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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Physics and Theology

Experimental science describes the quantitative relationship between objects.
Theological science describes the qualitative relationships between persons.

Physics is non-theistic, but it is not antithetical to theology. Physics does not "equate" to an antithetical approach. It simply isn't even in the same arena.

If I use a hammer to crush a human skull, you can tell me by examining the skull about point of impact, angle, force used, damage to skull and brain, etc.

However, you cannot tell me whether the action was moral. There is no tool in the physics toolbox that can measure the morality of the action.  Does that mean that all the answers about point of impact, angle, force, etc. are "antithetical" to morality? Obviously not. It's just that none of them are RELEVANT to the morality of the act, nor is the morality of the event relevant to any of the physics calculations concerning point of impact, angle, force, etc.

In order for two discussions to be antithetical, they have to occupy the same part of the universe, and these two don't. One discusses objects, the other discusses the persons that were involved in the use of the objects.*

To discuss the morality of the act, I would need to know if one of the two was an aggressor (perhaps it was an accident?). If one was an aggressor, which one? Were they both aggressors? What caused the aggression? Were both alive at the time of the event, or was the one with the crushed skull already dead? Did the one who crushed the skull KNOW that the victim was already dead? What aspects of the moral act are known (act, circumstances, intent)? The question set is quite large, and this is just an outline.

Given what I've said, we only know the physical act. We can't judge the morality without knowing the other two aspects of the moral act.

If physics is theistic, then it HAS to possess tools that judge person-to-person relationships, because that is the ONLY way to discuss God. God is three Persons, the divine Persons are distinguished ONLY by their interpersonal relations, and our personhood is founded on our relationship with the Three Persons.

But physics has no tool to measure interpersonal relationships. It cannot distinguish, it does not even pretend to distinguish, between virtue or vice. It cannot detect the presence of grace (God) or the absence of grace (sin).

Physics is a subset of the discussion of human interaction, and it ONLY rises to the level of subset because our spirit-souls inhabit bodies. Physics has no part in the discussion of divine-angelic relationships because neither God nor angels have bodies. Physics has no part in the discussion of the disembodied human souls in hell, purgatory or heaven prior to the resurrection on the Last Day.

Physics is not an antithetical non-theistic set of propositions. Physics is, instead, an IRRELEVANT set of propositions as far as theology, the study of interpersonal relationships, is concerned.

Similarly, it is incorrect to say that physics admits teleology, a discussion of man's proper end. Sure, the PHILOSOPHY which EMPOWERS physics admits teleology. No argument there. But that is different than saying physics itself admits a teleology. Physics is a tool. The idea of "tool" is a philosophical concept, but the technique by which the tool operates in the world is not a philosophical concept, it is an act that physics describes without regard to teleology at all.

So, a hammer is an object which may drive a nail or crush a skull - two different philosophies are embodied in these two different uses of the tool, but the actual operation of the object in the world has no philosophy at all. The hammer, as it strikes an object, simply acts to concentrate force into a point. That is not philosophical. It is simply mindless action, action that can happen without any operator at all. "The hammer hit the nail" describes action, but not teleology. "The carpenter swung the hammer, hitting the nail"... now teleology begins to be described.

*Note: As an aside, this is why it is absolutely wrong to think of God as some kind of energy field. Energy and matter are interchangeable, as Einstein's famous E=mc^2 equation described. Matter is solid energy, energy is liquid matter, as it were. Energy=Matter, they occupy the same part of the universe and are, for that reason, interchangeable terms. If we think of God as some kind of energy field, like the Force in Star Wars, we ultimately claim God to be an element of the created universe, which is a directly condemned heresy. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Logic of the Mob

Cops exist to protect criminals from angry mobs. Cops also protect angry mobs from each other.

The Kenosha rioters don't want cops. 
They got what they wanted - no cops.
As a result, the rioters got shot by someone from the other side.

So, rioters got what they wanted - direct violence.
The guy who shot them got what he wanted - direct violence.
Both sides embrace a different viewpoint about violence than you or I do, but that's America - a melting pot of viewpoints, right? So, why aren't we celebrating diversity here? Angry mobs shooting each other looks like a win-win for anyone involved who isn't a hypocrite.

And, from that point of view, why is it wrong for the cops to get in on the game and shoot whoever they want? I mean, if the rioters TRULY don't want cops, then the cops are just another angry mob willing to go mano-a-mano with them. For people who embrace violence, what's not to like? 

If you don't want cops, then people randomly shooting each other is what you get. If some of the people doing the shooting are wearing cop uniforms, well, is it all that different from people wearing antifa uniforms? If you don't want cops, why can't people in cop uniforms operate like the looters and rioters? 

Seriously, when people in cop uniforms shoot them, why do rioters get upset?
They got what they wanted, good and hard - no cops.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Meditation On the Death of a Friend

Look up into the clear night sky and you will a beautiful thing. 


Stars are born, grow for billions of years, live for billions of years, then collapse and die. And from their ashes, you and I are born. You and I, we are dead stars. And, you and I, we are more beautiful than stars, for we are not just things, we are persons. We are able to live life with joy that stars never have, we are able to burn with love no star's fire can cool, we are able to form molten memories that even a star's own sun-hot forge can never pour out.

But, in order for us, you and I, to be born, a star had to die. A beautiful thing had to die so that something, someone, even more beautiful could be born. 

And, as it is with stars, so it is with you and with me. Although you and I, and every person, has within us this unutterable beauty of joy and love and memory, we each must die so an even more beautiful being, an even better version of ourselves, can be born.

The star did not choose when it was born. It did not choose when it died. Nor do you and I. We do not choose when we are born, we do not choose when we die. Born from the ashes of a star, we simply live, carrying in our hands the life that is given to us. Each of us is born weak, but we grow strong, fiercely bright, giving light where and when we shine. 

My friend, you did not choose to leave your children. If you could have stayed, you would. You wanted for your children what all parents want for their children. And, just as none of us fully understand the death of a star, so none of us fully understand your death. But some things, we do understand.

So, my friend, for your children, this thought:  she wants you to live long, grow strong, and remember her.

And, my friend, for your children, this promise: the beauty that is to come is even greater than the beauty she gave to you.

And, my friend, for your children, this word: Live.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

On Presidential Policies

 Nota bene:

Arguing for or against a policy by the current president (no matter who he is) by saying "But Obama did it!" is an atrociously bad argument.

Liberals don't care if the current White House occupant matches their man's actions, because their man can never do any wrong, while anyone NOT their man is wrong simply by the fact that he isn't their man.

Pointing out their man did something wrong doesn't convince them of anything, because that's not where their difficulty lies. Their difficulty lies in the fact that anyone who is NOT their man is, by that fact, illegitimate. For leftists, the "Obama did it!" argument falls on deaf ears.

For conservatives, anytime the president does something that matches Obama's or Clinton's moves, we should start from a position of deep, deep concern. Obama and Clinton were idiots.

Generally speaking, we never want the current White House occupant to "ditto" an Obama/Clinton policy. If he does, he better have a damned good reason, and I want to know what it is before I approve of it.

Now, sometimes he does have a good reason to continue a policy. For instance, Obama started the removal of USPS mailboxes, and Trump continued it. Given the fall-off in USPS mail, it makes good business sense, I support that activity no matter which president is involved.

But then there is Obama building and stocking cages with illegal immigrant kids, and Trump re-filling the cages. My friend, as a Catholic, nothing about that activity is acceptable to me, and I honestly don't care WHO does it. That has to stop. 

So don't roll out "Obama did it!" as a defense for any policy, ever. Either defend the policy on its merits, or admit the policy, on its merits, sucks rocks. Saying, "Obama did it!" assumes that Obama is the norm that norms all actions, and I reject that notion with lightning and fury.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Natural Born Citizen

 The question is simple. Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States, under clause 5 (emphasis added):

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

What does the phrase "natural-born citizen" refer to? Only a natural-born citizen can be president or vice-president, but the Constitution does not define the term. The Supreme Court has never directly addressed the question in reference to the eligibility of a specific presidential or vice-presidential candidate. 

There are different opinions on this matter, none of which are clearly correct. The basis for questioning "natural-born citizenship" is generally founded on theory that the Founding Fathers used Emerich de Vattel's Law of Nation as a basis for the terminology they employed in the Constitution'. According to Vattel, a natural born citizen differs from naturalized citizens in that the natural born citizen fulfills two necessary conditions: 

  1. Born on the soil of the country (jus soli) and 
  2. Born of at least one parent who is already a citizen (jus sanguinis).

An additional argument has occasionally been used that a candidate may not possess dual citizenship. None of these questions concerning the meaning of the clause have ever been completely settled.  This is, strictly speaking, a question of law, not lineage. Posing the question is not a commentary on separate issues (e.g. the question itself is independent of the candidate's race, culture or worldview).

Below is a list of candidates whose eligibility has been questioned on the basis of the Constitution's "natural-born citizen" eligibility clause. As can be seen, this question has been around for well over a century, with no resolution in sight :

Presidential or VP Candidate Born on US soil?

Parents capable of passing on birthright citizenship?

Questioned by

Chester A. Arthur
US mother,
Irish father
Democrat opponents, including attorney Arthur Hinman, argue he was born in Canada and thus ineligible.
Christopher Schurmann Yes German nationals New York Tribune
Charles Evans Hughes Yes British father made him dual nationality with Britain Breckinridge Long, one of Woodrow Wilson's campaign workers, Chicago Legal News

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Yes
US mother, 
US Father
Political opponents backed rumor he was born in Canada.

George Romney Mexico
US mother, 
US Father

Barry Goldwater Arizona territory, not yet a state
US mother, 
US Father

Lowell P. Weicker France US Father, British mother born in India

Marco Rubio Yes Neither were naturalized citizens Alan Keyes, New Jersey lawyer Mario Apuzzo, St. Petersburg Tmes

Bobby Jindal Yes
Neither were 
naturalized citizens

Charles Kerchner, St. Petersburg Tmes

Ted Cruz Canada American mother, Cuban father

CBS News, Washington Post, Mary McManamon, Widener U. Delaware Law school. Newsweek, Laurence Tribe (Harvard), Thomas Lee, (Fordham)

John McCain

(Canal Zone)

US mother, 
US Father

Peter Williams NBC News

Barack Obama

US Mother, but too young to impart citizenship if birth was not on US soil.

Hillary Clinton

Tammy Duckworth


US father, 
Thai mother
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris Yes Neither were naturalized citizens
Newsweek, John Eastman, former Dean of Chapman University, Fowler School of Law 


Thursday, August 13, 2020

BLM's Marxist Roots

BLM started July, 2013, but did not become nationally recognized until July 2014. In 2015, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said she and her fellow organizer, Alicia Garza, are “trained Marxists”. The book publisher Penguin Random House has said Garza, an author, "describes herself as a queer social justice activist and Marxist." Included on its list of beliefs is one consistent with Marxism: 

"We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."
Marx (and Engels, the man who bankrolled him), was an avowed racist who deeply disliked black people, regularly referring to his own son-in-law and his political enemies with racial slurs. Marx and Engels repeatedly and explicitly said their goal was to destroy the family so that everyone held allegiance only to the state.

Patrisse Cullors and her BLM co-founders, were the protégé of Eric Mann, former agitator of the Weather Underground domestic terror organization, and spent years with him, absorbing the Marxist-Leninist ideology that shaped her worldview. 

In 1968, Mann was a coordinator for Students for a Democratic Society, which eventually became the terrorist organization, the Weather Underground. The Weather Underground was led by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who called for terrorism, seeking the overthrow of the US government. Ayers's close friend Terry Robbins, and Ayers's girlfriend, Diana Oughton, famously blew themselves up while making bombs to attack government buildings. Bill Ayers participated in the bombings of New York City Police Department headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. He dedicated his autobiography to Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy.

As a member of the Weather Underground, Eric Mann was himself sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and assault with intent to commit murder. 

So, Marx was an avowed racist, Eric Mann was a Marxist terrorist, and Mann trained the founders of BLM in Marxist ideology.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Silverware as Sin

St. Peter Damian: “God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks – his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating.”

Have you gone to confession for using silverware?