Magazine
Latest Issue

As the Pope comes under intensified attack for his handling of paedophilic Catholic priests, Vatican officials are queuing up with excuses. So far we’ve heard that it was the work of the Devil, and that homosexuality not celibacy was the source of the problem. All of which raises interesting philosophical questions about the nature of excuses.

Jean Paul Sartre claimed that excuses were always in “bad faith”: a denial of our fundamental freedom. The human condition, for Sartre, was that we are “alone without excuse”—we can’t blame God or the Devil because they don’t exist. We can’t blame our nature…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect