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Showing posts from March 3, 2019

The Blunt Force Of Unbelief

I used this phrase with a friend the other day, and I think its aptness is its directness. If God does not exist, then all manner of things become possible as choices that decent people don't consider, at least most of the time. This is not to say that one must be devoted to religion in order to be good; not at all. It's that the intelligibility of goodness makes sense in a world created by the God who spoke to Abraham. It's a subtle difference, but it's real. A lot of people may not sign on the dotted line, as it were, for what the Church teaches. They like their adulteries, their abundance of strong drinks, or the glamour of believing in Reason. Press them a bit, though, and they are not ready to actually live in a senseless world. This inconsistency is an implicit acknowledgement of God. I thank God for this inconsistency. I thank God, in a way, for this hypocrisy. If we are open, we can be led in virtue to the threshold of faith itself. Faith is ever and always

Suffering And The Inner Logic Of God

Suffering is an evil. Even the saints don't desire suffering for its own sake. But I keep saying: physical pain, sorrow, whatever else, those are distinct modes of existence. I can feel the pain of that, even rightly hate it, while accepting whatever has brought me to this place. One of its great gifts is the opportunity to explore the meaning of me. This experience of pain or loss is not intrinsic to me, nor to the world, but it's a part of my existence, and therefore, it's part of the world and part of others I have touched. There's a fundamental difference between asking Why? in hope, and asking Why? in despair. Hope starts with the acknowledgement of the fundamental problem: It's not supposed to be this way. Yet it is this way. Why? Experiencing suffering isn't so much a matter of logical argument, but here it is: Suffering is an evil; God is good, indeed all Good; The all-Good God has permitted me to suffer; (Why?) There must be a more profound goodn

"The Right To Choose" As A Function Of Market Ideology

Basically the argument goes like this: 1. This political and economic system prizes individual consumer choice above all else; 2. That is, this econo-political system is utilitarian; 3. Utilitarianism values people only in relation to their value to someone or something else, especially considered in economic terms; 4. Therefore, "the right to choose" endures as the maximum expression of individual choice, and economic empowerment. A thought for your consideration, if you haven't: There are a great many things simply taken for granted by us as Americans which also communicate that human value ought to be understood in utilitarian economic terms. 

Of Course I'm Disaffected; Why Aren't You?

I took one of those implicit bias tests, actually for partisan affiliation. It said I was a raging Republican. Honestly, I have doubts about its scientific accuracy or applicability. On the other hand, it's true that I fell in with Republicans shortly after starting college. A huge thing was becoming convinced about the murderous nature of abortion. I had, and still retain, a deep sense of compassion and thirst for justice, so I never was unchangeable on other things, but I said, "These are my people, because they see this issue clearly." And I don't know how your family is, but my family on my mother's side reads Ayn Rand. Now, please spare me your vituperative judgments here. That's just how it goes. Never made it through Atlas Shrugged, or The Fountainhead, but I've read Anthem at least 15 times. Smart people find her dull and plodding, and her philosophy wanting (fair enough), but I am still mesmerized by that story. I'm an American, after all. I