Monday, 31 January 2011


Tradition, it's something American Protestant Evangelicals (APEs) have a huge gripe about. They immediately level this accusation at any and all organized religions. So, I'd like to take this opportunity to rebut.

Often the "religious" person will haphazardly give a reason for tradition and the "bible Christians," as they like to call themselves, will start to realize that they are being backed into a corner with fuzzy logic and facts. When this happens, all the sudden, the "bible Christian" takes leave to redefine their position. They say that they aren't against pious tradition, per se, just the vain traditions of "mere men."

This seems even more absurd to me, because suddenly this individual takes the mantle of authority upon themselves to confirm tradition as "acceptable" and dismiss others as "unacceptable," all the while claiming to do so with the scriptures. The problem is, none of "them" agree on the scriptures! So, who are they to definitively say? The mantle they've put on themselves is tailor-made for a very large man, and they sit swamped in it's folds like a little child. It reminds me of the cartoon, Robin Hood, where prince John is perpetually stretching his ears out to hold up a crown that belongs to his cousin, king Richard the Lionhearted.

Proverbs 3:5 says," Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." If they are "bible Christians" then why are they doing the opposite of what the bible compels them to do, leaning on their own understanding of scripture? Quite frankly, it's because each of them is woefully convinced that all of their conclusions about everything under the sun are divine, because they have the Holy Spirit.

It brings to mind Voltaire's words," These fellows are certain that the Holy Spirit 'with which they are filled' is above the law, that their enthusiasm is the only law they must obey. What can we say to a man who tells you that he would rather obey God than men, and therefore he is sure to go to heaven for butchering you?"

Now, I'm not suggesting that APEs (American Protestant Evangelicals) want to go around killing people in the name of God. Nor am I suggesting that they are law breakers by nature, and neither was Voltaire. He was talking about religious fanaticism. But he brings up a valid point, that even the APE must deal with: What is the standard for truth? Many of our sad APE friends and family, without batting an eyelash, will have already said emphatically," It's the Bible!" But that is exactly what we are talking about here: How does one interpret the bible? Again, here, many of our APE friends and family will say without missing a beat," With the Holy Spirit!" It's the old circular logic, which is a fundamental error of logic.

There is an illustration that some clever person made, called rather mockingly 'The Wheel of Power," which was drawn up at the APE's expense. It's a circle and every so often on the circle is a question, and after it is an answer and it says:
"But how can you be sure it's the word of God?"
"But why believe the bible?"
"But how do you know it's infallible?"
"But how can you be sure it's the word of God?"...

And around it goes forever and ever. All those statements might be true, but those are not answers to those questions! Further, they don't even begin to address the issue of interpretation, which is what we've been talking about up to this point. Even if all of the above declarations were established, we have to ask questions about the matter of interpretation. And in order to answer those questions we absolutely must get away from erroneous circular logic, which we know to be false. Otherwise, we could just make our own wheel of power addressing the issue of interpretation.

So, being properly motivated in the inquiry, I think we've established to a degree which answers are unsatisfactory. We've also established that the right questions have to be asked. To that end, let's digress and go into what the APE says they're against: the vain traditions of men. That's what they claim to be against.

Well, let's look at this and ask the right questions so that we come up with the right answers. Is the following proposition true?
1.) Vain traditions of men= df (identical) Traditions of men

No. That isn't true, is it? Of course not! It's not true, because vanity isn't necessary to the traditions of men. That is to say, traditions of men can exist without being vain. Now, on the other hand, traditions are necessary to the existence of vain traditions, right? You can't have vain traditions without 'tradition;' you'll just have 'vain' then, yeah?

So, the point of all that is, these APEs call themselves 'bible Christians.' That is supposed to mean that they only believe in what the bible says. Well, it's obvious to everyone, including them, that, that is not the case. Case in point, that APEs stand in opposition to all traditions of men, while claiming to stand only against the vain traditions of men. And why is this? Because to the APE, proposition #1 which we all concluded is necessarily false, is in their mind true! To them, all the traditions of men are vain. The problem with this is, it doesn't say anywhere in the bible that all the traditions of men are vain. In fact, the bible doesn't even come close to suggesting that they are; it says quite the opposite. One begins to wonder why they call themselves 'bible Christians.'

Before we can just move on beyond the APE's prejudices against the word tradition and talk about what the bible says, let's quickly address what the bible is. The bible is tradition! That's right, the canon of scripture is tradition, and that's a fact. The bible as the APE's know it has 66 books; the original bible has 73 books, that's the one that Catholics use. When the canon of scripture was being compiled it wasn't an issue merely of veracity, literary accuracy, or aesthetics. Those 73 books were chosen from approximately 350 different books that were deposited as worthy of canonization or note.

So, not only did everyone have dozens of copies of these 350 books, but after they decided which ones were pseudo-epigraphical (of dubious authorship), which ones were heretical, and which ones were readable, they had to go through and figure out which books everyone had in common, if their copies of the same books all agreed, and if not, which ones were most accurate. The accurate ones that everyone already had that corroborated with each other, were then synthesized into a single definitive version of the book. Then the book was added to the canon, after much debate about its place in the chronological order of epistles and Gospels. This process took years to complete.

The one thing that all of these books have in common, both the valid scriptures and the invalid, was that the local traditions stated that they were noteworthy. All the New Testament and Intertestamental books were the deposit of tradition. Not only were they traditionally true and the version which seemed most reliable out of all of the books, but they knew that they were the most reliable and true out of all the books, precisely because they agreed with tradition. That is why the bishops (the direct successors of the apostles) came together to discuss the matter as a Universal Catholic Church. These books agreed with not only their verbal traditions, which is all most Christians had, but also, their liturgical traditions (the latter which is exactly what APEs are referring to when they say 'the vain traditions of men.')

The Christian bible itself is a tradition; it is what all Christians, throughout the ages, have traditionally believed to be valid, true, and right. That is, until the Reformation, when Protestants decided they would simply stop believing in part of the bible, and took a pair of scissors to it. That being the case, you might rightly say that the Protestant form of the bible is in fact a vain tradition of mere men. A terrible and sweet irony there, aye?

Let's use the vain tradition of mere men, called the King James Version Bible, then, since the irony is so sweet and it is their translation, after all. Note ostensibly, it is His Majesty, King James' version of the Bible. Well, what does it say about tradition? Here are some apostolic quotes from the New Testament :

2 Thessalonians 2:15
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." I say! Will you look at that: whether by word OR their apostolic epistle. I say! Take note of that if you will, not only that the apostles were delivering more than doctrines and dogmas, namely traditions, but that these traditions whether oral or written were binding. Which means that there would have been a very clear system of authority to validate these traditions. Otherwise, the apostles would have been commanding everyone to believe anything that people claimed the apostles to have said. I say! Not only do we have here evidence of apostolic authority to innovate traditions, traditions of men, but that they are binding upon believers, and also we have here implicit evidence of a definitive apostolic delivery of these traditions.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." Here we have it that tradition ameliorates and prevents the poison of disorder. It must have been well said the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion (disorder). Tradition protects the Church, keeps it in order, and prevents the faithful from wandering away into true vanity, the vain traditions of men, self-willed iniquity, and disordered individualism. Holy Apostolic tradition, according to this scripture, most emphatically separates the sheep from the goats. And atop it all is the first statement," "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Again, we see that Holy Apostolic tradition is binding and compulsory to every Christian. Not only that, but we are to get away from every brother who does not observe it!

When Christ rebukes the pharisees in the Gospels, we see Him saying that they reject the Law and observe the traditions of the elders. We see Him saying that their rabbinical traditions nullify the law. We see Him saying that the rabbis had overburdened the people with their many traditions. Yes, we see this, most certainly.

What we do not see is Christ saying that their traditions are evil or useless. There is a difference between observing the Law and traditions that are intended to help one observe the Law, and rejecting the Law and observing only tradition for the sake of traditions themselves. There is a difference between traditions which help and cause one to observe the Law, and those traditions which negate and seek to replace the Law. There is a difference between traditions which help a man do and obey what he must in order to make his life holy, and those traditions which ruin his life and crush him beneath innovated obligations. These and these alone were the issues Christ dealt with. Christ's condemnation of the pharisees and some of their traditions (those which negated the law of Moses) was not a condemnation of tradition itself; and that is self-evident. A blind man could see that. Christ never condemned tradition, nor heralded its ending.

Is the bible necessary to Christianity? No. Otherwise, there were no Christians before the bible existed and there were no Christians to write the New Testament and no Christians to write it about. Christianity is necessary to the bible, the bible is not necessary to Christianity. The truth of the bible is necessary to Christianity, now that is a true statement. That truth which is necessary to Christianity was and is alive in holy apostolic tradition, it first existed in tradition, it spread around the world in the form of tradition. If you were to put the mediums of the bible and tradition next to each other and compare them, they are both indispensable to communicating the Truth of Christ.

Think about the proposition of such a condemnation, that somehow God is not revealed in sensible things(bells, incense, vestments, the Eucharist, the holy oil, confession, marriage, holy orders, art, confirmation, Church documents), but He is revealed in sensible things (letters and words, e.g. the bible). Well, either He is revealed in sensible things or He isn't! It can't be both! A contradiction is absolutely, necessarily, always false. A Church with apostolic traditions is a Church with sacraments; sacraments are a visible sign of an invisible reality. 

A lot of APEs say that tradition is keeping them out of the Catholic Church. That's erroneous; traditions keep one in the Body of Christ. Traditions protect the faith, are confirmed by scripture, expound the truth of Christ, and reveal the fullness of salvation in every generation. Traditions keep worldliness, confusion, chaos, and dissent outside of the Church and divinity, clarity, peace and concord inside the Church. Tradition keeps the salt salty, it keeps the spring fresh, and the virgin's lamp burning.

If tradition is keeping them out of the Church of the Apostles, then they are stating that they're worldly, confused, disorganized, and dissenting. Look at the APE "church." Do they match up with that? Look at fad Christianity, Mega-'churches' with 'executives' for pastors, rock bands and giant T.V.'s. Look at the 'Prosperity Gospel' people 'living in authority' with their $1,000 seeds and their $23,000 dollar toilets. Look at the confusion of 30,000 Protestant denominations, like Ishmael, a wild man whom eveyone's hand is against and whose hand is against everyone, ever envious of Isaac, the Catholic Church.

Yes, APEs fit the bill perfectly: worldly, confused, disorganized, and dissenting. It's not tradition that keeps them out of the Church, it's their pride. It's their refusal to renounce the world and embrace the Church, to submit to the teaching of the Church, to submit to Apostolic authority, and to be unified with Christ through obedience to His bride, the Holy Catholic Church and her sacraments.

But despite all of this, there is a reason that Protestants go on praying, and keep going on missions trips, and keep trying to innovate new ways to keep each other excited about the Gospel, and keep digging through Jewish culture, and keep doing good works, and read their bibles, and show up to their churches which they know are wholly inadequate, and listen to their pastors who they regularly disagree with, and argue with each other about theology to no end seeking the truth. It's because they want what only tradition can give them. The substance of apostolic tradition is what they want, it's what they need. They need the sacraments and Christ keeps calling them to Himself through the sacraments, which they have cut themselves off from. He's like a man on the other side of a door to a pitch black room full of people looking for the same door, shouting," HERE!" hoping they find the door and then the handle. He sees how confused they are, how frantic they live, the nervous energy that possesses all their endeavors that comes from never knowing what to do next, and the perpetual longing for something more.

It's terribly ironic that APEs always invite people to have a 'deep personal relationship' with Jesus Christ, to make Him 'their personal Lord and Savior.' They only think about #1, me, me, me. But Jesus Christ is not only a personal savior, He is a communal savior. When we receive the Eucharist, we become one with Christ, because He enters not only into our souls, sharing His divinity, but He enters into our bodies, sharing His perfect humanity with us. Becoming one with Him in the Eucharist, we become one with all who partake of His Body and Blood. We become one with God and His Church, a perfect union in a single instant. There is nothing more personal than that; that is hyper-personal.

Listening to Christian rock, saying some personal prayers, talking to God like a buddy, flipping through a KJV bible, listening to Pastor 'X' and eating cracker/ juice packets is not a 'deep personal relationship.' Those things cannot replace the Eucharist and don't even come close to it. It is despair of this fact that drives Protestants to peddle what they cannot give... ' a deep personal relationship with God.' Because deep down, in his soul, every Christian recollects those non-negotiable words of Christ,"... Whoever does not eat My Flesh and drink My Blood has no life in him." The Protestant, the separated brethren, craves the Eucharist, which holy tradition transmits to us. There is only one place to get it: in the Churches of the Apostles. Pray for their conversions.          

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Antidote

I had forgotten what a simple pleasure it is to read Chesterton. Every book to one degree or another and for one reason or another is like an opponent. Some are like harsh school masters cracking your knuckles with a ruler, frustrated to no end at our difficulty to understand them. Demand after demand, they dun away at the door of the mind until the due payment of credence is given and we have reconciled ourselves to their wisdom or their nonsense.

Other books, are like the childhood playmate who never tires of playing the same games and never tires of talking and reminiscing. The one who would walk five miles to your house without an idea of what you would do together, and for whom you'd do the same. You might call them the holidays of the soul.

But Chesterton, he is that rare friend that demands not only that you listen to him in order that he should make you better, but that you give him the precious chance to make you smile. He's the friend who invites you over for a fine dinner and a few drinks, so that he can force you to discuss philosophy and theology. Yes, he's like the artisan who compels you into a dark cathedral to show you his work, and pulling down a huge canvas he reveals a beautiful stained glass window from which you couldn't possibly turn away, lit up by the sunlight which your tortured eyes are wont to escape.

As I read the master of syllogism's work 'The Dumb Ox,' I was in agreement with him especially on two points. He said that at times St. Francis of Assisi was almost too efficient for him, and that every generation seeks out a saint that is the antidote to its own excesses. And I thought," Well, isn't that right?" Don't we love the saints not only because of their love for that which we love, namely God, but because of whom they rebuke and those pernicious ideas they so easily dispense with through word and deed? We love the saints because they show us how to efficiently love God and how to be loved of God. We love them because of how quickly their light destroys the same darkness that menaces us.

And to the later, isn't it true that we do love rest? Once we've exhausted ourselves with passion, once society is in the throws of mortifying agony due to want of vain things, having been forced to recognize the futility of our vain ideas, don't we seek any means to end suffering? Don't we seek an antidote once we've injected ourselves with poison? Every generation seeks out its saint.

The thaumaturgist St. Pio, what a marvelous antidote he was in the age of doubt when the world of intellectuals said that belief in religion and miracles was only sacred to superstitious idiots and fearmongers. And St. Josemaria Escriva, whom I am learning to love, what a contradiction he was to those who said that the Church and progress are irreconcilable. When the fount of prayer, the holy order of Carmelites foundered in worldliness and arrogance, the clasped hands of Sts. Teresa De Avila and John of the Cross chained the gates of Carmel which Satan had thrown open.

I think now, what poison is it which the world has? What antidote does she need? God knows, but how shall we begin to tell? Seeing the destruction of the family, is the antidote family? Seeing all the confusion in the world, is it order? Having been infected with amorality, is it morality? Ten thousand questions we might ask just to find the answers.

In relation to all of this, I thought earlier today about the crisis of vocations. We usually think about diocesan priests and deacons when we think about vocations, but we forget about those who pray for us. In the English speaking world, Catholics are infected with Luther's idea that each is sufficient for himself, excluding the necessity of the Priest to bring us the sacraments. This is an entirely heterodox concept. We are all called to holiness and good works, but what about those who are supposed to be perpetually devoted to good works and a contemplative prayer life?

You know, most of us have a Super-Walmart in our area. Well, imagine the parking lot of the Walmart. If you placed them shoulder to shoulder with a foot's space in front of each of them, you wouldn't be able to fill up half of one Super-Walmart parking lot with all of the monks on the entire continent of North America. Think about that. With 350,000,000 people living in North America, that is the state of monasticism. Something grave is wrong with this picture. Something grave is wrong with the faith of Catholics when monasticism has become a superfluity. But it is the tip of the iceberg in the way of what is wrong with the world.

So, pray for the antidote to this generation. Without prayer, we will surely perish.  

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Friday, 28 January 2011

My Fear

One's path to God is through the sacraments in which one is engaged. I am a Catholic, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and a friend. My path to God is through these sacraments. My greatest fear is failing to observe them, to have something to give and not give it, to have something I must say and not say it, to have something to do and not do it, to have something to love and not love it. Where will I be if I betray these?

It is mine to suffer if I do not pray, if I do not confess, if I do not communicate. It is mine to be crushed if I do not teach my children what is right and teach them to reason, to be chaste, and to love. I am to be tormented with every vanity and every passion if I do not love my wife. Dishonor is mine if I dishonor my parents. It is mine to be alone if I do not do every good to my friends.

Yet, I know that the world hates the righteous. Never yet has there been a person who loved righteousness that the world did not hate. I know that if I pray, if I confess, and if I communicate I will suffer. I know that I will be crushed if I teach my children to be good and do good, to love God and His holy Church. I know that if I cleave to and love my wife I will be tormented with vanity and every passion. I know that if I honor my parents, the world will wag its ugly head at me. And if I am the truest of friends, if I behave as a true friend does... I will be very alone.

To live out one's sacraments is a life of courage. "O, Lord! How heavy Thy honor is to bear!" To live a sacramental life with fidelity, that is the long, hard and narrow path between two mountains. A hard place where your enemies crash down upon you, and the rocks roll down and crush you. It's to choose to do what is right and abstain from evil everyday of your life, knowing that concupiscence never abates; to have to make the same decision 1,000 times everyday. There is no hope of resisting so long that one day all temptation to sin ceases. There is only the hope that God strengthens, that resolve may harden and chastity endure. A vain hope to lessen the ferocity of evil; we can only put on the mail of piety from lip to ankle, and there upon place the full plate of charity and obedience; on our head, the sallet of wisdom, and a shield and sword in hand.  

O, that tomorrow were the day! That some agent of evil would martyr me so that I could in one hour secure the crown of life! Such an end I do not fear. That some deadly disease sent from Satan for hatred of me would shortly deprive me of life! Then, I could so easily count up my offerings to Him, with sturdy hope of rest in sight. Then, I would have a deadly sign of my friendship with Him, a clay seal on the contract of my salvation. Such a death I cannot fear. Yet to wake up everyday and live, with no respite and no end of toil, this is menacing.

To not be a great Christian, that is my fear. To have never inspired anyone, that is my fear! While I am alive, let me speak for those who do not know how to say what they believe. Let me get beyond being a gadfly, only irritating the wicked and the reprobates. Let me reason for those who cannot reason! Let me defend the weak and succor the poor by the work of my hands! Let me pray for those who have no one to pray for them! Let me be a hammer against heresy, and a doctor to those who have fallen. For those who have not known true friendship, let me be a friend. Let me be the ram who protects the sheep where the shepherd is not near. Let me crack the teeth and the ribs of the wolves who have yearlings in their mouths.

I am afraid of dying and having been less than this, to come into His courts with only self inflicted injuries of negligence and no battle wounds. How can I sit at His table in the presence of so many with not so much as a scar?! Eternal shame! I am afraid of dying and not having spoiled my enemy. To die not only in the dregs of mediocrity, but to have left my work undone, to have failed my sacraments, of this I am afraid. To fail in this single hard hour of combat and glory, and to have it slip through my fingers beyond all recovery, of this I am terrified.   

O Lord, deliver me from such an end! Grant me the strength to honor Your name! Some pray for a peaceful death, but I have no such prayer. I pray for the end that best glorifies You. I do not pray for a peaceful death, only, let me have a holy death reconciled to You, in Your friendship. Grant me, therefore, a happy death; and whether it is peaceful matters not to me. The peace of Your friendship and the peace of knowing that I have honored You is sufficient for me.Your holy will be done. Amen

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


The proposition of Calvinism states that God predestines all things. It also has some other propositions and they are as follows:

1.) Damnation is justified (right)= Damnation is willed by God.
2.) What God wills is right. (substantive & synthetic)
3.) What God wills is willed by God. (trivial & analytic)
4.) Proposition 3 is identical to proposition 2.
5.) Proposition 2 is both analytic & not analytic (i.e. synthetic). *contradiction, i.e. an untrue statement..) 
6.) Damnation is right =/= Damnation is willed by God.

Something which is analytic cannot be synthetic, because an analytic statement is necessarily true all the time and in all possible "worlds," whereas a synthetic statement merely tells us about something that is dependent. So for instance: All bachelors are unmarried males, is an analytical statement. Whereas, to say Scott is a bachelor, is synthetic, because bachelorhood isn't necessary to Scott's existence; it isn't necessarily true. Otherwise, if Scott got married, he would die! He would cease to exist and become a non-person, yeah? So, the Calvinist proposition cannot be true, because it says that," What God wills is right." is both analytic and synthetic, which is contradictory and therefore the conclusion of the premises is false. It can be analytic or it can be synthetic, but it cannot be both.

The Calvinist heresy states that some people are predestined to salvation and others are predestined to damnation. In fact, it is popular for them to compare the people who are "damned," which basically means the people they have written off, as pots made to be shattered. They basically compare them to clay pigeons. And they try to justify it by twisting a few Pauline quotes. There's no point in a scripture battle over the matter where Calvinists will take everything out of context and accuse their opponents of the same. So, quite simply, here we have the proof that their proposition is necessarily false. 

The logical proposition which one would get from the Catholic Church is as follows:

A.) Whoever becomes saved must have been damned (not saved).

And of course this follows necessarily from natural theology:

A.) Whatever becomes hot was cold (or not hot).
B.) Whatever becomes dry was wet (or not dry).
C.) Whatever is in motion was in a state of rest. 


But some of you might be wondering how the first argument might work for anything else, for instance with a Catholic teaching. First, let's outline the form of the argument more clearly:

1.) 'x' is right= df (identical to) 'x' is willed by God.
2.) What God wills is right. (substantive & synthetic)
3.) What God wills is willed by God. (trivial & analytic)
4.) Proposition 3= df Proposition 2.
5.) Proposition 2 is both analytic & not analytic (i.e. synthetic)  * contradiction

    (Because 'x' cannot be both 'f' and not 'f.') 
6.) 'x' is right =/= df 'x is willed by God.'

Having said that much. Here is how it would work for a Catholic teaching: 

1.) Trent is right = Trent is willed by God.
2.) What God wills is right. (substantive & synthetic)
3.) What God wills is willed by God. (trivial & analytic)
4.) Proposition 3 is identical to proposition 2.
5.) Proposition 2 is both analytic & not analytic (i.e. synthetic). *contradiction, i.e. an untrue statement.
6.) Trent is right =/= Trent is willed by God. 

Even though the Holy Spirit was what made Trent valid and true, God does not will imperfection. Trent in all its parts is perfect, but is incomplete in relation to human existence. Incompleteness is imperfection. You must remember that all councils are for the religious government of the faithful who are under original and particular sin. We are working out our salvation. Nothing pertaining to us is perfect and God only wills that which is perfect. Therefore, Trent is not perfect form, only in substance. So, more councils after it are naturally needed.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Friday, 21 January 2011

Legislating Humanity

 Regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice "so-called" I'm asking everyone to take a challenge. If you can tell me what a chair is, I will believe that human life can be legislated. That is to say, if anyone can tell me what a chair is, I will believe people can decide what human life is. Please leave a comment. But if none of you can tell me what a chair is, then I'm going to assume that you can't tell me what a human being is. And if you can't tell me that, then no one has the right to legislate what a human life is and due to such ignorance, abortion cannot be justified. Leave a comment.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Humanity is something that we all have; human is what we are. Our humanity is the "image" of God spoken of in Genesis. If we are totally depraved as the Calvinists say, then it follows necessarily that we are not human. If the image we were created in is totally depraved, there remains nothing left to call human. Christ is called the "kinsman redeemer." It was St. Gregory of Nazianzus who said that, that which is not assumed is not redeemed. Christ redeems humanity and if there is no humanity to redeem, then there is no redemption. The heretical doctrine of Total Depravity seeks to nullify the Incarnation.

Man is certainly depraved by concupiscence; that is not doubted or disputed. However, can one human be more human than another? By all means and this is the work of Christ. Let us begin a discussion of forms. Imagine before you there are two knives. One is dull on the point and on its edge, also corroded and dirty; the other knife is sharp on the point and on it's edge, clean and shinning. Further, imagine that the dull knife has a worn handle that is falling apart and dry rotted. And suppose that the sharp knife's handle is sturdy and sound. If necessity was upon you, which knife would you choose? Certainly, you would choose the sharper, cleaner, and sturdier knife over the dull, decaying knife.

Each of them are knives, no doubt. Yet, you would choose the good knife to the one in disrepair, because the good knife is more like a knife. That is to say, if we define as knife a tool of utility meant for the cutting of food and cloth and other things of a similar sort, then, it is evident to us that the good knife is truer in form to what a knife is than the shoddy knife. The good knife has more knifeness than the bad knife. So, it follows that while they are both knives, the good knife is more of a knife than the bad knife.

Again, let us examine a fruit, a plant. Imagine, that before you are two apple trees; one of them is blotched and cancerous, while the other is healthy and sound. Suppose that the desire to eat an apple came upon you, which tree would you extend your hand to? Would you choose the malformed and blotched, hard fruit of the cancerous apple tree? Or would you not be more likely to reach out and take an apple from the healthful tree, which is succulent, ripe, and shinning? To be sure, you would prefer the wholesome apple to the depraved apple for the very reason that it is more like an apple. It is better for eating and is without blemish or malformation, and is more like an apple than the diseased permutation. Therefore, the good apple and the bad are both apples, yet the good apple has more appleness than the bad apple.

Once more, let us examine animals. Imagine a bitch gave birth to a litter of pups and one of them was mutated, with a malformed jaw and sealed eyes, while it's siblings were sound in form. Suppose further that you were interested in obtaining a pup for breeding other dogs, so as to carry on a pure breed. Which would you choose for this venue? A sound animal or the mutant? Certainly, you would choose one of the sound offspring over the mutant, because it is more like it's own species and breed. Therefore, while all are certainly being dogs, the mutant is less of a dog than its siblings who are sound in form.

We could go on this way with angels as well, and any other species of plant, animal, or object ad infinitum, but there is no need. Therefore, it is rightly said that whatever is more like unto itself is truer. Here we digress to the issue of humanity.

Original Sin deformed mankind so that humanity became less like itself. As a means of remedy, Christ came as a man. In fact, as we can readily discern from our experiment, Christ was more human than the humans he lived amongst and came to die for. Thus, St. Paul was right in calling Him the Second Adam in that He had in His person undelimited humanity. Comparatively, if we use ourselves as the definition of what human means, Christ was superhuman. Yet, in point of fact, Christ alone is the definition of what a human is; He is completely human and it is we who are deficient in humanity.

The Eucharist, which may only be found in the Churches of the Apostles, is given unto us to strengthen us. By receiving the Eucharist, we not only obtain divine graces and mercy, but also become more human by virtue of Christ's humanity which we receive into ourselves. When we look at what God said to Adam in the Garden, we know that Adam was without death. Then, we look at what Christ, Who is God, says to us in the Gospel," Whoever does not eat of My Flesh and drink of My Blood has no life in Him." 

This is the truth and we can go to no one else, for as the apostles said, who else has the words of Life? The more human we become, the more like God we become, because our humanity is being restored to its full glory, the true image of God. But this is not the end of Christ's work, for we are brought into God by receiving the Holy Spirit into us. But here, I've committed to only speaking to you about humanity and must digress from theosis and divinity, though admittedly they are intertwined.

Hitherto, those who faithfully receive the Eucharist and continue in it are becoming more human; they are attaining to Christ's humanity. This is why it is so important to be in a Church with VALID sacraments. This is the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. This is why one should be a Catholic, and why being a "Bible Christian" is not enough. This is only part of what the Most Blessed Sacrament does for us. It is the power of God to put our souls into order. It is the power of God to place our bodies in subjection to the soul. It is the power of God, to literally undo the Gordian Knot of sin and restore our nature. This is how God returns us to being a true microcosm of the Macrocosm, as discussed in my previous note Ecclesiasticus. 

And everything on top of this is working out our salvation, attaining to and obtaining the promises of Christ, becoming joint heirs with Christ. How wonderful that we are not only set in order, having our humanity restored to us, but that we have separate graces so as to participate in the righteousness of God. This is eternal life, the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith.
"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Eminence of Conscience

The word conscience is perhaps the most abused word in Catholicism and since it is such a broad subject, I'm not even going to address genuine situations of culpability and conscience; that is to say, I'm not addressing the instances in this blog where conscience truly is a legitimate factor in decreasing culpability to sin, for instance those victims of sexual abuse who left the Church. The point is that deformity of conscience is not a license to sin.

There is a heterodoxy frequently encountered by the faithfully, namely, that conscience is what man makes it. This is a rather convenient heresy for those who seek to destroy the Church, because herein is the idea that each person is granted the power to impose upon himself a subjective body of morals, which he is obliged to observe.

The gravity of this error is profound; by it we see all sorts of allowances for sin in the Church, but not only within the Church. Those without the Church of the Apostles suffer as well from this insidious heresy, because the Catholic Church is the moral authority of Western Civilization. Amongst ourselves we see people admitted to the Eucharist who live in a morally unacceptable manner. For instance, the cohabiting are given the Eucharist, sexually and emotionally active homosexuals are admitted to the Feast, those who support abortion and homosexual marriage are admitted to the Feast, and others of such a similar sort are allowed to receive the Eucharist as well. All of them receive against the prohibitions of the Church. And if anyone points out this profanation of the sacrament they are met with the charge that they are un-Christlike and uncharitable, where upon they are told," Who are you to judge?! It is a matter of conscience!"

This error seems most often amongst the laity to be born of a species of arrogant ignorance and amongst the priesthood a virulent desire for subversion of sound doctrine. It is important, therefore, to educate and reprove if possible all such people gently at first and severely if necessary. The object that is hidden in this heresy and in ignorance is the true substance of the conscience. On the one hand, some people being deceived by themselves or others who propound error, do not know what the conscience is; even further, they are not certain of what is concomitant to the conscience. Others, still, know very well what the conscience is and take whichever means and occasions present themselves to stymie the understanding of what the conscience truly is in the minds of the faithful.

In this fashion, the latter confuse sound doctrine and heterodoxy seeking to make a profit. The profit they seek to bring about through this perversion is to accomplish the peace of Christ through their own so-called logic. They suppose wrongly that if anything may be part of conscience, then nothing will be judged. They seek to let everyone off the hook, so that they themselves escape. They seek to stop the violence between good and evil by neutralizing them both, through making morality out to be wholly subjective. They strive to make God acceptable to man, instead of  making man acceptable to God, which is the end of the Eucharist that is the source and summit of our faith.

However, you will all know and be sure that they are in error and do not hold the opinion of the Apostolic See. There is one truth; indeed the truth is a singularity. Christ says of Himself," I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." If we desire to be sure about the nature of the truth we have but to look at God. We do not give assent to multiple gods, but instead one Holy God. In the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church it teaches us that God is One, but He is not solitary. Therefore, the truth is infinitely voluminous and at the same time simple, but not varied; the truth is a singularity.

Further, we know that God is not made up of a sum of parts so as to make Him dissolute if it were possible. Created things are made up of a sum of parts, but God is not created and therefore is One in fact. In this manner you should be able to know what is the truth and what is the lie. The heretic says that the conscience is the voice of the man, it is his own judgment of his actions. Much the otherwise, the Church teaches that the conscience is a moral law which man did not impose upon himself, but rather is a grace given to him by God. The Church teaches that the conscience is the inmost part of a man where God whispers to Him behind a veil. The Church says further that the man who listens closely to his conscience hears the voice of God and not that of himself.

So, who will you believe? The one who seeks to save the flesh of a sinner a little pain by deflecting judgment by saying that all consciences are subjective and are crafted by our unique observations and experiences? Or the Church who with the magesterium seeks to save the sinner's soul and tells us emphatically that the conscience is God speaking to us true judgments?

The bible tells us that we are made in the image of God. In this teaching we see why we are drawn to the Good and convicted by it. The conscience is the metronome in man which makes him act in accordance with God. True conscience is God's discernment. Therefore, the man who acts in perfect accord with the conscience God gave him does not offend God. Since his fall, man has experienced a deformity of conscience; herein, his conscience is materially deformed and muted to varying extents. He does not hear the voice of God with perfect clarity, he cannot discern perfectly which portion is divine and which is not.

To write off sin and the effects of sin upon the human soul on account of man's deformity is precisely what those in error intend to do. They seek to suggest that God is content with ignorance, that God is sufficed and pleased with deformity, accepting of evil. But we know from scripture that nothing evil shall abide or endure in the presence of God; it cannot come before Him. This heresy makes twins of its evil.

Firstly, it seeks to negate the work of Christ, the very purpose and necessity of the Incarnation. If man in his deformity and depravity is already acceptable to God, then where is the atonement of Christ? Do they make him out to be a mere man, a hyper-prophet? What possible purpose does Christ crucified have if their heterodox position is true? None at all.

Secondly, they seek to make the deformed conscience of fallen man equal with the perfect conscience of the Second Adam. According to those who teach this error, God is equally pleased with the conscience of the heathen and the saint. Thus, it follows necessarily that they say that God and man are equal by holding on the same level their separate products which are the perfect and deformed conscience. By this they make man out to be a god unto himself, becoming idolaters.

St. Paul speaks about these corrupters and the corrupted in the first chapter of the Book of Romans. He exposes those who weave such lies, gives proofs of the conscience and what it truly is, and shows the consequences of those who reject the gift of conscience and corroborating knowledge for their own vanity:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving. unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."

Do not let those who are mistaken and those who are heretics mute you out and shame you by telling you that you are uncharitable when you stand by Holy Mother Church and her teaching in regard to offenses, abuses, and undeserved allowances. When you hear people say that all kinds of evil must be permitted and wholly ignored because it is a private matter of conscience, be ready to correct them charitably at first and sternly if necessary. We must all strive to perfect our conscience by coming under the yoke of the Church's teaching and moral authority, not being rebellious and perverse seeking to reconcile the Church who is one with Christ to ourselves, but seeking to reconcile ourselves to the Church who is one with Christ. If we seek to reconcile the Church to us, then we seek to make the Bride of Christ a whore. She will not commit adultery and those who compel her to do so will be punished.

Live at peace with the teachings of Christ. Be convinced and seek to be convinced. Christianity is hard and we all fail; that's what confession is for. But beware of honeyed words like," It's ok. It's a matter of conscience." As the Psalmist says," If a righteous man strikes me it is a kindness, but let not the oil of the wicked anoint my head." We can't afford to lean on the crutch of heresy. It seems like every time a Catholic struggles unsuccessfully with a sin or a teaching of the Church all the sudden someone magically pops up like a fairy godmother and says," Good news! It's a matter of conscience! So, don't sweat it!" as if to say," Don't worry about it, it's not important, because of the state of your conscience. So, no matter what you do, DO NOT  make any changes or strive for conversion... and you'll be o.k." It is precisely this lie that is destroying the Church today. Be on guard against the easy path, be on guard against what you want to hear when the going gets tough. The grace of God is your strength. God bless you.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Friday, 14 January 2011

Mary Queen of Peace

There are some who doubt that the Blessed Virgin has been coronated as the Queen of Heaven, but I will give evidence that it is so. The sort of evidence I will give is that of faith, in the first place, because faith is that decision which follows from the assent to knowledge. I will give proof, in the second place, from logic; that is, I shall give logical proofs. I know that I will not be dismissed by you, even if now some of you say," The proof of word is not proof at all, nor is it even evidence." I know that you won't dismiss me, because to write off metaphysical evidences and proofs is to write off all of the classical philosophers. I don't think you are willing to do that on your own authority.

In the first place, we have a great clue that Mary is in heaven because of her fluency of language and culture. In each place, she appears in such a likeness that she can be received by the people, going so far as to take on the particular physical characteristics of the people. Certainly, one might point to this precisely as evidence against the claim that she is in Heaven, making these stories out to be nothing more than mere imagination or legend. Such a refutation is not without merit; after all, don't those who look at the sun in Africa see the same sun as those who are in Europe? Without a doubt the whole human race sees the same sun and has since the first of us walked the earth. Yet, I will point out that the sun looks different at dusk, as it does at dawn, just as it does when it shines through the fog, or at its zenith, but it is still the same sun. In different places in the sky it looks different, but is the same. Though sometimes white, it is also yellow, orange or red, large or small, fiercely hot or benign, yet it must be and is the same star.

It is of no real consequence, then, that Mary has several permutations if anyone should use this to disprove apparitions. In fact, it can only be said that it is proof that she is holy indeed and resides in Heaven as she demonstrates the same vicissitude of the sun as it goes from one end of the sky to the other. However, to compare Mary to the moon would be far more appropriate. In the end, however, she does possess both the vicissitude and verisimilitude of the sun and the moon, at once.

Someone might say,"Ah! But Christ is the Day Spring." Not so. This was said for your sake and not for His. For there is no variation in God, the source of light. Indeed, anything which is one is in fact 'one.' To say that there is variation in a thing which is one is incorrect, because it is one; and anything that is what it cannot be is something else. Similarly, anything which is not what it must be is not at all. God is One, being homoousios, that is to say 'consubstantial.' God is One and the way He 'IS' does not change or diminish, nor does it increase so as to make anything previous inferior, because He is above time, place and dimension. He is not made up of a sum of parts like created things, but he is One. He is not constrained by anything conceived by the human mind whether it be corporeal or incorporeal, or any of the things concomitant to those. If you have trouble receiving this, think upon and learn whatever you can by meditating upon what God is not and begin with the fact that He is not three gods and does not change. It only suffices to say that He is One.

Therefore, this is another proof for Mary being holy indeed in apparitions, for she does not appear everywhere unaltered, in such species of constancy which is God's alone. Instead, she makes herself more like sister moon who varies at every showing, always reflecting the glory of 'The Greater Celestial Light.' Further, she has no light of her own, just as the moon has no light of it's own, but she receives all of her glory and power from the Holy Trinity, just as the Moon receives its light from the sun. In the same way as the moon glorifies the sun, Mary glorifies the Holy Trinity. Just as the sun and the moon and the stars are in the same abode, so are God, Mary, and the angels.

Aside from these evidences, as stated before, she is fluent in all languages. This is an act of loving condescension to the human race. Being that she is in Heaven she enjoys the perfect edification of the Holy Spirit. She no longer strives with the curse of language which was given to our fathers at the destruction of Babel, for there are no curses in Heaven. She being in Heaven, is in the presence of the Holy Trinity, having that Gift which Christ gave as an eternal gift, namely the Holy Spirit who is God. The same Holy Spirit who is the personal love that the Father has for the Son and the Son has for the Father, the same love that They each possess. Into this love Mary has been grafted, just as has been promised to all of the saints by Christ. This promise has been confirmed by the Holy Spirit through miracles, and attested to by the Father by the very giving of the Son and the Spirit as a sign and foreshadowing for us to hope upon as surety that the promises of Christ are just so for the Church.

Just as a person thinks to themselves as a form of incorporeal communication with self, it is the same with the Holy Trinity. But even more so, because our minds are limited to that which is perceived in creation and not even all of what is in creation, where as the Holy Trinity has no bounds, having been eternally uncreated. Mary is grafted into this boundless and limitless means of communication through the Holy Spirit, by the promises of Christ, at the will of the Father, making her prayers infinitely more efficacious than any prayer uttered in the tongues of men. We too possess this ability; unfortunately we have our corporeal minds to ever interfere with this greater gift. Yet not at all times, for this is the same gift of tongues spoke of in the book of Acts.

So, in the main, I say all this to point out that for Mary to speak in the tongues of men under any circumstance is to glorify the Son, because she would be doing as he once did. That is, she would be yoking herself with the curses of men to help men, curses which she is immune to having once died, yokes that she is not obliged to wear any longer. For her to speak to us is for her to literally suffer a curse for our sakes and her suffering, as the suffering of all the saints, is incorporated into the Head, Who is Christ Jesus, as she is the verisimilitude of the Church, the Body of Christ.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Just Love

Love is. It does not ever try to prove itself, because it is. If you have true love, you will never be lonely; you will never lack genuine and unfeigned love. True love is selfless and strives to take care of everyone else first. In this way it propagates agape and provides for the one who loves and the beloved.

The person who loves in truth gets the benefit of their own love; their own love ministers to them. It is like a mother feeding her child, yet both of them become full. Again, it's like filling one sack from another, but both of them become full. Love is infinite, because God is Love. If our love is infinite and we give away an infinite amount of love, we still have an infinite amount of love. Do you see the mystery of love? Don't horde your love, or you will run out; that is the life of misery and despair.

Love is. Stop trying to prove your love. Don't choosing substitutes to love instead of the true path. Don't grooming your outward appearances so that people will like you or even worse lust after you. Instead, become concerned with doing good to the souls of others, ministering to people's hearts, wiping away their despair and people will love you. Propagate the love of God; propagate agape.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Ecclesiasticus 18: 1-5

"He that liveth forever created all things together. God only shall be justified, and he remaineth an invincible king forever. Who is able to declare his works? For who shall search out his glorious acts? And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? Or who shall be able to declare his mercy? Nothing may be taken away, nor added, neither is it possible to find out the glorious works of God..."

What a great passage! Let's dissect this shall we? Here we have a perfectly ordered idea before us. First we are presented by the Author with the infinite nature of the Creator and then the infinite nature of His works. Just as man is created and therefore creates out of that which is created, here we see that God Who is uncreated creates out of that which is uncreated. This is what Paul was talking about when we access the wonders and power of God in Christ through faith,"... calling those thing that were not as though they be."

To prove God's infinite nature, he does not address His person. Rather, he points out the nature of His works, at the same time showing man his finite nature. He does this so that man will first acknowledge his own nature so that he can begin to recognize God's nature. Being fully aware of his own limitations, man begins to be aware of God's boundless nature. For it is self-evident to all rational creatures that they're limited by their natures. Hence, by this scripture we are made to know that just as God's nature is not delimited, neither is His person and we are sure hereby that He is God.

And who is able to declare His works? Being thusly convinced of his own finite nature and God's infinite nature, man is made to know that he is a microcosm in a macrocosm. His understanding is limited by his own nature. If man knows anything beyond himself it is because the macrocosm of God condescends knowledge to him. And if a man knows anything about himself, then it is only because the Macrocosm caused him to be. In this way man is convinced that all things must come from God and that man can neither add to or take away from their sum. He may know with certainty that even the sum of created things is too excellent for him and learns true humility. Understanding the nobility he has over other creations, man begins to know his order in creation and begins to understand God's love for him.

Man is a microcosm of a macrocosm. God cannot but love man, because he is the image of Himself. And if man is disordered, God is motivated by primal love of Himself to restore the microcosm to homeostasis. The macrocosm will make the microcosm anew. Like from like, and we are convinced of the Incarnation, knowing that God had to become man to make us anew.

When the Blessed Trinity looked down on man's fallen state, the three Persons of the Holy Trinity each were moved to compassion. This is because the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. Together they love the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit loves Them; one God, pure, unadulterated love. In looking on man, each Person of the Holy Trinity saw the other two Persons explicit in man's nature. It was the love of God that caused the salvation of mankind primarily. Their love of each Other necessitated the Incarnation. That same divine love is why Christ endured all things.

The only way than man can show anything about God is by being a perfect microcosm, to do more than this not in man's power. But by being perfect, man becomes one with the Macrocosm. In becoming one with God he begins to participate in superhuman activities. His love becomes God's love, his thoughts become God's thoughts because he is taught of God, his motives become God's motives. Man when rightly ordered is absorbed into the macrocosm of God, maintaining his own unique person, yet uniting in fact with the Person of God. And we've seen these people, who God put in order and brought into His bosom and they are the saints.

But who shall search out his glorious acts? And who shall shew forth the power of his majesty? Or who shall be able to declare his mercy? None, except God, because it is written that we shall no longer say to one another,"Know God!" but rather that we shall be, each of us, taught of God ourselves. It is God who shows forth His glorious acts and the power of His majesty. It is God who declares His mercy. But having been united with God, man may begin to know and do those things that were too great for his nature. This is the work of Christ, and for this purpose it is written," You shall be as gods to the Egyptians." the Egyptians not only being themselves, but also representing a type of fallen man, a microcosm cut off from the Macrocosm.

We cannot comprehend the gift of God and that is why it is the most that we can do, by the very limit of our natures, to adore Him. That is why our adoration of Him is the meaning and purpose of life; it is incumbent upon us. It is the sacrifice due to Him; it was why we were made. Our adoration must be total and complete; we must love as He loves. This is why Christ said," I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you... This is how all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one." It must extend to all things: what we do, what we do not do, our intentions, our actions, our thoughts, all things. And this is why we are exhorted by the holy apostle St. Paul to," out our salvation." and the holy apostle St. James says," Faith without works is dead." This is how we are to know full well that the "once saved, always saved" doctrine is a heresy and a lie designed to make us lazy and rob us of our blessings and salvation. Strive to workout your salvation.

Just as St. Paul says, you were foreknown, predestined to salvation by God. Therefore, seek to make your calling and election sure through good works, as though you could justify your own election. Be blessed, all of you and pray for me a sinner.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Friday, 7 January 2011


There is no more sure means of destroying a civilization, a society, a religion or any other institution than by employing democracy. A lot of people go on and on about how great democracy is. They mention freedom and democracy together, as though freedom is gotten or ensured by democracy. But it has always been known that democracy is nothing more than the tyranny of the many over the few, the ignorant over the enlightened, the base over the excellent, the mean-spirited over the noble-spirited.

You know from my blogs that I never make ostentatious appeals to other men greater than myself. I don't quote them to make my points, but I resort to the application of reason. However, on this subject, why should you believe me? Since childhood everyone around us has been filling our heads with democracy. They've been telling you since the first time you said the pledge of allegiance," A free country is a democratic country!" and,"Democracy makes all men equal!" You've even seen us "bring" democracy to more than one country by force in the last twenty years. Whenever someone would say something about another form of government, they were shot down with their comments and ideas, unless they were shooting down the other forms of government.

Republics were for Romans, Nazis, and Soviets. Monarchies were for the British and Arabs. Dictatorships were for banana republics and Asian people. And all those countries that were truly democratic, like so many African states, were simply doing it wrong. I can't undo the last 20 years of brainwashing with one blog. But I can break from tradition and give some quotes from greater men than myself. Listen to them:

"In our so-called democracy we are accustomed to give the majority what they want rather than educate them to understand what is best for them."
~Carter G. Woodson~ 
"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time."
~E. B. White~
"Our country's founders cherished liberty, not democracy."
~Ron Paul~
"The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."
~Benjamin Disraeli~
"Democracy is indispensable to socialism."
~Vladimir Lenin~ 
"Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton~
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."
~H. L. Mencken~
"Democracy is the road to socialism."
~Karl Marx~
"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
 "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people."
~Oscar Wilde~
"The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all."
~John F. Kennedy~
"Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure."
~Ronald Reagan~
"The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart."
~Mohandas Gandhi~
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
~Winston Churchill~ 

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
~John Adam~
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. "
~John Adams~ 
"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
~John Adams~
"Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal."
"Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers."
"In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme."
"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms."

"The mob is the mother of tyrants."
"Democracy passes into despotism."
"Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike."
"Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty."

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Abortion- Errors of Logic

Previously, I wrote a secular argument against abortion that left out moral judgment. For those of you who read my blog and other Catholic writings, you might come across philosophical language and theological three dollar words which at times may seem like little more than a vain attempt to sound smart. But they're actually quite necessary in conveying specific ideas and keeping clear of semantics in already complicated issues. To those of you who aren't used to the jargon, just hang on! You'll get used to it and understand why these subjects have their own terminology. I just wanted to throw that out there to whoever it applies to. Also, if you want to leave a comment in the form of a rebuttal or a counter question, all are welcome. You can be passionate, but please be respectful. I'll try to respond to any comment.

So, having said that much, this time around I would like to talk about the pro-choice ontological argument. That is, I'd like to address the pro-choice (pro-abortion) argument concerning "being." We often hear pro-abortion folks declaring that a fetus is not a human life. Without sliding into "yes it is! no it isn't!" style argumentation, I'd like to look at some of the assertions that are necessary to this stance that a fetus is not a human life. Now, I'm addressing the logic, or lack thereof, of some common pro-choice arguments. I'm not saying that everyone who is pro-choice believes these things, makes these arguments or that they don't for that matter. So, read with that in mind.

This is actually a very weak argument and I'll show you why. The pro-abortion side says," The fetus cannot live outside of the mother, it cannot live without the mother. Therefore, the mother and the fetus are synonymous biologically. Ergo, the fetus is not a human life, because it is part of the mother's body just like a fingernail, or an elbow." I don't think that any pro-choice individuals would say that I've misrepresented their argument, here.

Well, fine. Why would they point this out, though? Very obviously, it is because they wish to say convincingly what they always say," My body, my choice!" Let's look at our laws and see if they make provision for that kind of thinking, that sort of philosophy if you will. Can we do whatever we want to with our bodies, because they are our bodies? If I wanted to sell an organ, rumor has it that I could do so for thousands of dollars on the black market. But the black market is simply a phrase which means 'illegally.' Doesn't look like I can do what I want to with my own body. Or imagine that I was pulled over and given a ticket for driving without a seat belt. It's my body, why am I getting a ticket for not buckling it in? I obviously can't do what I want to with my body; it's obviously not my choice.

Jack Kevorkian, a.k.a. Dr. Death, sits in prison because he agreed with a lot of people that they have the right to choose what to do with their own body. Looks like the law doesn't agree, there. And what about all those people incarcerated for drug possession and prostitution? It's their body, their choice, right? Well, the law doesn't agree. What about drugs? What about prostitution? The law doesn't agree that you have the right to do either of those "because it is your body." This is yet another reason why in my previous blog I mentioned that abortion causes hypocrisy in government. If we are allowing women to have abortions based on the idea that it is their body, their choice, then why are we disallowing these other things? Abortion keeps no continuity with our other laws; it's a contradictory and erroneous law. It's not derived reasonably from our other laws.

O.k. so I haven't made a moral argument, yet. Can you blame me? It's like shooting fish in a barrel. So, let me make an ethical argument against. An ethic of course is a moral generally agreed upon by a given society. Ethics are rapidly disappearing because of relativism. That's the real danger present in society today; it's not that we are becoming immoral. That's what the last fifty years were all about: immorality. Now, society is just becoming amoral," Morals are subjective. Who needs 'em?" they say.

Well, since ethics still exist I'll make use of them here. Another pro-abortion argument overlaps the one I just mentioned and it's that the fetus or the zygote are not human because they do not possess all of their body parts and don't function like an independent human specimen. Further, part of that assertion is what was stated previously, namely that it cannot survive independently. Their organs aren't formed completely and they don't even have a complete skeletal system. They point these things out to make the fetus or the zygote as dissimilar from a fully formed human child outside of the womb as possible, so as to make them seem like two different species of organism.

I'm going to indulge in sarcasm here and talk about the implications of those assertions. So, the fetus is not a human because it's organs don't work or aren't formed completely? Does that mean that people who have malformed hearts aren't human? Does that mean that the mentally and physically handicapped aren't human? Does that mean that people with rare bone diseases and deficiencies aren't human? Can we just kill them off, too?

What about that idea that people aren't human because they can't survive by themselves? Technically, human children are meant to survive by breastfeeding for the first portion of their lives. They still need their mother's bodies. They also need handling and affection, otherwise they die and/ or can develop serious psychological and chemical disorders. How old must a child be before it can survive independent of it's parents? Eight years old, maybe? Lot's of old people can't take care of themselves, neither can lots of invalids. There are many mentally and physically handicapped people who simply cannot survive without assistance. Some people need machines to stay alive. So, what are they trying to say? That we can just kill them off, too? They meet the criteria. Perhaps, we should bring back the practice of exposure and just leave unwanted infants for dead on hillsides to be picked apart or eaten by birds and wild animals.

And I'm not even going to mention the other subjective nonsense arguments concerning unwanted children, children born into poverty, into areas of crime. I'll just simply say, what I said above against the so-called disqualifying factors: does that mean we should kill all poor people, too? And the unwanted, whether they be elderly or in the womb? Should we just kill everyone in every ghetto in America like the Nazis did all over Europe?  

You know, it sounds like they are supporting euthanasia at the same time when they support abortion. In fact, they are, de facto. But even more grotesquely the scope of who doesn't qualify as humans is astounding if we go by this definition of human life. We can kill all mentally and physically handicapped people, invalids, those on life support, all children under the age of eight, the elderly, the deformed, etc. The only people who would be classed as humans are those who are of sound body and mind, capable of surviving independent from all other human beings. Well, they'd quickly disqualify themselves, because no one who thinks that is of sound mind, unless they are pure, cold, calculating, intellectual evil.

Sounds a lot like eugenics; you know, the same thing the Nazis were all about. They say the apple never falls too far from the tree. Well, the rotten apple of modern abortion proves this maxim correct. Margret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, a.k.a. the abortion people, was an avid activist of eugenics. She thought that criminals and the mentally handicapped should be involuntarily sterilized. She even suggested the following to congress,"Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924." She also said," The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind."

She was an open racist. Do you know that today, right now, you can call Planned Parenthood and tell them you want to donate specifically to black abortions? Did you know that Planned Parenthood's all over America are intentionally and strategically placed near minority and low income areas? Eugenics in action here in the 21st century and we still look to the past and wag a finger at the Nazis. Looks like her philosophical offspring still agree, even if they deny it, even if they don't realize it. Those are the implications of their arguments; eugenics and euthanasia follow necessarily from these arguments.

So, where are the legitimate arguments for abortion? What's another one we all hear," Do you want it to go back to what it was like in the past?! Back alley with a coat hanger?! Do you know how many women died and became barren because of those illegal procedures?!" What kind of argument is that? That's like if tomorrow we passed a law that said people are allowed to break into houses and steal. If people tried to repeal the law, the ones who passed the law would say," Do you want it to go back to like it was in the past?! Back when criminals had to worry about being shot?! Do you know how stressful that was?! Do you know how many thieves died over a T.V. or a gold watch?!" You'd look at them and say after a long pause," ARE YOU INSANE???" We don't alter our laws because criminals suffer the natural consequences of their actions! That's not even an argument. That's argumentum absurdum.

Almost anyone who is pro-choice would look at the consequences and logic of these common arguments and say," No! Of course I don't believe any of that is ok!" But show the logical argument for abortion, then. Show a bullet-proof, iron-clad, objective argument for abortion. I'm not trying to paint everyone with one brush stroke, but let's face it, the pro-choice side is not a theistic stance. The pro-choice movement is primarily an atheistic one. I've never met an Atheist who wasn't pro-abortion; well, maybe one, but I can't recall exactly. Anyway, this seems to be the case. So, just like the Atheists like to put the onus on theists to prove that God exists, it's up to pro-choice individuals to prove that it isn't a human life. The onus isn't on the pro-life side to show that a human life does exist. We all know what the course of nature is for a zygote, we know what the fetus becomes. There is no denying what the course of nature is; that much is evident. The onus is on the pro-abortionists to prove their correctness, because nature is the ultimate default. If you are an Atheist and a pro-choice individual, don't be a hypocrite. Just make your objective argument. Or if you don't have and argument, accept the fact that you don't have one and the next time someone asks you why you're pro-choice tell them the truth," I don't have a real reason. I just am."   

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Abortion- Not Smart

Talking about abortion is always difficult, not because we must grapple with semantics, morals, ideas, ethics, virtues, science, medicine, or anything else of that order. It is difficult to talk about because there is so much wrong with abortion that one struggles to know wear to start, which door to enter, where to grab on, which error and vice to first expose. Now, perhaps some of you are in favor of abortion and don't like what I've just said, but hear my argument if you will; I'm going to keep this one secular. I will gladly read any rebuttal in the comments section.

First, let me not make a moral criticism of abortion, but rather let me propound to you some commonsense reasons for why abortion is bad for society. In the first place, it causes hypocrisy in government. The United States government says that it does not fund abortions with tax payer money, at least at this present moment. Is this true? No, and an emphatic resounding 'no' at that. Companies like McDonald's, Sam Adams, Coca Cola, Swiffer and many more give millions and millions to Planned Parenthood every year so that they can have huge tax write-offs. That means that the tax money they would have had to pay was diverted to an organization whose primary mission is to provide abortions and contraception. Monies owed to the state, taxes, was given to abortions.

How exactly does the government not pay for abortions when such so-called philanthropy is at the expense of the government, a detriment to its total collection? What? Because the money didn't pass from the government's hands the government didn't fund abortions? How can anyone say that when it was the government in the first place who agreed not to collect the monies so that it could be so diverted? The government is financially complicit in abortion. For the government to say that it doesn't fund abortion is a pathetically feeble deceit of the first order.

Are you not convinced? Let's try this with other organizations. What if Smith & Wesson had given one million dollars to the Irish political party Sinn Fein back when they were fund raising in America during the 1970's, during 'The Troubles,' for the IRA. Keep in mind that the IRA is considered a terrorist organization by the United States. Let's imagine further that Smith & Wesson got a tax break out of it. Everyone in America and the U.K. would be screaming about how the U.S. government was funding terrorism against the U.K. in Northern Ireland, in the same fashion that the PRC and USSR funded North Korea and North Vietnam.

Or let's imagine that the U.S. government declared that it wasn't attempting to sway the Iraqi economy in any particular direction, that it wasn't interested in imperialism or colonialism. Then, let us imagine further that congress passed a bill which said to all U.S. oil corporations that they would only pay 50% domestic taxes and 75% foreign for 20 years if they established themselves inside Iraqi oil fields. The U.S. government's actions would be irreconcilable with its words. 

This is precisely what we have here: lies, deceit, and hypocrisy. Do you imagine that this sort of behavior is acceptable and good for government? Or do you suppose that such governments are worthy to govern their people? Can such governments be trusted? Perhaps, up until now you've been saying," The government does the same thing with write-offs to religious organizations." You are correct, but the government never said,"We don't give money to religious organizations." What the government says is that there is a separation of Church and State, so that no religion is founded or established by the government. That statement was in direct condemnation of what king Henry VIII did when he established and founded the Church of England with his secular power.

Also, notice that it is a separation of Church and State, not church and State. If the separation of Church and State is to be understood as an absolute as so many like to suggest, how then does the State impose this law upon the religious without dissolving such a separation? The very idea doesn't even make sense. How are they separate when religious interference in politics is limited and prohibited by the state if such restrictions are imposed by the state? It cannot be! This species of separation defies logic, unless such a phenomenon were accidental and mutual, but it is not. The nature of the separation must be otherwise defined. Ergo, as stated, there is a separation of Church and State, so that no religion is founded or established by the government.

So, it isn't the same. What happens with abortion and religious organizations are very dissimilar in substantial ways. There's no need to address or entertain that assertion further. Let's rather look at the fiscal responsibility of abortion. The last time I checked, every American has an estimated monetary value. Some of you might remember the old movie "Boy's Town" with Spencer Tracy. In that movie there is a line that says," That boy is worth $10,000 dollars to the state!" It was said in reference to an orphan played by Mickey Rooney. But that was back during the Great Depression. Everyone back then was estimated to be worth about $10,000 to the state. That means that the mathematical mean of what a person will produce is X amount of dollar from the time they are born to the time they die.

We can contrast this with the debt average. I keep hearing rough numbers about the amount of debt allotted to each American; supposedly it's about $2.5 million and rising. That is to say, if we took the national debt and distributed it equally across every living citizen in the United States, each of us would owe approximately $2.5 million dollars. Now, today each of us is obviously worth more than $10,000 USD, quite a bit more in fact. More like $1.4 million. So, that means you still have $1.1 million hanging over your head if you are an American citizen.

All of that to say, every person born in America alleviates $1.4 dollars of debt. You could also say they generate $1.1 million. Still doesn't change the fact that they alleviate more than they generate. Abortion on the other hand costs money and generates none. Abortion is fiscally irresponsible; it does not have the power to generate wealth, only to stymie growth and progress. Any semblance of wealth is an illusion, comprised of money merely changing hands, insurance monies, and donations. It is a drain on society. The average abortion costs about $300 dollars, but certain procedures which occur less frequently can cost up to $1,000 dollars.

So, let's do some simple math here. I'm gonna be conservative with the constant here; the old general estimate of how many abortions have occurred since Roe vs. Wade is 50,000,000. Now, it's closer to 60,000,000 if it isn't almost there. So, 50,000,000 it is. And as we stated, the vast majority of abortions cost about $300 bucks. So, $300 bucks it is. Now, understand, whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, that this is not statistical science here. This equation proves nothing. It's merely an illustration, but a powerful one.

If we multiply 50,000,000 with 300, we get 15,000,000,000. That's $15 billion dollars in debt to kill the unborn. If we multiply 1,400,000 with 50,000,000, we get 60,000,000,000,000. That's $60 Trillion dollars. To put that in perspective for you, the infamous national debt is $14 Trillion, 5 Billion. Abortion has hurt us financially, regardless of what oat bran hippie fear-mongering fanatics might say about over population. Abortion has hurt us badly. And because of abortion this generation not only suffers from old debt, but at some point will face what Europe now faces: more dependents than there are people to depend upon. Enter welfare state. 

We can't say that we'd be better off or worse off debt-wise at the present moment, or at least I'm not qualified to say so. It would probably take a decade, hundreds of people, and lots of money to find out the precise truth of the matter. But it's very probably we'd be in the exact same place we are at right now, financially speaking. Except for one thing: having too few people to support the aging population of 'baby-boomers.' That certainly would not be a problem. Abortion is irresponsible, it exists primarily because of irresponsibility, and creates a culture of irresponsibility. Abortion is bad for the world, plain and simple, even leaving moral arguments aside.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Latin Rosary


Sign of the Cross:

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

Apostles' Creed:
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer:
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

The Hail Mary:
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Glory Be:
GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Oratio Fatimae (The Fatima Prayer)
Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.

Hail, Holy Queen:
SALVE REGINA, Mater misericordiae. Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te Suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.
V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Monday, 3 January 2011

Theodicy - The Problem of Evil

I was commenting recently to an Atheist friend; the eminent Richard Dawkins had come up on her page. I was wondering what Richard Dawkins would do with a guy like Ken Miller, a well published molecular and cell biologist who gives assent to evolution and does his own debates against American Evangelical Creationism. Ken Miller is Roman Catholic and says that he is a theist in the broadest sense. Admittedly, that can only mean one thing... he doesn't give much attention to his faith.

A little while later it dawned on me," You know... that probably wouldn't be that great of a debate." The reason being is that the only thing they would have to argue about is the cosmological argument, which is the issue of whether or not the universe has a cause and what that might be. The other thing they might argue about is theodicy, which addresses the problem of evil.

These are the two pitfalls of such debates. It's one thing to watch an atheist scientist beat up on a theist rhetorician who parrots second hand Creationist arguments, to watch an atheist scientist and a theist scientist shrug in agreement, but quite another to watch them wade into a mire of philosophical issues they don't have the credentials to discuss.

So often people watch these epic clashes, bedazzled by the scientific jargon, sitting on the edge of their seats, mesmerized by the simultaneous embarrassment and verbal glory of the debaters. We forget that these men are usually specialists, or at least pretend to be. They are either theologians, scientists, philosophers, or mere rhetoricians. Too often, the rhetorician plays the menace and it must be admitted that most often in the matters of science it's a theist. A creationist rhetorician will hide behind a mass of unfinished, ill-quoted, misinformed, assumptions and subjective arguments. We even catch them holding up completely discredited and disproved theories like the infamous "irreducible complexity of the eye" and the "irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum." If the creationist initiates a question on science and the atheist responds with a line of science, he will follow a line of so-called morality, and visa versa, evading the issue.

Too often theists in general get represented by meddling rhetoricians who aren't qualified to teach a high school biology class. But on the other hand, Atheists are just as guilty. Such is the case with Dawkins. Dawkins is a Biologist; that's what he is. But you see him attempting to speak authoritatively on philosophy, morality, history, ethics, virtue, etc. He's not qualified to comment on any of those things and usually he ends up hackneying out arguments from Kant, Hegel, and Hume with shaky form and questionable understanding. Even if he did possess a good understanding of such philosophies, which has not been evidenced, he does not have the ability to defend these philosophies systematically, nor can he explain their intricacies. It's cocktail party knowledge; they don't really even know what they are talking about.

Because of this, Dawkins and other atheists often come out strong with tricky and hard ethical questions, but end up feebly retiring prematurely, feigning a noble profession of ignorance in an attempt to make their opponents look arrogant. That's not to say that such atheist debaters don't exist, those who are philosophers and anthropologist, etc. Rather, most often apologetics debates are completely mismatched. In fact, I've never seen one that was well matched. I've observed a team of atheists versus a team of creationists. But what if such a panel existed where you had the best of the best? The atheist team having an anthropologist, a biologist, a philosopher, and a physicist; and the theist side had a theologian, a biologist, a philosopher, and a physicist? Only then I think would such a debate be worthy of note; a debate where another two could continue where the former two left off.

Anyway, as stated, most apologetics debates disintegrate once the issue of philosophy and theodicy arise. The debate turns into a defamation of ideas, a verbal slug-fest, and all sides deteriorate into ridiculous non sequiturs and random scenarios designed not to reveal the truth, but rather into trap the opponent in his words or trick him into admitting something as if character assassination was the point of the debate. This of course usually takes place at the end of the debate once both sides are fatigued after having tried to their utmost to make eloquent arguments and eloquent refutations. It becomes nothing more than a show of vanity by the end, very often.

Leaving aside the venue of apologetics and focusing on theodicy, I think the subject deserves some treatment. It's a fair question the atheist asks," If there is a God, then why is there so much suffering and what we might call evil in the world?" The thing is, most atheists would be talking out both sides of their mouth by even saying this. Atheist don't believe in a universal morality, they don't believe in objective ethics and virtues. In fact, most of them would staunchly defend the notion that these are conventional, man-made, subjective concepts. So, in essence, if we take their assertion as just stated, then that would be like asking an Alaskan native to account for culture of the Bushmen of Africa. Subjective is subjective right?

But far from attempting to wiggle out of answering, like the rhetorician does, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy there, and I'll go a little further. The atheist asks the question because the theist is stating that there is an objective morality and that there is a universal right. So, the atheist is basically putting a ball in the theists court that he's pretty sure the theist can't possibly dribble. That's fair; the atheist shouldn't have to argue the theists side of the argument for him. But supposing that the atheist is right, what then? What do we make of evil? What can we possibly say? There's only one thing we can say: there is no real evil, there is no real morality. What then? If there's no tangible, objective moral difference between giving a person a hug and giving them poison, then there is no problem of evil. It simply doesn't exist.

This is where the atheist hypocrisy usually rears it's ugly head and we have a full on, uncompromising endorsement of morals from the atheist, which is exactly what they atheist was refusing to tolerate from the theist. Except, instead of the theist's morals, the atheist pushes post-modern humanism down everyone's throat. So, the atheist only condemns the theist so they can turn around and do the same exact thing, and that as we all know, whether you're a theist or an atheist, is pure hypocrisy.

Theodicy can seem like a tough nut to crack, but in reality the only thing that makes it a tough subject is that people apply strawmen to the people arguing the issue. For some reason, the theist isn't allowed to make an argument unless he defends the Calvinist double-predestination, where God controls everything and everyone and micromanages the universe with supreme impeccability, right down to the tiniest quirk. That's kinda like the atheist saying to the theist," Hey, let's race, but you have to drive in the car I give you." Huh?

In a universe where God and man are both described according to the Catholic schematic, answering theodicy isn't problematic at all. The universe works in the same pattern as we observe everyday. Parents make a child, the child once grown has choices to make. It can make good choices or bad choices. In short, freewill is the answer to theodicy. At the bottom of each of my blogs I have my favorite quote from Aristotle, perhaps from all philosophy," Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim."

God is the good; the good is certainly something anyone can give assent to and at the same time know that it is immeasurable. Here we have a reasonable argument concerning God, I think.. Everyone does what they do for a reason, even when accidents happen, they did certain things which set the accident in motion. A woman procures an abortion so that she will not be encumbered with a child, aiming at the good of freedom. A man steals to satisfy a desire, aiming at the good of happiness. People rape to satisfy sexual urges and to establish dominance, aiming at the goods of power and pleasure. All of them fail miserably. In the end, however, they prove Aristotle correct, that all things do in fact aim at the Good.

So, the problem of evil is exactly what Christians have been saying it is all along: a conflict between man's ability and desire to obtain the good. It comes down to free will. Man must take responsibility for the problem of evil, because he causes it and eliminates it, by both action an inaction. This has nothing to do with God being malevolent and everything to do with His sovereignty. As the Greek philosophers were so fond of saying," The sun, too, peers into privies and is not contaminated by them." That evil exists has not to do with God. In fact, evil is a kind of vacuum, seeing as how God is the Good and evil is chiefly a lack of good, as we have just demonstrated with the rapist, the thief, and the murderer. The Christian schematic isn't problematic at all, like the Atheist suggested it was. It's only problematic if Christianity is forced in such a debate to defend a heresy and a non-God. There, theodicy solved.
"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~