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 email@example.com.
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.
March 28, 2017 § 37 Comments
Liberalism – making freedom a political priority – is, at bottom, rationally incoherent. But it is easy to see how folks committed to it might come to see having more options – independent of whether those options are or are not of any objective value – as something to be encouraged and pursued. Doctrine abstracted and analyzed in itself is one thing. As an active social force in a population of real people it is another. Under liberalism authority and tradition come to be (selectively) seen as something to be overcome, so the number of available options tends to proliferate in direct proportion to the amoral trivial banality of those options. You can live in any kind of city you want as long as it sports modern architecture, Starbucks, gay pride parades, and its own vibrant Little Somalia.
Against my better judgment I got into a combox back and forth with a commenter on donalgrame about whether modern men have a harder time pursuing the good in marriage and family than modern women: whether women, objectively speaking, have better options available than men when it comes to pursuing the good in sex and marriage. I’ve noted before that modern people can get as much sexual stimulation as they want: what has become increasingly difficult is pursuing the good in sex and marriage, not pursuing ultimately self-destructive and unsatisfactory hedonism.
One of the things that constantly comes up is that, because men and women are different, the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to women differs from the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to men. Sure, men can immerse themselves in pornography and masturbation all they want, and can even go to a strip bar or hire a hooker. But the average woman has greater empowerment to fornicate specifically than the average man, because in modern hookup culture 80% of the women are fornicating with 20% of the men.
It follows (!) that men have a harder time pursuing the good in sex and marriage than women.
But at the end of the day, this is like arguing that meth heads have it so much better than heroin addicts. Modernity does indeed produce a marketplace of all sorts of degenerate choices; but anyone who can’t see that making good choices has become harder for everyone is living under a rock.
March 20, 2017 § 43 Comments
A good sovereign will decline to enforce usurious contracts, and will reserve the authority to – if prudentially necessary – punish those who attempt to craft usurious contracts.
I conclude that what makes debtor’s prison bad is acceptance of usury. In the absence of usury, debtor’s prison is just prison for criminals.