Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Fr. Schall on Benedict’s Regensburg Lecture

Ken Masugi does us a great service by interviewing Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. on the Pope’s Regensburg lecture. The conversation defies easy summary, so I’ll just give you a chunk from the conclusion:

Briefly, reason itself must be protected from the voluntarist position that no logos beyond "scientific verification" is ever possible. Once we grasp what reason is, it itself must be intellectually protected from positions that logically make it impossible. Moreover, the people against whom reason must be protected, are those in Islam, in the West, and wherever, who hold, in whatever form, that "violence is reasonable" in the pursuit of religious or ideological goals.

Implicit within this position, I would finally add, are the principles of just war and self-defense and the defense of the innocent. It is reasonable to defend oneself against those who, by the use of violence, deny any possibility of reason’s own ability to know the truth of things. The use of force against theoretic violence, when it manifests itself in practice, is not itself "unreasonable violence." The use of logos includes the proper use of distinctions whereby we may understand both what is and what is at stake both in theory and in practice.

Read the whole thing.

Discussions - 3 Comments

On certain issues, our Father Schall is even tougher than our pope. Everything he says and writes deserves our most serious attention.

Ontological Structures="ordered will"(?)

I am in a huge debt for being forced to think. Somehow I think all these issues go back to questions that David Hume raised...questions that are trully shocking and subversive... Questions that David Hume had no real answers for...

John Lewis: I’d be pleased to know exactly which questions from Hume you refer to.

Your "forced to think" remark was interesting to me. I wonder if that’s what your experience was really like. Or did you mean that you are, as I am, glad that Joe and Peter have posted this? The to-and-fro triggered by the Pope’s lecture is, at its best, discussion at such a level that the mind revels in it. Or that’s what I find, and I don’t think it is unusual. Sometimes I teach business students in a course that includes The Iliad and The Apology. The students quickly realize what they are dealing with in these works; no special inducements are necessary.

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