Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Aquinas contra sedition and factional tyranny

As Aquinas teaches, “the chief concern of the ruler of a multitude… is to procure the unity of peace” (De Regno, Book I, Chapter 3).  All other social goods are subordinate to that, because they all presuppose it.  Without peace, no social good is secure.  Without unity – and in particular, without a shared commitment to a common set of laws, procedures, cultural norms, and the like – no peace is possible.

Now, what we are seeing metastasizing around us in the United States in recent months is a direct assault from the Left on the unity of peace, and thereby on the fundamental prerequisite of any just social order.  The methods and goals of the left-wing mobs looting, rioting, burning, and harassing their way through American cities amount to a seditious assault on the peace of the community.  The intention of some left-wing politicians to abolish the Electoral College, pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster, and in other ways secure indefinite one-party rule amounts to an attempt to impose a factional tyranny.  These are extremely dangerous trends, and it is delusional to think that the faults of Donald Trump or the justice of the cause of opposing racism can excuse them or make them any less dangerous.  In the name of social justice, the far Left is attacking the very preconditions of all social justice.

As always, the teaching of St. Thomas illuminates the darkness of our times.

Lawful authority

Let’s go back to first principles.  Why do governments exist?  Well, again, to secure the unity of peace.  But how are they to secure this?  Aquinas’s answer is that of common sense.  He writes, in the Summa Theologiae:

Since some are found to be depraved, and prone to vice, and not easily amenable to words, it was necessary for such to be restrained from evil by force and fear, in order that, at least, they might desist from evil-doing, and leave others in peace, and that they themselves, by being habituated in this way, might be brought to do willingly what hitherto they did from fear, and thus become virtuous.  Now this kind of training, which compels through fear of punishment, is the discipline of laws.  Therefore in order that man might have peace and virtue, it was necessary for laws to be framed.  (Summa Theologiae I-II.95.1)

Similarly, in Summa Contra Gentiles, he says:

Since some people are not so disposed internally that they will do spontaneously what the law orders, they must be forced from without to fulfill the justice of the law… [T]his is done only from fear of punishments…

Since some people pay little attention to the punishments inflicted by God, because they are devoted to the objects of sense and care only for the things that are seen, it has been ordered accordingly by divine providence that there be men in various countries whose duty it is to compel these people, by means of sensible and present punishments, to respect justice.  It is obvious that these men do not sin when they punish the wicked, for no one sins by working for justice.  Now, it is just for the wicked to be punished, since by punishment the fault is restored to order, as is clear from our statements above.  Therefore, judges do no wrong in punishing the wicked. (Summa Contra Gentiles III.128, 146)

Note two things about this teaching.  First, it flatly rejects the proposal that police protections would not be necessary if only the right social services were in place, the notion that if only communism were achieved then the need for a coercive state would wither away, and all other such lunatic fantasies running contrary to all human experience.  It is simply part of the human condition that some people will not be restrained from evildoing except by force, so that the need for and legitimacy of the police power of the state is a matter of natural law.

Second, the legitimacy of this police power is backed by divine providence.  Aquinas develops this theme as follows:

Again, in various countries, the men who are put in positions over other men are like executors of divine providence; indeed, God through the order of His providence directs lower beings by means of higher ones, as is evident from what we said before.  But no one sins by the fact that he follows the order of divine providence.  Now, this order of divine providence requires the good to be rewarded and the evil to be punished, as is shown by our earlier remarks.  Therefore, men who are in authority over others do no wrong when they reward the good and punish the evil. (Summa Contra Gentiles III.146)

Here Aquinas is recapitulating the teaching of scripture no less than of natural law.  As St. Paul famously writes:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Would you have no fear of him who is in authority?  Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.  (Romans 13:1-4)

This is also the consistent and binding teaching of the Catholic faith.  For example, Pope Leo XIII teaches in Immortale Dei:

To despise legitimate authority, in whomsoever vested, is unlawful, as a rebellion against the divine will, and whoever resists that, rushes willfully to destruction.  “He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.” To cast aside obedience, and by popular violence to incite to revolt, is therefore treason, not against man only, but against God.

Of course, this by no means entails that governmental authorities and police are not themselves sometimes guilty of injustice.  When they are, they must be punished accordingly and existing institutions reformed.  But that is very different from opposing coercive governmental power as such.  Hence, calls to “abolish the police” or “defund the police,” the claim that “all cops are bastards,” and the like, are contrary to natural law, divine revelation, and indeed (as St. Paul and Pope Leo teach) the divine government itself.  They are not merely ill-advised, like this or that regulation or tax or foreign policy initiative.  They are subversive of the very social order.  Into the bargain, such rhetoric is gravely unjust to the majority of police officers, dehumanizes them and, predictably, has resulted in an increase in murders of police officers.  And the citizens for whose sake the insane defunding proposal would purportedly be implemented would in fact be harmed the most by it, and are overwhelmingly opposed to it.

Public officials who do not unequivocally reject such evil opinions, and especially those who positively sympathize with such opinions, act directly contrary to the most fundamental preconditions of a just social order.  They are ipso facto manifestly unfit for office.

Sedition

The leftist mobs who have, in the name of this anti-police position, been attacking governmental buildings and otherwise seeking confrontations with police are guilty of the grave sin of sedition.  (Some among the mainstream press have tried to pretend that this mob violence has been exaggerated, but the pretense has by now gotten too ridiculous even for them.)  Contrasting sedition with war in the usual sense (which involves conflict between different countries) and strife (which involves conflict between individuals), Aquinas characterizes it as follows:

Sedition may be said to denote either actual aggression, or the preparation for such aggression… when, to wit, a number of people make preparations with the intention of fighting… Sedition, in its proper sense, is between mutually dissentient parts of one people, as when one part of the state rises in tumult against another part… [S]edition is opposed to a special kind of good, namely the unity and peace of a people...

A seditious man is one who incites others to sedition, and since sedition denotes a kind of discord, it follows that a seditious man is one who creates discord, not of any kind, but between the parts of a multitude.  And the sin of sedition is not only in him who sows discord, but also in those who dissent from one another inordinately

Sedition is contrary to the unity of the multitude, viz. the people of a city or kingdom… Wherefore it is evident that the unity to which sedition is opposed is the unity of law and common good: whence it follows manifestly that sedition is opposed to justice and the common good.  Therefore by reason of its genus it is a mortal sin, and its gravity will be all the greater according as the common good which it assails surpasses the private good which is assailed by strife.

Accordingly the sin of sedition is first and chiefly in its authors, who sin most grievously; and secondly it is in those who are led by them to disturb the common good.  Those, however, who defend the common good, and withstand the seditious party, are not themselves seditious, even as neither is a man to be called quarrelsome because he defends himself.  (Summa Theologiae II-II.42.1-2)

Let’s note the various aspects of this account.  First, sedition involves one part of a society putting itself into a state of war with another part, by attacking the unity, peace, law, and common good of that society.  The left-wing rioters have done exactly this.  They do not seek to work within the legal and institutional framework they share with their fellow citizens.  Rather, they condemn that framework as inherently racist and therefore illegitimate, and anyone who upholds it as complicit in oppression.  Hence they boldly violate the laws by destroying public property, looting, burning down businesses, and even taking over whole city blocks.  They routinely resort to other forms of intimidation, such as forming mobs outside of private homes, harassing people in restaurants and other public spaces, doxing their opponents and seeking to make them unemployable, and so on.  And in some cases they boldly attack governmental buildings and police themselves, not in the way ordinary criminals do (merely as a means of avoiding capture and punishment for other crimes), but precisely as acts of insurrection, as attacks on the state itself. 

Second, Aquinas tells us that it is not merely those who actually engage in violence who are guilty of sedition.  Those who merely prepare for such conflict are guilty of it too, as indeed are even those who simply “dissent… inordinately” from their fellow citizens.  Anti-police activists who show up at protests armed with shields, helmets, bats, fireworks, lasers, pepper spray, etc. – and in some cases guns – are obviously preparing for violent confrontation.  Aquinas’s term “inordinately” is a bit vague, but I submit that someone who thinks that the basic institutions of American society are so deeply and irredeemably evil that any fellow citizen who disagrees with that judgment is worthy of being doxed, publicly hounded, made unemployable, etc. “dissents inordinately” from his fellow citizens.

Third, as Aquinas says, those who “withstand the seditious party, are not themselves seditious,” any more than a person defending himself or others against attack can justly be called an aggressor.  Now, it certainly does not follow that armed vigilantism is morally unproblematic or advisable.  In general, it is not.  But it is ridiculous to pretend, as some have, that those who have stood up to the rioters are themselves somehow morally on a par with them, especially in contexts where local governments have refused to suppress the riots themselves. 

But whatabout

Now, Aquinas also goes on to say that armed resistance to a tyrant can be legitimate, and that “consequently there is no sedition in disturbing a government of this kind” (Summa Theologiae II-II.42.2).  Does that mean that left-wing violence is justifiable after all, given that Donald Trump has violated “democratic norms,” as his critics are always piously averring every time he tweets out some trash talk?

The very idea is preposterous on its face.  Say what you will about Trump, he is not literally a tyrant.  He has no more power than other presidents have had, and his will, like theirs, has frequently been thwarted by Congress, the courts, and the federal bureaucracy.  He is in so weak a position that he will be lucky if he’s able barely to squeak out an Electoral College victory against a mediocrity in cognitive decline.  You can criticize Trump as loudly, harshly, and frequently as you wish, will be widely and openly praised for doing so, and Trump himself will do nothing in response but send out a nasty tweet or two.  Twitter mobs will not get you fired from your job, and in-person mobs will not descend on your home, harass you in public places, or loot and burn down your business.  (The people who engage in and get away with this kind of thuggish behavior are all critics of Trump.)  It is supporters of Trump, and not his critics, who are most likely to find that they have to keep their views to themselves for fear of retaliation.  A tyrant would see in the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns an ideal “national emergency” pretext for increasing his power.  Instead, Trump has resisted lockdowns and is constantly accused of minimizing the threat of the virus.  A tyrant would use the riots as an excuse to impose martial law.  Instead, Trump has mainly confined himself to photo ops and tweeting out the phrase “Law and Order!”  Rather than doubling down on the federal presence in Portland in order to repel the lunatics who have besieged the courthouse there for months, his administration pulled the federal agents out.  Some “tyranny”!

Nor does the latest lame excuse for pearl-clutching lend any credence to the “tyranny” charge.  Even if Trump had really meant to say that he will not give up power if he loses the election – which he clearly did not mean – there is zero chance that the federal bureaucracy in general, the military in particular, or even his own party would support him.  (Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks that Trump would try to “steal” the election and that if it is close Biden “should not concede under any circumstances” were not met with similar horror by the pearl-clutchers – even though what she meant was essentially the same thing that Trump meant.)

Furthermore, even if Trump really did have tyrannical designs, that would not justify the violence of the woke mob in the least.  For one thing, as Aquinas writes, a tyrannical government can be legitimately resisted by force “unless indeed the tyrant's rule be disturbed so inordinately, that his subjects suffer greater harm from the consequent disturbance than from the tyrant's government” (Summa Theologiae II-II.42.2, emphasis added).  Those whose businesses have been looted and burned down by rioters have suffered far more from them than from anything Trump has done.  Nor can violent resistance to a tyrant be justified when there are peaceful alternatives – elections, recourse to the courts, etc.

Then there is the fact that, for the most part, it has not been federal agents that the rioters have been attacking but local police under the authority of left-wing local governments.  It isn’t really Trump that these people are attacking.  It is lawful authority as such that they are attacking.  They are engaged in sedition pure and simple, and as a matter of basic justice such action should be put down by governing authorities with whatever force is necessary.  Governing authorities who refuse to do so and even minimize and excuse these actions thereby facilitate sedition.  That is, I submit, far more contrary to “democratic norms” than anything Trump has done.

Factional tyranny

When we hear the word “tyranny,” we are inclined to think of a single individual despot, but as Aquinas makes clear, that is by no means the only kind of tyranny, nor the worst kind.  In De Regno, Book I, Chapter 2, he writes:

If an unjust government is carried on by one man alone, who seeks his own benefit from his rule and not the good of the multitude subject to him, such a ruler is called a tyrant... If an unjust government is carried on, not by one but by several, and if they be few, it is called an oligarchy, that is, the rule of a few.  This occurs when a few, who differ from the tyrant only by the fact that they are more than one, oppress the people by means of their wealth.  If, finally, the bad government is carried on by the multitude, it is called a democracy, i.e. control by the populace, which comes about when the plebeian people by force of numbers oppress the rich.  In this way the whole people will be as one tyrant.

End quote.  So, on Aquinas’s account, a faction within society, or even the people as a whole, could rule in a tyrannical fashion.  Notice that he says that it is possible even for the common people to be perpetrators of oppression, not just victims of it; and that it is possible even for the rich to be victims of oppression, and not just perpetrators of it.  No one can claim that he has justice on his side merely because he belongs to a certain group within society, and no one can be accused of injustice merely because he belongs to some other group.

Aquinas says more about the nature of factional tyranny, in particular, in Book I, Chapter 6 of De Regno.  Indeed, he says that a “polyarchy” or equal rule of multiple individuals or competing interests is more likely to degenerate into tyranny than a monarchy is:

Group government [polyarchy] most frequently breeds dissension.  This dissension runs counter to the good of peace which is the principal social good.  A tyrant, on the other hand, does not destroy this good, rather he obstructs one or the other individual interest of his subjects – unless, of course, there be an excess of tyranny and the tyrant rages against the whole community.  Monarchy is therefore to be preferred to polyarchy, although either form of government might become dangerous…

Now, considerable dangers to the multitude follow more frequently from polyarchy than from monarchy.  There is a greater chance that, where there are many rulers, one of them will abandon the intention of the common good than that it will be abandoned when there is but one ruler.  When any one among several rulers turns aside from the pursuit of the common good, danger of internal strife threatens the group because, when the chiefs quarrel, dissension will follow in the people…

Moreover, in point of fact, a polyarchy deviates into tyranny not less but perhaps more frequently than a monarchy.  When, on account of there being many rulers, dissensions arise in such a government, it often happens that the power of one preponderates and he then usurps the government of the multitude for himself.  This indeed may be clearly seen from history.  There has hardly ever been a polyarchy that did not end in tyranny.

End quote.  Now, Aquinas suggests that “dissension” between the people of a society and “abandon[ment]…of the common good” are more likely with polyarchy than with a single tyrant.  Why would that be?  Here’s a way to think about it.  The classic individual despot is primarily concerned simply with staying in power for its own sake.  He will interfere with any actions among the citizenry that might pose a threat to that power.  But once it is secure he may be willing to advance the common good, even if only because it will facilitate his staying in power.  He may well rule pragmatically rather than ideologically, and in a way that is neutral between the interests of the various groups subject to him.

By contrast, a faction is typically concerned to secure power not for its own sake, but rather for the sake of advancing the interests of some group – a cabal of ideologues, an economic class, a tribal faction or ethnic group, a party, or what have you.  And such interests naturally tend to conflict with those of other groups.  Thus the dissension and abandonment of the common good that Aquinas speaks of.  And thus the greater tyranny.  It’s bad when some despot refuses to give up power, but leaves you alone as long as you don’t challenge him.  But it’s much worse when a one-party state wants to impose its ideological vision on the whole of society, or a tribal faction or ethnic group gains control and seeks to avenge its grievances against other such groups.  In the nature of the case, the common good is abandoned, and one faction simply attempts to impose its will on the others – not “from below,” as in sedition, but “from above” by way of the apparatus of state power.

Now, proposals that have become mainstream within the Democratic Party – including abolishing the Senate filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, and eliminating the Electoral College – would, if implemented, effectively secure a one-party state and thus a factional tyranny.  Certainly they too entail far graver violations of “democratic norms” than anything Trump has done.

Court-packing amounts to an abandonment of even the pretense of interpreting the law rather than creating it by fiat.  True, both parties have increasingly tried to get onto the court people they hope will rule the way they want them to.  But because the parties have respected the precedent that the Court has no more than nine justices at any time, chance has played as much of a role as which party happens to hold power in determining who those justices will be.  If by chance a seat on the Court happens to be vacant because of death or resignation, and if a party holds the presidency, and if the president can get the Senate to confirm his candidate, only then can that party can get its candidate onto the Court.  Being neutral between the parties, chance has kept either party from being able entirely to make the court its plaything. 

Court-packing would eliminate that first, crucial element of chance.  It would allow the party that controls the presidency and the Senate to appoint as many justices as it needs to in order to ensure that the Court will decide that the Constitution says what the party wants it to say. 

The remaining elements of chance would be removed by the abolition of the Electoral College, along with other left-wing schemes in play, such as granting statehood to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.  The Electoral College is a bulwark of subsidiarity and political moderation, and an obstacle to the tyranny of the majority.  It requires presidential candidates to take account of the diverse interests and circumstances of rural and urban localities, states with large populations and those with small ones, more traditional communities and more modern ones, and so forth.  Now, if presidential candidates had, for example, to appeal to mostly rural voters, it would be very difficult for a Democrat ever to win; whereas if they had to appeal to mostly urban voters, it would be difficult for a Republican ever to win.  But abolishing the Electoral College would create exactly that latter sort of situation, allowing the Democratic Party to win presidential elections and formulate policy by appealing primarily to the high-population urban centers where it is at its strongest, while largely ignoring the concerns and interests of the rest of the country.  That is a recipe for factional tyranny.

As Marc Thiessen points out, the Democrats could, through apportionment, effectively “pack” the House of Representatives as well, and thereby realize a one-party state by increasing their strength in the Electoral College (since the number of electors reflects the number of representatives) rather than abolishing it.  Granting statehood to D.C. and/or Puerto Rico, which would be Democratic strongholds, would also make it difficult or impossible for the Republicans ever again to control the Senate. 

And this is to say nothing about the intolerant and indeed totalitarian woke ideology that is sweeping away more sober and liberal elements on the Left – the ideology that will determine how a Leftist one-party state will govern.

Again, these departures from democratic norms have become mainstream within the Democratic Party – so much so that, whether out of fear of alienating his base (who favor such proposals) or out of fear of alienating most voters (who don’t favor them), Joe Biden refuses to tell us whether he will try to pack the Supreme Court or abolish the filibuster.  Without any protest from the mainstream press.  While they all accuse Trump of having dictatorial inclinations.

Hammer and anvil

The toleration of sedition and other trends which keep the population off-balance and demoralized are like an anvil, and the move toward ideological one-party rule like a hammer.  Distracted by the manifest failings of the sitting leader, the people do not see the greater evil that is coming down upon them once he is gone.  It all sounds so depressingly familiar.

Related posts:

The rule of lawlessness

Plato predicted woke tyranny

The popes against the revolution

Envy cancels justice

156 comments:

  1. In before some person in the comments starts screaming about how it is actually Donald Trump who is the source of disorder and chaos.

    If anything, I believe Trump is to blame for not taking swifter and harsher action against the anarchist madness going on in America right now.

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    1. You're absolutely right. Trump's failure to suppress the rioting by whatever means necessary has been a major disappointment to me.

      Delete
  2. "I want freedom without politics, dissention, and strife" = "I want crops without rain and thunderstorms." From Frederick Douglass:

    Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

    You want freedom but without agitation so you'll get no freedom and still have agitation.

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    1. Isn't there a clause in your constitution that allows for peaceful protest? As I recall, it was fairly effective for folks like Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

      Or are you in favour of a communist revolution or French revolution like purge of your political enemies? If that is your argument, are you expecting no political, or, since you reject the sufficiency of political conflict, eventual armed resistance?

      I'm not trying to defend Trump here, but you do understand that tolerating violence will lead to an eventual escalation into violence on the other side, right? And since nearly half of the US population voted for Trump in the last election, it is by no means guaranteed that this violence will not devolve into a civil war.

      Honestly, you Americans have got to be more careful! An American civil war will impact the entire world you know. Grow the f**k up all of you - try better to get along!

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    2. A problem in America is that nothing really bad has happened here in a long time, so we don't really believe that it can. The last time something bad happened on a national scale was the Depression and WW2. Since then, we've had Vietnam and 9/11, but most of the country was unaffected by those events - just as most of the country is unaffected by the riots and lawlessness in the cities. We think we can virtue signal by tolerating such disorder and remain personally free from any real consequences. We may be about to learn a painful lesson.

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    3. Balanced,

      If freedom requires sedition, then we must reject freedom. Simple as. You aren't allowed to use evil means to achieve good ends.

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    4. Did the American Revolution involve sedition?

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    5. Yes - not all sedition is bad. Read from But whatabout… in the article above.

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    6. Richard, Daniel,

      Yes, and it was bad. All sedition is bad. Resisting an evil ruler's unjust laws isn't sedition.

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    7. @Mister Geocon

      A man who committed sedition might receive extremely severe punishment, but it is not necessarily the case that he'll be despised.

      But a bootlicker, tyrant apologist, and slave is abhorred by all forever. Samuel Adams wished that their memory be blotted out from our posterity and that nobody ever count them as our countrymen.

      TL;DR: sedition committers are scum, but bootlickers are worse than scum.

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    8. Balanced,

      I don't think an unscrupulous mob leader like Samuel Adams is in any place to judge people on their morals.

      Delete
  3. The definition of tyranny is a government that values ignorance. It was literally one of the slogans in 1984 ("IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH") of a prototypical tyrannical state.

    The reason why you don't think Trump is a tyrant is because you don't believe he's ignorant. If you recognized him for the ignoramus that he is, you would clearly see that he is a tyrant. But because he says global warming is a hoax, Dr. Fauci is a liar, there are very fine people on both sides, etc... you see him as a figure more handsome than King David, wiser than King Solomon, and holier than the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Thérèse and the Pope combined.

    And of course, it is we who are the deranged ones. Not the sane, well-adjust apolitical people who call him God, but the deranged freaks who are fixated on politics for thinking he might be *gasp* ignorant.

    You are shameless, Dr. Feser. You do not even know how to blush. (Jeremiah 6:15)

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    1. Ignorance does not enlarge guilt.
      A murderer who did not know he was murdering someone is ignorant. A murderer who justifies his murder by hatred of the other person is malevolent. The latter is clearly worse.

      I think Dr. Feser would be glad to admit Trump is ignorant about a good many things. He would certainly be glad to admit that Trump is not perfect; that he is not "wiser" and "holier." Indeed, if you had actually read the essay you commented on, you may realize that nowhere does Feser begin kneeling down and worshiping Trump. It was a nice try at a rhetorical punch-line, but please save the theatrics for some other time. It reads like you're trying way too hard to sound elegant and important. A second thing you seem to have missed from the essay is Feser's rebuttal to the very claim you make. Feser clearly argues that even if Trump had the intention of being tyrannical, it would not justify protests. Nowhere does your comment address this, despite the fact that this argument undermines your argument. Before you start throwing out ad hominem's like "shameless," you may wish to respond to at least one or two of the actual arguments Feser makes.

      Your claim that ignorance enlarges guilt is baseless and contrary to common sense. You do not support it with any argument, but only with a try-hard attempt at poetic language. Your criticism of Feser is so extreme to as imply you haven't actually read this essay.

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    2. Ignorance does not enlarge guilt.

      You're confusing ignorance as a particular with ignorance as a universal.

      Truth as a universal is the same as beauty. Truth as a particular is not: there are plenty of ugly truths.

      Not only does ignorance as a core value augment guilt, it is the source of all guilt. Read Plato. He was the one who said people only do evil out of ignorance, did he not? That if people were enlightened, they would be compelled to do good, and it is only out of ignorance that evil emerges? How can you not understand then, philosopher, that ignorance augments guilt?

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    3. Think about what you are saying, Balanced. Are you claiming that, because Donald Trump is ignorant, he must value ignorance in itself and therefore, he is a tyrant? None of these are remotely backed up.

      First, on Donald Trump being ignorant: He's certainly inexperienced with political governance, but this is to be expected from someone who has never once held political office. But ignorant overall? You cite examples such as he says global warming is a hoax, Dr. Fauci is a liar, there are very fine people on both sides, etc... But global warming is less proven science and more apocalyptic religion at this point (just take a look at AOC's claim that we only have ten years before climate change kills us all); Dr. Fauci being a liar doesn't prove ignorance, as knowledgeable people can be liars; and as for the "fine people on both sides," you could say, yes, yes there were fine people on both sides of the argument about whether or not Confederate statues come down. So your "evidence" that Trump is ignorant is kinda bogus.

      As a side note, claiming that Dr. Feser sees Trump as "a figure more handsome than King David, wiser than King Solomon, and holier than the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Thérèse and the Pope combined" is pretty delusional and calls into question your ability to reason straightforwardly without breaking out into hysterics.

      But let us assume that Trump is ignorant in the manner you are suggesting. How does his ignorance means that he values ignorance as a whole? Ignorant people tend to be ignorant of their ignorance. Trump might be an ignoramus who considers himself a genius, and he may try and surround himself with people he considers to be geniuses, promote a more educated populace, etc. while being ignorant. And, logically speaking, a well-educated person can value ignorance in the populace as a means to control them (as the Party in 1984 did). So the logic of your argument fails as well.

      I suggest you calm yourself, tone down the partisan hackery, and start talking like a reasonable person rather than a Democratic activist trying to score points. Nobody here is interested in buying what you are selling.

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    4. @Mister Geocon

      First, on Donald Trump being ignorant: He's certainly inexperienced with political governance, but this is to be expected from someone who has never once held political office. But ignorant overall?

      Ignorance is not reducible to being uninformed, <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology>but has a positive structure in itself.</a>

      <b>I suggest you calm yourself, tone down the partisan hackery, and start talking like a reasonable person rather than a Democratic activist trying to score points.</b>

      DJT's governance is a test from providence of whether you recognize it as tyranny or not, which is designed to measure whether you have ignorance as a core value and to what extent.

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    5. Balanced,

      Please try speaking more sensibly. You are making extremely strange and controversial claims, then galloping off onto another point without proving your accusation has any merit. Just now, when confronted with a request to moderate yourself, you not only did not do so, you played the prophet, making grandiose statements about the cosmic purpose of DJT's governance and the actions of God which could only be justified if you had received divine communication. Do you think this outrageous behaviour makes you strong? That it impresses us? No, it just makes you look unhinged. Please, for everyone's sake, stop it.

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    6. Balanced,

      You sound like a gnostic theologian, except instead of the higher truth being that the world was created by the Demiurge to trick us, it's Left-wing politics. I don't know if that sort of argumentation works where you come from, but here, it sounds like you're a crazy person.

      I mean, I could easily invert this and say that you disagree with my views on things means that you are ignorant. That if you don't think Donald Trump is an okay president (which is my view of him), then you must be ignorant to some extent.

      Delete
    7. @Mister Geodon, Cantus

      you not only did not do so, you played the prophet, making grandiose statements about the cosmic purpose of DJT's governance and the actions of God which could only be justified if you had received divine communication.

      Look, DJT is elected president and during his term God sends the most deadly plague in the history of the USA.

      Do YOU believe in the Gnostic/Marcion heresy that the Old Testament God sent plagues and judged nations in temporality but the New Testament God is different? Sounds like your accusation is really projection.

      Delete
    8. Balanced,

      How do you know that Covid isn't a punishment for America's promotion of LGBT nonsense?

      Delete
    9. @Mister Geocon

      I'm glad you asked that question.

      By not punishing the USA at the height of the Klan, Jim Crow, and oppression of civil rights but punishing it now for gay marriage and transgender bathrooms, he's sending the message that murder and oppression are "no big deal" (or at least not something to get too worked up about) compared to LGBT legislation. That attitude is not consistent with God's justice.

      Delete
    10. Balanced,

      But he did punish those people with a crushing defeat and making them the cultural outsiders of the society they once ruled.

      Again, the problem with this line of reasoning is that we can take multiple interpretations of these divine signs into account, and much of it is subjective. I think Donald Trump is an okay president, you think he's a tyrannical dictator in the making, and there's no way we can reconcile this because you are practically operating under another moral reality where "climate change deniers" are Nazis. You can scream about "agnotology," but how do you know that you aren't the ignorant one for believing what you believe?

      Delete
    11. where "climate change deniers" are Nazis.

      Global warming deniers are rejecting a truth about our world because they are self-aware enough to see that if it is real, then that means their theory of economics has heavy externalities and might even be stupid.

      but how do you know that you aren't the ignorant one for believing what you believe?

      I can't, but it is doubtful that I am the more deranged of the two parties, considering that Trump supporters literally call him God and Messiah, in many cases unironically.

      Delete
    12. you think he's a tyrannical dictator in the making

      A tyrant is not necessarily a dictator, and a dictator is not necessarily a tyrant. Although in practice the two almost always coincide because an ignorant ruler can't enforce his laws without absolute sovereignty (because they're all based on lies, bastardization, and small-time dumbness), and a ruler who isn't ignorant doesn't need recourse to absolute sovereignty because he has an easy time persuading others go support his endeavors (the truth is on his side).

      This is why democracy (=a system where your right to rule is determined by your right to debate) is such a successful form of government.

      Delete
    13. Balanced,

      Global warming deniers are rejecting a truth about our world because they are self-aware enough to see that if it is real, then that means their theory of economics has heavy externalities and might even be stupid.

      Or maybe, they dislike the fact that your solutions are way out of proportion to the problem and always involve centralizing power into the hands of people who want socialism (such as AOC). Also, need I remind you of the numerous examples of corruption, mendacity, and scandal that have occurred among "climate scientists" that puts a dent into the hysterical narrative you propose?

      I can't, but it is doubtful that I am the more deranged of the two parties, considering that Trump supporters literally call him God and Messiah, in many cases unironically.

      You haven't hung around too many Trump supporters, I see. Rule of thumb: unless they're involved in Qanon, chances are that they're associating Donald Trump with a fictional God-Emperor of Mankind for shits and giggles. Donald Trump has a large ego, and people think it's funny.

      This is why democracy (=a system where your right to rule is determined by your right to debate) is such a successful form of government.

      This is the opposite of pretty much every single democracy in existence, where everything is done to rile up the masses by getting them to see their fellow countrymen as, say, supporters of tyranny and ignorance. But then again, it's not a surprise that you are a democratic partisan. You are acting as an exemplary democratic citizen; a shrieking child who thinks that there's a Nazi in their closet is the ideal voter.

      If you disagree with this characterization of democracy, then let me ask you this: what do you think of polticizing things? Do you think that health care in this country should be politicized? Education? Science? Think on that, and then realize that politicizing something is the same as democratizing it, for politics (in the sense of it being partisan rancor) is the child of democracy.

      Delete
    14. The definition of tyranny is a government that values ignorance.

      unBalanced: no, that's not actually the definition of tyranny. Look it up, it's easy to do. Here are two online definitions:

      cruel and oppressive government or rule.

      a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler


      Neither of them are actually very good definitions, though. Aristotle defines it by saying a tyrant rules for his own sake rather than for the common good. On those grounds, a monarch who has complete political power but rules for the common good is not a tyrant. A democracy that rules for the preferment of the good of the majority but NOT for the sake of the common good is a tyranny, though it is not rule by one.

      None of definitions require or specify anything about ignorance. A very powerful despot may not give a fig for whether you have knowledge: has the guns, you obey, that's all he cares about. An ignorant ruler probably will govern badly, but he may or may not be a tyrant. One who loves his own ignorance may be a horrible ruler without intending to rule for his own good rather than the common good.

      In general, I suspect that you are somewhere around half-right about Trump and ignorance: he is a world-class business operator, and is unlikely to be ignorant of "how things work", in the pragmatic sense, in the upper levels of executive decision-making. On the other hand, he gives a good indication that he is morally ignorant, i.e. that he is morally obtuse about many things. As to things like global warming etc: I strongly suspect that he is aware as you are of the claims of some scientists, and publicly chooses to discount them, ignore them, or dispute them as if they were of no account for image reasons rather than because he doesn't actually know about them. So, what you can glean about his actual state of knowledge, from his words, is nearly 0: he runs his mouth off in 30 directions at once, intentionally letting half-truths and nonsense fill in the gaps between isolated truths, as a POLITICAL PLOY. That ploy, whether right-minded or not, is NOT based on being actually ignorant of the facts on the ground. You can't tell what Trump knows from what he says, because he says tons of stuff he clearly does not himself think true.

      Ultimately, what you should have called Trump is not a tyrant but a demagogue. He is perhaps one of the advanced operators of the art of demagoguery that we have ever witnessed. Now, it is possible for a demagogue to become a tyrant, but they do not universally coincide. Many tyrants are not demagogues, and many demagogues have little to no power.

      Delete
    15. @Tony

      unBalanced

      Why does being unconventional merit me a punishment?

      [dictionary definition of tyranny]

      ...does not contradict my definition, because ignorance can only be maintained by lying. Agnatologists have shown that every case of an ignorant belief--such as that vaccines cause autism--requires liars to reinforce that ignorant belief. So any ignorant ruler is by necessary a liar and cannot rule for the common good.

      I strongly suspect that he is aware as you are of the claims of some scientists, and publicly chooses to discount them, ignore them, or dispute them as if they were of no account for image reasons rather than because he doesn't actually know about them.

      (For whom is he protecting his image?)

      So instead of being a ruler who acts against the common good (tyrant), he is speaking with indifference without any consideration of the common good. That... makes things better?

      I have no clue what you guys see in him that makes him not only preferable, but the greatest president in history. That's far more deranged than some liberal dying his hair or shouting on the street.

      Delete
    16. Geo,
      "Or maybe, they dislike the fact that your solutions are way out of proportion to the problem and always involve centralizing power into the hands of people who want socialism "
      Nope, actually, diversifying and individualizing is more important than a huge government power grab, by far.

      For example, solar panels on your roof can make you, the individual, into your own power utility. True, typically that only works in the more sunny states, but, there is no magic bullet, rather, as the great president Obama said "All Of The Above".

      Try an ebike for commuting, very inexpensive compared to a car, you never have to go to the gas station. And yes, not everybody lives that close or lives in mild enough weather, but again, there is no single magic bullet, every reasonable person knows that.

      I happen to very much enjoy a small car with a manual shift transmission, they remind me of driving a motorcycle, I can wind it out to 6500rpm before I shift if I really want to, but most of the the time I just drive casually and enjoy not paying $75 to fill up a gas hog. Unless you are 6'6" a modern small car is so well engineered that the cockpit is super ergonomic and very comfortable, with the small car being very nimble, quick, and easy to get through the city and park, as opposed to the old land yacht that drives like a truck and is a pain in the ass to take anywhere.

      And on and on with your personal choices.

      It turns out that putting out less CO2 is also less expensive and more fun, you might try it some time.

      Oh, and if you think your 300hp is going to beat me, forget about it, because I will downshift my 4 wheel motorcycle, wind out to revs that would have your gas hog throwing a rod, and leave you in the dust.

      Or, I might just get on my motorcycle, ride the centerline in traffic, use the HOV lane with single occupancy, and laugh at all the SIVs I leave behind belching exhaust and going nowhere in stalled traffic.

      Delete
    17. StardustyPsyche,

      Three words: Green New Deal.

      Delete
    18. Mr. Geocon: Thank you!

      If people would do their own thing and leave others alone, fine. But they're not happy until they set policy for everyone.

      And this is a must-watch:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8455KEDitpU&ab_channel=TonyHeller

      Delete
    19. geo
      "Three words: Green New Deal"

      Four words:
      All Of The Above

      Under Obama/Biden all forms of energy production were enabled, putting the USA on a solid path to near term energy independence, largely thanks to the great leadership of Obama/Biden.

      Offshore drilling and fracking were not shut down, rather, American oil production increased.

      New nuclear reactors were built.

      More natural gas was used.

      We kept digging and burning coal.

      We also started to ramp up wind and solar.

      Electric cars flourished.

      Plus we held the line on fuel economy standards which have the multiple benefits of greater energy independence, far less pollution volume, and lower personal fuel costs.

      You obviously know nothing about Democratic energy plans, except your gullible swallowing of right wing crackpot fear mongering by Fox and Trump.

      Delete
  4. Though I agree with the general ideas of the piece, I do have some quibbles.
    Though I dont support the left anxiety and idea of defunding the police, I dont think the actual institution of the police is necessary from a traditional point of view. In fact, it is a very recent institution, a creation of absolutists states which served the process of centralisation which is very much a central feature of moderno politics. In the middle ages, sworn fraternities and other local organisations had similar functions and probably accord better with the primciple of subsidiarity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow I think returning the authority and obligation of defense of the community to the unorganized militia is not exactly what the protesters have in mind.

      Delete
    2. I would consider "sworn fraternities and other local organizations" to be a form of police.

      Delete
    3. I found it doubtful that the protestors have in mind anything in particular when they attack the police other than "these people are centers of oppression/fascism/tyranny/racism, and we must destroy them to have freedom, damn the consequences."

      Delete
    4. Unknown,
      Sure, but I just wanted to point out that the police as it exists nowadays is not an institution that should be highly regarded, at least by traditionalists. The fact that the protesters' claims are driven by a radically egalitarian and crazy ideology should not blind us to see the police as what it is: an institution that has served and still serves the processes of centralisation of the modern state.

      William,
      Well, some of its functions are similar. But if I am right and the police has been an important agent in the destruction of the intermediate bodies so characteristic of well ordered societies, both institutions should be clearly differentiated.

      I apologyse for my bad english beforehand, I am Spanish.

      Delete
    5. In the middle ages, sworn fraternities and other local organisations had similar functions and probably accord better with the primciple of subsidiarity.

      IN ancient Egypt, the officials charged with keeping order in their districts had access to both the army and others for enforcement. In Greece, at least in some cities, the magistrates in charge of peace keeping could call on the physical capacities of a dedicated cadre of slaves for help. In Rome, Augustus formed an "urban cohort" for peace-keeping and policing functions.

      In the early middle ages, it is probably true that most men had more personal obligation for keeping themselves and their families safe. This might be, at least in part, because most men lived in villages, and those villages (almost by definition) don't have the wealth for the "overhead" of a dedicated police force. Nevertheless, the local lord / baron always had men-at-arms who also played a part in quelling criminals and hauling them before judges. It would be unhelpful to ignore their contribution merely because they weren't called by a name of "police". In England, sheriffs were able to call for a posse to catch a criminal and restrain him. Also, villages sometimes appointed a "constable" who would lead any hue and cry pursuit of an outlaw - an unpaid position, but one specifically formed for law enforcement purposes.

      The separation of levying a determinate punishment on a criminal on account of his offense against the state is a role that CANNOT be properly carried out by private citizens. And having private citizens be primarily responsible for enforcing civil correction of offenses (failure to repay a loan, damages for a fight, etc) is necessarily fraught with moral peril, since no man is a reliable judge in his own case. Hence it is quite natural that the government (even a local one) take on at least SOME role of policing, if it is large enough to bear the expense.

      On the other hand, I strongly sympathize with your point in one respect: the leftward movement of society in general has gotten so extreme that people (until this summer, at least) talked as if it were immoral, and SHOULD be made illegal, for a man to use force even to defend himself or another innocent victim. Their thinking was that "using force should be restricted to the police only", which, when you take it to the extreme of forbidding self-defense, is just crazy. There is a proper place for a person using force, and calls for absolute monopoly in favor of "the state" is a sure step toward tyranny.

      Delete
    6. Unfortunately the police in the modern state have taken on a role that far exceeds the keeping of the peace. They are now fully-fledged agents of the social engineering that is favoured by both left wing and right wing politics in different ways. Conservatives should not get too emotional about their support of the police because of BLM; they'll wish they'd never heard of police when the left gets to use them as they'd like. The modern state is senile and near collapse. People can't sort anything out now without calling the police, who would rather shoot people than break a fingernail. St. Thomas would have been horrified by Western "law enforcement".

      Delete
    7. Conservatives should not get too emotional about their support of the police because of BLM; they'll wish they'd never heard of police when the left gets to use them as they'd like.

      Agreed: we will surely regret that situation.

      However, we will also regret how the liberals will use the army, and the courts, and the legislature... All tools of power are regrettable in the hands of tyrants. To conclude that tools of power shouldn't exist is, perhaps, going too far. What we should most object to is tyrants getting their hands on power, not which specific tools they use most.

      Delete
    8. I daresay reactionary traditionalists will ALSO regret it when the liberals get their hands on unrestrained power, and will wish that conservatives, for all their failings, had remained an effective blocking force. Better a half-fool than a completely insane, evil fool.

      Delete
    9. Miguel Cervantes,
      True. But that's a tendency inherent in the modern state, and in the police as an organization strongly related to it.

      Tony,
      My point was not about private enforcement of law. It was about the scale of the social bodies that enforce the law, that is, about the principle of subsidiarity. Local fraternities were considered as public organizations back in the Middle Ages, specially in the late Middle Ages (see for example, Anthony Black's, Guilds and Civil Society, in which he explains and length the role of local organizations in medieval thought, though with a focus on merchant and craft guilts). The distinctions of public and private were very different back then. So your examples about local lords and its armed officials reinforce my point: the proper scale of protection and law enforcement was local.

      "However, we will also regret how the liberals will use the army, and the courts, and the legislature... All tools of power are regrettable in the hands of tyrants. To conclude that tools of power shouldn't exist is, perhaps, going too far. What we should most object to is tyrants getting their hands on power, not which specific tools they use most"

      Sure, but a well ordered political community should be structured in a way that prevent the oppression of tyrants. I don't think the modern state is capable of that. It rather promotes tyranny.

      "I daresay reactionary traditionalists will ALSO regret it when the liberals get their hands on unrestrained power, and will wish that conservatives, for all their failings, had remained an effective blocking force. Better a half-fool than a completely insane, evil fool"

      Yes, I prefer conservatives to liberals. Also, I'd rather have my little finger cut off than my hand cut off. But nobody would say that the first alternative is a good one.

      I think, the argument of many reactionaries, traditionalists and even postliberals (see Patrick Deenen's Why Liberalism failed) is that conservatism cannot be an "effective blocking force" as it tends to defend institutions and principles that are easily subverted by revolutionaries (constitutionalism, liberal democracy, the modern state, corporations, etc)

      Delete
    10. The distinctions of public and private were very different back then. So your examples about local lords and its armed officials reinforce my point: the proper scale of protection and law enforcement was local.

      First, I am not sure it isn't still: in small towns throughout middle-America, small police departments operate with a small-town mentality: they know the locals, the locals know them, and they don't call in the Feds or the State Troopers for small stuff.

      Second, I am not sure your thesis has a sufficiency of DIFFERENCE for usefulness. In the ancient cities that were LARGE cities, they had LARGE bodies for enforcing. In small towns, they had small. It is so nearly universally true that large cities are less "subsidiarity-organized" than a similar population grouped in many small towns that one could almost use that fact to DEFINE them differently: a large city just is a city in which neighborhood-level enforcement of laws does not work, and requires an integrated city-wide enforcement mechanism. Now, one possible conclusion from this might be that large cities are per se bad and should not exist. I myself have often leaned toward saying just that. But I have yet to find a Catholic Father or Doctor who said also, and have been cautious in asserting it. Until that changes, we may have to live with the fact that you can't effectively run a large city with neighborhood level enforcement of basic laws. Unless you could literally organize a city-scape grid of neighborhoods which had the legal authority to forbid access to outsiders and rule themselves AS themselves: conclaves.

      Delete
  5. If one wants to see the left's vision for America, look no further than California: one party control; ideological echo chamber; broke; welfare state with two-class structure of have's and have not's; despotism; . . . given enough time I could come up with more.

    Why hasn't California implemented socialized healthcare? They could, but they know it would go broke so they need to spread the disaster to the national level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TN,

      Part of the problem right now is that the Left-wing sees a lot of problems, but their solutions don't work. But rather than admitting this and moving on, they promote insane ideas like Critical Race Theory so that they can blame Red America for the problems in Blue America. In fact, one can see much of the ideological insanity coming from the Left in recent years as an outgrowth of this growing demand to find new ways to blame other people for the problems their side has caused.

      Delete
    2. Well, I certainly can't come up with any tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories that are any crazier than the daily news.

      Delete
    3. "One party control"

      Plenty of areas of the United States are under one-party red control but you don't seem to be too upset by that.

      The result of one-party control is a failure not of ideology, but of our voting system. Single-transferable vote would ensure multiparty representation in even the reddest of red and bluest of blue states.

      Delete
    4. Balanced,

      It isn’t the right that shouts down anyone who fails to grovel at the alters of ideological purity. It isn’t the right that calls free speech “violence”. It isn’t the right that burns down cities, doxes and cancels anyone who disagrees, denies the violence you can see with your own eyes, applies two standards of justice, demands submission to fictional propositions on pain of being canceled, and on and on.

      “Single-transferable vote would ensure multiparty representation in even the reddest of red and bluest of blue states.” And would ensure that New York and California alone get to elect the president.

      Delete
    5. TN, you do realize there are active voices on the left condemning all of those trends, and in fact many of those voices are the most commited to structural and material change? Cancel culture and rioting apologia are much more in line with performative/corporate liberalism (a liberalism I detest and find a lot of in the Biden campaign, to be clear) than they are with some monolithic "left" you're describing here.

      Delete
    6. Anon,

      I didn't claim the left is monolithic. My dear aunt Sally is old-school JFK Democrat and she doesn't like looting. Great!

      Anyway, the people burning down cities and trying to enforce mono-think are lefties.

      Delete
    7. "It isn’t the right that shouts down anyone who fails to grovel at the alters of ideological purity. It isn’t the right that calls free speech “violence”. It isn’t the right that burns down cities, doxes and cancels anyone who disagrees, denies the violence you can see with your own eyes, applies two standards of justice, demands submission to fictional propositions on pain of being canceled, and on and on."

      Oh, I get it! One party control is a OK, so long as it's OUR party!

      Delete
    8. And would ensure that New York and California alone get to elect the president.

      STV is for congressional representation. Even in California and New York you would get significant republican representation, because if every district got five house seats, a candidate who earns 20% support would be guaranteed a seat.

      It seems that you don't take issue with the fact that city dwellers have a mistaken political ideology. What you take issue with appears to be the fact there are freak type and non-freak type of people, and you're angry that there are significantly more freaks (cultural Marxists, LGBT's, Muslims, thugs, animals, etc...) than non-freaks (rural voters, anti-abortion activists, billionaires, CEO's, very fine people, etc...). Of course, there is no way to decrease the number of freaks without appealing to God to decrease their numbers or to have President Trump send in troops and have crackdowns and discipline.

      Delete
  6. Has something like this ever happened in Europe before? Like maybe in the 18th century? Asking for a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was wondering about this myself mon amie.

      Delete
  7. how is everything going ed?? you seem to be posting less, not complaining... perhaps you are working on a bigger proyect. Anyway hope everything is ok

    ReplyDelete
  8. OP
    “The intention of some left-wing politicians to abolish the Electoral College”
    The Electoral College is undemocratic. Eliminating the Electoral College would make our country more democratic.

    Dr. Feser, you are a resident of California, correct? Your vote for POTUS has a small fraction of the power of a vote cast in North Dakota, or Delaware, or any lower population state.

    Don’t you consider your vote to be as worthwhile as a vote cast in Wyoming or Vermont?

    You, Dr. Feser, count for only 1/3 of a human being, relative to a person in such states. Is that fair? Should other US citizens have 3 times the voting power you have?

    “, pack the Supreme Court,”
    The number 9 is not a magic number. If the democratic republican process changes that number then the number gets changed, that’s all. Would it be an affront to god to change the number 9 to some other number?

    McConnell and Trump are hypocritical cheating scum. They stole a nomination from president Obama, the republicans failing to do their constitutionally mandated duty, guilty of desertion and dereliction of duty.

    We Obama voters aren’t taking that laying down.

    “eliminate the filibuster,”
    The Republicans eliminated the filibuster when it was expedient for them. It’s pretty funny reading a conservative complain that the Democrats are somehow guilty of doing what the Republicans already did.

    “ and in other ways secure indefinite one-party rule amounts to an attempt to impose a factional tyranny.”
    ROTFLMAO
    One party rule, that’s hilarious. Whatever happened to “elections have consequences”?
    The voters decided to put the Democratic Party in charge of the House of Representatives, and now that it seems likely the voters will put a Democrat in the White House and maybe even provide a narrow majority for the Democratic Party in the Senate now somehow this is a move toward tyranny and one party rule.

    People are just getting sick of the bizarre lies coming from the Republicans, who could typically count on getting Joe Sixpack to vote against his own interests by fear mongering a few hotbutton issues, except that formula is breaking down now, demographics are changing, and folks are waking up to the fact that having a criminal clown in the White House is bad for America and Americans.

    Of course, the majority of Americans knew that all along, but an ignorant minority is able to hijack government and throw it to the corrupt criminal class, hence the need to get rid of the electoral college and make DC a state (more people than Wyoming or Vermont).

    That way Americans can finally be equal, one person one vote, instead of you, Dr. Feser, only counting for one third of a man, electorally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great argument about why the electoral college is not democratic. The only issue is that I don't recall Feser ever saying it was, nor do I recall him every saying it needed to be. In fact, St. Thomas Aquinas considered democracy one of the worst forms of government. So yes, the electoral college isn't strictly democratic. But that doesn't mean it's bad.

      Delete
    2. You do realize that if the electoral college were eliminated, no one but people in a few large states would have a voice. That's why the Founders designed it the way they did. I suggest reading The Federalist Papers numbers 10 and 51. Somehow I doubt you can improve on Madison's arguments.

      Delete
    3. I'm pretty sure that eliminating the electoral college and giving the power to decide elections to a few cities would spark a sizable conflict resembling the Irish 'Troubles'.

      Delete
    4. Fred,
      "You do realize that if the electoral college were eliminated, no one but people in a few large states would have a voice. "
      Everyone in every state would have an equal vote if the electoral college were eliminated, so your statement is factually in error.

      An individual in Wyoming would have the same voting power as an individual in California, in that case.

      One person one vote. That is fair.

      Yet, somehow, Feser has construed this step toward fundamental fairness of equal representation as "an attempt to impose a factional tyranny".

      " Somehow I doubt you can improve on Madison's arguments."
      Improving on the ideas of men from long ago is typically not difficult. One way to implement such improvements is to pass a constitutional amendment.

      You may have noticed we have done so many times. It's OK, we are not stuck in the 1700's, or at least I am not, you might be, dunno, but it seems so perhaps.

      Delete
    5. No, it would not be "one man, one vote." Politicians would only campaign in the most populous states and would look after the interests of only those states because that's where the votes would be. As someone in a red state, I don't want the entire country run exclusively by California, New York, and a few other blue states. And if it is,so easy to refute Madison, let's see you do it.

      Delete
    6. Stardusty doesn't realise or doesn't care that "democratic" is not the same thing as "good". A pure democracy would be the tyranny of the majority, and the assumption that making a system more democratic automatically makes it better is laughably false. His second point also relies on predictable leftist sophistry - yes, every person would have equal voting power, but that equal votes does not mean equal voices. If one sheep and three wolves are voting on what to have for dinner, they might each have one vote, but the idea that they have equal say is ridiculous. Life in a city by its very nature involves a higher population density than, say, farming life, and it simply isn't possible for us to have an equal number of farmers and city dwellers. If both are given the exact same voting power, then the interests of those whose way of life allows them to congregate in greater numbers will be favoured over those whose lifestyles do not permit such. Why should the country be run entirely by urbanites and suburbanites? Are they uniquely qualified? Is their way of life superior to the others, their interests more important than those of rural dwellers? No - their only special quality is their quantity. That's not even going into the fact that city dwellers tend to believe different things than everyone else. For instance, the French revolution was primarily the story of Paris and a few other large cities imposing their will by force on the rest of France.

      Delete
    7. Fred,
      "As someone in a red state, I don't want the entire country run exclusively by California, New York, and a few other blue states. "
      Of course, you think you somehow deserve 3 times more voting power.

      You, the minority, want to tell the majority what to do. How does that make any sense? In what parallel universe is that just?

      Besides, your track record is terrible. Bush managed to miss the warning signs for 9-11, started a huge war on lies, failed to get Osama Bin Laden, and triggered a banking meltdown.

      Trump is a criminal crackpot, the worst president in history by far, no other is even close. Now his own stupidity has come home to roost. His lies have killed thousands, but he has been so stupid that his cult of lies turned the White House into an infectious disease incubator.

      Have you noticed that nearly all the politicians announcing their positive result lately are Republicans, most of who have been photographed shoulder to shoulder with no masks taking no precautions at the White House?

      You red state voters have turned the White House into a San Francisco bathhouse environment where the reckless come to revel in their debauchery only to make themselves sick with the disease they spread to each other, and with Trump as the glory hole in chief.

      And you want 3 times the voting power? Get over yourself, your track record shows failure after failure.

      Delete
    8. Cantus,
      "Why should the country be run entirely by urbanites and suburbanites?"
      Why should the country be run entirely by a few farmers? It turns out those farmers are very bad at picking leaders for the most powerful, most technologically advanced, most complex, and most sophisticated nation in the history of our planet.

      What makes you think some farmers in rural America deserve the power to run roughshod over everybody else? It turns out, unsurprisingly, they are very bad at it.

      "city dwellers tend to believe different things than everyone else."
      Many of whom are Republicans, so they can vote Republican if they want.

      By your reasoning black people should get to vote 6 times, because they are the minority and without that protection of 6 times voting they will be abused by everybody else.

      I will tell you where your minority protection is, you surely must have heard of it, the US constitution, especially the 14th amendment.

      No, minorities do not deserve over representation, they deserve equal representation per capita and constitutional equal protection under the law.

      No, your precious farmers do not deserve to throw the election by voting 3 times, which is what they effectively do right now because of the electoral college.

      The farmer gets to cast, effectively, 3 ballots, which is fundamentally unjust.

      Everybody is some kind of minority, even white men. No, we should not hand extra ballots to every sort of minority there is, be they blacks, farmers, or whatever.

      Everybody should get to cast 1 ballot equally, and receive the equal protection under the law as called out throughout the US constitution, especially the 14th amendment.

      Delete
    9. I should've known it was a mistake to argue with Dusty. Now we've reached the point where he turns on the rhetoric, and simply constantly restates his views impassionedly in place of argument. I highly doubt that anything productive will come of continuing this discussion further.

      Delete
  9. Ohhh, snnaappssss, the chickens have come home to roost.

    It is an ancient notion, that ye shall reap what ye sow. Karma. Or as they say in your state, Dr. Feser, What Goes Around Comes Around.

    Indeed, it has been going around, and now it has come around.

    OP
    “Since some are found to be depraved, and prone to vice, and not easily amenable to words, it was necessary for such to be restrained from evil by force and fear, in order that, at least, they might desist from evil-doing, and leave others in peace, and that they themselves, by being habituated in this way, might be brought to do willingly what hitherto they did from fear, and thus become virtuous. Now this kind of training, which compels through fear of punishment, is the discipline of laws. Therefore in order that man might have peace and virtue, it was necessary for laws to be framed.”

    Indeed.

    Yes, and laws have been framed in what has gone around, lawful orders by county health departments, lawful orders by governors, needed to stem what has been going around the world.

    But there are the depraved, there are those prone to vice, those who are not easily amenable to words, and it is indeed necessary to restrain such evil doers.

    Yet, it is so often we see that the evil of the evil doers is, in the end, their own undoing.

    He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword.

    I saw one segment where a very obviously good and sincere woman who refused to wear a mask enthusiastically declared “I don’t wear the mask because it shows I trust my president”.

    I cringed for her safety, and it angered me deeply, not at all directed toward her, rather, to the evil doer in chief, that he would so cruelly put at risk the health of those seeking to express their loyalty. What a primitive and debasing act, to sacrifice one’s health merely to appease the egotistical and selfish lust for adulation of our nation’s worst and foremost evil doer.

    And so it has come to pass.

    The evil doer has fallen victim to his own lies, his own reckless abandon of reason and caution and all that makes sense, rather, that he wished to cavort recklessly with those who likewise apparently thought themselves somehow immune from the chemistry of life and death.

    The Democrats you revile in fact have the better answers for the health and safety of America, because we do not live in a primitive anti-science alternate universe of alternate facts, rather, we inhabit the real world which is most accurately described by the science humanity has worked so long and hard to develop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-experts-have-no-one-to-blame-but.html

      Delete
    2. Really? A world where someone with a Y chromosome can "really" be a woman and someone without one can "really" be a man, a world where differences between men and women are all "cultural constructs", a world where there are no innate differences in talent, ability, or intelligence, a world in which reason and logic themselves are tools of racist patriarchal oppression is a "real world which is most accurately described by tge science humanity has worked so long and hard to develop"? Who knew?

      Delete
    3. Fred,

      Stardusty is just a loon who hangs out here and flogs his keyboard endlessly. When you see his name, just scroll on by.

      Delete
    4. Fred,
      Strawmen.

      No mainstream Democratic elected official espouses those positions, nor are those positions planks in the Democratic platform.

      Those ideas you cite are just fabricated out of thin air in the imaginations of shock jocks who get paid to blabber made up nonsense because it is a proven formula to attract folks like you to advertisers.

      Delete
    5. I'll go with Ivan A. Ilyin's classic take on this matter over that of this sorry SP, anonymous cringevangelist who loves (don't they all?) the superficial prooftext method: "All who take up a sword..." Gee, well that settles it! (BTW, SP, your quote rejects a for once legitimate gender neutral phrasing in favor of "he", and so ought probably be reported to your designated grammar commissar for reprimand). At any rate, Ilyin's case "On Resistance to Evil by Force" is a tad more spiritually discerning and far less morally and intellectually negligent than the gaudy, pretentious inanities SP espouses that only serve to signify not SP's righteousness, but self-righteousness.

      Delete
    6. Riiiiight. And there's no cancel culture. People are just being "held accountable" for views that depart from left-wing orthodoxy. No one is writing books about "white fragility" and getting paid megabucks for teaching it to corporate executives. No one is writing books about "anti-racism" that advocate coercive suppression of views they consider racist. Calling views that oppose left-wing orthodoxy "violence" is not a thing. You don't pay much attention to your own side, do you?

      Delete
    7. Fred,
      "And there's no cancel culture."
      Not as any real positions taken by mainstream Democratic elected officials, no, there isn't.

      You are making as much sense as if one were to say Fred is a white supremacist domestic terrorist because Fred is a conservative and the KKK vote for conservative candidates.

      People on the far right and the far left have some wacky ideas, so what?

      Just because you are in the same direction from center as a nut job does not make you, necessarily, a nut job.

      I know some conservative folks whoa are really good people by any reasonable measure, but they have some political views I disagree with. It would be really dumb to lump those conservative folks together with every far right scumbag out there.

      It is just as dumb for you and Dr. Feser to portray far left fringe nonsense as somehow emblematic of Democratic voters and policies.

      Delete
    8. It isn't "fringe" anymore, SP. This sort of stuff is now mainstream in colleges and the radical wing of the Democratic party, and is growing in influence.

      Delete
    9. Cantus,
      "This sort of stuff is now mainstream in colleges "
      Which makes it fringe, relative to actual mainstream elected officials.

      "radical wing of the Democratic party, and is growing in influence"
      Then why is the Democratic presidential candidate against defunding the police?

      Bill Clinton ran on an won largely with a platform of ending welfare as it had been, which he did.

      Barack Obama stayed in Iraq for a long time, and went back in when the government lost control of much of the country.

      Barack Obama pulled the trigger on Osama Bin Laden, something Bush failed to do in 7 years. Obama also conducted a sustained drone war against Islamic leaders, earning the title of the "World's Biggest Terrorist" from the very people you are complaining about.

      The OP, like many of Dr. Feser's posts, is little more than conservative fantasy that throws red meat to others who inhabit the right wing parallel universe.

      Just look at some of the conservative wack jobs who manage to get elected, starting with the POTUS, Q nuts, and their ilk.

      Joe Biden is a mainstream guy that none of the fringe ideas apply to, as was Obama and Bill Clinton.

      Delete
    10. Joe Biden is publicly against defunding the police because he doesn't want to alienate the remaining moderates in his party. That doesn't prove that there's No Problem Here, Dusty. The fact remains that a significant portion of the Democratic party is strongly supportive of this stuff. Two of the best-selling books in America are manuals of critical race theory that claim white people are inherently racist. Critical race theory is being taught in government-funded programs across the country, including in the military (thankfully Trump has cut these off now, but that'll take time). The 1619 Project is being used as the basis for many of America's history textbooks. Minneapolis has *already* defunded the police and are now regretting it. Keep pretending all you want that this stuff isn't happening, but it is.

      Delete
    11. Fred,
      Really? A world where someone with a Y chromosome can "really" be a woman and someone without one can "really" be a man, a world where differences between men and women are all "cultural constructs",

      When the SRY region is moved onto the X chromosome, you can have XX individuals who develop male genitals and father children, and you can have XY individuals with female genitalia and who can give birth. Are you claiming that these XX fathers are not men, put women, and the the XY mothers are truly men?

      As much as you would like to define gender biologically, the marvelous diversity of our sexual development defies it.

      Delete
    12. One Brow,

      You're referring to XX male syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome, both rare chromosomal disorders that affect a tiny percentage of the population. Trying to appeal to rare disorders as proof that the ordinary wisdom about sex doesn't apply is highly dubious to me. You may as well argue that the existence of birth defects "defies" the idea that there is a normal human form, or that the fact that some people are born blind "defies" the idea that it is normal for a properly-functioning human to be able to see. And besides, the sort of arguments that Fred is talking about don't concern intersexed people or those with birth defects, but people who think that biology is irrelevant to being a man or woman, that a man can become a woman merely by willing it, and vice versa.

      Delete
    13. Sex is not merely chromosome configuration. Chromosome structure is one way of identifying sex, but there are many other ways, such as common-sense observation.

      One Brow unwittingly acknowledges the problem with his own claim by referring to ‘males’ as those who can impregnate another, and ‘females’ as those who can be impregnated by others, and that any other purported genders only have meaning in reference to those two. If there were other genders, they would not be dependent on those references.

      Objections that infertility (due to age or some other factor) shows this argument to be untrue fail: Pointing out a defect, does not disprove this any more than pointing out that some people are blind shows that human beings are not beings with ocular sight.

      BTW, One Brow still owes me an explanation on what objective, abstract, and mind-independent standard tells him that a particle that zigs is ‘wrong’, and a particle that zags is ‘right’.

      Delete
    14. Cantus,
      "Joe Biden is publicly against defunding the police because he doesn't want to alienate the remaining moderates in his party. "
      No, Biden is against defunding the police because he realizes that sending out a social worker to deal with a potentially violent situation simply cannot work. He has said so explicitly and plainly.

      Biden has proposed increased training in conflict resolution for police, which makes a lot of sense. Twice as many white guys get shot by the cops as black guys. Almost always a police shooting is justified, but we could reduce the number of police shootings of people of all races if we increased police training and also had people trained in de-escalation available to ride along. That will increase, not decrease, police funding and that is what Biden is proposing and that is what makes sense.

      You would know that already if you bothered to get information outside the Fox bubble.

      “The fact remains that a significant portion of the Democratic party is strongly supportive of this stuff.”
      And a significant portion of the Republican party are tobacco spitting racist sexist bigots. Oh well, that’s just part of America as this nation actually is in 2020.

      “Minneapolis has *already* defunded the police and are now regretting it.”
      Right, and the city council and the mayor of a city are answerable to the citizens of that city. If the citizens want less tax dollars allocated to the police department they have every right to have their city elected officials reduce that funding.

      What exactly is the problem? Are you suggesting that the people of a city should not be able to lobby their elected officials for allocation of tax dollars?

      Of course, with fewer cops there will be fewer arrests for DUI, criminals will be emboldened and crime will go up, people will call 911 but nobody will come to help. At that point the citizens of that particular city will realize they made a mistake.

      In the mean time, the other 98% of America will sit back an watch those blockheads in Minneapolis and realize that we need to do what Biden and all other reasonable people say to do, increase police training and increase the number of professionals trained to deal with mental health related confrontations, all of which will mean just the opposite of defunding, rather, upfunding the police. Biden understands that, I understand that, the vast majority of Democratic voters understand that, and the numbskulls in Minneapolis are just going to have to learn the hard way.

      Delete
    15. The fact that we need to tell grown adults that there are two genders evinces, as the essay linked in the O.P. states, "Woke Ideology Is a Psychological Disorder".

      Delete
    16. Cantus,

      You're referring to XX male syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome, both rare chromosomal disorders that affect a tiny percentage of the population. Trying to appeal to rare disorders as proof that the ordinary wisdom about sex doesn't apply is highly dubious to me.

      "Ordinary wisdom" is a dubious stance to begin with, as it so often conforms to the possessor's preferences over reality.

      By the why, Klinefelter is XXY, not XY, and usually in Klinefelter the SRY region is still on the Y chromosome.

      You may as well argue that the existence of birth defects "defies" the idea that there is a normal human form, or that the fact that some people are born blind "defies" the idea that it is normal for a properly-functioning human to be able to see.

      I suppose I might argue any of those in a different time in a different thread, but it would only be for some sort of thought experiment, since those positions don't actually seem to make sense. That's why I referred to people that don't have biological defects in my argument, just an unusual chromosomal arrangement.

      And besides, the sort of arguments that Fred is talking about don't concern intersexed people or those with birth defects,

      Nor did I refer to such people. Hopefully, we can drop that point now.

      but people who think that biology is irrelevant to being a man or woman, that a man can become a woman merely by willing it, and vice versa.

      I don't know anyone who claims that. People claim one can can be identified as a male at birth and be a woman, but you are not "a man becoming a woman merely by willing it".

      I did notice you did not even bother to answer the question I posed, instead turning to distractions. Can you answer this for yourself? Do you believe that these XX fathers are not men, put women, and the the XY mothers are truly men?

      Delete
    17. T N,
      Sex is not merely chromosome configuration. Chromosome structure is one way of identifying sex, but there are many other ways, such as common-sense observation.

      Of course.

      One Brow unwittingly acknowledges the problem with his own claim by referring to ‘males’ as those who can impregnate another, and ‘females’ as those who can be impregnated by others, and that any other purported genders only have meaning in reference to those two.

      Well, I would refer to "male" and "female" as sexes, not genders, and they are reference points based on commonality rather than some fundamental principle.

      More to the point, I was pointing out there is no simple and fully accurate test for male/female or man/woman, as you also pointed out.

      If there were other genders, they would not be dependent on those references.

      They are not, in and of themselves. They might be so in how we think.

      Objections that infertility (due to age or some other factor) shows this argument to be untrue fail: Pointing out a defect, does not disprove this any more than pointing out that some people are blind shows that human beings are not beings with ocular sight.

      Why are all the posters on this site so obsessed with defects?

      BTW, One Brow still owes me an explanation on what objective, abstract, and mind-independent standard tells him that a particle that zigs is ‘wrong’, and a particle that zags is ‘right’.

      I typed in a response, dated August 26, 2020 at 6:47 AM.

      Delete
    18. T N,
      The fact that we need to tell grown adults that there are two genders evinces, as the essay linked in the O.P. states, "Woke Ideology Is a Psychological Disorder".

      I assume you meant "only two genders", even though there have been civilizations that recognized additional genders of various sorts. So, you have many more people to convince that a few awake people.

      Delete
    19. I'd suggest, before you make a fool of yourself and go telling people that "there are only two genders," you read up on what the consensus of the health professionals has to say on the matter.

      Delete
    20. One Brow,

      “Well, I would refer to "male" and "female" as sexes, not genders, and they are reference points based on commonality rather than some fundamental principle.”

      What a human being is, is dependent, among other things, on physical reality. Of all people I should not have to tell a materialist that dualism is incompatible with materialism.

      “Why are all the posters on this site so obsessed with defects?”

      It was an objection you yourself made in a past thread on this issue, so you tell me.

      “I typed in a response, dated August 26, 2020 at 6:47 AM.”

      No, you didn’t.

      You justa keep on a typ’n One Brow, you justa keep on a typ’n.

      Delete
    21. Stranger,

      Not an argument.

      The "health professionals" who used to lobotomize the mentally ill now butcher children who get confused about life--and all to conform to mob demand. That's your infallible authority?

      Delete
    22. T N,
      What a human being is, is dependent, among other things, on physical reality. Of all people I should not have to tell a materialist that dualism is incompatible with materialism.

      I agree completely, particularly since you included "among other things".

      It was an objection you yourself made in a past thread on this issue, so you tell me.

      In this thread, I asked a question about normally functioning people, and got a response about defects. Not an answer to the question, mind you, just a response.

      Maybe you have an answer.Do you believe that these XX fathers are not men, but women, and the the XY mothers are truly men?

      “I typed in a response, dated August 26, 2020 at 6:47 AM.”

      No, you didn’t.


      The answer there sits, whether you admit it or not.

      You justa keep on a typ’n One Brow, you justa keep on a typ’n.

      The "health professionals" ... now butcher children who get confused about life ...

      This is a flatly false statement. Surgery is not performed upon children.

      Delete
    23. Again:

      There are two groups: those that can impregnate and those that can be impregnated. You can talk about X, Y, Z whatever all day long, and all your talk will come back to comparing to these two groups.


      If you are a property dualist (which you must be if you wish to keep your materialist club card), then you must affirm that “gender” is reducible to the chemicals that create physical sexual difference. If you are a substance dualist, you incur a whole new set of problems and get kicked out of the materialist club. Or you could just reduce the word “gender” to nothing more than a meaning that everyone behaves differently, which is uninteresting.


      So, before you type out another non-reply, please reread and think so that I don't have to tell you to reread and think.


      “and got a response about defects. Not an answer to the question, mind you, just a response.”


      You got a complete answer to your question along with an anticipation of the critique you gave previously.


      On the thread “The Particle Collection That Fancied Itself a Physicist” from August 20th, my question dated August 24th begins with “See, I'm not going to play this game” and ends with “What standard tells you they can be "wrong"?”. This post has no replies. You have given no citation, no evidence, and no answer.


      “Surgery is not performed upon children.”


      My statement about butchering children includes and is not limited to surgery. It also includes psychological and chemical butchering of children. Do you know how to do a simple Google search?


      https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/22/politics/transgender-healthcare-laws-minors-trnd/index.html


      https://www.genderhq.org/trans-youth-consent-transition-gender-dysphoria


      https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/


      https://www.news-medical.net/news/20191007/Hundreds-of-trans-people-regret-changing-their-gender-says-trans-activist.aspx


      https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/13-year-olds-given-mastectomies-at-california-clinic/12816

      Delete
    24. T N,
      There are two groups: those that can impregnate and those that can be impregnated. You can talk about X, Y, Z whatever all day long, and all your talk will come back to comparing to these two groups.

      I thank you for agreeing that you can't determine whether a person is a man or a woman based on chromosomes. A small step in the right direction.

      If you are a property dualist (which you must be if you wish to keep your materialist club card), then you must affirm that “gender” is reducible to the chemicals that create physical sexual difference.

      I don't know enough about property dualism to say if you are correct or incorrect here. If you are correct, than I am not a property dualist. However, my suspicion is that you are over-simplifying and consolidating a wide variety of views.

      If you are a substance dualist, you incur a whole new set of problems and get kicked out of the materialist club.

      I'm pretty sure that I don't believe there is any substance that is not material at its base.

      Or you could just reduce the word “gender” to nothing more than a meaning that everyone behaves differently, which is uninteresting.

      Truth is not required to be interesting, although I would say gender describes a series of expectations, which individual may fulfil to greater or lesser degrees.

      So, before you type out another non-reply, please reread and think so that I don't have to tell you to reread and think.

      I fully expect you would tell me this, regardless, unless I actually agreed with you.

      You got a complete answer to your question along with an anticipation of the critique you gave previously.

      I have received one answer (yours) that the XX fathers are men and the XY mothers are women. Fred did not respond, Cantus did not address this. As for previous critiques, I think dragging them in instead of answering a question only serves to confuse, rather than enlighten.

      On the thread “The Particle Collection That Fancied Itself a Physicist” from August 20th, my question dated August 24th begins with “See, I'm not going to play this game” and ends with “What standard tells you they can be "wrong"?”. This post has no replies. You have given no citation, no evidence, and no answer.

      You only see the first 200 comments in the thread, until you hit the "Load More" at the bottom of the page. So, I can see why you might have missed my reply. If you hit the "Load More", you will find it, dated August 26, 2020 at 6:47 AM.

      My statement about butchering children includes and is not limited to surgery. It also includes psychological and chemical butchering of children.

      I have never before heard the term "butcher" to refer to giving chemicals to a person nor to psychological services. However, I will take you at your word that's what you meant. It's certainly not what I understood, and if you insist on using "butcher" to refer to non-surgical interventions, I expect you will be misunderstood a great deal in the future.

      Do you know how to do a simple Google search?

      Yes. Did you know all of your links confirm that the standard of care requires legal adulthood for a surgical transition? I support taking any appropriate action against doctors who violate the standard of care. This is no different, to be, than chelation therapy for autism or any other sort of medical malpractice.

      Delete
    25. One Brow,

      “If you are correct, than I am not a property dualist. . . I'm pretty sure that I don't believe there is any substance that is not material at its base.” < property dualism.

      Either the property dualism (and the materialism) has to go, or the gender theory has to. One or the other.

      “I don't know enough about property dualism . . .” Indeed! (face palm)

      If you want to argue about XYZ, argue with people who make that argument; I did not.

      “I fully expect you would tell me this,” Such are the trials of a troll who doesn’t “know enough”.

      Good to know you oppose the surgical butchers. Screwing up kids with chemicals is just great though.

      I found your post. In it you use words like “Illusions” and “rules” that were “defied” by other particle movements. There are no “rules”. There are no “illusions”. These are particle movements, and your pretense in thinking that the chemicals in your brain can ascertain something abstract and objective is an illusion if materialism is true. See, there we go again: “true” is a problem again. See how it’s impossible to be a materialist? Now you could say that it’s all a game for power, but there’s the same problem again: you think your evaluation is objective.

      We’re done One Brow. I will not interact with you again.

      Delete
    26. T N,

      “If you are correct, than I am not a property dualist. . . I'm pretty sure that I don't believe there is any substance that is not material at its base.” < property dualism.

      I don't know much about property dualism, but I know that's not true.

      Either the property dualism (and the materialism) has to go, or the gender theory has to. One or the other.

      Or, you're just making a false dilemma based on oversimplification. I know that there is a difference between, for example, eliminativism and property dualism, but you don't seem to allow for that.

      If you want to argue about XYZ, argue with people who make that argument; I did not.

      Thank you for being willing to answer the question I posed.

      “I fully expect you would tell me this,” Such are the trials of a troll who doesn’t “know enough”.

      I know my level of ignorance, and that you seem to be exceeding yours. As for my statement, your past behavior has more than earned it.

      Screwing up kids with chemicals is just great though.

      It may be the least bad solution for the problem.

      I found your post.

      You're welcome.

      In it you use words like ... it’s impossible to be a materialist?

      Again, you don't deal with any understanding that don't already conform to your world view.

      Now you could say that it’s all a game for power, but there’s the same problem again: you think your evaluation is objective.

      Actually, I don't. But don't let that stop you.

      We’re done One Brow. I will not interact with you again.

      Just as well. Thank you for the exchange.

      Delete
    27. Naw, property dualism just allows the most charitable interpretation of contemporary gender claims. The strict linkage between brains states and mental states makes eliminativism all the worse off for explaining how gender is disconnected from the chemical basis of binary sexual difference (there is no continuum for gametes afterall). But then eliminativism is not an explanation at all, but rather just a refusal to explain.

      Delete
    28. So a substance dualist could in theory completely escape the ties to binary, physical sexual difference, but then could not be a materialist. Eliminativism has a hard link between brain states influenced by physical sex and mental states (gender in this case) that the gender theorist wishes to escape. Property dualism provides the best way to attempt to maintain materialism yet dismiss the link between brain states and mental states. It doesn't work, but it's the best shot.

      Delete
    29. T N,
      Naw, property dualism just allows the most charitable interpretation of contemporary gender claims. The strict linkage between brains states and mental states makes eliminativism all the worse off for explaining how gender is disconnected from the chemical basis of binary sexual difference (there is no continuum for gametes afterall). But then eliminativism is not an explanation at all, but rather just a refusal to explain.

      To my understanding, property dualism refers to something called mental properties. If these occur only in a mind, as the name suggests, it's just another form of magic to me.

      An even more charitable interpretation could be found Searle's biological naturalism, or perhaps in the materialistic (I'd guess you would think of them as stripped-down) versions of Aristotle's hylomorphism (the latter of which I find much more interesting).

      So a substance dualist could in theory completely escape the ties to binary, physical sexual difference, but then could not be a materialist. Eliminativism has a hard link between brain states influenced by physical sex and mental states (gender in this case) that the gender theorist wishes to escape. Property dualism provides the best way to attempt to maintain materialism yet dismiss the link between brain states and mental states. It doesn't work, but it's the best shot.

      Again, I see more than three choices here.

      Delete
    30. None of which gets away from binary sex differences.

      Delete
    31. http://www.edwardfeser.com/unpublishedpapers/searle.html

      Delete
    32. T N,

      Before I get any further in this discussion, I want to make sure we are using words in the same way, in particular, "material". In the essay you linked to, Feser says, "But just as solidity is nevertheless a physical property of a system of water molecules, ..."

      Now, do we agree that solidity is a property of how these groups of molecules are arranged, and not of the individual molecules? In particular, does this mean that differences in pattern and shape are considered to be material differences for the purposes of this discussion? If so, are the properties of having a particular arrangement and shape just material properties? Whether I hold to some form of property dualism, or not, will depend on this answer.

      As for binary sex differences, biologically we have, at the very least, a bimodal distribution in the variety. It is at least as wrong to look only at the modes and ignore the rest as it is to say all points on the spectrum are equally likely.

      Delete
    33. Gametes are binary, not modes on a spectrum. You're either one that can impregnate or one that can be impregnated (defects aside as discussed already).

      I don't care what you think of property dualism (personally, I think it's yucky). Either mental states (gender in this case) are completely divorced from brain states (physical sex in this case) as is the case in substance dualism, or they are identical (eliminative materialism), or somewhere in-between. One cannot completely separate mental states from brain states and remain a materialist, and one cannot conjoin them in some fashion and then insist that "gender" is unmoored by physical sex unless, as stated already, you want to make gender a word that just means people behave differently, which is uninteresting.


      Delete
    34. T N,

      Gender is a social role, not a physical sex, so there is no reason to claim that they must be united, even when brain states are dependent upon the physical state. As for "uninteresting", if people behaving differently by transitioning from an assigned gender is uninteresting to you, why are you in this conversation?

      Delete
    35. Uninteresting in the sense of trivial; Like saying married bachelor.

      If gender just means social roles detached from sex, why are we giving testosterone to teenaged girls? "Transitioning" would just mean joining the Sierra Club or changing jobs.

      Eliminating unjust discrimination against women is great! Denying material reality never works well.

      Furthermore, the meaning of human sexuality is a broad topic that can't be disregarded without consequence. All of us have mental and spiritual defects, freedom comes in truth, not without it.

      I could extend the olive branch of peace, but I'm unsure if you know how you are perceived in this forum. There are bright people on here who deserve to be taken seriously (Dominik, Atno, Hypatia, grodrigues, many others). Dismissing them with snarky indifference is not going to work well. There are knuckleheads too, but at the end of the day this is a forum for a broadly Aristotelian point of view. It's fine to disagree (I actually prefer it) but to treat the native position if the forum with disdain is not going to work.

      Delete
    36. T N,
      Uninteresting in the sense of trivial; Like saying married bachelor.

      You have an unusual way of using some words.

      If gender just means social roles detached from sex, why are we giving testosterone to teenaged girls?

      So their appearance and body will more closely align with the social role they feel they belong to.

      Eliminating unjust discrimination against women is great! Denying material reality never works well.

      I'm glad to see you're on my side here.

      I mean, I know you're not, but you are describing your opinion in the same terms I would use.

      Furthermore, the meaning of human sexuality is a broad topic that can't be disregarded without consequence. All of us have mental and spiritual defects, freedom comes in truth, not without it.

      I completely agree with the sentiment, if not the application.

      I could extend the olive branch of peace, but I'm unsure if you know how you are perceived in this forum. There are bright people on here who deserve to be taken seriously (Dominik, Atno, Hypatia, grodrigues, many others). Dismissing them with snarky indifference is not going to work well.

      I don't recall dismissing Hypatia that way (she is always a good read), barely remember Atno, and don't recall Dominik at all.

      I do recall being very amused at grodrigues. He seems very bright and I'm sure he's a brilliant applied mathematician, but he's also arrogant, quick to judge, and sometimes overstates his level of expertise in what seems to be an attempt to shut down a conversation. I don't really care if I'm on his bad side.

      There are knuckleheads too, but at the end of the day this is a forum for a broadly Aristotelian point of view. It's fine to disagree (I actually prefer it) but to treat the native position if the forum with disdain is not going to work.

      On the other hand, sometimes just asking a simple question (like do you believe a 46XX father is not a man) gets dragged into a long conversation for no reason.

      This isn't my first time around here. Even the best posters can get very loose about defining things precisely, or about genuine differences between notions in physics.

      That said, I respect your sincerity and your willingness to discuss things, even when I disagree with you, and sometimes even when you think the effort is likely wasted. I am appreciative.

      Delete
    37. Just for information:. https://youtu.be/4BSb92OYA0g

      Delete
    38. Actually, I retract the gesture of good will.

      Delete
    39. Asking a simple question gets dragged into a long discussion because you obfuscate. Look how long it took to back you into the corner of admitting there are two sexes? Dragged out indeed. Chromosomes, chromosomes, chromosomes, spectrums, spectrums, spectrums.

      Delete
    40. T N,
      Just for information:. https://youtu.be/4BSb92OYA0g

      When someone says, within the first two minutes, that 95% of the population conforms to a specific pattern, so we act as if that is the only relevant pattern, I know that is not science.

      You good will is yours to offer and retract.

      I didn't say there were two sexes, you did. I said there was a bimodal distribution. I think the people who are not at the peaks are still important, relevant, and need to be accounted for in any discussion of what sexes there are. The same applies to genders.

      As for obfuscation, in my view that came from Cantus dragging defects into the conversation, and then you bringing in property dualism for some reason.

      Again, I thank you for your time and effort.

      Delete
  10. The Left's talk of expanding the Court, eliminating the filibuster, adding states, etc., is alarming, but would not on its own guarantee one party rule. For one thing, there'd be hell to pay from some voters... less than we'd like, but there are definitely left-leaning voters who would punish such brazen power grabs. For another, party coalitions are flexible, and we're all chasing the median voter. If Republicans were systematically disadvantaged in one election, the thing to do is moderate such that you can win over enough voters to win the next one. I would really, really not like to see compromises on conservative values, but it would work, especially if the promise is to rebalance a system the Left wildly tilted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick,
      "rebalance a system the Left wildly tilted."
      Uhm, have you noticed that there is a Republican POTUS and a Republican senate?

      Next you will be complaining about Christian persecution in the USA.

      It's rather amusing to listen to the party in power complain that somehow the other side has "wildly tilted" the system.

      Really, if the left has "wildly tilted" the system why do Republicans keep winning the electoral college with minority votes from the people?

      Delete
    2. StardustyPsyche,
      I said we should promise to rebalance the system if the Left follows through on threats to expand the Court, eliminate the filibuster, add states, etc. Obviously these things haven't happened yet.

      Delete
    3. Nick,
      "threats to expand the Court, "
      The Republicans already packed the court.

      The Republican senate held out for a year to fail to do its constitutional duty so it could, and did, pack the court. We, the majority who voted for Obama, a great president, aren't going to just sit by and let the Republicans get away with packing the court as they have done.

      "eliminate the filibuster"
      Yes, let's bring back the filibuster for judges and justices.

      Dr. Feser, and all your supporters here, I urge you to call your senator and call Mitch McConnell and demand the immediate reinstatement of the filibuster for confirmation of judges and justices.

      You guys crack me up, like getting rid of the filibuster has not been a right wing ploy to pack the court.

      "add states"
      How is adding states a bad thing? You are aware we only had 13 to begin with? DC and Puerto Rico are absolutely on the table, why not?

      Wyoming has fewer people, yet they get 2 senators and a representative, while the residents of DC suffer the injustice of taxation without representation.

      Kind of ironic, in a demonic evil sort of way, don't you think? That the people of the capital of the nation that touts itself as the freest nation on Earth suffer such a gross injustice as taxation without representation, right in the capital city. Pretty pathetic, don't you think?

      Delete
    4. Since you don't appear to know what the term court packing means, or which filibuster is being discussed, or why the Senate is apportioned the way it is, or why DC is special—or more likely, since you are making all of these arguments in bad faith—I think I'm done here. Have a good day.

      Delete
  11. Welcome to the alternate right-wing universe.

    Even though St. Thomas' own words describe precisely the system we have: an oligarchy. A completely and utterly corrupt oligarchy with no redeeming features whatsoever, which is guilty of every single thing Feser charges the "left" with in his essay. As much as I viscerally detest Republican Congresspeople, they are but pawns to the real power: Big Money. (And when, I wonder, will we see a quote by Feser and the early Scholastics about the evils of usury???)

    The plutocrats don't have moral title to their ill-gotten gains. Not even the faintest hint of one. Burn it down. THEY'RE the ones primarily responsible for disturbing the peace (sedition as Aquinas calls it) and ruling on behalf of a faction (their own), not so much the protestors, even though I am not prepared to give them a blanket defense.

    Meanwhile, in the real universe, people are voting against Trump because of his utterly inept mishandling of the coronavirus. (Because, again, Big Money was the one calling the shots, and who cares if a few or more than few service workers catch COVID-19? A complete and prolonged shutdown would mean ruin for the private equiteers and hedge fundies. Hence, it simply could not be allowed to happen.) But Trump knows more science, apparently, than the professionals in his government at it for decades.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GoneFishing,

      And you post here so that people will see your posts and say to themselves "wow, I can't wait to attempt interaction with this bitter, incoherent, angry person . . . not!"

      Delete
    2. GoneFishing,

      Lots of hysterics, lets of bitterness, no argument for your position or against Edward Feser's...

      Why don't you try again? Start from the top.

      Delete
    3. T N,

      Stop gaslighting. Yes I'm bitter and angry against those who are destroying our country, and also (though to a lesser degree) towards those who simply blind themselves to the reality of what is going on. So what? You're saying I shouldn't be?

      The left is far from perfect, and that's putting it mildly. But you have the POTUS lying to the American people about a present, existential threat (the coronavirus), and that merits nary a mention. Yes I'm angry about it. Because that's a completely normal reaction to have. And don't you dare tell me otherwise, else you will see JUST how angry I can get.




      Delete
    4. Me angry! Aaarrggghhh! Me smasshh your skull! Orange man bad! Me angry! Aaarrggghhh! Gona loot Nike and burn down Wendy's! Aaarrggghhh!

      Delete
    5. Gonefishing,

      Please, by all means, get angrier. That's a very convincing argument. It's more effective than either a) explaining how Donald Trump is wrong about Coronavirus, much less lying about it (which are two different things) or b) how Professor Feser is wrong about anything he's said.

      Delete
  12. Hey folks, may we not feed people who can't actually respond appropriately to Professor Feser's post? Signs of this deficiency include:

    1) Ignoring what is actually written in the OP and other posts by the good professor.
    2) Going on some tangential political rant not germane to the post.

    I know I haven't been the best in this, but some people are just not worth it.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modus,
      Given that you post contains no OP related content it is clear that you are referring to yourself, rather ironic, don't you think?

      OP
      "The intention of some left-wing politicians to abolish the Electoral College, pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster, and in other ways secure indefinite one-party rule amounts to an attempt to impose a factional tyranny. These are extremely dangerous trends"

      Dr. Feser is again either gripped with irrational fear or intentionally fear mongering, I don't know which is the case.

      The fact is that the USA is the only major free country that uses the bizarre and outdated system called the electoral college.

      People in free countries go to vote, everybody has an equal vote, the votes are counted, and the person with the most votes wins, except in the USA, where an ignorant minority concentrated in the small states has repeatedly managed to install destructive clowns against the majority will.

      The filibuster is just a senate rule and is not even an issue for the POTUS. The senate makes its own rules.

      It's pretty hilarious to see Dr. Feser attributing the the elimination of the filibuster to the left so they can create a "factional tyranny", when it was the Republicans who came in in 2016 with a clean sweep of both elected branches of government, and it is the Republicans who eliminated the filibuster for judges so they could deploy their massive hypocrisy of denying Obama a justice but giving one to Trump so close to the election.

      The "extremely dangerous trends" in American politics today is the gross ignorance of the typical red state voter which is enabled by the ridiculously out dated electoral college, and results in electing the worst and most destructive presidents in our history.

      Delete
    2. "Besides the U.S, the only other democracies that indirectly elect a leader who combines the roles of head of state and head of government (as the U.S. president does) are Botswana, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, South Africa and Suriname. (The Swiss collective presidency also is elected indirectly, by that country’s parliament.)"
      https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/22/among-democracies-u-s-stands-out-in-how-it-chooses-its-head-of-state/

      The time is long past due for to get rid of the ancient system that keeps wrecking our elections, the electoral college.


      Delete
  13. St. Thomas had in mind an orderly society living by natural and religious law, not the United States. A better picture of how to regard this society is to look at the attitude of the Irish during the centuries of English rule. They resisted to the best of their abilities, and when it was impractical to change the situation immediately, they nevertheless refused to accept the status quo. The were never assimilated.

    Irish Catholicism exported this attitude around the English speaking world, and was duly regarded with contempt by the WASP establishment everywhere until giving up its spirit after the sixties. This happened when “Irish Catholics” got to live on the “right” side of the railway track. But “making it” socially also went hand in hand with adopting the values of the society around them, either those of progressivism and liberalism, or of conservatism. Ireland still exists because it fought tooth and nail against assimilation into those values.

    Today the Hispanics, by and large and on a massively bigger scale, have taken the place of “Irish Catholicism” as the “ulcer” and blot upon the WASP ascendancy. They are also the future in so much of the US. They are alive. They also stay put in the face of the kind of mob aggression which has been seen this year.

    Whoever wins the election circus, greater things are at work. The “redimensioning” of the U.S. is to be welcomed, as its hand has been heavy over world affairs for a long time. Legalism is an obsession with English-speaking conservatism, but much more is at stake. I doubt whether many conservatives were troubled by the disorder which accompanied the fall of the Soviet Union (or even that which followed it) because they were relieved to see its influence over world affairs disappear. The encouraging lesson there for some worried Americans is that there is life after redimensioning.

    Nobody wants to live in a society in turmoil because of its own contradictions.Law and order doesn't exist in a vacuum. Now might be a good time to confront those contradictions squarely, and question the ideological foundations upon which the U.S. is built.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today the Hispanics, by and large and on a massively bigger scale, have taken the place of “Irish Catholicism” as the “ulcer” and blot upon the WASP ascendancy. They are also the future in so much of the US. They are alive. They also stay put in the face of the kind of mob aggression which has been seen this year.

      In my experience, Hispanics are succumbing to the siren song of secular humanism at an even faster pace than did the Irish in the 1930's through 1960's, and many are selling out to non-Catholic "churches" of various Protestant stripes: they are not retaining their Catholic heritage at all well, considered en masse. They are also effectively radicalized by underworld forces of crime and drugs to a disturbing degree, finding in these satisfying reasons not to obey social and moral norms weighing on all residents (whether citizen or not). Of course these trends are not found in every family or small community of Hispanics, but they are found very widely.

      Delete
    2. The world is a lot less favourable to the Faith than it was even in the 1960's, and the Hispanics north and south of the Rio Bravo are affected, especially given the state of the Church. Being "culturally" Catholic is not enough, obviously. The sects do damage it's true (thanks Uncle Sam), but not across the board; they're not much of a problem in the biggest countries, like Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina. Guatemala and Chile are rather exceptional. The Hispanics in the US won't join the WASP or the BASP (Black Anglo-Saxon Protestant) mainstream.

      Hispanics don't need to be traditional Catholics to be an ulcer upon the WASP mainstream. The underworld pressures you mentioned that radicalise them are becoming something the US state cannot control. The drug culture invented by Anglos has finally come back to bite them in the form of narcos. Their cruel and well-armed organisations are already a reality in US cities. BLM and antifa are an infantile prank in comparison. The turmoil that US policies and drug consumption has caused in other countries is moving in permanently and those stretches of wall on the border will come to look very quaint, like the Berlin Wall.

      Delete
  14. Just one question: what is your view on the American Revolution? Is this generally something you have a positive view of and would have supported back then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, for me, I'd say that the American Revolution was totally unjustified because it was an example of sedition. The sedition was justified on the basis of a wacky conspiracy theory (that the British government was secretly planning on deriving its colonists of their rights as Englishmen, which we know did not happen) and their tactics, which included destruction of private property and attacking government officials, were unjust.

      They may be our Founding Fathers, and thus, worthy of our respect in that sense, but just because we are to respect our mothers and fathers does not mean we condone everything that they do. I certainly do not.

      Delete
    2. A child born out of wedlock still holds filial obligation to their parents, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

      Delete
    3. I wondered the same question.

      How can there be any new nation states without either sedition, an offensive invasion, or some other evil?

      Delete
    4. From an outsider perspective, the ordinary and decent folk of the US is about to have their say at the polls. The depraved indifference, the criminal bahaviour and anti-social traits that characterises Trump and Trumpism is about to meet their maker in the dustbin of history. Decency, fairness, justice, and morality will prevail and will once again be the guiding principles by which the community can grow and prosper. Boy, have I been waiting a long time for this moment.

      Delete
    5. Papalinton,

      First, why are you posting this here?

      Second, I don't think the anti-Trump forces are the pinnacles of "decency"," "justice" and "morality" considering they're a coalition of bureaucratic busybodies, lying politicians, shrieking college kids, violent criminals, chaos goblins (also known as anarchists), and establishment goons who don't even have principles to begin with. Unless you conflate being a good person with being a Leftist (which I suspect you do, given how common that tendency is among your type), I suggest you pipe down with the moral condemnation.

      Delete
    6. Papalinton was banned a long time ago as one of the worst of trolls. Nothing good will come of engaging him again.

      Delete
  15. Ironically, I know Catholics who are voting for Biden because they believe Trump is opposed to law and order. They say restoring law and order takes precedence over saving the babies. I say, wake up fools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justin,

      It's a post fact world. How many times does Trump need to denounce white supremacy before the media will stop saying he won't denounce it? I've seen people watch the link below and still claim he won't denounce white supremacy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6PFZNruJes

      Delete
    2. T N,

      Once is sufficient for me, as long as Trump says it in a speech where he doesn't also defend supporters of monuments to white supremacy, or when he puts a little emotion into it.

      Delete
    3. Some people feel that the statues are not symbols of racism, but are symbols of southern pride, which is not an illigitimate sentiment. How many people really thought the General Lee (Dukes of Hazard) was a dog whistle? At least before it became fashionable to be a victim.

      Delete
    4. Oh yeah, and I'm sure statues of Hitler can be considered German pride as well right?

      Seriously what pride is there in defending slavery, and racism towards black people? You are aware most of the statues were erected to demoralize black people right?

      Delete
    5. T N,

      We have preserved the dedication speeches of many of these monuments. They were erected as reminders of the superiority of the white race. Any sentiment that they are not about race is recent, and seems convenient.

      As for the Dukes of Hazzard, there's was a lot of stuff on TV back then that wouldn't fly today. There were (and probably still are) people who thought "Live and Let Die" was not racist. I don't think the General Lee was a dog whistle, specifically, because it was a profit motive, not whistling for votes, but it did make some people uncomfortable (or at least my friends so told me, and I had no reason to think they were lying).

      Delete
    6. And statues of abolitionists and people who had nothing to do with slavery were torn done because . . . reasons.

      Delete
  16. This is excellent! I would also say that it is quite appropriate and auspicious given the state of affairs around the world. Thanks so much for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Balanced,

    It wouldn't necessarily work he who was truth itself didn't win all to his side. It also wouldn't matter if someone has the truth and is trying to convince the ignorant. You hold that some have the truth and yet they cannot convince Trump (in your mind.) If he had the most accurate scientific world view that wouldn't mean he could convince everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Billy,

    What about by referendum like in Quebec, Canada. Quebexit nearly happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess even a referendum, which would still need to be accepted by the authorities, would still be considered evil.

      Breaking up a country would be like breaking up a family. It doesn't matter if you want a divorce. Wanting it is evil, and if your spouse accepts it, that's evil too.

      Delete
  19. Stardust,

    Is Julián Castro not mainstream did you not see the debate where his cry was "reproductive justice."

    Is he not mainstream? Was he not part of Obama's cabinet?

    You apeal to the constitution specifically the 14th amendment. To abolish the electoral college. Does not the constitution contain writing making the electoral college system? If so what highe authority than the constitution do you apeal to. Since on your argument of we should follow the consitution it would also follow that the ec stay.

    Some times you talk about ancient notions as an insult other times you pull them out. Are you saying that ancient/"outdated" = bad but then also using the spaghetti against the wall style of argument against others? If it's outdated how is it outdated does reson change? Is what was good on Wensday bad on Thursday? Does DCT or democratic command theory determine "good."


    Turns out that when you live and work almost in the middle of no where and it's colder than most places on earth almost none of your CO2 reduction suggestions work. It take alot of energy to move and work in an environment that is not very suited to human life.

    There is some Christian persecution Jack Philips. Perhaps a desired religious test for the court.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown
      “Is Julián Castro not mainstream did you not see the debate where his cry was "reproductive justice."
      Is he not mainstream? Was he not part of Obama's cabinet?”
      No, I didn’t see that debate.

      “You apeal to the constitution specifically the 14th amendment. To abolish the electoral college.”
      No I didn’t, the 14th amendment, as well as the rest of the constitution, is there to protect the minority after elimination of the EC, just as it protects other minorities who do not presently get extra voting power.

      “Does not the constitution contain writing making the electoral college system?”
      Yes, and constitutionally enumerated rights and provisions commonly come into conflict with each other. To deal with that laws are passed, lawsuits are filed, arguments are made, and court rulings are made.

      But since the EC is enumerated in the constitution, it would require a constitutional amendment to abolish the EC.

      “Are you saying that ancient/"outdated" = bad”
      Depends on the subject, but mostly, yes, that is the dominant trend. Aristotelian physics was awful, the Five Ways by Aquinas are preposterously argued, the Christian bible is cover to cover fiction (Genesis is fiction, Revelation is fiction, and nearly everything else in the bible is fiction). Slavery, racism, wars of conquest, superstitions of all sorts, and on and on have been around for thousands of years and remain very bad ideas and very bad practices.

      There are some good things people figured out or expressed long ago that remain good, like the rudiments of math and logic, some insights into human nature, some art, but most of the ancient explanations and practices and beliefs are awful.

      “Turns out that when you live and work almost in the middle of no where and it's colder than most places on earth almost none of your CO2 reduction suggestions work”
      False, but I did say that some solutions work better in the more sunny states.

      Wind energy works well in all climates, but storms and ice can temporarily require stopping the turbine. Solar works well during the summer but is not practical if piled with snow (although heaters can melt the snow and may well use less energy than is produced). Electric cars work in all states but for short periods in a few states it will get too cold to leave them outside overnight (a garage is fine and the batteries produce heat while driving and the typical battery will work down to –20C or below so conditions have to be quite extreme for an electric car to stop working).

      Fuel economy standards work great everywhere. Conservation by legislation has been extremely successful in saving Americans billions in personal fuel costs as well as being a huge factor in American energy independence.

      “There is some Christian persecution Jack Philips”
      No there isn’t. Jack Philips runs a public accommodation business. Public accommodation businesses are not allowed to discriminate. If person X has a religion that says not to serve black people in his public accommodation business the state will require person X to serve black people anyhow. That is not an attack on the religion of person X. Person X is still free to believe and say black people are non-humans. The state has standards of non-discrimination in public accommodation businesses and nobody gets to make excuses to run a discriminatory public accommodation business, not Jack Philips or anybody else for any reason.

      Delete
  20. Stardust,

    Your personal preference of equal representation is not at the bottom "fair." The people joined a system that is a Untied States not a confederation. Now you wish to tear it apart using any pretext. What about when red states start splitting like cells. You add states to get rid of the EC red state advantage. Why can't red states decide into 2 smaller states to get it back? If it's all about cramming down one view from the federal government then what's good for the goose is good for the gender. But it will tear the country to pieces. The cou tey is too devided to not have a light touch at the federal level. I note also that you called it Obama's seat not a seat on the people SC that Obama picked.

    Why are certain people scumbags? Because they don't behave the way you like?

    You say improving on older arguments is not hard but then fail to do it why shirk an easy task? It can only improve if there is an objective standard if we know it through reason either reason must change or our knowledge is there another option? Sure science has made great strides but moving away from a geocentric view dosn't have anything but is content. Same with flight and cars and the age of the earth. You have a diffrent objective standard to measure things if it is very different than theres of course you can make some changes that are "progress." But that begs the question of who's standard if any is True. You may advance something on the lines of human equality if so what are your grounds that being human is such that it makes our differing abilities as meaningless when talking about grades of being as hair color? Is there any room for human essentialism in your view or are we a blur going from what we were to what we will be. If what we were is a "lower" form of life what measuring stick are we using and why would it lay flat across all humanity if we are changing in a linear sense and not oscillating around a core essentialism. I'm not saying that humans with unequal abilities are unequal that's your side of the aisle.


    It's not just the adding of states it's how you are doing it if the anti slavery side wanted to start the war earlier all they had to do was pack the union with free states. Adding one red one bleu would be ok. Otherwise it's going to make tensions worse. If you have the best arguments why are you in a rush?

    Easy end income taxes in DC and slash all the government wages so that take home pay is the same. You under6that DC is diffrent is not supposed to be a state.

    The problem is if a slim majority takes away basic services from a minority. Allow open carry for 16 plus and slash all the police you want.

    Simply because it falls within the constitutional framework dosn't mean it's good remember the part about needing a moral and religious people. A supermajority could bring back race based slavery saying something works constitutionally or is part of representative government doesn't mean that it is good.

    It's not like Bush was out looking for him and then when Obama took over he found him due to his better scouting abilities. Obama gave the order after a skilled team found the "man" and a skilled team of men pulled the trigger. Obama doesn't get much of the credit. Unless he changed policy and directives that made it easier to find the guy. Sometimes people that don't want to be found that are loaded with money and willing to live in caves take while to find. Clinton should have made sure he was dealt with should he not have. Also didn't Rewanda happen on Clinton's watch. " Never again has a hollow ring after that." The most powerful military the world had ever seen couldn't take out matchet wielding maniacs or even a radio station pathetic. The sole superpower couldn't be bothered why isn't BLM upset about that?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown
      “Now you wish to tear it apart using any pretext.”
      Huh? Where did you hear that, on Fox? Or maybe it was a Trump tweet?

      “What about when red states start splitting like cells.”
      States have split several times but it has to be approved by the state and by the US congress (house and senate). So, in modern times that is very unlikely to happen.

      Folks in NoCal want to split from SoCal, but, then cooler heads prevail and it will almost certainly never happen.

      “You add states to get rid of the EC red state advantage”
      Nope, our constitution has built into it a gross injustice, taxation without representation. DC statehood would solve that problem. Puerto Rico is bigger than a third of present states, and is a US territory populated by US citizens. What is wrong with a US territory populated by US citizens becoming about the 20th largest state?

      “I note also that you called it Obama's seat not a seat on the people SC that Obama picked.”
      It was Obama’s seat in the sense that every seat is the pick of the sitting president at the time the seat is vacated, except the Republicans packed the court by refusing to do their duty. Now, in the most brazen show of gross hypocrisy in modern history, the Republican want to pack the court with another Trump seat.

      The Republicans are court packers. They used the filibuster to create large numbers of vacancies during the Obama years, and then they filled them during the Trump years.

      The Republicans are court packers. They refused to act on an Obama nomination with nearly a year to do so, yet they are rushing through a Trump pick days before the election, or even as lame ducks they have already announced..

      “Why are certain people scumbags? Because they don't behave the way you like?”
      Your words, not mine. Your strawman.

      “It can only improve if there is an objective standard if we know it through reason either reason must change or our knowledge is there another option?”
      Hmm, that sentence is not entirely clear, but no, we have no absolutely provable objective standards, only reasons and principles agreed upon by convention.

      “But that begs the question of who's standard if any is True.”
      No standard is absolutely provably truly the best. Morals are relative, standards are relative, we figure things out the best we can by reason and convention.

      Our original constitution was written to create a government such that land owning white males 21 years of age and older were the only people who could vote. Most people today would agree that extending the vote to all races, both sexes, and 18 year olds represents positive and good progress. Can I absolutely prove that progress is good? No, nobody can, but if you have reasons to go back I suspect nearly all people would consider those to be bad reasons.

      “It's not just the adding of states it's how you are doing it if the anti slavery side wanted to start the war earlier all they had to do was pack the union with free states.”
      Yes, there is a strong correlation between former slave states and present red states. Pretty ugly.

      “Adding one red one bleu would be ok.”
      Indeed, adding a red state is like adding a slave state. Adding a blue state is like adding a free state.

      “Otherwise it's going to make tensions worse. If you have the best arguments why are you in a rush?”
      Because slavery was wrong, slavery hurt millions of people terribly, and slavery needed to be abolished ASAP. The destructive results of minority presidents such as Bush and Trump have hurt millions of people terribly and need to be abolished ASAP.

      It is the fact that my arguments are best that makes getting rid of these ignorant destructive minority presidents so critical.

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    2. (cont)
      “Easy end income taxes in DC and slash all the government wages so that take home pay is the same. “
      So the people of our capital should not pay taxes and also should have no representation? No, we need to fix this error in the US constitution and make DC residents fully enfranchised citizens, at long last.

      “You under6that DC is diffrent is not supposed to be a state.”
      I understand that the founders of our country made some big errors and omissions, many of which have been fixed by later generations, and now it is up to us to fix the mistake they made with DC.

      “It's not like Bush was out looking for him”
      I think you mean “not”. Bush failed to plan to catch him when he invaded. Then Bush got distracted by a huge second war based on lies. Bush was a disaster for our country, his failure to get Bin Laden being relatively minor compared to his enormously harmful war and banking meltdown.

      “Unless he changed policy and directives that made it easier to find the guy.”
      Obama made the decision to act on incomplete information. Obama also made sure the strike force went in with extensive training, heavy firepower, and a layered backup organization that was able to wreck a chopper and still keep fighting and still extract, and get refueled midway back and make it back home.

      Obama make gutsy decisions to act on incomplete intelligence, violate Pakistan’s (a nuclear state) territory, and dump Bin Laden’s remains at sea (denying supporters a pilgrimage site and sending Bin Laden into oblivion).

      Of course Obama did not write and execute all plans himself, he was the executive, he reviewed plans, set the priorities, enforced availability of resources, and provided the top level authority to act by making key decisions.

      But then, Obama was a great commander in chief who, among many other acts of fine leadership, honored our POWs, not like scum Trump who denigrates our POWs.

      “Also didn't Rewanda happen on Clinton's watch.”
      America was not attacked in Rwanda. America did not prevent the Cultural Revolution in China, the purges in the USSR, or a number of other human catastrophes. Our first priority is our own national defense. We also act with our allies. From time to time we act on humanitarian grounds, but there is much too much humanitarian misery in the world for the USA to fix.

      “The sole superpower couldn't be bothered why isn't BLM upset about that?”
      Because the organization BLM is a money making scam based on lies. The organization BLM spreads lies that are believed by enough people to generate many millions of dollars in donations. Those donations then go to salaries and “consulting fees” to the liars that operate the organization BLM.

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  21. Stardust,
    "The fact is that the USA is the only major free country that uses the bizarre and outdated system called the electoral college.

    People in free countries go to vote, everybody has an equal vote, the votes are counted, and the person with the most votes wins, except in the USA, where an ignorant minority concentrated in the small states has repeatedly
    managed to install destructive clowns against the majority will."

    Majority will sound like Democratic command theory (DeCT.) Majority will at one time was really really racist in the actual sense of the word. You also seem to have never heard of another North American country curiouser and curiouser.

    In your ending statement "managed to install destructive clowns against the majority will." Is 39.47 percent rendering 184/338 seats and 33.1 percent getting 157/338 seats. The will of the majority? Also given the power to appoint senators to the man who won with under 40 percent. 46.1 304/538 is closer to majority will but even 48.2 doesn't get you there. You must be happy with Reaganism though 58.i percent majority will and all. Or is your though process must bash republicans...what would prove we should have a bleu permanent majority....I know majority will....how do I support this...chronological snobbery...plus Europe is better....you know what I'll just claim ... that being agaisnt the majority will is bad...because the EC is ancient...

    If you care about majority will then you must loath 1st past the post. But at least one of your free countries has that it regularly have minority governments and it's only 2 feet away.

    Also outdated isn't an argument time dosn't change reality. Situations and knowledge would. Also you must prove that it's out dated and why. Which means you must know why it is there. Then make a case of why it was never needed or why it isn't needed now. Perhaps something to do with majorities not imposing their religious (read doctrinal and moral/ethical) views upon everyone over a jurisdiction that one leaves dissenters no where to go where they are citizens. But your sure tour right not like ancient people so it's ok for you to behave like them. It's not ok for them to do so. Why? just because.

    How far would you push majority will? Anything it can't justify?













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  22. @BalancedTryteOperator:

    "Truth as a universal is the same as beauty. Truth as a particular is not: there are plenty of ugly truths."

    In Thomistic Metaphysics truth is a transcendental above every genus or species. It is always beautiful, although particular acts, to which a truth can refer, and which do have genus and species, can be ugly. It is always more beautiful to know what is than to not.

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  23. https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueAtheism/comments/dtv5yj/the_potential_danger_of_edward_feser/

    What are your thoughts on this?

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    Replies
    1. Idiots using the same language as always, anon. "Feser is dangerous because he's a Christian apologist who is against homosexuality, and we can't have an intelligent Christian running around!" Though it's hilarious how he claims that Ben Shapiro, a libertarian conservative Jew, is Feser's official mouthpiece. An odd choice, for sure.

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    2. I don't see Feser as any kind of threat. He's a smart man trying to convince people he's right. I don't often agree with him, and I think his arguments are occasionally sloppy, but that's no reason to get bent out of shape over him.

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    3. One Brow,

      I don't see how Feser's arguments against homosexuality and for God are any different from any other Christian philosopher who speaks on these subjects. Really, speaking of the "danger" posed by Edward Feser is melodramatic. I mean, my goodness.

      The strength of those refutations the author cites depends on whether or not you believe in Aristotelian philosophy of nature. If you do, then nothing in those articles will give you pause, as they are the standard caricatures one comes to expect from porn-addled heathens.

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    4. Mister Geocon,

      It seems we are largely in agreement on the subject of the accuracy of this Reddit post.

      As for "depends on whether or not you believe in Aristotelian philosophy of nature", I find that there are a few additional assumptions that need to be added to go from a hylomorphic structure to being anti-homosexual, but that's a discussion for another thread.

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