Lecture Seven: Chapter Two: Preface


Study Questions

1. Does the right to religious liberty make compelling truth-claims in matters of morality impossible?  Is the Church’s claim to be able to articulate universally compelling doctrines on moral questions incompatible with respect for human dignity and for the freedom of individuals to use their own responsible judgment ?

2. Granting the need for additional distinctions and precisions, one can define knowledge as justified true belief.  What does each of these terms mean: belief, true belief, justified true belief?  In what sense human nature and revelation provide a justification for a belief about moral matters to be regarded as a true belief and one that is justified?

3. What does Pope John Paul II mean by “the crisis of truth”?  Why does he hold that it is not enough to say that one has a duty to follow one’s conscience?  Why must one also add that one’s conscience must be well formed in the truths about human nature for there to be a genuine obligation to obey one’s conscience?


Suggestions for further reading:

Michael Buckley, S.J. At the Origins of Modern Atheism.  New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1987.

J.A. DiNoia, O.P. and Romanus Cessario, O.P., eds.   Veritatis splendor and the Renewal of Moral Theology.  Huntington IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1999.   This text contains articles that tend to support the approach taken by Veritatis splendor.

Joseph A. Selling and Jan Jans, eds. The Splendor of Accuracy: An Examination of the Assertions made by Veritatis splendor.  Grand Rapids MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1994.   This text contains articles that tend to be critical of the approach taken by Veritatis splendor.