Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whence Moral Law?

From Iota in a discussion of Humanism in Leah's blog:
1. Moral Law exists whether or not there is a god to tell us, thus no god is necessary to discover Moral Law.
Yes AND no.
The ultimate moral laws (emphasis on ultimate) are, in this theory, an emanation of God, of sorts. To say that they could exist without God is absurd, because they are OF God. It’s like saying my thoughts could exists without me.
But it’s true my thoughts can be accessed without you knowing me in person (say, via this comment, a book, a piece f software, etc.) In some circumstances you can even know next to nothing about me and still interact with something I created. Although the more you’ll want to understand how and why I created something, the more likely you are to find out something about me.
Similarly, moral laws can, in principle, according to this theory, be discovered to a significant extent without an accurate knowledge of God, so that a person is convinced they laws exist of themselves. That does not mean the laws exist without God but that the person perceives them as such
So yes, an atheists doesn’t, in principle, need to know God to follow at least a significant number of the right laws and, if they are sincere, be counted as righteous (Catholic concept of invincible and inculpable ignorance). But the laws are still from God.
There were, of course, and actually still are, cultures who think that it makes sense to say moral law is above and beyond the gods. But that depends on having a definition of god that Catholicism does not share: a kind of upgraded human. For an ancient example, see the Greeks (Fate was more powerful than all the Olympians). And, of course, it doesn’t explain how things could work that way (i.e. “Whence moral law?”)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Was it a good liturgy?

Musing with some theologians friends about liturgy. What could be the non-trivial answer to the question: how do you distinguish a good liturgy from a bad one?

Interesting answers:
- It makes you want to stay, remain praying.
- It awakens you a desire to serve.
- Its like being in heaven on earth (but what does it mean? maybe that you are drawn to where Beauty, Truth, Love, Peace dwells)
- You realise that God had worked on you.  

Well you opinions are very welcomed!

Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes on Friday

Here my 7 quick takes of this week. 

--- 1 Radical Forgiveness ---

There has been a story all around the blog sphere on radical forgiveness, as the family of Ann forgave Connor, the killer of their daughter, and used restorative justice to shorten the time he will serve in prison.

The story from NY Times here. Leah Libresco who blogs at Unequally Yoked, and 
Deacon Greg Kandra who blogs at The Decon's Bench both have commented about this.

--- Nakeness and Manliness ---

Bad Catholic blogs about naked men and how puritanism and hedonism together makes it difficult to be comfortable in front of naked bodies and how it goes agains the good understanding of sexuality and of beauty of the created world. 
--- LGBT Ministry in London is going to change ---
Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, have sent a letter and put a stop to the Soho "gay" masses in London, described The Guardian. Even if the news have been received with joy by the anti-gay lobby in UK. 

Terence Weldon, in Queering the Church explains how this could be a good opportunity to rethink and develop the LGBT ministry for catholics. The Pastoral care will be expanded and will be organised by the same pastoral team, which released an official statement

God works in strange ways. Be careful of what you wish for. 

--- The truth about the vatican money ---
Paul Collins from What's life for has written a quite interesting peace about the finances of the Vatican. If, like me, you have lately encountered too many people uneducated in this respect, this may be a good article to point to. Also you can have a look at this and this.
--- cannon 915 and 916 ---

Those cannons regulate the reception and administration of the consecrated host. 
It is important not to conflate the too actions as so often happens in the debate of denying communion to gay and lesbian people and pro-abortion or politicians.  

Dr Edward Peters have a web page on cannon law and also writes blogs. His expert take on the issue can be inferred from this post, or read an extended version here(pdf). 

--- Inquisition, how many deaths? ---
Quemados vivos: 31914
Quemados en efigie: 17659
Penitentes publicos: 291450 
total quemados(?) vivos: 341021 

(Emilio Ruiz Barranchina. "Brujos, Reyes e Inquisidores" Página 183, Belacqva de Ediciones y Publicaciones S. L. Barcelona (2003) o Juan Antonio Llorente "La Inquisición"  Página 190 Editorial Alba  Madrid.1998.)

From a forum, I get from Elvira:

El documento resultante " simposio internacional sobre la Inquisición" se celebróen el Vaticano en 1998. Para conseguir mas detalles, puedes investigar, si no lo haz hecho, en la página del Vaticano.

Las actas fueron presentadas en el Vaticano por los cardenales Etchegaray, Jean ous Tauran (archivero y bibliotecario de la Santa Iglesia Romana) y Georges Cottier (teólogo de la Casa Pontificia) y el experto en Inquisición Agostino Borromeo,que ha preparado el libro. 

El experto contó que en España entre 1540 y 1700 se celebraron 44 mil 674 juicios por tribunales inquisidores. Fueron matadas el 1.8 por ciento de las personas juzgadas. Otro 1.7 por ciento de condenados lo fueron en contumacia, es decir que no fueron ajusticiados y en su lugar fueron quemados o ahorcados fantoches. 

Sobre el tema de la brujería, Borromeo contó que en España fueron quemadas 59 brujas en aquellos años. En Portugal lo fueron 36 y en Alemania 25 mil. En este último país las condenas no fueron sólo de los tribunales de la Inquisición. 

Con esas cifras, Borromeo precisó que las quemas y ajusticiamientos no fueron tan frecuentes como se ha creído duramente mucho tiempo. 

Borromeo alentó a los investigadores a profundizar en la gran masa de fuentes históricas que ahora son consultables, para superar definitivamente, por una parte, la leyenda negra creada contra la Inquisición en países protestantes, y, por otra, la apologética católica propagandista que surgió como reacción.

Noto mucha agresión hacia la Iglesia Católica a pesar de que el Papa Juan Pablo II ha pedido perdón en más de cien ocasiones. Las expresiones de pesar siempre fueron incondicionales, y la Iglesia nunca esperó encontrar pedidos de perdón similares como respuesta.

Ni los hubo. Y falta que hace, ya que muchos Pueblos, Religiones y hombres de todo el mundo han cometido y siguen cometiendo hechos similares al que nos ocupa, y lo peor es que no se arrepienten.

El Papa Juan Pablo II reiteró el arrepentimiento de la Iglesia por los pecados cometidos,( no sólo por los errores), por sus miembros a lo largo de los siglos, entre ellos los abusos cometidos por la Inquisición. 

Además, la inquisicion mas sangrienta no fue la católica, sino fue la inquisicion anglicana. El rey Enrique VIII en un solo dia mando a torturar y la hoguera aproximadamente a 72.000 catolicos y su hija Elizabeth durante su reinado mando a la hoguera y tortura a mas gente que los catolicos lo habian hecho en mas de 300 años.

Y en Europa, los seguidores del protestante Martín Lutero en el siglo XVI condenaron a 50 mil mujeres por brujeria, 25 mil sólo en Alemania, en la pira purificadora.
--- Beginning of the Gospel of Luke ---

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!