Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thus, it is not unusual to meet people who think that "not to believe in any," or "not to adhere firmly to any assertion as unshakably true in itself," is a primary condition required of democratic citizens in order to be tolerant of one another and to live in peace with one another. May I say that these people are in fact the most intolerant people, for if perchance they were to believe in something as unshakably true, they would feel compelled, by the same stroke, to impose by force and coercion their own belief on their co-citizens. The only remedy they have found to get rid of their abiding tendency to fanaticism is to cut themselves off from truth.
-Jacques Maritain, Truth and Human Fellowship
[H/T St. Thomas Aquinas Facebook page]

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Each citizen has a private philosophy and a private code. That's the trouble. And when you've invented the code or the philosophy for yourself, you suddenly find at some moment of emergency that it doesn't bind you. How could it? The stream doesn't rise higher than the source."

-Fr. Ronald Knox

Monday, May 28, 2018

" [...] principles will develop themselves, beyond the arbitrary points of which you are so fond, and by which they have hitherto been limited, like prisoners on parole [...]"
-John Henry Newman, Essays Critical and Historical, Volume One (1871)

Friday, April 20, 2018

"If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired."

Friday, March 2, 2018

I am also miffed by the use of "person" for "man," since it denies rational thought to women and reserves it exclusively to weremen. (cf. in English men-tal, min-d, also mankind, etc.; in German mann as the genderless pronoun. Hence, "a rational being.") Adult males were once referred to as "wera," see also Latin vir, Irish fir, words like vir-ile, vir-tue, etc. Instead of changing every word with the suffix -man, just give males back their prefixes and give them a unique designator of their own.
-Mike Flynn
Our understanding of the medieval period has changed dramatically in the last fifty years. Although one occasionally still hears a self-important scientist speak of the Dark Ages, modern views have long since overthrown such simplicities. An age that was once thought to be static, brutal and benighted is now understood as dynamic and swiftly changing: an age where knowledge was sought and valued, where great universities were born, and learning fostered; where technology was enthusiastically advanced; where social relations were in flux; where trade was international; where the general level of violence was often less deadly than it is today. As for the old reputation of medieval times as a dark time of parochialism, religious prejudice and mass slaughter, the record of the twentieth century must lead any thoughtful observer to conclude that we are in no way superior.

In fact, the conception of a brutal medieval period was an invention of the Renaissance, whose proponents were at pains to emphasize a new spirit, even at the expense of the facts. If a benighted medieval world has proven a durable misconception, it may be because it confirms a cherished contemporary belief- that our species always moves forward to ever better and more enlightened ways of life. This belief is utter fantasy, but it dies hard. It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern, scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period.
-Michael Crichton (Acknowledgements", Timeline, 1999)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic"
That can be turned into today's world:
"School shooting is a tragedy; baby killing is a statistic"
-Commenter Darrin on this article

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Meanwhile, the religious world little thinks whither its opinions are leading; and will not discover that it is adoring a mere abstract name or a vague creation of the mind for the Ever-living Son, till the defection of its members from the faith startle it, and teach it that the so-called religion of the heart, without orthodoxy of doctrine, is but the warmth of a corpse, real for a time, but sure to fail.
-John Henry Newman

Monday, December 4, 2017

"How can you discuss what is due to natural processes independently of the creator, since the creator is the author of those same natural processes? Those who say the world looks just as we would expect it to look if it were not designed by a creator miss the point, for if it were not so designed we would not expect it to exist at all."
-Mike Flynn

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"A good thought experiment: how long would it take Orwell to get banned by Twitter?"
-Patrick Coffin

Friday, October 13, 2017

I believe that the men of this age [...] think too much about the state of nations and the situation of the world [...] We are not kings, we are not senators. Let us beware lest, while we torture ourselves in vain about the fate of Europe, we neglect either Verona or Oxford. In the poor man who knocks at my door, in my ailing mother, in the young man who seeks my advice, the Lord Himself is present: therefore let us wash His feet.

-The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis (March 27, 1948)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

For starters, let’s take Aristotelian-Thomistic (A-T) hylemorphic dualism. The A-T view is that the intellect is immaterial, but that sensation and imagination are not. Hence it is no surprise at all that neuroscience has discovered various neural correlates of mental imagery and the varieties of perceptual experience. Moreover, A-T holds that though intellect is immaterial, its operation requires the presence of the images or “phantasms” of the imagination. Hence it is no surprise that neural damage can affect even the functioning of the intellect. Most importantly, the soul, of which intellect, sensation, and imagination are all powers, is not a complete substance in its own right in the first place, but rather the form of the body. The way intellectual and volitional activity relates to a particular human action is, accordingly, not to be understood on the model of billiard ball causation, but rather as the formal-cum-final causal side of a single event of which the relevant physiological processes are the material-cum-efficient causal side. That alterations to the body have mental consequences is thus no more surprising than the fact that altering the chalk marks that make up a triangle drawn on a chalkboard affects how well the marks instantiate the form of triangularity. It is important to emphasize that none of this involves any sort of retreat from some stronger form of dualism, as a way of accommodating the discoveries of contemporary neuroscience; it is what A-T has always said about the relationship between soul and body. There is absolutely nothing in modern neuroscience that need trouble the A-T hylemorphic dualist in the slightest.
-Edward Feser [source]