Saturday, February 12, 2011

Perfecting Fallacious Argumentation

From the 'doom' thread at Vox Nova which has been taken down (though you can still get it in cached).

Henry Karlson says:

February 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Though your simple, and false, presentation of history could get more of a comment from me, I think the most important point to made is: abortion is not one of the eight deadly sins.

The seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

If you don't know your faith and didn't scratch the surface, Henry's statement could be taken at face value. But Henry seems to have fallen into the trap of fallacious argumentation.

There is nothing deadlier than the sin of abortion. Abortion breaks the covenant from God in the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not kill.

Not only does a child die, abortion is lethal to the souls of everyone involved in the procedure.

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth and pride are all wrapped into the sin of abortion.

The question for me is, why would he go out of his way to say something so theologically misleading?

It reminds me of the poor women who have been duped into dressing up like Stevie Nicks and dancing at Golgotha because they can't find anything in the GIRM that forbids it. I always respond that they won't find any prohibitions against Father dressing in his mother's wedding dress, high heels and lipstick either. The Holy See couldn't possibly anticipate every wacky Liturgical innovation. However, the rubrics that are to be obeyed in the Liturgy are painstakingly spelled out.

One ought not to be out there teaching theology if one does not know the basics of how to put the puzzle together.

I did a little search around the internet to see if I could come up with something sound on why the deadly sins are deadly and came across this very well-written article.

To be strictly accurate, the preferred term isn't seven deadly sins but seven capital vices, which better conveys the thought that the seven aren't sins in themselves, merely habits or predilections disposing one thereto. This point was made by Saint Gregory the Great in the sixth century AD and later restated by Aquinas. But the term seven deadly sins survives for obvious reasons--it sounds a lot snappier.

In current thinking the seven really bad things do not loom very large. I notice in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, consisting of 2,865 numbered sections published in 1994 by order of Pope John Paul II, the capital sins warrant exactly one paragraph. The principal codification of moral transgression for Christians continues to be the Ten Commandments, upon which the catechism confidently excogitates, much as the Supreme Court finds guidance for cable TV regulation in a document written in 1789.

Do read it, it's a gem.

Vox Nova, America Magazine, The National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal and the Catholic bloggers at First Things should not be linked to our blogrolls. Their presence in our blogrolls gives what is written there credibility, and could lead to incorrectly forming the conscience of unsuspecting Catholics who have been poorly catechized.

Once a Bishop asked me to be on some committee that was stacked in favor of recommending something scandalous. I told him I just couldn't do it because my presence and name would lend credibility to the product I knew was going to be rolled out to unsuspecting parents and children. Lots of luck with it but you know what Christ said about the millstone and all.

Here's my Valentine's Day advice for navigating through and linking to the genre of Catholic blogosphere:

You've got to know when to hold em. Know when to fold em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.


Ron Garcia said...

Praise God for the wisdom of the Gambler!

Carol McKinley said...

LOL Ron.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

Left-footer said...

I love good hatchet jobs, and this is a beauty.

God bless!

non-faithfulcatholicschools said...

Carol, the following was made by a person commenting on the appearance of Donald Trump at the CPAC convention on the 10th. The quote came from a response to a remark that Trump made asking the question "Who says I'm pro-choice?" Trump ultimately said that he was Pro-Life. The posting name listed was GPLea. Please read the post very carefully and you can see everything needed to rebut Vox.

"WOW! That was a real problem for me giving him my support while otherwise having stellar qualities. A lot of libertarians and moderate republicans don't understand that the tandem issues that are tied to a pro-life position. As I, and millions of others see it, it signifies in a person a deep compassion for the defenseless. When liberals compare it to the death penalty, or war they don't understand that even a prisoner more than likely made a decision. The baby didn't. The prisoner then was tried by his peers. The baby was not. The prisoner was even given tons of appeals opportunities. The baby was not. Finally, the prisoner was executed under the absolute most humane conditions conceived by man. The baby was EXECUTED under the most barbaric conditions ever devised by man. And make no mistake they can feel every oz of that pain. In war. The sooner ALL of mankind understands we live in a fallen world that man will NEVER perfect, or make peace with, the sooner we will have true peace. That's why Jesus HAD to come, and that's why no other religion's iconic leaders were ever able to deal with that one issue called sin."

Another post from "Lindy" at the same site goes a bit further and extols the post from GPLea:

"GPLea: Great post! You really hit it on the head! Ronald Reagan said: "Did you ever notice that the only people who are pro-abortion are those who have already been born?" You're so right: abortion is the most hideous means of execution. Even convicted murderers can't be treated with "cruel and unusual punishment." To be mangled, mutilated, dismembered, ripped apart, burned, crushed, without a drop of anesthesia, is so horrific, that it is truly unthinkable. And that the child's own mother actually pays big money to have her innocent, helpless baby slaughtered like this is incomprehensible. Oh, God, please forgive our country!"
I really don't think there need be more said.
Jesus Is Lord!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, throw Mark Shea into that mix, as well, if for nothing else than the vile way he treats people.

Carol McKinley said...

Chris, Thanks. You have children, right? You know how upset you would be if one of them was teaching the holocaust didn't happen and it isn't one of the seven deadly sin to kill the Jews?

Let's also say the teacher was famous for bullying and terrorizing the children in the classroom who tried to correct his errors.

If the men in the community were telling that teacher how smart he was, and how his views were important and how much they liked him, that's a witness to people watching. It actually helps his his ideology to flourish with unsuspecting people.

If you took your responsibility as a father and a righteous person seriously, you would take action on his errors. You would lobby the principal to get him to stop. If you were unsuccessful, you would persuade parents to stop sending their children to the school to be indoctrinated into the nonsense.

I don't know why what Henry and Vox Nova is doing to abortion, orthodoxy and politics gets traction in blogosphere with our Catholic men but I will plead guilty to wanting to see it all blowed up as our friend Terry says!

A hatchet job is more like a personal vendetta in a battle of egos. What the VN folks do is an injustice to Christ, the unborn, the people getting sucked into their ideas and our country. Unraveling Vox Nova and exposing what they do for what it is servitude to Christ for me.

I want you to know where I'm coming from, what the emotions and sentiments are that motivate me.

Tim, Thanks for the citations, they're great. I'm going to be blogging about CPAC and Romney as my next adventure. Hopefully will have it up tomorrow.

Joseph, I don't know what happened between you and Mark but he doesn't belong thrown into this mix!

I meant to respond to your comment in another thread about John Paul II. I do have readers that are upset with JP2. All you have to know about the culture inside of the Church is manifested in the Fr. Euteneuer revelations.

The secrecy, silence and corruption begins right in the pews. It is impossible to get information about corruption to the Pope. It wasn't John Paul II's fault, really. The culture has been bred for centuries. You can't pin it on him.

The deposit of faith he left us is spectacular. He saved me and millions of wretches like me.


Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Carol, concerning John Paul II, all great men have flaws...and those flaws say as much about them as their greatness does. I certainly don't deny that the laity perpetuated this mess by attacking those who were seeking the truth or by reflexively defending molesters in the priesthood.

But every Pope should be familiar with the controversy that St. Peter Damian brought up with his expose, "The Book of Gomorrah," way back in 1049! This has been an ongoing problem for at least a millenium w/in the Church.

I suggest you go to Leon Podles is a faithful Catholic who has been examining this issue. He offer reasoned counterpoint to your defense of the late Pope.

Catholics cannot have it both ways. Catholics cannot praise the hierarchal, papal system as the ultimate expression of apostolic succession and give the papacy a free pass when it comes to confronting (or failing to confront) heinous sexual sin.

Left-footer said...

Carol - sorry if my comment came over as a criticism of your post| quite the opposite. By 'hatchet job' I didn't mean 'personal attack' but 'expert demolition'. Yours was excellent. I will avoid the expression in future.

There is no ambiguity in my attitude to abortion. I regard it as the lowest form of murder. My wife supports 'Life" and I 'SPUC'

I agree with all you say about bringing up chidren.

God bless.

Carol McKinley said...


He was familiar with sexual sins. The problem is the multitude from the pews all the way to the Holy See have been indoctrinated into the sick culture of running interference for the accused, even when he's admitted it and even when people who are present and accounted for when it is going down have witnessed it for decades.

We have the Legion and we have Fr. E as two recent examples.

The people in the pews are unglued. Unless and until that game ends, the Pope just doesn't get the information he needs to make informed decisions. In fact, forget about the Pope, the local Bishop doesn't get the information he needs to make informed decisions unless he is a responsible man who wants to be accountable for souls instead of touring the world eating the finest foods and attending swanky events to advance their careers like most. The people around him intercept the complaints and they do not tell him. The Bishop plays along with the game willfully and intentionally but the people in the pews who keep giving them money and stroking their egos and protecting them when corruption rears it's ugly head have the means to stop it in its tracks and they don't.

The problem is happening because the sociopaths know that the people in the pews will cover their backs. It is way, way underneath the Pope.

Blaming the Pope is a little like blaming the President for a rape that happens in Iran. As much difficulty I have with the current occupant of the White House, You can pin something like that on him.

Whoever was around Maciel in the Legion should have dialed 911 first and the Vatican second. If you want to immerse yourself into reality, google Fr. Euteneuer, remind yourself that he admitted abusing a woman during an exorcism and then read the threads of comments.

Yes, the Pope had flaws but I wholeheartedly disagree with you that those flaws say as much about him as the deposit of faith he left us and the millions of souls he shepherded home.

Carol McKinley said...

Chris, please do not apologize. I have read your blog and know you are in the truth. I just wanted you to know where I come from in the event you didn't know.

More importantly, If I write something that reads like it's a personal attack on somebody, I would want to know. I don't want to feed readers my own trash.

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

....I wholeheartedly disagree with you that those flaws say as much about him as the deposit of faith he left us and the millions of souls he shepherded home.

Carol, my comment about flaws saying as much about great men as their greatness doesn't apply to the deposit of faith because that extends beyond any one personality. So, ultimately, does the shepherding of souls, which is the Holy Spirit's business.

All great men -- Churchill, Lincoln, Washington, Einstein, Reagan, etc. -- have flaws. Often, greatness overcomes those flaws. But the best of men are still men, at best.

Again, I do not deny what you say about the masses of grass-roots Catholics running interference for the corrupt. You've experienced that travesty far more than I have. But the late Pope appointed men like Law, Mahony and many of their episcopal peers. If he cannot be held responsible for making those appointments or overseeing their behavior -- or, if the people he appointed to do so failed -- then accountability means nothing.

Truman once said, "The buck stops here." If that's true in a democratic republic with constitutionally mandated separation of powers and checks and balances, how much more true is that of a bureaucratic hierarchy in which authority flows from the top down?

Jerry said...

Let me interrupt this thread with some great news I just learned: a chancery official in Philly could serve 14 years for covering up clergy abuse (link).

Quotes from Phil Lawler's article: "The indictment marks the first time that an American chancery official has faced criminal charges for covering up evidence of clerical abuse." "The grand jury report indicates that the panel seriously considered criminal charges against Cardinal Bevilacqua."

It's about time! If the pope won't remove these creeps, maybe the courts will.

I'm linking for its multiple sources, and a wonderful letter from Steve Brady, a champion against the lavender mafia.

Jerry said...

P.S. Maybe they could extradite Cardinal Law and put him away for 20 years. And maybe jail Bishop Murphy and others, please God.