Did certain Problematic Ideas within Franciscan Theology bring about the Loss of Thomistic Natural Law and possibly help bring about Francis's Amoris Laetitia?
The Washington Post called Francis "A Franciscan Jesuit for pope."
Did certain problematic ideas within Franciscan theology such as "voluntarism" (that the will comes before the intellect in God) help bring about the loss of natural law and help bring about Francis's Amoris Laetitia?
Edward Feser's book, The Last Superstition,on pages 167, 168, and
170 seems to say that the Franciscan theologians John Duns Scotus's and William of Ockham's "tendency toward voluntarism" may have helped bring about the present denial of natural law and ethics:
- "John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308) and William of Ockham (c.
1287-1347), who, though scholastics, rejected Aquinas's synthesis of
Aristotelianism and Christian theology. Their reasons for doing so
anticipate certain key themes of modern philosophy . . . [these ]
led to the undoing of the Scholastic tradition, which had reached its
apex in Aquinas's thought."
- "Both Scotus and Ockham denied the possibility of the sort of knowledge of God Aquinas claimed could be had through reason..."
- "The motivation for Scotus's skepticism was an excessive emphasis (as Thomists see it) on God's will over His intellect. Aquinas, in Scotus's estimation, makes God and His actions too comprehensible, too rational, too open to our puny philosophical investigations. So radically free is God's will, in Scotus's view, that we simply cannot deduce from the natural order either His intentions or any necessary features of the things He created, since He might have created them in any number of ways, as His inscrutable will directed."
- "Meanwhile, Scotus's and Ockham's tendency toward voluntarism (i.e. their emphasis on will over intellect), and the related idea that morality derives from arbitrary divine commands, became secularized in the notion that all law rests ultimately on the sheer will of a sovereign, rather than in a rationally ascertainable natural order. Combine these themes and you are not far from Thomas Hobbes's view that man's "natural" condition is to be at war with his fellowman, and that this unhappy situation can be remedied only by agreeing to submit to the will of an absolute ruler."
Moreover, the pro-Amoris Laetitia website Where Peter Is apparently supports certain ideas of Scotus:
"Duns Scotus and his Franciscan school of theology successfully defended the Absolute Primacy of Christ. God did not send His Son into the world as a consequence of sin but “by reason of His very great love”. (Eph. 2:4)" [https://wherepeteris.com/who-art-thou-o-immaculata/]
The independent scholar James Larson explained to me in an email exchange the problem with this and other ideas of Scotus:
I am very far from being an expert on Scotus, and have no desire to be so. But I would offer the following: