Sunday, October 24, 2021

Untangling the web

David S. Oderberg and others on free speech, in the new anthology Having Your Say: Threats to Free Speech in the 21st Century, edited by J. R. Shackleton.

In First Things, William Lane Craig in quest of the historical Adam.  Christianity Today interviews Craig about his new book on the subject.

At Rolling Stone, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen on the release of two live albums and the prospect of a new album.  Fagen is interviewed at Variety and the Tablet.  The Ringer on the Dan’s new following among millennials.  Elliot Scheiner on engineering Gaucho.

At Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Jeffrey Hause reviews Tobias Hoffmann’s book Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy.

Michael Huemer is interviewed at What is It Like to Be a Philosopher?  Colin McGinn comments on the interview.

At Thomistica, Glen Coughlin on Charles De Koninck on metaphysics and natural philosophy.

The Daily Nous interviews philosopher P. M. S. Hacker. 

At City Journal, Blake Smith on Christopher Lasch and Michel Foucault.  Michael Behrent on the real Foucault, at Dissent.

The Story of Marvel Studios is now out.  The authors are interviewed at Gizmodo.  Winter is Coming on five fascinating revelations from the book. 

The Guardian on the ideas and controversies of Steven Pinker.

Michael Blastland on William of Ockham, at Prospect. 

Joseph M. Bessette and J. Andrew Sinclair on public support for capital punishment, at RealClearPolicy.  Their more detailed report is available from the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College.

At Public Discourse, Martin Rhonheimer on natural law and the right to private property.

John Whitfield on fraud, bias, negligence, and hype in science, at the London Review of Books.

At American Greatness, Michael Anton on Glenn Ellmers’ new book on Harry Jaffa.

Tad Schmaltz’s book The Metaphysics of the Material World: Suárez, Descartes, Spinoza is reviewed by Alison Peterman at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation comes to television.  Screen Rant on how the Apple TV series alters the original story.

At National Review, Carrie Gress on feminism and female unhappiness.  Scott Yenor calls for a sexual counter-revolution, at First Things.

Economist Philip Pilkington on how demographics could favor Republicans, at Newsweek.

Christopher Wolfe on John Rawls and natural law, at Public Discourse.

At New English Review, Kenneth Francis on the classic 1968 film The Swimmer and the problem of suffering. 

At Quillette, philosopher Michael Robillard on the incoherence of gender ideology.  Heterodorx interviews philosopher Alex Byrne.

Richard Marshall interviews philosopher Robert Gressis at 3:16.

At Pints with Aquinas, William Lane Craig and Jimmy Akin debate the kalām cosmological argument.

Jazzwise on the life and legend of Thelonious Monk.

From the Thomistic Institute, Fr. Thomas Joseph White lectures on Christ and the Old Testament in Aquinas.

Ruy Teixeira begs his fellow liberals to stop committing “the Fox News Fallacy.”  Liberal journalist Kevin Drum argues that it was liberals who started the culture wars.  Andrew Sullivan on the Left’s accelerating extremism.   A study on political polarization in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy finds that “the most liberal Democrats [express] the greatest dehumanization of Republicans.”  Glenn Greenwald on the increasing prevalence of smear tactics on the Left.  Freddie deBoer on the progressives’ politics of personal destruction.  At The Atlantic, Sally Satel on left-wing authoritarianism.

But has wokeness finally peaked?  Joel Kotkin on the growing backlash, at Spiked.  Bari Weiss calls for resistance at Commentary, on CNN, and at UnHerd.  Philosopher Arif Ahmed on fighting back against woke censorship at Cambridge.  Andrew Sullivan on emerging cracks in the woke elite.  Noah Rudnick on the right turn among Latino voters, at City Journal.

At Theology Unleashed, philosopher David Papineau and neurosurgeon Michael Egnor debate materialism.

Terry Teachout on film noir, at Commentary.  At Mystery & Suspense, Paul Haddad on film noir and Los Angeles.  Terry Gross interviews Eddie Muller about the lost world of film noir at NPR.


  1. Replies
    1. Interesting. Does David Voas talks about the opposing opinions on this from people like Eric Kaufmann, who wrote Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?. In that book, he points out that (1) the most intensely religious people have many times more children than their secular counterparts and (2) that these very intensely religious people more often than not isolate themselves from secular society, making it more likely that the children will retain their parents' faiths.

      One would hope that a "quantitative social scientist with a background in demography" would be able to account for such factors in his argument that "there is no way back for religion," right?

    2. Geocon

      Yea sure, a minority of hardcore religious extremists knocking out endless kids and indoctrinating/policing them well will counteract the trends described in the link. What desperate nonsense! In western societies the media, entertainment industry and higher education thankfully subverr this at every turn, so the process is very 'leaky' and faiths inevitably become less and less ardently held, save for a sad recalcitrant rump.

      Thanks to Papilinton - one of the few perceptive voices of reason to post here - for challanging you all with the reality of your predicament.

    3. Mister Geocon
      Dennis Hodgson, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at Fairfield University (A Jesuit Catholic Private University, Connecticut) has written a telling review of Kaufmann's book. READ HERE

    4. What is it with Paps and his obsession with Argumentum ad populum?

    5. BTW an unfavorable review is hardly a scholarly rebuttal?

      Just saying....

    6. "What is it with Paps and his obsession with Argumentum ad populum?"

      They are easier to understand?

    7. FreeThinker @ 5.49PM

      "In western societies the media, entertainment industry and higher education thankfully subverr(sic) this at every turn, so the process is very 'leaky' and faiths inevitably become less and less ardently held ..."

      That's it pretty much in a nutshell. I think the trend toward secularisation is unmistakable. It is really the only neutral space available in a world experiencing competing religious extremism. Unfortunately, Kaufmann modelled his analysis on a projection. That is, his model of projecting into the future is based on a number of assumptions that simply cannot be sustained in any significant way. Hodgson in his review makes that very clear about Kaufmann's somewhat tendentious attempt at scaling up religious extremist community. And the evidence simply doesn't stack up in support of Kaufmann's assertions. The high fecundity rate of religious extremist believers, their obdurately intractable (many would say fossilised) monolithic approach to living in a contrived (and highly controlled) homogenous community, together with the lack of diversity in that community can only ever be sustained at the parochial tribal level, not at a national or international level. Hodgson notes of Kaufmann's model:
      "In his interpretation trends in fertility and immigration will increase the proportion
      of fundamentalist Christians, Jews, and Muslims in these regions, a change that
      may ultimately “replace reason and freedom with moral puritanism”. "

      Can you imagine what it would be like at the coalface when these Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious extremists [that Kaufmann imagines is going to control society], as they collide with each other, over territory, resources, food, religious beliefs, weapons etc?

      If anything, Kaufmann's argument is a cautionary tale for all of us to note seriously and all the more reason to have religion, most particularly religious extremism, put back in the box.

    8. Talmid,


      Gray-haired hippies wanna stay relevant?

    9. I'll just note that this sociologist is one of the very few specimen in his field left who support the secularization hypothesis, his colleagues have pretty much abandoned it. It makes little sense to link a Peter Berger video just for the sake of having two perspectives on that issue though.

      Furthermore, the rejection of religion shouldn't be equated with the acceptance of atheism, given that most of those still have a spiritual drive. Those who make that equation are the same morons that think that Buddhism is an atheistic religion and thus acceptable for the Western secularist

    10. It is also question begging.

      If there is no God or gods then the course of religion is entirely at the mercy of future unknown natural forces and well who knows the future? Trends change. During the 70's they said "God is Dead" and yet the 80's saw a surge in religion. Religion is taking off in Communist countries.

      OTOH if there is a God then Divine Providence will preserve religion and there is nothing ye can do about it.

      Anyway none of this has to with the philosophical arguments for Classic Theism or against or in regards to philosophical arguments for some competing Atheist friendly metaphysical scheme.

      Paps is just too lazy to learn philosophy no matter how hard I shame him. It's like some poor evolutionist trying to Argue with a creationist who refuses to learn any biology.

      *due note in the above analogy WE CLASSIC THEISTS are the wee evolutionists and Paps is the "creationist"(such as he is).

      Would it kill ya to learn philosophy Paps?

    11. Having watched the video, it's not a very strong case. He simply makes the point "religion seems weird" and "prosperity makes people more secular." Fair enough, but does this mean that Christianity is going to die out in the West and turn it into an atheistic paradise? That's... questionable.

      The real problem with the model that we'll all just keep getting more secular is the idea that the 'good times' will just keep coming, that people can continue to rely on the decadence 21st-century Westerners have become accustomed to to continue indefinitely. Seems rather myopic to me.

      The more fundamental problem though is this thing called "religion." What even is "religion"? How does Voas define it? He doesn't tell us, he just assumes we all know what it is. "It's the kind of thing Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism are," is the most I got from his definition. Other than that, nada. And that's a real problem for me.

    12. Me Thinks Paps has been watching too much Star Trek.

      Indeed there is that sort of secular utopia view of the future that technology and advanced civilization will make life more comfortable and people will "need" religion less and less.

      To that we can say there is no guarantee that will happen even if there are no gods. The idea the speculations of these people have the mathematical certainty of Hari Seldon's foretelling the future with psycho-history seems to me just a substitute religion based on blind faith.

      Religion is not going anywhere. Thought the Gnu Atheists seem to conflate secularization with Atheism. Their version of "Atheism has all the unpleasantness one might associate with Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority only twice as self righteous. Also lacking any real virtues found in religion.

    13. Religiosity is heritable, especially in secular societies. Since religious people tend to have more kids than secular people, inevitably the proportion of religious people in a secular society will rise. Furthermore, this compounds. One can already see this with Israel, where the ultra-orthodox will soon be the majority.

  2. hello feser, do you think the 5 ways are axioms?

    1. The answer is "no." An axiom is something that is self-evident and thus cannot be argued for. The Five Ways are arguments, so they can't be axioms.

    2. thank you, how about specifically the first copy and the movement?

    3. Hey, Luan, i also failed to understand your last post, if you prefer, write your question on portuguese and i can try to translate it here.

      Or: escreve em português ae que eu tento traduzir pra língua bárbara dos americanos.

  3. Is the historical Adam being one singular real person definitively taught by the Church? I lean towards a non historical Adam. Though I guess even "Adam" is a rather vague person as well. What would a hisotrical Adam imply? A human, a early hominid formed when an immortal soul?

    1. Whatever your theory, polygenism is ruled out by Humani generis. As Pope Pius XII states plainly: "When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own."

    2. It is an infallible dogma of the Faith. See Ott.

      "The first man was created by God."(de fide)

      My friend Dr. Dennis Bonnette has done some research on this. The claim biology & science has absolutely eliminated the idea biological monogenesis is possible is overblown.

      See his third edition of ORIGIN OF THE HUMAN SPECIES.

      OTOH we can have a theological monogenesis mated with a biological polygenesis and this likely would be allowed by Pope Pius XII's standards.

      So heads we win and tails the Atheists loose.

    3. RomanJoe,

      Feser actually has a blogpost on your questions about Adam:

    4. Yakov

      So your position is so malleable that it can be fitted to whatever empirical reality serves up. Obfuscation as usual.

    5. @Freethinker

      Pretty much yeh. So what? Do you think Catholics prove their religion because Holy Writ has some strange properties? Sorry no.
      Do you think we Catholics are wee Fundamentalist Protestants who think the Bible is uber clear? Ah no....

      My friend. The Baptists are over there.....have at them. Seriously wrong religion.

    6. FreeThinker,

      Catholicism teaches that the truths of faith and the truths of reason can never conflict with one another, as they are one truth. Whenever a conflict emerges, we must work to reconcile it to the best of our ability, sometimes reading the truths of faith in light of the truths of reason and sometimes reading the truths of reason in light of the truths of faith.

    7. @geocon (& Yakov)

      HG doesn't necessarily rule out polygenism, it just states that "in no way apparent" is it compatible with the doctrine of original sin. I've seen a few hybrid versions that would need to be re-evaluated to see if they are violations of dogma. And one is the version of Dr. Bonnette Yakov references. To be sure is not a de fide dogma violation, but the presuppositions of polygenism (as typically presented) violate the necessary presuppositions of the doctrine of original sin.

      Here is what the discoverer of "Lucy" said to the pontifical academy:

    8. I should point out Dr. Bonnette has objected to the idea Adam's children mated with souless hominids(i.e. but producing offspring). He holds to biological monogenism and after reading his work I am convinced biological monogenism might still be an option. Thought the militant Gnu Atheist Crowd like Jerry Coyne claim biological polygenesis is a proven fact. I am not so sure? But Catholicism can go either way.

      The idea of a theological monogenism with a biological polygenism (i.e. Adam's children mate with souless hominids and produce children with souls) is attractive because there is an extra Biblical Jewish tradition that claims Adam & Eve shared Eden with souless humanoid creatures. Some Rabbinic commentators identify these beings as Plant Men or Dryads. But some rationalist Rabbis like Rashi think they are references to primates & Apes.

      Also there is a Jewish Tradition that says Adam and Eve broke up for a time after the death of Abel and both "Mated with Demons" and had offspring with them. Well Demons are spirits and can't literally mate but a hominid possessed by one could do that. Just saying....

      Now one need not take these oral traditions as divinely inspired doctrines. But it shows Bible believing orthodox Jews had no problem believe Adam and Eve where not "alone" in Eden. Thought till Cain, Abel and Seth came along only they had souls.

      Young Earth Creationists are limited by Luther's false Sola Scriptura doctrine & don't look to Tradition. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox (& some open minded Evangelicals like Craig) have no such limitations.

      I think these Gnu Atheist types need to get out of their box and learn there are other types of Christians in the world other than Fundamentalists.


  4. Ya’kov, agreed. Notice the words “true human.” This implies the element of having a rational soul.

  5. In western societies the media, entertainment industry

    Anyone who praises the values of these institutions has no basis to criticize anyone else. You also praised Papalinton. Hmm.

    So your position is so malleable that it can be fitted to whatever empirical reality serves up

    I thought one of the biggest whining points atheists had about Christians was that, unlike science, their beliefs were not open to additional knowledge. Now you're mocking him for being malleable.

    Like science.

    1. It is just some Gnu complaining "Boo hoo! No Fair! Yer not a fundamentalist!".

      Gun Atheists hate philosophy & are universally philosophically illiterate. They even spurn Atheist Philosophy and kneejerk promote their positivism.

      They are not interesting unlike more philosophically learned infidels.

      I dismiss them like I do Young Earth Creationists.

    2. Oh dear, how embarrassing. It is obvious from the style and content here that this contribution is from Yakov, but using his long suffering wife's account. It is misleading and reprehensible to post under different monicas Mr Yakov.

    3. @Freethinker

      Sometimes I use my wife's computer and I forget to log her out. Plus it was morning and I had to get out the door. So sue me.

      Anyway my criticism stands. Do you got something more to offer than ""Boo hoo! No Fair! Yer not a fundamentalist!"?

      If not then don't bother. You won't win any converts here with that.

      I despise bad arguments and you sir have served them up to us shamelessly. Do better. Otherwise if there is no God all of us here can safely conclude you merely made a lucky guess. Ya didn't reason yer way there.

      Now offer me better.


  6. Kevin

    Your beliefs are almost infinately malleable and cannot be falsified as you will always concoct a saving subterfuge. So here we are told that monogenisis is an infallable article of faith, but if science points to polygenism so what? We can always have a biological polygenism and a theological monogenism to preserve the faith!

    Another tactic you people use is to redefine the meaning of everyday words and employ the notion of analogy whenever it suits you to get out of an embarrassing fix. This is seen nowhere more clearly than in Feser's attempted Thomistic dissolution of the problem of evil where we discover that words such as 'merciful', 'loving' and 'benevolent' do not have the meanings we always thought they had! Utterly disreputable.

    1. @Freethinker Part One
      Really it would help if you actually argued against our religion as it is & not how you wish it was. You would look more credible to us. This "Boo hoo! No Fair yer not Fundamentalists!" is nor a good look.

      Now for yer mistakes.

      >So here we are told that monogenisis is an infallable article of faith,

      Nope! Theological monogenesis is an infallible article of Faith and the existence of a literal historical Adam is an article of Faith. There is no reason why we can't have a biological polygenesis. Thought Dr. Bonnette has shown from the relevant scientific literature the "scientific" case against monogenesis is overblown and not definitive.

      >Your beliefs are almost [infinitely] malleable..

      So have a wee cry aboot it laddie. We dina care and we dina fash. The key word here is "almost". There are some things that would falsify Catholicism. Such as digging up the actual bodies of Jesus or Mary. Thought the later would still allow for Protestantism to be true.

      >and cannot be falsified...

      No you cannot falsify Catholicism by falsifying Fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. It is a waste of time as we all reject those beliefs anyway and proving them wrong is something we condone.

      >Another tactic you people use is to redefine the meaning of everyday words and employ the notion of analogy whenever it suits you to get out of an embarrassing fix.

      WCB! Is that you?:D Still peddling this troll nonsense eh?:D

      Sorry but Catholicism uses the ancient CLASSIC DEFINITIONS of words and terms of art. We are not beholden to modern redefinitions.

      For example Doctors use proper medical terms to communicate with each other. So we can have accuracy and better express truth. Yer linguistic relativism only serves to allow you to equivocate and confuse. Not argue in good faith.

      >This is seen nowhere more clearly than in Feser's attempted Thomistic dissolution of the problem of evil where we discover that words such as 'merciful', 'loving' and 'benevolent' do not have the meanings we always thought they had!

      Mark, Dr. Bonnette and myself have corrected you on this many times and all you manage to do is ignore and repeat yerself over and over and over and over and over and over. Doesn't that get old? It is not going to convince us yer low brow unsophisticated version of Gnu Atheism is correct.

      God's mercy is in creating us in the first place and in giving us sufficient Grace for salvation(& dying for our sins). Nothing more.
      You don't like that? Too bad. That is our religion. Take it or leave it. Go argue with a Theistic Personalist or some such person whose "god" be both disbelieve in if you have a notion. Stop wasting our time.

    2. FreeThinker,

      The appeal to analogy is the logical conclusion, not something appealed to in order to fix a problem. It's clear you aren't really paying attention, and don't seem interested in actually understanding anything.

      As for the monogenism/polygenism point, you haven't explained how there is anything wrong with it. We can determine from philosophical argument that God exists, miracles are possible, etc. From empirical and historical arguments, we can determine that Jesus rose from the dead, confirming the truth of Christian revelation.

      Truth doesn't contradict truth. So if scientific inquiry indicates that X is true, and confirmed revelation says Y is true, any contradiction you might see must be only in appearance and not actually the case.

      When fossils are found that seem to not fit as expected in the fossil record given evolutionary theory, which does happen reasonably often, experts don't just toss out out evolutionary theory. No, they update their understanding of the fossil record and see how they can make it fit, precisely because evolutionary theory is established enough that this one fossil doesn't undermine it. Similarly for scripture and church teaching. We don't just abandon it if something contradicts our current understanding. We see whether there are things missed, whether our understanding is correct.

      There is no problem with us coming from a first rational animal (AKA man) scientifically, even if there were others who looked a lot like us biologically and were able to even reproduce with us.

  7. Part II @Freethinker (aka WCB)

    God's mercy DOES NOT ENTALE God being obligated to create a world where we do not suffer. Since God given His Nature has no obligations to creatures nor any obligation to create. What part of that do you still not understand after me (& others) telling you this 100's of times? Oh that right. You know all this you just want to troll.

    Same with "love" and "benevolence".
    You cannot argue with us by redefining our religion making it suit the beliefs of the last fundie Baptist you argued with down in Texas.

    You cannot quote Holy Writ at us and give us yer personal none Catholic interpretation. You might as well quote the Koran.

    You cannot quote even our Councils or Popes or Aquinas himself and put yer own spin on their teachings contrary to our interpretations.

    What makes you such a pathetic figure WCB (I note over at Strange Notions even Vic the skeptic is done with you)is I believe you have the intelligence to make an intelligent & challenging philosophical argument against Classic Theism. Like Joe Schmit or Graham Oppy does.

    You just don't want too. Yer like the demon who possessed Professor Weston from CS Lewis' PRELANDRA. Intelligence is something you dispense with like a sailor on leave dispenses with military discipline.

    Sad really.

    @Prof Feser

    Do me a favor boss. Don't post his replies unless he really says something philosophically and argumentatively interesting. I would love it if he would make a real argument for once in his life.
    I am counting on you guy. Cheers.

    1. Son of Yakov

      I am not WCB ( whoever he is ) and I have never heard of your pal Dr Bonette either, let alone been corrected by him. You seem to be afflicted by various paranoid misconceptions.

      As for not publishing my reply, that is a decision to be made by Professor Feser and I think it reprehensible that you should appeal to him to censor your detractors, let alone in such an obsequious manner. You have long campaigned against Papalinton and it must irk you to distraction that the professor continues to give him a hearing, Professor Feser is however his own man , and a fair one too.

    2. Guys, let's not make it personal, please. I've let the last couple of comments along these lines through, but I don't want the thread to degenerate.

    3. >I am not WCB ( whoever he is) .

      I don't really believe you but that is neither here nor there.

      >I think it reprehensible that you should appeal to him to censor your detractors...

      Make an intelligent philosophical argument against Classic Theism or valid criticism of actual Catholic doctrine. Don't waste my time complaining how Catholics are not wee fundie Baptists. Do that and I am sure Prof Feser will have no beef and neither will I for that matter. But yer whole "No Fair yer not a fundamentalist" shtick is tedious. Don't waste my time. Disagree with me all yer like. But don't waste my time.

      Thought I don't think you can do it. I am not convinced yer not a troll. Prove me wrong. Make a good rational argument.

      As for Paps. He never makes an intelligent argument. If yer gonna channel his anti-intellectual nonsense then don't bother.

      These are my terms take 'em or leave them. It makes no difference to me.

    4. @Prof Feser

      >but I don't want the thread to degenerate.

      I agree but I think we should demand better Atheist opponents. These PZ Myers wannabees are getting old.

      Nobody here can accuse me of being anti-Atheist. I have raved positively (as you yerself noted) over rational and philosophically minded Atheists/skeptics/agnostic etc challenging Classic Theism(like Schmid or Oppy). As opposed to the lolcow Gnus who simply pretend we are wee fundies and don't rise above that.

      It is time we all take a stand. Better Atheists! More worthy foes for us Classic Theists! I am all for that.

      Anyway the moderating is good. I note you have sometimes failed to post some of my posts? I have NO PROBLEM with that!:D


    5. I read atheistic commentators here and was once again amazed. What kind of free-thinking do they have? What kind of rational thinking do they have? These are ordinary trolls who are not capable of reasonable dialogue. I generally get the impression that such comments are left by people of the same psychological and mental type. These are young men with not very good education, brought up on popular science books of various kinds of public intellectuals of mass culture. They are socially not very successful, they spend most of their time masturbating on porn sites and drinking beer. Even if these young men are 40-50 years old, mentally and spiritually they are at about the same level of a teenager. Their goal is to provoke and offend opponents. For example, one such person calls religious people extremists and fanatics. But it is simply necessary not to know history in order to offer atheism as an alternative to genuine or imaginary religious fanaticism and extremism.
      As soon as atheism took institutional and ideological shape in the XVIII century, it immediately showed extreme fanaticism, extremism, intolerance. It turned out that the main weapon in his arsenal is terror and deception. My country, Russia, has paid dearly for the domination of atheism. Atheists were unable to distinguish science from pseudoscience, created their own mythology and quasi-religion, and failed modernization. And it was not only in Russia, but also in other countries - Mexico, Cambodia, China.... They killed millions of people. For example, in Russia, the Orthodox Church canonized only Orthodox clerics and laypeople of about 2,000 people tortured by atheists. And in total, at least a quarter of a million believers were killed. And it's not just Communists. In Spain, the atheistic terror was not unleashed by communists, in Mexico, too, the communists are not to blame. I have already lived in a country where the cross was forcibly removed from me at school and I understand the value of atheists' lies about kindness, humanity and other good things.
      I can understand non-believers who do not accept theism rationally. But I can't understand militant, aggressive atheists. How can you be like this, after everything done by your like-minded people? How can you be a Nazi, knowing about the newsreel, where the unburned heads of children stick out of the furnaces? And even to rant about it with a sense of moral and intellectual superiority over opponents!

      And you, my theist friends, follow their lead, get annoyed and thereby sin against the commandments of our Lord.

      I'm sorry, dear Dr. Feser, for my emotional speech and for my electronic English.

    6. It is aways gets fun to see these naturalists complaining that the theist view can fit any empirical evidence when you realize that the naturalist view can't fit with any. How is that better?

    7. @Anon

      Jesus Christ man. That's awful. What's a very sad fact is that a lot of people are getting lost today because of this (especially young people like me). Here in Brazil, that's somehow not an exception ( just as an example, the motto of our flag is a positivistic expression from Auguste Comte).

      I hope that you're well! I know that's growing up around people like that is depressing and the style of life that you are somehow forced to live to fit 'well' with these people can be distressing.

      I will pray for you! And if I can say that, it gives me a smile on my face and a lot of happiness in my heart to see that people like you are still around!

      What's most important is the fact that you just don't merely see the problem, but that you know the problem. The subtle difference is that once you know it you can't fall in it anymore, since you have reasons (and especially philosophical ones) to not fall in it (since you can be sure that God really IS through philosophical reasons and that you don't need to be afraid to live in a somehow clockwork world, since once you acknowledge Aristotle there is just no way to avoid his implications).

      If I can say it stylish: once you A-T, you can't un-A-T, since 'to know the history of philosophy is to cease to be a naturalist'.


      Brother, I think that's a matter of faith (and I'm not joking). Faith in the arguments - even without justifying them. And that just reminds me that Flow's podcast just interviewed some 'neuroscientist' today. I don't even need to see it to imagine how cringe it was (to quote Ed in a somehow related context, they wouldn't know how to differ metaphysics from Metamucil). The appeal to authority and arrogance - and not to say ignorance of even well-known problems like Durham-Quine - in these people (I can say that by my own experience arguing with psychologists and psychiatrists) is in the level of faith.

    8. That is true, Tadeo, there is a kinda of blind faith on these materialist types that is just shocking. My guess is that they cling to this idea that "science = materialism", so they are willing to ignore the contradictions because technology works.

      And the Flow Podcast is truly crappy thing. While it produces some funny content, the whole thing should be seen as serious as we see Monark.

    9. @Talmid

      >"My guess is that they cling to this idea that "science = materialism", so they are willing to ignore the contradictions because technology works."

      That's pretty much the case! But if I can say from my own experience, the problems are not even known by these people (e.g they don't even know, that endorsing the full package, let's say, of materialism would also imply that thing's they think are 'material' would also get whipped out by a 'coherent' physicalism and you would be let out in a world that even the most bizarre metaphysics *could* fit - like buddhism). I could somehow try to fit myself back in the day into the ''Discovery Channel'' naturalist kind (it turned out that I didn't even truly know Aristotle at the time and how ground-footed he was).

      I have two good examples of how this naturalist crap discourse fit's in reality (two of them are ironically included in the flow podcast):

      I don't know if you remember that guy from "ideas radicais". He just says the basic "I read Dennett" to move to some weird "evolution theory" as a basic metaphysical fact (you will notice that that's is the summed up version) to say that "computers are the next step in the evolution". I guess I can stop it from here, or else if I mock his position that much my computer USB cables are going to strangle me till death (and I don't even need to say how much he begged the question against other positions).

      The second problem - a real problem - was in the case of Pondé. He just went on to say that humans are not the "homo cientificus" (whatever that means) and because of that, a lot of the human history was written by "homo religiosus" (that's just some crap philosophy from Viktor Frankl, a guy that's not even a philosopher in the first place!) and because of that ''we are not ready for science". But the worst of all of it is the fact that he just committed a subtle Petitio Principii (he just begged the question). He just presented all this crap without even justifying it (e.g what kind of guarantee do we have to affirm that these two distinctions are real ones in the first place? If the homo religiosus has limits to make science in the first place how he could even make statements, even if erroneous ones, about the world? How could homo religiosus could give rise to the homo cientificus if they're distinct at all?). The guy (Pondé) is a professional philosopher - he even post-doc in Tel Aviv - but he and the rest of the well-known pop philosophers (Karnal and Cortella) just do a lot of things like that.

      And you can throw rocks at me if you want, but I rather pick Analytic philosophy over our Continental one - if we can call our philosophy that way at all though. One justification that I can give is the fact that here everyone is a philosopher in some way - especially if you do Law because everyone knows about everything.

      (I will continue part II in just a sec)

    10. (part II)

      >"And the Flow Podcast is truly crappy thing. While it produces some funny content, the whole thing should be seen as serious as we see Monark."

      Sure thing. And perhaps it seems to imply by my earlier claims, I don't like to watch them at all. I don't like potheads. But another problem is the shallowness of how the content could be explored. Unfortunately, these guys do influence a lot of people.

      And by the way, there's one thing in Ed's book that I read and really changed my mind that is the difference between nature and art, the internal organizing principle of natural substances. Man... I could spend a day explaining why I think that is true, but I guess what I could really say for short is the fact that - people who already know and understand this will agree with me - if something like that isn't true nothing more could be. Not just because it is "what you expect" when analyzing nature, but because if you take out the intrinsic principle of the picture, you turn nature unintelligible. (also, if you are still eager to learn about how A-T deals with nature, you can see the relevant discussion that I mention in the book for free here:

      Oh, and if you do read the post that I just linked above, you can see by yourself how this just rules out the 'computationalist' view presented by the guy from ''ideas radicais'' :)

      Dominus Tecum, my brother!

    11. You are right that the average materialist do not see the problems with the view, but there is something very diferent when they spend sometime on places like this blog and still do not see anything wrong. These guys need some effort to do that, even i saw it after sometime!

      Aristotelian philosophy is truly awesome, that nature-art division, for instance, was a bit dificult to get at first but when you do things get very clear. Even amazingly smart modern thinkers like Nietzsche lose ther claws sharpness when you see how they got things wrong.

      Brazilian philosophy is truly kinda bad, it is good that catholic circles are growing, at least online, and more people are being able to see how this worlview beats any man-made one. Most can't really articulate this, but on going to the Lord they are going on the right path anyway.

    12. And that the Lord be with you too, Tadeu! I don't know any latin, so i just remembered that your final words meant something after i posted!

  8. Thanks for the link to Scott Yenor's essay in First Things, Ed.

    There are precious few conservatives nowadays who identify no-fault divorce as one of the culprits responsible for the sorry state of marriage and family today. Yenor is unflinching in his criticism of it.

  9. Quoting at 12min Ex-AMA President "..biggest biological disaster with a medicinal product in human history .."

    Carter Burke types for Weyland-Yutani
    (h/t Mercola/Whitney Webb 'Moderna a Company in Need of a Hail Mary' for full story. Also wider context she is here in a deposition to Corona Investigative Committee

    Dr David E. Martin deposition to Corona Investigative Committee 'The Virus was manufactured and patented decades ago' some timestamped key moments in comments

    Dr Charles Hoffe d-dimer test for microclots 9min

    Full treatment of investigative RNA therapy-coof war from technically knowledgeable insider.

    Why this new gene therapy is causing AIDS

    100k dead millions maimed Steve Kirsch

    Discovery in founding minutes of billionaire philanthropic! foundations that "war" is their number one priority. (YT interview with the hero at the bottom complementary

  10. One can make any number of horror-movie monsters by removing the limits from some natural desire or process: Alien is reproduction without regard for anything else; The Blob is pure and unlimited growth (with unlimited consumption as a corollary); The Thing is a sacculina-esque parasite that places no limits on its own desire to survive etc..

    Why do adherents of the Religion-of-the-Rich (iWorship) compulsively recruit Malthus as prophet in every age? prod nihilists into action believing their power will anneal in the resulting fire?

    Why do technocrats and liberals go along? "The consensus among historians is that the World Wars accustomed populations to greater regimentation, control, and government involvement to achieve domestic policy objectives that were to be seen as the moral equivalent of war. [..] If whatever policy you are trying to achieve is the moral equivalent of war, then much of the population is the moral equivalent of the enemy." "In Technocracy – which is synonymous with Dictatorial Bureaucracy, Sociology, and Progressivism – the prole is faced with anything but paradise. For Technocracy the final state of civilization is a “scientific” government ruled by an unaccountable Brahmin class of priestly bureaucrats, sociologists, and scientists assembled from the middle and upper classes. Far from abolishing class, liberating the proletariat, and dissolving the state; Technocracy constructs a highly class stratified society with the sociology class at the pinnacle and all else, proles especially, nothing more than “conditioned” guinea pigs good only for social engineering experiments and to be disposed of on the pettiest of whims. The proles are not let anywhere near power; the state, which micromanages every detail of life for the citizenry, is preserved for eternity." "Not just lawyers, teachers, doctors, and engineers, but even industrialists and bank directors raised money for the terrorists. Doing so signaled advanced opinion and good manners. A quote attributed to Lenin—“When we are ready to kill the capitalists, they will sell us the rope”—would have been more accurately rendered as: “They will buy us the rope and hire us to use it on them.” True to their word, when the Bolsheviks gained control, their organ of terror, the Cheka, “liquidated” members of all opposing parties, beginning with the Kadets. Why didn’t the liberals and businessmen see it coming?"

  11. Since this conversation went to talk about Catholicism can you guys help me to understand the A-T position on the Hypostatic union? Or to say better, do you guys can recommend me some post's from Ed (unfortunately I couldn't find any by myself) or some other content about it?

    By the way, Bill Vallicella did a post talking somewhat related about this (you can find it here

    Personally, I have a problem understanding how the two natures relate to each other. So I just want to understand the Thomistic solution and if it is 'really' a problem for A-T at all (e.g something that would conflict with Aristotle's original proposal or that in some way that we ''couldn't solve at all'' by using A-T)

    P.S Just to clarify I am a Catholic though and not some weird troll. And in absolutely no way I am trying to pose a problem. On the contrary, I am trying to understand the solution properly.

    And by the way, May God bless us all!

    1. Prof Vallicella has a lot of strengths. Comprehending negative or apropotic theology isn't one of them. Which is the only way one can understand divine mysteries.

      >I do not understand what is being affirmed here.

      Then yer doing it right man. Move on
      Prof V.

      AT philosophy cannot tell us positive things about revealed divine mysteries.

      It cannot tell us the nature of the real divine relations(i.e. Persons of the Trinity) that subsist in the Godhead. It can only tell us they are really distinct one to another and that the nature of that real distinction is neither a real physical nor real metaphysical one.

      That is it. When Dr. V talks about the Trinity he makes the mistake of trying to express it positively and he goofs up.

      I think his problem is he is making univocal comparisons between God and Creature.

      Others may want to point out other mistakes....

    2. Yokov

      Here we go again!

      The three persons of the trinity are really distinct from each other, as you would expect as they are three different persons. But how could that possibly be if there is a single God? No problem! There isn't a real physical or metaphysical distinction here but a MYSTERIOUS one. We cannot understand what this distinction is, but what it is not. Problem solved!

      If you cannot see that these moves are disreputable and serve only to prop up aspects of your belief system it is because you are far down the rabbit hole of belief and unable to escape. To the rest of us your excuses are laughable.

    3. @Son of Ya'kov

      Something about Bill's post that doesn't fit well for me is a possible 'imply' (at least for me, if I didn't stretch it too far though) some kind of 'ridding of it' A-T for not being ''up to the task'' of addressing the Incarnation.

      IMO this is an absolute mistake. A-T gives a lot of substantive answers - at least even a noob like me can see it. And A-T, as you said, can say that the Persons of the Trinity are really distinct and that is something. It's not like we can't even apply Aristotle's approach to the problem and that God is some kind of untouchable ''brute fact'' for A-T (in fact, it is quite the opposite because taking out Act and Potency distinction is like shooting oneself in the foot).

      I think that abandoning the Magnum Opus of Act and Potency, Substance, causal powers, Essence and Causality, etc. is to move back to the creep and insane things that haunt the modern way of thought nowadays.

      And by the way, I am suspect of saying more about it, since I wouldn't abandon it either. Since I knew this blog (to say precisely back in 2019) and then make a move to try to read and understand A-T (I even emailed Ed sometime(s) in that period but I do regret a lot of doing it because of the way that I sounded back there since I was totally unaware of the discussion and its nuances and sounded like a naturalist idiot or troll and I am ashamed even to remember it. I wish to God that he does forgive me for this).

      Oh, and I just mentioned Bill's post because I thought it was somehow relevant to the question that I was trying to make.

      And thanks for the kind reply! I really appreciate it! May God bless you, mate!

    4. Hi Tadeo,

      The doctrine of the hypostatic union lies at the heart of the concept of the incarnation itself. Here is a quote from Aquinas that succinctly states what is at stake in the doctrine that there is a union of God and Man, not in a confusion or mixing up of the natures but in the personhood of Christ:

      "Therefore, whatever adheres to a person is united to it in person, whether it belongs to its nature or not. Hence, if the human nature is not united to God the Word in person, it is nowise united to Him; and thus belief in Incarnation is altogether done away with, and Christian faith wholly overturned. Therefore, inasmuch as the Word has a human nature united to Him, which does not belong to His Divine Nature, it follows that the union took place in the Person of the Word, and not in the nature."

      Along with these two natures are two wills, one divine and the other human. Vallicella seems to be unaware of this Catholic doctrine in some of the comments he makes in his post.

      "There is also the will to consider....This makes sense only if Jesus has his own will, distinct from the Father's will, a will 'seated' in his human soul. ...But then it is not the Word that wills in Jesus.

      On the other hand, if the human soul in Jesus is indeed the 'seat' of his intellectual and voluntative and sensitive and affective functions, then the person in him, the Word, is severed from his soul. ..."

      Right - so one person with two natures and also two wills. The two wills are united by one agent though. The heresy called monotheletism posits that in Christ only the divine will was operative and it totally replaced the human will of Jesus. This doctrine was rejected by the Catholic Church. To go deeper, see this article on Monothelitism.

      To sum up, there are divine actions which have no part in Christ's human nature and so are strictly flowing from the divine nature, there are divine actions flowing through Christ's human nature, such as miracles performed, healings, walking on water, and so on, and there are strictly human actions, such as eating and sleeping. But these human actions stemming from Christ's human will are governed by and in harmony with the divine will. All of these actions, though, are united in one agent/person.

    5. And I don't think there is anything unreasonable in this doctrine. Even our human will has many factors that feed into it. At any one time, I have to choose between many impulses and thoughts. I may feel like eating, like sleeping, like taking a walk. In fact, I can have all three inclinations at the same time, but I choose to follow only one impulse. My nature makes it possible for me to experience all three of these at the same time, but my human will chooses to follow only one action of the three possible actions.

      Now, imagine promptings stemming from Jesus' divine nature. For example, the prompting to heal or walk on water. These actions go above and beyond what the human will of Jesus can achieve. But by his divine nature he can do it. His human will, so to speak, always assents to what his divine will does and wants, and stands back and allows itself to be a channel by which and through which the divine will operates. But it is not two persons operating in Jesus, as though he had a split personality. It is one person. Just Jesus who acts.

      And sometimes Jesus' divine nature makes direct demands on Jesus's human nature which are difficult to fulfill. Such as what Jesus said at the garden of Gethsemane which Vallicella mentions in his blog post. Jesus's human will has a human response - it experiences fear, recoils from the pain he will have to suffer, and humbly asks from the father that this cup of suffering might pass him by, but immediately follows up with this request by assenting to what the Father wills. This passage alone is precious, because it affirms that Jesus is true man, not just some divine sock puppet.

      Ultimately, though, the interplay of the divine will and the human will of Jesus are known only to Jesus himself. We get glimpses here and there of his inner life, as as at Gethsemane. We also have Jesus' own accounts of his inner life, especially in the Gospel of John. These give us enough data for the church to affirm the doctrine of the two wills of Jesus. But how that works exactly is a mystery. It is, however, essential to Jesus' acting as the one unique mediator between God and man.

      I hope this helps Tadeo!


    6. @Freethinker

      So basically "Boo hoo! No fair! Yer not a Protestant Fundamentalist! I am going to complain about the doctrines I wished yer religion taught and not the ones you actually confess because I like straw men."

      Sorry but yer bad at this!

      Wee Ladd it is a waste of yer time to argue against the Trinity. It cannot be logically or rationally refuted. At best you can either try to argue philosophically against natural theology in general (there by undermining belief in all Classic Theist versions of God..Jew..Christian/Trinity God...Muslim etc) or make the case against divine revelation or against the divine inspiration of the New Testament.

      Since the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be known by reason only by divine revelation alone.

      > We cannot understand what this distinction is, but what it is not. Problem solved!

      Rather there is no problem in the first place except in yer imagination.

      >If you cannot see that these moves are disreputable and serve only to prop up aspects of your belief system it is because you are far down the rabbit hole of belief and unable to escape.

      Sorry but it is disreputable to waste time arguing against a straw man which seems to be yer malfunction. We confess the Catholic Doctrine of the divine mystery of the Holy Trinity. Whatever non-Catholic view you may have encountered in yer day means little to us.

      Or more likely you are not an intelligent Atheist. An intelligent Atheist would follow the plan I just outlined above(i.e. philosophically refute natural theology or divine revelation). But it is mildly entertaining to watch you cry like a wee girl.

      >To the rest of us your excuses are laughable.

      By "us" you mean yerself. Everybody here holds a Classic view of the Trinity if you read the responses to Tadeo.

      Really would it kill you to criticize our actual doctrines that we believe in instead of the doctrine you wished we believed in?

      Ladd I don't waste a Platonic Atheist's time using arguments best suited for a reductionist materialist.

      What is yer damage?

    7. @Tadeo

      Peace be with you laddie. BTW note Freethinker is a case study in how NOT to make an Atheistic Critique of Catholicism or the Trinity. Tell yer atheist friends because I would like a challenge for once...


    8. But chauvanistic Son of Yakov, while crying like a little girl I have to ask 'Can your God ride a bike?', because if not he is clearly not omnipotent as you maintain.

    9. @Freethinker

      Omnipotent literally means having "all powers". There is no power for a Supernatural God to perform a mere natural act in a natural manner(like riding a bike) anymore than there is a power to make 2+2=5.

      God can do anything but 2+2=5 doesn't describe anything rather it describes nothing and adds new meaning to the phrase "There is nothing God cannot do."

      God being supernatural by nature could miraculously and supernaturally move a bike around. But He would NOT literally be riding it. Sure Jesus could ride a bike but His Human Nature would be doing the heavy lifting and all the secondary causality.

      Weak sauce. But I know you have heard this all before and you have nothing original to add.

      Really wee girl would it kill ya to learn some philosophy? You could be the next Joe Schmid.

      As it stands you don't even rate PZ Myers.

    10. @Daniel

      Hey dude, thank you soo much for your amazing answer! I really, really appreciate it! Thank you for your time in formulating these answers too!

      I would like to say that I don't really explore Aquinas because it is difficult to get what he's saying - not only because I lack the context and the knowledge of the subject - and I don't want to misinterpret him. I would add that the Thomistic Institute lessons sure help to get to the basics but to read some passages of the Summa is challenging.

      One of my concerns was something analogous to the problem if things could have more than one substantial form. I mean it's just an analogy in the sense that two essences could 'compete' (or conflict) with each other. But that problem, I think, can't even get off the ground since the natures are not, in fact, competing with each other. It turned out that I missed or didn't acknowledge a crucial point and that just reinforces what I said earlier about reading Aquinas (and not to mention the insane amount of fallacies that Ed vigorously faced and still faces in the history of this blog).

      And may I thank you again for your patience in explaining the details and your time! May God bless you, Dan!

    11. @Son of Ya'Kov

      Thank God - I mean literally - I don't have any. And the kinds that I met are just the Nietzschean cliché style so I'm sorry mate :(

    12. “Hey dude, thank you soo much for your amazing answer! I really, really appreciate it! Thank you for your time in formulating these answers too!”

      You are welcome!

      “I would like to say that I don't really explore Aquinas because it is difficult to get what he's saying - not only because I lack the context and the knowledge of the subject - and I don't want to misinterpret him. I would add that the Thomistic Institute lessons sure help to get to the basics but to read some passages of the Summa is challenging.”

      Agreed! And not only that, even among his expert interpreters, there are multiple approaches and schools of Thomism on certain subjects. I think all we can do is approach Saint Thomas with a spirit of humility, and slowly over time, things start to become clearer. Especially with the help of good Thomistic writers, like Ed, who take the time to write not only for an academic audience, but also for popular audiences, such as myself. I agree that the Thomistic Institute is also a great spot. Last Christmas season, I was going through the Aquinas 101 series with my teenage kids. They loved it!

      “One of my concerns was something analogous to the problem if things could have more than one substantial form. I mean it's just an analogy in the sense that two essences could 'compete' (or conflict) with each other. But that problem, I think, can't even get off the ground since the natures are not, in fact, competing with each other.”

      I think a good analogy that gives us a glimpse into the inner life of Jesus and the interplay of the divine and human wills can be found in Catholic Mysticism. Especially in those of Saint Bonaventure, Saint Theresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross. Bonaventure is a joy to read, but Saint Theresa and John are much more dense and hard to grasp. The best book I’ve ever read on Saint John of the Cross is Saint Edith Stein’s “The Science of the Cross”. What you have described there is the ascent of a human soul into union with God. The end result is a sort of analogical hypostatic union of our human nature with Christ’s divine nature by participation. The process involves purifying our senses and our intellect to make them completely docile to the promptings of the Trinity (similar to what you called, a lack of competition or conflict). And this process is both one that involves active effort on our part, but also a radical passive openness to the purifying work of God in our souls. This is literally a process of divinization that elevates our human nature beyond its current state by clinging to the divine nature. It does so without destroying our human nature and will.

      And about your question regarding having more than one substantial form because there is more than one nature – we only know this is possible via revelation, in just the same way that we know that in the Trinity there can be one nature and three persons. Our human language tries to represent what this can mean, including our Thomistic language, but nothing that can be said of this can truly capture the reality. It is an article of faith. The best we can do is to show that there are no inherent contradictions in our beliefs.

      We should also be unconcerned when the unbeliever does not accept our accounts. This is a matter of faith seeking understanding. But there can be no understanding without first having faith on topics such as these.

    13. @Daniel

      >"I think a good analogy that gives us a glimpse into the inner life of Jesus and the interplay of the divine and human wills can be found in Catholic Mysticism. Especially in those of Saint Bonaventure, Saint Theresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross. Bonaventure is a joy to read, but Saint Theresa and John are much more dense and hard to grasp. The best book I’ve ever read on Saint John of the Cross is Saint Edith Stein’s “The Science of the Cross”."

      It is good to see a devote and studious Catholic around! I guess I will follow your advice and try to approach these readings when I have time!

      >"Last Christmas season, I was going through the Aquinas 101 series with my teenage kids. They loved it!"

      OMG, THAT'S SO COOL! When I have children (I guess it will take a while) I will do the same!

      >"Our human language tries to represent what this can mean, including our Thomistic language, but nothing that can be said of this can truly capture the reality. It is an article of faith. The best we can do is to show that there are no inherent contradictions in our beliefs."

      And about that, I found something that might be useful (! I know it's a little bit oldie but that dovetails with what we are talking about.

      May God bless you and your family man! Oh, and by the way thank you soo much for the insights and teaching!

  12. As usual, Martin Rhonheimer has excellent things to say, this time in favor of private property. I love that he correctly ties the foundation of private property in to man's social nature so that there is no conflict, nor really even fundamental tension between it and the common good of mankind. Private property is - in part - precisely HOW the common good of mankind is served.

    I could wish that he took the issue and went even more deeply into the fundamental principles. While the place of work, human energy to change things and make them better (for our sakes) is of course an important point. But even in a Garden of Eden situation, and even when man doesn't perform any work to CHANGE goods, man still would appropriate goods as "his own" in order to be fulfilled. This could be as simple as eating a piece of fruit that falls into a man's hand, ripe from the tree: the choice to take and eat this is the man exercising private dominion over it. And thus is an example of private property.

    The true alternative to there being absolutely no private property is this: at every single moment, with respect to every single THING in the world, we subject its USE to a universal vote by all humans as to how it shall be used. NOTHING shall be used without such a vote, by all. And each time a new good re-jiggers the value of other goods, a new vote is taken regarding ALL goods.

    The sheer silliness of that prospect requires, nay, forces us to accept that human nature implies individual dominion of goods - i.e. private property. The details, of course, need to be worked out, but the core point is that the need for private property resides in human nature even more deeply than the place at which work changing goods gives us a more positive claim to specific goods.

    Other developments can also be made about the "universal destination" idea and the benefit of all men from the world of goods. Rhonheimer makes a good start in pointing out that the so-called "universal destination of goods" isn't even a "right" that needs to (somehow) "balance" the right to private property. He goes astray, though, in saying that it is instead "a fundamental principle from which the right to private property receives its ultimate justification." No, the two are related, more richly and less simply, in the nature of distinct principles that each, separately, have their niches in the hierarchy of human social order, and are (equally) subordinate to higher-order principles, including the overarching virtue of charity. Together, they blend into a textured fabric of human love played out with things that we exercise dominion over for good.

  13. H. Jaffa, like many reps of conservative, especially Anglo-conservative ideology, didn't believe religion. To examine political and social questions in ignorance of original and its effects on human nature, is to have a secularist view of life. That virtue is rewarded in this life was obvious even to the pagans, and it's a vast improvement on the left, but it doesn't really solve anything. As St. Thomas Aquinas states, civil society is not its own end, any more than the individual is.