Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Right to Not Be Offended

is more important than your right to free speech. That is, if I belong to a protected group. Welcome to LIberal Fascism.

Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

On December 10, 1948-63 years ago today-the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted; 48 nations voted in favor, 8 abstained, and none dissented. The Declaration proclaimed a simple idea: that all human beings are born equal and free in dignity and rights. The Declaration also made it clear that rights are not conferred by governments. They are the birthright of every human being regardless of where they were born, what the color of their skin is, or what religion they practice. These rights include the right to freedom of expression and opinion, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Declaration.

Read the whole thing.

(Via First Things: On the Square.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kantian Philosophy

can be a minefield for the new philosopher. He's extremely important for understanding modern philosophy but can be abstract and difficult to understand. So follow the little girl in the video to get a glimpse of what might be wrong with Kant:

Do you understand the philosophy of Immanuel Kant? Why it ultimately fails? Then give me five minutes of your time, because this is important...:

Do you understand the philosophy of Immanuel Kant? Why it ultimately fails? Give me five minutes of your time; this is important. Some would say Kant's principles are the very cornerstone of our civilization. The term "categorical imperative" means that we decide right from wrong by the premise, "If it's OK for me to do it, then it has to be OK for everybody to do it. If it's not OK for everybody to do it, then it's not OK for me to do it either." Or said a little differently, “One must always follow one’s own conscience.” Sound familiar? Immanuel Kant taught that the obligation of moral command comes from the will (we all want to do the right thing), that in matters of conscience individuals have absolute autonomy (follow your own conscience), and that mere obedience to an external authority was immoral. That's right - immoral.

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Philosophy is Hard

Especially when you have a cold. Nonetheless Professor Beckwith cites four pdf documents of some of his arguments against a Rawlsian view of democracy and law. They are worth reading and pondering, though I did burn out by the last one:

President Obama: Ex-Liberal:

President Barack Obama has abandoned liberalism. What I mean by liberalism is not the political philosophy that we typically associate with left-of-center politicians and candidates. The president, of course, remains unabashedly in that camp. What I am referring to is a particular posture concerning moral questions, which the preside.

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Man's Meat

is another's cult:

Pot meet Kettle...

...Rock meet glass house.

Michael Voris

Pot meet Kettle...

...Rock meet glass house.

Michael Voris deconstructs Pastor Jeffres criticism of Mormonism.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Logical Inconsistency

is a common human condition. We are apt to entertain two quite inconsistent ideas without ever realizing it. Do read the entire article below for an illuminating exploration of one such situation, involving a brilliant man. Intelligence is guarantor of consistency it seems:

The Delusions of Liberal Humanism:

The link between intelligence and correct interpretation of reality is unfortunately weak. That is one of the reason why someone like cognitive scientist Stephen Pinker can be very smart and yet be consistently wrong. Pinker champions his latest wrong idea in his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: the Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes, which posits that humans are evolving to become less violent.

The fact that you can publish a book making a claim so easily debunked by both empirical evidence and common sense says a lot about the publishing industry. But the idea that Pinker believes it to to be true—and so many people are willing to entertain the notion—says even more about the delusions of liberal humanism. As philosopher John Grey says in his devastating review,

The idea that a new world can be constructed through the rational application of force is peculiarly modern, animating ideas of revolutionary war and pedagogic terror that feature in an influential tradition of radical Enlightenment thinking. Downplaying this tradition is extremely important for Pinker. Along with liberal humanists everywhere, he regards the core of the Enlightenment as a commitment to rationality. The fact that prominent Enlightenment figures have favoured violence as an instrument of social transformation is—to put it mildly—inconvenient.

There is a deeper difficulty. Like so many contemporary evangelists for humanism, Pinker takes for granted that science endorses an Enlightenment account of human reason. Since science is a human creation, how could humans not be rational? Surely science and humanism are one and the same. Actually it’s extremely curious—though entirely typical of current thinking—that science should be linked with humanism in this way. A method of inquiry rather than a settled view of the world, there can be no guarantee that science will vindicate Enlightenment ideals of human rationality. Science could just as well end up showing them to be unrealisable.

Read more . . .

Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

With Retirement pending...

These may be words to ponder:

*How to overcome envy over the depth and beauty of other:

How to overcome envy over the depth and beauty of other people's blogposts

There are several effective methods.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Disputations.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lay "Blessings" Again

I second Father Z's opinion:

D. of Madison’s newspaper’s explanation of EMHC’s giving blessings as if they were priests:

In The Catholic Herald of the Diocese of Madison, where the great Bishop Robert Morlino exercises oversight, there is a great article on an issue we have addressed here many times: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion giving blessings to non-communicants as if they were priests.

The whole thing deserves a reading here and there is no combox over there.

Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Expert Opinion

is something we all have recourse to. To avoid falling into the "Appeal to Authority" fallacy in logic there are things we must be sure of before we rely on an "expert". What are his Qualifications? Are they current? Are they relevant to the topic under discussion? Does this opinion represent a consensus or is it a minority opinion or even a lonely dissent?

Ok, I like Mark's way of putting better:

Train Wreck Imminent:

Suppose an expert weightlifter were to be given an entire series by the BBC in which he is allowed to hold forth on US Middle East policy, the gold standard, and plumbing techniques in New Zealand. You might ask, "How does expertise in weightlifting qualify this guy to pontificate on these things?" and you'd be right.

But nobody asks why expertise in a rarified branch of physics qualifies Stephen Hawking to pontificate on philosophy and metaphysics. Instead, the theological and philosophical illiterates running the Beeb in the Country that Used to Be England simply assume that a technician will have profound things to say, despite the massive and growing pile of evidence that the man has no idea what he is talking about when he blathers about these things that are clearly outside he field of competence.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I Am Who and What I Say I Am

I'm a little puzzled by the John Jay Report apparently understating the influence of homosexual behaviour amongst the offending priests (and bishops). This seemingly because the offenders didn't think of themselves as homosexuals while they sought sexual gratification with post-pubescent males. I don't think of myself as lazy even if there's a lot of work I should be doing now that I'm neglected, ok? So don't judge me.

John Jay report a "whitewash" of clerical homosexuality?:

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice recently released its report, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the clerical sex scandals that came to light over the past decade. Some have alleged that the study is a "whitewash" of the issue of clerical homosexuality, since the report denies that a man engaging in sexual acts with a post-pubescent teen male should be called a "homosexual" if he doesn't think of himself as a homosexual.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Musings of a Pertinacious Papist.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A Little Exercise for the Grey Cells

can be found here:

The Collection of Atoms Called "Mike Flynn"...:

replies to the collection of atoms designated "Sam Harris" and tries to persuade him to stop babbling nonsense.

Someday I hope Flynn gives up this nonsense of writing award winning fiction and publishing one great novel after another and finds his true calling: explaining Thomistic philosophy to materialist New Atheist dunderheads.

Also, how can I ever publish fiction when anything I even dream of attempting pales next to his work? It's intimidating, dammit!

Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Do you need facial hair to be a Catholic apologist?

Oh good, something to do while I'm busy retiring:

Do you need facial hair to be a Catholic apologist?:

So you want to be a Catholic apologist? It isn't all that hard, really. There's only a handful of things you need in order to be an effective and successful Catholic apologist. Faithfulness to the Magisterium. Love of Scripture. Passion for the truth. And facial hair.

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Is Waterboarding Torture?

The first question we should be asking is "Should we allow torture at all?" And the answer, I insist, is no.

The follow-on question "Is torture effective?", given the answer to the first question, is irrelevant. Effective or not torture is immoral and dehumanizing both for the victim and the torturer. You shall not do evil that good may come of it. Without this fundamental truth moral reasoning loses it's coherency. So I disagree with the author of the article cited below to that degree.

A legitimate question might be "Is waterboarding torture?" Prior to 2001 (and the torture-works-ticking-clock rationale) the answer was clearly yes:

Is Waterboarding Torture?:

I agree with you, Matt, that there are several questions surrounding this issue that, while disturbing, are disputable. “Should we allow torture?” and “Is torture effective?” are two examples. But the question of whether waterboarding is torture is not one of them.

Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

For the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: "Song of Bernadette"

Since today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes this seems an appropriate link:

For the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: "Song of Bernadette":

People forget that Leonard Cohen wrote something else besides the now-ubiquitous "Hallelujah". He composed this haunting ode to love and human frailty, "Song of Bernadette." Here's the great Jennifer Warnes - whatever happened to her, by the way? — performing this, evidently on "The Smothers Brothers" show in the early 1970s.

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)