Saturday, June 03, 2023

Prosaic Reason 'Neath His Vision Dips

 A June Sonnet
by Clara B. Heath 

A poet were no poet if the June went by,
Year after year, and brought no tender thrill
Through all his being till his pulse ran high.
When thistle down before the wind lies still,
His gross and selfish thoughts perchance will fill
The rare June days, with summer roses nigh.
A poet may be songless! his mute lips
May answer not when Nature speaks in tune,
But rhythmic numbers thro' each day-dream slips;
His fancies throng him 'neath the pure pale moon;
He soars on wings the care fiend never clips,
Tireless at eve as in the golden noon;
Prosaic reason 'neath his vision dips;·
His purple mantle wraps him close in June.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Dashed Off XVIII

This ends the notebook that was finished May 2022.


As a matter of justice, law must take into account inadvertence.

reading like you are a tourist vs reading in an informed way vs reading like a native

Credit is a present personal right of future payment.

"The 'banker' buys the money from his customer: and in exchange for it, he gives his customer a Credit, or Right of action to demand back an equivalent amount of money at any time he pleases; which Right of action he is also at liberty to transfer to any one else he pleases." H. D. Macleod
"Banking is a species of insurance...."

purgatory and the uttermost farthing (Mt 5:26)

"All the offenses of the martyrs were blotted out, because they have suffered death for the name of the Son of God." Hermas Sin. 9:29

Games establish that some 'ought' can come from some 'is'.

hypothesizing/speculation // credit

the best alternative to a promising theory // the best alternative to a negotiated agreement
BATNA is often the key to a good negotiation; likewise BAPT is often key to pragmatic assessment of inquiry

Genuine progress requires reasonable conservation of good, practical means for good result, and lack of self-defeat.

traditions as creating emic/etic boundaries

By its Magisterium, the Church is authorized to use any form or method of teaching appropriate to its teaching mission.

Modern conservatism is swidden farming.

information as anything whose structure can be described by logic gates

Nation-states arise when nations attempt to imitate city-states.

Since reading Scripture is a form of prayer, the strictures against vain repetitions apply to it, as well.

four forms of Scriptural prayer
(1) synoptic: reading through books
(2) synthetic: reading juxtaposed passages
(3) analytic: breaking down passages
(4) rhapsodic: meditation on arbitrary passages

You are not managing money for yourself alone but for the next generation as well.

Basic cons
(1) Money Box: Give me what I want for this easy way to get rich.
(2) Direct Grift: Here is a need, which you can resolve by giving me what I want.
(3) Gold Brick: Here is something very valuable; I'll trade it to you for soemthing I want.
(4) Extortion: Here is something very compromising to you; give me what I want to make it go away.
(5) Direct Confidence: I trust you in this way, now trust me by giving me what I want.
(6) Vanity: This is something prestigious, and you can have it if you give me what I want.

Elements of a confidence game (Edward H. Smith)
(1) Foundation (prep)
(2) Approach
(3) Build-up (draw mark in)
(4) Pay-off (shot of convincer)
(5) Hurrah (sudden crisis to rush mark)
(6) In-an-in (the mark is encouraged as not doing it alone)

Bishops may become saints, with difficulty, but they are not made bishops because they are saints.

the importance of recognizing that there are tragic goods

Punishment requires forgiveness, in that to punish adequately and not to forgive once having done so is often an injustice.

Human beings are exchange animals; our natural approach to religion is do-ut-des, and a religion in which we can participate must be one involving exchange. But exchange religion is capable of having severe and extensive pathologies; intuitive as it may be, it spoils easy; charming as it is when fresh, its rot can become toxic.

The Election of Israel is God's summoning them into moral, jural, and sacral personality.

Nennius links Gododdin to Gildas to give us Arthur at Mount Baden.

A government is a symbolic system of unifying representations.

Reverence is a superpersonal thing; it is always only complete when done with others.

Grace obligates us.

sacred doctrine and teaching as prayer

swadharma // officium

Diplomacy and Warfare are coeval.

The Sumerian King List has Alulim, the first king "after kingship descended from heaven", ruling from Eridug for 28000 years, and Alalngar his successor for 36000 years, after which Eridug fell.

(1) ordinary homage
-- (a) fiance/fiducia: fidelity
-- (b) ressoit de la justice/justitia: obedience to final jurisdiction
-- (c) service/servitium: service in war, either personal or by deputy, for limited period
(2) simple homage: fidelity & service
(3) liege homage: ordinary but with extended and personal service

All sovereign governments are also subject to divine sovereignty.

It is near-universal for legends to claim that fire was stolen. The San say IKaggen stole it from an ostrich; the Algonquin claim it was stolen by Rabbit; the Greeks that it was stolen by Prometheus.

The eschatological destiny of every human government is the kingship of Christ.

the aroma pleasing to God as a key concept in prayer

Note that in the burnt & peace & sin offerings (as well as the ram of ordination), there is a three stage process:
(1) offering that one might be accepted before the Lord (offer)
(2) laying hand on its head that it may be accepted for one or imputed to one (claim)
(3) actual sacrifice for the offerer (fire for a pleasing odor)

the perpetual fire on the altar (Lv 6:12-13) and the perpetual prayer of the Church

Lv 10:10-11 -- Priests are to distinguish holy and common, clean and unclean, and to teach the people.

Lv 11:44-45 -- the purpose of kosher law: to consecrate oneself

Lv 19:1-4 -- holiness requires filial and religious piety (cp. 20:1-9)

The Lord sanctifies by separating for His own portion.

From power and effect we understand the substance.

reatus as 'legal answerableness' (John Pye Smith)

"The heart of Christian sociology is the Kingship of Christ." Wilbur Fisk Crafts

"The Madonna of the purest schools of the Middle Ages is a gift of Christianity, working on the Teutonic and Italian temperament, to the treasures of beauty of the human race." Charles Loring Brace

Incapacity under law (Hale)
I. NATURAL: infancy and nonage
-- -- A. Dementia
-- -- B. Casualty/chance and misfortune
-- -- C. Ignorance
-- -- A. Civil subjection
-- -- B. Compulsion
-- -- C. Necessity
-- -- D. Fear

the papal right of residual oversight: By his Petrine mission, the pope has the divine instituted responsibility, and therefore the right, to protect and oversee all parts of teh Chruch not overseen by their own bishops, whatever the reason.

general papal prerogatives
(1) divinely instituted
-- -- (a) presidence in charity (on this rock)
-- -- (b) preeminent tribunal (confirm the brethren)
-- -- (c) universal pastorship (feed my sheep)
(2) Roman incidents
-- -- (a) custody of Roman saints and martyrs
-- -- (b) heritage of Pauline mission to the Gentiles
(3) executive acquisitions
-- -- (a) through laws of ecumenical councils
-- -- (b) through customs of the liturgical commonwealth
-- -- -- -- (1) incidents of deference
-- -- -- -- (2) incidents of precedent
-- -- -- -- (3) incidents of state (first Papal States, then Vatican City)
(these are on top of the ordinary episcopal powers, shared by all bishops, and the patriarchal powers, arising from the Holy See's synodal role in the Latin Church)

Jn 17 -- It is by divine glory that the Church is one.

"one bond of communion by the intercourse of letters of peace" Optatus

The purpose of ecclesial infallibility is not clarity but anchor.

No one doubts that the Church has temporal power, because no one holds that it would be just for a state to deny it all rights in property, assembly, etc., and it is in any case, however divine instituted, a human society with all the rights of any other human society. The question disputed between Protestants and Catholics, despite being often lost sight of, is temporal independence and sovereignty.

"We ought to obey God rather than men" -> temporal sovereignty of the Church; that is, the temporal sovereignty arises as a byprodcut of the superiority of divine mission, and the right of the Church to prioritize it in its dealing with temporal powers.

All sovereignty, spiritual or temporal, was Christ's; the Judeans and the Romand did not recognize it, but it is hardly appropriate for Christians to have no king but Caesar.

Every religion by authority of custom supplies order where there is lack of law, showing that every religion has civil import. The manner of this import, and the range and scope of action, depends on the organization and nature of the religion.

1527-1870 : The Looting of the Church
-- although note that there are later thrwobacks, e.g., the Cristero War in the 1920s
-- 1527 is the start fo the Reduction of Gustav I, Henry VIII dissolves the monasteris in 1536, etc.

Both Siddhartha and Mahavira were members of the Kshatrija varna in North India in the 5th/6th century BC. The now defunct Ajikva movement, founded by Makkhali Gosala, began around the same time. The Ajnana and Charvaka movements may also have arisen at the same time, and all of these schools are groupable as parts of a broader shramana movement reacting at the time to the practices associated with the Brahmans.

merit as nonbarrenness

meritorious giving as a major pillar of Christian kingship

the joy of charity as anumodana
To rejoice thankfully in acts of love is to participate in the love that acts.

eucharist as anumodana for Christ's Passion and Resurrection

the practice of dedicating acts to other people

(1) One may dedicate one's actions to another.
(2) One may merit for another.
(3) Dedicating-to and meriting-for are distinct, although they may overlap.
(4) Neither dedication nor meriting may properly be transferred; they remain with the one who does it, but unite the one who does with the one to or for whom it is done either symbolically (dedication) or morally (merit).
(5) In indulgences for the dead, we dedicate our penitential actions to the Patient and pray with the Church that God account our pentiential action as meriting for them.

In considering heresies, more attention should be paid to pretexts for heresies.

Sovereignty is ultimately one, God's; all other sovereignty participates it.

In every age there are high-status sins.

Defined territory, permanent population, effective government, capacity to enter relations, and independence are not criteria of statehood but modes of state action.

All human sovereignty is sovereignty under a higher law. 

You know a political faction is in retreat when even its euphemisms get euphemisms.

Lugalzagesi and the invention of empire

henotheism vs pantheonism (the latter is perhaps a development from empires?)

Mesopotamian kings established statues (simlu: images) of themselves throughout their kingdom to maintain their presence.

The defined territory for the Church is given by Christ Himself: all the world.

"Consciousness of an *internal court* in teh human being ('before which his thoughts accuse or excuse one another') is *conscience*." Kant

Both Apuleius and Olympiodorus identify Socrates' daimon with conscience.

forms of institution of sacrament: (1) assertion (2) insinuation (3) apostolic announcement

gregaric vs organic society

"Every evangelical sacrament accomplishes what it figures." Peter Lombard

The power of granting indulgences is just the power of specifying satisfactions and dispensations.

Every general council increases the power of popes and patriarchs, because they are the only ones who can organize a systematic implementation.

courts of equity as courts of common conscience

A court with the combined powers of a court of law and a court of conscience is effectively a miniature legislature.

"Two great principles, Justice and Utiltiy, govern the proceedings of a court of equity; and every matter that belongs to that court is regulated by one or other of these principles." Kames

judicial review // examen of conscience

courts of writ vs courts of precedential remedy

A fully Chancery law mitigates the rigor and supplies the defects of law, because it expresses still a fairly robust sense of the Sovereign's power to do both of these; later Chancery and courts of equity are merely a residuum of this.

executive, remedial, adjustive, protective, and auxiliary powers of tribunal
('auxiliary' powers are here powers to supplement without overriding the actions of other tribunals)

"The equity judge, it must be remembered, performs the threefold functions -- of *pleader*, in selecting the issues for himself; of *judge*, in deciding the law; and of *jury*, in deciding the facts." Freeman Oliver Haynes
"The court of law, upon the right being withheld merely says: 'The contract has been broken and we will give the injured party damages.' The court of equity says: 'The injured party has a right, if he so prefer, to treat the contract as subsisting and to insist on its being actually performed.'" [i.e., the court of law handles the right in terms of breach of contract; the court of equity handles the right in terms of specific performance.]

faults of reform
(1) treating mere means as ends
(2) insisting on ends where there is no means
(3) insisting on ends while undercutting means
(4) insisting on ends while introducing means inconsistent with the ends

Some of mathematical intuition is feel for the language, like when you do not need to work out how to say something you have never said, or can see what word would have to fill in a blank, because you just have sufficient familiarity with the language that you also have familiarity with how it tends.

The greatest of 'artificial persons' is the human race. But it is a ruined person, a person in shambles, discordant in character and often personal more in aspiration than in act.

What we call 'freedom' in the political sphere is in fact a large family of analogous things.

Recognizing that something canb e both one and many is essential to political philosophy.

Christ is morally, jurally, and sacrally present in all of His churches.

body politic: 'contains the Office, Government, and Majesty Royal'

Much of the modern world consists of spilled religion.

fictio as figura veritatis (Aquinas, ST 3.55.4 ad 1)

"Wisdom comes through love, silence, and mortification." John of the Cross

Ritual is the mother of agriculture.

The collaps of a society most often moves from the inside out.

the importance of unchosen obligations

Rule is by objective causation.

the image-presence of kings and states
the tour-presence of kings, presidents, etc., (this includes not just the visit itself but also the associated gossip, rumor, local news)

Ex 34:6 in Joel (2:13), Jonah (4:2), Micah (7:18), and Nahum (1:3)

"The teleological significance of all the great world monarchies is explained in the light of the spiritual monarchy of the Messiah." Lange

Everything of which we can say 'mine' is 'mine' insofar as it falls within the ambit of personal responsibility; therefore one must avoid entirely the corruption of a 'mine' that involves no responsibilities at all.

Christ as lex animata (cf. Lactantius)

Christ the King and the universal Church as God's own domestic church

the Church's inherent right of conscientious objection

Ps 51:17 and confession as an altar at which the penitent, under the guidance of the priest, offers the sacrifice of the contrite heart.

In the Mass, we give up the sacrifice of a contrite heart, in the Confiteor, and the sacrifice of praise, in the music, as types and adornments of the Sacrifice of the altar.

aerarium: treasury of the Senate
fiscus: public treasury of the Emperor
patrimonium: the treasury of the Imperial House
res privata: private proprety of the Emperor

"What is divine, is not subject to Imperial power." Ambrose

the intrinsically social nature of the body

The failure to distinguish reasoned doubts from unreasoned doubts, and doubts from temptations that may or may not arise from them, has shipwreched many a soul.

(1) The Notes of the Church are found in the domestic church.
(2) They are only found in the domestic church to the extent that the domestic church is in good communion with the Catholic Church as such.
(3) This is true of 'national churches' (= tribal domestic churches), as well.

All polities have a civil religion, however minimal or however much it may be a mockery of something; in a properly Christian polity, this civil religion becomes the domestic church of the polity.

Force exercised with approval is not authority; it is not the right kind of thing by which to authorize something.

Hierarchy diversifies the victories and excellences of heaven.

When you demand the impossible, people start cheating, and will do so even flagrantly.

The four fundamental problems the state must solve: presence, transfer of orders, revenue, selective exertion of force.

Fictio imitatur naturam.

the domestic church as the first catechetical school

The 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' may be a result of a confusion by Greeks and Romans between Nineveh and Babylon; we have more actual evidence of wonderful gardens adn even gardens on buildings for the former.

It is possible (although difficult to establish) that Nabonidus was trying to do with the moon something similar to what Akhenaten was trying to do with the sun.

What some people call 'close reading' is in reality guided monologuing.

In a consumerist society, if something formerly illegal is made legal, some people will begin actively trying to sell it.

Legal rights were often attached to corporate personality on the model of minority citizenship, with juridical persons being effectively minors with natural persons as their usual guardians.

rights inherent to the Church
(1) by virtue of divine commission
(2) by virute of its dignity as a divine society
(3) as a moral person
(4) as a moral family
-- -- (a) of the family as such
-- -- (b) incident to the rights of the members in the family as members
(5) incident to the individual rights of its member individuals
(6) incident to the familiar rights of its member families

the phoenix sacraments: Eucharist, penance, unction

Eucharist : altar of heaven :: penance : tribunal of heaven :: unction : ?

Numbers 15:16, 15:29 -- the unity of Israel (see Nubmers Rabba, Nasso 13:15)

the freak in Southern Gothic as a means of commenting on human nature

Narrative in and of itself suggests the possibility of redemption.

the three failures of Arthur's kingdom (Moorman): love, loyalty, and religion

People are only harmed or benefited relative to alternate possibilities.

philosophissimus as an imperial title

Colonial impoverishment is usually an aggressive form of a more general phenomenon, subjection to economic policies not tied to local conditions.

Regulatory agencies should be required to specify both the authorizing law and factual title of application for every single regulation.

Laws should not be seen as functioning primarily by coercion but instead by coordination; all coercion should be anchored and restricted by cooperative process.

university honors
(1) degrees proper
-- -- (a) primary degrees
-- -- (b) qualified degrees
-- -- (c) degrees ad eundem
(2) awards on the model of degrees (honorary degrees)
(3) awards distinct from degrees
-- -- (a) laureates and in-residence honors
-- -- (b) certifications of merit
-- -- (c) certifications of accomplishment

Law as anticipating final judgment, Medicine as anticipating Resurrection
-- all humanitarian traditions, being rooted in human nature and need, ancitipate aspects of our heavenly completion.

Usury is a specific form of attempting to claim without adequate grounds that another has an obligation, in order to benefit oneself.

parish < paroikia (a sojourning)  -- cf. Acts 13:17

Signs are the medium of trust.

Jude 5 -- different mss have "Lord", "Jesus", "God", or "He" (e.g., Sinaiticus has Lord, Philoxenian Syriac has God, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus has Jesus -- see also Jerome). On standard critical principles, "Jesus" is best attested.

miracles as physical epiphanies

Every virtue is capable of three kinds of action: internal elicited act, corresponding external act, and act commanded by another virtue.

Five ways of dividing religious rites (Bellarmine)
(1) by end: for justification, for spiritual effect, for signification
(2) by institution: natural, divine, ecclesiastical
(3) by form: worship, disposition to worship, instruments of worship
(4) by material object: concerned with person, with times, with modes (e.g., use of Latin), with things
(5) by accidents: universal/particular, temporary/perpetual, preceptual/free

"ceremonies are a certain kind of visible words" (Bellarmine)

the ends of ecclesiastically institute rites (by effect): representation of truth, impetration for effect( repelling demons, purging venial sins, etc.), application of merits of Christ

"Christ without doubt merited for his Church not merely grace and glory, but also all other benefits which can be useful to her." Bellarmine

Every truth is a seed of further inquiry.

Mt 15:9 and k 7:7-13 as giving the Church authority to distinguish divine and apostolic from the merely human custom (1 Tim 6:20 and 2 Tim 1:14 as confirming this)

the virtue of charity as carrying with it kinds of legislative, judicial, and coactive powers

A society with a genuine purpose will exclude what is inconsistent with that purpose.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Iustinus Martyr

 Today is the feast of St. Justin, Martyr. From the First Apology:

And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of Me, this is My body; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, This is My blood; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Hume on the Idea of Existence

 Hume's Treatise 1.2.6, "Of the Idea of Existence, and External Existence", is easily overlooked, but raises some important questions. In discussing the idea of existence, or being, Hume gives an interesting argument, which could be formulated in something like the following way:

(1) Whatever is conceived in consciousness or memory is conceived as existent.

(2) The idea of existence is derived from this conception of things as existent in consciousness or memory.

(3) Every idea derives from a similar impression. 

(4) Either the idea of existence is derived from a distinct impression conjoined to every perception or object, or the idea of existence is the same as the idea of each perception or object.

(5) No two distinct impressions are inseparably conjoined. 

(6) Therefore the idea of existence is the same as any idea of each perception or object.

Hume also considers a possible proposal for a third option: perhaps the distinction is a distinction of reason, so that the idea of existence is neither strictly different nor strictly separate from each 'perception or object'. In Hume's account of distinctions of reason, we actually only have one idea but we compare it to different sets of similar ideas. For instance, figure and color are found in the same empirical ideas -- you can't have figure without color or color without figure. Since Hume accepts Berkeley's argument against abstract ideas, there is no literal 'idea of figure' and 'idea of color'. But if we have the idea of a black triangle, we can compare it either to ideas of other black things or to ideas of other triangular things. This won't work for existence or being, however, because by (1), we can't compare any idea to other ideas that are not conceived as existent.

The point about the distinction of reason goes quickly, but I think it's quite important, since in his argument Hume is effectively assuming a principle that the idea of being applies univocally to everything. The argument wouldn't work if there were different but related ideas of being, because then we could get the comparisons required for distinctions of reason.

This univocity of being, however,  has an interesting implication; since the existence that Hume identifies is the existence we are considering whenever we think of anything and can say that in some sense we are conceiving it as existent. This is what is historically known as intentional being, or cognitional being, or objective being, depending on the context -- being in the mind, or being perceived. Since our idea of being is derived from this (Hume is very clear about this with (2)), and since Hume assumes the univocity of being, 'being' and 'being in the mind'  (in the common sense of the latter phrase) would be synonymous for Hume. All being is intentional being; Hume is committed to Berkeley's idea that esse est percipi, allowing of course for some differences in how they think of perception.

Thus a number of important metaphysical questions are coming together in this little argument. (1) gives us intentional being; (2) guarantees the univocity of being that we have mentioned; (3) is the copy principle that is the foundation of Humean empiricism; the dilemma in (4) presupposes Hume's rejection of abstract ideas, which is the foundation of his account of distinctions of reason; (5) is the second most important principle of Humean empricism, the separability principle. Since (2) through (5) are all key principles of early modern empiricism, Hume does seem right that the conclusion is one that would have to be accepted by any such empiricist. 

Of course, (1) is correct (which gives us intentional being), but there are excellent reasons to reject each of (2) through (5).

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Ancient Days of Yore

(Depending on how it displays, you may have to click the picture to get the full list.) I'm old enough to score a zero out of 20, although I'm young enough that the encyclopedia was not hardcopy. Some of these things, of course, are still around, just rarer than they used to be; I had to get my garage roof re-done earlier this year because my pipes burst Christmas Eve, and had to pay by paper check. The time before that that I had to actually use a paper check (rather than direct payment out of the checking account) was also a repair job a couple of years ago, and (looking at my checkbook) the few before that were a bunch of charitable donations and the like in 2015 and 2016. Given that twenty years ago I went through checks quite regularly, that's a big change.

The Maid of Orleans

 Today is the feast of St. Jehanne d'Arc, usually known in English as Joan of Arc.

Jehanne D'Arc 

 A quiet garden path
      (St. Michael be our guide)
with scent of spring and day,
a field both green and wide,
and a girl-- 

 and beauty bright and bold
      (St. Catherine, for us pray)
and fierce but calm resolve
(with militance like May)
of a girl-- 

 the hope that step by step
      (St. Margaret, lend your aid)
will charge the raging host
and face the swinging blade
as a girl-- 

 by one bright thread are bound
      (Lord Jesus, give us grace)
with frame of twining flame
and eyes set in the face
of a girl....

Monday, May 29, 2023

The Strong Soldiers

 It is clear that the general does not spare the strong soldiers from labor and danger, but the notion of an army requires that he sometimes expose them both to great labors and great dangers, but after victory is achieved the strong are honored more; so also the head of household commits the great labors to the better hired hands, but on payday gives them a greater reward; wherefore neither does divine providence have it so that those who are more good are freed from the adversity and labor of the present life, but rather that in the end they are better rewarded.

Aquinas, Super Iob, chapter 7.