Nihil Obstat. 61). hom.) But since all methods of social improvement that have any value must necessarily represent a nearer approach to conformity with Divine laws they are welcomed and furthered by the Church, as tending, at least indirectly, to accomplish the purpose for which she exists. . Of this kind, of the whole, were the doctrines of the Ionic Hylozoists, whose fundamental notion was the essential unity of matter and life; and on the other hand, also, that of the Eleatics, who founded the origin of all things in abstract being. Moral evil, in particular, arises from error, and is to be gradually eliminated, or at least minimized, by improved knowledge of the conditions of human welfare (Meliorism). He posits that hell will ultimately be emptied, and. These have, for the most part, emphasized the evidence in creation of the wisdom and goodness of its Author, after the manner of the Book of Job, and have been content to leave undiscovered the reason for the creation, by Him, of a universe in which evil is unavoidable. Leibnitz grants sensation to animals, but considers that mere sense-perception, unaccompanied by reflexion, cannot cause either pain or pleasure; in any case he holds the pain and pleasure of animals to be far less acute than those of human beings, and comparable in degree to those resulting from reflex action in man (see also Maher, Psychology, Supp’t. The first example of such religion was that of Auguste Comte, who upon the materialistic basis of Positivism, founded the "religion of humanity", and professed to substitute an enthusiasm for humanity as the motive for right action, for the motives of supernatural religion. 61). 65:a. Recent Catholic teaching, especially in Veritatis Splendor, has too often used the technical moral theological concept, ‘intrinsic evil’, as an authoritarian bludgeon to aggressively suppress theological conversation on, and discernment about, controversial ethical issues, especially in sexual ethics. If it had been less fitted as a whole for the attainment of this object. Descartes and Malebranche held that the world is the best possible for the purpose for which it was created, i.e. (Greg. In this mode of thought the individual necessarily counts for very little, as being merely a transient manifestation of the cosmic force; and the social aspects of humanity are those under which its pains and shortcomings are mostly considered, with a view to their amelioration. No system of philosophy has ever succeeded in escaping from the obscurity in which the subject is involved; but it is not too much to say that the Christian solution offers, on the whole, fewer difficulties, and approaches more nearly to completeness than any other. Each was independent of the other; but eventually the good were to be victorious with Ormuzd, and Ahriman and his evil followers were to be expelled from the world. These systems reject the specific idea of creation; and the idea of God is either rigorously excluded, or identified with an impersonal principle, immanent in the universe, or conceived as a mere abstraction from the methods of nature; which, whether viewed from the standpoint of materialism or that of idealism, is the one ultimate reality. 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