On Corrigibility of the Pope
Elsewhere on this blog I have argued against papal infallibility on metamathematical grounds. As Goedel proved in his Second Incompleteness Theorem, no arithmetical deductive system can truthfully prove its own consistency. If it can prove that it can’t fail, then that proof itself is a failure. Perfectionism is jinxed!
This jinx afflicts not just papal theology, but also national security doctrines, corporate planning, and financial structures. In each case institutions are tempted by the deadly illusion of absolute self-justification.
Infallibilism fails because it cannot admit error, therefore it cannot correct for error, therefore it accumulates error. Counter to infallibility is error-correction, also known as corrigibility. Science is ostensibly based upon a philosophy of corrigibility. Note that I said ‘ostensibly’ based upon a philosophy of corrigibility, in keeping with that very philosophy!
The difference between infallibility and corrigibility is that the former demands our respect, and the latter merely deserves it.
The latest two Popes may be taking my advice to abandon papal infallibility and embrace papal corrigibility. Francis reversed course on several issues, and Benedict reversed course on being Pope.