Thursday, August 11, 2022

All One in Christ

My new book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory is out this month from Ignatius Press.  If you are someone who prefers to order directly from the publisher, you can now do so.  You can also order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  In September, a German translation of the book will be published by Editiones Scholasticae.

Here’s the table of contents:

1. Church Teaching against Racism

2. Late Scholastics and Early Modern Popes against Slavery

3. The Rights and Duties of Nations and Immigrants

4. What is Critical Race Theory?

5. Philosophical Problems with Critical Race Theory

6. Social Scientific Objections to Critical Race Theory

7. Catholicism versus Critical Race Theory

Advance reviews:

“This is the best book I've read on the topic.  Ed Feser writes in accessible yet nuanced ways to demonstrate the philosophical and theological errors of both racism and Critical Race Theory.” Ryan T. Anderson, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center

“There is not a better book on the subject from a Catholic perspective.  All One in Christ should be required reading for any Catholic prelate, parent, principal, or college president.” Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University

“Feser's account of the Church's opposition to slavery is authoritative, but it is his devastating takedown of Critical Race Theory that makes this book so special.”  Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

“Dr. Feser shows the consistent magisterial emphasis on the dignity of every human person and brilliantly articulates the Church's clear and unambiguous teaching against racism.  An absolute must-have for all Catholics who want to be well informed about racism and Critical Race Theory.”  Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Author, Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality

“Edward Feser reveals that Critical Race Theory, by its own definition, embraces partiality, thus making it clear that this theory is in no way an answer to racism, but is, in fact, a covert form of racism.”  Rev. Walter B. Hoye, Founder, Issues4Life Foundation

“A careful examination of Critical Race Theory that goes beyond the political and journalistic squabbles to fundamental questions of truth and justice.  Ed Feser maintains steadiness and balance as he brings faith and reason to bear on the most heated public controversies.”  Robert Royal, Author, A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century

“Edward Feser offers an analysis that helps Catholics better understand the Church's stance on racism and uphold the inherent dignity of each human Being.”  Fr. John M. McKenzie, National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica

95 comments:

  1. Will a Kindle version be coming soon? Can't wait to read this

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  2. Pardon the question if it is silly, do you discuss what race even is?

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    Replies
    1. I love it when people say, "Catholics cant be racist, 'cause its bad!!, and besides, there is only one race! The human race!"
      So smug.

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    2. Why don't both of you read the book, eh? Novel idea.

      So smug.

      Delete
  3. WCB

    Pope Nicholas V issued two notorious bulls. Dum Diversus in 1452 and Romanus Pontifex in 1454. Both commanded the king of Portugul to invded and destr started on a massive scall.oy all lands of Saracens and Paagans Who were declared enemies of God and Jesus Christ. Their movable posessions were to be seized. The Saracens and pagans were to be condemned to be slaves in perpetuem. A number of later Popes reiterated Nicholas V's bulls. Slavery was later extended to South America. When Indian slaves kept dying, the slave trade from Africa started on a massive scale. In the U.S. it took the civil war to end slavery. Simon Boliver ended slavery in Spanish speaking South America. Boliver was an Atheist. Brazil officially ended slavey in 1888.

    Anybody who has not read Dum Diversus or Romanus Pontifex should. 600 years later we are still struggling with the effects of these two evil papal bulls.

    WCB

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    Replies
    1. WHo says they are evil? Nicholus, Gods voice, didn't think so!

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    2. The African Slave trade took off because the Indian slaves kept dying!?

      I've never heard that before. Where did you get that factoid? Why were they dying and not the Africans?

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    3. @Tim

      I heard that before, but not said by people that studied the period. It is probably one of these "facts" that "everyone knows" that you see on history discussions.

      While slavery declined on Western Rurope during the middle ages, it never stopped on islamic territory, who had a good deal of Africa. From what i can see the social-economic chances caused on Europe after the middle ages plus the contact with muslims helped slavery getting ahead again, sadly.

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    4. WCB

      Google for Bartolomo De La Casa. Casa became a fierce critic of Spanish and Portugeuse slavery of Native Americans. Because Indians did not survive long as slaves, he suggested importing African slaves.

      Educate yourselves! Start with DeLaCasa. Google is your friend.

      WCB

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    5. @ WCB:

      "Educate yourselves! Start with DeLaCasa. Google is your friend."

      Or our enemy. It depends. Look at what it has done for you. You're an intellectual rag. Aren't you the fool that said at StrangeNotions that the Universe "auto-assembled" itself? Like a massive celestial building-blocks toy? :)

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  4. Stephen Jay Gould: “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory” (Ontogeny and Phylogeny, 1977).

    All-One-in-Evolution.

    And I have yet to heat from an evolutionist why racism is 'evil', specially since morality is the result of an unguided, dumb process that is wholly imperfect and per Darwin 'favored races are preserved in the struggle for existence'. Who am I to contradict billions of years of Evolution (not to mention that we humans are meat-machines with no free will?)

    So evolutionist: how can evolution teach me what is 'evil' if she is a friggin' idiot?

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    1. UncommonDescent,

      Racism is evil because, based on skin color, it results in treating people as inferior in ways that skin color has no effect upon. Humans have no sub-species and no true races.

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    2. Why don't you join a fundamentalist church and become a young-earth creationist already, UncommonDescent? You're already halfway there.

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    3. @ One Brow:

      Racism is evil because, based on skin color, it results in treating people as inferior in ways that skin color has no effect upon.

      But evolution does not care at all about what's 'evil' and what's 'good'. Whatever helped our ancestors to pass their genes along got selected and transmitted to their descendants (which of course includes us). 'She' does not care (basically because it's a mindless process) at all about the 'goodnes' of anything. Therefore there can not be even in principle any selective pressures for 'goodness'.

      Humans have no sub-species and no true races.

      The problem is far more dire than that. The problem is that if you couple darwinian evolution with materialism, species simply do not exist. Which means that there is nothing like 'humanity' to be found out there. It's just a matter of subjective classification/ grouping, but that's all. Which means that if a population of what is (wrongly) classified as H. sapiens decides for example to exclude black people of the definition of 'humans', then that's perfectly fine (or vice-versa). Or if a german man decides that certain population is not worthy of being labelled as 'human' and has to be exterminated, then that's fine also. No objective marker of what a human is.

      That's the true meaning of All-One-In-Evolution. All equally diluted by Dennett's 'universal acid'.

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    4. @ Infinite_Growth:

      Why don't you join a fundamentalist church and become a young-earth creationist already, UncommonDescent? You're already halfway there.

      Here the Principle of Proportionate Causality (PPC) applies: from a dumb evolutionary process, a dumb individual ensues.

      The most fundamentalist church I know is the church of materialism (fundamentally flawed I mean) and its lovely creative myth 'evolution'. 'Matter married Chronos and they fathered all life forms in a unending copula. And that children is what we call 'science'.

      Now please don't be naughty and don't secretly pray to your goddess to give me a lethal mutation. That would would be evolutionarily disgusting.

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    5. @UncommonDescent I'm sorry for being uncharitable (it is an area that needs improvement)... but don't call people dumb. That part of your comment sounded like it came from Westboro Baptist Church. They go around the USA with picket signs calling non-fundamentalists "dumb." When you stand before God, is that who you want to sound like?

      In stoicism, certain and true knowledge (episteme), achievable by the Stoic sage, can be attained only by verifying the conviction with the expertise of one's peers and the collective judgment of humankind. Because of this and because Catholicism has stoicism as a philosophical foundation, we must always defer to the collective judgment of mankind when it comes to interpreting the Bible and dogma. We do not use the historical-grammatical method of interpretation Evangelical Protestants use.

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    6. The problem is far more dire than that. The problem is that if you couple darwinian evolution with materialism, species simply do not exist. Which means that there is nothing like 'humanity' to be found out there.

      This is a key point. There's no "halfway" point in denying essentialism. If you deny it, you have to deny it all the way, and Darwinism entails its denial. But once you deny it, there are no species and no biological function for Darwinism to explain in the first place.

      Real logical consistency with it entails eliminativism in the philosophy of mind as well, and the denial that there even are German men, or any sort of men, to do any sort of choosing or labeling or logical reasoning of any sort in the first place. It is utterly incoherent.

      One can attempt to redefine Darwinism and natural selection to make them intelligible, such that they are no longer mechanistic and materialistic, and no longer entail a denial of essentialism, but then the definition of natural selection becomes too vague to serve as an explanation for biological essences and function.

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    7. "Now please don't be naughty and don't secretly pray to your goddess to give me a lethal mutation. That would be evolutionarily disgusting."

      I don't intend to feed the dispute. I just want to say that was damn funny.

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    8. @Infinite_Growth:

      That part of your comment sounded like it came from Westboro Baptist Church. They go around the USA with picket signs calling non-fundamentalists "dumb."

      It seems to me then that lots of atheists were attendants of such a church, because that's their behavior described to a tee. But that's not a surprise, because they are in fact people supporting a creative myth, while being so dumb as to not realize that 'unguided evolution' is nothing but that. An explanation to which the human mind clings desperately, because the human mind Wants (with caps) to know its origin.

      So that fundamentalist subset that ferociously defend their creative myth (Dawkins and his disciples for example) while telling others that 'creative myths' are ridiculous deserve to be called dumb. Don't you agree?

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    9. Racism is evil because, based on skin color, it results in treating people as inferior in ways that skin color has no effect upon. Humans have no sub-species and no true races.

      "Race" is distinguished by more than just skin color.

      Also, the term "race" has various meanings, and long before the modern attempt to divide humans into 5 races, it had been used much more narrowly to identify fairly recent descent: "the race of Joseph" meant those descended from Joseph. It did not mean "Semitic" or "Caucasian" (a silly term if ever there was one). It was much narrower in meaning.

      Humans have no sub-species and no true races.

      Humans have had populations which were separated by difficult-to-overcome physical barriers and underwent genetic drift to some extent. Since biologists now talk about "populations" and no longer have a clearly accepted definition of "species",* the notion of humans having "sub-species" is a moot point.

      *A relatively common so-called "definition" of species, A biological species is a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring, has 3 debatable or undefendable elements: (1) that the reproduction must occur "in nature", given that man is part of nature; (2) the requirement that the offspring be fertile is arbitrary; and (3) it is utterly invalid with respect to species that reproduce asexually. It is a fundamental aspect of darwinism that there are no truly definable "species" properly speaking, as the drift of individuals can be historically (if we had the data) seen as a long series of pairs that at each phase could reproduce together, but an early and a late example could not reproduce together.

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    10. The acceptance of evolutionary theory in no way necessitates that you get your morals from evolution, that you think that materialism is true or any of the other things you're bringing up.

      It

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    11. @ Tony:

      "Race" is distinguished by more than just skin color.

      Indeed. If "race" were just a skin color, I would become a member of another "race" each time I get a tan. Speaking of color, one can only wonder if according to Locke and his disciples color "isn't really out there" in nature, they are so infatuated with a theory according to which color constitutes a "selective pressure", (mimicry comes to mind), something to which organisms have to respond if they want to survive. So according to this theory, we get 'better' adapted to our environments by matching features that are not there after all. Makes sense, darwinists.

      A relatively common so-called "definition" of species, A biological species is a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring.

      Mayr's nonsense. This leaves us with the striking conclusion that if you put a group of men in an isolated island, they stop ipso facto being H. sapiens, because they obviously can NOT reproduce with one another and no longer fit the description. So a group of men in an island lose their humanity and become what exactly, darwinists? And this 'theory' of yours becomes the 'crown jewel' of your worldview? Lol. Please come back to your senses and revisit Aristotle.

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    12. UncommonDescent,

      But evolution does not care at all about what's 'evil' and what's 'good'.

      Evolution, like gravity or osmosis, is not a personal force that could care about anything, nor did you ask what evolution might care about. You asked why racism is evil, I answered in manner that you seem to agree with. Task performed.

      Therefore there can not be even in principle any selective pressures for 'goodness'.

      Should there be good behaviors that improve fitness or enhance selection, then said good behaviors would be reinforced. These might include selflessness, caring for others, treating people nicely, etc. All of them enhance group survival, and so would be selected for.

      No objective marker of what a human is.

      Humans are descendants of a population that existed 50K years ago. Such descent is objectively verifiable, so there is an objective marker.

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    13. Tony,

      "Race" is distinguished by more than just skin color.

      Name any other feature that only occurs in people of a specific "race".

      It is a fundamental aspect of darwinism that there are no truly definable "species" properly speaking,

      Thank goodness no one uses Darwinism anymore.

      Are there other biological understandings that remove any of the difficulties in defining species? All the examples you offered seem to create issues in defining species regardless of paradigm.

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    14. Please come back to your senses and revisit Aristotle.

      Aristotle has no better definition of species.

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    15. @ One Brow:

      Evolution, like gravity or osmosis, is not a personal force that could care about anything.

      Then she certainly does not care at all about what is 'good' or about what is 'evil'. And if she does not care, why should I? And what do you mean by 'force'? Can evolution be described in mathematical terms? Gravity and osmosis can.

      You asked why racism is evil, I answered in manner that you seem to agree with. Task performed.

      I obviously do not agree with what you said and you certainly have failed to answer my question. Evolution knows nothing, it's a stupid process that can teach us nihil. And you said that races do not exist, which makes no sense because how can people be racist if races are not real?? Btw, you are contradicting Darwin, whose book's name was: On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Existence Are you saying that Darwin was wrong?

      Should there be good behaviors that improve fitness or enhance selection, then said good behaviors would be reinforced. These might include selflessness, caring for others, treating people nicely, etc. All of them enhance group survival, and so would be selected for.

      You speak like a priest :) That's why darwinism is a religion and not a rational enterprise. Why is there so much 'evil' then in the world? Why do people kill each other, commit rape, steal and oppress the most vulnerable? Those behaviors are here, which means they have been selected. That destroys your scenario about selection of 'good' behaviors. Evolution does not understand 'niceness'. Evolution is a friggin' idiot as I have stated.

      Humans are descendants of a population that existed 50K years ago.

      Where did that population exist? And what marks its 'humanity'?







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    16. UncommonDescent,

      And if she does not care, why should I?

      You're a human, and we're a social species. Thus, we care.

      Can evolution be described in mathematical terms? Gravity and osmosis can.

      Some aspects of evolution, like some aspects of gravity or osmosis, can be accurately modeled mathematically. Mathematics does not capture the entirety of any of these phenomena.

      I obviously do not agree with what you said ...

      You haven't mentioned any part of my first response you thought was wrong. You claimed it was inadequate, but that is not the same as being wrong.

      Evolution knows nothing,

      Your initial question did not reference evolution in any fashion.

      ... which makes no sense because how can people be racist if races are not real??

      How can people be fans of Star Trek when Star Trek is not real? Humans seem to find a way.

      Btw, you are contradicting Darwin, whose book's name was: On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Existence Are you saying that Darwin was wrong?

      1) Darwin was not referring to human races in that title.
      2) Darwin was less wrong than most of his early contemporaries, but most of his hypotheses didn't hold up (just as most of what Newton, Galileo, etc. did not hold up). When remember these scientists for the small parts that they got right.

      You speak like a priest :)

      I used to be Catholic.

      That's why darwinism is a religion

      If it was, it is now a dead religion. I accept evolutionary theory, not "Darwinism".

      That destroys your scenario about selection of 'good' behaviors.

      Some good behaviors being selected for has no effect on some evil behaviors being selected for.

      Where did that population exist?

      Africa.

      And what marks its 'humanity'?

      That question is too broad to answer in a com box.

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    17. You're a human, and we're a social species. Thus, we care.

      I am not a 'human' because according to Darwinism (the materialistic sort), species are not real entities, therefore there is nothing like 'humanity' to be found out there. Thus, no, I do not care at all. Neither did Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol-Pot etc... Your lovely scenario about selection for 'niceness' is useless. But materialism is a useless enterprise, so no surprises here. Btw, there's nothing like 'selection for' to be found out there in Nature also. The adaptationist paradigm is broken.

      You haven't mentioned any part of my first response you thought was wrong.

      I asked why racism is 'evil' since evolution is a friggin' idiot that does not care at all about good or evil. You stated some sentimentalist nonsense and then contradicted yourself saying that humans have no subespecies or races, which makes racism impossible. . We are racist but races are not real, and we are a species although species aren't real either. And that's what you and your pals label as a 'scientific theory'. Like phlogiston and leeches :)

      Humans seem to find a way.

      Humans as individual instantiations of the universal species 'humanity' do not exist according to your pseudo-theory. What does not exist can NOT find any 'way' to do anything at all. Another of your lame non-answers.

      1) Darwin was not referring to human races in that title.

      Darwin was referring to 'races' of any species. In fact for him, "races" were "species". According to this very confused man, who wrote "On The Origin of Species", species are just human conventions. But he proposed an (invalid) mechanism ('NS') that according to him is what creates species, which means that species are real after all and part of Nature. So species are real and not real at the same time. Maybe Mr. Darwin did not know about the LNC. What a mess of a man, really. And the materialist worships him as his prophet.

      I used to be Catholic.

      And now you are a priest of your goddess "matter" and her maiden evolution.

      If it was, it is now a dead religion. I accept evolutionary theory, not "Darwinism".

      Good for you to acknowledge that Darwin Was Wrong. What 'evolution' accept you then? The Aristotelian sort? Where species develop according to their intrinsic properties (grounded in their substantial forms?) Good boy.

      Some good behaviors being selected for has no effect on some evil behaviors being selected for.

      Ahhh. The good old 'evolution selects for everything and its contrary'. So 'scientific'. Go read Fodor and Massimo-Piattelli Palmarini (What Darwin Got Wrong). The 'selection for' paradigm is a non-explanation. Another darwinian misstep. Poor guy, he did nothing right.

      That question is too broad to answer in a com box.

      Shorthand for 'I don't have a clue'. You can not define 'humanity' and that's very sad. But Aristotle could: a human is a rational animal . Sweet and straight to the point.

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    18. @ One Brow:

      2) Darwin was less wrong than most of his early contemporaries, but most of his hypotheses didn't hold up (just as most of what Newton, Galileo, etc. did not hold up). When remember these scientists for the small parts that they got right.

      Well, the only small part that Mr. Darwin got right is that things in Nature change. But that is not a very striking thing to be remembered for. Like, most of humanity has known it for centuries and without the need to publish silly books about "Origins" that are not origins, "species" that are not species and fake "mechanistic selectors".

      So yes, things do change in Nature, because they actualize their potentials, potentials which are characteristic of each species and which are grounded in their substantial forms. And that's why we humans categorize species, because they do really exist in Nature and are not a "useful fiction". The substantial form is what the materialist in his desperation labels as "complexity" and his "emergent properties" are aristotelian "powers or dispositions". Poor materialist, I understand that is hard to acknowledge that your worldview is a failure. But it is a failure :)

      The Book of Nature is written in the hylemorphic language. Through and through.

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    19. UncommonDescent,

      I am not a 'human' because according to Darwinism (the materialistic sort), species are not real entities,

      1) That's misleading, at minimum. The concept of species, much like the concept of sex, is unambiguous for the overwhelming majority of living beings. Yet, some soservatives think the exceptions to the former invalidate the categoriization, but not those to the latter.
      2) Why would anyone care what Darwin said at this point? Who are these Darwin worshippers you talk about?

      I asked why racism is 'evil' since evolution is a friggin' idiot ...

      No, you did not. You asked, "And I have yet to heat from an evolutionist why racism is 'evil', ...", and I answered. You still have not objected to the content of that response.

      "... contradicted yourself saying that humans have no subespecies or races, which makes racism impossible. "

      Humans seem to find a way.

      Innacurate spew deleted.

      What 'evolution' accept you then?

      The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis has no peers, so far, in explanatory power and accuracy.

      The Aristotelian sort? Where species develop according to their intrinsic properties (grounded in their substantial forms?)

      Mystical nonesense. Groups of individuals don't have a form, they have commonalities among their various individual forms.

      Ahhh. The good old 'evolution selects for everything and its contrary'.

      The is no one best chess opening. There is no one best evolutionary path. That doesn't mean everything works.

      Shorthand for 'I don't have a clue'. You can not define 'humanity' and that's very sad. But Aristotle could: a human is a rational animal . Sweet and straight to the point.

      Not every human is rational, and not every human had the potential to be become rational, so that definition suffers from the exact problem you assign to the modern concept of species. Then again, I don't expect consistency from you.

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    20. Name any other feature that only occurs in people of a specific "race".

      @One Brow, I already did that:

      The race of Joseph, i.e. those descended from Joseph. Again, the term "race" had a long, long history before the attempt to corral it by a modernist set of notions in the 18th - 19th centuries into a set of 5, which (perforce) overlooked major problems with those as "the" groups.

      As the peoples of various continents have mixed over the last 70 years more and more, there are millions upon millions of people whose background partake (in vastly many different ratios) of two or more different peoples. It is utterly impossible to characterize these people into one of the earlier 5 "races" without all sorts of arbitrary assumptions, and even that would hardly be successful.

      Are there other biological understandings that remove any of the difficulties in defining species? All the examples you offered seem to create issues in defining species regardless of paradigm.

      The original sense of "species" was not primarily driven by ability to sexually reproduce, (or it could NEVER have arrived at different species of organisms that reproduce asexually). It was driven by more a rooted principle, e.g. that individuals of a single species differ from individuals of another species by some critical distinction that addresses something essential to them, that is not found in the others. The "some critical distinction" that addresses something "essential" to them is broad enough to cover ANY kind of essential difference, and need not be compressed into narrow confines.

      As a recent example of this kind of thinking, David Oderberg wrote an article arguing that aliens from another planet who are rational animals would BE HUMANS in virtue of being rational animals, regardless of their morphology (6 legs, no eyes, whatever). I disagree with his conclusion, but not with his sense that "rational" is the kind of essential characteristic that could constitute the critical distinction between species. (Note that his result would easily ignore whether earthling humans could reproduce sexually with said aliens, as not being in any way determinative.)

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    21. @ One Brow:

      The concept of species, much like the concept of sex, is unambiguous for the overwhelming majority of living beings.

      So 'unambiguous' for the materialist as to need 20+ different definitions of species, most of them incomplete and leading to absurd conclusions (like Mayr's silly 'biological' one). Guess you have not heard about 'The Problem of Species', but that does not surprise me.

      Maybe in your desperation you are trying to acknowledge that species are objective features of reality and that we humans can recognize most of them, although that there are epistemomogical limitations due to the imperfections of our cognitive apparatus. Well, that's very Aristotelian and St. Thomas surely would agree. You're a good disciple of the Stagirite.

      Now be a good boy and give me a materialistic defintion of 'life'. Mhhhh. Let me imagine your answer: 'but chemicals find a way'?

      2) Why would anyone care what Darwin said at this point? Who are these Darwin worshippers you talk about?

      If according to you Darwin did not get anything right, why is he considered the key figure of the evolutionary paradigm? A scientist that gets everything wrong is to be pitied, not to be praised as a 'revolutionary'. The cornerstone of the adaptationist paradigm was 'NS' as a mechanistic creator, and it's utterly wrong. 'NS' is not a force. It 'creates' nothing. Creatures develop according to their intrinsic properties, grounded in their substantial forms. Aristotle was right. And I know it hurts.

      No, you did not. You asked, "And I have yet to heat from an evolutionist why racism is 'evil', ...", and I answered. You still have not objected to the content of that response.

      You answered some nonsense about racism existing while declaring by fiat that 'human races' are not real. Therefore, no racism. And since evolution does not care at all about 'evilness', it's impossible for its creatures to have learnt it from 'her'. Therefore, no evil for the evolutionist. But you can try again.

      Humans seem to find a way.

      Your typical childish non-answer. If humans are racist while according to you races do not exist, then humans are magical creatures. Do you believe in magic, One Brow?

      The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis has no peers, so far, in explanatory power and accuracy.

      Lol. ALL the tenets of the 'Modern Synthesis' have been invalidated.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350412774_The_Illusions_of_the_Modern_Synthesis

      So what's left? 'Things change in Nature'. Wow.

      There is no one best evolutionary path. That doesn't mean everything works.

      Yes. We know that pigs don't have wings. But instead of positing your imaginative just-so-stories about untestable 'selective pressures', intelligent people are moving on an acknowledging the role of the organism in the process and how the organism constrains evolutionary paths. 'Evo-devo' rings a bell? 'Niche construction' maybe? All based in the organism's intrinsic properties. That are grounded in its substantial form. Aristotle rearing his head again. Today is not your day, One Brow.

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    22. @ One Brow:

      Mystical nonesense. Groups of individuals don't have a form, they have commonalities among their various individual forms.

      Are you saying that 'forms' exist in Nature?? I know a greek that right now is jumping with delight.

      Not every human is rational, and not every human had the potential to be become rational, so that definition suffers from the exact problem you assign to the modern concept of species

      There's no 'modern concept of species'. There are 20+ 'modern' attempts at definitions of species, and not one gets it right. That's pretty sad.

      Please substantiate your assertion that "not every human had the potential to become rational". Based on what premises? You seem to know a lot about act/potency. You sure you are a materialist?

      All humans are humans because they have the same substantial form (individuated in matter), which makes us a species. And all humans are potentially rational, providing that they do not suffer from impairments in their matter (physical ones) or defects in the will (for example willing to be a materialist).

      Then again, I don't expect consistency from you.

      How quaint coming from the proponent of the 'species exist but they do not exist', 'races do not exist but exist', 'individual forms do exist but not shared ones' and 'evil is my subjective feeling that I have learnt no one knows from, since evolution is incapable of teaching us moral behavior'.

      But don't despair, because consistency finds a way after all. The way of hylemorphism. You can try it.

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    23. @ One Brow:

      Your posts are so full of non-sense and contradictions. They're like the gift that won't stop giving.

      Let's do a brief recap of your position:
      - racism is evil but races are not real, but they are real because 'color' is the specific difference that divides one race from another. So race is the genus. That's essentialist thinking, the same that you deny.
      - evolution is amoral but we, its products, are not. That sounds like a miracle to me.
      - 'good' behaviors are 'selected', which means that people who are good have no merit after all, since it's something that has been chosen for them. Neither merit 'bad' people any punishment (for the same reason).
      - you say that there's a human species that exists objectively, and that what marks its difference from another one is 'that it existed 50k years ago in Africa'. But man, Africa is such a big continent. Could you please be more specific? (pun intended).
      - as Tony has noted, scientists no longer use 'species' but 'populations'. You are contradicting both science and logic. That's something impressive.
      - people 'find ways' to find things in Nature that are not there (like 'race'), which contradicts the selectionist account according to which we HAVE to accomodate to our surroundings, not to PROJECT things into Nature.
      - you say that all definitions of species fall prey of inconsistencies, and yet you do not mind the inconsistencies of the 'modern' ones. That's illogical (again).

      Wow. Certain religions are weird (not that I'm suggesting that atheistic evolution falls under the category 'creative myth'. Not at all. It's 100% backed up by 'science').

      Delete
    24. Tony,

      How would people identify the "race of Joseph" as separate from "the race of Bob", considering the mixing of Joseph's and Bo's descendants? Are you trying to say everyone is really the same race (in which case I agree)? Or, was this just a lesson in etymology?

      As the peoples of various continents have mixed over the last 70 years more and more,

      People have mixed over the last 70,000 years. Except for evolutionarily brief periods separating some people by oceans, there has always been gradual intermixing over generations across the population. Within continental boundaries, the mixing has been continual.

      ... that individuals of a single species differ from individuals of another species by some critical distinction that addresses something essential to them, that is not found in the others.

      That requires sorting out which distinctions are "critical" and which features are essential, which runs into the same issues of blurriness that using mating, or genetic construction, or any other classification scheme suffers from.

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    25. @ One Brow:

      That requires sorting out which distinctions are "critical" and which features are essential, which runs into the same issues of blurriness that using mating, or genetic construction, or any other classification scheme suffers from.

      And yet according to you, we can know what the human species IS and therefore when it started to walk the Earth (was it 50k years ago exactly, no more no less, wasn't it? In 'Africa' :) No blurriness there for the priest of evolution. You seem to have certain problems understanding that the LNC (Law of No Contradiction) is a no-no in philosophy. But hey, you are not very bright. You can join Darwin and both would make such a good team of fools. Like in that infamous movie "Dumb and Dumber". Both perfectly adapted to your environments.

      Delete
    26. How would people identify the "race of Joseph" as separate from "the race of Bob", considering the mixing of Joseph's and Bo's descendants? Are you trying to say everyone is really the same race (in which case I agree)? Or, was this just a lesson in etymology?

      If one of Joe's descendents marries one of Bob's descendents, then the "race of Joe" and the "race of Bob" will intersect, with shared individuals, while (potentially) also each having other members not in the intersection. There is no problem with the two races having an intersection, when taking race in this sense.

      The human race IS one race, when the term is used in that context. As is the case, obviously, from the very phrase itself, which is a common phrase in the language. That there are OTHER contexts, which allow for OTHER ways of grouping races, just shows that the term has a lot of range to its meaning. The "race of Abraham" includes as a subset the "race of Jacob" who was his grandson, but the "race of Jacob" does not include as a subset the "race of Ishmael" who was also Abraham's son. Each of these uses of the term "race" casts a context that allows for other groups above and below the listed group to also be "races". And yes, that is (in part) an etymology lesson. But it is an etymology lesson with a philosophic / political point: the narrower meaning of "race" to refer to say, one of the 5 groups listed by Johann Blumenbach in 1793, was a conscious effort to apply (and constrain) the term in a specialist way, and whether the attempt was well-meaning or not (or mixed in motive), the result of the effort is not wholly supported by the better data we have now.

      That requires sorting out which distinctions are "critical" and which features are essential, which runs into the same issues of blurriness that using mating, or genetic construction, or any other classification scheme suffers from.

      The effort of identifying critical and essential features is difficult, and thus may sometimes run astray, or may be inconclusive at times. That does not imply that the principle is invalid.

      On the other hand, the existence of different species of things that reproduce asexually proves definitively that the definition of species that rests on successful sexual reproduction is certainly not THE definition of the word. It is, at best, only partial or only an approximation or only gets at one marker of "species", not at the foundational meaning.

      People have mixed over the last 70,000 years. Except for evolutionarily brief periods separating some people by oceans, there has always been gradual intermixing over generations across the population. Within continental boundaries, the mixing has been continual.

      I think the current anthropologically popular opinions on the period of time separating the people in the Americas from those of Asia runs from about 9,000 to about 30,000 years (or 360 to 1200 generations). I would not call those "insignificant", as it provides plenty of time for populations to drift biologically if under severe environmental pressures.

      Delete
    27. The sheer existence of regionally identifiable groups that have significant concentrations of noticeable traits in contrast to other populations implies that there have been barriers to intermixing. E.G. Those on the Indian subcontinent tend to have less curly hair than those on the African continent, irrespective of skin color. Whether the barriers were physical or social is irrelevant to the sheer FACT of the different characteristics. Also, whether the barriers were absolutely impassible or only relatively so may make us note some non-zero rate of intermixing, without forcing us to conclude the groups simply constitute "one population" in spite of the readily apparent differences. Most of the various definitions of "population" refer to those living in the "same area" without requiring an absolutely impassible boundary to designate an "area". Indeed, for some definitions, it is sufficient to differentiate distinct populations by noting groups within a single area that DON'T interbreed, even if they are functionally capable of interbreeding, (such as would occur in species that place a high value on certain color markings to recognize sexually desirable mates, which might eventually lead to a divergence of two groups that no longer can interbreed though earlier they could). It is sufficient, for the notion of "population," to encompass an area within which lies the vast majority of the individuals that interbreed, without having absolutely perfect coverage of every possible breeding pair in that region. A mountain range that is nearly impassible to a species might constitute a boundary between two populations, even if one individual in 100 million manages to pass over the range.

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  5. Can’t wait to read it. I thinks it’s all about the existence of real essences and natures. Contra nominalism. The rest is a fantasy history concocted to create conflict and point blame. Same old communist tactics to create class struggle nonsense.

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    1. The personificación of evil used to be the greedy capitalist, and after that it was the "patriarchy" and now it's the "white supremacism" non-sense.

      Marxists have really run out of ideas. These people are a walking cliché.

      Delete
    2. Forms do exist in nature. Have you been able to explain the forms in quantum theory yet? Do you think their is no first cause and a distinct between The First Causes being and ours? Is our existence not dependent on the First Cause?

      Delete
  6. Prof. Feser, will the english version be available in Germany? I live here but Im not a native german speaker.

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    1. You can order the English version in Germany on Amazon Deutschland. Here is the link to the book on that site: https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Edward-Feser/dp/1621645800/ref=sr_1_2?crid=25P7XK72XVE6R&keywords=feser+all+in+one&qid=1660329349&sprefix=%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-2

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  7. I can't wait to read the hysterical reviews this book will undoubtedly prompt.

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    1. Yup. We can't forget the popcorn when reading them and to hold some laughs due to predictable fallacies - and whining - too!

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    2. I'd be willing to be a substantial amount of money that some Very Serious Critics will claim Ed is a racist and, in all likelihood, throw in some gratuitous remarks about his Catholic pro-life views.

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  8. Couple of questions.

    1) Is there any classical formative programs for children on Aquinas (or Thomism) that a school could adopt? And what are your thoughts on the reviving the trivium way of education.

    2) Do you plan on translating your books to other popular languages like French and Arabic?

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    1. Dr. Feser and other authors do not translate their writings into other languages. That is done by the publisher.

      Delete
    2. Sure. But the author may want and plan to have his works translated. How he goes about doing it is not the object of my question. All I wanted to know is if he has any intention or plan to have his works translated, specifically to French and Arabic.

      Delete
  9. One more:
    3) how would you personally ensure that a certain translation is doing justice to a certain work, without having to learn too well the original work's language?

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  10. 15th August marks the day India gained independence from the tyranny of the British.
    And it is also the feast of the assumption of the Our Lady in to Heaven so..
    Happy Indian Independence Day and Happy Feast!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. 15th August was the day India was partitioned resulting in the deaths of at least a million and the religious ethnic cleansing displacement of 18 million brought about by a Muslim-Hindu religious conflict that predated the British presence.
    Had the Indians stayed in the empire where all these religious tensions were contained and people generally lived together in harmony that catastrophe would have been avoided.
    The Indians have only themselves to blame for what happened.

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    Replies
    1. "Stayed in the Empire"
      Lol, did you just advocate for colonialism ?

      Your lack of proper historical understanding is quite evident,

      The aforementioned conflict which took place in the final moments of the freedom struggle was purposefully manufactured by the British themselves as retribution for having to leave the country. They stoked the fires and fumes.

      It was just another atrocity in the long list of atrocities committed by the British.

      And what do you mean live in harmony in the empire ?

      There was no harmony in the empire, there was only the cruel subjugation of a very large group of people by denying them their fundamental right.

      Large groups of people were literally mass murdered during peaceful protests if they didn't want to remain in "the empire" i.e The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

      The British exerted control over all the means of manufacturing and production effectively denying people and especially farmers the right to private property, this is also the reason why communism is evil.

      Indian men were forced to fight wars on behalf of the British.

      There was just an overall lack of recognition of the Humanity of an Entire group of people. They were only seen as "Bloody Indians".

      The Indian Freedom Struggle and the witness of Mahatma Gandhi on the other hand inspired countless others including figures like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr to , to quote Bob Marley, stand up for their rights.

      Gandhi's influence on the Montgomery bus protests was quite evident.

      Gandhi was revered by everyone for his calibre including figures like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. There were concrete reasons for that, both these men were part of a time in history when the solution to almost every conflict was violence, they had witnessed it first hand, lived through it. That's why they found it revolutionary when hete was man who came along and fought oppression with love and non violence which immediately influenced other leaders.

      I don't know where you get your history from mate but you better read up cause it's utterly pathetic.

      India is a sovereign nation now with a fast growing economy and consists of a proud group of people ready to meet the future head on.

      The price of freedom was high but the responsibility for it lies with the perpetrators (The British) not the victims.

      Fighting for the freedom of one's people from inhuman subjugation can never be the wrong thing to do, it is in fact obligatory.

      And this has been affirmed in papal statements throughout the 20th century.


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  12. Dr. Feser,

    All of the regulars here have seen how silly scientists/historians/sociologists/legal scholars/etc. can look when they try to do philosophy, and I'm sure you'll appreciate that philosophers can appear equally silly discussing science or history. How can you be sure that, as a philosopher specializing in the Scholastics, you didn't appear silly when talking about a field based in legal theory and sociology?

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    1. One Brow,

      First, not every non-philosopher looks silly when writing on philosophy, and not every philosopher looks silly when writing on non-philosophical topics. It depends on whether they’ve done their homework. What would be silly is the judgment “Oh, this is not so-and-so’s field, therefore what he says about it must be wrong.” There’s no shortcut to looking at the actual arguments someone gives and evaluating them on their own terms rather than looking for some meta-level reason to dismiss them without a hearing.

      Second, the claims of CRT and it popularizers that are most relevant to the issues I address in the book are in any case essentially philosophical in nature, and the fallacies they commit obvious to anyone with elementary logical acumen. A fallacy is a fallacy whether committed by a philosopher, a physicist, a dentist, or a CRT writer.

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    2. Dr. Feser,

      I certainly endorse an approach that would look at logical fallacies. Thank you for your response.

      If it does not reveal too much, who are the CRT popularizers whose writings you examine? Delgado, Bell, Williams, Crenshaw? Perhaps you mean Christopher Rufo?

      Delete
    3. Bell and Crenshaw are not popularizers, but CRT theorists in their own right. They are among the people I discuss, as is Delgado (who is also not a popularizer, exactly, though he did co-author a well-known introductory work).

      Rufo, of course, is a critic of CRT, so naturally he is not a popularizer of it in the sense in question here, even if he writes popular critical works about it. Anyway, I don't say anything about him in the book at all, nor did I rely on any of his stuff when working on it.

      The popularizers I have in mind are people like Kendi and DiAngelo, who, though not themselves legal theorists, nevertheless make use of key concepts associated with CRT. And the idea that CRT is just some high-falutin' technical legal theory is itself a rhetorical dodge in any event. CRT enshrines a far more comprehensive philosophical position, with ethical, epistemological, and even metaphysical aspects. Which makes it a bit rich for CRT defenders to complain that critics are somehow encroaching on legal-theoretic territory.

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    4. Ibram X. Kendi has specifically said he's not a critical race theorist. Diangelo does not seem to claim to be a critical race theorist, either. They say they are authoring works on anti-racism, white fragility, and similar notions. Critical race theory was extremely obscure until Rufo et. al. brought it into the mainstream, certainly he is the popularizer of the conservative perception of CRT. This was a deliberate attempt to take the concept of "anti-racism" and give it a more threatening sounding appellation, however inappropriate. This appealed to many people.

      As CRT is a somewhat post-modern take on the racism and social justice, I can see where you would find some of the epistemological and metaphysical aspects of it questionable. However, your choice of who to emphasize and who to downplay is not promising.

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    5. Please. These sorts of claims are sheer obfuscation and damage control on the part of CRT boosters. If you use “Critical Race Theory” in a narrow sense that confines it only to certain legal theorists, then in that narrow sense Kendi et al. are not Critical Race Theorists. But no one says they are, in that sense. The claim is rather that they have popularized certain themes that originated in CRT, and that is true. Kendi himself has admitted as much:

      “I’ve certainly been inspired by critical race theory and critical race theorists. The ways in which I’ve formulated definitions of racism and racist and anti-racism and anti-racist have not only been based on historical evidence, but also Kimberlé Crenshaw’s intersectional theory. She’s one of the founding and pioneering critical race theorists”

      https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/06/critical-race-theory-ibram-kendi-racism-racists.html

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    6. Dr. Feser,

      I appreciate your patience, and I am sure I have mildly tested it. I don't expect to persuade you, so I will just leave this with a shoe-on-the-other-foot example.

      Were I to write a book on how Scholasticism is aiming to control our government and create oppression, that would likely raise a skeptical eyebrow. Were I, within said book, devote only a paragraph or two to scholars such as yourself or Dr. Oderberg, and instead devote chapters to likes of Bill Donohue, I'd think you find such a work very silly indeed.

      Thank you for this discussion and your responses.

      Delete
    7. @One Brow

      "Critical race theory was extremely obscure until Rufo et. al. brought it into the mainstream, certainly he is the popularizer of the conservative perception of CRT. "

      "This was a deliberate attempt to take the concept of "anti-racism" and give it a more threatening sounding appellation, however inappropriate. "

      This novel concept of "anti-racism" was precisely the catalyst that sparked all the controversy we see today. It was just patently absurd. All Rufo had to do was point to the emerging patterns that one has seen over the years,

      the frequent racial posturing and anti racism talks undertaken by multinational corps,

      the frequent characterisation of entire races of people as complicit or even guilty of racism in the abstract by the usage of terms such as "whiteness" while completely disregarding any references to concrete or individual realities that might say otherwise.

      The promotion of the Oppressor -Oppressed world-view which only classifies reality on the basis of those terms in a hierarchical fashion which in turn allowed for tools like intersectional theory to fill in that hierarchy giving rise to further abstractions like "compliant minorities" to describe groups of people who evidently don't fit this schema since the anti-racists couldn't account for their success in any other way.

      These concepts were so prevalent and yet at the same time so abstract. They could only be characteristics of a "system". A system of thought.

      That's the only way in which the level of abstraction could make sense.

      This novel form of "anti-racism" were also at play much before the Trump administration which is made evident by the fact that Asian/Indian students were graded and assessed much more rigorously
      with higher standards then any other groups precisely because they were frequently excelling in the system.

      And it has already escaped the American eco system and culminated into a systematic attempt to view issues in other cultures within the same lens.

      https://www.opindia.com/2022/06/google-caste-washington-post-sundar-pichai-brahmin-thenmozhi-soundararajan/

      Very recently a talk was scheduled for a group of South Asian google employees on "caste divisions" and ultimately had to be cancelled because 7000 Indian employees protested. It was cancelled because the employees clearly recognised that the talk attempted to demonise an entire group of people based on certain historical precedent that they aren't responsible for in any way and was also divorced from the concrete realities of their life, as they pointed out that, lots of times because of the reservation system in Indian Education many people who didn't belong to any lower castes had to seek higher education else where.

      So your observation that all this is a very recent development is just patently false. The theory has been in effect for a very long time, it's just that people are beginning to wake up to it now.


      Delete
    8. Hello One Brow,

      The analogy is not apt, for several reasons. First, Kendi and DiAngelo are themselves academics, even if they have written popularizing works. Second, while I do say a lot about them, I don’t say as little about people like Bell, Crenshaw, Delgado, et al. as you imply. Third, like it or not, it is the popularizations of people like Kendi and DiAngelo rather than the more academic works of CRT writers that are having the most direct and widespread influence, so naturally I am going to say a lot about them.

      A better analogy would be this. Imagine a situation where popular works by Mortimer Adler and Peter Kreeft became bestsellers, were being widely promoted in the news media, on college readings lists everywhere and guiding HR department training, influencing even grade school curricula around the country, etc. Suppose this was widely characterized as people pushing an Aristotelian-Thomist worldview. And suppose others pushed back and said “Oh how ridiculous! A-T is an abstract set of metaphysical ideas with a large body of academic literature! No one is pushing that in the schools! No one is having school children read copes of The Thomist or assigning them Oderberg’s Real Essentialism to read!”

      This would, of course, be a totally dishonest response. Of course this really would be a case where A-T was being pushed throughout the culture, even if in a popularized form. The same with what is going on now with CRT. And just as it would be totally appropriate for critics of A-T in this scenario to talk a lot about Alder and Kreeft – since, in the scenario, those would be the writers in fact having the most widespread and direct influence – so too is it appropriate to talk a lot about people like Kendi and DiAngelo.

      Delete
  13. Racism is a fake word. Its a fancy curse word. Its a lefty word meant to shut white people up and create good whites and bad whites so we can fight. Its an anti white slur, thats all. THe Catholic Church never used the R word. Conservatives don't want to be called bad, they want lefty and blacks to pat them on the head and tell them that they are good whites.


    Stop playing lefties games.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't go that far anon.

      Racism is a real evil. There is something known as racism.

      And the church has used the word


      New Year’s message of 2001, John Paul II

      Love for one’s country is thus a value to be fostered, without narrow-mindedness but with love for the whole human family and with an effort to avoid those pathological manifestations which occur when the sense of belonging turns into self-exaltation, the rejection of diversity, and forms of nationalism, racism and xenophobia.

      Delete
    2. Vatican II and Catholicsm are 2 very different things. If racism is so evil, why is in only 100 years old?

      Delete
    3. But thatnks for the quote! THe NO is no different than any other progressive religion

      Delete
    4. Hi Anonymous,

      Racism is basically the deification or idolisation of one's race in a way that leads one to value one's race above all other basic values including Christ's command to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and to Love one another as you love yourselves.

      And it was always condemned by the Church even pre vatican 2.

      Pope Pius XI
      Mit brennender Sorge
      `Whosoever takes race, or the people or the State... or any other basic value of the human community in order to withdraw them form (their) scale of values... and deify them through an idolatrous cult, overturns and falsifies the order of things created and established by God'.

      Delete
    5. I'm sorry, where is the word "racism" in Piux XI's letter to the German bishops?

      Its not there, is it?

      Delete
    6. If I said, "Africa for blacks, Asia for yellows, South America for reds, and Europe and America for whites" would be called the R word, no? DId I say that one race is better than the others?

      Delete
    7. Hi Anon

      The term "racism" is just an artifact of convenience to describe a certain concept. It would be tedious or time consuming for me to keep on saying "Idolisation of Race" so I use a single term to describe that concept.

      And the Church's pronouncements are always in some language other than English, so if you say that, just because they never used the "specific english term", it means that they have never talked about the concept, it would be absurd.

      It's like saying that just because the Church has not used the english word "fornication", that means the Church has never pronounced on it. Obviously that is not correct because the church has always said extramarital or premarital relations are wrong. Fornication is just a single word that describes the act.

      In a similar way, the word racism just means deification of race which was always condemned by the church.

      Hi Anon 2

      Well that really depends on what you mean when you say "White" or "Black". If you mean the mere feature or quality of looks or appearances, then yes it would be the idolisation of race because the thing is that a person's colour (appearance) can change according to their exposure to the sun and other environmental factors, a fair person could become dark etc.

      If one's entitlement to live somewhere is dependent on mere color then if their color happened to change as a result of certain exposure then they would lose their right to live in that place. That's obviously absurd.

      But..

      If you mean color in the sense of "ethnicity", that property by which a person has immediate genetic inheritance or relation to a particular group of people, then your statement may not be wrong in and off itself but it's morality would be dependent on certain contingent realities. It isn't wrong to say that Japan is for people with Japanese Ethnicity or India is for Indians with Indian ethnicity.

      But for example if one race of people specifically goes to the homeland of another race of people and then takes them away from their homeland to a far away place and subjugates them in an inhuman way for centuries, such that entire generations of the subjugated race grew up in the foreign land, then the case is different.

      Once the oppressor has seen the error in his ways, the descendants of the subjugated race acquire a certain right to inhabit that land, not only as recompense for their subjugation but also because of the sheer number of years that they have been present on that land from the time of their ancestors to the present generation. That land becomes just as much theirs as it were others.

      If the situation had been different then obviously the conditions would be different.

      Obviously that doesn't mean that the descendants of the oppressors are responsible in anyway and have to be treated that way, as is implied by nonsensical theories such as CRT. That would just be reverse racism.

      The matter of recompensation is different.
      You are not responsible for your father's crimes but in certain circumstances you may be obligated to pay for it.

      Obviously this should be done in a just way and doesn't involve treating the son as if he were responsible for the crime.

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    8. @Norm. If racism is idolization of one's own race above God, is patriotism the idolization of one's own nation/country above God?

      Delete
    9. Hello TB

      Idolisation of one's race above God means that a person takes his race to be above God's commandments and his decree to love and respect ones neighbor.

      At the same time,

      A healthy love or preference (in terms of culture, traditions, ways of dress etc) for one's own race (genetic inheritance) is not wrong as long as it doesn't lead to the demeaning or dehumanising of another race. You could say it's even part of the respect that is owed to your ancestors or family as part of the fourth commandment. One could reasonably call that familial piety.

      The same applies for Patriotism , it just demarcates a healthy love for one's country.

      Obviously that could become excessive and thus idolisation of one's country over God, I would call that "Jingoism" not patriotism.

      One might be wondering what about race in the sense of "appearance of having or being a particular color".

      With regards to that I'm not quite sure to be honest, color isn't race itself (that's why colorism is considered as seperate from racism which has a more broader application) , it's just a reliable indicator of race that can actually go wrong at times, a dark person can become fair, a fair person can become dark, but their race doesn't change.
      Also color isn't the only indicator of race, there may be other specifying physical features.

      Given all this it just seems that color in terms of physical appearance is a very trivial aspect of human life, And the fact that we tend to give it more importance then it actually merits is precisely the sin.

      So is it right to celebrate your color over other colors or for example to say that I am happy that I happen to have this particular color rather then the other.

      Well, it's hard to make sense of that statement because, color neither contributes to your rational faculties, nor does it contribute to your virtues or your gifts.

      It only contributes to your appearance, in that sense I think it would be permissible to say that you have this "aesthetic" preference.

      But one should keep in mind that this a very subjective judgement and doesn't actually have any grounding in objective reality.

      People may tend to have an aesthetic preference for their own race, which is natural, but doesn't mean that the particular color is actually more beautiful then the other color. It's just a natural subjective aesthetic preference.

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    10. It seems to me that "a healthy love or preference for one's own race" is precisely what constitutes racism, at least as far as white people are concerned.

      Take the example of patriotism. Patriotism is the "healthy" expression of love of country and jingoism (or whatever) is the unhealthy, idolatrous version. What is the "healthy" version of racism? Ethnocentrism? How is ethnocentrism supposed to apply to a racial community as patriotism applies to a national one *without* being racist? Patriotism compels us to make sacrifices for our own national community that we wouldn't make for another community, and to give preference to those of our own nationality over those of another--this is entirely within the norms of morality, widely agreed upon. But what of ethnocentrism, or, racial patriotism? For a racial group (at least a European one) to make sacrifices for itself and not for others, to exclude outsider races from the preferential treatment it reserves for itself is considered racist and I have no doubt would be considered racist to those using the "Catholic" definition of the term.

      As an example, if a white housing community were to give preferential treatment to white homebuyers over those of other races, this would be deemed "racist" by most people. But it could also be construed as a kind of racial patriotism--many people, after all, would agree that granting similar privileges within a *national* community is perfectly acceptable, that there is nothing wrong with giving preferential treatment to your own nationality over foreigners.

      See where I'm going with this?

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    11. Hi TB

      You do pose some interesting questions.

      I thinking it would be helpful to consider some scenarios in themselves.

      Some things may not be wrong in and off itself but wrong given certain realities.

      I don't think it would have been considered wrong for white people to gather among themselves or give preferential treatment for each other had they not engaged in the enslavement or subjugation of large swathes of people.

      Indeed, there would have actually been no requirement for preferential treatment because everyone would be white, there would have been no "preferential",
      just "treatment" so to speak.

      But given the historical realities, I guess, the natural assumption is that any kind of white gathering or preferential treatment for each other is done out of hate for the other ethnic group rather then love for one's own ethnic group. (I might add in most modern day instances, it ultimately does turn out to be hate for the other group (eg acts of groups like the KKK are evidently motivated by hate) even if it need not necessarily be the case. )

      This is, one might say, an unfortunate consequence of the sins of the father.

      But assumptions have a subjective quality.

      What about the objective morality of the example you gave ?

      Well I guess that (And this is just an attempt to organise my thoughts, so it could be wrong )

      It would really depend on which white people you are talking about and who are they excluding ?

      Like for example I would say that American white people don't have any real obligation to Indian people (of the asian country) . The British White people do though.

      The American White people do have certain obligations I would say to American black people who are the descendants of the subjugated people who were forced to work as slaves.

      I think that this obligation rests on the fact that by virtue of being captured from a country and forced to be in another country over generations, for these black people there are two aspects to the question of who they are, their connection to their far away ancestral land but also their connection to the new land of which they were forced to take part in the traditions and culture but eventually over time embraced it. You could say that they became "White" in a certain sense as regards to culture and tradition while at the same time retained a connection (more biological) to their ancestral land.

      A "biological connection" denotes ethnicity but it isn't given significance or importance just because of it
      self, rather it is given significance because of something else connected to it which depends on the level of biological relation, on the more personal or parental level, then it's the fact that they gave you life, at a social level it is the culture or tradition.

      Since the example you mentioned exists at the social level,

      For American Whites to exclude or be selective with regards to the black descendants , would be akin to rejecting one's own or another white person since those people have become "white" with regards to culture which is what gives biological relation it's importance at the social level.

      This situation perhaps gives rise to the broader notion of what it means to be "American".

      And it would be permissible I think for this group of white people to reject an Indian or Asian, since they didn't force the Indian to become like them in anyway.

      Anyways those are my thoughts.

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    12. It seems your way of thinking relies largely on a certain interpretation of historical events. I believe this interpretation of events is largely a product of 20th century developments in American political discourse and mostly alien to the historical Catholic understanding. One also has to wonder how groups all over the world should relate to each other, when all groups have been victimized by another and been the victimizer in their turn.

      Arguing that whites differentiating between themselves and blacks as in-group vs. out-group is invalid because blacks are now culturally "white" Americans is at odds with both how blacks see themselves and how whites see them. In fact, your argument that the relationship between whites and blacks is defined by the historical reality of African slavery in America is entirely predicated on them being an identifiably separate people with their own identity. But the reality that blacks were the victims of racial injustice and thus need to be specially treated in recompense begs the question that blacks were supposed to be treated the same as whites to begin with and were therefore "vitcims" of anything. If they were supposed to be treated the same as whites from the beginning, the implication is that the white/black division from the beginning was invalid or immoral. Our concept of what constitutes injustice in this respect is circular: blacks were the victims of injustice because they were not treated equally as whites, presuming a common identity that didn't exist at the time and only came into existence after the fact to right the historical wrong.

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    13. Hi TB

      Well, if that's the case they don't "see" themselves that way , I would argue that they are actually in denial of the truth since they are culturally alligned in very discernible ways as to manner of dress, food, celebrations, language, music.

      A Black American could be said to have more in common with a White American then say a black European

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    14. My arguments for blacks gaining a new dimension to their identity does not negate the fact they also already had a previously established identity, I mentioned that above there came to be two aspects to their identity, one of those aspects is their biological relation to their ancestral land which allows us to identify them as a seperate race.

      I think both those truths can be affirmed at the same time.

      "Our concept of what constitutes injustice in this respect is circular: blacks were the victims of injustice because they were not treated equally as whites, presuming a common identity that didn't exist at the time and only came into existence after the fact to right the historical wrong."

      I think the first statement is a misinterpretation, blacks were a victim of injustice because they were not treated with the basic respect that is owed to a "human being", the injustice was the denial of their humanity by enslavement (the denial of the fact that men as a rational animal belongs to himself or exists for his own sake i.e he decides or controls how his faculties are to be used as opposed to animals who don't exist for their own sake but exist in order to be used by man since they fall lower on the hierarchy of being), also they taken away from the land etc, all these are the reasons why the treatment was wrong. It has nothing to do with "equality" but more to do with the nature of humanity in general and the duties and obligations which that entail. Their mere humanity entailed them. The common identity that should have been presumed prior to enslavement was humanity.

      To put it in another way

      "Blacks were the victims of injustice because they were not treated as humans, a common identity that did exist at the time , the neglection of which led to blacks having another identity that only came into existence because of the enslavement to right the historical wrong. "

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    15. Thanks for the thoughtful response. I dont think your formulation of the injustice is any better, however, because it transposes a dedinition of injustice and "common humanity" that is simply anachronistic. Its equivalent to saying "coverture laws constituted a grave injustice against women because it denied them the same basic human rights as men." But this begs the question that men and women have the same *legal* rights simply by virtue of them being.equally human.

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    16. Also, consider children. Even today children are subjected to the the authority and discipline of their parents, which often entails physical coercion and even violence. Most consider this situation acceptable because they recognize children as a separate category of human being with a subordinate status to adults. But why is this differentiation valid? Slave status was once considered valid and moral but that is no longer the case due to our undertsamding of basic human rights.

      Taking a step back, what authority in society designates valid categories of persons to which different rights and obligations apply, be they in a subordinate role or one of authority?

      In the military, subordinates are bound to follow orders of their superiors or suffer punishment, regardless of their being equally human and thus having the same basic rights and value owing to their common humanity.

      At one point in time, racial identity and ethnicity were valid categories of differentiation in the social and legal sense and I am wondering why this was unjust when all other kinds of categories of differentiation were (and remain today) valid. Unless one believes *all* distinctions are invalid on account of a common human identity, it seems to me the immorality of "racism" is ad hoc.

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    17. Hi TB

      Legal rights is just the application of the natural law to particular scenarios. Rights are first derived from theoretical reflection on human nature.

      We can deduce certain morals regarding what is right and what is wrong by observing human nature.

      Once it is known it applies to all spheres of human action whether it is legal or has to do with race relations etc.

      It is the very foundation of the rules we formulate in those particular applications like "legal rights" etc.

      So accordingly if something applies on the level of human nature, it applies at the legal level, if some right exists at the level of human nature, it exists at the legal level also.

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    18. In the military,

      Usually speaking,

      One's subordination is a choice.

      It's important to conceptualise human responsibility as a matter of "owing" or obligation, the concept of "being bound" by a certain kind of necessity. This owing or obligation exists in different ways at different levels with varying "degrees" of importance.

      Authority is decided by relationships, it usually flows from the very nature of those relationships.

      You owe subordination to your Father and Mother because they are your father and mother, they gave you life.

      In regards to compulsory military service, you owe that subordination to the country because it is the country that allows you to live on its land, nourishes you with food etc.

      Your obligation to your parents is more stronger then your obligation to the country, hence there are "varying degrees'.

      There are obligations that also exist at the level of just being a human. These obligations are mostly negative prescriptions as in they are formulated in terms of "You shall not do this".

      Again, these are owed out of necessity just from human nature.

      If these negative prescriptions are violated though, postive prescriptions arise.

      You can look at it as a kind of hierarchy which goes from the more "particular" to the more "general".

      At the level of the more particular , the binding is strong there are negative prescriptions as well as positive prescriptions , at the level of the more general there are mostly negative prescriptions.

      The varying degrees doesn't give one the dispensation to do away with the prescription all together. Especially negative prescriptions are always binding.

      Lots of the prescriptions owed to one as a human being were violated during the period of slavery and importing of people from their home nation to serve as slaves.

      It has never ever been right to bring someone from their homeland and force them into servitude. There is just no warrant for it at the level of human nature, all though there is a warrant against it.


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    19. Hi Norm. You said that Authority is decided by certain relationships. Also, previously:

      "We can deduce certain morals regarding what is right and what is wrong by observing human nature."

      And

      "In regards to compulsory military service, you owe that subordination to the country because it is the country that allows you to live on its land, nourishes you with food etc."

      You give a similar justification for the subordination of children to parents, because as the givers of life parents have authority over their children.

      I am curious how these relationships of authority/subordination are derived from observation of human nature, if you believe that to be the case anyway. What is it about human nature that compels me to submit to conscription by the state authority? Especially when you previously said that blacks were wronged by slavery because it denied them the basic respect owed to all humans, and that this denial was

      "the denial of the fact that men as a rational animal belongs to himself or exists for his own sake i.e he decides or controls how his faculties are to be used as opposed to animals who don't exist for their own sake but exist in order to be used by man since they fall lower on the hierarchy of being"

      Wouldn't that denial of basic humanity qua his nature apply to conscription and subordination of children as well? You assert that relationships are decisive in determining authority, but all persons with all kinds of relationships still have the same human natures and thus belong to themselves for their own sake, giving them autonomy and control over their own faculties, etc.

      Are the decisive relationships from which obligations are derived deduced from observing human nature? If so, why doesn't that include enslavement of persons etc.?

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    20. Hi TB

      No, it wouldn't be a denial of their basic humanity with regards to Children and Conscription because first of all that subordination is "owed".

      Why is this owed ? As I mentioned above we can come to know it from observing human nature.

      What does this mean ?

      Well it basically means that subordination in these cases are "good" for the human being, i.e it facilitates their flourishing as human beings.

      It is good for a child to obey his parents, because children qua children are immature and don't know anything.

      When it comes to the authority of the parents, it doesn't deny the child's capacity to govern himself or the fact that the child belongs to himself, rather the authority functions to nurture that disposition and helps the child to grow so that he/she can use his or her faculties wisely. Notice that there are certain limits to this authority as well for example, you cannot command your child to do something wrong like steal from a superstore etc, this authority at most acts as a pointer to point them in the right direction and to point them away from the wrong direction (This is where you could say that the authority aspect is most reflected ,as a parent can deny the child of something he badly wants, but this is also done because the parent feels that the desired item is "not good" for the child)

      This is up to a certain age, then this authority becomes more of a prudential guide which is not absolutely binding precisely because at say 18 years old, the person belongs to himself in a more complete way.

      If your 18 year old son wants to become a Engineer, you can't force him to be an accountant, you can at most offer prudential guidance, or you could withdraw your financial support his ambition, but the son still has the right to follow his ambition.

      Also notice that, this Authority of the parents is derived from their biological relationship as the primary care taker of the child and are thus responsible for their well being. You dony have any meaningful authority over someone else's child. If someone else's child is for example eating too much junk food and you know it's not good for the child, you can't really do anything about it if that child 's parents' are alright with it.

      So parents have authority over only their child and that too in a qualified sense.

      Some implications for racism from this would be that, if you don't have authority over the children of people from your own race and your authority over your own children exists only in a qualified sense especially when they become adults, all the more less with regards to people of another race.

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    21. As regards to military conscription ,first of all there are certain limits with respect to this also, the commander can't order a person to do something wrong, the commander also can't order a normal civilian who is just undergoing mandatory conscription to do something that is not apt for him, for example the commander can't enforce a drill that is physically destructive or devastating to the average civilian.

      There must also be provisions for conscientious objections as in if someone is not particularly inclined towards carrying arms or weapons on account of their values.

      An average citizen also ought not to be on the frontlines of war presumably because they would not be prepared.

      If one reflects on the nature of what it means to have a good or effective army, indeed it is an an army where everyone is "willing" or "enthusiastic" about serving the country rather then just being coerced into do so.

      Accordingly an army must have the above mentioned provisions if it wants to flourish or be a good army.

      Also another consideration would be that mandatory military conscription as a policy would only be valid if it was implemented by a government that the people of a country freely subordinate to,
      a governing authority which has the consent of the people to rule otherwise if the people feel that mandatory conscription is not required they can refuse subordination to the government by voting it out or bringing about a change in accordance with the way in which they elevate leaders.

      In that sense, even military conscription is dependent on the ability of people to belong to themselves and use their faculties accordingly.

      Also a military's ability to mandate conscription only extends within the visible borders of a country, they cannot mandate people who don't fall within their area of jurisdiction.

      And even within their jurisdiction the authority exists in a very qualified sense.

      1.) The policy itself is dependent on being in accordance with the will of the people, that means the people themselves have "chosen" to be subordinate to this policy.

      2.)The policy must have certain provisions that allow the people to not participate in activities that they don't deem fit.

      This subordination is owed on account of one's obligation to serve their nation since the nation nourishes them they "owe" it because it is good for them. A person who doesn't want to serve their country because they don't love it has an attitude which is unhealthy for themselves and the community.

      Even then, this subordination is very qualified and limited in it's application, and definitely has provisions or ought to have provisions that don't violate a person's belonging to themselves.

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  14. Dr. Feser, I haven't read your book so maybe my question is answered there. I would like to know if is immoral for communities that identify themselves as belonging to a specific race/ethnicity to withhold certain privileges/rights from those belonging to groups outside of that community? Are ethnic groups obliged to regard all peoples, those within and without their communities, as basically the same, to be treated the same as any other?

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    Replies
    1. Not under Novus Ordo/modern reality. you MUST include all races as as one race. Saying that there are more than one race, is evil. Unless you are black, then you can have your own colleges, be black and proud, and demand special treatment.

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    2. @ Anonymous:

      Saying that there are more than one race, is evil.

      All this "white-supremacy" nonsense is nothing but a bastardization of the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. If you are "white", you have to pay for something that your forebears did (slavery), and the sin IS now in you. (What would be the chromosomal region where sin is codified? Is sin transcribed via ARN polimerases? Can sin 'mutate'? :)

      Same goes for the "patriarchy" and other societal ailments. They're just misplaced religious thought. Look, those atheist loons can not stop preaching about 'evil'. They never step away from their pulpits. But according to evolutionists, religion has been hard-coded in H. sapien's, brain, so it's not a surprise after all.

      Another variant of religious thought is the "materialist" cult (mother matter is all-powerful and can create life from non-life, sentience from non-sentience and intelligence from non-intelligence. She has a cute maiden that goes by the name of 'Evolution' and sometimes father Chronos joins the party.). They're deeply embedded in greek mythology (and fake greek philosophy, à la Parmenides, Heraclitus and Empedocles).

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  15. It’s the existence of the immortal soul as the form of the human body that is the source of our common nature. Nominalism again is the source of modern philosophical and theological errors. Modern social justice theory rejects hylomorphism in humans and the immortal soul as the source of human dignity and equality. Instead modern social justice is left with power and class struggle to define its unjust social justice theory. True justice necessarily is an image of the First Cause and Giver of our nature. Three cheers for teleology and the true existence of the Final Cause. “All things act for an end”.

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  16. @ John Ghostley:

    It’s the existence of the immortal soul as the form of the human body that is the source of our common nature.

    "Being a rational animal is (according to Aristotelians) the essence or substantial form of a human being; having black or white skin is not part of this essence, since someone can be a rational animal, and thus a human being, whatever his skin color." ( The Last Superstition, p. 57)

    Instead modern social justice is left with power and class struggle to define its unjust social justice theory. 

    They are Darwin's pupils. Some populations are better 'adapted' to their environment and displace those populations which are not. And the cycle keeps repeating until the inexorable forces of evolution erase everything and another life form occupies 'our' place. And in the end, all was for nothing. No justice, no acknowledgement, no reward. Just the endless indifference of the Universe. The utter despair born from the materialist superstition. The essence of atheism, what defines it, is nihilism. Let's get rid of it once and for all.

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  17. TO Norm: First, it is not a sin to own slaves. Blacks subjugated their own people and sold them into slavery to Whites. No one can convince me, that after seeing orderly, how wealthy, and how good Whites treat others (in general) that blacks in Africa didn't start lining up to emigrate.

    Racism is a slur against Whites. You said it yourself "that would be reverse racism". I hear this term reverse racism all the time. It clearly shows that the common usage of the word racist and racism, is a slur agains Whites.

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