April 17, 2017 § 26 Comments
I’d be the first to admit – nay, I’d strongly assert – that there is no satisfactory comprehensive theory of the essence-accident distinction. On the other hand we can’t really even have a coherent conversation about basic matters like ‘what is a defect?’ without some metaphysical common ground.
But there is no need to make things too complicated. At the level of essence human beings are the same: we all are essentially human beings: not beasts, not rocks, not moss, not stars, not angels, but human beings.
My own belief is that sex is also essential: that is, that “Martha who is not female” isn’t really Martha. Attempts to de-sex Martha fail at the level of necessity: if “she” isn’t a she, we aren’t actually talking about the actual Martha. We are writing Martha fan fiction.
(I’ve been accused of having Scotist tendencies for this sort of belief.)
In a nutshell, as an analog Platonic rogue in a digital Aristotelean (hate that spelling) world I’m pretty sure that essence has ‘deeper roots’ than the perhaps oversimplified picture drawn by Aristotlean realism.
So I’m willing to consider the possibility that we use the word “race” to refer to (technically essences which underly) essential properties: that abstracting away a person’s race leaves us with an idea of ‘something’ which isn’t – the ‘something’ isn’t – really that person at all [*]. Zippy the blogger imagined as a winged unicorn in one sense does successfully refer to me, of course: but successful reference probably accomplishes substantially less than meets the modernist eye.
Given all that though is also certainly the case that race — unlike deafness or gayness — is not an ontological defect. Gayness and deafness are ontological defects; blackness and whiteness are not ontological defects. The distinction between objective goods — which may in general be essential or accidental — and defects is, um, essential to discussion of the modern tendency to assert that objective defects are principles of identity.
The reason modern folks are always attempting to make their favorite defects into principles of identity rests on a deeper commitment. This intuitively-appealing lie is that while politics must at times (out of unhappy necessity in an otherwise live-and-let-live context) discriminate based on what people do, it must never discriminate based on what people are. So claiming something as a part of one’s identity shields that particular thing, whatever it may be, from the reach of authority. If voluntary acts of sodomy by the incontinent are part of the makeup of what someone is, then voluntary acts of sodomy are a human right.
I’ve even considered the possibility, given my openness to speculation about man’s own powers qua Imago Dei, that Hell is a state wherein a particular man has successfully and ineradicably incorporated an ontological defect into his own essence through his own free choices.
April 17, 2017 § 6 Comments
Individual hard copies of the Third Edition of the Usury FAQ are available on Amazon. Feel free to order copies for your friends and enemies, and to post reviews. This is a project of The Typesetter (a.k.a. commenter TomD), who did all the hard work: I just provided the content. In addition to our thanks for his hard work we also owe him well-wishes and joyous prayers for his rumored upcoming nuptials.
The e-book downloads in my sidebar are still the Second Edition. I’ll update all y’all when that changes – and about bulk orders, hardcover version, and possible conspiratorial distribution plans to various target groups – as things actually happen, as I find/figure things out myself, and as anything relevant takes place.
April 13, 2017 § 50 Comments
Saying that sexual desire is good in itself is like saying that hunger is good in itself. That is, it isn’t even really true at all.
Hunger is good only inasmuch as it proposes to man the genuine goods of eating to be pursued in our fallen condition: preservation of life, growth, nutrition, and the social goods of breaking bread together or of men hunting or plowing as brothers, in honor. As a sense of depravation or craving, hunger is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of gluttony.
Sexual desire likewise is only good inasmuch as it proposes to man the real goods of marriage: of mutual love between spouses and the creation of new life from the physical expression of that love. As a sense of depravation or craving, sexual desire is often aimed at disordered ends and is a prison for the incontinent. Thus we have the vice of lust.
The main difference between hunger and sexual desire is that a man can’t live without eating. Sexual desire though is not going to kill you.
The heroes, architects, and analysts of the secular ‘morally neutral’ manosphere see the desolation wrought by modernity, and propose a great feast on stones and dust. What shall we eat, if not the stones and dust that surround us? What shall we drink if not the plentiful seawater and gasoline?
(Originally posted as a comment here.)
April 6, 2017 § 28 Comments
57) This all sounds so complicated, and use of the terms “loan” and “interest” to mean so many different things is confusing. Is there a straightforward way to tell if a simple loan for interest is usury?
58) Is there something that the government can do about usury without creating a whole bunch of complicated regulations?
UPDATE: The Typesetter has made the current revision available in PDF here. If you are interested in proofreading the manuscript feel free to post any errors you find in the combox here, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 6, 2017 § 10 Comments
 And he shall make all, both little and great, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, to have a character in their right hand, or on their foreheads.  And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man: and the number of him is six hundred sixty-six.
April 3, 2017 § 24 Comments
Man’s true nature is that he is a creation of God, but many superficial thinkers leverage the “human nature” bit as if to say “man understood apart from the fact that he is a creature made by God”.
We can talk coherently about natural law as something which arises from man’s nature. But we can’t talk coherently about man or his nature as if they were wholly independent things which just sprang into existence without God. The “things which sprang into existence without God” part is contrary to man’s actual nature: it is contrary to the sort of thing that man actually is in fact. It is a non-human theory of man.
More succinctly, theology is the queen of the sciences. Anti-realist modernism rests on non-theological theories of various parts of reality: on non-reality theories of reality.
Liberalism in particular rests on an anti-anthropology all the way down, starting with its attempt to develop a political doctrine (an understanding of authority) while prescinding from religious questions.
Other non-liberal political doctrines might theoretically be developed from the same starting point, but would in the end be just as wrong: would be non-authority theories of authority.
And we all know the consequences of embracing a contradiction.
April 2, 2017 § 28 Comments
Political theory on first brush seems to involve discussion of ideas as opposed to persons. It is natural to leap to the conclusion that when we are talking about politics (while refraining from psychoanalysis), the objects of our discourse are ideas.
But this is not the case, since political liberalism is not merely an idea. Ideas are not ontic reality: they are a means by which we understand ontic reality. Political liberalism is not a mere idea, but a very real force which operates in society: a pervasive influence as inescapable, for individuals and small communities, as gravity. Political liberalism is a doctrine with vast numbers of adherents, riddled with factions and intramural conflicts: like a religion but with the nature of authority, as opposed to the nature of God and reality, as its primary subject matter.
Liberalism ostensibly prescinds from controversies of religion and applies itself to politics. It is a religion-of-authority rather than a religion-of-God: a Godless deontology and social being, with authority as its locus, in a post-Nietzchean world wherein for practical purposes God is dead. Its central subject matter is the very thing the legitimacy of which it incoherently and inconsistently denies: the authority which some men naturally and unavoidably possess and exercise over other men.
Liberalism therefore transcends – is an ontic reality more than – a mere idea. Liberalism is not reducible to the idiosyncracies, notions, unexamined assumptions, or cultural prejudices of individual liberals or groups of liberals, nor is it reducible to some mere abstraction or idea.
Liberalism is not reducible to an aggregate of liberals any more than you, dear reader, are reducible to an aggregate of mindless atoms. Liberals themselves are of course human beings with liberal commitments, just as (for example) Mohammedans are human beings with Islamic commitments. Persons are distinct from the doctrines to which they are more or less committed and the social matter which incarnates those doctrines to form the body and soul of a religion or other social entity.
Because liberalism is so pervasive it is naturally the case that many liberals happen to be generally well adjusted ordinary human beings. For that matter, some groups of liberals are clearly more well adjusted than others. This is true for social realities other than liberalism too, e.g. the religion of Mohammed. As with Islam the more well adjusted groups tend to be those who take the central doctrines rather less seriously: less monotheistically, if you will.
Or, to invoke the proper object of liberal doctrine, less monoauthoritatively. Through the conceit that liberalism can politely remain merely one political author in a diverse pantheon of authorities, cafeteria liberals ensure that no defeat can permanently vanquish liberalism: it always has a welcome home and can rise again, emerge from its impregnable keep in the central holy of holies, to ravage the plains, mountains, and streams of real life.
Mercy follows from truth, always. To observe that despite sometime appearances liberalism is a despicable horror is not to accuse some particular group among Earth’s billions of liberals of anything in particular, other than commitment to something they at best don’t really understand. I have no special insight into the personal culpabilities of particular people; in fact I actively desire to avoid that particular kind of knowledge. Whether and to what extent folks accept the truth and what they do in response to it is up to them. Knowledge and understanding can sometimes feel like a terrible blow, to be sure.
But it is better – ultimately – to really know and understand the object of your loyalties, than to not know.