Friday, December 11, 2020

Dashed Off XXXII

 religious cultural traditions vs. devotional traditions vs. Holy Tradition

Given the existence of God as ultimate, universal, and inexhaustible good, we may postulate immortality and freedom of will as conditions for seeking Him. Given immortality, we may postulate freedom of will as the ability to choose that is commensurate with it.

the womb as the natural catechumenate of life

Birth is something that must be prepared for, and thus in some sense begins well before we are born.

'Veridical perception' is a satisficing notion, not an optimizing notion. To see truly is to see well enough.

the mirandum as object of the intellect
the mirandum as that which is known to exceed what we know
truth becomes more valuable to us qua mirandum
being qua mirandum becomes that which, on being seen, we desire to know, that to which our mind attempts adequation

to relate to the world as from God
to relate to the world as a whole
to relate to what is in the world

the world as a postulate of practical reason

Without festival there is no leisure.

"secureness of sitting sheweth endless dwelling" Julian of Norwich

glorifying God in one's body (1 Corinthians 6:20)
apostereo in 1 Cor. 7:5 usu. means stealing or defrauding (cp 1 Cor 6:7, Mk 10:19)

the sacrifice that transfigures

Isosthenia can only be relative to a context.

Pyrrhonism presupposes an idea of truth.

Pascal's 'mutual annihilation' of skepticism and dogmatism is to make a path for what is outside the realms of both proof and doubt.

"Often things that are obscure and confused appear clear and distinct to men who are judging rashly." Leibniz

Evidence always underdetermines medical treatment in some way (manner, kind, or structure); the gap is bridged by extrapolation and analogy from experience, by guess, by patient preference, and by ethics.

the casuistry of medicine

Treatment in medicine primarily proceeds from an ethical principle, namely prudence.

paideia: learning the reasoning appropriate to the subject

conscientious objection on behalf of bodily integrity, on behalf of mental integrity, on behalf of social integrity, on behalf of higher allegiance

"Virtue seems the true basis of human dignity." Ronald Polansky

To die to the world is to gain the patience of the dead.

Kant on grace
(1) Conflict of the Faculties: grace as moral predisposition, unmerited and suggestive of divine source
(2) RBRA: grace as faculty available only through supernatural help
---- (a) independent of human agency (possible, but cannot be incorporated into practical maxim because it would be uncognizable)
---- (b) cooperative with human agency (must be accepted that good may be imputed)

development of doctrine and reduplicative guises of doctrines

Law of Nature formulation of categorical imperative : God :: End in Itself : Christ as Son of God :: Kingdom of Ends : Church

Kant as treating God and the best world merely as means (Lubkin)

Church as incipient (not *merely* possible) kingdom of ends, as incipient messianic community, as ethical commonwealth

Kant's entire critical period consists of discovering gaps in the critical philosophy and trying to fill them.

Morality must be possessed symbolically and by signs; but this creates the danger of using the symbolism and signs to get the appearance of morality without the substance of morality.

The judgment of taste is not entirely independent from the concept of perfection.

hell & the providence of fragile goods

science-infrastructure fiction vs science-furniture fiction

Replacing traditions with fads is not an improvement.

acquired justice to another
acquired justice to another on behalf of / with regard to God
infused justice
divine justice as that to which we are instrumental

Distributive justice is perverted when material good is given priority over moral good.

Sometimes we give to another because of his merit, sometimes because of benefits of which he is the source; sometimes we give to another that he might have the opportunity to benefit or to merit.

Male and female reproductive faculties are partial by nature; it is their union that reproduces.

the false consciousness of the world

Where the psychologist says 'happy', read 'diverted'.

therapy as the opium of the people

God as union of authority and truth

Note that in the wager in Infini rien, Pascal reminds the agnostic that he has *two* things to seek (the true *and the good*) and *two* things to avoid (error *and misery*) and *two* means to do it (reason *and will*). The agnostic had demanded nonbelief solely on the basis of the first of each pair.

Evidence only become evidence within a willingness to infer and inquire.

It's easy to focus on the proof in Socrates' discussion with the slave boy in the Meno. But the most important element is that the discussion was with an uneducated slave.

We talk of owning land, but in general the practice is to own estates in land.

politics & the art of finding acceptable remediable problems to stand in for irremediable ones

One does not need, prior to experience, to know what an experience will be like in order to make a rational decision about it; estimates, advice, practical requirements are all often sufficient, and we never in decision are considering only what experiences are like.

Zhong's Confucian principle of obligation: It is morally obligatory for agent A to Phi in context C iff a fully virtuous and relevantly informed person V would feel xiu-wu (disdain) for A's not Phi-ing in C.

"One action, or one conversation with a man, may convince us of his integrity and induce us to believe his testimony, though we have never, in a single instance, experienced his veracity." Richard Price
"The conscience of a man is the man; the reflecting principle is our supreme principle."

Arguments convince not by causing a feeling of being convinced but by connecting with other lines of thought.

To be a historian of philosophy is to be mistaken often.

(1) There is evil.
(2) Evil brings penalty in and with itself.
(3) Without contrition for evil there can be no release from continuing penalty linked to the evil itself.
(4) There is a death to contrition, at which it ends.
-- Obviously the major questions concern (4). But universalist arguments are not always sufficiently focused; the attacks are often wild and would hit (1), (2), or (3).

historical scholarship as using heuristic templates

sexual mores as one resistance of a population to sexually transmitted disease (analogy to vaccination)
--  (This is accepted in some form by pretty much everyone, including 'safe sex' advocates. The questions are about the mores.)

To accept on testimony is to accept from testimony that something ought to be considered or taken into account.

Moral deference is essential to politeness.

disjunctive attenuation responses to skepticism (X is put into doubt; therefore move to X-or-Y)

Galileo's sketches of the moon in Sidereus Nuncius are pictorial thought experiments -- i.e., they aren ot descriptions of observations but illustrations for a point in his argument.

Reasons for choice are not separate from the choice, but are incorporated into it in various ways.

"Hear your Father's instruction" in Scripture and "reject not your Mother's teachings" in the Tradition of the Church.

sexuality as self-symbol

Universalism causes problem for all the major allegories of baptism: the Flood, the Crossing of the Red Sea, the Crossing of Jordan after the wandering in the desert, etc. -- none of them have an equivalent to universalism.

Those who base their universalism on God as ultimate end often err on the nature of that end, taking 'ultimate' to indicate a destination down the road. But God is our ultimate end now, and always had been, through all our sin and wrongdoing.

juridical sainthood in the Kingdom of God

Every person is a realm of rights, and to be a person is to have a jurisdiction.

'Being virtuous to' is a more general moral regard than any which regards rights.

Much of learning consists of small steps.

Common good is more divine than private good.

"The power in charge of unifying common action through rules binding for all is what everyone calls authority." Simon
"Hierarchy results from the association of the principle of authority with that of autonomy."

the four kinds of legislative assemblies in the US Constitution: the People, the legislatures of States, the House, the Senate

"Teachable minds have the privilege of understanding that a provisional belief often is the best, or teh strictly indispensable, way to science." Simon

'Now' is a peculiar form of equality.

sacramental reconciliation as making satisfaction a compassion, a co-Passion, with Christ

"...the more surely you know yourself loved, the easier you will find it to love in return." Bernard

Newman's Principle: Our duty is not to abstain from the exercise of any function of our nature, but to do what is in itself right rightly.

"We cannot assent to a proposition without some intelligent apprehension of it; whereas we need not understand it at all to infer it." Newman

'Go to the ant, thou sluggard' as a principle of spirituality and religion
-- Note that ants don't work alone, even though each one usually just does its own task.

Marriage is often a discipline of learning to prefer a person to an idea.

extrinsic vs. intrinsic interest in a story

the events of the Life of Christ as the diagrams of sacramental theology

Reality exceeds what can be articulated in a definite form.

Newman's 'chronic vigour' and aptitude for devotion

The Kantian error of linking existence strictly to sensation is seen qua error most clearly in Cohen's RoR 1.15.

Cohen links Shekhinah with immutability (RoR 1.18)

substance as what makes causality possible

the divine energies as norms of the created world

Ps 51:13 -- divine presence // holy spirit
Lv 22:32 -- "I will be hallowed among the children of Israel."
Is 8:13 -- "Him shall ye sanctify."
Is 5:16 -- "God the Holy One is sanctified through righteousness."

Ex 12:49 as a type of the unity of the Church
(cp also Nm 15:15,16; Lv 24:22)

the needy (Dt 15:4) vs the poor (Dt 15:11)

Man taken individually has the liability of guilt; man taken plurally has the liability of debt; but in the Son of Man, Man taken totally has a suprlus of merit.

humanity taken as The Adam, humanity taken as genealogy, humanity taken as a community

Fallen man is a dis-integrated Adam.

exempla & the moral picturesque

The problem of hell consists mainly of comfortable people trying to find a metaphor for sin's awfulness and just deserts that cannot terrify, and failing in a wild flurry of handwaving.

(1) Professional ethics is rooted in conscientious performance within a profession.
(2) Conscientious performance within a profession is essential to the health of that profession.

Conscientiousness is a precondition for professionalism.

Conscientious objection within a profession is an exercise of professional judgment.

dispositional, structural, and final accounts of laws of nature
laws of nature as powers of the universe as such