terça-feira, 2 de março de 2010

Desires Natural and Unnatural: A Reply to Paul Griffiths - by R. J. Snell

February 12, 2010
A recent First Things article on natural law misses the mark.

In a recent article for First Things, Paul J. Griffiths takes aim at the notion of natural desires and their supposed role in natural law thinking. According to Griffiths, while human desires were natural before the Fall and will be natural again after the resurrection, for humans suffering from the derangement of sin, “no particular desire is natural,” even those “drives we have genetically: our urges for sex and food and violence.” Reflection on natural desire, Griffiths insists, “must begin with the fact that human desire has been deranged.” He concludes that “we lack natural desire because our desires have been removed from their proper arrangement.”

In a previous piece for Public Discourse, I responded to similar objections, typically but not always raised by Protestants of a Calvinistic bent, against the “Manhattan Declaration” and Robert P. George. Like the Catholic Griffiths, those critics think that sin renders the natural law problematic since human nature is vitiated as a moral or logical foundation. The always nuanced and brilliant Griffiths, however, requires an independent response. Read More