Competition: The Good, the Bad, and the Capitalist

A very common argument used to defend a purely capitalistic system, one free from regulations, is to suggest that this provides the means for competition, and competition is needed in order for society to improve itself. Competition provides the incentive for innovation, and without innovation, society would stagnate and we would end up in an [Read More…]

The Moral Life as the Reception of Gift: Matthew Levering’s The Betrayal of Charity

This review is part of the Patheos book club blogger round table for Matthew Levering’s latest work:  The Betrayal of Charity:  The Sins that Sabotage Divine Love. Thank you to Patheos for the invitation to participate. Matthew Levering seems to me a fascinating character.  That is part of the reason I sought to interview him [Read More…]

Thinking about Mortal and Venial Sin: Missing Mass

For many non-Catholic Christians interested in Catholicism, the Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sin can be a stumbling block.  To many such people a sin is a sin is a sin.  Fretting over the relative gravity of different sins seems counterproductive.  What is necessary is an outright condemnation of sin, not a careful categorization [Read More…]

Sauce for the goose

I have been very busy with classes this week, so I have not followed the flap about Planned Parenthood, abortion and Vox Nova closely.  However, I have been reading a bit about it and I wanted to offer some of my own thoughts.  If these have already appeared in other posts and comm boxes, well, [Read More…]

The intrinsic evil of slavery and the death penalty?

I have been planning this post since Christmas, but was taking some time to get my thoughts in order.  Given the recent discussion here about the death penalty, I decided to shift the focus of my question to a pair of closely related questions: 1)  Does the Church now teach that slavery is an intrinsic [Read More…]

Pope Benedict Doubles Down on Condoms

I have to admit it.  I thought Benedict was hedging his bets when he chose the example of a male prostitute to make his point that, if someone is engaging in dangerous sexual activity (which is and remains contrary to Church teaching), they are better to use a condom to prevent the spread of infections [Read More…]

Blogging and basic ethics

Blogging-about-blogging is often annoying to read. It is also a drag to write. But sometimes it needs to be done. Please bear with me as I point to an important concern. [Read more…]

Consequentialism and Animals

Because St Thomas Aquinas believed in a kind of human dominion over animals that suggested humanity could, in general, use them as they wish,[1] he had to explain why God would take care to include laws in the Torah which forbade various forms of animal cruelty. His answer was simple: God was forming a good [Read More…]

You Must Not Deny Human Rights To Non-Citizens

One of the primary justifications of the Declaration of Independence is that there are fundamental human rights, and if they are violated, the government which enforces them no longer has any legitimate authority. While I myself find that is an over-simplification, there is certainly truth to this idea. There are fundamental human rights, and governments, [Read More…]

A few quotes from Dorothee Soelle

I was reading excerpts tonight from the late German feminist and political theologian and activist Dorothee Soelle — who coined the term Christofascism — and thought I would share just a few provocative passages. “I suspect that the post-Christians do not want to have anything to do with the dialectic of a religious institution. But [Read More…]