Is the Light of Reason Fading? – 1996 & 1997

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Is the Light of Reason Fading? - 1996 & 1997
Is the Light of Reason Fading? – 1996 & 1997

The shocking nature of partial-birth abortion has inspired considerable indignation in sectors of public opinion that remain silent about the horror of more common methods of abortion, which claim more than 4,000 innocent lives each day.

Abortion of any kind is sufficiently evil to demand our indignation. The very idea of a mother killing her own child, in her maternal cloister, should offend every human being. Nevertheless, it was necessary to reach this infamous extreme for some people to react. How can we explain this? How can we explain the cynicism that more people are upset by the sensationalism of the means (partial-birth abortion) than by the immorality of the end (a murdered baby)?

This cynicism is the result of a twentieth century phenomenon: the fading away of the light of reason. This lumen rationis is the light of natural reason, of common sense, of the natural balance of things—something that was once the patrimony of every man.

The fading of the light of reason gives birth to a psychological state in which every contradiction, every inconsistency, and every absurdity is first tolerated, then accepted, and finally embraced.

Countless examples could be given of this degradation: The toleration of abortion as a “choice,” the acceptance of homosexuality as a “lifestyle,” and the embrace of euthanasia as “mercy” come to mind.

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Insensibility to clearly established truths and contempt for traditional values are characteristic of a cynical mind. It is cynical, for example, to stand by and do nothing as the Nation’s flag, our symbol of glory, is burned in the name of freedom of expression. Likewise, it is also cynical to accept such anti-natural acts as abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality as based on human rights.

The Principle of Contradiction: Foundation of the Light of Reason

The acceptance by dominant sectors of public opinion of these aberrations, repugnant to nature itself, indicate that we are witnessing the erosion of the foundation of the light of reason: the principle of contradiction.

This principle was regarded by Saint Thomas Aquinas as the foundation of all thinking. Without it we would not be able to distinguish between truth and error, good and evil. When the principle of contradiction dies, the light of reason is extinguished.

How Can One Lose the Principle of Contradiction?

By not reacting to evil, one gets used to it. This prepares the person to accept a greater evil. Gradually, the person loses all notion of evil.

In the beginning of the process, the person says: “Contraception, no! Sexual permissiveness, yes!” Then: “Abortion, no! Contraception, yes!” Afterwards: “Partial-birth abortion, no! Abortion, yes!” In this way, stone by stone, the “barrier of horror” is dismantled in people’s minds. Gradually they become accustomed to horror. When the last stone of this barrier falls, everything is licit. Finally, they will shout: “Morality is dead; and, even, morality never existed!” Here we clearly see how the principle of contradiction is demolished.

Let’s Not Lose Sight of the Horror of Any Abortion

Many are reacting against the hideous nature of partial-birth abortion—even some who call themselves “pro-choice.” A growing number are increasingly uneasy with the radical demands of the abortionists who insist on an open season on unborn babies; something they would never tolerate for lesser endangered species.

We hope that those who take a closer look at abortion in the light of the horrors of such “near infanticide” might see the real evil of abortion, the murder of innocent life that marks every abortion.

But those whose revulsion to partial-birth abortion is simply squeamishness may well fall deeper under the spell of the Culture of Death. The grisly sight of scissors plunged into babies’ skulls may blind their eyes to abortion’s youngest victims and close their ears to the whirring of the suction machines at the corner abortion mill. When the light of reason dims, the light of truth often goes unseen.

Reviving the Principle of Contradiction

To restore the principle of contradiction we must first revive the concept of good and evil, and rebuild the barrier of horror towards evil. We ought to look back at every step of the process and develop a horror of each and every one of them.

We also want to include precious insights on this point taken from the masterful book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, by the great Catholic thinker Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

The notion of good and evil can be revived in various ways, including:

  Opportunely pointing out that God has the right to be obeyed and that, therefore, His commandments are true laws, which we ought to observe in the spirit of obedience and not simply because they please us.

  Emphasizing that the law of God is intrinsically good and according to the order of the universe, in which the perfection of the Creator is mirrored. For this reason, it should not only be obeyed, but loved; and evil should not only be shunned, but detested.

  Favoring social customs and laws in which uprightness is honored and wickedness suffers public sanctions.

  Insisting on the effects of Original Sin in man, his human frailty, the fruitfulness of the redemption by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the need for grace, prayer, and vigilance in order for man to persevere.

The Triumph of Faith

If in the midst of the enveloping darkness, we guard our light of reason by observing the fundamental principle of contradiction, we will hold firm to all the truths established by God with the conviction that they are timeless.By keeping the light of reason bright and the principle of contradiction sharp, we will defend all innocent victims from the crimes against God and man perpetrated by the Culture of Death. The skeptics may smile, but the smile of skeptics has never been able to detain the victorious advance of those who have Faith.

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