W. H. Marshner
May 19, 1987
Among Catholics who follow the Church’s teaching, it is well accepted that a couple practicing Natural Family Planning (NFP) with an intention of a certain kind is doing a morally good act, quite different from contracepting. It is also accepted that a couple practicing NFP with an intention of a different kind is doing a morally wrong act, similar to contracepting. These two intentions — how exactly do they differ?
Continue reading “Can A Couple Practicing NFP Be Practicing Contraception?”
AQUINAS ON THE EVALUATION OF HUMAN ACTIONS
BY William H. Marshner
Front Royal, Virginia
[Reprinted from The Thomist, 59, 3, July, 1995]
Among the questions dealt with in the Prima Secundae are those of what moral goodness “is” and on what basis it is attributed to some human actions but denied of others. Aquinas’s answers are currently a matter of contention between the proportionalists and their critics, as is his answer to the question of how human actions are classified. Continue reading “Aquinas on the Evaluation of Human Actions”
Review of Russell Hittinger, A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory (Notre Dame, 1987), 232 pp.
By W. H. MARSHNER
FAITH AND REASON
Vol. XVI, No. 2
The job of ethics is to tell us which actions are right and wrong, while the job of a “grounding” for ethics is to tell us why. For example, a “grounding” might show that right actions measure up to something, and the wrong ones don’t, and then tell us why this measure matters. Different kinds of grounding have been tried in the history of ethics; one is called “natural law” theory, and the three authors at issue in this review — Thomas Aquinas, Germain Grisez, and Russell Hittinger — all favor some version of it.
Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Beatitudes”
The Counterfeits of Transcendence
W. H. Marshner
Cultural Conservative Policy Insights
721 Second Street N.E., Washington, D.C 20002
Institute for Cultural Conservatism Policy Insight Number Three
May 12, 1988
Cultural Conservative Policy Insights is published by the Institute for Cultural Conservatism, a division of The Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, Inc, a non-profit tax-exempt educational organization, nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the view of the Institute for Cultural Conservatism or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.
In a previous policy insight, entitled “Cultural Conservatism and Transcendent Norms,” it was argued that a high understanding of right and wrong is implicit in the stance of cultural conservatives.
The present essay takes the argument a step further. It deals with the problems of moral relativism, because the relativist position is often based on ideas about culture. Challenging those ideas will expose the dangers which emerge when transcendence is misallocated to sheer “human consciousness,” or to the alleged future of our consciousness, and when transcendent right and wrong are thereby mismanaged. In the hands of cultural radicals, the mismanagement is common and multifarious.
Cultural Conservatism and Transcendent Norms
by W. H. Marshner
Cultural Conservative Policy Insights is published by the Institute for Cultural Conservatism, a division of The Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, Inc, a non-profit tax-exempt educational organization. Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the view of the Institute for Cultural Conservatism or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.
Earlier essays on cultural conservatism have pointed out that a body of Judeo-Christian ethical norms are at the heart of Western culture. We have not dealt with the religious and philosophical grounding of these norms. Their status as transcendent or divine truths has been left unexplored.
By W.H. MARSHNER
(Special to The Wanderer)
February 1, 1973
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a sweeping 7 to 2 decision, the Supreme Court struck down on January 22nd the abortion laws of Texas, Georgia, and all but four of the other 50 States. On the basis of a “right to privacy” allegedly guaranteed by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, the Court majority ruled that during the first three months of pregnancy, a woman and her doctor have the unconditional right to decide whether she will bear or abort her unborn child.