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Intrinsic Evil, Truth and Authority

John O'Neill
Religious Studies
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 209-219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20019736
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Intrinsic Evil, Truth and Authority
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Abstract

This paper responds to Pope John Paul's "Veritatis Splendor". It defends one of its claims, that some human acts are intrinsically evil, and relates it to another, that one should live in truth. It outlines two versions of the idea of living in truth and argues that the Thomist position defended in the encyclical is to be preferred. However, the paper rejects the encyclical's authoritarianism. It criticizes not the concept of 'authoritative teaching' as such -- all teaching presupposes epistemological authority -- but the way in which the encyclical's characterization of such authority is incompatible with one of its preconditions -- reasoned dialogue.

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