Friday, December 30, 2022

Dashed Off XXXII

 "In politics, as in mechanics, the power which is to keep the engine going must be sought for *outside* the machinery; and if it is not forthcoming, or is insufficient to surmount the obstacles which may reasonably be expected, the contrivance will fail." John Stuart Mill
"One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests."
"A bureaucracy always tends to be come a pedantocracy."

Many things are permissible in particular cases that nonetheless set bad precedents for general patterns.

'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' as a key element of Christian political theology

Democratic succession always works by overthrow, and thus the key constitutional issue is how to make this peaceful and nondisruptive.

Free verse is, at least usually in practice, verse as-if-translated-literally-from-a-foreign-language.

The life that is most lovely
is a life that none can live.

the intrinsic pageantry of ghost stories

fiction as a moral early warning system

monument-presence, proclamation-presence, telepresence

All very ancient historical writings have allegorical elements.

solidarities of similiarity vs solidarities of convergence

(1) In the same eternal act God predestines Christ and us.
(2) In respect to that to which we are predestined (sonship), Christ's predestination is the exemplar of ours.
(3) In respect to the means to that end (grace), Christ's predestination is the exemplar of ours.

commemoration : liturgy :: Platonic reminiscence : knowledge

Christ is the source of all priesthood. Pagan priesthoods arise out of a human need for which He is the adequate satisfaction. The Jewish priesthood was the figure of Him. The Christian priest is His minister, working in the person of Christ.

"Those who heard the preaching of Peter received the effect of confirmation miraculously: but not the sacrament of confirmation." Aq (3.72.6 ad 3, on Acts 10:44-48) -- this is confirmation of desire
NB ad 1: "Just as none receive the effect of baptism without the desire of baptism, so none receive the effect of confirmation without the desire of confirmation. And man can have this even before receiving baptism."

One receives in confirmation a power of excelling oneself.

From the fact that baptism is an adoption into the household of God, it follows that there must be something like a sacrament of confirmation, in which a child of the household receives the power of speaking and acting on behalf of the household, not merely as a sort of indulgence, but in right and authority. For in every family there is a distinction between being in the family and holding something of the authority of the family, by which one oversees some of its essential affairs, even where (as they might in adoption) they might be received together.

"'A people' is not a logical category; no, it is a mythic category. To understand this we must approach it as we approach a mythic category." Pope Francis, Address to the International Theological Symposium on the Priesthood (17 Feb 2022)

Aquinas against ubiquity: SCG 4.49.5

The most serious problem with emergency powers provisions in constitutions is that they guarantee not only the bypassing of rights and laws but of customary safeguards against abuses.

The idea of other minds is implicit in the idea of our own mind.

A felicific calculus always runs into problems at very small and very large scales. (This is true as well of probabilistic approaches to evidence.)

All rights can be held either actively or passively.

Syllabus-making (e.g., choosing readings for a course, balancing assignments &c.) is a heavily aesthetic enterprise.

When we ask, "Is the future like the past?", part of the answer is, "What else could it possibly be like for us?"

All communication tends toward and converges on the true, the good, and the beautiful; the more true, the more good, the more beautiful, the more communicative it is.

Every formal argument is like a planar figure from which one extrapolates the volume of reasoning it represents.

j'adoube actions in friendly and romantic interactions, in which something is done that would otherwise not be allowed, with explicit noting of the violation, with the purpose of setting something right to facilitate the interaction or its excellence

States generally justify their freedom-destroying acts by painting their victims as threats to freedom.

direct experiential example, example of associated experience, example of experience used as symbolic representation of another experience

liminalization as hieratic/sacral act: separation, transition, transfigurative return

Every liminal boundary can metaphorically be seen as a point of death.

We have exited from God, both by creation and by fall, although we make our feeble efforts to give some small return. But with Israel, first, and then in an even greater way with the giving of Torah to Israel, God begins a massive return.

Lv 11:44 -- Sanctify yourself and be holy, for I am holy
Lv 21:8 -- I who sanctify you am holy
Lv 22:32 -- You shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel: I sanctify you.

Individual human reason is, by its nature, cooperative; on its own it is weak, for it is meant to be exercised in union with all human beings, a union we can only have very imperfectly in our fallen state.

remotion as the foundation of religious symbolism

God gives Scripture to the Church, but a gift by its nature continues in a secondary way to belong to the giver, insofar as it is a gift, and therefore must be treated accordingly.

mutual self-giving -> mutual gratitude
the dual gratitude of Christian marriage: to spouse and to God
-- this dual gratitude provides a template and framework for learning love of God and neighbor

In intellectual acts, the distinction between operation and production is not very sharp; intellectual doing and intellectual making share the same acts, and are distinguished by our focus.

Every great philosopher is already an implicit school; a philosopher is already a dialogue in one, and a great philosopher is many dialogues in one.

"Esse capax convenientiae." Gilbert Narcissae

Keeping in mind reverence to God, supposing no contradiction or inconsistency with Scripture, the grace God has given to the Church must be measured not by human expectation but by divine omnipotence.

Some sacraments require an act of the recipient for validity, namely a kind of self-presentation, which we see in matrimony and reconciliation, and others do not, such as baptism and confirmation.

In sacramental theology, one should not reject an ancient rite of wide custom on the basis of a scheme, and likewise must not in practice be a tutiorist about rites, demanding the safe view even where there is no defined law or direct spiritual danger.

"It is grounded from all eternity in God that no man cometh to the Father except through the Son, because the Spirit by whom the Father draw His children to Himself is also from all eternity the Spirit of the Son, because by His Spirit the Father does not call anyone except in His Son." Barth

Handing down is a kind of giving; what is received by tradition is received as gift.

three distinctions between Head & members: dignitas, gubernatio, influentia
three conformities between Head & members: natura, ordo, continuitas
-- this works in generalized form for hierarchy
-- gubernatio or direction has two aspects: principium and plenitudo of virtutes et sensus.

Every kind of causality that Christ's humanity has in our salvation is expressed in the sacraments, modulated for the particular ends of each sacrament. For the major sacraments have Christ's causality in their signs.

Every effect is a natural sign of its cause.

The liturgy is a cosignification performed by God and man, a duet of holy signs.

Regular exposure to the liturgy, to Scripture, to the sacraments and sacramentals, builds in us a safeguard against heresy by giving order to our imaginative association of sign with sign, so that we come to recognize when there is a discord among signs, raising our guard before we even consider the meaning. It is important to grasp, however, that the world leads us astray in an analogous fashion, which is why Christians must deliberately immerse themselves in orthodox signs and, at times, keep a distance from the message of the world.

cultures as built out of capacities of precedent, of juxtaposition, and of moral influence

Narration is the mother of explanation.

Bayesianism confuses partial assent and provisional assent.

Liturgy done well enlightens the understanding, pleases the imagination, moves the passions, and influences the will.

"Sublimity elevates, beauty charms, wit diverts.' Campbell

God gives to us that He might give with us.

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