Those popes who bear the name, "Pius," are the greatest guardians of the Church against heresy. This blog is a watchdog for modernism in the Church. In reality, outside this blog, the members of the board temper their criticisms and opinions with prudence and charity so as to help souls in their journey towards Christ. But sometimes, for the sake of their own sanity, the authors of this blog just need to blow off some steam. The result is Totus Pius.

14 June 2006

Symple Syllogism

God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.
The fullness of Truth and means of salvation are contained only in the Catholic faith.
Therefore, God wills all men to be Catholic.


Tradcatholic said...

Why is it that LOGIC has disappeared or has been buried in this 'enlightened' age?? Huh? Your minor syllogism is the real crux of the matter - it demands FAITH to believe ONLY the Catholic Church has the FULLNESS OF TRUTH. The conclusion is perfectly logical IF the second statement is true. To those who BELIEVE the deduction is logical. To those who do not believe see my point, O Papa B9 ??? (or is that 'benign"?)

Papa Beatus Pius IX said...

Logic is not absent from my syllogism. The first two premises are true, both by faith, but are true nonetheless. A discussion of truth by reason and by faith is below. However, if both premises are true then the conclusion is true because my form is valid. There is nothing wrong logically with my argument.

A proper understanding of logic is, however, absent from your criticism of it, namely in that you refer to my minor PREMISE as my minor SYLLOGISM...the whole thing is a syllogism. Clearly you have had little training in formal logic.

Furthermore, the truth of a statement is not dependent on whether or not a person believes it is true or not. Truth is an absolute that is independent of people's experiences.

You are right, the second premise can only be known to be fully true by the light of faith. Natural reason is not sufficient to come to know this fully. However, the major premise requires the light of faith, as well, because we know it only be revelation in Paul's first letter to Timothy (2:4). So your statement that the second premise alone requires the light of faith is false.

Your criticism seems to argue that since we can only know something fully by faith that reason cannot point to that truth. The truth of the Catholic faith is a good example of this. Although we cannot know FULLY that the Catholic faith is true by reason alone, we can know certain truths by reason alone which can eliminate some alternatives (certain Christian heresies and sects for various denials of virtue, Mohammedism for its rejection of restraint as virtuous, paganism for its belief in more than one God, any form of atheism for its rejection of God's existence - see the Doctor's Summa Contra Gentiles for proofs). Although we cant know which of the ones that remain (Catholic Christians, Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Christians, and High Anglicans) is fully true by reason alone, we can certainly narrow it down. Therefore, my minor premise is quite reasonable considering the truths we can know by reason alone.

My major premise, however, is relatively unsupported by reason. Compared to the minor premise, it is much less easily conceded by right reason. Since we know empirically that very few have a working knowledge of logic, the natural law, natural theology, metaphysics, etc. - all of which are true and can be known by reason alone - we are compelled by reason to think that only a few are able to come to the knowledge of truth. Given the behavior of people in "this enlightened age," one would also question - if one were only using reason - whether or not all were meant to live virtue and be saved. By REASON ALONE we cannot know one way or another whether or not all are meant to know the truth and to live it. However, Scripture tells us that they are.

So, if either of the two premises should cause concern for one who is using reason alone, then it should be the major one, because its claim is much more dependent on revelation than the minor one.

Finally, your criticism seems to claim that simply because a claim is dependent on revelation that it cannot be known with certainty. Basically, you claim that if something must be known by faith that it cannot be known at all. Vatican I anathematizes this claim:

"If anyone says that it is impossible, or not expedient, that human beings should be taught by means of divine revelation about God and the worship that should be shown him : let him be anathema."


"If anyone says that a human being
cannot be divinely elevated to a
knowledge and perfection which exceeds the natural, but of himself can and must reach finally the possession of all truth and
goodness by continual development:
let him be anathema."


"It is indeed thanks to this divine revelation, that those matters concerning God which are not of themselves beyond the scope of human reason, can, even in the present state of the human race, be known by everyone without difficulty, with firm certitude and with no intermingling of error."

So, basically your entire criticism is rooted in grave errors which marked the enlightenment you seem to hate: that unless we know something by reason we cannot know it.

Your claim contradicts the Church, her sacred decrees, and right reason itself, Mister "tradcatholic"...or should i say, "not-so-trad-not-so-catholic"?