Overcoming Manipulative Rhetoric with Ancient Wisdom

Overcoming Manipulative Rhetoric with Ancient Wisdom

HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME MANIPULATIVE RHETORIC WITH ANCIENT WISDOM? The manipulative use of emotional rhetoric and fallacious reasoning is nothing new. In fact, opposition to the abuse of reason goes back to the very origins of ancient philosophy. It is well known that Socrates is the father of ancient philosophy. What you may not know is that many of Socrates’ early opponents were masters of rhetoric called “sophists.” Literally “sophists” means “wise ones,” but the

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St. Paul Talks About Purgatory in the New Testament

St. Paul Talks About Purgatory in the New Testament

In his First Letter to the Corinthians (3:10–15), St. Paul says that a Christian life can have its foundation only in Jesus Christ, but that on that foundation, the life we go on to live may be more or less worthy, as it’s constructed of works that conform more or less perfectly to Christ, or not at all. Much of what we do is unworthy of our Christian vocation and so, won’t survive judgment. Employing

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What Do Catholics Have to Believe About Purgatory?

What Do Catholics Have to Believe About Purgatory?

The doctrine of purgatory is often seen as a Roman accretion that’s distorted Christianity’s thesis that salvation is a free gift of grace by introducing the Pelagian idea that we have to earn our salvation.  That’s because, when people think about purgatory, they typically think of something like a medieval prison or dungeon, only worse.  Not only are there damp, black, stone walls with rats who run away with the few crumbs of bread we’re

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Avoiding the Success Trap

Avoiding the Success Trap

Avoiding the Success Trap: The Radical Alternative of Value-Centered Living Whether we like it or not we receive an endless stream of unsolicited advice or images related to success. Success sells: it has the appearance of competence, mastery, cleverness, and daring. Successful people are “doers,” who are oft described as “killing it.” (One wonders what or who is being killed). Rarely is this sort of success defined, and when it is, one usually hears something vague

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The Solemnity of All Saints: Venerating All of the Saints

The Solemnity of All Saints: Venerating All of the Saints

Why does the Church celebrate a special feast day for All Saints?  The veneration of saints had once been mostly a local phenomenon, so the Solemnity of All Saints has a great catholicizing effect.  If you really want to be Catholic, you have to venerate all the saints, not just the one’s you grew up thinking about.   Why does the Church celebrate a special feast day for All Saints?  After all, doesn’t every saint

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Real Freedom

Real Freedom

Often freedom is extolled and insisted upon, but rarely is it defined. But just what is freedom and why is it so important? What is freedom? We are right to value freedom highly, but should we esteem every exercise of freedom? Does freedom just mean the ability to do whatever we want? If you freely choose to lie, cheat on your spouse, or dishonor your country should you be praised? Should we be free to

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Let’s Not Forget What Grace Can Do

Let’s Not Forget What Grace Can Do

In a previous post, I argued that the Donatists weren’t wrong in their view that, as a matter of discipline, it was imprudent to ordain those who’d previously abandoned the Faith or to allow those who’d done so after having been ordained to exercise their orders upon their return to it.  I noted, of course, that the Church pronounced against some of the Donatists’ views on related matters, but that their main concern—that the faithful

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Five Rules for Overcoming Confusion

Five Rules for Overcoming Confusion

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you do not know what to do? Where it seems that you’re lost and the way forward is hidden. Sometimes the goals and values that have guided us in the past cease to inspire and illumine or perhaps we have passed through a life-altering calamity. Often our confusion is compounded by violent emotions. In such times, it is tempting to become cynical and frustrated. Overcoming Confusion

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Philosophy is Essential to Catholic Higher Education

Philosophy is Essential to Catholic Higher Education

Thinking philosophically always has its enemies, but there should be no enmity place between Catholic faith, Catholic education, and abstract thought. To think philosophically simply means to think deeply, to think about the universal and the permanent; it is to seek for clarity. There is nothing “cold” or unchristian about it. Christians serve a God of light, truth, and order; not an obscure god of sentiment and expediency. This is spelled out most clearly in

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Thinking Ethically

Thinking Ethically

Among the various benefits of studying philosophy, one is given the opportunity to learn some of the foundational ideas and theories that help us to make sense of ethical thinking. First, just what is ethical thinking? There are a variety of ways to approach this question, none of which is free of controversy. However, it is possible to offer a generic description. Ethics is an evaluative and normative discipline and process of thought. It is

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