Looking from God's view ...

Catholics are expected to learn, believe, and follow the moral teaching of the Catholic Church. There are three difficulties with this:

  1. Where is this "official" Catholic teaching to be found?
  2. What if this teaching offends our sensibilities?
  3. Since the Catholic Church has changed its views, shouldn't we anticipate the views that it will finally arrive at and believe those?

At first I was told that the Catechism of the Catholic Church contained the "official" teaching of the Catholic Church but I now know that this cannot be true because there are obvious errors of truth in the Catechism. Several examples:

In grappling with various moral teachings of the Catholic Church I thought of a way to weed out the confusion in all this and get at the heart of the matter. The flow of ideas goes like this:

Rather than assume that the whole world is evil, corrupt, depraved, and unholy; why not assume rather that everyone is a devout orthodox Catholic? What would it be like in such a world? What kind of moral law would be required in such a world? The results of this line of thought are surprising.


The Saintly and Holy ...

Let us for a moment assume that every person in the world is living as a Saint, that all are holy, righteous, God-fearing, God-loving, kind, compassionate, devout, and concerned for the welfare for others. What kind of moral law would be in operation in such a world?

I suppose you could say that in such a world everyone is a devout, orthodox Catholic who perfectly follows the moral law. Catholic moral teaching would be different in such a world. Examples:

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Such a world would be a utopian paradise:

There would still be the need for a moral law in such a utopian world. We should expect that this "utopian" moral law is the foundational moral law of our current wicked world and that the "extra" moral laws in our current wicked world only exist to address people's lack of saintliness. Therefore, these "extra" moral laws are not needed for those who are seriously attempting to live saintly holy lives.

In the next section I discuss how we derive this "natural" moral law and the elements of this law.


Natural Moral Law ...

The law of love dictates that people don't do things that harm others. As history demonstrates, much of human enterprise has been exploitive: people dispossessing others and stealing their goods and land; slavery; mercantilism and colonialism; wars of conquest.

In a perfect world none of these would occur. However, there is one way in which we would continue to inadvertently harm others unless we agreed on a solution — the effects of overpopulation and the resultant use of too high a share of the world's natural resources. This is not just a global matter; for example, overfishing of a local river is caused by too many people who depend on this river for their survival.

It is unclear how many people is too many, but one thing is clear; there is a point at which overpopulation causes famine and pollution and other harmful effects on the ecosystem. Thus, the people of this perfect world would have to limit and control their population growth.

There are several ways this could be accomplished:

How would married couples limit the number of children they have? There are several ways:

The Catholic Church has forbidden the use of contraception and has not declared that population must be limited; instead, it promotes large families for most and Natural Family Planning for some. This is irresponsible. The world is already overpopulated, especially in certain locales which are not suitable for large population densities.

Even in a utopian world the natural laws dictate we must limit population and population growth. This is the only external influence that I can think of which must guide human society in this utopia. There will not be wicked tyrants or autocrats to oppress people and there will not be criminals to harm people. People will have self-control so there will not be violence, substance abuse, or rage. But the natural resources are limited so this society must regulate its population.

One person might be tempted to think that their choice of how many children to have doesn't harm anyone and I suppose that's true — it would be a rare scenario in which one extra person harmed anyone. But in the aggregate this kind of thinking harms everyone.

If the Catholic Church can't provide proper moral guidance even in this utopian world I have been describing how can we expect it to adequately address morality in this current world full of unholy, un-Godly, selfish people?

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