Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dashed Off XVII

This ends the notebook that was finished May 2, 2016.

Note the occasional Byzantine tendency to see the sacraments as genera (e.g., Chrismation as covering both chrismation proper and dedication of a church; communion as covering communion proper and consecration of chrism; hagion schema as including orders and consecrated virginity; baptism as including baptism and holy water rites; penance as including penance and unction). There seems to be no standard classification, which is additional reason not to take it strictly literally; but it conveys something genuine and important.

rites and subjective parts of sacraments

chrismation as giving a vesture of incorruption and a seal of perfection
as confirmation against impure and evil spirits

Ps 31 and the sacraments of the initiation

catechesis: confirmation :: spiritual direction : confession

1 John and chrismation

Baptism tends toward Beatific Vision.

The resurrection of the children of God is not a mere physical renovation but a mode of union with God.

Baptism - Beatific Vision
Confirmation - Theosis
Eucharist - Membership in Christ
Matrimony - Marriage of the Lamb
Orders - New Jerusalem
Reconciliation - ?
Unction - Resurrection

The Church is a Temple made of temples.

monastic consecration as an intensification of baptismal responsibility

Unction anticipates our roles as prophets, priests, and kings in the world to come.

Arguments are linked to truth by way of accounts of universe of discourse.

"All Truth is Antient, as being from Eternity in the Divine Ideas" (Astell)

Whether something is well defined is always relative to an end of inquiry.

the role of philosophical system rediscovery in new discovery

the role of patience in inquiry (e.g., in archeology or geology)


Everyone in the Church is benefited by anyone receiving communion, assuming they do so worthily; it is not a matter of receiving benefits only from one's own communion.

Charity transfigures reciprocity, makes it more proactive, turns it into something suitable for the sons of God, and makes it reflect the Trinity itself.

Law tends by nature to unification.

thought-trials decomposing conjectures into subconjectures

The testing of teaching against Scripture is something that must be done together. (II Constantinople)

degenerating problem-shift in the history of philosophical problems

global & not local: problem for conclusion, not premises
local & not global: problem for premise, not conclusion
global & local: problem for premise and conclusion both

weeping and gnashing of teeth & the end of hypocrisy (Mt 24:51)

While people take opposing views in discussion, it is commentary that solidifies people into schools.

indulgences & the exponentiation of merit

Indulgences work on the principle of the unity of the Church (thus the Pope's relevance to them).

Ontological arguments for God's existence can be transformed into ontological arguments for an actual world by a slight shift.

The probability that lottery ticket T will win the lottery is not the same as the probability that Jane, who has T, will win the lottery, because the latter introduces additional causal structure. Consider (1) Jane gives T away just before the drawing; (2) Jane gives T away right after the drawing without knowing T won; (3) Jane loses T before she can claim the prize; (4) Jane is disqualified for independent reasons; (5) Jane dies before the drawing's end; (6) Jane decides to treat T as belonging to someone else before T has won; (7) jane forgets about T and never learns it has won.

sedevacantism as cafeteria Traditionalism

the wariness that naturally grows from honesty

the irascible as yang, the concupiscible as yin

Victory, like pleasure, can easily pall when light or very common.

memory storage requirements for civilization -- A large population is better able to preserve skills because (1) division of memory labor -- there is only so much one person can learn and recall; (2) increased chance of redundancy, thus reducing skill loss through death; (3) availability of those who can learn this or that skill in particular, thus reducing skill loss through nonteaching.
- This does not, of course, consider externalization of memory storage (libraries, etc.). This can be significant, but mostly by intensifying (2); it can't compensate much for limits in (1) or (3).
- the 'primitive' life in fact is just the small, scattered population life, in which survival skills have to be prioritized over other skills in a limited, high-competition memory state. Thus the 'primitive' life is often found among nomads, tiny villages in isolation, etc.; the opposite arises by linking population in stable and systematic ways.

Since the formal structure of utilitarianism has little to do with ethics (one could talk about greatest torture of the greatest number, the most sales most widely distributed, etc.), the quality of utilitarianism depends entirely on the correctness of its account of the good.

the intrinsically utilitarian structure of most universalisms (utilitarianism // universalism in itself, but in many cases the general arguments for the latter are just nonhedonistic nonpreferentialistic versions of arguments for the former; the universalist tends to argue that moral providence must be governed on the principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, with the happiness including heaven and the resources of omnipotent omniscience; this is a theological utilitarianism

expected foiling of expectation as part of the joy of story

All sacrifice is human sacrifice, although some is by symbol or by proxy, by metonymy or by metaphor.

Kant's moral arguments for theism require God to be extrinsic to happiness, etc. The real tendency he is misdescribing is to the Beatific Vision and the union with God it involves.

Plausibility as broadly causal (fitting things into a causal context).

We identify contiguities by causal inference (movement into and from, etc.).

We believe men because what they say tends to be true, or to be at least close enough for practical purposes, under most conditions; we believe God because He is Truth.

"without hell there is no consequence to concupiscence that is proportionate to concupiscence itself" (Chastek)

(1) prophet, priest, and king
guarantee of the kingdom of God
(2) whole armor of God
to tread on serpents and scorpions and on all the power of the enemy
(3) gifts of the Spirit
participation in eternal life

kinds of sacramentalia in relation to sacraments
(1) material instruments for the sacraments
(2) adjunct facilitators for the sacraments
(3) potential parts of sacraments
(4) symbols of the sacraments

potential parts of
(1) baptism: signing with holy water, sign of the cross
(2) confirmation: anointing for reception of converts, blessing with holy oil
(3) reconciliation: nonsacramental confession
(4) matrimony: formal betrothal, reaffirmation of vows, consecration of widows
(5) holy orders: minor orders, liturgical ministers
(6) unction: funerary rites
(7) eucharist: blessed bread

the problem of counterexamples in the context of the sui generis

ontological arguments as revelation arguments
Note that Anselm (Pros 1) and Malebranche make them explicitly so.

Dialogue with Trypho 106 possibly identifies Mark under the description 'memoirs of Peter'; 103 also attributes a claim in Luke to 'the memoirs which I say were drawn up by His apostles as those who followed them' (Cp Apology 66 on the bread -- cup prob. from Mark, although possibly from Matthew).

Irenaeus Adv Haer (3.1.1) "while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the church"

humility to others as the root of genuine compassion

Pleasure, considered solely as such, is incapable of being any kind of common good, for it is the most private good of all.

An argument that the words of institution are more essential than the epiclesis: the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the Institution Narratives themselves.

Judas Iscariot as type of unworthy communion (cf. Vianney)

(1) Suppose we consider whether to join the Church and receive its authority;
(2) What is lost if we do? I am imposed upon, but in no way that I might not be any way.
(3) What is gained, even if it is a merely human institution? I am enriched by the participation; if there is a future state, I am prepared for it, and if there is none, my life now is made greater and more exalted.
(4) What is lost, if it is the divine community and I reject it? What could be a greater affront to divine majesty, and how could one appear in His presence having abused the divine goodness? Moreover, is it not absurd to run the risk of eternal opposition to the Good simply to avoid being imposed upon.
- (cp. Mary Astell, CR sect 41)
- like all Wager arguments, it (1) assumes context for the division and (2) is more properly seen as an argument for inquiry, driving with practical reasons toward the attempt to discover speculative reasons.

freedom, immortality, and God as regulative ideas of politics

"really one should write philosophy only as one writes a poem" Wittgenstein

The four notes of the Church are all clearly discernible in the first Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles united together in prayer, who then speak with universal tongue.

ST 3.68.11ad1 on God's grace to children in the womb
St 3.68.11ad2 and children as parts of their mothers

Note Aquinas's harsh assessment of the Protevangelium of James -- ST 3.35.6ad3

HoP & philosophy as human tradition

the bold humility of hope

the softening of anger into humor

Religion is constituted not just by states of mind but also by states of society.

A society always suggests a larger order within which it is intelligible.

Attributing a 'principle of causational synonymy' to Aristotle seems clearly to be overreaching -- when he says things like it, it is always either of particular examples or in a highly restricted and limited discussion; or it is taken so broadly and generally as to indicate only that causes cause effects because their forms make such effects possible.

baptism : confirmation : ordination
Baptism : Transfiguration : Ascension
Resurrection : Pentecost : Last Judgment

Beyond physiological reflex and the tendency to favor the part that has it, pain is actually not much of a motivator. Fear motivates, grief motivates, joy motivates; they have more distinct focus. Pain and pleasure are indistinct motivators, to the extent that they are even motivators.

"No nation remains civilized without the constant presence and activity of the powers that originally civilized it, any more than creatures continue to exist without the immanence of the creative act which produces them from nothing." Brownson

"Art, in the hands of the saint, ministers to virtue; in the hands of the sinner, to vice." Brownson

Good fortune often begins with trouble.

"And how could we ever love, unless we ourselves were loved first?"

Love is a fire burning away impurity.

Love of neighbor does not necessarily aim at 'a conscious and reciprocal relationship that is positively meaningful, allowing for deep sharing'. It does require acting in such a way that is at least consistent with friendship of virtue; but it does not necessarily require even that we be open to such a thing a tthe moment.

All human beings are at least partially resistant to divine love -- i.e., we, attached to lesser goods and tending to pride, tend to want to do our own thing. Original sin is a tendency to resist union with God -- or, rather, in the strict sense it is the privation of the effective tendency to be as we should be in order not to resist God.

All genuine prayer is a seeking for light.

Moral certitude without virtue is the source of some terrible things; but one must be careful, for there are many different kinds of moral certitude, which do not all work the same way.

Note Peirce's (late) sign classification in respect to Immediate Interpretant: Ejaculative (suggestive), Imperative, Significative (indicative, cognitative).

gray areas between interjection and command (Shoo!)

The interpretant proceeds from the sign and dwells in the sign.

The object of the sign that is marriage is Christ's union with His Church; the interpretant is the prayer, practice, and teaching of the Church on marriage. (Or is the latter rather the grace, with prayer, practice, and preaching bein gthe collateral information? But arguably grace is the object of the sign, sacraments effecting what they signify. -- The effects of marriage in the Church, however, are surely interpretant effects -- devotion and reverence for sacred things, further actions & practices, deeper understanding.)

sacramental character as dynamical interpretant

"anything that the sign, as such, effects may be considered as the Interpretant." (Peirce to Paul Carus)

union with God as the final interpretant of all sacraments
sensible appearance : immediate :: grace received/ sacramental character : dynamical :: union with God : final

A scientific specimen is not given but educed from a material for it.

The seven philosophical works of mercy
(1) to enlighten the ignorant
(2) to reflect on the thoughts of others
(3) to counsel the doubtful
(4) to correct those in error
(5) to endure correction well
(6) to put truth above glory and pride
(7) to solve problems that need solving

the utilitarian structure of divine hiddenness arguments (maximizing relationship)

overdetermination & overlap

speculative grammar: what is true of signs that they may mean (i.e., be signs)
logic proper: what is true of signs that they may be true (hold of an object)
speculative rhetoric: the laws by which one sign leads to another

"It is not sufficient to say that testimony is not true, it is our business to explain how it came to be such as it is." Peirce

(1) To function as law, purported law must be consistent as a directive and reasonably feasible.
(2) Consistency and feasibility are assessible only on principles of practical reason.
(3) Consistency as directive and feasibility are rationally assessible and concern means-eand reasoning.
(4) Whether a purported law functions as a law depends on its relation to principles of practical reason, not just the sources of law.

The vice of obstinacy and the vice of laziness both have forms that mimic the virtue of faith.

travel and 'sentiment recollected in tranquillity'

the capacity of storytelling to turn evil to good, by embedding it in a greater context

The martyrs refusing to sacrifice to the emperor were the ultimate repudiation of 'Believe as you will, but obey,' which underlies all modern government.

the liturgical commonwealth & the obediences of the Western Schism

the fourfold aspect of the Kingdom of God: Christ, Scripture, Church, Heaven

the baptism of John as a figure of catechesis

No one can rightly recognize the goodness of God who does not also recognize the power and wisdom of God.

"the sense is essential to our knowledge of the truth, but the words indifferent" Augustine, on divergences in wording among the Gospels

Claims about the roles of moral principles are moral principles.

"For every sin, and more particularly impurity, pride, and worldly interest, is a prejudice that shuts out the light of truth, keeps men obstinate in error, and hardens their minds against conviction." Astell (CR 258)

People do not revolt because things are bad; they do not even revolt because things are continually bad. They revolt because amid bad things, it seemed that improvement was begun, but that promise of better things was taken away. People revolt not at present bad, however bad, but out of the frustration of a future good, apparently in hand, that is suddenly denied.

omnipresence and providence and the antecedent credibility of the Incarnation (cp. some of Athanasius' arguments against the Gentiles)

evasion of miracles by feigning hypotheses

Much of contemporary Biblical scholarship is merely an exercise in historical epistemology masquerading as an exercise in investigation of historical events. That is to say, it never gets beyond (often muddled and weakly considered) epistemological questions except by a leap that is never justified, or justified entirely by unsupported hypotheses, or justified in a dubious and patchwork way.

Science fiction more properly involves representations of science than science itself.

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