Thursday, October 15, 2020

Lockdowns versus social justice

The phrase “social justice” has a long and honorable history in Catholic social thought going back to the nineteenth century, but is now typically deployed in defense of policies that are diametrically opposed to social justice as the Church and its thinkers have always understood it.  And unfortunately, this is true even in the case of many Catholics, who lazily adopt various leftist attitudes and policies simply because they are falsely but relentlessly presented as concomitants of “social justice.” 

Last April, Fr. John Naugle argued in an important article at Rorate Caeli that indefinite lockdowns violate the natural human right to labor in order to provide for oneself and one’s family, and thus are deeply contrary to social justice.  He revisits the issue in a follow-up article.  Some Catholic defenders of the lockdowns are people who, in other contexts, claim to stand up for the rights of workers and to oppose consequentialist thinking.  But as Fr. Naugle points out, their rationalizations for the lockdowns are precisely consequentialist in character – pitting the alleged benefits of lockdowns against inviolable natural rights – and harm workers far more than any other segment of society.

If you are inclined to write off such concerns as motivated by right-wing politics, I invite you to consider an interview with two public health experts from the left-wing journal Jacobin, to which Fr. Naugle draws our attention.  From the interview:

Children and young adults have minimal risk, and there is no scientific or public health rationale to close day care centers, schools, or colleges.  In-person education is critically important for both the intellectual and social development for all kids, but school closures are especially harmful for working-class children whose parents cannot afford tutors, pod schools, or private schools

Lockdowns have been vastly unfair in their impact and have exacerbated disparities in wealth and power.  Millions of working-class people have lost their jobs and find it impossible to find new ones in the current shuttered economy.  (It is remarkable that the media pay so little attention to the extreme economic hardship being endured by millions of people who were already struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic.) …

I think the lockdown is the worst assault on the working class in half a century, and especially on the urban working class.  In effect, we are protecting low-risk college students and young professionals who can work from home at the expense of older, high-risk, working-class people that have no choice but to work, leading to more deaths overall.  There have been studies, for example in Toronto, that show that lockdowns have primarily protected high-income, low-minority neighborhoods, but not low-income or high-minority neighborhoods…

Many of us pay lip service to equality and anti-racism, but we have chosen lockdowns to protect ourselves while throwing the working class under the bus…

I think the liberal elites’ adoption of this approach stems from the easy appeal of keeping “everyone” safe together with a class position for which the lockdown strategy is in fact safer as well as quite easy to ride out.  Liberal elites simply can’t see or can’t feel how this strategy continues to fail the working class and also small business owners.

End quote.  Read the whole thing, as they say.  The evidence in favor of these judgments – which are straightforward matters of fact, neither right-wing nor left-wing – mounts day by day.  Opening schools has not caused the virus to spread.  Even opening theme parks has not resulted in outbreaks.  In general, the lockdowns are not only not necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, but in fact have done little or nothing to prevent it.  And they have no effect on the illness’s mortality rate.  Meanwhile, they have benefited the rich while doing massive harm to the poor and the working class.  For example, they have benefited large corporations while harming small businesses.  They have brought about a crisis in mental health.  They have been imposed in a way that unjustly discriminates against Christians and Orthodox Jews.  As the Jacobin interview indicates, scientists and other public health experts are increasingly coming out against lockdowns.  The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 has decried their overuse.  A number of prominent public health experts have issued the Great Barrington Declaration, calling for alternatives to lockdowns as a way of dealing with the virus.

In short, the lockdowns have done no provable good while causing massive manifest harm, especially to the weakest among us.  Accordingly, they amount to a grave social injustice. 

And yet Joe Biden – the same man who will not tell us whether he intends to destroy the independence of the judiciary – cynically bemoans the economic crisis of recent months while at the same time supporting the very lockdowns that caused it.   Worse, he has also indicated that if elected he might impose another pointless nationwide lockdown.  One-party dictatorship and economic collapse – quite the presidential platform.  Naturally, it is supported by the same sorts of lunatics who think that looting and burning down the businesses of poor and middle class people, and removing police protection from them, are great advances in “social justice.”

Related posts:

The rule of lawlessness

Scientism: America’s state religion

The experts have no one to blame but themselves

What “the science” is saying this week

The lockdown is no longer morally justifiable

The lockdown and appeals to authority

The burden of proof is on those who impose burdens

The lockdown’s loyal opposition

Some thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis

142 comments:

  1. Preach! I hope you touch on this topic during your spot at the virtual Catholic conference that Matt Fradd is putting on nest week

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  2. Ed, you should run for the United States Senate one of these years. You would have a field day annihilating the fallacies of the Dems.

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    1. Philosophers don't make good politicians though...

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    2. Yeah, unfortunately. Politics in a democracy practically rewards sophistry, not clear thought. Much better for a philosopher to sit behind the scenes and provide the intellectual ammunition for politicians (the non-RINOs, of course).

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    3. I would agree with you guys for 99% of philosophers. Ed isn't any ordinary philosopher though. He speaks well, he is funny, and he is also very relatable. Not to mention, he can dish it out when it is warranted.

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    4. @Mister Geocon

      Unfortunately, philosophers have an extremely poor track record when it comes to political views. Heidegger was literally a Nazi, St. Thomas Aquinas literally believed all women had brain of squirrel, Plato aided and abetted Dion of Syracuse, Marcus Aurellius was a persecutor of Christians, Confucius was a Machiavellian power-seeker, and there are many more bad examples I can name.

      The only philosophers I know of that were decent by moral standards were Jesus of Nazareth (and perhaps his great influence Philo of Alexandria), St. Edith Stein, Karl Popper, and Immanuel Kant.

      Sigh, and it looks like Dr. Feser is Hell-bent on continuing that ignominious tradition by supporting Trump.

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    5. DrUmPf Is lItTeRAlLy hItLEr!!!

      Yes, because preferring Trump to Biden is obviously a sign of great moral evil.



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    6. @Anonymous

      Under Biden's watch, Ebola entered the United States, was identified, and in the end only killed maybe 1 or 2 people.

      Under Trump's watch... you know the numbers.

      Both Trump and Hiter do, in fact, share one thing in common (besides DJT's latent antisemitism): both destroyed their respective continents but are venerated as gods by their supporters.

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    7. Ebola is quite a different disease to Covid. Of course, everywhere else has handled Covid much better. Oh wait...

      Trump is the most philo-Semitic president in US history and has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren. I think you mean the Democrats' latent, and sometimes not so latent, anti-Semitism.

      You sound unbalanced.

      Here's a question for you. Which candidate wishes to kill allow even more babies to be killed? What would Jesus say about that?

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    8. Which candidate wishes to kill allow even more babies to be killed? What would Jesus say about that?

      Would you vote for a Dixiecrat slave owner who was pro-life? He wants abortion banned under all circumstances because he's genuinely pro-life... that he can enslave. He loves nothing more than seeing new life being brought into the world (that he can enslave shortly after puberty).

      CLEARLY the hero of the story whom Jesus would back 120% amirite?

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    9. Are you incapable of writing anything that is not absurdly hyperbolic?

      In answer to your asinine scenario, I'd ask what the alternative was. A Dixiecrat who wanted to murder babies? Or an abolitionist baby murderer, maybe?

      Who said Trump was a hero? You seem to have a hard time grasping the difference between preferring one of two candidates and worshipping one of them. This, and the fact you clearly believe outlandish and unhinged things about Trump, is why you think that Feser preferring Trump to Biden is somehow morally problematic.

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    10. @Anonymous

      Would you support a pro-life enslaver or an abolitionist baby murderer?

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    11. Would you prefer Hitler or Stalin?

      More importantly, what does this unhinged scenario have to do with anything? Would you prefer a pro-life boor or a leftist baby murderer?

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    12. Trump is not just a boor. He's responsible for 200k people dying. And I'm sure at least a few of those 200k were babies. That makes Trump just as guilty of baby murder as Biden, does it not?

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    13. No, because, (1), that's hysterical bs and, (2), even if it were not, it would out of incompetence and not deliberate, presumably. I suppose though you may have just lost your mind completely and think Trump deliberately killed people with Covid.

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    14. I suppose though you may have just lost your mind completely and think Trump deliberately killed people with Covid.

      Murder by depraved indifference exists.

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    15. If only there were any relevance to that instead of it being part of your delusional fever dream. Besides, it isn't as bad as crushing the skulls of infants, is it.

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    16. Besides, it isn't as bad as crushing the skulls of infants, is it.

      This is appealing to disgust, which is argumentum ad affectum. Just because Trump murdered babies in a pretty way but Biden does in a disgusting way does not make Trump innocent.

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    17. If only there were any relevance to that instead of it being part of your delusional fever dream.

      200k people died. That isn't part of my delusional fever dream. The question is: what number of those 200k is Trump's fault?

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    18. No, it is an appeal to intent, obviously. I doubt you are even so deluded that you think Trump deliberately wanted people to die.

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    19. It's good to see you can actually differentiate the US Coronoavirus deaths under Trump from those he might have been responsible for. I was beginning to think your terminal TDS prevented you from even realizing there could be such a distinction.

      Trump talked some crap about Coronoavirus, but there's little evidence of widespread butchery in his administration's actual handling of the crisis. There's nothing on the scale of Cuomo's nursing home policy.

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    20. "Widespread botchery"

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    21. Abortion is the last bastion of the Trumpets. Tomorrow, he'll order his Nazi supporters to kill a 100 people as a show of force, and yall will still say, "But Biden would kill thousands of unborn babies, surely that would be worse!"

      There is no arguing with minds that are warped and twisted like this. So question, what must he do for you to stop supporting him? If he rapes a child in person, will that do?

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    22. "Abortion is the last bastion of the Trumpets" - if Biden is elected he will remove the Hyde Ammendment which saves tens of thousands of pre-born lives every single year. How can you support that? The slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, abortion, is the preeminent injustice of our time, change my mind.

      If Trump rapes someone, I would support his removal from office, criminal prosecution, castration, and perhaps even capital punishment. Then I would support Mike Pence stepping up to the plate to lead the U.S.

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    23. But of course we both know that Trump isn't a nazi or a rapist nor has he done anything remotely deserving of such murderous slander. You just don't like the big orange man. For all his bluster and shortcomings he delivers on his word and has courage, two things lacking in almost every politician on both sides of the aisle. A sane person would at least give him that. These two things also happen to be the things most fundamental to a good politician in a democracy.

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    24. ...and has courage...

      He has boldness, not courage. Never confuse the two. "A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways." (Proverbs 21:29)

      But the truth is that there has never been a documented case of someone supporting a politician for exactly one or two reasons. Every time someone throws his or her support, there require three reasons at least.

      So the people who support Trump because he's against abortion are hiding something.

      And the people who support Trump because he's against abortion and protects religious freedom are STILL hiding something. What's the third reason, Dr. Feser?

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    25. Kyle,

      "How can I support that?" I'll tell you how - because I know that abortions won't stop with a ban, they'll just get bloodier. Had you not studied history? Remember the Prohibition and the Dry Law? Yeah, they both led to disastrous results. If you want abortions to end, the way to do it is to ensure that women don't want and don't have to undergo them. But of course, that's too close to the Scandinavian socialism for your liking. We can't let a pregnant woman take a maternity leave for 12 months, that's too hard on the employer. We need to protect the employers, and their money, because if we don't, they'll run to China and India. Same old warped thinking fostered by the irrational fear of the Mccarthyism era. It's no coincidence that predominantly white men in their 40s (and up) support the Reps. They were conditioned to.

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    26. So Stranger is pro-baby murder. I am very surprised.

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    27. Also the point about outlawing abortions not ending them is very weak. All sorts of crimes are still committed, even though they are illegal. We don't legalize these though because, for one thing, it seems likely they would be more common in that case and, as well, we think that intrinsically they should be illegal and punished, whether or not that actually prevents many of them. Why compare abortion to alcohol prohibition and not robbery or murder? Murder is illegal and yet still occurs. Perhaps we should legalize it then?

      So not only do you have to prove that banning abortion won't make a significant difference to the number of abortions that occur, but even if you can show this, it doesn't mean abortion shouldn't still be banned by its very nature.

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    28. Unbalanced, perhaps Feser also prefers Trump because he generally prefers the policies and platform of the Republicans?

      If we leave behind your paranoid delusions of Trump as a Nazi or personally going around infecting babies with Covid and presumably turning off ventilators when no one is looking , we can say that he's an is oaf and a jerk and the inner workings of his administration have sometimes been chaotic. However for a conservative his administration has generally governed okay and is far preferable to what a Clinton one would have been or what a Biden/Harris one will be like. There's nothing nefarious here. Many of us on the right don't much like Trump and even wish he wasn't on the top of the Republican ticket. If he loses in a few weeks, as seems likely, a good deal of the blame will be his. But that doesn't mean we agree with the fever dreams of those with terminal TDS or even think that he has done anything so bad that we are in conscience bound to vote for the increasingly hard left Democrats. If you experience any lucidity in the near future, hopefully you will grasp these obvious points.

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    29. I am absolutely baffled at Tryte's bizarre assertion that no single-issue voters (or even dual-issue voters, apparently) exist or ever have existed. Where on earth did you get that idea from, man? How on Earth do you know that's the case? Did you read every single record of someone giving their rationale for voting for a candidate, and note that every single one listed three or more reasons? Even if you had done that ludicrous task, it still wouldn't justify your claim, because there could easily be single-issue voters that didn't give an interview about their reasons for voting, or it could also be that the single-issue voters can also think of a couple of other, less important reasons why they like their candidate, but those are ancillary to their decision to vote for him, because their support is predicated primarily on his agreement with them on this key point.

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    30. @Cantus

      Tryte's

      Your curse back on your own head.

      @Anonymous

      Unbalanced

      Your curse back on your own head.

      Anyway think of the above as my parting presents, because I'm leaving. You see Dr. Feser knows that whenever a forum is unmoderated, they tend to have leftwing views proliferate. But instead of recognizing the obvious conclusion (conservatives stop posting out of their own free will because leftwing views are stronger than theirs) they invented something called "Conquest's three laws of organizations" that classifies it as something to be rooted out without mercy.

      It's like how Usenet used to be, when a neonazi would post something Hitlerish on alt.us.politics and subsequently get compared to Hitler. Instead of recognising that nobody else gets compared to Hitler except them and take that as evidence that maybe at least one thing about them resembles Hitler, the neonazis made up something called "Godwin's law" that bans people from identifing it.

      So it's really just waiting for Dr. Feser's other shoe to drop before he names "Conquest's Second Law" or whatever bs social convention conservatives confabulate.

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    31. Unbalanced, you should seek help. You do nothing but make hyperbolic rants. Who on earth has posted something Hitlerish?

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    32. Anonymous,

      Getoutta here with this nonsense. Takes five minutes of googling to find the relevant studies that show that abortion bans in other countries ended up doing more harm.

      And here's a hard concept that you need to diagest - murder is outlawed because the supermajority of people agree that it should be outlawed. A law only works when it is culturally popular. Women in the Arabic nations are ok with wearing hijabs, but try and force the American women to wear those, see what happens.

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    33. @Anonymous here's what a famous Jewish mathematician has to say about Trump:

      "But it’s also plausible that Trump simply declares himself the winner on election night, because the mail-in votes, urban votes, yet-to-be-counted votes, or any other votes that trend the wrong way are fake [...] I know, I know, I’m mentally ill, it’s Trump Derangement Syndrome, I see Nazis behind every corner just because they killed most of my relatives..."

      You can accuse me, a silly gentile, of being a shrill liberal, but what about a Jew who has Holocaust survivors in his lineage? Is he suffering from "Trump Derangement Syndrome" when he says Trump is being Hitlerish? The fact that Trump's daughter married a Jew (because DJT doesn't care about anyone other than himself) doesn't prove he's not an antisemite anymore than casting an African-American character in a sitcom proves that a casting director is against racism. It's just a shrewd political move... which makes Trump more dangerous than Hitler, because Hitler was a brain-damaged war veteran.

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    34. Stranger, you argue very poorly. Instead of responding to my actual points, you start talking about some vague claim of more harm. Do these studies show there are fewer abortions when it is banned? That's the point. Those of us who don't think infanticide is okay, consider this the main issue. Measures that allow infanticide but lessen other harms from abortion are sinply unacceptable.

      Your second paragraph has no direct relevance to our discussion. We were discussing whether those of us who are against baby murder should vote for Trump or Biden. If you want to argue for baby murder, do it somewhere else. Try to stick to the actual argument. Besides, it is irrelevant to the discussion of whether prohibiting abortion would lead to fewer abortions.

      Unbalanced, you are saying Trump had his daughter marry a Jewish and become Jewish for political reasons and to hide his Nazism? Dude, seriously? Have you missed your medication or something, Timotheus?

      Also Stranger is here defending baby murder. Aren't you a Catholic? Why are you more interesting in spouting conspiracies about Trump than that?

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    35. Unbalanced, you are saying Trump had his daughter marry a Jewish and become Jewish for political reasons and to hide his Nazism? Dude, seriously? Have you missed your medication or something, Timotheus?

      You can either listen to what Jews with family who went through the Holocaust say about Trump or not. The choice is yours.

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    36. But it’s also plausible that Trump simply declares himself the winner on election night, because the mail-in votes, urban votes, yet-to-be-counted votes, or any other votes that trend the wrong way are fake [...]

      That's a pretty funny charge, given that the Dems have, for DECADES, been busy with systemic mis-counting of ballots, losing them, etc. (I know it because my father caught them at it 50 years ago in my hometown.) Add in the nonsense of voting dead people, putting illegal immigrants on the rolls, etc. Not that doing so is a good thing, but if the Republicans start doing it, it's because they learned it from the Dems. So the Dems should clean up their own house before they accuse the Republicans.

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    37. @Tony Skepticism of the integrity of the voting system is seditious thinking. If you continue to put your ideology before natural law, you could end up in Hell!

      Go to confession. It is always open to sinners... who aren't stubborn. (1 Samuel 15:23)

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    38. Unbalanced, you can consult your therapist for help with your increasing paranoia or not. The choice is yours.

      How about we ask Ben Shapiro? An Orthodox Jew and the number one target for white supremacist threats and abuse online in 2016? He is no Trump fanatic, but he scoffs at paranoid delusions like Trump is a Nazi.

      I think Trump might not accept the results if he loses, much as the Dems haven't accepted his victory the first time around (are they going to hell?) and won't accept a surprise Trump win this time. But if so he will do it through Twitter and whinning. What he won't do is orchestrate a coup or hold himself up in the White House, Scarface style. Trump should be condemned for this, assuming that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but so should the Dems the last four years (Stacey Abrams anyone?).

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    39. Anonymous, first off, stop calling it "infanticide," as fetus is not an infant. You won't score any rhetorical points with me.

      Second, yes, the studies that show that bans are not effective at reducing abortion rates are a plenty. Here, I got one. Took me 2 min to locate

      https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-rates-don-t-drop-when-procedure-outlawed-it-does-ncna1235174

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    40. I'm not trying to score points with you, as you don't seem to understand what the argument we were having is. It was premised on rejecting baby murder. You aren't going to win pro-lifers over Biden by defending abortion itself.

      That article is by a pro-abort activitist, and it doesn't show what you claim. It is comparing countries with different legal regimes, not what happens to the rate in a single country if abortion is banned. It defies to think prohibition wouldn't reduce the rate here. It would make it a risky and less straightforward process, so will clearly deter some women. But as I said, this is secondary. If you think abortion is killing a baby, then you don't legalize it whatever happens.

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    41. Anonymous,

      You didn't bother to read the report itself, did you? It answers your questions. I have little patience for lazy interlocutors.

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    42. @Anonymous

      "It defies to think prohibition wouldn't reduce the rate here."

      It defies to think that mandating helmets for all NFL players would increase the incidence of serious head concussions, but it's true. The phenomenon even has a name: risk homeostasis.

      Similarly, when it comes to vices, there's risk antifragility: banning the vices (drugs, abortion, prostitution, etc...) causes them to proliferate, as there's no longer a feedback mechanism to keep these social behaviors in check.

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  3. I’ve posted this link before, but in May, Unicef claimed lockdowns would kill 1.2 million children under 5 every six months, which makes the “cure” much, much worse than the disease. I don’t know if I believe that number, but to some people ignoring the cost of poverty has become an industry. My best guess is they hate Trump so bad they don’t care about anything else. Why they give the man so much rent-free space in their brains, I can’t say. TDS is real I guess.

    https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/covid-19-devastates-already-fragile-health-systems-over-6000-additional-children

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    1. I don't think it is just Trump, as the left has generally been more pro-lock down across the West. This isn't uniform though, because in Israel they tend to be more opposed than the mainstream right. I think a lot of it is that politics today is very oppositional. If one side takes one position, the other side must take the opposite position. This doesn't just affect the left, alas. But I think the left tend to be more okay with lock downs anyway because they are more at ease with government restrictions and are more likely to think that government payments can make up for employment and business activity restricted or prohibited during the lock downs. Some leftist lock down enthusiasts have shown bemusement at the idea that there is much difference between earning a wage and getting a welfare check. Finally, leftists, especially those who make the biggest noise on social media, are well-represented in upper middle class professions that have been less hard hit by lock downs. Most of the leftist lock down enthusiasts aren't factory workers or bar workers. At worst they have just had to work at home more, which for some is actually a benefit and not a cost of Covid restrictions.

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  4. The Catholic Church has a long and we'll defined track record of what it means by social justice. Nowadays it seems to mean however Jack Dorsey happens to feel on a given day.

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  5. It's a little saddening to see Dr. Feser promote things like The Great Barrington Declaration (see the review in Scinece-based Medicine, and referring to adding more judges as the hyperbolic "destroy the independence of the judiciary". It's very over-the-top rhetoric, not reasoned discussion.

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    1. One Brow, there's so much wrong here, I don't know where to begin.

      First, it's not even consensus that the lockdowns are necessary. Here's an article on the WHO claiming that the lockdowns should stop, along with many other experts: https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-europe-director-says-governments-should-stop-enforcing-lockdowns/5726758

      Second, your article talks about "Covid-19 Deniers", which is always a red flag for me for two reasons - 1) the language of "denier" brings to mind "Holocaust denier" by association, which implies that anyone who "denies Covid" is as much a threat to society as Nazism, which is pretty hyperbolic, and 2) those who deny that lockdowns are necessary do not deny that Covid-19 exists or is a health concern, only that the lockdowns are worse.

      Third, you refer to "court-packing" as not being that big a deal when it is. It's an attempt to radically change the court in whatever political direction the President of the United States desires it to go. That would, in some sense, "destroy the independence of the judiciary" because, at any time, the President can decide to push for adding more Supreme Court seats if he disagrees with the judiciary. If you think that that sort of thing isn't bad, then go right ahead. But don't be surprised when other people disagree with you.

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    2. Mister Geocon,

      It is the consensus in the US that lock downs are not necessary, because I am not aware of any lock downs in the US.

      Denialism is a style of argumentation. Perhaps your scope is so limited that you have only seen it applied to Holocaust denialism, but I have seen it used describing tobacco company rhetoric, opponents of climate change science, creationists, anti-vaxxers, and many other positions. So, perhaps you could try expanding your mind instead of expecting others to close theirs to meet your comfort.

      My only reference to "court packing" was that it is in no way the same as an the judiciary being independent. There were more cases decided 9-0 in the 2019-20 docket than there were decided 5-4.

      Adds for adding 2 more seats to SCOTUS, I think that is a mistake. However, I understand the impulse that when the other side is playing dirty and just for power, it's hard to take the high road (we could get into a discussion of who has played dirtier in the last 20 years, but that would be a long discussion and likely not change anyone's opinion). However, unless you have some way of restoring the 60-vote minimum after you add the seats, and making it stick, I don't see a stopping point to tit-for-tat escalation, and I don't want to see a 17-member SCOTUS.

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    3. One Brow,

      There are people arguing for lockdowns in America though, and on the basis of "the science."

      "Denialism" is an intellectual slur used to conflate a bunch of different things with Nazism. It does not describe "a style of argumentation."

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    4. One Brow,

      If you're using a word in an atypical sense (or at least in a sense that is not common among the group you are speaking to), it's common courtesy to explain the meaning you're using, since it's unreasonable to expect your interlocutors to go and read reams of literature in order to understand your point. Secondly, you don't seem to have actually answered the point about court-packing. Geocon claimed that it was ridiculous to think that court-packing wasn't a big deal, but your response didn't seem to really address that. First you say that the fact that most Supreme Court cases are unanimous or near-unanimous shows that the Court's independence wouldn't be threatened by packing. But that seems wrong - if the President can force the Court to rule in his favour, then the Court is not independent, even if the President rarely actually does so (he probably wouldn't, since there would rarely be a need for such a thing).

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    5. How is it hyperbolic to refer to court-packing as destroying the independence of the judiciary when it would be to literally destroy the last semblance that the judiciary is anything but political? Not only would this invite tit-for-tat from Republicans, but it would risk states and perhaps the executive just ignoring the courts. If a SCOTUS newly packed with Democratic appointees, for example, strikes down abortion regulations in Texas, then this would make it very tempting for Texas just to ignore the court. Why listen to a nakedly partisan body like that? In the past SCOTUS was seen as an independent, somewhat non-partisan whose decisions are somewhat outside normal partisan back and forth. Court-packing ends all semblance of that. Court-packing is constitutional terrorism, and about as far as you can go in hacking at the legitimacy of the courts and the constitutional order itself without using force. This is why I doubt Biden at least actually will go there. But there is no comparison between, at worst, the lack of niceties involved in not voting on Garland or in confirming Barrett and court-packing.

      By the way, we shouldn't pretend there is symmetry between Republican and Democrat appointees. Democrats continue to appoint people for whom law and ideological preference are inseparable, which is the root of the current issues with the court. Republicans tend to appoint people who try to separate their policy preferences from their jurisprudence. As Ilya Shapiro has shown, even the stats back this up: Republicans appointees are more likely than Democratic ones to rule against their presumed ideological preferences because the law requires it. The solution to the crisis is for the Democrats to follow Republicans in this and start appointing people who aren't ideologues in robes. They don't have to be originalists. They could be minimalists like Roberts, or they could have a common law- strongly precedence bound approach, but they need to have a judicial philosophy that separates law and policy. Perhaps it would be good for Republicans and Democrats to actually work together in this and come up with a framework for what is acceptable and what is not. Originalism is not entirely uniform, though it helps bring a degree of uniformity and actual jurisprudence back to the courts, and not all originalists are going to rule exactly as Bork or Scalia would have. But a common framework might help diffuse a lot of the issues.

      Denialism is a slur thrown around by those who wish to create some vague association to Holocaust denial. It's a strange use of open-mindedness to be open to such sophistry, but each to their own I suppose.

      Delete
    6. SciencebasedMedicine hardly seems a neutral publication. It is owned by the New England Skeptical Society. If you look at their main page, they clearly are clearly on the more panicked side of the Covid debates. What's needed is to steer a course between those who are too dismissive of Covid and those for whom hiking or driving in your car demands mask usage. Ben Shapiro actually does this well. Some on the right are too dismissive. You should wear a mask when in crowded places, for example, and close to people, especially if there is a Covid outbreak in your area. You don't need a mask when jogging, driving, or when you aren't in close contact with others. Lock downs are a bad idea, but social distancing is a good one. Covid is quite risky for the old and vulnerable, but isn't statistically for the young.

      Delete
    7. Mister Geocon,

      There are people arguing for lockdowns in America though, and on the basis of "the science."

      Since we don't have lock downs, they have lost.

      "Denialism" is an intellectual slur used to conflate a bunch of different things with Nazism. It does not describe "a style of argumentation."

      I don't know if it still exists online, but I went through Mark Hoodnagle's "Denialist Deck of Cards" a couple of times. It was entirely about tactics like false scientists, press releases, portraying odd events as normal, etc. Nothing about the Holocaust, Nazis, etc. You are the person making the association, for reasons I can only speculate on.

      Delete
    8. Cantus,

      If you're using a word in an atypical sense (or at least in a sense that is not common among the group you are speaking to), it's common courtesy to explain the meaning you're using, since it's unreasonable to expect your interlocutors to go and read reams of literature in order to understand your point.

      You are correct. That's why explained denialism as a style of argument, and did not once ask people to sort through reams of evidence about what denialism is. I wish I was surprised at the degree that you mischaracterized what I said.

      Secondly, you don't seem to have actually answered the point about court-packing.


      Because 1), my comment was on the notion of whether this would affect judicial independence, which no one has made a serious attempt to defend, and 2) as you failed to notice, I agree adding more justices is likely a bad idea.

      But that seems wrong - if the President can force the Court to rule in his favour, ...

      The President has no control over how the justices vote after they are appointed. I have heard a lot of over-blown rhetoric from the left about Barrett helping to decide the election in Trump's favor, and I consider it to be nonsense. I consider it also to be a nonsensical result from adding two more justices.

      Delete
    9. Sir Edward Coke,

      How is it hyperbolic to refer to court-packing as destroying the independence of the judiciary when it would be to literally destroy the last semblance that the judiciary is anything but political?

      The judiciary has been political since 1789, and independent since 1789. Adding justices won't change that.

      In the past SCOTUS was seen as an independent, somewhat non-partisan ...

      Nostalgia bias.

      By the way, we shouldn't pretend there is symmetry between Republican and Democrat appointees. Democrats continue to appoint people for whom law and ideological preference are inseparable, which is the root of the current issues with the court. Republicans tend to appoint people who try to separate their policy preferences from their jurisprudence.

      If you are that blinded to reality, there is little point in having a reasoned discussion with you. A great part of the reason the Federalist society exists is to ensure judicial purity in Republican appointments.

      As Ilya Shapiro has shown, even the stats back this up: Republicans appointees are more likely than Democratic ones to rule against their presumed ideological preferences because the law requires it.

      Perhaps the reason is that the Democratic position are more lawful to begin with.

      Denialism is a slur thrown around by those who wish to create some vague association to Holocaust denial.

      I've been online for over two decades, and I have never seen it used that way. There are a lot of people around here very sensitive to Holocaust denial. How interesting.

      It's a strange use of open-mindedness to be open to such sophistry, but each to their own I suppose.

      I see no reason to think you know sophistry when you see it.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous,
      SciencebasedMedicine hardly seems a neutral publication. It is owned by the New England Skeptical Society. If you look at their main page, they clearly are clearly on the more panicked side of the Covid debates.

      In political terms, I see their authors attacking Democratic support of alternative medicine just as harshly as Republican intransience on masks. However, I agree they are not neutral on covid19 responses. The mean position is not always correct.

      Delete
    11. One Brow, you seem to lack basic integrity. At multiple points in your response you seem to have gone out of your way to rely on dishonesty. Who doesn't realize the entire point of the term denialism is to evoke Holocaust denial? Why else would that specific term have been chosen?

      Your claims about the political nature of the judiciary in the past are unexplained and unsupported, but even allowing it has never been entirely remove politics from the courts, that's no reason to embrace the outright replacement of law by politics and ideology and jurists for ideologues in robes, which is what the Democrats have been doing increasingly for decades. Perfection is never possible, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try do our best.

      Your point about the Federalist Society is a seemingly deliberate obfuscation. They are expressly committed to advocate not for judges that will give specific outcomes, but who hold judicial philosophies that treat the law as separate from politics and ideology. The existence and importance of bodies on the right like the Federalist Society actually supports my point, not yours. The Democrats have reached the point where basically all they care about in a judge is whether he will give them the outcomes they want in politically and socially important cases. This is entirely absent from the right, but it is far less prominent. There's no symmetry between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to politicizing the court. And the stats actually back this up, as I said. Republican appointees are far more likely than Democrat ones to rule against their presumed policy preferences because they think the law demands it.

      Delete
    12. *this isn't entirely absent from the right...

      Delete
    13. One Brow is well known for being a liar and a sophist. It probably isn't worth trying to engage him.

      Delete
    14. Sir Edward Coke,
      One Brow, you seem to lack basic integrity. At multiple points in your response you seem to have gone out of your way to rely on dishonesty. Who doesn't realize the entire point of the term denialism is to evoke Holocaust denial? Why else would that specific term have been chosen?

      I see no reason to give a fig for your evaluation of my integrity, you'd have to open your eyes to reality first before you could see. Denialism has been referred to regarding all sorts of beliefs and science-opposing positions for a long time now. Here's a book from 2010, for example:

      https://www.amazon.com/Denialism-Irrational-Thinking-Scientific-Threatens/dp/B003JTHRFU

      I see you attempt to claim I am equating you to Holocaust deniers as nothing more than a self-serving effort to shut down the conversation regarding a dishonest argumentation tactic.

      Your claims about the political nature of the judiciary in the past are unexplained and unsupported,

      As were yours. However, if you would like to have an extended conversation on the political lens through which the judiciary was seen in the 19th or early 20th century, we certainly can.

      ...Democrats have been doing increasingly for decades....

      Yet, the only people I read complaints from, regarding ideological purity of SCOTUS justices, are conservatives who say that justices like Souter have disappointed them.

      They are expressly committed to advocate not for judges that will give specific outcomes, but who hold judicial philosophies that treat the law as separate from politics and ideology.

      They expressly advocate for interpreting the law in a specific way ("originalism") that, as it benefitted the wealthy, white, male, landowners that were our founders, would also benefit wealthy, white, male, landowners today. It's a philosophy carefully chosen and developed to support a particular political point of view.

      Delete

    15. Anonymous,
      One Brow is well known for being a liar and a sophist. It probably isn't worth trying to engage him.

      We all know you are upset at your inability to hold a detailed, accurate argument with someone who disagrees with you. You don't need to broadcast it regularly.

      Delete
    16. Anon,

      It is clear you are right. He clearly is a troll and not worth bothering with. Look at his latest offerings! Lesson learnt.

      Delete
    17. For example, not only is his point about why Republicans believe in originalism crudely conspiratorial, almost a parody of hard left, Wokeness, it is an obvious genetic fallacy. Many Republicans and conservatives could favor originalism because it furthers their interests, but that is irrelevant to the truth or judicial utility of the theory. Anyway who argues in so obviously sophistical ways is either a stupid or dishonest or both. Whichever ever it is, he isn't worth arguing with.

      Delete
    18. Sir Edward Coke,
      For example, not only is his point about why Republicans believe in originalism crudely conspiratorial,

      Conspiratorial? The effort to sit sit right-leaning judges, using the cloak of originalism as a legal cover, is open knowledge and well-understood by anyone who pays attention. There is no conspiracy.


      ...almost a parody of hard left, Wokeness, it is an obvious genetic fallacy.

      Blindness to faults of those we agree with is a human fallacy.

      Many Republicans and conservatives could favor originalism because it furthers their interests, but that is irrelevant to the truth or judicial utility of the theory.

      There is no "truth" to a judicial theory, they are chosen by people because they produce the results they want, most of the time. As for "utility", every judicial theory can be utilized.

      Anyway who argues in so obviously sophistical ways is either a stupid or dishonest or both. Whichever ever it is, he isn't worth arguing with.

      Unlike you, I have no problem arguing with the stupid, dishonest, or self-blinded, because I am at heart an educator.

      Delete
    19. It isn't that there aren't issues to be explored here. Judicial philosophy is a complex and intriguing topic. But everything about your posts screams bad faith. You seem to constantly reach for the least charitable interpretations, as in your point about the utility of judicial theory, or to make extreme and simplistic assumptions, such as your writing off Originalism as a fig leaf for Republican self-interest. I will not be wasting my time with you.

      Delete
    20. Sir Edward Coke,

      When I encounter a poster who makes statements like "The Democrats have reached the point where basically all they care about in a judge is whether he will give them the outcomes they want in politically and socially important cases.", I'm not overly worried about what they think is "bad faith" or "the least charitable interpretations". Less than 5 years ago, our Democratic President deliberately chose a judge that Republicans had previously recommended as an acceptable choice for SCOTUS, and the Republicans would give give him so much as a hearing, because they wanted a judge they felt would rule in cases the way they wanted. This is an excellent example of the Republicans acting in bad faith, and your statements are excellent example of offering the least charitable interpretations for Democrats.

      By contrast, I am only saying the Republicans are behaving as most humans behave. I assure you, I could come up with far less charitable interpretations than that, this one just happens to reflect what I think.

      I think not engaging with me will be best for you. You mind find your viewpoint expanded in uncomfortable ways.

      Delete
    21. Tedious in the extreme. Why would you think this bs would expand my viewpoint exactly?

      Anyway even if my allegation were in fact an uncharitable or hyperbolic statement, it would only be a single example, whereas your posts are littered with them. They include little else.

      Besides it isn't either of those. For a start, that statement is supported by the facts. Not only does Democratic and liberal discussion of SCOTUS appointments revolve almost entirely around outcomes and not judicial and legal philosophy, which is just not true of Republicans and conservatives, but the stats actually show Democratic appointees are far less likely to rule against their perceived ideological preferences or to break ranks with the other justices appointed by their party. On the other hand, you are making conjectures about the motives of Republicans that are crude and simplistic and go far beyond what can be supported by anything you have proven. It is also fallacious anyway, as noted, to try to discredit originalism in this way. Originalism might have judicial utility, based on whether it satisfies criteria like stability, the rule of law, and so on, whether or not Republicans support it for solely self-interested reasons.

      Delete
    22. Sir Edward Coke,
      Tedious in the extreme. Why would you think this bs would expand my viewpoint exactly?

      Honestly, I don't think it would. You keep views in a tightly locked vault.

      Anyway even if my allegation were in fact an uncharitable or hyperbolic statement, it would only be a single example, whereas your posts are littered with them. They include little else.

      Yes, it was one example, but there are easily a half-dozen more just in our exchange. Your entire approach has been that the Democrats/liberals are judicially principle-free, while the Republicans/conservatives are primarily concerned with principles. That is blatant nonsense.

      Not only does Democratic and liberal discussion of SCOTUS appointments revolve almost entirely around outcomes and not judicial and legal philosophy, which is just not true of Republicans and conservatives,

      When is Republican is President, liberals discuss outcomes and conservatives discuss judicial philosophy for a SCOTUS appointment. When a Democrat is President, conservatives discuss outcomes and liberals discuss judicial philosophy. Perhaps you are so young you don't remember the discussions around Sotomayer and Kagan.

      Originalism might have judicial utility, based on whether it satisfies criteria like stability, the rule of law, and so on, whether or not Republicans support it for solely self-interested reasons.

      Of course originalism has credibility. So does doctrinalism, structuralism, and more than a half-dozen other philosophies. You can always find a philosophy to fit the outcomes you think are right.

      Delete
  6. I think the left-wing Jacobin has the best perspective. And yes, I concur with Dr. Feser's point about how the lockdowns are consequentialist in nature.

    ReplyDelete
  7. OP,
    "Children and young adults have minimal risk, and there is no scientific or public health rationale to close day care centers, schools, or colleges."
    Clearly the author has not thought in any significant depth about how infectious diseases spread.

    Schools are closed so kids don't become the vector to infect nearly everybody else. Pretty simple.

    Kids don't live in a vacuum. They are taught by older people called teachers. They go home to live with older people called parents, siblings, and grandparents.

    A number of states are experiencing increases in cases that are pushing health care to near maximum capacity.

    Opening up schools will cause an explosion in cases throughout the population and could very well push cases far past capacity, to say nothing of the suffering of all those cases on a human level.

    The responsible thing to do is continue mitigation measures until a vaccine is fielded.

    ReplyDelete
  8. OP,
    "who will not tell us whether he intends to destroy the independence of the judiciary"
    The Republicans already destroyed the independence of the judiciary by breaking the democratic norm of always seating a justice of the opposing party, if not the first nominee then a subsequent nominee.

    Democrats and Republicans alike have maintained that democratic norm for my entire life.

    I challenge Dr. Feser and all the readers here to cite another instance in your personal living memory wherein a president did not in fact seat a justice when a vacancy arose, if not his first nominee then a subsequent nominee of his in his term.

    McConnell destroyed that democratic norm and with the confirmation of Amy Barrett the Republican court packing that has destroyed the independence of the judiciary will be a completed fact.

    In response the Democrats should unpack the court.

    Biden expanding the court will be unpacking the court to restore the balance and to put us on a path to return to the democratic norms the Republicans have already destroyed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Biden expanding the court will be unpacking the court to restore the balance and to put us on a path to return to the democratic norms the Republicans have already destroyed.

    Republicans actually toasted the court by embroidering democratic jelly beans, which put us on a jakooyoheehee to restore the flap.

    See, I can make up my own definitions, too, and I don't need a single citable source to back me up. I'm right and you are wrong, so you may as well agree with me.

    The court sits at nine. No packing was done, unless you can name one. Single. Source. That uses court packing in any other context than expanding it. Now you're saying black is white and expanding the court is UNpacking, leading everyone to weigh the options of concluding whether you are a teenager having fun trolling or an absolute idiot.

    One reputable source. One. Cite it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kevin,
      Cite one? You don’t read much, do you? Are you familiar with the use of google or other search engines?

      Below are just a few examples of how “packing” has been used over the years to describe an installation of allegedly or truthfully biased judges into a fixed number of seats. Duh.

      Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with the underlying arguments and accusations there is zero doubt that “packing” with reference to a fixed number of seats is in the literature.

      But, I will appeal to something more basic, reason, presumably you have some.

      Jury Packing.

      Does jury packing require an expansion of the number of seats? Obviously not. A jury is a panel of citizen judges, people who hear arguments and render a binding legal judgment.

      To pack a jury in no way requires that the number of jurors be increased, and indeed, a packed jury is still just 12 people. The act of packing a jury is to use some sort of dishonest, hypocritical, biased, or corrupt means of installing biased individuals to render judgment.

      Packing is not expanding the number, that is an absurd assertion.

      Packing is pushing in biased members into a fixed number of seats, obviously. How is this even a question?

      This idiotic assertion that packing somehow requires increasing the number of seats is one of the stupidest things conservatives have said recently.

      But, for the google addled here are just a few citations. Whether you agree with the arguments or not is irrelevant, the language of court packing in reference to a fixed number of seats is in the record, obviously, duh.

      Chuck Grassley
      stated on June 3, 2013 in a news release:
      Says President Barack Obama is trying to "pack" the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
      https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2013/jun/05/chuck-grassley/barack-obama-trying-pack-dc-circuit-court-appeals/

      Republicans Charge Obama With Court-Packing For Trying To Fill Empty Seats
      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/obama-court-packing_n_3347961

      Republicans already packing lower courts, even in California
      https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Republicans-are-already-packing-the-lower-courts-15651868.php

      Delete
  10. Are you familiar with the use of google or other search engines?

    Yes, in the other thread I cited several sources, including news, political, and historical organizations - including one that is dedicated to the Supreme Court itself - that, when they say "court packing", are referring specifically and exclusively to expanding the number of justices on the court.

    I don't care about juries. When you pack a suitcase, pack a jury, and pack the Supreme Court, they all mean different things. Juries are irrelevant.

    You cite a Politifact article that rates Grassley as "false" because his accusation of what Obama did does not meet the definition of court packing, which is expanding the number of seats. Your own source shot you down.

    Your Huffington Post article refutes Republicans' accusation because they agree that what Obama did was not court packing, because he did not expand the court. Your own source shot you down.

    The SF Chronicle site just made it up - they said it "could be labeled" as court-packing "of a different sort", despite no one else agreeing, but even that article calls expanding the court "packing". This is the closest to you providing a legitimate source, so that is progress.

    Conservatives made it up recently, did they? Look at the list I provided. Here it is:

    New York Times, the Washington Post, Fox News, CNN, CBS, NPR, Reuters, Politico, Newsweek, the LA Times, history.com, The Atlantic, Forbes, US News, NBC, Vox, the National Constitution Center, Smithsonian, the Supreme Court Historical Society, Duke, Cambridge, Politifact, and the Huffington Post.

    What a collection of conservative sites that say court packing is expanding the court!

    Since FDR tried to expand the court, court packing has referred to that practice. Everyone knows this and agrees with this. It is your little minority on the left that is attempting to change the definition to implicate Republicans, who have not packed the court and are against the practice currently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kenin,
      "I don't care about juries. When you pack a suitcase, pack a jury, and pack the Supreme Court, they all mean different things. Juries are irrelevant. "
      My presumption that you possess reason was incorrect. I admit that error now.

      "What a collection of conservative sites that say court packing is expanding the court!"
      You are again committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent (concluding the antecedent having affirmed the consequent).

      In simpler terms you have it back to front.

      Just because an article in some publication refers to expanding the court as "court packing" (in scarequotes)in no way implies that court packing is and only is expanding the courts.

      Go away, learn how to think, and come back when you are capable of not saying such stupid things as packing the court necessarily requires expanding the court. Where did you ever get such an inane idea?

      Just enter "republican court packing" into google or another search engine. You will quickly find that the destruction of democratic norms perpetrated by McConnell in the Obama term, in combination with subsequent confirmations, is now very broadly understood to be already perpetrated...

      Republican Court Packing.

      Obviously, duh, what part of this don't you get?

      Delete
    2. Don't Feed the Trolls!October 19, 2020 at 12:25 AM

      As his behavior on this issue has amply demonstrated, Stardusty is a noxious troll and should be ignored.

      Delete
  11. First up, my apologies for an off topic question, however I was hoping that someone on this forum might be able to help. I am looking for an introductory book on philosophy for a young teenager. There are plenty of Thomistic/Aristotelian works for an older audience, but none that I can easily find aimed at this age group. The books I can find for this age seem to amplify the problems with philosophy aimed at the lay person. I.e. a chapter on Greece before leaping to Descartes and from there a discussion that presupposes all of the metaphysical questions that one would most like to see discussed. The net result is that the first introduction to philosophy comes laden with assumptions that then have to be unlearnt, as it were, later rather than starting the exposure to philosophy on a sounder footing from the get go. Can anyone help? My thanks in advance and apologies again for being off topic.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Politics are a pratical thing, the goal of politics is to find the best means to get our common good. This means that we can only discuss the subject if we agree about the ends. Trying to discuss the means when you guys don't even want the same thing is like cooking with a friend, except that you want ice cream and your friend want spaghetti: it will suck.

    The modern idea we have of a pluralistic democratic state has citizens that disagree alot about the ends but need to discuss and "choose" together the means. Given that the citizens disagree so much about what they want, there is no point of contact that they can use to actually discuss the best means, the best they can do is a glorified shouting match where you pick a side and act as tribalistic as you can. This, of course, means that on a modern democratic state all you will have is a few elite that learned to use this system to steal from the rest all they can while making the citizens canibalize each other, that while the country still mantains "unity".

    The only solution i can see is to give a middle finger to the enlightenment and stop with this nonsensical idea of pluralistic societies. Instead of forcing everyone to live together, we could just have smaller states where the rules reflect the majority opinion more.

    Sure, there are probably problems with that, but it is worse that having to act like the world is gonna end everytime we have to choose the next idiot that will command? We at least should discuss that more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I largely agree with you, but at least in theory it would be possible to have a discussion about our different goals for what we think the "common good" should look like, and even come to some sort of compromise, reduced, imperfect goal that participates in whatever satisfies BOTH camps in terms of their separately conceived common goods. I tend to think that doing this would be a great deal more possible if we did in fact live in smaller, much more homogeneous "states" that, within each's own boundaries, did not have to put up with such pluralistic nonsense, and have the overarching federal entity with a greatly reduced role.

      Delete
    2. I agree that we could maybe do something like that IF we lived on smaller and more homogeneous societies, but i think that unless the diferent groups where kinda similar they would not get together very long, it is hard to mantain unity with nothing uniting.

      Think of something like Revolutionary Catalunia or some medieval kingdoms, in these cases you had some diferent groups that could kinda unite because of some fundamental agreement between them all. But when you have very diferent groups this is way harder, the tentation is to just think about your group and screw the rest.

      Delete
  13. I am pretty sure Feser's article is simply an exercise in shit-stirring, an opportune moment to throw red meat to his minions, most of whom here are of the Trumpist persuasion seeking desperately to rationalise and normalise their misguided subservience to Trump.
    It is gratifying, even a hint of hopefulness, a cleansing tsunami is about to sweep the US in a few days time, after which ethics and decency will again be the rightful touchstone for good-faith social relationships and unity going forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I am pretty sure Feser's article is simply an exercise in shit-stirring"

      That is because you are a notorious New Atheist troll and an idiot. We have enough these already. Get lost.

      Delete
    2. What you refer to Anonymous may seem trollish; but the substance of my contribution largely reflects the truth of the prevailing circumstance. To the arch-conservative right wing, even centrist position looks like socialism bordering on communism, even the policies of Biden, himself a practising devout Catholic. Feser's position as reflected in his OP is simply self-serving grievance piety that hasn't even the good grace of acknowledging Biden's own catholicism.

      But we all have a front seat as the upcoming drama unfolds.
      Incidentally, one is not a troll when the truth is spoken. Talk to me after the election.

      Cheers

      Delete
    3. This is not a first offense. Your New Atheist style stupidity is well -known and well-remembered.

      What substance are you talking about? There's no substance in your post. It's just mindless, partisan insults at Feser and his readers.

      Anyway what would you know of Catholicism? Riddle me this. What is the Church's teaching on abortion? And what is the status of this teaching? Has Biden or has Biden not be refused communion because of his stance on abortion?

      Delete
    4. See you after the election. :)
      Then we may be able to talk sense.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for as good as admitting you don't know anything about Catholicism. That is unlikely to change after the election.

      Delete
    6. Papal,
      "cleansing tsunami is about to sweep the US in a few days time"
      Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

      I know a lot of black people were not at all surprised Trump won because they understood the huge population of ignorance and bigotry that pervades so much of America, and is the majority in so many small states.

      Like a dormant virus these ignorant bigots lay low in their millions only to rise from the swamp on election day to install another minority clown that amuses them, only this time they got the worst con-man criminal incompetent president in history.

      Don't be so sure that mass if ignorant bigots has learned anything, in fact, those fools seem to embrace the criminal clown more and more with every crime he commits.

      Delete
    7. Well said Papalinton. Please continue to post as your comments and observations are appreciated by many. The maloderous cloacas who insult and abuse you and try to police the thread should just be passed over and ignored.

      Delete
    8. Unknown, you think Stardusty makes worthy contributions to the blog. In other words you're a partisan hack or an imbecile. Either way your opinion is worthless. Papalinton is no stranger here or on other religion/atheist blog. He has always been a tedious troll who couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag and he hasn't changed.

      Btw you had gone off in a huff at Feser. What happened? Don't let us detain you. We'd all rather you leave.

      Delete
    9. It is gratifying, even a hint of hopefulness, a cleansing tsunami is about to sweep the US in a few days time, after which ethics and decency will again be the rightful touchstone for good-faith social relationships and unity going forward.

      Democrats are not suddenly going to become decent people if they gain power.

      Delete
    10. Kevin:" Democrats are not suddenly going to become decent people if they gain power."

      That's true. The ethos of most Democrats reflect that they are already decent people.

      Delete
  14. In video, Catholic author Tom Woods gives a talk that might interest readers here: The Fact-free Covid Dystopia: https://youtu.be/Xy3tP-BW5do

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes have reservations about Woods here and there, but he makes a really important point about one aspect of the lockdowns: for a person who is poor and living hand-to-mouth (i.e. with no reserves, this day's income is needed immediately for today or tomorrow), saying "you may not perform your work, for the good of the community" is the same thing as saying "you must starve to death for the good of the community." This is NOT being kind to the poor. The assumption that people can just DEFER the vast majority of their life activities "until we figure out a solution" is simplistic, narrow-minded, and insensitive to the poor.

      Delete
  15. Surely there's a distinction between the inviolable right in itself to provide for oneself and one's family, and a right to do so in some specific manner, which isn't "inviolable" but is subject to the common good.

    And surely there's a distinction between lockdowns in themselves, which need not necessarily hugely adversely affect the working class, with wage replacements like they implemented in Scandinavian countries, and lockdowns as they were implemented in the U.S., with a cohort of Senate Republicans intransigently opposed to any such wage replacement/unemployment compensation measures (although giving mega$$$ to big corporations is A-OK).

    People with PhDs in philosophy are well aware of such distinctions. The failure to make them is simple intellectual dishonesty in fealty to a political agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. This place is really attracting an inferior variety of leftist these days. They all argue awfully, with begged questions, loaded language, and imbecility galore. What can Feser do to attract a better type of leftist?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous says: "Thanks for as good as admitting you don't know anything about Catholicism. That is unlikely to change after the election."

      I don't have a dog, or a god, in this religious fight, Anon. As you well know I have no need for subscribing to an antediluvian 'god' superstition (indeed, neither any of the myriad of gods available, both past and present) as an explanatory model about us, the world or the universe, be they Biden's, Feser's or your own version of the catholic variety. Equally, whether Biden is denied communion or not is both materially inconsequential and irrelevant to the circumstances.
      So, it's not that I don't know anything about catholicism, that whole line of discussion is simply immaterial. What's more important to me and I suspect, to most Americans, is that Biden is a decent, honest, and considerate human being, despite his catholicism.

      Delete
    3. You went out of your way to talk about Biden's devout Catholicism, yet now you say that is irrelevant to the circumstances? Biden dissents from a teaching, or perhaps more than one, that a faithful Catholic may not dissent from. That's why he was rightfully denied communion.

      Delete
    4. No, Anon. I didn't go out of my way to talk about Biden's devout catholicism. It was simply an observation. And as I said, Biden is a thoroughly decent, honourable, empathetic and dependable human being despite his being a catholic. He is just a regular nice guy. Just ask Barack Obama. :)
      I made the observation as a comparison to the truly ugly and un-befriending catholic commenters on this blog. Many on this blog could learn a lesson or two about decency and virtue from his example.

      Delete
    5. I agree Biden seems fairly decent. He's done some dodgy things, like plagiarize speeches. He has also said a few things that aren't that nice, like when he accused Mitt Romney of wanting to put black people back in chains. But I wouldn't like to say he is a bad guy. You see, I don't like to accuse my opponents of being truly ugly or un-befriending simply because I disagree with them politically. But then I haven't taken Papalinton's cause in advanced decency and virtue of course.

      Delete
    6. Anon says: "... like when he accused Mitt Romney of wanting to put black people back in chains."
      Context is everything, Anon. You are caught out telling one of those big lies that come so effortlessly by those that follow catholic morality. Romney at the time was in sync with Congressional Republicans about slashing funding to Medicare and Medicaid, cutting any relief for the middle class and directing bigger tax cuts to the wealthy. Romney wanted to 'unshackle business', unshackle Wall Street. And like much of Republican wealth and power it has always been about taking it from the have-nots and giving it to the haves under the absolutely fallacious and discredited 'trickle down' economics. And as we know the overwhelming majority of the have-nots are African Americans and other minorities.

      Indeed, you are shamelessly deceitful here knowing full well that Biden was riffing on the Republicans use of 'unshackling'.

      What Biden actually said was : "He [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They're going to put you all back in chains."

      I say, just another case of self-serving grievance piety at the expense of those that are unable to defend themselves.

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    7. I honestly have rarely seen someone attempt so much intellectual gymnastics to defend the indefensible. And you have the gall to talk about shameless deceit! Biden told African-American that Romney would put them back in chains. Given the history, that's an amazingly nasty to say. It is clearly alluding to slavery and saying Romney will reenact something akin to this. In context of debates about tax policy and regulations, there is absolutely no justification for this. What Republicans may have said about Wall Street can hardly justify this. It was a very nasty and insensitive thing to say about Romney, who is nice and decent if any politician is. But go on showing you have no standing to pontificate on decency and virtue.

      Delete
    8. No, it wasn't an insensitive thing to say about Romney. The insensitivity, if it were that at all, would have been to the African-Americans Biden was addressing at the time which was a largely black audience. But they all knew the context in which it was said and were not slighted by it at all. Only the Republicans saw offence, and we all know the close historical association of Republicans to the KKK, the lynchings, segregation, the 'separate but equal' racial policies of the Republican Party, the right-wing nutjobs of Charlottesville, chanting, "Jews will not replace us", Trump's call to arms to the Wolverine Watchmen right-wing militia of Michigan to 'Liberate Michigan' and the attempted capture and possible murder of Governor Whitmore; not to forget Trump's command to the Proud Boys to 'stand back and stand by', all the while not a peep from the majority of Republicans in Congress.
      No. Anon. Whatever decency and virtue there might be does not reside with you or the republicans. They have forfeited their right to govern the country at any level. They are anathema to decency, ethics, and morality.

      Delete
  16. Wow, even Papalinton is returning? After years of inactivity? What next, the return of Santi Tafarella?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That wasn't a term of endearment. I don't recall you adding much to the conversation last time, and judging from the first things you decided to post when you came back, I don't anticipate things being any different this time.

      Delete
  17. To anonymous at 1.37. I came back specifically to annoy and draw comment from you, most odious and obnoxious of tbe anonymous, and very easily discerned.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, because trolling and troll feeding aren't obnoxious in the slightest...

      Delete
    2. Arn't you the 'anonymous' who referred to StarDusty as "StarShittyCuntie' a few threads ago, and fantasised about unleashing the 'full inquisition' on him? Pretty obnoxious that is I would say. You keep the 'troll question' ever present on these threads by constantly drawing attention to, insulting and warning against interaction with anyone you deem to be unworthy, instead of simply ignoring them and allowing others to do as they see fit. StarDusty is obviously not a troll, and this site would be far less intetesting were it not for a number of fundamentally dissenting ( though clearly unwelcome ) voices. I have no doubt at all that you would unleash the full horrors of the inquisition upon them if you were able, as would your church if it still could.

      Delete
    3. Actually that was not me. Stardusty has plenty of detractors because he is obviously a noxious troll. That you defend him shows that your views on who is making a worthy contribution here are worthless. Stardusty doesn't get treated as a troll because he is a "fundamentally dissenting voice". I for one have no problem with intellectually honest and sensible skeptics and leftists here. Stardusty is neither though. He is universally scorned by all who aren't committed to supporting him because he is very intellectually dishonest, doesn't take the time to learn the first thing about what he is talking about, and never truly engages in proper discussion. Seriously, to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention, that you would choose this hill to die on is ridiculous.

      How about, instead of defending awful trolls and taking pot shots at Feser, you show if you can make a worthy contribution yourself as a "fundamentally dissenting voice".

      Delete
    4. And let's not beat around the bush. It has become obvious you defend Stardusty because you philosophically and ideologically agree with him, not because you are really concerned about the effects of people cluttering up the blog with warnings not to feed him or the quality of discussion here. It is true enough that too much of that does itself clutter the blog. But none of that changes the fact Stardusty is in fact a massive troll nor that Feser has repeatedly told us not to feed them, including Stardusty specifically.

      Delete
  18. Stardusty being a troll is one of a few possibilities for what we observe. His posts indicate too high an intelligence for simply being stupid, so that explanation is likely ruled out.

    Trolling is a viable explanation because of his refusal to truly engage with what is being said to him and his failure to admit when he's wrong. That court packing is pretty much guaranteed to be referring to expanding the number of seats on the court by pretty much everyone is of no matter, so long as Stardusty and various nutjob leftist sites use it differently in order to attack Republicans. He won't admit that using "court packing" in any other context is highly atypical and is even shot down by his own Politifact source. And in the other thread he called my biology-based pro-life argument "religious" in nature, which flies in the face of everything I said. Trolling explains this irrational behavior - he isn't being serious, he's just here to try and get people riled up.

    Another explanation is an inability to separate fact from opinion, which would explain why he believes his highly abnormal usage of the term "court packing" is fully of equal weight to the large majority of the world, which uses it to describe expanding the number of seats on the court. I cite over a dozen media, government, historical, and scholarly sources using it to describe expansion, and this is dismissed in favor of some idiot Republican who used it otherwise. Even an admission that his usage is highly atypical would be something, but he can't do that. Same for the abortion argument, I cite nothing but facts and they are dismissed as religious opinion in favor of his "factual" concept of "human being", which is much more ambiguous than "human life" or "human organism", which are identifiable by science.

    Whichever explanation is true, so long as you simply point out his errors and only cite facts, it remains quite easy to hold the high ground in the eyes of anyone sane who is reading the thread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points. I think that troll is a word with multiple meanings. As you intimate, the strictest meaning is reserved for those who ate being deliberately disruptive and might not believe half of what they say. I agree that Stardusty is probably not a troll in this sense. In part at least he genuinely believes he is engaging in constructive debate. But troll is also used more widely to mean someone who is consistently disruptive and contributes nothing positive to discussion, especially if he is prolific. It's in this sense Stardusty is a troll.

      Delete
    2. Kevin,
      “his failure to admit when he's wrong.”
      You have yet to demonstrate by any rational means even the slightest error in any of my arguments. Since I do not acquiesce to your nonsense, and you are very apparently a legend in your own mind, you come to the inane conclusion that you will try the all purpose pointless smear “troll”, the refuge of those who prove themselves incapable of offering actual rational argument.

      “He won't admit that using "court packing" in any other context is highly atypical”
      Because it isn’t, duh. How idiotic.

      I provided multiple links and search terms. Just enter Republican Court Packing into google and you will find dozens if not hundreds of references to the fact that the Republicans have already packed the courts. Get over yourself and do a little basic research.

      “And in the other thread he called my biology-based pro-life argument "religious" in nature,”
      Because it wasn’t biology based, duh. It was just religious dogma with a few biological terms sprinkled in to fake a biologically based argument.

      “which flies in the face of everything I said.”
      Exactly, because what you said was nonsense on its face.

      “he isn't being serious”
      I am serious as a heart attack, but you lack the capacity to absorb and understand that fact.

      “"human organism", which are identifiable by science.”
      Every cell in your body is an organism, and human, therefore a human organism. For example a sperm cell, which is a free swimming organism, and if of a human being then it is also human. A human sperm cell is certainly not an ant organism or a tree organism or a fish organism.

      So by your crackpot little “science” ideas male masturbation is some billion murders of human organisms.

      See, I don’t acquiesce to your inane ideas because they are, well, inane.

      “it remains quite easy to hold the high ground”
      High ground indeed, you speak with the clarity and reason of one who is very, very, high.

      Delete
    3. Oh shut up you pointless, delusional troll. Everyone who doesn't allow their sympathies with your views to override their honesty realize you are a troll, or as good as. It's you who think you are a legend in his own mind, trolling a combox for years where you clearly aren't wanted and contribute nothing positive. You have some clear psychological issues. Go away!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous 9.25pm. Ooooo, temper, temper.

      Delete
    5. Oooh, compulsive troll feeder and aspiring troll...

      Delete
    6. Anon,
      "you pointless, delusional troll."
      Sorry, I did not find any actual arguments of any kind in that statement.

      Do you have any to offer?

      Have you, for example, entered Republican Court Packing into google and read the almost endless links that show clearly that the Republicans have already packed the court?

      Can you provide any rational argument to say that a human sperm cell is not a human organism?

      Anything at all? Even just one rational argument?

      Delete
    7. @Kevin:

      "His posts indicate too high an intelligence for simply being stupid, so that explanation is likely ruled out."

      They do? I must be a freakin' genius then.

      Delete
  19. You have yet to demonstrate by any rational means even the slightest error in any of my arguments.

    I've proven you have no idea what you're talking about and that you don't actually engage with what is being said in every post I've made here.

    For example:

    you come to the inane conclusion that you will try the all purpose pointless smear “troll”

    By the actual words that I actually wrote, the rational reader, utilizing reading comprehension, would see that I said trolling was but one of several possible explanations to account for your behavior. I did not conclude you were a troll, I said it was possible that you were. Can you admit that is what I wrote, and not what you said?

    Because it isn’t

    That's amusing because the sources I have provided on numerous occasions were all of the mainstream or credible sources from the first five pages of a Google search for court packing. The only one that used it in your manner was the leftwing Center for American Progress.

    But I did what you so humbly suggested and Googled "Republican court packing". On the first page, there were a couple sites about Republicans wanting to have a constitutional amendment to block court packing by keeping the number at nine; several sites talking about Republican court packing at the state level because they are increasing the number of seats on those courts; a WaPo headline of "Republican Court Packing Is Really Court Stacking"; a few more that talk about expansing the number of seats when they talk about court packing...and a single site, the leftwing partisan American Prospect, that used it in your way.

    The facts, well, they just seem to support what I'm saying, which is why I've been saying it.

    Because it wasn’t biology based, duh. It was just religious dogma

    Challenge: What in my argument is religious dogma?

    Exactly, because what you said was nonsense on its face.

    Your failure or inability to engage with what I actually said is your fault, not mine.

    I am serious as a heart attack, but you lack the capacity to absorb and understand that fact.

    Again you ignore what I wrote. You not being serious is but one hypothesis describing and attempting to explain your behavior on these forums. There were others that took into account the fact that you were serious.

    Every cell in your body is an organism, and human, therefore a human organism

    Is this an argument? If so, please locate the nearest resource on "human life cycle" and see what you find. You'll learn that a sperm cell is in fact not part of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kevin,
      “But I did what you so humbly suggested and Googled "Republican court packing". On the first page,”…
      …you found many references to “court packing” that do not involve expanding the court. If you did not find those references you did not read the results of the search.
      Republicans Oppose Court Packing (Except Where They Don't)nymag.com ›

      Where Court Packing Is Already Happening - POLITICOwww.politico.com ›

      The Republican Court-Packing Scheme - The American ...prospect.org ›

      Court Packing? It's Already Happening at the State Levelwww.governing.com

      It's the Republicans who are packing the court | Columnwww.tampabay.com ›

      Conservative Court Packing - Center for American

      Dems turn around accusation, say GOP is court-packing ...www.foxnews.com

      Republicans blatantly hypocritical with 'court-packing'


      And on and on and on.

      It was the Republicans who accused Obama of “court packing”! And that use of the term by the Republicans had nothing to do with expanding the court.

      Equating “court packing” with “court expanding” is idiotic. Your assertion is easily disproved by looking at precedent from the Republicans themselves, and widespread common usage.

      Just look at the meaning of the word “packing” in general. Look at how “packing” is applied in similar terms such as “jury packing”.

      Anybody who equates “court packing” with “court expanding” is either an idiot generally, a liar, or so blinded by ideology as to be a selective idiot on this subject.

      Delete
  20. @Anon:

    On this very site, I have been accused of being everything from a "leftist" to a "blind fundamentalist Protestant" (???), even though I am neither of these things.

    I would say something about stones and glass houses, but I'm afraid it would be a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Edit to the above: Played too loosely with my words. The human life cycle in terms of the reproductive process does include the gametes which are necessary for reproduction to occur. But those gametes are cells of the parents, and not the beginning of a new human life as the zygote is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kevin,

      To my understanding, sexual reproduction across the animal kingdom features alternating generations of haploid and diploid generations. Sometimes the haploid dominates in terms of time/resources/etc., somtimes they are close to equal, and sometimes (as in mammals) the diploid dominates. In all cases, they are separate organisms.

      Delete
  22. Love to hear everyone's thoughts on this:

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-calls-for-civil-union-law-for-same-sex-couples-in-shift-from-vatican-stance-12462

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As we have seen in the secular world, once civil unions are accepted, gay marriage follows within just a few years.

      If Pope Francis or his successor wants to have gay marriage in the Catholic Church, there will be a massive schism in the Catholic Church, much like the one in the Anglican Communion.

      Delete
    2. It is long overdue and would be an amazing and very welcome development.

      Delete
    3. This is not good, because it causes more scandal and confusion, but it is only a quote given in an interview listed in a documentary (and recall that as of yet there is no confirmation that the documentary isn't maliciously edited or manipulated to take the quote out of context). From what I've heard, as Bishop in Argentina Francis pushed for civil unions as a compromise to protect the special status of *marriage* (which is still a disagreement with the previous statements of the CDF, but still is not an endorsement of gay marriage). Even if the claim is 100% true, it would not be a falsification of Church teaching, but it would be the Pope privately expressing disagreement with his predecessors, which is still a bad thing, but not some kind of official teaching.

      Delete
    4. UPDATE: Upon further investigation, it seems that the documentary was in fact maliciously edited and manipulated - see here:

      https://www.patheos.com/blogs/throughcatholiclenses/2020/10/pope-franciss-words-on-civil-unions-distorted-by-editing/

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    5. A distinction without a difference.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous, please identify what you are referring to.

      Delete
    7. How these "civil unions" differ LEGALLY from civil marriage?

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    8. At long last. Reason prevails. Justice prevails. Equity prevails. Common decency prevails. The Pope has endorsed same-sex civil unions.

      One small step for the Pope. One giant leap for humankind.

      Delete
  23. Read Dr. Feser giving some spanks to two kids on Capital Punishment: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2020/10/steve-skojec-pope-sez-death-penalty-is-intrinsically-evil.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. While I don't completely object to the term "social justice" in its original Catholic sense, and I quite thoroughly deplore the degenerate use to which it is put these days, I do harbor some very serious misgivings with respect to even its original meaning and intent.

    I think that if it is not THE original principle used for "social justice", the concept of the "universal origin and destination of goods" is at least ONE OF the most basic principles of social justice in its original sense. And speaking again at the most abstract level, I have no problem with both facets: (1) God alone is the origin of every good created. (2) And God is per se the "destination" of all created goods - but in (2), "destination" must be taken at best ONLY ANALOGICALLY, if not entirely equivocally. For God is the "destination" of rational beings in a vastly different sense and order than He is the end of non-rational beings. For rational beings, God is the ultimate final cause because we are made so as to know him and love him, constituting the two intellectual activities distinctive of the rational being - and we will be in union with Him in the Beatific Vision. Non-rational animals, and plants and rocks, only "attain to" God in the utterly diminished sense that by following their natures in operation, they achieve their good which has its exemplar good in God, though in God it is present in a transcendent way.

    Here is my main objection. The phrase "universal origin and destination of goods" is meant to convey the following idea: that God made the Earth and all the good things of the Earth for ALL mankind "together" or "without distinction", and God meant for all men to participate in the goods of the Earth without any greed, withholding, etc, so that all men would / should willingly share freely EVERYTHING so that (ideally) nobody would have more than another, share and share alike, all have as much of each good as all others.

    The problem is: it doesn't WORK. You cannot put forward a plan of any sort of complex society in which this picture works. (And I DON'T mean "due to sin", sin has nothing to do with the root difficulties.) First: men come with variation. Some are large, and some are small. Large men need more food than small women. You cannot share out food so that all have exactly the same amount and have a good order.

    Second, the goods of the Earth are scattered about unevenly. Over in Hawaii, there are plenty of pineapples, and in New Hampshire there are plenty of apples. For people in Hawaii who want as many apples as those in New Hampshire enjoy, WORK must be done to get the apples from one place to the other. How much work? How much work is it WORTH to Hawaiians to get apples? It cannot be known in advance, by mere theory, whether Hawaiians desire for apples is concomitantly equivalent in value to them to the work needed to get the apples there - and the same applies to the pineapples for New Hampshire. If not, then unequal goods will be the norm according to moral and economic order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Third, in addition to goods that nature provides on her own steam, there are goods made by men: a Stradivarius violin, or an electron microscope. These take labor and enormous investment of time, resources, and effort. There can only be enough of these to allow SOME people to have them: Stradivarius could not make a violin for every human being. The allocation of the effort, and of the output of the effort, will be more to some than to others, based on a COMPLEX of different factors, which (without being too silly) we can resolve to a combined "demand" function. But it will imply that some have access to a Stradivarius, some to an electron microscope, and some to a janitor's bucket. Goods will be distributed where they DO THE MOST GOOD, but not evenly among all people.

      And once you have that, you need private property. This is the necessary result. But private property implies that some having more of X, and others having more of Y, (to each's mutual benefit) is not wrong. Now, when you throw in sin, it is inescapable that it is necessary to allow people to feel at least some of the detrimental effects of their bad choices, or resources will be wasted far more on bad choices than is necessary, to the detriment of EVERYBODY. Therefore, given private property being rooted in human nature, and the effect of sin on people's use of resources, at most we could only EVER shoot for a good balance of tensions between sharing freely all goods, and allowing the immoral dissipation of evil men to ruin them and let them suffer the effects. We cannot actually attain the perfect state (utopia) short of the end of all times, and trying to is certainly a bad idea.

      Delete
  25. One of the best comments I've ever read said (I paraphrase) the word "social" in front of something means "not really." Social justice is not really justice. Social science is not really science. Social promotion is not really promotion, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I consider publicly funded colleges and universities to be essentially over. This is just beyond belief---except that it's true:

    https://jordanschachtel.substack.com/p/tales-from-americas-covid-college

    ReplyDelete
  27. Apparently, Catholic social justice became so controversial, that even traditionalists are terrified to talk about it:

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/censored-interview-injustice-lockdowns-fr-john-naugle

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  28. Are you familiar with the case of Melbourne? The lockdown there eliminated the virus!

    ReplyDelete