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I am surprised that so many philosophers stated their reason for orthodoxy is that they trust the church. I would have expected to say, in one way or another, that they came to these conclusions through their own reason. From what I have seen many philosophers of religion do not trust the church when it comes to things like abortion, birth control, intolerance of other religions, etc. I wonder what the justification is for trusting the church in some areas but not others.

Helen De Cruz

That's an excellent point - in my experience, Catholic philosophers do trust their church on moral and social issues also, I don't think they cherry-pick. Maybe other religious denominations are a bit different in that respect. It seems in any case that doctrinal issues weigh more heavily than issues of social justice etc (think for instance of Wolterstorff's recent biblical case for same-sex marriage. I think it's a good argument, but it certainly deviates from church tradition).


Interesting. I have a number of Catholic friends - both philosophers and not. And while I can't put a percentage on it, I would say many, likely most, use birth control and are pro-choice. And all of them I know are pro gay marriage, which I is still the official position of the Catholic Church, right? (in spite of the Pope being nice to gays.) This isn't to say there aren't others that go full-in. Either way, I find the appeal to authority odd. The way decisions are made, it just seems so many of them could have easily gone the other way.


Sorry I meant to say I think the Catholic Church is still opposed to gay marriage...

Sam Duncan

I wonder how much of this agreement is merely verbal? I mean I would say that I agree with the Apostle's Creed, but in saying that I probably interpret differently than some other people who would say they disagree. For instance, I certainly don't mean catholic in the sense that a Roman Catholic would. I think this might be even more so when it comes to the heresies. I mean no one wants to be Pelagian, but when you look at the actual positions people take on free will and grace there's a huge range. So much so that I wonder how much agreement the verbal agreement signifies? Definitely some things are ruled out, but there's still a darn wide range. The same goes for Arianism or other doctrines.

Sam Duncan

Sorry I mean to say "other people who agree" there. Guess I lose the right to give my students a hard time for not proofreading.

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