Posts Tagged ‘Aristotle’

Unitive and Procreative: What is Marriage? Part II

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles to explore the American Bishops’ Pastoral Letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan.” Read Part I here, Part III here, Part IV here, and Part V here.

Aristotle, the great philosopher of ancient Greece, in his Politics, makes something of a romantic statement (for those who know him, something...

The Freedom of the Family

There are a number of philosophical theories about the origin of human society. There are two extreme positions.

One is the Social Contract theory dear to Hobbes and Rousseau which maintains that in the beginning there was no society. Man was totally free. Because of evil, human beings banded together to form social contracts which like a plank to a shipwrecked man saves people from the evil tendencies of others. Society...

On Choosing No Order: The Political and Social Dangers of Truth

Aristotle, in accordance with Plato, calls to mind why democratically ordered regimes are not advantageous to the common good:

[The conception of justice] is held to be something equal; equality requires that whatever the multitude resolves is authoritative, and freedom and equality involve doing whatever one wants. So in democracies of this sort everyone lives as he wants and toward whatever end he craves, as Euripides says…To live with a view to the regime should...

On Legislating Morality

Words should have an agreed upon meaning. No one should be without a dictionary. Yet, in common practice, some words are far more often misused than properly used. “Disinterested” (impartial), “gorgeous” (multi-colored), “plethora” (excessive fullness), “decimate” (reduced by 1/10) are almost never used correctly. People use the word “oxymoron” with an air of highbrow satisfaction not realizing that it does not refer to a contradiction. Nonetheless, not much harm is done when these...

On the Willingness to See the Truth

A friend and I were recently discussing the status of our culture and the possible direction that our country will be moving in the next three or four decades. What stood out in our conversation was something that is quite the norm in our modern liberal democracy, namely, the willingness to hold to particular beliefs and opinions regarding a vast array of social and religious issues. This mindset is further mixed with an almost absolute...

Redefining Marriage: A Battle Hundreds of Years in the Making

In terms of the debate over marriage, nearly all of human history can be divided neatly into two halves. During the first, which stretches back into the dim mists of time, the human race struggled to understand the meaning of marriage — what it was for and how to undertake it. They struggled, sometimes poorly, in coming to grips with an idea they knew was central to their existence, but which was sometimes disconnected...

Birth Control and the Love of Life

Plato saw fertility as the expression sought by beauty, Proclus saw fertility as the metaphysical property of goodness, Aristotle saw it as the way in which all things strive to partake of the divine fullness of life. Ancient religions were characterized by cults, goddesses, rites, and offerings focused on fertility.

The central theme of wedding ceremonies was always fertility, begetting and bearing new life.  Traditional initiation rites always centered around the new and mysterious...

Body Ownership Issues?

Two Belgian twins were recently euthanized together in December 2012. They were deaf and only learned recently that they would soon be blind. Since they could not see and hear each other, they chose to commit suicide. Euthanasia is permissible under Belgian law if “the patient is in a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated, resulting from a serious...