One thing’s for sure, the religious critics of natural theology and natural law seem chronically unable to provide any good arguments for their misgivings. I’ve had reason to consider several woolly attacks on natural law theory in recent months (e.g. here, here, and here), and another, by Thomas M. Cothran, has recently been posted at the website of the journal Anamnesis. It’s hysterical, in every sense of the word. Cothran assures his readers that we Neo-Scholastic natural law theorists, our Thomism and Catholicism notwithstanding, arereally implicitly beholden to… wait for it… wait for it… “a Nietzschean overcoming of Christianity.” The point of Garrigou-Lagrange’s Reality, it seems, was to provide a deceptively pious dust jacket within which to hide your copy of The Antichrist. Who knew? No doubt Henri de Lubac, who is (as the bylaws of Catholic anti-natural law polemic require), the hero of Cothran’s piece. Nouvelle theologie repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as a half-baked rant on the interwebs....
Would that everyone could have such discerning and well-tempered critics.
There is a lot that puzzling about his response. He believes that the article is an "attack on natural law," when it actually champions natural law. I am not sure how he read an article touting natural law as a viable and underutilized alternative to secularism as an assault on natural law. Or how he asserts that Aristotle did not define the natural in contradistinction with the supernatural. (Hasn't every good Thomist read Metaphysics 6?)
One more bit:
What explains this mindset? Constitutional impatience with (or simple incapacity for) conceptual precision and argumentative rigor? A Pharisaical repugnance at the notion that non-Christian thinkers might have had something of importance to say about God or morality? Resentment of the suggestion that a mere philosophical argument could succeed where Bible thumping or rhetorical eloquence has failed?
Ed Feser's criticisms know no bounds but his imagination. I'll have a response out soon.