« Reply #356 on: November 30, 2011, 01:40:49 PM »

When I speak of the Catholic Church I always am speaking of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

And as long as you are posting what you post about natural law, I can safely assert that you have not a clue about what natural law MEANS in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

You can quote till you are blue.  IF you are misrepresenting meaning then you are wrong.

You are wrong here on this thread.
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« Reply #357 on: November 30, 2011, 01:53:35 PM »

When I speak of the Catholic Church I always am speaking of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

And as long as you are posting what you post about natural law, I can safely assert that you have not a clue about what natural law MEANS in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

You can quote till you are blue.  IF you are misrepresenting meaning then you are wrong.

You are wrong here on this thread.
Not to be redundent, but to repeat again what you have already said
That criticism stands for all of the on-line Orthodox critiques of natural law.
Let the record show:+Sic Maria Dixit.  November 30, 2011 ex cathedra sua (is that like hoisting yourself by your own petard?) Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
No, just to bricks.

Making vague allusions to anonymous Orthodox purported authorities of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is not the same as speaking of or for the Catholic Church.  Our Head said "you must shout from the rooftops."

I have posted what your Vatican says about Natural Law.  I understand it.  Because I understand it, I reject it.  My rejection does not obviate my understanding.

I'm sorry that I do not have that mystical decoder ring which has the key that you insist will give the clue to unlock rejection of the plain language the Vatican has put out on your "natural law."

Your Vatican claims that their is a natural law which can be accessed by reason to build up moral theology, the same way scientific realists claim that their science is built up from their accessing reality through observation.  Both are wrong. And the determinism and action theory of human procreation of HV's natural law theorists is as wrong as the theory of natural selection in "the Origin of Species" of social darwinists.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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« Reply #358 on: November 30, 2011, 02:18:49 PM »

When I speak of the Catholic Church I always am speaking of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

And as long as you are posting what you post about natural law, I can safely assert that you have not a clue about what natural law MEANS in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

You can quote till you are blue.  IF you are misrepresenting meaning then you are wrong.

You are wrong here on this thread.
Not to be redundent, but to repeat again what you have already said
That criticism stands for all of the on-line Orthodox critiques of natural law.
Let the record show:+Sic Maria Dixit.  November 30, 2011 ex cathedra sua (is that like hoisting yourself by your own petard?) Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
No, just to bricks.

Making vague allusions to anonymous Orthodox purported authorities of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is not the same as speaking of or for the Catholic Church.  Our Head said "you must shout from the rooftops."

I have posted what your Vatican says about Natural Law.  I understand it.  Because I understand it, I reject it.  My rejection does not obviate my understanding.

I'm sorry that I do not have that mystical decoder ring which has the key that you insist will give the clue to unlock rejection of the plain language the Vatican has put out on your "natural law."

Your Vatican claims that their is a natural law which can be accessed by reason to build up moral theology, the same way scientific realists claim that their science is built up from their accessing reality through observation.  Both are wrong. And the determinism and action theory of human procreation of HV's natural law theorists is as wrong as the theory of natural selection in "the Origin of Species" of social darwinists.

No.  Natural law is not a law accessed by reason alone.  Natural law is what we are able to know about HUMAN nature based upon revealed truth/Scripture and Tradition.  Natural law is what we are able to discern about creation based upon revealed truth and the illumination of grace.

No.  You haven't got a clue.
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« Reply #359 on: November 30, 2011, 03:29:19 PM »

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
No, just to bricks.



This thread were better titled, "The Conference of the Bricks." 
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