Friday, June 14, 2019

Dashed Off XII

It is an irony of liberal society that the death penalty has become unpopular while at the same time death treatment has become an increasingly common feature of life, and a form of 'health care'.

Confucian Tao // Neoplatonist world soul

In ritual, sensible things are like the phantasms to which abstract thought must convert; ritual is like a sort of externalized thought.

the right to palliation insofar as it is natural and insofar as it is confirmed by the nature of medicine as a humanitarian tradition

The nature of the baptismal priesthood is most clear in the context of the domestic church.

Hume is certainly right that possession is a causal notion.

penalties: expiatory, vindicative, medicinal

There seems to be no legitimate moral ground for futility being in general a reason for discontinuing treatment; there are too many different possible reasons why it might be classified as futile, and too many judgment calls. When you look more closely at the most plausible cases, it is always something else that is bearing the real moral load: triagic need for the resources on a larger scale, lack of resources, religious requirement, deference to patient, deference to family, and the like. An additional strike against futility as a substantive concept in medical ethics is the practical and moral need to build a fence out to protect other moral principles, including that of avoiding unnecessary cut-off of treatment, of giving the patient a more than fighting chance, of allowing room for unexpected and unanticipatable improvement, of recognizing differences among patients and the often statistical nature of assessment that can fail to capture distinctive features of this case, of allowing for the possibility of different judgments by different doctors. There are so many moral principles that are relevant, that trying to use futility itself, you would end up needing a large agglomeration of exceptions to it, to protect other moral concepts.

'forever' used strictly: definitely no end
'forever' used relatively : no definite end
'forever' used reduplicatively: no end in some way
'forever' used hyperbolically: like no end in some way
-- 'always and 'everywhere' have the same pattern

"Understanding, freedom, activity, an always progressive perfection, immortality, the relation in which he stands toward God, and towards his son Jesus, the station he fills on teh earth, and what he is and does in regard to all these: This composes the dignity of man; this gives him his eminently great worth." Zollikofer

Note the linking of murder and lying in John 8:44, the two attacks on the image of God.

lying with imperatives
lying with loaded questions
lying with rhetorical questions
(a man giving directions in imperative form can lie in doing so)

People will often label as self-righteousness any righteous indignation demanding that they repent.

Nothing, or very little, brings home what is meant by 'prince of the power of the air' than seeing what journalistic media, taken as a whole, emphasize and de-emphasize, regardless of the decisions of this or that journalist.

Some rights are grounded on strict, direct obligations, others on indirect obligations, others on special deferential responsibilities, and others on honor and courtesy.

the medical situation: within the circle of the common good, the patient's moral agency overlaps the moral agency of medical personnel and in that overlap is the arena of the moral medical work itself
--something analogous occurs with legal care and spiritual care

All humanitarian traditions generate special deferential responsibilities to those served.

One of the difficulties of human history is the repeated collapsed of attempts to form and develop statesmanship or political rule as a humanitarian tradition; it is the sort of thing that should be, but the way to make it sustainably so eludes us.

forms of the satanic principle of 'life unworthy of life'
(1) coercive sterilization, either eugenic or punitive
(2) killing of impaired children in hospitals
(3) killing of impaired adults in hospitals
(4) killing of impaired prisoners
(5) mass killing (extermination camp)
-- in the case of the Nazis and the murder of children, initial requirement of consent by guardians quickly was smothered by state interest, usually by the intermediate steps of (1) pressuring parents to consent to treatments of a certain kind that increased the scope of the doctors' powers; (2) threatening loss of custody; (3) insisting that the murder was the only merciful thing and that people were monstrous for opposing it (w/ the concomitant insistence that doctors and the state were the appropriate authorities for determining treatment).

to attend to the incurably ill; to render reasonable medical aid, such as is possible, even up to death

Psychology is philosophy of mind attempted by experimental method, sometimes successful but mostly failing.

A medical system, like government, requires checks and balances.

(first principles -> secure signs) -> profiles for reasonable conclusions

Lammenais's account of common sense would be more appropriate to Christian society than society in general (cp. Rosmini).

Rosmini: Kant overanalogizes intellectual act to sensation.

The phenomenal is the realm of reasonable opinion, the noumenal the realm of knowledge. Kant gets this backwards.

Positing and postulation require some underlying causal link, direct or indirect, to be reasonable.

religious tendency as a moral endowment

(1) natural rights (e.g., right to life)
(2) acquired rights
--- (2.1) acquired naturally (e.g., parental rights)
--- (2.2) acquired conventionally
------(2.2.1) intrinsic to society-forming as such (e.g., general rights of fair exchange)
------(2.2.2) consequent to formed society (e.g., civil rights)

Sometimes when we talk about rights, we mean a right; sometimes we mean a family of rights.

Free choice as such requires a certain amount of abstraction and below that threshold we only exhibit voluntary consent.

The intellect must be free to suppose different things, or all inquiry is nonsense.

We avoid pain not as if it were intrinsically bad but as if it vividly manifests something as bad.

the epectasis of the heart (intellect and will)

Jude 19: "There are those who cause divisions, animal men, not having Spirit."

arsenokoitai: 1 Cor 6:9, see Lv 18:22 LXX

the aidios word of the aionion God (Philo, on Noah's work)
= the unending word of the immeasurable God
Rv 14:10 aionas aionian
-- Ps 45:6 LXX eis aionas aionion
Amos 9:11 KXX emerai tou aionios, from days beyond count
Gn 21:33 theos aionios, God unmeasurable
Is 45:17 soterian aionion, salvation beyond measure

The rights of the state are not established by a transfer of rights from individuals, but by an emergence from rights of individuals coming together, which they retain.

States, as such, are fundamentally unproductive, existing by the sweat of those who produce. Their justification lies elsewhere, in justice alone.

Unjust states degrade all the gods of men, turning them into means of power presenting themselves as the standards of value for all things. They parasitically sap both men and nature of their intrinsic value, treating them as mere means. They alienate men from their work and from themselves, and put themselves in the place of God. When Christianity arose, it faced no serious competition from the gods of Olympus; such gods were gods of custom only. Besides the great goddess, only one god rose to the battle with Christ, and was fierce in that battle: the emperor in apotheosis, the sacral king, the state setting itself as a darkness in the high place, moving against Christians with the principalities and powers of empire.

In the long run, only the eternal is inevitable.

Technical vocabulary can ultimately be communicated only by using a common and non-technical vocabulary.

nontechnical language : technical language :: customary law : statutory law

morally acceptable reasons by which nonparents can step into acting in loco parentis
(I) Parents physically incapable
--- (A) death
--- (B) illness
--- (C) remoteness
(II) Parents mentally incapable
--- (A) insanity
--- (B) debilitating mental illness
(III) Parents morally incapable
--- (A) abuse
--- (B) gross neglect

When parents are incapable of exercising parental functions, care of children should default to subsidiary caregivers assisting in parental functions (family participating in the raising of the children, usually) rather than defaulting immediately to the state, which should be a remedy of last resort.

common law as common custom refined by those acquainted with the history of law

"Accepting labour as the universal source of the right of ownership means failing to see that the essence of right is moral, and that is moral essence is found solely in a corresponding jural duty. The determination of the jural duty is therefore the explanation of the right." Rosmini

Rosmini's steps toward rights of ownership
(1) duty not to harm
(2) Some things are united to a person properly, but some are united by a moral physical act in such a way that removing them would harm the person.
(3) Therefore, duty not to remove
(4) Therefore, rights over things

the perioikoi of the Church

creation as title making possible all other titles, in which all other titles participate
derivative titles -> first underived title

rights to innocuous use of another's property

occluding sorrow vs purifying sorrow

"Government ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare." DH

"If there is a historical dogma, it is that error is a persecutor, implacable and atrocious, and is such always when it can, and as far as it can. Error is Antiochus; truth, the Maccabees." Lacordaire

Genius often works less by positive force than by lack of impediment.

Note that Rosmini accepts the Scotist position on univocity of being.

Before one can doubt, one must know what it is one doubts.

"Religion embraces the whole of God, and philosophy that part which is worked out with reasoning." Rosmini

mood-lightening vs laugh-inducing humor

In plots, characters, etc., subversion of expectations only works well if the subversion ends up making more sense than the expectations that are subverted.

The modern notion of sovereignty is incoherent, depending on a view of teh world that has been stripped away.

A hydrologist forms an abstract notion (storm event) then, using this to collect a body of data, forms a posit, the '100-year-storm', an idealized storm event that, given the data is the worst statistically to be expected to occur once in an idealized 100 years (i.e., the worst storm event with at least a 1% chance of happening in a year). On the basis of this, they create a fictive line on a map, the floodplain boundary, designating the rainfall of that storm in mass form as it drains.

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