Why We Need A Magisterium

To resolve irreconcilable points of interest within various cultures requires an adherence to a Tradition that speaks to and conforms the inviolability of conscience.  This is the mandate, grounded in nature, embodied in liberty, for the need for authority.

Many great writers in non-theological disciplines such as Kichael Oakeshott, Russell Kirk and the late great Friedrick Hayek have written on serious errors committed by many who refuse to be informed from any authority.  Most embrace the leveling effects of modernity, especially demonstrated in the social impact technology has on authority.  Many intellectually assert a juvenile ardent pose, a license masking as authentic freedom.

For Hayek and other great economists, the error consists in attempting to judge the complexities of morals and political craft through the reductive lens of natural science, under the bright light of pure reason.  What gets lost is the ability to make relevant distinctions, to discern the wisdom embodied in custom and common sense, to acknowledge the ambiguities, mysteries and tragic choices of lived experience.

Bright lines do not always exist, in law, ethics, medicine or politics.  That does not mean that lines cannot be drawn; they can indeed, carefully, responsibly and defensibly.  But they may be neither brightly obvious nor rigidly predictable.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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