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Monday, February 06, 2012



Other communities are of a rank superior to the State, as is ... in the temporal realm, that organized international community toward which we aspire today.

Thanks for including that snippet, which tells me the book is not worth reading, let alone purchasing.

There is simply no sense in which it is true that "the organized international community toward which we all aspire today" is of a rank superior to the State. Above all, you can be quite certain that were "the organized international community" to be accorded a preeminent role over the State, we would not have a "theistic", let alone Christian society; we would not have a society shaped by the belief "in the dignity of the human person, in justice, in liberty, in neighborly love."

(If the responses is, "Well, yes, that is true of real United Nations. However, I have in mind an imaginary Cloud-Cuckoo Land in which it is not true," well, maybe. But there are enough utopian phantasies already, so there is no need for another.)


Howard, too quick to judge. I think you should not base your conclusion on this "snippet" as the end-all of this book. Keep in mind that the excerpt needs to be read in the context of "Natural Law", or of the "universal" principles. The author points to the community that "cooperates with religion, not by any kind of theocracy or clericalism, nor by exercising any sort of pressure in religious matters, but by respecting and facilitating, on the basis of the rights and liberties of each of us,..." Believe it or not, such communities do exist.


Even if the snippet is the only problem, it is still problematic.

"... that organized international community toward which we aspire today"? Who is meant by "we"? The author and ... well, somebody else. Clearly not the author and EVERYONE else, since not everyone aspires to the same thing. Certainly large numbers of orthodox Catholics do not aspire to an "organized" international community -- if, as inevitably it would, "organized" means having jurisdiction over all its components and the power to enforce its "organization". I for one do not aspire to any such thing.

When it is said to be "organized", that means something different from a friendly association of sovereign nations, each of which acknowledges its responsibility before God.

Just because a book has the words "Natural Law" in the title does not make the book trustworthy. I had a very bad night once due to Charles Rice's 50 Questions on the Natual Law (also by Ignatius Press) and his "explanations" of the teachings of recent popes regarding the death penalty -- until I read the actual statements of the popes, the passage from the Catechism, etc., and found that Rice had, either deliberately or through incompetence, completely misrepresented the actual statements. I don't often throw books in the trash, but that one was well-deserving of the "honor".

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