[lit-ideas] Re: Geary's Infallibility

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:11:22 -0400 (EDT)

McEvoy assumes that Popper is indeed fallible.
 
On the other hand, the Pope is said, by Omar K., to be 'tautologically  
correct' -- if I may misread Omar K.
 
And then there's Geary.
 

In a message dated 9/26/2013 10:30:22 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx writes:
 
"Well, not all doctrinal issues have to do with morals."
 
Good point. But I wonder if there is a religion which is NOT about morals.  
A moral element seems to be mandatory. Otherwise, we might just as well  
Catholicism a metaphysics, or a physical doctrine -- which is not.
 
 
Omar K. goes on:
 
"[G]enerally this lack of certainty would need to be further developed. It  
still seems to me that, once we have vested in the Pope the sole authority 
of  defining doctrinal matters, the infallibility would proceed by  
definition."
 
The good thing about this is that it was a promise by Jesus. 
 
It's Jesus that makes Papal Infallibility tautologous. According to  
Wikipedia:
 
"in virtue of  the  promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is  preserved from 
the  possibility of 
error."
 
This is of course a special type of promise. Different from Chelsea Handler 
 telling her friend Gwyneth Paltrow:
 
"I'll promise I will be there" (at the premiere of your film).
 
It may do to revise the terms in which Jesus promised Peter that he should  
(or would) never be wrong.
 
---- Note that we should distinguish between
 
Peter's Infallibility (as promised by Jesus)
 
Peter's successors' infalibility (as, transitively, and allegedly,  
according to Catholic 'dogma', derived from the same promise).
 
Omar K. goes on:
 
"I was also thinking of Austin and performatives, ie. the Pope is  
essentially *proclaiming* the doctrine not explicating it."
 
This is a good point. The expert here is Adriano Palma. Apparently, the one 
 utterance was:

"There is only one body in heaven".

This contrasts, slightly, with
 
"I do"
 
in a marriage compact, say. Austin later found out that "I do" is never  
uttered in wedding ceremonies. He opted for other examples: "I name this ship  
"The Queen Elizabeth"". 
 
See:
 
PDF] 
Wittgenstein and Austin 
_www.umass.edu/accela/llc/794d/pdf/Wittgestein%20and%20Austin.pdf_ 
(http://www.umass.edu/accela/llc/794d/pdf/Wittgestein%20and%20Austin.pdf)   - 
Similar to Wittgenstein and Austin 
"its weave of internal voices and obsessional self-questioning, Austin was  
... For example, `I name this ship the Queen Elizabeth' is not reporting on 
the  truth or..."
 
Omar K. notes:

"Just like with 'I call this ship Saint Mary 'and similar examples, the  
issue revolves around whether the person announcing it is the proper 
authority,  whether the appropriate circumstances are met etc, and not any 
truth 
claims as  such."
 
Again, I agree. Yet, if truth is not involved, perhaps 'tautology' is a  
stretch.
 
Note that we have a 'preface' -- performative preface:
 
"I name this ship the Queen Elizabeth".
 
"I promise I will be there".

Yet, it is perhaps slightly more difficult to reciprocate or retrieve  the 
performative preface (the 'illocutionary' verb, as it were) of the Papal  
claim, "there is only one body in heaven".
 
------ Note that to deny infallibility should NOT amount to yet another  
claim of infallibility:
 
"It is infallible that the Pope is fallible"
 
seems self-contradictory. Or not.
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza



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