Look in the Mirror, by Randall Smith

Former Planned Parenthood Director: More People Would be Pro-Life if They Saw “Barbarity” of How Abortions Kill Babies, by Micaiah Bilger
July 12, 2022
Defendant in Vatican Trial Claims Pope Francis Knew All About the London Property Deal, by Andrea Gagliarducci
July 12, 2022

*Image: Not to Be Reproduced by René Magritte, 1937 [Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands]

By Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing, July 12, 2022

Randall B. Smith is a Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Guidebook for Beginners and Aquinas, Bonaventure, and the Scholastic Culture of Medieval Paris: Preaching, Prologues, and Biblical Commentary (2021). His website is: randallbsmith.com.

Increasingly, in our society of autonomous, expressive individualism, all utterances are taken to be expressions of one’s identity and individuality rather than statements about the world that might be judged true or false.  As James Bowman notes in a recent article, people now identify themselves with their opinions to such a degree that “to change or modify those opinions in the light of further knowledge or understanding would amount to a kind of self-annihilation.”  Disagreement that might have at one point been taken to be disagreement about facts are increasingly taken to be clashes of personal identity.

Increasingly, a culture of autonomous expressive individualism makes us less capable of seeing things (or even imagining we ought to see things) from other people’s perspectives.  We increasingly lack the ability to see others as they see themselves. And for related reasons, we can no longer see ourselves as others see us, which, as numerous studies have shown, is a critical way of coming to know ourselves. …