December 23, 2016 § 11 Comments
For some technical reason involving WordPress, commenting at the Orthosphere has become (apparently just for me) like pulling teeth. For the record, I posted this comment (which disappeared into the ether) yesterday.
October 19, 2016 § 1 Comment
May 2, 2016 § 91 Comments
I left the following comment – which was removed by the moderator and not published, according to Disqus – on this article at The Remnant. Apparently, pointing out that pre-Vatican II (and still ongoing) ‘pastoral mercy’ granted to unrepentant usurers is very similar to post Vatican II ‘pastoral mercy’ granted to unrepentant adulterers, was not considered on topic.
Or perhaps the observation doesn’t fit well with some other overarching narrative or worldview, I suppose.
The ‘whitewash away metaphysically realist doctrine with anti-realist pastoral accommodation’ thing has been done before, and is still fully in force in the case of usury. Humanae Vitae is simply becoming the new Vix Pervenit.
If you want to grasp what is currently happening in the domain of sex and marriage you need to first grasp what had already happened, before any of us were born and before Vatican II was a twinkle in John XXIII’s eye, in the domain of usury.
I document this in some detail here:
I’m not a regular reader of The Remnant, although I have some of the article author’s books. As I understand it the title of the magazine refers to a putative small ‘remnant’ of orthodox Catholics in an ocean of heterodox cafeteria Catholics.
But some might think that deafening and willful silence about so-called ‘pastoral mercy’ toward unrepentant usurers combined with outrage over so-called ‘pastoral mercy’ toward unrepentant adulterers, is its own sort of cafeteria Catholicism.
According to the moderator it was just the inclusion of a link that got my comment removed. That seems odd though, because there are other comments (for example this one) in that thread with links to outside websites, blogs, etc.
February 2, 2016 § 15 Comments
Laurie Woodward, the director of the Student Union, said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”
“Diversity is so much more than race. Obviously race still plays a big role. But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that,” sophomore architecture major Mia Ashley said.
Here is the result of my muse:
Black is the new white
niggardly niggardly niggardly noobs,
militantly tolerant of men with boobs,
heckle and snark administrative rubes,
until MLK day goes down the tubes
February 2, 2016 § 14 Comments
But I will just gently suggest that if the siren song of Donald Trump, of all people, is capable of luring some ‘principled’ non-voters out into the liberal version of bowing toward Mecca, that those particular non-voters probably aren’t really what I would call principled.
That’s no surprise, I guess, because in the land of lies every day is opposite day.
February 1, 2016 § 83 Comments
As a notorious and outspoken non-voter, I definitely plan to not vote for Donald Trump. I have to say that I really, really appreciate what he is doing for American politics.
Once we grant the premise of American politics – that government should represent the people of the United States, should be the political incarnation of the current American zeitgeist – well, I am hard pressed to think of a viable candidate who comes even close to representing the American people in 2016 as well as the Trump. Who could possibly be more appropriate than a crass billionaire reality TV star, a hotel and gambling magnate with a new blonde on his arm every time we see him? His defining political position, his unprincipled exception designed for mass appeal, is just that he will keep America from getting dissolved by the dilutive power of mass immigration, making sure that America stays American by rejecting the ideology of white people. All hail the Donald, archetypical representative of our greatest aspirations!
Folks who think he can’t win are, I think, stuck in the past and do not understand the society in which we live. I don’t predict a win, mind you, but the notion that the Trump cannot win is just ridiculous. Modern effeminate Americans love to look up to a bad boy showman. Even if he slaps them around a bit and cheats on them we know they’ll still end up back with him. He’ll smile at them and say something that makes them all hot and bothered, and then they are his.
Establishment Republicans are so cute, the way they take the political process seriously (for values of ‘seriously’) — unlike the vast majority of voters, who do not have the intellectual resources or the inclination to take it seriously in the same way. For the great majority of people voting is just a signal of allegiance, a doffing of the cap, an expression of emotion, an outlet for frustration. The stereotype of the thoughtful voter on either the left or the right is one of those quaint things that certain people believe despite their lying eyes.
Another thing I appreciate about Trump is that he has introduced us to a new phase in the Hegelian Mambo. All the usual suspects will perceive this new step as the arrival — finally! – of the revolution we’ve really been waiting for! Pay no attention to what gets dropped on the floor as the dance proceeds.
The last few decades of American politics have involved a dialectic between nominally Christian liberals and anti-Christian liberals. In this new phase we can leave Christianity behind entirely, even that pesky nominal Christianity. This new phase ushered in by the Great Salesman with Fantastic Hair and Lots of Money will be one of nationalist liberalism versus globalist liberalism. Just watch that dowdy old religion disappear without a whimper!
And this could be a good thing for at least some, perhaps some small number, of even modestly serious Christians who have been stuck up until now, lured by the siren song of supposed personal relevance into lighting a pinch of incense. Though I suppose if decades of abortion rope-a-dope with the Republican party hasn’t cut the cord yet it must be a pretty thick cord.
January 28, 2016 § 2 Comments
Around here we like to argue about basic errors which can interfere with our capacity to think clearly about reality, or even to think about reality at all — as opposed to being trapped in the storybook carnival of the post-cartesian mind.
Admittedly it is gratifying to be a character in our own stories, because – as the supreme author of our own stories – it lets us play God. That gratification has a shelf life though, because the real world is not something we are actually able to escape. Even suicide simply accelerates our encounter with the Most Real of All Actual Things.
One of the most common ways we avoid conclusions we don’t like is to stop thinking about whatever subject gives rise to those conclusions. And one of the simplest ways to inspire quietism in folks with a conservative disposition is to give them examples from antiquity: to show that, whether X is good or evil, it has been with us in some more or less nascent form always. There is nothing new under the sun.
If X has ancient roots then it cannot be some new and dire wickedness perpetrated by modernity in unprecedented ways and on unprecedented scales. Sin has been with us since well before modern times; so blaming sin on modernity is pish posh. There is no point in opposing it, and certainly there is no reason to attribute it to modernity. Go back to sleep, child.
Conversely, the unique atrocities of modernity cannot be attributed to X if X is found to have ancient roots. Modern atrocities must have some other cause. If liberalism has ancient roots it is sacred; the unique wickednesses of modernity must be attributable to something else.
The great thing about the claim that there is nothing new under the sun is that it is mostly true, as long as we don’t take it too seriously. No reasonably informed person would deny that modern political insanity has some roots in ancient Greece, for example. They teach us that it does in grade school, or at least they did when I was in grade school, and they aren’t wrong about the lineage. They are just wrong about what is substantively good and bad about it all. Democritus was a Greek, after all. The Greeks had parasites and disease too.
“Nothing new under the sun” is often just a rhetorical device to say, in different words, “nothing to see, move along”, “see no evil”, or “lets just all stop thinking and talking about this.”
It is worth applying some introspection to that particular rhetorical device.
The roots of feminism (just as an example) could be similarly historically traced and tendentiously argued. So nothing to see, move along. “This feminism thing has always existed alongside patriarchy, and the feminists – the right kind of feminists – always had the better argument.”
As with nominalism and in some ways related to it, once we concede the metaphysical frame we have already fallen on our swords and might as well not talk about anything at all. Feminism, you see, means just what I say it means, nothing more, nothing less. It is just the acknowledgement that women are people too. By definition it has no connection to atrocity. Christian Game, I mean feminism, is the good kind of feminism. By definition anything bad about feminism doesn’t belong in Christian feminism, so opposing feminism in general can only amount to disagreement about definitions.
If our goal is quietist capitulation to evil we’ll be receptive to nominalism and arguments from antiquity which purport to excuse or downplay the wickedness of modernity or certain sacred doctrines of modernity. That’s fine I suppose; as long as we don’t object to our minds being covered in filth, infected with disease, and peppered with parasites.
Some folks do mind that though. We all run through the modernist weeds every day: even the Amish can’t fully escape it. For those of us who don’t want to wake up with our minds covered in blood sucking parasites it does not seem out of bounds to suggest regular tick checks, to see what we might have picked up, before heading off to sleep.