More on the nature of evil

Francis Porretto has concluded his series on evil at Eternity Road:

Part IV.

Part V.

In the age of the dictatorship of relativism, as Pope Benedict XVI has characterized the current philosophical climate of the West, it is water for parched throats to see a clear attempt to define evil in absolute terms. Porretto is not, by using absolute terms, denying the real relative nature of things, one to the other, but rather he is restating the absolute nature of principles of being and conduct. The relationality of things does not imply a relativism of principles.

Where Truth is the proper object of the Mind, and Good is the proper object of the Will, the natural principles will light up like beacons in the night, as will the entire matrix of ethics.

But there is a point where the natural ends and the supernatural begins, and if the latter is left blank, denied, or trivialized as mere superstition, then the primary metaphysical question is left vacant and, in all ages, not just our modern age, the tyrannical forces of relativism can take hold, deny that there is Truth or a Good, and the beacons of principle dim or go completely dark. Hence the importance of a culture based in what is True and Good to all individuals, just as each individual anchored in what is True and Good creates that culture.

Aquinas, in illuminating the natural law as a precipitate of divine law that is available to Reason, makes a distinction between offenses against the law that need to be proscribed by the positive law of societies and those offenses that are matters best left to individual conscience. Reason’s gift for finding the natural law in the things themselves, while sufficient to the individual and society in a given temporal moment, ultimately rests on the divine law of God and therefore upon God, as the creator of all of nature.

America was founded on just that premise: That Reason can reach a foundation of self-evident truth and that men are created equal in their entitlement to justice and are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

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