Curran and others like him argue against any law they do not like based upon the premise that the law does not hold. No wonder the Decalogue has become the Ten Suggestions and lex orandi went out the window. We have had for some long time now a modernist tendency toward a crisis of authority in the Catholic Church. Everyone wants to be THE authority.
You and other Orthodox go to the very dissenters in the Church that you would, otherwise, rub our noses in with pictures of clown masses.
I find this to be a regular Orthodox strategy. I don't know if the thinking in Orthodoxy is really that bad or if it is just a "win at all costs" strategy.
That is irrelevant because the fact he is quoted on is not a dissenting opinion. We notice that you didn't dispute it. You've now addressed .01% of my post, none of which depends on him in particular.
Logical fallacy 101 alert: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
Your complaint reduces to this: "only cite people who agree with me, or I will complain that you have cited someone who doesn't agree with me" (even if I don't say I disagree with the particular fact they mentioned
You don't have to accept all of aristotle's particular scientific views to accept his common sense realism.
"Foundationalism has been the reigning theory of theories in the West since the high Middle Ages. It can be traced back as far as Aristotle... Aquinas offers one classic version of foundationalism. There is, he said, a body of propositions which can become self-evident to us in our present earthly state. Properly conducted scientific inquiry consists in arriving at other propositions by way of reliable inference from these (demonstration). A few of these (for example, that God exists) can be inferred from propositions knowable to the natural light of reason.
...within the community of those working in philosophy of knowledge and philosophy of science foundationalism has suffered a series of deadly blows in the last 25 years. To many of those acquainted with the history of this development it now looks all but dead. So it looks to me. Of course, it is always possible that by a feat of prodigious imagination foundationalism can be revitalized. I consider that highly improbable..." (Nicholas Wolterstorff, Reason Within the Bounds of Religion
, pp. 26-27).
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).
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).
St. Paul speaks about the law written on our hearts. This is what natural law theory is getting at.
Quoting Romans 2 as if it is decisive for the dogma inspired Roman Catholic variations of Natural Theology is hardly telling. Although scholarship and exegesis hardly decide this matter it is well to remind ourselves of the peculiar fact that those who see the Pauline texts teaching "natural law" as the Roman Catholics understand it are *almost entirely* Roman Catholics.
Pascal famously argued that the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. These laws written upon the heart Paul spoke of may be congruent to reason (e.g. one might describe them), but it is not self-evident they are *arrived at by reason* much less "through reason alone" in the sense described by Thomas Aquinas, the Vatican Insider et al (cf. the Natural Law trajectory in philosophy from the Stoics, Aristotle, Aquinas, Roman Catholicism, Neo-Thomists, etc.)
There is plenty of doubt in the world of contemporary academic exegetes whether "the law written upon the heart" is in fact discursive syllogistic reasoning from things like presumed essences and purposes of things under the influence of Thomas Aquinas's usage of the pagan philosopher Aristotle and the like OR the whole maze of philosophical paradigms of natural law which have developed since then. The Reformers rejected Latin Catholic Natural Law Theory as being what Paul was speaking of in favor of a form of general revelation upon the conscience. Aquinas spoke of reason as something which would be on many points in agreement with revelation, but which was not in any way dependent upon revelation for firm conclusions about natural law or natural theology. Similarly Aquinas and the Roman Catholic Church affirm the existence of God may be proved by reason alone (natural theology), which to many has seemed at odds with the scriptural teaching about a living God who may hide and reveal himself dynamically to human hearts in relation to their response to Him (this doesn't negate something like "pointers" or "warrant" which Bishop Kallistos Ware favors over proof of God by logic in a manner like one does geometry, which he rejects (The Orthodox Way, ch 1). For Aquinas, the existence of God (natural theology) and natural law can be established by reason alone apart from revelation. The Reformers cited the biblical emphasis that such general revelation could become darkened in a flash by sinfulness (Romans 1), which doesn't sound like something a philosophical conclusion arrived at by logical syllogism is easily susceptible to. Similarly, as cited earlier, "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" (Father Gregory R. Jensen).Knowing Good" according to Aquinas is an aspect of our created nature in God's image. Aquinas, baptized in the waters of Aristotle, supposed and that the image of God allowed Infallible Knowledge of the Good.
Bonhoeffer argued this was the devil's first lie.
In the Edenic narrative eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden. Whether we are speaking of knowledge of the good, or knowledge of evil, the creation narrative describes this as part of our fallen nature, not our created nature, something which was explicitly forbidden to us in Eden, and was in fact hubris (cf. Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall). We were not, according to Genesis, created with Knowledge of Good. That existed only in the tree in the center of the Garden. Truth derived from the Presence of God, not from the fallible logic of finite, contingent creatures, because He is Truth. Truth is a Person: Jesus Christ. He writes His laws upon the heart not because after the fall Knowledge of Good/Knowledge of Evil was now a delectable, nutiritious, and healthy adjunct to the Tree of Life, but because He is in our very being, drawing us, such that if anything we do is good it was itself wrought in God (Jn 3:19-21), "for in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). We do not think God's infallible thoughts after Him so that our logic may be presumed the epistemological equivalent to His logic: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
What is at issue with those of us who are not Roman Catholics is not whether God imprints our conscience providentially, but one of *epistemological method* viz. Aquinas's claims about HOW this is presumed knowable via a philosophical process apart from faith which have been baptized as dogma in the Roman Catholic trajectory.
Many papal/ teachings assert X, Y, Z is a matter of moral law perceptible to natural reason apart from faith. This is originates from Aristotle, is taken up by Aquinas, and baptized by the Magisterium.
This becomes intellectually embarrassing when a particular papal claims "X, Y, Z is clear via natural reason isn't clear to anyone EXCEPT Roman Catholics following some papal statement.
A thing "perceptible apart from faith" yet actually "perceived" only by persons of Roman Catholic faith is at least moderately suspicious.
A thing "perceptible apart from faith" yet not perceived by any Jews, Protestants is at least moderately suspicious.When a thing "perceptible to reason apart from faith" -like Magisterial teaching about how contraception is contra-indicated by natural law- is also rejected as obvious from natural reason by a majority of practicing Roman Catholics themselves to boot moderate suspicion is approaching critical mass.
"In a pluralistic society, the Catholic Church is convinced that it is duty bound 'to intervene in favor of the values that are valid for man as such, independently of the various cultures' - values the Church knows 'through its faith' but at which all men can arrive through reason alone, regardless of faith." -Vatican Insider http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/the-vatican/detail/articolo/benedetto-xvi-benedict-xvi-benedicto-xvi-9725/