Friday, February 22, 2019

Dashed Off IV

This finishes the notebook that was complete in January 2018.

"The working of our power to know is the same in whatever course of experience as it is in reading a book. The early part of the course throws light on the latter; it does not have to be kept in mind, but our grasp of incident or argument as it comes depends on the grasp of what has gone; we know by means of what we have known." W. Mitchell (The Place of Minds in the World)

At A249 Kant practically defines noumena/intelligibilia as things which are *merely* objects of understanding. (Cp. A251-2: "an object independent of sensibility".)

Nobody has an unrestricted obligation to show hospitality under all circumstances.
Hospitality is by its very nature a highly structured thing; it is very different from 'openness', which is less structured (and involves fewer obligations).

The narcissism of modernity is to look in everything as in a mirror and see one's own righteousness.

All counterexamples can be interpreted as a subset of challenges.

internal consistency challenges; external consistency challenges; evidential provision challenges (e.g., search-challenges)

One can have counterexamples for particular propositions, but they work structurally more like undercutting defeaters than like refutations. ('These typical examples show that 'Some A is B' is unmotivated' rather than 'is false'.)

Our sense of space is not an abstract coordinate system but a perception of relation-to-body.

There seems no doxastic equivalent of the sure loss in the Dutch Book argument.

Proposing to measure well-being is like proposing to measure a rock; what that means depends on your ends.

In most situations there are many possible reasonable bases for informed, unforced, general agreement.

In disputes between church and state, the stance taken by the state has always been, "Look what you made me do!"

Materially, faith is believing about God; formally, it is believing God; finally, it is believing in God. An act of faith that is not all of these at once is not an act of the true faith; the true faith is believing true things about God by believing God who is Truth, so as to believe truly in God.

In matters of great importance, it is human to want external assurance even of things we know very well.

Human beings naturally develop gratitude toward beneficial inanimate objects, but we may do this either by taking them to be our benefactors, or to manifest our benefactors, or to be instruments of our benefactors.

Without virtue, ethics is thin; without moral law, it is timid.

We are grateful for attempts, and still more for successes, at doing us good, as at incomplete and complete good.

One does not have a right to what another cannot provide.

Human rights law is an oddity in that it involves no unified concept of 'rights', no unified concept of 'human', and no unified concept of 'law'.

garment as veil and revelation
garment as refuge and restraint
garment as self and other

Academia works on anti-eremitic principles; it actively opposes eremitic reflection, demanding that reflection continually be socialized in specific ways, and penalizing those who do not socialize it in these ways.

Philosophy in its cosmopolitan mode tends to abstraction and vagueness; in its locally rooted mode, to concretion and narrowness. Philosophy as such requires both.

Each of the Five Ways can be done with respect to the physical, the intellectual, the moral, and the supernatural. (There are already some elements of this in Aquinas: deliberation & the First Way, natural law & the Fourth Way.)

The redemption of humanity requires that all be made meritorious in some way.

"When a man's will is ready to believe, he loves the truth he believes, he thinks out and takes to heart whatever reasons he can find in support thereof; and in this way huamn reason does not exclude the merit of faith, but is a sign of greater merit." Aquinas

All sexual expression ought to be consistent with the spirit and meaning of marriage; all Christian sexual expression with the spirit and meaning of sacramental matrimony.

The temptation of the political moderate is to focus on means to the exclusion of ends; this results in dangerous shallowness.

If truth is possible, truth exists.

(1) The world is possible (=X).
(2) X requires a truthmaker (XT) that is an actuality.
(3) XT is either the world itself or something else.
(4) If XT is the world itself, the world or some part essential to it is necessary.
(5) If XT is something else, the truth capturing this has as its truthmaker either that something or something else again, and so forth.
(6) But it is not possible to regress infinitely.
(7) Therefore there is some actuality for which the corresponding truth would have the actuality as its truthmaker.
(8) Such an actuality or some essential part of it is necessary.
(9) Therefore there is a necessary actuality.

If anything is possible, something exists.

Love is not beyond good, but it is itself beyond -- although not inconsistent with -- obligation.

The man who conscientiously does his duty has not done enough to be a saint.

satisfactory vs exemplary goods

"The movement of thought is at once the expansion of a system and the differentiation of its internal structure." W. G. DeBurgh

The general capacity for pain is not an evil.
A felt pain is a positive sensation but not a 'positive evil'.

symmetry breaking -> some particular actualization -> some particular cause.

Akrasia establishes that the relation between strength of motivation and chance of decision is not straightforward. There is a drag on decision that has little to do with motivation as such, that motivation must overcome, and it seems to vary.

"People are far more readily influenced by the plea to do what is right than by the plea to do what will promote good." DeBurgh

moral arguments for theism can be based on
(a) obligation (law)
(b) ideal
(c) teleology
(d) capacity

freedom in itself, as a capacity for immortality, as an orientation to God

Kant seems to be on to something in thinking that morality considered structurally is ultimate law, that considered in terms of consent it is personalist, and that, considering how its structure organizes its content, it is concerned with the social unity of free (and thus rational) beings.

Bellarmine's 3rd and 4th Notes (long duration, extent) as evidences of the working of divine promises.

The Nicene Notes of the Church are found in the Church as such, whether Militant, Patient, or Triumphant, whether considered universally or in particular form.

'jostle' as part of creativity

"A God in whom there is variability and shadow of turning is surely not a God who can be worshipped." DeBurgh

the existence of holiness as a precondition for the possibility of human morality

love in the will : love in the sensibility :: soul : body

To have one's moral discipline only from oneself is to act at a disadvantage.

The attempt to have something like Christian charity without Christianity always leads in the end to monsters.

The same moral rule looks different depending on the ideal to which it is thought to be related.

An ethics is attractive in proportion as it happens to capture something of the image of God to which we are made, as Kant captures in a way the legislative aspect, as Mill to an extent the providential aspect.

Omnes oportet transire per ignem.

The solidarity of prayer being part of penitential life, that the souls of purgatory intercede generally for the Church Militant seems assured. The more difficult question is particular intercession.
No: Aquinas ST 2-2.83.11ad3
Yes, in such a way that it is superfluous to invoke them: Suarez, De poenit 47s2n9
Yes, in such a way that invocation might not be superfluous: Bellarmine, De Purg 2.15; Alphonsus Liguori, Great Means of Salvation 1.3.2

"On God's part, I see paradise has no gate, but that whosoever will may enter therein." St. Catherine of Genoa

purgatory as immaculation

the liberty, equality, and fraternity of the French Revolution as license, levelling, and collective usurpation

natural theology broadly considered --
natural theology strictly speaking : demonstration & dialectic ::
civil theology : rhetoric ::
poetic theology : poetics

rhetorical persuasion as like turbulent flow

It is remarkable how hard commentators work to make texts obscure.

A physical field is a cause known only by inference from its effects.

As mass is Lorentz-invariant and energy is not, it seems absurd to identify them.

mass as quantity of matter (Newton) -> mass as quantitative aspect of matter relating it to momentum and energy, not quantity of matter (Maxwell) -> mass as that which relates something to momentum and energy in the characteristic way

pleasantness vs rewardingness vs contentedness vs relievedness.

A classless society would only be possible in a society without differentiation; a society consisting wholly of shoemakers and farmers would, ipso facto, have a shoemaking class and a farming class.

The satisfaction for the sacrament of reconciliation, although not part of its constitution as a sacrament, is not separate: by the sacrament it is made a work of grace.

Souls in purgatory are like those who have confessed and received absolution, and are doing their penance; but their penance is to endure, to wait in hope.

Church Militant : faith :: Church Patient : hope :: Church Triumphant : love

indulgences as occasional causes (per suffragium)

Each of the sacraments seems to 'contain' grace in a somewhat different sense. (This is obvious comparing, say, the Eucharist's real presence with Baptism's spiritual presence, and with the presence, more representational, in Matrimony.)

You can have evidence a man is married before you conclude that his wife exists, despite the fact hat for a man to be married requires that he have a wife.
To prove a man is married is to prove he has a spouse, but build a proof that a man is married is not to build a proof that his spouse exists, simply considered, because proof-building is under a description.

(1) Changes in Y can wholly depend on X without implying anything about changes in X, as we see from the laws of nature, which, among other things, are grounds of variation that do not vary.
(2) Since temporal existents may have timeless properties, for two distinct things we may say they coexist, even when one is temporal and the other is not, when they are related by their timeless properties by a relation that is not itself temporal.

No one is ever an epiphenomenalist except to salvage a system.

the role of the parable of the Good Samaritan in sacramental theology

Omnis medicina est in remedium alicuius morbi.

purgatory & piacularity

questions & hypothetical/disjunctive truth values

Design in the mind and design in the thing are said analogically.

softened assertions & imperatives

the parody-straining society

Scripture clearly and explicitly attributes righteousness to Gentiles (Job & Naaman), prophecy to the enemies of Christ (Caiaphas), prophecy to unborn children (Jeremiah, John the Baptist), prophetic value to apocryphal works (Jude) and theological value to pagan poets (in Paul's quotations). It does none of this promiscuously or incautiously, but you cannot learn theological narrowness from Scripture.

All three of Kant's formulations of the categorical imperative are secularized religious concepts: providence, the image of God, and the Kingdom of God.

Some beliefs whose grounds are independent grow well together.

In belief as in other things relevant to action there is habituation and an advantage to familiarity.

the Five Ways read methodologically

Our beliefs have a great many relations to each other, some of which are anancastic, some of which are tychastic, and some of which are agapastic.

"...the painter's freedom isn't compromised by his dependence on a surface on which to paint. He would not be freer without such a surface; he simply (a conceptual truth, not a truth about his freedom) would not *be* a *painter*." G. A. Cohen

Looking at the world, it's hard not to think that Feuerbach was being optimistic in thinking that people make their idea of God by magnifying humanity; people seem rather inclined to trim down than to build up. If they magnified humanity, they would get closer to the truth, because they would not simply be making things up.

Means of production are outworkings of ideas.

People often say 'just' when they really mean some form of 'nonadverse'.

"The power of speech is sometimes defined as the capacity to express ourselves. This misses an essential point, for the power of speech is as much the capacity to understand what is said to us as it is to say things to other people. The ability to speak is then in the proper sense the capacity to enter into reciprocal communication with others." MacMurray
"The structure of a community is the nexus or network of the active relations of friendship between all possible parts of its members."
"To celebrate anything is to do something which expresses symbolically our consciousness of it and our joy in being conscious of it."

Basic goods can only generate obligations insofar as they are part of common good.
basic goods in the context of (a) states, (b) the human race, (c) the Church

The basic articles of faith interrelate, so that if one were dropped or changed, the meaning of the rest would change.

under-ness and with-ness in study and learning

'Obligation' is an inherently communal notion.

divine covenant as:
(1) instrument -- First Way
(2) presupposing creation -- Second Way
(3) grounded on God everlasting -- Third Way
(4) concerned with truth & goodness -- Fourth Way
(5) intentional -- Fifth Way

In Acts, it seems undeniable that we are to see both similarity and contrast in Peter's sermon at Pentecost and Paul's on the Areopagus.

"The Acts narrated the movement of the gospel from Jerusalme, the religious centre of the world, to Rome, the centre of administrative and military power; and, half-way between them, the visit to Athens, the intellectual centre, could not but be significant." Barr

The Church teaches on morals in two ways: as an ideal toward which to work and as what is good and bad, required and permitted, in the working. A thing may be permitted and yet it may be good to work for its being unnecessary, as long as one does so in the right way.

Obvious hypocrisy is not a serious threat to morality; only successful, and thus non-obvious, hypocrisy is.

The modern world substituted hypocrisy-hunting for heresy-hunting, and it is far more intrusive, because hypocrisy is far less narrow a thing than heresy.

Arguments are arguments even if hypocrites mouth them.

People often say 'human right' when they really mean 'good that is especially appropriate to human beings and their developed capacities'.

consecrated virginity as part of the Church's fight against idolatry
"This then is the primary purpose, the central idea of Christian virginity: to aim only at the divine, to turn thereto the whole mind and soul; to want to please God in everything, to think of Him continually, to consecrate body and soul completely to Him." Pius XII, Sacra virginitatis
-- look into hagiographical legends linking the origin of Christian consecrated virgnity to the Apostle Matthew

Marriage by nature is society-forming; the sacrament of matrimony makes it by grace divine-society-forming.

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