Friday, November 30, 2018

Dashed Off XXVIII

All human relationships are infected by perversities, cravings, and self-blindings.

It is remarkable how unconvincing Feuerbach's criticism of Schleiermacher's account of prayer is (regardless of what you think of the latter); the sense of filial trust is not a universal feature of prayer, and cannot be by Feuerbach's own account of religion; and, what is more, the way he rejects a primary role for the sense of dependence is contrary to nearly universal phenomena, like prayer under desperation. It is a complete and utter failure as an account.

Love often commands.

The incoherence of Feuerbach, arising out of his perpetual picking-and-choosing, in a nutshell: "Did Christianity conquer a single philosopher, historian, or poet of the classical period? The philosophers who went over to Christianity were feeble, contemptible philosophers. All who had yet the classic spirit in them were hostile, or at least indifferent to Christianity." -- There were none in the classical period, and those that were, were bad philosophers, and they were not really classical-period philosophers even though they lived in the classical period, in three consecutive sentences. Nor is this, while egregious, an isolated case. I can give some allowance for the difficulty of arguing against something you think is a contradiction; I could admire a muddle arising from the desire to do justice to both sides; but some behaviors just show that you do not care about reasons.

trophic cascade

Note Feuerbach's claim that Protestantism 'confined the speciality of the Christian to the domain of faith'.

The dogmas of Christianity far exceed anything that natural desire can anticipate.

Interpreting set theory in a Cantorian way, arguments for the null set are arguments that at least some thought lacks a distinguishable, discrete object.

Most theories of analogical reasoning are too memory-intensive, being search-and-comparison theories of one sort or the other, and comprehensive rather than precisely directed. They are theories of brute-force approximation of analogical inference.

the vocabulary-extending function of analogical reasoning: e.g., there is a high-level abstract structure shared by water in channels and electricity in wires; by virtue of this, one can adapt water-vocabulary for use as electricity vocabulary

Human beings seem most easily to reason by analogy where function is involved. (Cp. Gentner's & Clement's 'Plant stems are drinking straws', which most peopleinterpret as describing conveyance of liquid rather than being long and thin.)

The meaning of a metaphor is not the same as the reasoning that leads to it, or by which it is constructed; we do not have to go through the work of building the meaning every time.

(1) What is potential cannot be actual except by what is actual.
(2) What is actual from another has its actuality as an action of that other.
(3) What is actual in what is actual from another must have an adequate reason in what is actual in that other.

complete actuality: Second Way
incomplete actuality: First Way
possible actuality: Scotus

the human heart, the tarnished mirror of the infinite

Nothing could be established to be a 'brute fact' except by ruling out all possible explanations.

we-mode and I-mode social agency
acting under the sign of with-ness
acting under the sign of for-ness
with-ness with structures of for-ness for the with-ness

The eucharistic presence is complete regardless of whether it is personally offered and accepted.

The notion that anyone ever found transfinalization or transsignification more intelligible than transubstantiation is absurd. Where the former do not exclude the latter, they may draw out this or that aspect of the Mystery in a clearer way, but that is all.

"Every fully constituted object is simultaneously a value object." Stein

"As God, He was the motivating [kinetic] principle of His own humanity, and as man He was the revelatory [ekphantic] principle of His own divinity." Maximus Confessor (Amb 5)

Part of faith is being silent when silence is appropriate.

existence arguments
(1) Given that A exists, B must also exist.
(2) In order that we may know, A exists.
(3) In order that we may act, A exists.
[one, true, good]

States grow along lines of easy taxation.

(1) explicit statement
(2) implication
(3) implicature
(4) evocation

"God is the implicit heaven; heaven is the explicit God." Feuerbach

Heaven can only be known by triplex via.

Empirical existence is never proven by the senses alone.

It is pretty clear that Feuerbach's reduction comes up short in the reduction of the Trinity (as also the theological virtues) -- to make the reduction work, he has to make up a Binitarian Christianity iwth only Faith and Love. When discussing the sacraments, eh can draw on the Protestant notion of there being only two sacraments, but on these two points, the Christianity reduced is a Christianity he has made up precisely for this purpose. The gap may be related to the fact that there is, for all practical purposes, no Church in the Christianity Feuerbach is 'reducing'.

In all his talk about alienation of our natures, Feuerbach never considers (as one would have to) the possibility that what he is describing is not alienation bu thte reintegration of what had already been alienated, a re-ligation of the bonds that had been broken.

Free will is the projected grace of God, the anticipation thereof.

mereological objections as common objections to transubstantiation -- i.e., it must still be bread because of its parts (atomic structure, etc.)

Arguments can only be used for persuasion because they have an intrinsic purpose that is not persuasion.

It is notable how vehemently Feuerbach has to attack celibacy.

Separation of Church and State inevitably leads to the attempts to separate Church and School, and Church and Hospital, and Church and Market, because states inevitably try to pervade all these things as sources of power.

'intrinsic good' understood as noninstrumental vs understood as good in se
-- Many discussions do not properly distinguish these.

Looking at history, it seems plausible to say that private revelations primarily serve to provide aesthetic vestment for the doctrines of the faith.

purgatory as convalescence

the quasi-representative function of civil service (common people in their common way making government work)

energy : length :: momentum : time
length : time :: momentum : energy

Descartes's Med IV as an argument that if the argument from evil is sound, our faculties cannot be trusted.

diachronic goods (e.g., improvement over time)

potential to the absent (change)
potential to the present (composition)

God as efficient cause
(1) producer
(2) conserver
(3) governor

exemplar causation & restoring/repairing causation

inward imitation, co-expression, complementary responsiveness

Politics being a social activity and not merely an activity of pure intellect, social coherence will exert pressure on political views quite independently of intellectual consistency; nor is there anyone of which this is not true, which is why academics so often seem to go stupid when they get into full partisan mode. It is nonetheless the case that there are means for reducing the chances that social coherence and intellectual consistency work at cross-purposes -- for instance, on the consistency side, taking a more pragmatic stance (focusing on the feasible), opening discussion to compromise, thinking through positions more fully; and, on the coherence side, allowing oneself some distance from party concerns, keeping open an attempt at rational dialogue with opponents, choosing party and political association reflectively and carefully.

Our thoughts are partly defined by the communities in which we actively take part.

aphoristic coalescence -> aphoristic interaction -> dialectic -> system

finitum/finiens -- finite/infinite
exceeded/exceeding -- exceeded/unexceeded
caused/causing -- caused/uncaused
exemplate/exemplar -- exemplate/unexemplate
measured/measuring -- measured/unmeasured
changed/change-causing -- changed/unchanged
-- These quadruples hang together because they involve an identifiable act admitting of nesting.
-- One can get from left to right by rejection of infinite regress in the nesting of the act.

A competent commander, with sufficient time and resources, can usually outmaneuver anything he can foresee. Because of this, most military success arises from denying the opponent time or resources, since one cannot usually pick the opposing commander (and thus cannot affect their competence) and creating something new (thus blocking foresight) is difficult and not always guaranteed to succeed.

computer programming as a liberal art vs. computer programming as a servile art

prose as 'poetry interrupted' (Chesterton)

rhetoric & the maximization of apologetical utility

While people may be skeptical of ancient emphasis on music as character-building, even we use music to relax or to get 'pumped up', both of which can affect character-building.

The gospel is unconditional promise in the sense that it is addressed to all without condition; it is not unconditional in the sense of requiring nothing from us.

If we say 'It seems to S that P' we are saying that P or something that mimics it must be a reason for S's experiences to be P-identifiable experiences.

If a claim is indefeasible, there must be a reason it cannot be defeated; if it is defeasible, there must be a reason it can be defeated.

wrongdoing under titulus existimatus
wrongdoing under titulus coloratus
wrongdoing under false title
wrongdoing under no apparent title

fourfold aspect of episcopal jurisdiction
(1) sacramental stewardship of divine majesty, in upholding the sacramental economy
(2) prophetic stewardship of divine majesty, in preservation and preaching of Scripture
(3) tribunal authority
(4) medicinal authority

Separation of Church and State cannot be allowed to be a usurpation of the public realm by the State, and the Church cannot accept a version of it under this interpretation without mauling itself.

A government loses trust by weakness, by foolishness, or by wickedness, and thereby loses authority.

In politics, all good positions have at least one evil ape.

posterior authority -> prior authority -> first authority

argument from religious experience // argument from poetic inspiration

The prosperity of a society arises form coherent families with robust education and opportunity for, and expectation of, work; this is the normal wealth-creation of a society.

Modern schooling is ridiculously time-consuming for the result achieved.

Law is that which opposes temptation; temptation is unlaw.

We are outlaws in an actual kingdom of ends.

common good as happiness of the body politic (Eth V,1)

Law is concerned not with happiness as such but with the ordering of happiness.

The key to changing the world is to keep the right idea alive until things tip that way.

A remarkable amount of time in a remarkable number of service occupations is spent trying to cancel out the work of other service occupations; this follows from the nature of many service jobs in a context of competition. Thus I hire lawyers to cancel out your lawyers, advertisers to cancel out your advertisers, etc.

Regulation is a remarkably poor instrument of policy; its biggest successes are always when it helps clarify other driving forces that do the actual work.

Political alliances are never wholly ideological; they are always affected by the question, "With whom are you comfortable working at this time?"

Solidarity does not arise by mere gestures but by common-good-building.

Modern historians have had difficulty distinguishing biased scholarship from solidary scholarship, in both directions, probably because the difference is ethical rather than one of method.

For every argument from evil there is a corresponding kind of skepticism.

(1) Evil requires the existence of good.
(2) Good is either good in itself or good from another (derivatively good).
(3) The latter cannot trace back infinitely, so there must be something good in itself.
(4) Good-in-itself admits of more and less.

privation theory of error

That is most possible which is most necessary.

Intelligibility admits of more and less.

Bazin's analogy: 'a poet is almost a priest'

If your ethics does not describe how to live a whole life, it is hardly an ethics at all.

As we are distracted from real good by pleasure, so too we are distracted from genuine understanding by the feeling of being clever.

It is quite obviously often inconvenient to the tribe that the pious character ends up being encouraged and preserved, because the pious character does not pick and choose according to the convenience of the tribe. History is filled with the difficulties that have arisen from pious insistence on what is inconvenient.

The middle term of a practical syllogism is a measure of action, a criterion for discerning what is worth doing.

We clearly have a lot of evidence that the unobserved can diverge considerably from the observed, in every sense in which we can have evidence of the unobserved.

"The heroes of declining nations are always the same -- the athlete, the singer, or the actor." Sir John Glubb

The eucharist, our supersubstantiation, is for the Church the daily bread, the needed bread, the bread for the coming day, the lasting and perpetual bread, the royal bread, all at once.

type specimen method of sorting philosophical positions

possible responses to fine-tuning arguments
(1) merely apparent
-- (1a) not really contingent
-- (1b) not really a precise target
(2) freak happening (chance in a small lottery, the improbable happens)
(3) chance in a sufficiently large lottery to make probable
(4) design

Gospel and Church cannot be pried apart.

One can make no sense of chance without a framework for what is chancy.

Words on a page are dead. Words read are alive. In writing a book, thought dies and is laid in the tomb so that it may rise again. Every book is a Holy Saturday tomb for the word. Every reading is Easter Sunday, when the word, which is not then dead, appears, living, to those who wait.

Scripture is prologue to Sacrament, which is the first foreshadowing part of the book of glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.