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Dr. Dennis Bonnette

About

Dr. Dennis Bonnette retired as a Full Professor of Philosophy in 2003 from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. He taught philosophy there for thirty-six years and served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1992 to 2002. He lives in Youngstown, New York, with his wife, Lois. They have seven adult children and twenty-five grandchildren. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1970. Dr. Bonnette taught philosophy at the college level for 40 years, and is now teaching free courses at the Aquinas School of Philosophy in Lewiston, New York. He is the author of two books, Aquinas' Proofs for God's Existence (The Hague: Martinus-Nijhoff, 1972) and Origin of the Human Species (Ave Maria, FL: Sapientia Press, third edition, 2014), and many scholarly articles.

   
 

Theism vs. Skepticism: The COVID-19 Pandemic

In an earlier Strange Notions essay, I addressed the problem of how an all-good God could be compatible with the existence of Hell. While that analysis befits the extreme case, the purpose of the present piece is to address the exact role of responsibility God has in terms of the very real and human tragedy posed by the Covid-19 virus which is presently raging throughout the world. This piece will not address the most ethical or medically correct methods with which to address this pandemic. Rather,... Read More

Why Reason Demands Absolute Certitudes

The concept of certitude itself is not very popular today. Most skeptics, agnostics, and atheists view natural science as providing the surest available rational knowledge, and yet, because of this very fact, view all knowledge, at best, to be a matter of very high degrees of probability – never of absolute certitude. The inherent epistemological limitation of natural science is its inductive method, since observation of particular events can never produce universal certitudes – as famously... Read More

Hell and God’s Goodness

Although this article will address the content of certain theological doctrines, it is written from a purely philosophical perspective. This is the same method used consistently in my book, Origin of the Human Species, in which I examine how evolutionary theory comports with divine revelation and philosophy. What characterizes philosophical analysis of theological doctrine is that reason alone is the method employed. Thus, while the philosopher as such cannot say whether the Trinity is factual,... Read More

Why Humans Are More Than Mere Animals

Ever since the time of Charles Darwin’s thunderous appearance on the human stage, evolutionary materialists have envisioned a world in which man appears without any rational need either for the God of classical theism or for a spiritual and immortal human soul. Human beings are finally to be classed as merely highly-developed subhuman hominins, whose mental abilities do not differ in kind from those of other primates. Human intellectual activity is thought to be merely a highly-evolved form... Read More

Materialism’s Failures: Hylemorphism’s Vindication

Scientific materialists propose certain epistemological and ontological claims, allegedly in the name of natural science, that conflict with man’s common sense experience of the world. This article will show (1)  that such claims are not based on sound natural science, but the assumed philosophy of materialism, (2) that the materialist/atomist worldview is fundamentally flawed, and (3) that hylemorphism offers scientifically-compatible alternatives that align with reality. Materialism's... Read More

Abortion Ethics: Natural Law vs. Naturalism

This article will examine (1) natural law’s and (2) naturalism’s opposing views on abortion. Their diverse philosophies determine radically divergent abortion ethics, which will be examined solely through natural reasoning. Pertinent Thomistic Doctrines Since embryology teaches that specifically human life begins at conception, modern natural law ethics – following the principles of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) – prohibits direct abortion at any stage, since it is the taking... Read More

Why Natural Law Ethics is Rational

This article will lay out the rational foundations of natural law ethics as well as show how they lead to implications for the philosophical science of ethics. Everyone thinks he is an expert in ethics – or, so it seems. Just ask anyone’s opinion about any hot topic, like abortion, the homosexual agenda, the proper response to climate change, or the death penalty, and you will elicit strong judgments as to what we are obliged to do or not do. Rarely does someone say, “Who am I to judge?” Still,... Read More

The Principle of Non-Contradiction’s Incredible Implications

Thomism’s metaphysical first principle of non-contradiction (PNC) reads, “Being cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.” Its sister first principles are those of identity and excluded middle. Its logical form reads, “The same predicate cannot be affirmed and denied of the same subject.” The metaphysical statement is about being itself (that which in any way has existence), not about propositions about being. There appears little reason to examine something... Read More

The Santa Claus “Proof” for God’s Existence

In my title, the word, “proof,” is in quotation marks, because this article is not intended as a strict proof for God’s existence. Many may well not be impressed by the argument at all. Still, it may have some merit, since it might at least give skeptics, agnostics, and atheists some pause for thought. Most children are taught in their early years to believe in the fictional character who lives at the North Pole. Indeed, like St. Thomas Aquinas’s own Five Ways to prove God’s existence,... Read More

How Aquinas’s First Mover is Also Universal Governor

This post aims at better understanding how God interacts with creatures, not primarily at proving his existence. Central objections to God’s existence are that (1) his nature is self-contradictory and/or (2) his relation to creatures is somehow impossible, as in, for example, the problem of evil that I have addressed here previously. In other posts, I have argued that God is the source of all “new existence” that appears in the world every moment it progresses through time. Regarding... Read More

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