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December 2, 2018 | 1 Comment

Summary Against Modern Thought: How Much You Can See Of God

Previous post.

The last note is the most important.


1 Since the vision of the divine substance is the ultimate end of every intellectual substance, as is evident from what we have said, and since the natural appetite of everything comes to rest when the thing reaches its ultimate end, the natural appetite of an intellectual substance must come to rest completely when it sees the divine substance. Now, the natural appetite of the intellect is to know the genera and species and powers of all things, and the whole order of the universe; human investigation of each of the aforementioned items indicates this. Therefore, each one who sees the divine substance knows all the things mentioned above.

2 Again, the intellect and the senses differ on this point as is clear from Book III of On the Soul [4: 429a 14], the power to sense is destroyed, or weakened, by the more striking sense objects, so that later it is unable to perceive weaker objects; but the intellect, not being corrupted or hindered by its object but only perfected, after understanding a greater object of the intellect, is not less able to understand other intelligibles but more able. Now, the highest object in the genus of intelligible objects is the divine substance. So, the intellect which is elevated by divine light in order to see God’s substance is much more perfected by this same light, so that it may understand all other objects which exist in the nature of things.

Notes Again, the better you study the better you are!

3 Besides, intelligible being is not of lesser scope than natural being, but perhaps it is more extensive; indeed, intellect is from its origin capable of understanding all things existing in reality, and it also understands things that have no natural being, such as negations and privations. So, whatever things are needed for the perfection of natural being are also needed for the perfection of intelligible being, and even more. But the perfection of intelligible being is present when the intellect reaches its ultimate end, just as the perfection of natural being consists in the very establishment of things in actual being. Therefore, God shows the intellect that is seeing Him all the things which He has produced for the perfection of the universe.

4 Moreover, although one of the intellects seeing God may see Him more perfectly than another, as we have shown, each one sees Him so perfectly that its whole natural capacity is fulfilled. Or, rather, this vision exceeds all natural capacity, as we have shown. So, each one seeing the divine substance knows in this divine substance all the things to which its natural capacity extends. But the natural capacity of every intellect extends to the knowing of all genera and species and orders of things. Therefore, each one who sees God will know these things in the divine substance.

5 Hence it is that the Lord replies to Moses, when he asks for the vision of the divine substance: “I will show thee all good” (Exod, 33:19). And Gregory says: “What do they not know, who know Him Who knows all things?”

6 Moreover, if the foregoing statements are carefully considered, it becomes clear that, in a way, those who see the divine substance do see all things; whereas, in another way, they do not.

Indeed, if the word all means whatever things pertain to the perfection of the universe, it is obvious from what has been said that those who see the divine substance do see all things, as the arguments that have just been advanced show. For, since the intellect is in some way all things, whatever things belong to the perfection of nature belong also in their entirety to the perfection of intelligible being. For this reason, according to Augustine’s Literal Commentary on Genesis, whatever things have been made by the Word of God to subsist in their proper nature have also come to be in the angelic understanding, so that they might be understood by the angels.

Now, within the perfection of natural being belong the nature of species and their properties and powers, for the inclination of nature is drawn to the natures of species, since individuals are for the sake of the species. So, it is pertinent to the perfection of intellectual substance to know the natures of all species and their powers and proper accidents. Therefore, this will be obtained in the final beatitude through the vision of the divine essence. Moreover, through the cognition of natural species the individuals existing under these species are known by the intellect that sees God, as can be made evident from what has been said above on the knowledge appropriate to God and the angels.

7 However, if the term all means all the things that God knows in seeing His own essence, then no created intellect sees all things in God’s substance, as we have showed above.

8 But this can be considered under several points. First, in regard to those things which God can make but has not made, nor will ever make. Indeed, all things of this kind cannot be known unless His power is comprehended, and this is not possible for any intellectual creature, as we showed above. Hence, the statement in Job 11 [7ff]: “Do you think you can understand the steps of God, and find out the Almighty perfectly? He is higher than heaven, and what will you do? He is deeper than hell, and how will you know? His measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” Indeed, these things are not said as though God were great in quantitative dimensions, but because His power is not limited to all things which are seen to be great, for, on the contrary, He can make even greater things.

9 Secondly, let us consider it in regard to the reasons for the things that have been made: the intellect cannot know all of these unless it comprehend the divine goodness. For, the reason for everything that has been made is derived from the end which its maker intended. But the end of all things made by God is divine goodness. Therefore, the reason for the things that have been made is so that the divine goodness might be diffused among things. And so, one would know all the reasons for things created if he knew all the goods which could come about in created things in accord with the order of divine wisdom. This would be to comprehend divine goodness And wisdom, something no created intellect can do. Hence it is said: “I understand that man can find no reason of all those works of God” (Eccle. 8:17).

10 Thirdly, we may consider the point in regard to those things which depend on the will of God alone: for instance, predestination, election, justification, and other similar things which pertain to the sanctification of the creature. On this matter, it is said: “No man knows the things of a man, but the spirit of man that is in him. So the things also that are of God, no man knows, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11).

Notes This is only a tease. Angels are non-material and purely intellectual creatures, and even our own intellects are non-material. So how does our intellect expand, as it were? What does it expand into? Angels, and our intellects, are not material, therefore don’t exist in physical space; yet they do exist. Where? All these we will tackle in time!

December 1, 2018 | 16 Comments

Insanity & Doom Update LXIX — Don’t You Call Me Sir Edition

No video this week. Weep and despair!

Item Berkeley prof wants to nix student evals after white male profs score higher

A University of California, Berkeley professor suggested scrapping end-of-semester student evaluations for hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions after claiming that the grades and evaluations are biased against female instructors and people of color.

“Over the next few weeks, students will get the chance to evaluate their professors and TAs. They’re going to get it wrong,” UC Berkeley history professor Brian DeLaytweeted on Sunday. “They’ll be harder on women and people of color than on white men. Tenured white male faculty, in particular, should help their students understand this.”

We get these stories wherever the intellect of folks is in question. Such as (I’m making these up, but only because I’m too lazy to cut and paste the actual real ones) “Women Coders Receive Lower Ratings”, “Black Mathematicians Receive Fewer Grants”, or whatever.

How is it the obvious conclusion is missed? That the white men winning out in all these areas, consistently, over long periods of time, and in all conditions are just better than their competition.

Equality is the great mind destroyer.

Item Professor Sues after University Requires He Use Student’s Preferred Pronoun

Nicolas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University, referred to transgender female student as “sir” during his political philosophy class in January 2017, prompting the student to confront him after class and demand the use of female pronouns.

Meriwether resisted the student’s demands, causing the student to get “in his face in a threatening fashion” and call him a “c***” before filing a formal complaint with the university.

After conducting a formal investigation into the incident, the university rejected Meriwether’s offer to refer to the student solely by name and accused Meriwether of “creat[ing] a hostile environment.” Administrators then placed a warning in Meriwether’s personnel file and threatened “further corrective actions” unless he capitulated to the student’s demands.

University provost Jeffrey Bauer “openly laughed” at Meriwether’s claim that his religion precluded him from using the student’s preferred pronouns during a meeting held after the professor filed a complaint with his union, according to the suit.

Tee hee. Well, Bauer’s religion is the dominant one, in no danger of fading to a mere remnant, as is Meriwether’s. He may as well laugh. I have no wisdom to offer on the success of the lawsuit, but I can note that World War T is accelerating, as regular readers know (the phrase is Steve Sailer’s). Normal people are being persuaded bit by bit, through the blunt force trauma of repetition, to think maybe they are the ones who are insane for insisting on Reality. They (the normies) don’t think they are completely crazy yet, but they’re beginning to hold back protestations, if only a little. Propaganda works. Terror works. Our enemies never sleep.

Item Landmark study proves homosexuality is strongly linked to Catholic clergy sex abuse

The report also examines how “homosexual subcultures”within Catholic seminaries may have contributed to creating an environment where homosexual clergy were more likely to abuse minors.

“Although over 8 in 10 of victims have been boys, the idea that the abuse is related to homosexual men in the priesthood has not been widely accepted by Church leaders,” wrote Father Paul Sullins, a retired Catholic University of America (CUA) sociology professor, in a new report for the Ruth Institute. “The data show that more homosexual men in the priesthood was correlated with more overall abuse and more boys abused compared to girls.”

Sullins’ report is titled Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests?

The priest said in a recent press conference that this “question comes up logically because the vast majority of [priestly sex abuse] victims were boys. Usually in sex abuse of minors, two-thirds of victims are girls.”…

“When you get up to 16 percent of priests that are homosexual — you’ve got eight times the proportion of homosexuals as you do in the general population — it’s as if the priesthood becomes a particularly welcoming and enabling and encouraging population for homosexual activity and behavior,” he added.

Anybody know if Sullins had to go into hiding yet?

Please, please don’t forget there are no such things as homosexuals. There are only men misbehaving and with misdirected sexual yearnings. Meaning, as should be clear, the taste of a man can change. If he is willing to have another man’s penis roving around his anus, he might also be willing to make use of the choirgirls and not just choirboys. Many men called “homosexual” have, as we all know, fathered children. Meaning Sullins’s report likely underplays the results.

Item Theresa May Is Facing Calls To Sack Her New Housing Adviser Over His Views On Islamophobia And Homosexuality

Theresa May is facing calls to sack her new housing tsar over a series of controversial comments he has made about Islamophobia and homosexuality.

Conservative writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, who on Saturday was appointed by housing secretary James Brokenshire to chair a new government commission on building “beautiful” homes, has claimed Islamophobia and homophobia are “invented” and that homosexuality is not “normal”.

He has also been criticised for his links to Hungary’s right-wing prime minister Viktor Orbán and comments he made about the billionaire George Soros.

One thing Scruton said “It is no more an act of discrimination to exclude gay couples than it is to exclude incestuous liaisons or communes of promiscuous swingers.” The Guardian is calling Scruton’s Soros comments “anti-Semitic.” Because Soros is a Jew, and Scruton was critical of him, even though Scruton was also critical of “anti-Semitism”.

This is Roger Scruton, we’re discussing. The Left’s is going after bigger and bigger game.

Item Labor plan a threat to biblical teaching, say Catholics

The Catholic Church is leading the campaign against Bill Shorten’s push to introduce a private member’s bill removing protections for faith-based educators, warning its ability to “teach Catholic beliefs is threatened” by the Labor plan.

If you can’t say sodomy is bad, you must say it is good, and ban others from saying it is bad. Turning down a request for sodomy will soon be seen as bigoted, phobic, etc.

November 30, 2018 | 4 Comments

Who’s Up For A Meal And Some Corpse Dissection?

Headline Diners offered two-course meal topped off by DISSECTION of a ‘human corpse’

A group of dissectors have found a unique way of getting one’s “insides out” as they are offering people a two-course meal topped off by the chance to get hold of a scalpel to dig out the insides of a ‘human corpse’.

In what some may consider a stomach-turning choice of dessert, anatomy experts who featured on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den over the summer will allow for people to dissect an uncannily realistic replica of a human corpse.

Attendees of the upcoming event in Cambridge will have a first-hand experience of chopping up VIVIT, weighing an impressive 18 stones and unveiled by ITAE Group, a company specialized in organizing live anatomy events.

Live anatomy events?

Well, yes: ANATOMY LAB LIVE : THE SURGERY | Cambridge 03/03/2019

The experience will see those quick enough to grab tickets enjoy a two course meal in our operating theatre dining room. The room will plunge to blackout and our centre stage operating theatre will spring into action. Ventilators, a crash trolley and full team will spring will race the clock to save a patients [sic] life as the show opens. A live patient will be rushed through the crowd into the pod before being anaesthetised in a state of panic. Broadcast to our live screens you’ll see Samuel Piri and his clinical team take the scalpel to the patients chest. As the scalpel goes in and the incisions are made the inside organs are revealed and surgery starts…[ellipsis original]

How much, did you ask? Only 76.05 — 970.79 pounds sterling! But wait, don’t answer yet, because you can upgrade to the “Overnight Package for 2 people” which “includes prosecco meet and greet, upgraded nitrile gloves and a room for two people (double or twin) and breakfast 300.00.” (You’d think for those prices they’d at least offer champagne instead of prosecco.)

Vegetarians are welcome: “The meal option is chicken or vegetarian, you will need to contact Anatomy Lab Live after purchasing the ticket to request a vegetarian meal. Chicken will be served by default.”

Where? At the DoubleTree in Cambridge.

The “live” event appears to be staged with a simulated corpse in a moderate state of decay. The first link has pictures, which are rather gruesome, and I say this as a man who has killed, gutted, and eaten many, many donuts.

Of course, all physicians, including those who become executioners, must dissect, but the frivolity attached to these “live events” is new.

This doesn’t appear to reach the level of spirit cooking, as favored by our more progressive political elites. Those enlightened folks actually pretend to eat a corpse, although the do dress in white coats.

November 29, 2018 | 17 Comments

What Lousy Philosophy Tells Us About Belief In Global Warming

One reason people doubt global-warming-of-doom is because of lousy philosophers like N. Ángel Pinillos (note the New York Times-sophisticated inclusion of the accent). He wrote a piece entitled (in some places) “What philosophy tells us about climate change skeptics.

Let’s read this essay and see how awful thinking can be and still make it into the “paper of record.”

It starts well, but ends badly.

No matter how smart or educated you are, what you don’t know far surpasses anything you may know. Socrates taught us the virtue of recognizing our limitations. Wisdom, he said, requires possessing a type of humility manifested in an awareness of one’s own ignorance.

A limitation of Á Pinillos’s is ignorance of climate science.

According to NASA, at least 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists think that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely caused by human activities.” Americans overwhelmingly agree that the federal government needs to take significant action. In a recent poll [of citizen’s who can’t say why the sky is blue, let alone delineate the intricacies of climatology]…

Now you’d think Á P. before he gave a lecture of knowledge about global warming would take the trouble to look simple things up. But no. Instead he obviously relied on the media (yes, really), and on the opinion of people who haven’t a clue about, say, parcel theory.

The canard about “97 percent” is particularly stupid. First, 100% of scientists agree that man influences the climate. How could we not? But that in itself, as Á does not understand, does not call for any specific action. And 97%? Did Á even read “Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change“, which shows that the consensus over doom is more like 1%? No, sir, he did not.

Did Á even know to look for this paper? No, sir, he did not. He knows so little about the subject, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

He knows less about probability. Which is even more embarrassing, because nobody was expecting him to discuss the limitations of high-altitude cloud parameterizations. But we did think a professional philosopher would know the difference between decisions, knowledge, and probability. He doesn’t.

Suppose you observe a shopper at the convenience store buying a lottery ticket. You are aware that the probability that he will lose the lottery is astronomically high, typically above 99.99 percent, but it’s hard to get yourself to sincerely say you know this person will lose the lottery.

Look here, Á, if the shopper knew he would lose, he wouldn’t buy the damn ticket. We don’t know the shopper is going to lose. We only know it’s likely. Which means we also know he might win.

We can only know what is true. But we can believe anything. Right, Á?

If I had to bet whether the shopper would win, I’d have to think about the consequences about what would happen if I win or lose the bet, and the probability I calculate the shopper has the winning numbers. Probability is thus not decision. And my bet the shopper would lose is not knowledge he would. It’s a guess: a prediction.

Á does not grasp these distinctions, which are basic. He makes the same blunders in an example about his grading homework. I leave casting light on these as my own homework exercise for you, dear reader.

According to social psychology, climate change deniers tend to espouse conservative views, which suggests that party ideology is partly responsible for these attitudes. I think that we should also think about the philosophical nature of skeptical reactions, an apolitical phenomenon.

The standard response by climate skeptics is a lot like our reaction to skeptical pressure cases. Climate skeptics understand that 97 percent of scientists disagree with them, but they focus on the very tiny fraction of holdouts. As in the lottery case, this focus might be enough to sustain their skepticism.

Only a nincompoop uses the term “climate change denier”. Nobody denies the climate changes (I except lunatics). Knowing man influences the climate does not indicate any particular action, nor does it even imply that any such change is necessarily bad. Plus, climate skeptics (many of them) do not understand that 97% nonsense.

Á skates over the obvious fact that when some hear “climate change” they hear “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. Which is precisely why “conservatives” doubt the (many already failed) predictions of global warming. And is precisely why progressives have no doubt that without drastic and constant government action, we are doomed.

Finally, Á explicitly brings up probability. “Instead of saying that you don’t know some claim, try to estimate the probability that it is true.” Here (as he continues) he makes another classic mistake: that of assuming things “have” probabilities. They do not. A “conservative” and progressive will come to different probabilities of the same thing because they are conditioning on different information.

It’s that information that we must concentrate on. To paraphrase Á’s last sentence, an appreciation of the distinction between probability, knowledge, and decision, the many, many, many failures of global cooling then global warming predictions, and how poor academic philosophers can get their name in the papers can help elevate public discourse on these important topics, including the future of our sanity.

P.S. I ignored the ridiculousness about psychology as if it were philosophy, but clever students may like to submit those errors below.