Saturday, May 11, 2013

Axiom in the Catechism

I was reviewing the Baltimore Catechism this evening and found a passage that would serve as a decent philosophy lesson:

"Q. 516. Why can there be only one true religion?
A. There can be only one true religion, because a thing cannot be false and true at the same time, and, therefore, all religions that contradict the teaching of the true Church must teach falsehood. If all religions in which men seek to serve God are equally good and true, why did Christ disturb the Jewish religion and the Apostles condemn heretics?"

This beautiful argument that there is only one true religion is just a consequence of the first of all axioms: a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Even if one has disputes about where to find true religion, let there be no dispute that contradiction excludes the possibility of all religions being true.

One more point to notice. My last philosophy professor once said that if you are giving a speech to a crowd and need to convince them, do NOT use a demonstrative syllogism, rather use examples or signs. They are far weaker arguments, and yet more people are convinced by them. Thus the author gives the examples of Christ and the Apostles in their encounters with the Jews and heretics. Once I'm firmer in philosophy and logic, I will have to return to rhetoric (despite my skepticism), since possessing the truth is a prerequisite for sharing it but not all sufficient.

May God bless us.

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