Friday, May 17, 2019

The god of the Loins

A recent Tweet from Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez reads as follows: "Abortion bans aren't just about controlling women's bodies. They're about controlling women's sexuality. Owning women. From limiting birth control to banning comprehensive sex ed, US religious fundamentalists are working hard to outlaw sex that falls outside their theology. Ultimately, this is about women's power. When women are in control of their sexuality, it threatens a core element underpinning right-wing ideology: patriarchy. It's a brutal form of oppression to seize control of the 1 essential thing a person should command: their own body." Oddly enough, as I read this, I was reminded of Plato's Republic. In Book 9 of that work, Plato reminds us of the tyrannical soul and how it becomes so. Earlier, in Book 4, Plato had divided the human soul into three parts, the desiring, the spirited, and the rational. The desiring element is that element that, without the rule of reason, would seek to satisfy any and all pleasures, including the grotesque (Plato uses the example of the desiring element, in dreams while reason slumbers, wanting relations with one's own mother.) Plato lays out how the tyrant is someone who, from youth, always has all pleasures satisfied so that no pleasures end up out of bounds. The tyrannical soul will not stop at any crime to satisfy its desires because it cannot control itself. The lack of control gets to a point where it is out of control; he uses the example of the tyrannical soul killing their own parents to satisfy the desire for the latest call girl. In responses to Ms. Cortez's Tweet, I noticed the typical rhetorical responses that are mere labels, but nothing rationally substantive. One of the most commonly used terms was "tyranny." The basic premise was that banning abortion meant imposing tyranny. The question I posed to myself upon reading the responses was, "What is tyranny?" Plato gives us the answer. It is the soul that cannot control itself to the point of making all crimes possible to satisfy the desiring element in us. At the state level, it is when the masses cannot control their lusts, so they choose to be ruled by someone who panders to their lusts, as well as satisfying his or her own lusts. The bottom line is, self-government at the level of republic requires self-government at the level of the individual. If we parse AOC's comment above, we can unmask where the real tyranny lies. First, she appeals to "power," in the sense of identity politics. Pitch it as the world against women, and you've got the Marxist identity political division of bourgeoisie and proletariat (have's and have nots). Incidentally, in identity politics there is no room for true justice because Marxists will ignore history as the relativistic creation of those who had power in the former epoch. Thus, for the identity Marxist, any contemporary injustice is rendered just because it is in response to historical injustices of the randomly selected power classes of yesteryear. (Just look how the definition of the kulaks in Soviet Russia shifted with the "thieving" needs of the tyrants in charge.) So, there is no crime the underprivileged (however they are relativistically selected) can commit that is unjust. In short, there is no truth but power, and power is to be had by the biggest gun. So AOC says abortion bans are about controlling women's bodies and sexuality, indeed, she calls it "owning women." Can you see Plato's tyrant? Dangle the red meat of lust and power out in front of those who cannot self rule. The first avenue to control for the tyrant. She then says that when women are in control of their sexuality, that it threatens the so called "patriarchy." Abortion does the opposite of putting women in control of their sexuality, it takes control away. Pregnancy is a natural control on uninhibited desires. It forces one to practice temperance and to control the tyrant within. Indeed, it's not an easy battle, but virtue is not easily won. Her appeal is to the lower desires, just as Plato said the tyrant always does. When she talks about "patriarchy," I assume what she means is systemic juridical structures that favor men over women in all spheres of life? If that is what she means, then she is an advocate of that very patriarchy by protecting the oppressors of women through abortion. The majority of women say they had an abortion because of pressure from their boyfriend/spouse; abortion is documented as being used for rape cover up; it puts cultural pressure on women to do the unwomanly and kill her offspring; it affords predatory men the license to use women, and ends up emotionally traumatizing many women who go through abortion. If the patriarchy exists as she believes, she is advocating for it! Finally, it need not be exhausted here, but the idea that a baby inside a woman is "the woman's body" is scientifically inaccurate. When Stalin was asked how to conquer America, he responded that one must destroy her morality. AOC's latest Tweet, as Plato shows us, is dangling the meat of lust out there, so the state can step in and take control of your life. Anyone selling "free sex," is seeking to control you through your lower desires. Tyranny lies within before it lies without. Tyranny is in the god of the loins...

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Masonic God, no God at all

My understanding of the Masonic god is that it widely falls into the deistic interpretation of God. That is, God is the mechanistic god that set the wheels in motion for creation, and then walked away unconcerned about the goings on on this little earth. There are a myriad of issues with the mechanistic picture of reality, but today I would like to focus on the problem with deism and a "god" that is unconcerned with His or "its" creation. In Aristotelian Thomism, the foundational constituent principles of reality are act and potency. Indeed, if one is to study Aristotle or Aquinas at all, one must understand these two principles. The basic way to understand act is as the "full perfection of a thing" and potency as potentialities or "what a thing can become given its nature absent limiting factors." The classic example given is that of the acorn and the oak tree. An acorn is in potency to becoming an oak tree if it will realize the full perfection of its nature, or if it will become actual. In classic metaphysics, ultimately potency cannot precede act in the coming to be of things. So, for a human being to come into existence, there must be adult human beings that have reached perfection, or humans in act to realize the potency of sperm and egg. Now Aquinas defines God as Pure Act. He is the actuality that ultimately actuated the potency of creation. As an infinite power, He did this ex nihilo, or out of nothing. This is something only an infinite power can do. As Pure Act, there is no perfection that can be lacking to God. Thus, he cannot lack any knowledge, or any power, or any goodness or beauty or truth. So how do we know that God is the Pure Act, or Actus Purus? First off, any perfection there is in reality must come from a cause that has the actuality to cause the effect. That is, an effect cannot have something in it that is not first in its cause either actually, virtually, or eminently. So, God cannot lack any perfection, at least of what we are aware of. Secondly, if God is lacking a perfection, then He is not God. We can arrive at this by considering the idea of dualistic theology. Dualism, in theology, suggests that there are two equally powerful deities, one good, and one evil. Now, it is not possible for there to be two all powerful gods, as the power of the evil god would be lacking to the good god and vice versa. Thus each god would have a potency, or lack the perfection, of the power of the other god. Therefore, neither would be all powerful gods. There would have to be a third, all powerful cause of the powers of the two gods that were lacking these perfections. Thus, there is only one all powerful God. So, there must be only one Pure Act that has all perfections. If we return to the idea of adult humans having the act, and semen and egg having the potencies, we quickly realize that there must be an actuality prior to all potencies. As noted before, an effect must have in it what was first in the cause. Thus, anything in existence must have come to be by something already in act. You do not have a pile of dirt, that after sitting as dirt for 2000 years, become a tree, unless something in act draws out the potencies. It is similar in the creation of the human intellect. Evolution seeks to demonstrate that, through time, potencies are actualized. The theory generally works as long as there are myriad of actualities that bring out potencies latent in material reality. Two big question marks are a) the beginning of evolutionary biology, i.e. what set it in motion, and b) how does one arrive at the actuality of intellectual activity from material potencies? There seems to be an infinite gap there, which is why I posit a God, or intellectual actuality. So what does all of this have to do with the Masonic god? A Pure Act can lack no perfection, meaning that the attributes of a Pure Act would be omniscience, omnipotent, all good, all truth, all beautiful, etc. If this is true, however, it means that the deistic god cannot be Pure Act. For what being that is all knowing and all good, these are necessary consequences of the concept of Pure Act, could even begin to be unconcerned about its creation? If creation is good, and this is demonstrably the case, then how could what is all good be unconcerned about goodness? Furthermore, what being, if it had all knowledge, could not always be aware of the goings on of its creation? Catholicism holds that God created man in His image, which is exemplified by the intellectual powers (intellect and will). If, indeed, intellect and will are a good God's image, then it further intensifies this Pure Act's concern for His creatures. As we see from before, the actuality of intellectual activity cannot be explained by material potencies as intellectual activity is immaterial. (Aristotle notes that all material powers of the soul have a limited range, but the intellect is infinite in range, thus showing its immateriality. Further evidence of the image of God being stamped in humanity). In short, this all shows that a Pure Act, based on the attributes that must follow on Its being, would be concerned with creation. Thus, the Masonic deistic god is no god at all, for to be unconcerned about reality would mean either it had not the knowledge, or was not good, but then it would not be God. As we know, at it's highest ranks, Freemasonry is Luciferian. And yes, Lucifer certainly is NOT concerned about creation, other than to destroy the image of God that is in it. The Freemasonic god is no god.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Introduction

Readers of this blog, based off of the title "Resident Thomist" may be aware that I have a radio segment on KCRD called a "Minute with the Bellowing Ox." Through much prayer and fasting lately, the Lord has put it on my heart that the gift I've been given is that of teacher. 10 years ago I started the "Magisterial Warrior" blog that was rather polemical in its outlook. While I enjoy writing polemics, it dawned on me that in an unphilosophically trained epoch, the core of what I was writing may be missed. Similarly, I've wondered if the biting tone may turn hearts and minds away from Truth. Perhaps a more benevolent/educational approach to the foundations of my own thinking on the cultural issues of our day might prove more evangelical. Since I am one who had to work at understanding the heady philosophy of Aquinas and the whole tradition he came out of, I thought it would be pertinent to start a blog that teaches the philosophical basics before getting into polemics. Of course, the satanic foolishness of our culture may force my hand to sometimes temporarily lash out at untruth utilizing the philosophical categories of the Thomistic tradition. For KCRD, as well, I have been writing a newsletter and I have gotten feedback/requests to teach classes. The current familial situation and work requirements make it impossible for me to teach courses. So, I will take my musings here and hope that this becomes and online "course" that people will read. My vision for this blog is to be a single, simplified stop for philosophical inquirers into the Thomistic tradition. Polemics may come, but only because Truth is polemical and forces us to take sides. I am writing a newsletter for KCRD currently that is called "Foundations." This is where this blog will go. Once I figure out how to design, I hope to provide links to definitions within the Aristotelian categorical framework. I will post the "Foundations" newsletter postings on this blog, perhaps with a little tweaking so as to provide links and citations to sources, as well as to take it out of the 500 word format. Long term, I would like to see this get to "in medias res" where I started with soldiersofthemagisterium 10 years ago. Graduate school and children cut that blog off prematurely. We may get back to it again, but for now, this blog will be a foundation to the Thomistic worldview and why I find it the most compelling philosophy there is. In short, this will be a teaching blog. If I figure out how to design better, I'm hoping that the early postings can be sidebar links so students of philosophy can browse and find what they need to understand the Thomistic philosophical tradition. Of course, we will engage other philosophies, not to incorporate them, but to do battle with them the way all truth does battle. We will be as thoroughly Thomistic as we can be and engage no straw men. Finally, the vision is still in the "fluid" stage, and I reserve the right to let the muse strike me as fit. The main thrust will be educational, but there will most likely be commentaries along the way.