Is the Church's distinction between infallible certainty and moral certainty self-refuting?


#1

It’s a dogma of the church that one can’t have infallible certainty if they are in a state of grace because man’s reason can be subject to error. The only thing they can have infallible certainty in our things revealed through the church.

So here is where I’m confused…

The Church is saying we can’t know when something is infallible simply based on our own reasoning (such as knowing when we are in a state of grace)…but yet, we use our own reasoning to understand infallible teachings of the church.

We trust our own reasoning when we believe “We can’t trust our own reasoning”

Isn’t that a contradiction?

We do have the ability to know, through our own reason, when something is infallibly true (church dogmas)…so what makes that different from knowing we are in a state of grace through our own reasoning?


#2

How about quoting what you are working from so we understand the context and see if you took off on the right tack to begin with?

BTW certitude cones about in two different ways.

  1. Through the intellect and the act of reasoning.
  2. Through faith which is an act of the will accepting that what another says is true.

BTW I do not believe the Church teaches we can ever know we are in a state of grace with absolute certainty.
Why would you think we can?


#3

"Without special Divine Revelation no one can know with the certainty of faith if he be in the state of grace. ( De Fide )

Council of Trent declared: ‘If one considers his own weakness and his defective disposition, he may well be fearful and anxious as to his state of grace, as nobody knows with the certainty of faith, which permits of no error, that he has achieved the grace of God.’


#4

Because we have the ability to know things with absolute certainty based on human reason, such as the existence of God (another dogma of the church).

If a human reasons that they haven’t fulfilled the 3 requirements for mortal sin, that should be an absolute certainty they are in a state of grace.

The same mode of reasoning is used for both cases.

  • “The churches teaches there is a God and the church is infallible. That means I can be absolutely certain of this.”

  • “The chuch teaches the only way to go to hell is mortal sin and 3 conditions have to be fulfilled for a mortal sin to happen. The church is infallible. I haven’t fulfilled those 3 requirements That means I can be absolutely certain I haven’t sinned mortally and I’m in a state of grace.”


#5

No, it’s not.

Not necessarily “reason”. The Church doesn’t say it that way. The Church says “no one can know with the certainty of faith if he be in the state of grace” and that “one considers his own weakness and his defective disposition”. That’s not the same as having an ability to reason.

But even if it were, it’s still not a contradiction because a man does not “reason” an infallible statement by the Church; we take that on faith, not on reason (or at least not on reason, alone).

In fact, I would argue that, because of our ability to reason, man should be able to conclude that he cannot have infallible certainty of salvation due to his own weakness and defective disposition".


#6

Yes it is possible to know the existence of God by reason alone.
That is a far cry from asserting we can with certainty know anything personal re God, that we can know hidden things about ourselves, that all or any particular man has that capacity.

How would you propose we can be infallibly sure that the alleged dogma of Church infallibility is true?

Your view on getting to God by not mortal sinning is a little skewed. Its not about me not mortally sinning. Its rather God gifting me with sanctifying grace.


#7

What exactly is meant by certainty of faith in contrast to moral certainty? I dont understand the levels of certainty. Something should either be certain or its not.

I believe in the evidence through my own human reason that the Catholic Church is infallible. When the church says I can be infallibly sure about something (the existence of God), then I can be infallibly sure I’m correct when I believe
that God exists.

The same Church infallibly says that the only way for a person during the age of reason to go to hell is by having an unrepented mortal sin. Sanctifying grace or lack of is involved with that. The church infallibly lists 3 requirements needed to commit a mortal sin. If I know I haven’t fulfilled all 3 requirements for a mortal sin, then I should be infallibly sure I’m in a state of grace.

I have read what is considered full knowledge, deliberate consent, and grave matter through means of the infallible church and from the saints who have been given a special revelation from God that they are in a state of grace.


#8

Your infallible Church disagrees with your silicon binary logic sorry to tell.

I believe in the evidence through my own human reason that the Catholic Church is infallible.

So your infallible conclusions are built on some form of non religious"belief" in scientific evidence…whatever that means it does sound fallible.

The same Church infallibly says that the only way for a person during the age of reason to go to hell is by having an unrepented mortal sin.

Where does it teach we go to heaven by never personally sinning? Thats a fairly skewed understanding of relationships with not only God but also people.


#9

Your statement is also using binary logic (this statement is either true or false). So if what you say is true, binary logic is accurate.

These same methods are used to come to a conclusion that your statement is true. So if your statement is true, then the scientific methods are accurate.

[quote=“Sophie111, post:8, topic:527151”]
Where does it teach we go to heaven by never personally sinning? [/quote]

When we avoid sins of omission as well as comission with sincerity.


#10

Believe whatever you like then…clearly only your views are logical, true (whatever it is you mean by that) and consistent with revelation.


#11

You yourself said we could know the existence of God through reason. And I agree with you on that and so does the Church.

The part Im having trouble understanding is why our reason or disposition or whatever it is no longer is trustworthy on matters of being in a state of grace.

It seems like a very arbitrary distinction and I don’t understand the Church’s line of thinking on that dogma.

Also regarding mortal sin and sanctifying grace. From the Baltimore Catechism:

Q. 460. What is the difference between sanctifying grace and actual grace?

A. Sanctifying grace remains with us as long as we are not guilty of mortal sin; and hence, it is often called habitual grace; but actual grace comes to us only when we need its help in doing or avoiding an action, and it remains with us only while we are doing or avoiding the action.


#12

I’m not saying that something isn’t “either certain or not”, nor that there is a difference between moral certainty and certainty of faith. I’m saying that “man’s reason” isn’t the reason we cannot have such certitude.

You said,

But that isn’t what the Church teaches. The Church teaches is that, “no one can know with the certainty of faith if he be in the state of grace” and that “one considers his own weakness and his defective disposition”. That’s not the same as having an ability to reason, nor does it make “reason” the cause of uncertainty.

In fact, the ability to reason should lead us to understand that, man cannot have infallible certainty of salvation due to his own weakness and defective disposition.


#13

What are the weaknesses and defective dispositions spoken of here?


#14

Apparently not “man’s reason”. :wink: OR at least, not that alone.


#15

We have the ability to believe the Church has infallibly proposed for belief. We are not infallibly able to know, by our reason, when the Church has made such a proposal. See discussion of Ad Tuendam Fidei 20 years ago. Or current discussions about the infallibility of the publication of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

If the Church were to proclaim, by an infallible actio, that you had been saved, you could take that on faith. If you believe it was an infallible action. But you could not, using your own reason, determine that you will be saved.


#16

Also when the church says one can know they are saved absolutely if it was given to them by a special revelation…isn’t the church’s teaching on mortal sin and its requirements a special revelation?

That’s basically like Jesus telling all of us how to stay in a state of grace.


#17

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