Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Without justice – what else is the State but a great band of robbers?”, Pope Benedict to German Parliament (Full Text)

Just checking in on the Pope's German trip and it's moving pretty fast. The Holy Father gave a wonder speech to the BUNDESTAG. See "How Do We Find Our Way Into the Wide World?" for the full text.

It's a great address and in fact I like it better than the historic one he gave to the Parliament in the UK. He hits NATURAL LAW BIG TIME.I like this part :

....The idea of natural law is today viewed as a specifically Catholic doctrine, not worth bringing into the discussion in a non-Catholic environment, so that one feels almost ashamed even to mention the term. Let me outline briefly how this situation arose.

Fundamentally it is because of the idea that an unbridgeable gulf exists between “is” and “ought”. An “ought” can never follow from an “is”, because the two are situated on completely different planes. The reason for this is that in the meantime, the positivist understanding of nature and reason has come to be almost universally accepted. If nature – in the words of Hans Kelsen – is viewed as “an aggregate of objective data linked together in terms of cause and effect”, then indeed no ethical indication of any kind can be derived from it. A positivist conception of nature as purely functional, in the way that the natural sciences explain it, is incapable of producing any bridge to ethics and law, but once again yields only functional answers. The same also applies to reason, according to the positivist understanding that is widely held to be the only genuinely scientific one. Anything that is not verifiable or falsifiable, according to this understanding, does not belong to the realm of reason strictly understood. Hence ethics and religion must be assigned to the subjective field, and they remain extraneous to the realm of reason in the strict sense of the word. Where positivist reason dominates the field to the exclusion of all else – and that is broadly the case in our public mindset – then the classical sources of knowledge for ethics and law are excluded. This is a dramatic situation which affects everyone, and on which a public debate is necessary. Indeed, an essential goal of this address is to issue an urgent invitation to launch one
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1 comment:

HV Observer said...

Actually, it gets better than that. Did you catch this:

"Where positivist reason considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, it diminishes man, indeed it threatens his humanity. I say this with Europe specifically in mind, where there are concerted efforts to recognize only positivism as a common culture and a common basis for law-making, so that all the other insights and values of our culture are reduced to the level of subculture, with the result that Europe vis-à-vis other world cultures is left in a state of culturelessness and at the same time extremist and radical movements emerge to fill the vacuum. In its self-proclaimed exclusivity, the positivist reason which recognizes nothing beyond mere functionality resembles a concrete bunker with no windows, in which we ourselves provide lighting and atmospheric conditions, being no longer willing to obtain either from God’s wide world. And yet we cannot hide from ourselves the fact that even in this artificial world, we are still covertly drawing upon God’s raw materials, which we refashion into our own products. The windows must be flung open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more and learn to make proper use of all this."

Positivism -- that is, secular humanism -- as a "concrete bunker with no windows." And Papa Benny is saying this literally footsteps from a more infamous concrete bunker -- the one under the Reichkanzleri -- that was destroyed in 1945.

You can bet your boots that the MPs in the Bundestag understood that reference!

I love Papa Benny!

That money quote in the original: "Die sich exklusiv gebende positivistische Vernunft, die über das Funktionieren hinaus nichts wahrnehmen kann, gleicht den Betonbauten ohne Fenster, in denen wir uns Klima und Licht selber geben, beides nicht mehr aus der weiten Welt Gottes beziehen wollen."