Argument from the surety of Infallibility to the surety of the Ordinary Magisterium

  1. If some belief A is based only and ultimately upon some more basic belief B, from which it is inferred, then the epistemic warrant for A can in no case be greater than the epistemic warrant for B. (The epistemic analogue to the Metaphysical ‘Principle of Causal Adequacy’)
  2. Belief in any and every infallible article of Catholic faith promulgated by a council ratified by the Pope as ecumenical, or promulgated by a Pope speaking ex Cathedra, is based ultimately and only upon the more basic belief in the ordinary magisterium, from which it is inferred.
  3. Therefore, to the extent that one calls into doubt the ordinary magisterium, to that extent one calls into doubt any and every article of faith infallibly promulgated.

This argument came to me this morning as I was trying to summarize in the briefest way my argument in this paper on Religious Assent. It is intended to illustrate that whereas some liberal Catholics treat infallible statements as the kernel of faith (without realizing, it seems, that even the Christian Kerygma is not held at present to be ‘infallibly’ maintained), the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium already lies closer to the kernel, and is necessary for the intellectual habit of faith properly so called, to say nothing of it’s being necessary for the economy of infallible statements in the first place.

About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
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