Friday, November 27, 2020

Dashed Off XXXI

 Beauty in mathematics and physics usually has to do with 'depth' of adequacy rather than adequacy as such; the beautiful theory or proof is marked by at least apparent insight, by at least striking people as potentially powerful or probably not superficial, and thus pleases the properly trained mind when seen.

reasoned, responsible, reliable, and restrained

Prudence mobilizes skills.

Discipline is the root of ingenuity.

* God as first possible source of possibility, as first existent source of existence; as first necessary source of necessity
* God as self-subsistent subject, as omnipotence, as omniscience
* God as source of unity, as source of plurality, as source of cosmos
* God as most real, as not other, as infinite

Everyone is in favor of democracy and of populism when these things agree with them.

the electoral, honorary, utilitarian, protective, and onerous rights of the citizen

One Church is both holy and apostolic, and thus both invisible and visible.

'souvenir' as an aesthetic category

Every honest human effort at religious devotion has liabilities to degeneracy and something in it that may be purified to a right spirit.

The argument of Hawkins's "Dissertation upon the use and importance of unauthoritative tradition"
-- "the value of unauthorized tradition, not so much in the confirmation or interpretation of Christian doctrines, but as intended to be the ordinary *introduction* to them"
-- "...why may it not have been the general design of Heaven that by early oral, or traditional instruction the way should be prepared for the reception of the mysteries of faith; that the Church should carry down the *system*, but the Scriptures should furnish all the *proofs* of the Christian doctrines, that tradition should supply the Christian with *arrangement*, but the Bible with all the *substance* of divine truth?"
-- not a claim of an independent authority, nor of infallibility or incorruptibility, but only a claim that this is the normal intended course
-- the NT epistles all imply previous oral teaching, as does the Gospel of Luke
-- there is a continued existence of such tradition as an aid for teaching, thus creating a presumption that it was intended
-- there is an apostolic provision for it, in the succession of ministers and teachers
-- thus we may explain why doctrine is so often taught indirectly in Scripture, which is for proving and establishing as the authoritative rule of faith; such system as is needed is through unauthoritative tradition
-- Every Christian is a keeper of tradition in this senses.

In coming to believe, one needs only genuine authority; in judging dispute, one needs authority in a more robust sense.

the reflection of sacred Tradition in domestic traditions

Real growth can never match the on-paper growth of compound interest.

"In sociology...we must treat every real force as being at once material, intellectual, and moral--that is to say, as concerned with, at the same time, action, speculation, and affection." Comte
"Men will recognize separately material force, intellectual superiority, and moral authority, but they will not frankly yield to any of them until they are all harmoniously united."

the impressive vs the sublime

Kant's law of nature formulation of the categorical imperative requires that nature be at least possibly a teleological system.

trading sordid luxuries for luxuries of devotion

providential men & women ; nature :: saints : grace

disability as resource cost

sophistry & the building of usurping discourses

"...people regularly comment on well-made products that nothing could be added or subtracted, since they assume that excess or deficiency ruins a good while the mean preserves it. Good craftsmen also, we say, focus on what is intermediate when they produce their product." Aristotle

"The Rights of the Person are the Rights to Safety, Security, and Free Agency, which, as we have said, are requisite for the peace of Society and the human and moral character of man's actions." Whewell
"Marriage and Property are termed *Institutions*, inasmuch as they imply the establishment of General Rules, by which, not only the special parties are bound (as in Contracts); but by which the whole Society is also governed. These two Institutions are the basis of Society."
"The Right of Personal Security is requisite, in order to preserve man from hour to hour, and from day to day; the Institution of Property is requisite, in order that man may subsist on the fruits of the earth from year to year; the Institution of Marriage is indispensable, in order to the continuance of the community from generation to generation."
"The Laws, with their Sanctions, are a part of the Moral Education of each citizen's mind."
"The *Idea* of the Course of the World, according to Natural Religion, is that it is directed by God's Providence so as to be in harmony with his Moral Government. The *Fact* which corresponds to this Idea is supplied to us by the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament."
"The Character of Jesus Christ, while upon the earth, was a Human Character of the highest Benevolence, Justice, Truth, Purity, and Obedience to Law. In his Character, we have the moral perfections, which we conceive in God, embodied and realized in man. Hence, the *Image of God in Christ* is the summit of the Moral Progress, which it is our Duty to pursue: and this object is presented to us by Christian teaching, as the aim and end of our moral career."

the obligations of the Church
(1) proclamation of Gospel
(2) maintaining of sacraments
(3) self-preservation
(4) repudiation of heresy

legitimate grounds of religious practice
(1) natural piety
(2) Jewish example
(3) Catholic & Apostolic usage

infant baptism
(1) circumcision
(2) Holy Innocents
(3) baptism of households

Our Father who art in heaven: Baptism
hallowed be thy Name: Orders
thy Kingdom come: Confirmation
they will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Matrimony
Give us this day our daily bread: Eucharist
forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us: Reconciliation
lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: Unction

the cooperative power of the Crown

thought itself as a speech act

analogy as the principle of Anglican theology

One of the effects of original sin is Wasting of Time -- not leisure, not rest, not recreation, not endurance for virtue or learning, not unavoidable delay, but actually wasting time.

Pace Kant, moral proofs about duty, like geometrical proofs, involve constructions. (Spinoza correctly recognizes this.)

it is right in your case that X : you have a right to X :: propositional modality : predicate modality

WA Butler asks, "Can one infallibly authorized document rank higher than another?" -- But there is nothing about infallible authorization that rules out different ranks in what is authorized.

By denying that there are rational duties *to* God, Kant effectively denies that God has rights over us. But it is impossible to conceive of God as having no rights, for divine nature is first title presupposed by every other title.

What Kant's characterization of natural religion as 'the sum of all duties as divine commands' misses is vow and rite as the necessary means to this.

(1) duties to God
(2) duties with regard to God
(3) duties to self and others in light of God
(4) duties on behalf of God

law → rights → powers of sanction or recourse

An aspect of obligation not considered sufficiently: we have the ability to obligate other animals (this clearly happens with pets and farm animals) by positive obligations.

continued, independent, externality as condition of experimentability

experimental replication & readiness to appear

The rational by its nature has an ordering to the super-rational.

A consumerist society is unsustainable because it is based on the principle that you must consume more to save more, centralize more to get more equality, work more to get more relaxation, secularize more to be more religious, etc.

Whately's argument from omissions (KCD Essay 2) is for the conclusion that specifics were left out in revelation to give later ages freedom; but one could just as easily conclude that specifics were left out because Christ established an authoritative structure to handle them, and all the more so given that this is exactly what we see later.

Christianity came into the world as a Person.

Origen criticizes the view that the Church is built on Peter alone as if that were something commonly believed that needed to be resisted.

Scripture is not merely a book but an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

Popular progressivism tends toward a conspiracy-theory structure because that is the most natural way of evaluating problems of power.

creation : conservation ;: apostles : bishops
primac of reason/conscience : natural religion :: primacy of person : revealed religion

Holy Scripture has its ordinary instrumentality for the Holy Spirit in the context of the Church, which has its instrumentality for the Holy Spirit in itself.

The development of doctrine is more like rotation into view than like novel production, more like magnification of a set of relationships than like the building of new relationships, more like an involution than an evolution.

"The Church is the historical continuation of the life of Jesus Christ in the world." Nevin

"All human beings are equal to one another, and only he who is morally good has a superior inner worth." Kant
-- Kant gets his egalitarianism from Rousseau (20:44, 20:176)

catechetic, ascetic, and heroic phases of training in virtue

(1) Duties may overlap.
(2) One duty may have multiple grounds.
(3) Duties to self may also be duties to others, and vice versa.
(4) Duties arise from conscience, from authority, and from virtues interacting with roles.

Debate is not a foundational element of intellectual life, but an instrumental one.

The moral law must be such as to be loved as well as respected, must be beautiful as well as sublime.

'Either it is raining or it is not raining' rules out the possibility that 'raining' is gibberish.

The difference between bare sensing and perceiving is integration into a more powerful kind of activity. In cases of sensory perception, we consider how much is due to the more powerful activity:
sensing surface features
sensing a unified object
sensing a body
sensing a tree
sensing an oak
sensing that the oak is about to fall
-- There also seem to be differences in the precise kind of higher activity (e.g., whether it is more classificatory or more causal or more a matter of grouping things by associations in memory and imagination).

The modal ascent principle: The explanans must involve a more powerful modality than the explanandum.
-- have to be generous with modalities, since alethic Box is more powerful than temporal Box, etc.
-- would explain why covering-law approaches sometimes seem to work and sometimes seem weird
-- possible counter: ontological arguments. possible response: where legitimate, the Diamond is of a more powerful/fundamental modal kind than the Box.
-- obviously a big issue is determining the power of a modality

aesthetic Box -- if Kant is right, or even in the vicinity, there is one
-- the corresponding Diamond is perhaps a bit tricky (not-ugly, perhaps) -- definitely need to take some care with negations given the quirk of aesthetic 'necessity'
-- Does the M/T axiom apply? This seems particularly important.

moral law as showing uniformity amidst variety

Byerly's Pantheism Argument
(1) That which most continues to elicit awe under critical scrutiny is most divine.
(2) The cosmos is thus. Therefore, etc.
-- Note that he has to deny that we can experience awe at persons (we only so, he claims, at in-principle producible objects beyond our productive powers that exhibit complex functioning in teh production of a valuable end)
-- what he calls 'awe' sounds a lot more like simply being impressed
-- He does not think, however, that this rules out something beyond the cosmos.

I am pent with passion; its penalty is pain,
misfortune made of misery beyond the lot of men.