William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Summary Against Modern Thought: The Diversity Of Merits & Demerits

This may be proved in three ways. The first...

This may be proved in three ways. The first…

See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

Some interesting consequences about the nature of the soul here, which we flesh out later (get it?). Also, more proof that Equality is not part of the system.

Chapter 44 That distinction among things did not result from the diversity of merits or demerits (alternate translation)

1 IT remains now for us to show that the distinction among things did not result from different movements of the free-will of rational creatures, as Origen maintained in his Peri Archon. For he wished to refute the objections and errors of the early heretics, who strove to prove that the different nature of good and evil in things is owing to contrary agents.

But on account of the great difference which he observed both in natural and in human things, which difference apparently is not preceded by any merits,–for instance that some bodies are lightsome, some dark, that some are born of pagans, some of Christians,–he was compelled to assert that all differences to be found in things have proceeded from a difference of merits, in accordance with the justice of God.

For he says that God, of His mere goodness, first made all creatures equal, all of them being spiritual and rational: and these by their free-will were moved in divers ways, some adhering to God more, and some less, some withdrawing from God more, and some less; and in this way there resulted through divine justice, various grades in spiritual substances, so that some were angels in their various orders, some human souls in their various states, some demons in their various states: and on account of the diversity among rational creatures, he said that God had established diversity among corporeal creatures, so that the more noble spiritual substances were united to the more noble bodies, and thus the corporeal creature would minister in all other various ways to the diversity of spiritual substances.

Notes Link to Peri Archon. Also take delight in the word lightsome.

2 But this opinion is clearly convicted of falsehood. For among effects, the better a thing is, the more does it obtain precedence in the intention of the agent. Now the greatest good in things created is the perfection of the universe, consisting in the order of distinct things: because in all things the perfection of the whole takes precedence of the perfection of each part. Wherefore the diversity of things results from the principal intention of the first agent, and not from a diversity of merits.

3 Again. If all rational creatures were created equal from the beginning, we must say that one of them does not depend on another in its action. Now that which results from the concurrence of various causes, one of which does not depend on another, is casual. Therefore according to the aforesaid opinion, this distinction and order of things is casual: and this is impossible, as proved above.

Notes Equality is not natural—nor desirable.

4 Moreover. That which is natural to a person, is not acquired by him by his will: for the movement of the will, or free-will, presupposes the existence of the willer, and for this his nature is required.

Accordingly, if the various grades of rational creatures were derived from a movement of the free-will, all rational creatures would have their respective grade not naturally but accidentally. But this is impossible. For since the specific difference is natural to each thing, it would follow that all created rational substances are of one species, namely angels, demons, human souls, and the souls of the heavenly bodies (which Origen supposed to be animated). That this is false is proved by the diversity of natural actions: because the mode by which the human intellect naturally understands is not the same as that which sense and imagination, or the angelic intellect and the soul of the sun demand: unless perhaps we picture the angels and heavenly bodies with flesh and bones and like parts, so that they may have organs of sense, which is absurd. It follows, therefore, that the diversity of intellectual substances is not the result of a diversity of merits which are according to movements of the free-will.

Notes Neuroscientists and philosophers against free will take note! Free-will presupposes the existence of the willer. Deny free will, deny the existence of the willer—and of the nature or essence of the willer. Take particular notice of what Aquinas says of angels.

5 Again. If things that are natural are not acquired by a movement of the free-will; whereas the union of a rational soul with such a body is acquired by the soul on account of preceding merit or demerit according to the movement of the free-will; it would follow that the union of this soul with this body is not natural. Therefore neither is the composite natural. Yet man and the sun and the stars, according to Origen, are composed of rational substances and such and such bodies. Therefore all these things which are the noblest of corporeal substances, are unnatural.

Notes Part of this argument shows that we are soul-body, not soul + body. We can’t have acquired a soul accidentally by merit of our will. It has to be there on purpose, as part of our nature.

6 Again. If the union of this rational substance with this body is becoming to this rational substance not as such a substance, but as having so merited, its union with this body is not an essential but an accidental union. Now, a species does not result from things united accidentally, because from such a union there does not result a thing essentially one: for white man or clothed man is not a species. It would follow, therefore, that man is not a species, nor yet the sun, nor the moon, nor anything of the kind…

Notes Hello nominalism.

8 Further. Since there can be no multitude without distinction, if from the beginning rational creatures were formed in any number, they must have had some diversity. Therefore one of them had something which another had not. And if this was not the result of a difference in merit, for the same reason neither was it necessary for the difference of grades to result from a difference of merits…

Notes Redux: Equality is not natural—nor desirable.

11 Again. If the diversity of the corporeal creature results from the different movements of the rational creature’s free-will, we shall have to say that the reason why there is only one sun in the world, is because only one rational creature was moved by its free-will in such a way as to merit to be united to such a body. Now it was by chance that only one sinned thus. Therefore it is by chance that there is only one sun in the world, and not for the need of corporeal nature…

Notes Thomas seems to be describing a kind of idealism of the Deepak Chopra, name-it-and-claim-it kind.

15 Origen seems not to have taken into consideration that, when we give a thing not as a due, but as a free gift, it is not contrary to justice if we give unequal things, without weighing the difference of merits, since payment is due to those who merit. Now God, as stated above, brought things into being, not as though it were due to them, but out of mere bounty. Therefore the diversity of creatures does not presuppose diversity of merits.

Notes Redux redux: Equality is not natural—nor desirable.

16 Again, since the good of the whole is better than the good of each part, it does not befit the best maker to lessen the good of the whole in order to increase the good of some of the parts: thus a builder does not give to the foundation the goodness which he gives to the roof, lest he should make a crazy house. Therefore God the maker of all would not make the whole universe the best of its kind, if He made all the parts equal, because many degrees of goodness would be wanting to the universe, and thus it would be imperfect.

Notes Redux redux redux.

Expectations Of The Majority

Being in the minority, which those of us of a reactionary bent surely are, is advantageous for one reason: we do not assume: we know where we are, we know who we are. This is not always so for the majority, at least not reflexively.

I mean this in the “statistical” sense, as a stereotype. A majority member meets a person and, without giving it much or any thought, assumes the stranger thinks like he, the majority member. The stranger, unless his dress or circumstance be outré, will be thought to reside among the bien pensant; the stranger will be given the benefit of the doubt and welcomed.

So that if you, dear reader, were to put on ugly, minimalist clothing and slouch into Case Western Reserve University’s new “safe space“, you would be treated as an effeminate thumb-sucking temperamental pantywaist majorityite. If you curled into a ball and tucked yourself in a corner and whispered in horror “Republicans”—for the “safe space” was in honor of that party’s convention, which was held near the university—, you would have been given a lollipop and a Hillary t-shirt and be told that it’s okay to cry.

But now think of two closet reactionaries, or perhaps two conservatives, walking by the “safe space”, perhaps as curious as anthropologists used to be to take a peek inside and witness the strange rituals. “Can it really be true,” these minorityites say to themselves, “that students at an elite college act like frightened women when Trump’s name is mentioned?”

Now if these two minorityites were to meet at the entrance, unless there be some secret signal between these two outcasts, each minority member will assume the other is a member of the majority. This is rational because, not knowing anything else except that (by definition!) most are in the majority, this new person is likely in the majority. Stilted conversations and verbal dancing are therefore the norm on places like college campuses between minority members who aren’t interested in outing themselves.

Well, so much is common human nature. We’re interested here more in majority members who don’t realize they are in the minority per se, folks who are so embedded in the majority culture they assume nearly ever person except the fringeiest (you heard me: fringeist) are with them.

Take the New York Times. Examples abound, but for instance try the article “Peter Thiel’s Embrace of Trump Has Silicon Valley Squirming“. The premise is that Thiel is a San Franciscan elite, which is all a majority member should have to know about a man to properly peg that man as being enlightened. The presumption is that all techies are and should be majorityites. Why, just look at Apple! It’s so hip! “How could a conservative write computer code?” is a rhetorical question.

It’s natural to think this, too, because for example San Francisco is home of Twitter, which is ever banning conservative voices. The latest ban is Milo Yiannopoulos, who (it appears) inspired people other than himself to tease a foul-mouthed, white-hating actress (this actress had previously tweeted her disdain of whites, among other things).

Yiannopoulos, who is same-sex attracted, and boasts of it to the point of naming certain acts he enjoys with black men, and who because of his non-reproductive sexual preferences would ordinarily be embraced by the majority. But Yiannopoulos forgot that race trumps sexual desire in victimology cladistics, hence his banishment, hence Cologne, hence Rotterham, hence Munich, hence et cetera et cetera.

Anyway, Twitter whacked his account, as it hasn’t whacked accounts more profane, hateful, and bloodlusting as his but that belong to majority members (as seen at the top of this post; or at the bottom as a link to Twitter if you see this post via email). We might guess that “Jack”, Twitter’s CEO, views himself above these vulgarities, which he surely classes as vulgarities, but views them as being provoked by conservatives like Yiannopoulos and thus forgivable. Jack is so at home in the majority he can’t fathom that Yiannopoulos’s and his followers’ actions are themselves provoked.

A word about conservative. As has been said by others, conservative is defined as the philosophical, political, or cultural view that was held by the majority twenty years ago. That Yiannopoulos and Thiel are now considered conservative gives proof to this homely truth. Monetary utilitarianism is a constant theme for both the majority and conservatives, so in that sense, both are in the majority.

Stream: Homicide Rates, Black vs. White, Sex, Guns & Government

Today’s post is at The Stream: The Murder Rate has Plunged Since 1990…But Big Gov Knows How to Turn That Around.

Go there for the narration and data explanation. Here’s a small shot of each of the pictures, which are expanded at Stream.







Was The Attempted Turkish Coup A False Flag Or Otherwise Allowed To Happen? Guest Post by Ianto Watt


Editor’s note: Whether the coup was a false flag, or whether Erdogan knew it was going to occur but let it happen, or whether he’s not letting the crisis go to waste, odd things are happening in Turkey. For instance: Erdogan Unleashes Unprecedented Crackdown: Fires All University Deans; Suspends 21,000 Private School Teachers. Or this: Coup in Turkey goes nuclear (the US stores tactical nukes at Incirlik which might be coveted). And the many other rapid measures he’s taken. Watt brings up the excellent question: What about Russia?

Here’s all you need to know about the ‘coup attempt’ last weekend in Turkey. Read Vlad Putin’s words from last April 16th in a speech given to a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as reported by Tass News Agency:

Should Turkey not stop supporting al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, I am indeed eager to end the job the late Tsar Nicholas II left unfinished. During the World War I , He [Tsar] sought to restore Constantinople (Istanbul) to Christendom…but fate prevented him.

TASS then cited President Putin as saying “We also advocate Greek sovereignty over the Cyprus…and call the Turkish regime to end its decades-long occupation of this Mediterranean island.” Referring to five-year-old Syrian crisis, Tass reports Mr. Putin “launched a scathing attack on Turkish president’s dreadful dreams of breathing life into dead Ottoman Empire.”

Now flash back to February 27th, 1933 in Germany. The night of the Reichstag Fire, which gutted the German Parliamentary building. This happened just a few weeks after Herr Hitler had assumed the office of Chancellor in Germany as the head of a coalition government. Herr Hitler was the beneficiary of a public outraged that radical elements (Bolsheviks, in this case) would dare to try and assume power by force. Now the question today, as it was in 1933, is whether the ‘attempted coup’ in Turkey was a false flag operation deliberately designed to cast blame on the opponents of the country’s leader and his ruling faction, for the benefit of the current ruler? But does it really matter?

Everyone today is saying that the big losers in all of this (regardless of who initiated the coup attempt) are the northern European countries, as they supposedly have become nervous about Erdogan’s authoritarian style of rule. And Turkish spokesmen have also cast blame for the attempted coup on America (and Obama). But the real story, I believe, is the dog that didn’t bark. No one has been mentioning Russia, and that is a mistake. Because that is what all of this is about.

How so? Quite simple. Just as Hitler needed an excuse to purge his nation of any elements that might be friendly to Russia, so too is Erdogan in search of a straw man. The reason he needs to strengthen his rule is because of the war that is going on. The war with Russia. It has already begun, several years ago. But in the typically Russian way of asymmetrical warfare. Not Hybrid Warfare. No, that is the western mode of modern warfare. The Russians aren’t interested in that. They are not interested in the change of a country’s culture. They are interested in the collapse of that culture. Here’s what I mean.

This is a contest between The Third Rome (Moscow) and the (Second) Ottoman Empire. Neither can be victorious with the other still alive. And neither can make the claim to their respective titles until they totally control the Bosporus, and by extension, the Black Sea. And that means owning Constantinople, if you are a Russian. Or owning Istanbul, if you are a Turk. And Erdogan is now making his move to consolidate his grip on Istanbul, the home of the secular Turkey created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Father of modern Turkey. Make no mistake, Erdogan is not interested in leading Modern Turkey. He wants to lead Medieval Turkey. The Turkey of Suleiman the Great.

But like the rest of us, these two people, Putin and Erdogan, cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So somebody has to give. Erdogan sees that this subsurface war, already in progress, is going to get more intense. And it’s tough to fight a three-front war. And those three fronts are Armenia, Kurdistan and Syria. And each of those 3 fronts exists because of the support of Russia. Russia, as Putin has said, has a Christian mission. And so far, he’s the only one who has been successful in opposing Islamic militants. Just ask the Chechens. He’s been successful, but not by acting like a Christian. At least, not like a wimpy western Protestant Christian. The kind that are afraid of being called ‘Crusaders’. The kind that guard mosques (but not churches) in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. The kind that lets ‘refugees’ flood their countries, creating a huge 5th column, as Franco knew well. Do you think Franco would put up with this?

And do you think Erdogan cares what the West thinks? Of course not. He despises the West. And in fact, he intends to conquer it. He, and not Abu Bakr Baghdadi is to be the next, the real, Caliph. Which is why Erdogan is actually an enabler of ISIS. Because eventually, he intends, as Napoleon did, to hijack the revolution, for his own ends. But there’s only one problem. Russia. And Putin. They are the only obstacles that stand in the way of the renewal of the Ottoman Empire.

Putin has the same problem. He too wants to be the Master of the Universe. And he’s pretty well positioned, given the ongoing slow-motion suicide of the West. But he too has an Achille’s Heel, and it lies in his possession of so many Muslim lands to the south of Ukraine. He must destroy Islam before it destroys him. And he’s going to do it. In fact, he’s already doing it. And the crisis of European sterility is giving him the opportunity he needs to confront Islam, in somebody else’s back yard. And don’t ask me to make the faux distinction between ‘moderate’ Islam and ‘radical’ Islam. Only idiots who have never read the Koran, and who don’t know the meaning of ‘Spreading corruption on the Earth’ make this mistake of believing there are two types of Islam.

Yes, to be sure, there are two brands of Islam, Sunni and Shia. But that’s like saying the NFL was different from the AFL. Both are playing the same game, for the same prize. So what if they have different offensive styles? That’s what’s great about watching a game between teams from different conferences. Who knows which style is more effective? What we’re seeing now is the Islamic Playoffs, and it’s halftime. But not for long.

Anyway, back to the real Super Bowl, the one that comes when Vlad & Company come to the rescue of the spectators (Europe) when the Islamic hordes decide to widen the playing field. That time is getting closer. And the Europeans know it. At least, they hope for it. Because America, the former World Champion, has retired. Donald will win, and deliver the keys of the Empire to Vlad, in return for Vlad bearing the brunt of becoming the World’s Policeman. Why would Donald do that? Because he runs a casino. He can figure the odds. He can see the correlation of forces, and he sees that America has no more appetite for Asian (or European) wars. No chips, no bets. Donald makes deals. This will be his biggest one ever. In return, Russia will treat us kindly, as you would your favorite servant. As long as he works, hard. And that, bluntly put, is our fate.

What? Why is that? Simple. Because the only way out of this situation is to fight to the death with Islam, and we haven’t got the will to do it. Not that a lot of people don’t want to fight. But unless you have a truly unified vision of victory, there will only be more of these idiot secular crusades that end up sucking the life out of the American psyche. And economy. And all for nothing, because there is no unified vision of what victory means. Is it the American Protestant version with no head but lots of spine? Or the American Catholic version with no spine and multiple heads? Huh? Yes, I know, that sounds dumb, saying Catholics could have more than one head. But that’s what American Catholicism is. Just another flavor of Protestantism. And there you have the whole problem. Nobody is in charge, because nobody will follow a single leader. It’s a million versions of ‘An Army of One’, as the recruiters say.
Nope, there won’t be an American led Lepanto, or Vienna, or Tours. There won’t be a European one either. But there will be a Russian one. My money is on Vlad. But not because he’s a good guy. It’s because when he fights, he isn’t pretending to be a Christian. Just ask the Chechens.

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