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New Pope

Here is a quote from the msnbc article:


On Monday, Ratzinger, who was the powerful dean of the College of Cardinals, used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism, agnosticism and relativism — the ideology that there are no absolute truths.

“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism,” he said, speaking in Italian. “We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism, which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”

My comments:

Note the package deal of relativism and egoism, as though it is impossible to recognize one's own life as the highest value objectively, and that relativism leads to valuing one self. In addition, there is no distinction made between subjective and objective desires thus implying that all desire is subjective and based on one's own whims. So the choice that he sees is that of an objective truth which states that our lives are not own, that we should not regard them as our highest value, that desire is sin, OR that we value our own lives, seek to fulfill our desires (which must be evil) and that it is all based on our belief that truths aren't absolute.

Actually, both are two sides of the same coin: both points of view reject reason as our means of gaining knowledge and both points of view reject an objective standard to morality which can provide objective moral guidance for one's own desires.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
Good points!
Hey, Timur, good points. I left a few additional points at L&P on the New Pope.

More importantly: Welcome to the blogosphere! (And I welcomed you also at Notablog.) :)


Chris Sciabarra

Apr. 20th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Good points!
Thanks. Where is your welcome? I can't see it. What is the link to the liberty and power group?

Apr. 20th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Good points!
And here is another thing I forgot to add which I added on your blog:

And let me add that what the Pope espouses is pure relativism itself because each person must have faith in the pope's conception of metaphysics. Since there is no reason to believe it, it is up to each person to choose whether they want to believe it or not and they should do so based on their particular desires (e.g. whether they want to be saved, which imaginary friend they prefer, etc.)
Apr. 20th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
I am somewhat surprised by the lack of rigor, considering that Ratzinger is supposed to be a serious scholar. Both Marxism and atheism, for very different reasons, are absolutist world views (though very different than the one held by Benedict the XVI). If anything, some aspects of relativism (as I am not sure what the Pope reffers to), preach moving away from our desires. Lastly, I would be preaching to the choir, were I to mention that to base morality on anything but the satisfaction of our own desires is suicidal.
Apr. 20th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
Haha! Preaching to the choir. I like that one.
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
Apr. 20th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
These are some good points. In some ways, Marxism and Atheism are more absolutist than strict catholicism because the former ideologies at least maintain that they are based on reason whereas the latter is based on faith which can be viewed as relativistic.
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yes. That entire thing sounded like a good bit of nonsense.
Apr. 21st, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
Marxism makes contradictory claims. One, it is scientific. Two, there are different logics depending on class. The first is self-proclaimed. The second means the self-proclamation is wrong. Thus, upon analysis, I’d argue that Marxism is multi-cultural (or multi-class) relativism.

-Jason Pappas

PS congrats on the new blog!
Apr. 21st, 2005 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Perhaps.
Thanks for your congratulations and your good points here. What you say makes sense and I would say that both catholicism and marxism are religions, to be taken on faith, even though marxism claims its view is scientific whereas catholicism openly rejects reason. Both are absolutist in the sense that they believe that their world views are absolutely true in their respective contexts (e.g. even if there is one logic per class in Marxism, it doesn't mean anybody can make up their own logic). Both are objectively relativistic in that both of their views either espouse explicit relativism in some fashion (i.e. in the case of Marxism) or implicitly imply relativism (i.e. in the case of Christiantiy) because faith is up to each individual to have it or not.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )