Friday, November 17, 2023

Dashed Off XXXIII

This ends the notebook that was completed March 2023.

 The Synoptic Problem is like models of planetary motion; it is a tracing of the phenomena, which admit of different models. From the phenomena alone, some indications of varying probability can be had (e.g., simplicity), but only causal considerations could possibly render definitive judgment. Until then, any model can be epicycled into conformity with the data, especially given that some of that data admits of dispute in its interpretation.

Irenaeus in Adv. Haer. 3.3, on apostolic succession, is showing that the Church's tradition is manifest, not secret. (Note also his appeal to the Apostolic Fathers in particular, namely, Clement and Polycarp.) He goes on (3.4) to point out that besides the ancient apostolic churches, the barbarians are also witnesses, based on their traditions from the original preaching. The reason he was arguing this was that the heretics, when Scripture is used, retreat to tradition, and when the tradition of the Church is used, retreat to secret traditions of hidden mysteries. Having countered this retreat, he returns to Scripture (3.5). He then confirms this line of argument by arguing that there is no need or value in alternative gospels (3.11) and that it is false and useless to hold that only Paul had the right tradition (3.13), a way in which such alternatives were sometimes justified, and that on the other side it is false to hold that Paul was not an apostle (3.15), against possible objections by heretics.

In favor of LXX, Irenaeus in 3.21appeals not only to the legend of the seventy, but also to its conformity with apostolic quotations.

"With God there are simultaneously exhibited power, wisdom, and goodness." Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 4.38

Of the early leaders of the Church, the Mother of the Lord was of course unique; the Brothers of the Lord organized a community, but the community did not last much past the destruction of Jerusalem and ended with the last Brother of the Lord; the Women seem to have been organized such that they had no formal appointment, so they appear to have appointed no successors, although they have always had imitators; but the Apostles, tasked particularly with evangelism, appointed overseers operating under their authority, who succeeded them by continuing to operate in a limited way under their authority.

received sacred unity -> internal moral unification -> external juridical unification

The episcopal system is so widespread so early that it defies belief to think its basic form is not thoroughly apostolic, even if a number of its juridical features had not yet developed.

"In the history of each dogma, one may observe a gradual transition from variety to unity." Hilarion Troitsky

The Church may be said to preexist creation in its Head, who is the Word of God, and in its predestination.

God alone is a sacrifice wholly adequate to God, and God alone is a priest wholly adequate to offer such a sacrifice.

On Hume's account of the world, our knowledge of it is a set of basic models and epicycles.

Repentance is our mortality turned to a higher end.

Lk 10:16 and magisterium
2 Tim 2:2 and tradition

Error is always an imitation of the truth.

the charisma veritatis of the episcopate

Rome as the church within which all churches convene

"The Church does not view oral and written Tradition as absolutely separate and distinct from one another." Hilarion Troitsky

All works of mercy, properly done, are done in accordance with Scripture; all works of mercy, corporeal and spiritual alike, are figures of graces we may receive from Scripture; all works of mercy, properly done, better dispose us in how we read Scripture.

aridity & consolations in almsdeeds

intellect/reason qua synderesis and natural law as disposition to covenant

Dt 25:1, Is 53:11, and justification

the natural mysteries
(1) existence
(2) life
(3) reason
(4) motherhood
(5) fatherhood
(6) human solidarity
-- each of these has a kind of natural sacredness distinctive to itself; each of these is a potential subject of endless meditation.
-- in a sense, the mystery of fatherhood occurs within the mystery of motherhood, as a distinguishable aspect or extension of it.

The Protestant Reformation had the curious unintended result of making many, many roads to Rome.

condign vs congruous respectability

Sin cannot wane unless justice waxes.

Acquittal is a judicial act, pardon is an executive act, forensic imputation is a legislative act.

All imputation indicates a title and a transfer, resulting in a classification. Different kinds of title, different kinds of transfer, and different kinds of classification are possible.

A purely forensic justification can only solve a purely forensic problem.

Justification in a court of justice and justification in a court of mercy cannot be in every way the same.

"For anyone can observe in his own life how an idea previously held becomes more definite when expressed in words, and especially when written down." Hilarion Troitsky
"The doctrine of Tradition, formerly encountered in fragmentary comments and often merely in hints, was merely developed into a more or less complete system of thought."

(1) formal epsicopal authority, arising from the sacrament of order and appointment to office
(2) material episcopal authority, arising from custody of memory of saints and martyrs
(3) adjunct episcopal authority, arising from historical importance and influence
(4) synodal authority, arising from organization with other bishops.

Seven stages of repentance (Nicholas of Clairvaux)
(1) cognitio peccati
(2) penitentia
(3) dolor cordis
(4) confessionis
(5) satisfactio
(6) correctio operis
(7) perseverantia bonitatis

Properly done, ritual prevents us from giving too much salience to particular passions.

When we compare the NT with the third and fourth centuries, what we find is not the springing up of new church offices, but a bewildering array of offices, missions, and ministries, sometimes distinct and sometimes overlapping, that mostly becomes simplified through more consistent overallping with the office concerned with the central functions of every church, precisely because they were the central functions of every church. The offices that became most important are inevitably the offices most in demand and that can already do at least some of the work of other offices because of their local supervisory and organizational authority. Something like this is even recognized explicitly by the Didache (15:1-2).

In order to evaluate something by its fruits, you need to understand the causes that result in those fruits.

Solidarity cannot be built entirely on a shared opposition.

"Our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth to renew manking, whom He called to infinite moral perfection. Mankind sets out upon this path of moral perfection by rejecting his former life, altering his entire spiritual visage (metanoeo). In this respect those who set out on the path of Christian perfection become people set apart, separated out from the sphere of natural, sinful life." Hilarion Troitsky

All books are instrumental by nature, but some are instrumental specifically to the reading of other books. thus there is a sort of hierarchy and network in book-reading, and at the center of the largest networks we find the great works of humanity: The Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Five Classics, and the like.

A lot of evangelism is just making-available.

Development of doctrine arises from the fact that we deal with divine mysteries, which cannot fully be expressed in language; some languages can better express different aspects, however. And as we express the mysteries in various langauges, natural and artificial in various degrees, and remember what has been said, the doctrine concerned with the mystery continues to develop, as long as the mystery is not lost.

perceived, inferred, and posited beings of reason

You cannot be equitable while focusing wholly on negatives; you must build on good.

the oblique destruction of the innocent as a major problem of the age

the universal convening power of the Holy See
the universal advising power of the Holy See

Citizenship posits civil liberty, perpetuity of citizenship, and participation in the civil order.

"But of every society, it may be stated that the greater and more varied is its membership, teh les sunity it has, and the lower its overall quality becomes." Hilarion Troitsky

progress in inquiry: refining problems, finding better questions, positing possibilities, testing options, answering questions, solving problems

The moral action in itself bears a kind of authority.

Our relation to Scripture cannot take Scripture *primarily* as a source of proof.

Compassion is a great power for good, but it is a great power for good because it is a great power, and like all great power it can destroy as well as create.

To empower someone is to make them responsible.

Movements survive by developing structures to survive the dissipation of spirits of enthusiasm.

With respect to officia, that is unlawful which makes one unfit for the officium. (cp. ST 2-2 2.40.2)
-- the persona of the office

False opinions about principles do not vitiate the principles.

the sins against peace as an account of societal breakdown

moral, jural, and sacral titles of possession

right to, right with, and right over

Our most basic expereinces come already valued -- soothing and scary, beautiful and ugly, safe and dangerous, delicious and foul, messy and tidy, bland and expressive.

bishop in Confession of Dositheus
(1) successor of the Apostles by imposition of hand and invocation of Spirit
(2) living image of God on earth
(3) fountain of all mysteries of the Church through the Spirit
(4) necessary for the Church

seven capital delicts (Tertullian, Adv. Marc 4. 9): idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, fornication, perjury, fraud

charity as source of act of peace, wisdom as ordering form of act of peace

Only by mercy can we appeal to justice.

All love is both unitive and generative.

One may repent of human sin without being ashamed of human potential.

In the Eucharist, Christ literally becomes our companion.

marriage as free: apostolic; as full: one; as faithful: holy; as fruitful: catholic

order and disorder as values -- any arrangement of anything exhibits values of at least a general kind

values as particular modes of practical salience for objects
-- natural values, imposed values, customary values

the sense of beauty as perspective-widening

habitus as the term of training

In order to explain things to beginners, one must often first move to a more advanced point of view than that used by most nonbeginners, and from that more advanced POV produce simplifications that encapsulate what is done by nonbeginners, in a form that beginners may use.

A very large part of anyone's knowledge of the natural world is subjunctive.

We learn language through the overlap of our lives with the lives of others.

The less traditional a society gets, the less people seem to be able to explain why they do what they do.

What we often call freedom is in reality the capacity for actual freedom, whichneeds completion by skill and by virtue to be actual freedom in the most proper sense.

Apologetics cannot be done wholly at the level of argument.

Barnabas 4:9 // Didache 16:2-3

blessing from 1QS, the Manual of Discipline: "May He bless you with all good and keep you from all evil, and illuminate your heart with insight into things of life and grace with knowledge of eternal things, and lift up his gracious countenance to you to grant you everlasting peace."

"Men cannot be purified unless they repent their evil." Manual of Discipline

The Didascalia takes the fundamental purpose of the widows to be to pray "for those who give and for the whole Church"
-- "she is the altar of God"
-- however, they also clearly have the function of doing good works and aiding the bishops in good works with money they receive, and with some basic trade (like woolworking); the Didascalia is very concerned with abuses connected to the former.

"Teach your children crafts that are agreeable to religion, lest through idleness they give themselves to wantonness." Didascalia

Credibility is both a theoretical and a practical matter, and may be considered either way.

We believe in sacred Scripture because the Holy Spirit witnesses and guarantees the truth of it, objectively in the Church and subjectively in our participation in the Church.

The perpetual temptation of Protestantism has been to reduce Scripture to private revelation, as the perpetual temptation of post-Reformation Catholicism has been to reduce it to the construction of the Church. In reality, it is different from and higher than either private revelation or Church decision.

the 'What then is the point of being Christian?' test of doctrine (note that this is used, although not as a primary argument, by St. Paul, in 1 Cor & Gal)

thing -> object -> value
mood as emergent value of system of objects
--one can perhaps adapt Mill's argument on higher and lower pleasures to all forms of value -- uses, vital values, cultural values, transcendent values

Causation is an experientially felt principle.

reasonableness-credibility & helpfulness-credibility
suaveness-plausibility & handiness-plausibility

Seeing is not something that merely happens to us; it is something we do. We see towards things, look at them.

Hobbes should be given credit for seeing something that others missed: post-Reformation European-style governments tend toward totalitarianism,a nd the moder notion of sovereignty combined with a rejection of the Catholic Church as Catholic (i.e., a universal society with its own integrity and unconstrained authority) requires totalitarianism.

school (of thought): network united by shared positions
epoch: network united by shared problems

the Church Militant as the Church in the womb

To philosophize is necessarily more than a mere registering of the appearances of nature.

We can only recognize things as antecedent in terms of a power to order. Without such a power, nothing can be recognized as antecedent or consequent.

the unextended body, the extended mind

Scottish Common Sense Philosophy tended to put their accounts in terms of 'constitution of nature', but you could easily reframe the principles of common sense as the conditions for being a human person.

One way to look at the wrong of lying is that it deliberately absues our obligation to extend some general credit to the testimony of others.

Just as 'prior to' has a logical as well as quantitative reading, so 'less than' has a logical as well as quantitative reading.

Suffering has moral importance only in light of virtuous responses to it, without the latter, it would just be something to take into account in practical decisions, like friction or budgetary restrictions.

In sensory perception we receive but gather in the receiving.

It is an error to think that tradition is just a deposit of precedents.

Through the Church, and especially in the sacrament of reconciliation, the tribunal of our conscience begins to harmonize with the divine tribunal; it finds its true calling as ministerial to that tribunal of mercy.

It is an error to think that restorative justice excludes retributive justice.

Ezk 34:3-4 and pastoral responsibility

We are consecrated and brought within sacred grounds that we might properly repent.

It's unfortunate that so many priests and bishops start talking about being pastoral at exactly the moments they want refuse to fulfill their responsibility to preserve gospel and sacrament, or when they want to violate the rights of the laity.

Almost all evidence for the Sally Hemings & Thomas Jefferson relationship would suggest at least as well for thinking it was actually a relationship between Hemings and Randolph Jefferson, not Thomas, and in some cases better. The primary reasons for thinking it Thomas in particular seem to be (1) some vague accusations at the time (not reliable and denied by Thomas) and (2) one line of family tradition (chich could just have drifted over time to the better known brother.

Computer science is a treasure trove of metaphors that arose as enduring extensions of literal uses that faded -- bug, patch, etc. In these cases, the extensions are functional; in patching software you are doing with respect to the abstract program (the extensions's shared bridge or rope to swing over on) the same thing that you would earlier have beend oing in putting a physical patch on punch cards.

baptismal priesthood and the sacrifice of alms

"If one uses new expressions, one throws new light onto the content expressed." Staniloae

Everything we talk about under the concept of 'development of doctrine' we could talk about under the concept of 'sameness of doctrine', because the point of the former is that there are necessarily modes of the latter.

"One and the same God is both unparticipable and participable." Palamas Triads 3.2.25

"Each of the divine dogmas is divided in its own time, economically, the ineffable Wisdom making opportune use, as is customary, of the madness and hostility of the heretics." Mark Eugenikos, Syllogistic Chapters

one: in Christ
holy: for Christ
catholic: with Christ
apostolic: from Christ

the Church Militant as icon of the Church Triumphant (cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata

the divided robe (1 Kg 11:30-36) and the undivide robe (Jn 19:23-24)

We cannot posit our own freedom without positing the freedom of others.

The danger of focusing on choice in politics is that inevitably people start trying to force the 'right' choices.

The minister creates the vicinage for the sacrament.

"Sacramenta per se esse sancta, non per homines." Optatus

factual statements as thick value statements

supernumeric unity, consecrated sanctity, universal jurisdiction, traditional constitution

essential elements of Hobbes's account of Leviathan: artificial animal, personation, convenant, sovereignty

Receiving grace, the appropriate response is gratitude. This morally requires acting according to an etiquette of gratitude, inasmuch as one may. The rules of etiquette of gratitude that govern Christian life are:
(1) To acknowledge the grace given.
(2) To give thanks and act thankfully in light of grace.
(3) To render return as is appropriate, of which we are told the most general forms are by love of God and of neighbor.
-- These are roughly associated with faith, hope, and love (i.e., expressed in confession, thanksgiving, and good works); for God also by grace gives us the power of appropriate grateful response.

Hobbes oddly takes prudence to be entirely a matter of experienced guessing.

The Spirit is not from the Father as the Son is from the Father, because then He would be the Son. But the Spirit must nonethless proceed from the Father, who is the Father as the Father of the Son. For the Father is not less the Father in the procession of the Spirit, and thus the Spirit that proceeds from the Father  does so as the Spirit of the Son, being from the Father so as to be in the Son. Thus He is after and with the Son in proceeding from the Father.

The Father is the Son's Father, but not the Spirit's Father; the Son is the Father's Son but not the Spirit's Son; the Spirit is the Father's Spirit and the Son's Spirit.

Praise is not a mere expression of liking; it differs in part by predicting that others if they consider the matter will also find cause to praise.

Beethoven's Hammerklavier (Piano Sonata No. 29 in Bflat Major, Op 106) treats the piano as an ideal instrument commensurate with an orchestra.

The divine unity is so great that we cannot describe it in only one way.

Living is a means to the true, the good, and the beautiful.

Conscience by its nature looks to something higher than itself.

"Cognitio Trinitatis in Unitate est fructus et finis totius vitae nostrae." Aquinas Sent 1d2ex9

You should only follow your heart if your heart is pure.

the Platonic dialogues as a picture of human nature -- one could read the dialogues just for the characterizations and learn much

dismantling systems of stupidity

To base ethics on maximizing anything is usually to base it on guaranteed failure.

The only ethics that can afford to ignore issues of double effect is an ethics in which intentions do not matter.

Conceptions of romantic love are based heavily on books, songs, movies, etc. 'Romantic' here functions as an aesthetic category, like 'picturesque'.

Hobbes claims that metaphors should not be used in reasoning, but never has any arguments without them.

Human dignity is a shared dignity, a co-dignity.

values as reasons for love

All psychology is faculty psychology.

"Every instance of generation (genesis) is for the sake of some being (ousia) or anotehr, and generation in general is for the sake of being in general." Philebus 54c

passive potency as incomplete power

polarity as signed field
field as spatial representation of measurement

"To see God is both forbidden and promised." Palamas (Adv. Akind. 5.3.7)

The act of creation establishes a likeness to God, in which creatures participate.