Category: Philosophy

Old and Relevant: Augustine's City of God

No doubt many of our readers are very familiar with all the quotable (and some unquotable) C. S. Lewis, so they should not be surprised to be reminded that the eminently understandable academician said, “The only palliative is to keep...

/ February 3, 2010

Thomas Says: Why You Can (And Should) Kill in Self-Defense, Part 2

In this post, I want to conclude my summary and discussion of Thomas’s reasoning about killing in self-defense by examining the objections to his position that he considers and his replies to those objections. (The first post is here; the...

/ January 19, 2010

Thomas Says: Why You Can (And Should) Kill in Self-Defense, Part 1

Fewer topics in Thomas’s moral philosophy have received more attention than his treatment of what has come to be known as double-effect. What is particularly interesting is that Thomas manages to inspire such interest in the space of one paragraph,...

/ January 12, 2010

Thomas Says: Why We Shouldn’t Kill Each Other (And Why Sometimes We Should)

This question really is a no-brainer. It’s wrong to kill innocent people, right? Right. On a question like this, the answer isn’t surprising, so we need to pay attention to the reason why Thomas thinks it’s wrong to kill an...

/ January 7, 2010

Robert George, Natural Law, and the New York Times

Robert George continues to make the news. The author of the contentious Manhattan Declaration was profiled recently by the NY Times Magazine, prompting a number of responses among evangelicals.  George is a leading American proponent of natural law theory, which...

/ January 1, 2010

Thomas Says: Thanksgiving Edition

It shouldn’t surprise us that Thomas has written about thankfulness. There are very few topics that he did not cover. He devotes an entire question of the Summa to thankfulness. (It is part of his section on justice.) I’ll just...

/ November 26, 2009

Thomas Says: It’s Wrong to Kill Yourself

After discussing questions about killing plants, animals, and sinners by private citizens, public officials, and clerics, Thomas picks up the weighty and delicate subject of suicide. His position is that “it is altogether unlawful to kill oneself.” Thomas isn’t messing...

/ November 6, 2009

Thomas Says: Clerics Cannot Kill Sinners (This Means You, Too, Protestant Pastors)

The question of whether a cleric can kill a sinner (criminal) is not one that occupies the thoughts of Christians today. But whenever we find such a question that occupies a past thinker it’s important to reflect on why we...

/ October 30, 2009

Thomas Says: Why You (Most Likely) Can’t Kill a Sinner

Previously I covered what Thomas says about killing plants and animals and killing sinners. Regarding plants and animals, Thomas says it’s okay to kill them because they are for our use. Regarding sinners, Thomas says it’s okay to kill them...

/ October 23, 2009

Thomas Says: Killing Sinners

After his discussion of whether it’s a sin to kill plants or animals, Thomas discusses the question of whether it’s permissible to kill sinners.  Thomas says it is not a sin to kill sinners.  We’ll see that the question of...

/ September 9, 2009