‘We Need To Stand Up For What’s Right’: Leader of Religious Order Publicly Defends Convicted Philly Priest

Rev. James J. Greenfield : Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

Standing up for justice: Rev. James J. Greenfield of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

Rev. James J. Greenfield, Provincial of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, is publicly coming to the defense of his fellow priest, Fr. Charles Engelhardt, one of three men recently convicted in the high-profile Philadelphia clergy abuse trials.

"We cannot just roll over in the face of being falsely accused," Fr. Greenfield says. "That is wrong. We need to stand up for what's right."

Greenfield made his remarks in the latest blog post of journalist Ralph Cipriano, who has bravely exposed the massive fraud and corruption in the prosecution of Catholic clergy in Philadelphia.

Defending the innocent

Historically, as we have reported before, religious superiors have rarely, if ever, publicly voiced support for falsely accused priests. As Catholic scholar Dr. Jeff Mirus once wrote, "The attitude of many bishops seems to have changed from an assumption of innocence to a desire to distance oneself as quickly as possible from anyone who is accused."

So Greenfield's strong words of support are a welcome departure from the usual silence from Church officials in high-profile cases where the guilt of the accused is in grave doubt.

Engelhardt, along with former teacher Bernard Shero, was found guilty back in January of sadistic abuse based entirely on the claims of Dan Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with a lengthy arrest record. Gallagher wildly claimed that he was brutally abused by Engelhardt, Shero, and former priest Edward Avery (all of whom barely knew each other) in the 1998-1999 school year when he was a 10-year-old Philadelphia altar boy.

However, since the end of the trial, a wealth of new evidence (here, here, and here, for example) has been uncovered, which casts grave doubt on the guilt of Engelhardt and the two others.

A family tries to stay strong

Fr. Charles Engelhardt

Fr. Charles Engelhardt

As Cipriano also reports, Fr. Engelhardt's family has continued to try to come to grips with the egregious injustice that has been perpetrated upon the innocent priest.

Family members describe "Uncle Charlie" as "the hero" of their family, having presided over every family communion, confirmation, and graduation, as well as a half dozen weddings.

A niece adds, "He was central to our family. Every one of us went to college and graduated because that's what he did."

The entire episode has taken a terrible toll on some family members. Engelhardt's 88-year-old mother used to visit her son in jail every Tuesday until a couple months ago when she fell as she was leaving the prison. She later fell again at home, broke her hip, and she is now confined to bed. Family members also believe the whole ordeal has caused the onset of dementia in the mother, who also suffers from Parkinson's disease.

"We think the only thing that keeps her living is she's holding out for the day he's found innocent," another family member believes.

The moment of truth approaches

The family prays that "the day he's found innocent" is Wednesday (June 12). This is the day that Fr. Engelhardt is scheduled to stand in front of Judge Ellen Ceisler and request that his verdict be overturned.

It will be interesting to see if accuser Dan Gallagher or his civil lawyer appears at the sentencing. Yet we know what Gallagher has been up to in the past few months. While allegedly attending drug rehab in Florida, Gallagher has taken the time to enjoy the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico.

Danny Gallagher : Facebook : Puerto Rico : March 2013

Gallagher: Fun in the sun

Once again, kudos goes to Ralph Cipriano for his bravery and doggedness in following this story. His latest entry is a must-read.

Comments

  1. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    As part of the settlement, the Oblates also released the names of 12 priests against whom there were admitted or otherwise substantiated allegations of sexual abuse. All served at Salesianum at least once during their ministries, but their assignments included schools and parishes in Delaware City, Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania towns, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Uruguay, Ecuador and Mexico.”

     
    I think Father Greenfield forgot to add the above information relating to the Oblate settlement with victim sin 2012.

    • Stephen Axts says:

      When you change the law just to attack the catholic Church it is easy to win lawsuits. 7 preist in the last 60 years. WOW I guess as long as you keep ignoring hundred of teacher evey year that commit sexual assault 7 is allot. I think you so full of hate you refuse to what the truth is anymore

  2. Delphin says:

    A bit more info to connect the political dots on those Philthadelphia politically-driven priest-hunts.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2013/06/10/phillycom-boss-endorses-democrat-twitter-lefty-media-critics-igno

    Oh, that poor priest-abuse "victim" on the beach looks like he'll not likely regain any semblence of happiness ever again;  well, until the next holy windfall happens along. Dirt-bags do carry the "mark" of the evil one (what a skank!), don't they?

    Gotta wonder how much of these "victims" Church-booty goes to charity? Between the lefties IRS and NSA scandals, we may now have a way to find out.

  3. dennis ecker says:

    With only a few hours remaining before sentencing another white collar appearing from the corner of the room in defense of a convicted priest.

    SHOCKING

    • Bam Gallagher says:

      Here you go again. Acting like you know everything about this case. 

      Why not do a little research before commenting. How about asking how many days fr. Greenfield was in court during the trial? Or what was the average # of priests per day in support of fr. Engelhardt? And then to help you along even further,  how many people were in court on a daily basis supporting the defendants? 

      Just another unintelligent, inaccurate comment from eckerdennis

    • Martha says:

      Talk facts Dennis–not hate.

    • jim robertson says:

      Hey Dennis, hope you are well.

      Here's another victims take on SNAP's fraud.

      http://cityofangels2.blogspot.com/

  4. Ryan A. MacDonald says:

    QUICK!  Someone get a miter on this man's head and a ring on his finger before he changes his mind. Perhaps, to the good fortune of the Church and priesthood, this leader's courage might infect the U.S. Episcopacy and help foster the growth of new spinal cords therein. This Provincial is acting with courage and in true justice, giving no thought to the reactions of SNAP and the condemnations of VOTF, and shows no fear of the new Catholic Whistleblowers.  Make this man a bishop! QUICK!

  5. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    August 2011

    The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales have settled all 39 lawsuits against the order and its Salesianum School in Wilmington under the Delaware Child Victims Act for charges of sexual abuse of minors by its priests.

    According to the settlement announced Aug. 4, the plaintiffs in the Delaware Superior Court lawsuits will share $24.8 million paid on behalf of the order with significant contributions from insurance carriers.

    Oblate Father James J. Greenfield, provincial of the Wilmington-Philadelphia province, which includes 170 priests, brothers and seminarians, said that while he is grateful the suits are settled, he knows there is more work to be done toward healing and reconciliation.

  6. dennis ecker says:

    FACTS

    You want facts without any sugar coating:

    On June 12th unless delayed again, two individuals will receive their sentence in prison for the most horrific crime known to man, the sexual abuse of a child.

    These men were found guilty in a court of law by a jury of their peers. They were found guilty not by any sexual abuse survivor or any organization who maybe associated with sexual abuse survivors but by the average citizen of this city, maybe your neighbor.

    … and your white knight Bill Donahue who stated he would flood the press and your churches regarding this case has disappeared. In addition the archbishop of this fine city Charlie Chaput has also disappeared and has not spoken one word in defense of his fellow clergy member.

    Then like I said earlier you have another white collar emerge from the dark to finally publicly defend his convicted priest.

    You maybe proud of your faith, but don't be proud of your church.

    ….and finally if the judge does show mercy on two convicted criminals and one day they are released from prison these two individuals will forever be known as child abuser and will have to register as such, something that a murderer does not even have to do.

    So stand tall, pull that chin up and you be proud of that church and clergy you so much want to protect.

     

    • A North Carolinian says:

      The jury you speak of…is this the same jury whose members were eating hoagies and reading the newspaper while testimony was taking place?  What about the alternates, who spoke out anonymously, that they couldn't believe how their own peers arrived at such judgements. I don't know how things are perceived in Philly…but your references to individuals as "white collars" sounds as prejudiced and one-sided as the trial that took place…may you and Dennis Ecker never be judged as to how you, yourselves so callously cast judgement onto others. To publically state that one should not be proud of their "church" is another blatantly biased statement. Since tragedy, such as child abuse, happens in every aspect of humanity…I guess none of society can or should raise their heads with pride…what a slap in the face to all those of the "church" who have fought tooth and nail to protect the innocent and expose the real perpetrators. I say…bring those "men" down to North Carolina for the fair trial that they do indeed deserve.

    • Bam Gallagher says:

      Dennis – remind everyone here. We're you in the courtroom for any part of the trial?

      All you state is secondhand and not fact. Keep paying your weekly subscription to the DA Seth Williams' personal newspaper, the philadelphia inquirer

  7. LearnedCounsel says:

    LaunchCode, FKA publicly Publion, asked me many questions in the comments of two articles ago. I do not want to comply with his standards too much by answering in the way or to the extent that he would like. But I would like to say something on the theme of being good without god.

    In his first question(s), LaunchCode asks for the grounding of my metaphysics of morals.

    This is a huge question so I will give just a little summary idea of where I am coming from. I quickly look to Immanuel Kant for insight because he is arguably the best in this area. In his Groundwork, Kant argues that morality is based neither on the principle of utility, nor on a law of nature, but on human reason. Reason tells us what we ought to do.

    The Lying Promise (Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Section I, 402-405) In writing about doing what reason requires and the good will, Kant gives an example of a person considering whether or not she should make a false promise. In asking herself whether she may make such a promise, she might be asking (1) whether so acting will promote her welfare or (2)  whether so acting is compatible with duty (what she ought to do). The first question is difficult to answer because it depends on so much that might not be able to be known. The second question, though, is more readily answered because it is really the question of whether she could consistently commend the considerations that would lead her to make a lying promise as principles that might guide everyone's action. (This is a statement of the Categorical Imperative.) That she could not commend the considerations as principles of action, Kant concludes, shows that acting on them is immoral, whatever the consequences might be.

    This is reason. Thinking through whether we should do what we are contemplating doing. You might call it following your conscience and asking if this act can be universalized. Reason is the process that allows you to pick through the bible or catholic-church teaching for the morals/principles of action that you can accept/act on. For example, only a very small minority of christians are on board with strict biblical literalism. In most religions, fundamentalists are marginalized for their beliefs. I have heard it said that if being a fundamentalist is bad, then there is something wrong with the fundamentals.

    Jesus is said to have advised that we do unto to others as we would have them do unto us. But the so called Golden Rule is morally inferior to the Categorical Imperative. Kant tells us (430, note 23) that the Golden Rule is only as good as the rule-giver or the utter-er. Stated in the negative, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” So, the criminal would argue with the judge, “If you were the one who committed this crime, would you want me to punish you?”

    So as not to be a man of one book or one author, I would also mention that I look to a mostly godless crowd in Plato, Hume, Spinoza, Locke, Mill, Descartes, Russell, Rawls, Quine, Putnam, Nozick, Dennett and Churchland, among many others. These are some of my sources of formation in ethics, social and political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. John Rawls, Hilary Putnam and Robert Nozick were a few of my professors in the early 1990’s at . . . wait for it . . . Harvard. (Aside) I think it is super cool to take a class from the man or woman whose name is on the book. Whatever I read or hear, I then need to reason for myself and act accordingly. No god needed because everything functions very well without that assumption. Thanks, Ockham’s Razor!

    No one needs the Ten Commandments to tell them that murder, theft and perjury are wrong. People knew these things before the Decalogue was supposedly issued. As Christopher Hitchens said in one of his debates, “And that we don't have an innate sense of right and wrong, children don't have an innate sense of fairness and decency, which of course they do. What is it like? I can personalize it to this extent, my mother's Jewish ancestors are told that until they got to Sinai, they'd been dragging themselves around the desert under the impression that adultery, murder, theft and perjury were all fine, and they get to Mount Sinai only to be told it's not kosher after all. I'm sorry, excuse me, you must have more self-respect than that for ourselves and for others. Of course the stories are fiction. It's a fabrication exposed conclusively by Israeli archaeology. Nothing of the sort ever took place, but suppose we take the metaphor? It's an insult, it's an insult to us, it's an insult to our deepest integrity. No, if we believed that perjury, murder and theft were all right, we wouldn't have got as far as the foot of Mount Sinai or anywhere else.” We evolved to think and act morally even before anyone could write things down. Truly, the people in primitive Palestine were far behind other parts of the world in developing technology and reading and writing. What a mysterious choice then, for the creator of the universe to take such an interest in these people and to come among them in the form of a fully human and fully divine son for revelation and redemption and proselytization. A message that 2000 years later still has not penetrated large parts of the planet.

    That is as far as I will go on this question. I have neither the time nor the inclination to impress anyone with my knowledge of Kant or philosophy or moral reasoning because it is not that for which I come to TMR. Mostly, I just like to hear what the other side thinks.

    Quickly, some thoughts on the other questions.

    What authority makes one act morally when no one is present? Well, unless you are created and supervised by a supreme being, no authority. Individuals decide and act case by case, moment by moment using their brains and nothing else. You are your brain. Your conscience is your governor. Socrates called it his inner voice, his “daemon.”

    Without one authority or one Truth, how can we judge others? In roughly Kantian terms, we can judge others in as much as they act on principles that can be universalized. Do they treat themselves and others as ends?

    What about the problem of relativism? There can be different peaks and valleys on the landscape of human flourishing. (see The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris) As long as we are treating others and ourselves as ends (Kant) or promoting the “well-being of conscious creatures,” (Harris) there can be acceptable differences in how we act. It is a false dichotomy to say that without God there is only moral subjectivity/relativism.

    Where does morality come from? It is innate in us. Is this your question or are you really asking WHY do we have morality? If it is human and internal, where did it come from? I will just say this, for economy, that we, homo sapiens, are mammals and higher primates, only about a chromosome away from chimpanzees. And just like other higher primates we have evolved to have, among other things, intelligence, emotion and solidarity.

    • jim robertson says:

      Now boys and girls, that's what I call real intelligence, compared to Cardinal George's ,P's proofless musings and demeaning insults or the demon huntress',Delpinium, calls to hate.

      (You can't state your side in a loving way? It's always obey or "eternal' doom?)

      And Learned Counsel says it all with sincerity and humility. Traits the opposition only pay lip service to.

      Thanks Learned, thanks a lot. I'm grateful.

      Yes the Jews never were in Egypt according to archeologists. No Exodus. No parting of the Red Sea. Just imaginary history destroying real peoples lives today and passing pretence off as fact.

      http://www.concentric.net/~worgar/exodus.htm

       

  8. Fr Jim Smith says:

    Ralph's "Big Trial" blog has further pictures of Gallagher (including one with a certain finger extended). The contrast in photos between the priest and the accuser should speak for itself (unfortunately the jury was not listening).

    I am curious: The "public face" of the 2005 Grand Jury report (although he was by his own statement not the real power driving it) was also named Gallagher. Is he related to accuser Dan Gallagher? There might be a very interesting story there.

    • Bam Gallagher says:

      Very same drug-addict criminal

    • jim robertson says:

      Guilty by "finger" or clothing styles?  Stacking the Church's brand of morality against it's behaviors for centuries: You guys wouldn't know morality if it bit you.

  9. Rondre says:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-catholic-churchs-secret-sex-crime-files-20110906

    Got a heads up today to check this out. Gives a different view from what MR is telling.

  10. Delphin says:

    "Proud"? It is a sin to be proud. Love is the Christian concept some unbelievers seek, but can't seem to grasp.

    And to reiterate what ALL faithful Catholics who post to TMR have stated, it is a crime against nature and an offense to GOD to harm children, in and out of the womb (incidentally).

    The issue here is that the media, which is not reporting fairly on the abuse of minors worldwide (a human crisis) - is acting in concert with a politically- ideologically biased justice system, both of which are practicing anti-Catholic bigotry.

    As for the atheist proselytizing, we won't force our religion on you if you don't force yours on  us. No one is attacking atheists/humanists for their beliefs, but, since those atheists arguments for pursuing and convicting innocent priests and an innocent Church always deteriorate into full-frontal attacks on our religion instead of attacks on the individual predator (a point I've made by similarly "profiling" homosexuals), there will be the occasion for proper treatment of Catholic beliefs.

    If you can't make your case to defend the prosecution of the Catholic Church and her priests on evidence (so sorely missing in most of the Church's settlements, and prosecutions, – such as the subject of this article), I suppose the next best thing to score cheap points is to attack the believer, and their beliefs.

    I don't imagine there will be very many converts from Catholicism to Atheism/Humanism resulting from this presenters humanist  "perspective". Although, I, at least, am willing to concede that atheists may have evolved (an untestable hypothesis) from baboons.

    It's quaint to see the ancient Churchs'  "children" (well, unless you're Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist – and even there, Judeo-Christianity left an indelible mark) using the Christian education system, based upon reason and science, to try to make their case against God – for the sole purpose of continuing to demonize and convict a religion, and the innocent.

  11. Donna says:

    Fr Greenfield, 

    You fail to understand that what Mr. Gallagher does or does not do with his broken life is anything but a tragic consequence of the actions of your brother priest Fr Englelhardt – who is now a convicted criminal. What part of that do you not get?  Must you persist in your arrogant denial and "blamming the victim" routine? It is getting old.

     

  12. Publion says:

    I had placed comments 4 days and 2 days ago, posing certain basic questions to the allegedly Harvard-educated and allegedly practicing attorney, Learned-Counsel.

     

    Today, we get a most curious comment on this thread at 609PM. Comparison with any of Learned-Counsel (former Boston-Survivor) material on record here demonstrates a great discrepancy in style and in the fact that here LC actually addresses questions and issues. More on that in a bit.

     

    (Regular readers may also note that while LC has decided to rename me ‘Launch Code” I myself retain “Publion”, since among many other of certain commenters claimed capacities, authority, and competences, I reject as spurious their presumed authority to assign internet screen-names.)

     

    Here, I am going to go down the comment and see what there might be. I will comment on Content (the ideas put forth) and Process (the context in which the material is being put forth relative to what already has been demonstrated).

     

    LC doesn’t “want to comply with his standards too much by answering in the way or to the extent that he would like”. My “standards” would be that one makes rational and specific response to the questions posed – which have up to this point apparently been unfamiliar or uncongenial to the (allegedly) educated and employed LC. The “extent” that I would like is simply the extent to which one uses the space necessary to propose and explain one’s material.

     

    And an alternative scenario suggests itself to me, in the matter of Process: it has taken this much time for LC to come up with something because although the questions I raised were basic ‘101’ issues for anybody involved in philosophy, ethics, or perhaps religion and theology (LC claims at least some amount of advanced education in all three areas) yet he either had to read-up on them or confer with somebody who actually had some relevant education. (If this alternate-scenario is accurate, then we should not be surprised to find stylistic differences between the vast bulk of LC’s prior material and whatever we are going to find as we go along here … let’s see how that plays out.)

     

    He is not going to address all of my questions (color me not-surprised) but “would like to say something on the theme of being good without god”. It’s not all we could hope for, but better than anything we’ve ever gotten before. Let’s to it, then.

     

    I had noted his assertion that “you do not need religion to be moral” and asked over the course of several “question(s)” how he would ground the authority and content of his morality if there were no supernatural element of some sort involved.

     

    In response to which we are informed here that “this is a huge question”. To which I would say that the subject or the question itself is “huge”, but the answers are not necessarily so complex and “huge” as to indicate that they cannot be effectively addressed. But on that basis, LC will just give us “a little summary” (perhaps from his much larger – if time-consumingly hard to retrieve – cache of knowledge).

     

    In terms of Content, he will look to Kant (giving us, most uncharacteristically, text references to the Metaphysics of Morals) – which leads to a Process thought: we are going to be getting a bit of regurgitated (or copied) text-book disquisition here.

     

    Kant sought to philosophically ground morality without having recourse either to ‘revelation’ or ‘religion’ or any supernatural (I prefer to use ‘Meta-natural’ (from the Greek) simply to avoid confusion with the ‘supernatural’ of late-night weekend horror fliks on TV. Meta in Greek means ‘beyond’ or ‘above’ so we wind up in the same place, but without the Latin super bit that creates confusion in contemporary English.)

     

    LC gives us Kant’s position: it is “human reason” that “tells us what we ought to do”. That’s what Kant said.

     

    LC’s format then swings into what appears to be an Outline, as one would get in a Cliff Notes review of Kant. Which goes to Process along the lines of what I suspected above, but the Content of Kant is relayed accurately enough.

     

    Except that what LC has selected for inclusion in his comment here doesn’t reach the gravamen of the issue I had raised. Specifically: no matter how Kant or his examplar in the text works out his/her calculations, they remain simply personal calculations. And Kant’s Categorical Imperative remains simply the outcome of his own personal calculations and thoughts which – at the very best – he might “commend” to anybody else as a nice way to work out one’s course of action in a morally-dubious situation.

     

    Thus, as I had also raised in my original questions to LC, this position leaves humans with no authoritative principles that could command their own or anybody else’s moral allegiance or impose any moral obligations. Nor could they ground any strong judgment as to the morality/immorality of anybody else’s acts.

     

    At best – with Kant – you get a method of calculating your personal course of action, and perhaps even creating a certain habit or attitude or Stance toward others, but there is no compelling basis for his calculus as a universal principle or maxim. Unless, of course, everybody in the world personally and individually chose to adopt the Kantian calculus – and then sustained that personal commitment over time.

     

    So then what we get in Kant is – as LC then says – “reason”. But it is ‘reason’ only in the sense of a personally (and rather torturously) arrived-at personal habit or approach to the universal and ever-present and deeply conflicted (i.e. Good vs. Evil) human predicament.

     

    This is not Aquinas’s ‘Reason’ as being the human mind working in concert with the revelation of God in Christ that provides humans with a clear example or – more accurately – instantiation of God’s Vision and Plan for humans. Indeed, to use my own imagery, in the Gospels and the Church’s further deliberation on the Gospels we get a basic blueprint of the human ‘vessel’ or ‘craft’, and the dynamics by which it operates and by which it is governed. And with that information – like pilots in flight-school – we are thus armed with the knowledge of how the craft fundamentally operate and thus the behaviors and maneuvers that support and enhance proper operation of the craft (Virtues) and the behaviors and maneuvers which hamper and harm that operation (Vices).

     

    Further – as LC’s comment (and the reference book, perhaps) then immediately goes on – there remains the question of what that “conscience” is. If it is not imprinted in us from … somewhere else or by Somebody else, then what is it? Where does such a “conscience” get its Content and its primary maxims? (In Star Trek terms, where does such a ship get its “prime coordinates” without which the ship’s computer is reduced to a merely solipsistic and relativistic ‘personal’ selection of coordinates by which to chart its actual position and course in deep-space?) For that matter, where does such a “conscience” derive a) its awareness of Good and Evil, and b) its primary inclination to Good rather than Evil?

     

    Pilots at flight-school will not last long (nor will any of their future passengers) if the pilots can “pick through” the Book for those operational imperatives that they think they can (for the moment) live-with and “accept/act on”.

     

    Nor does the Church embrace “strict biblical literalism”; that is a Protestant and more specifically Protestant Fundamentalist illumination (and of relatively recent vintage). Indeed – the hot ironies – that literalism descends from Kant’s own ‘personalization’ dynamics in his philosophy: later 18th and especially 19th century ‘liberal Protestantism’ sought to ground its theology more flexibly (and with a ‘modern’ flair) in Kant’s (et al.) philosophy, thus creating for themselves many of the now intractable and corrosive problems that such ‘liberalized’ theology now faces. (So it was not for nothing that the Church for quite some time was wary of ‘modernism’.)

     

    We then get what is clearly an LC bit: he has “heard it said that if being a fundamentalist is bad, then there is something wrong with fundamentals”. This bit seems to have been pulled off a 3×5 card from somewhere, since aside from the appearance of the word ‘fundamental’ in some variant, it bears no clear relevance to the point of the paragraph. It could go in at least a couple of directions conceptually, so here it simply hangs where it was put without any further elucidation or explication.

     

    We are informed that the Golden Rule – which has popped up in some form in a large number of cultures over time in the world – is “morally inferior to the Categorical Imperative” (text references again provided). What Kant had tried to do was to – pre-emptively? Or projectively? – tar the Golden Rule with precisely the weakness that his own Categorical Imperative displays: he claims that the Golden Rule is subjective (“only as good as the rule-giver”).

     

    And – in a simulacrum of logic – the point is made that if you state the Golden Rule in the negative, it doesn’t work.

     

    To which I would respond: First, the Golden Rule does work in the negative: if you wouldn’t want some act X done to you, then you shouldn’t do that act X to somebody else. As a general principle or maxim or rule-of-thumb that seems to have attracted large human approbation. Indeed, it would be a prime bit of Victimism: if you yourself wouldn’t want to be victimized, then you shouldn’t victimize others.

     

    Second, the example LC then gives us – the criminal telling the judge that since the judge wouldn’t want to be sentenced for a crime then the judge shouldn’t sentence the criminal for a crime – confuses ‘desire’ or ‘liking’ with ‘obligation’: the judge, just as anybody else, would not like to be in a position where he would be (rightly, it is to be hoped) sentenced for a crime; but the judge – ideally – would realize that he has an obligation to impose sentence (even if the judge personally found it emotionally uncongenial to sentence anybody else for their crime).

     

    There is thus a vital distinction and difference between ‘preference’ and ‘obligation’. A pilot may not personally like to put a large airliner into a steep dive, but if the pilot finds the aircraft suddenly de-pressurizing or facing some other type of situation, then the pilot is obligated to maneuver the craft in the way that – however not-preferable or unpleasant it may be – conforms to the necessities of preserving controlled-flight.

     

    So what you like and what you are obligated to do are two different things. And it is precisely here that Kant’s personal approach runs into fatal problems: what happens if – rather than follow the impositions (some might say ‘oppressions’) of the Golden Rule – you re-calculate your morality based on the fact that you really don’t like (or can’t ‘accept’ or can’t ‘live with’) what you are at this moment obligated to do?

     

    There’s nothing to stop that now desire-impaired moral calculator from coming up with something s/he likes.

     

    So there’s a reason why Kant is so much more attractive than Catholicism to the modern world.

     

    LC then rattles off a number of other thinkers – whose direct connections to the matter at hand he doesn’t explain. But Descartes – preceding Kant – was one of the first Modern philosophers to try to avoid ‘religion’ and the Meta by simply anchoring everything in the perceptions of the individual. And the list of post-Kantian writers simply provide variations on the original cacophonous Kantian theme.

     

    The end-result being that if we are to credit LC as actually having been taught Philosophy  at Harvard by some of those various profs, then they didn’t quite get him to think philosophically. A judgment on my part that is only reinforced by the fact that the author of that first, extremely book-like paragraph is suddenly now going gooey over how “super cool [it is] to take a class from the man or woman whose name is on the book” (meaning, I gather, the person conventionally known as the ‘author’). I would submit that ideally there is rather more to university education than that (the fact of that claimed education being presumed here for the purposes of discussion).

     

    And if those worthies sent him forth from the Yard armed with nothing more than the maxim that “whatever I read or hear, I then need to reason for myself and act accordingly” then they have failed him rather spectacularly since they neither a) taught him to actually be able to do so (by any material in evidence here) nor b) actually gave him a good grounding in philosophical vision and procedure to begin with. As with Kant, the ‘modern’ (and Post-modern) idea has been to sweep everything prior to the present off the table and start from scratch. (‘Scratch’ as in chickens and hens, I would add.)

     

    Thus very little “functions well” here without a Meta and some form of a God, and thus the assertion that “No god needed because everything functions very well without that assumption” certainly hasn’t been demonstrated here, and indeed precisely the opposite has been rather clearly demonstrated, and thus LC’s effort to dragoon poor Ockham into the game here fails vividly.

     

    Then material that seems indeed more similar in style to LC: “No one needs the Ten Commandments to tell them that murder, theft, and perjury are wrong” and “People knew these things before the Decalogue was supposedly issued”. The question however, is how did they come to those conclusions? Why did they choose what Judeo-Christianity would call ‘Good’ rather than ‘Evil’? Where does that innate Sense of Good and Evil come from? Possible answers: a) an accident; b) evolution; c) some Source that originally set the prime-coordinates for humans. (They didn’t have Kant, we surely recall.) How did they know?

     

    And then the ever-sophomoric Hitchens (to whom LC is now indebted for faulty philosophy as well as that faulty Shakespeare bit): We remain with Hitchens precisely in the same position I outlined here in the paragraph immediately above: where do children get that innate Sense?

     

    The quotation-marks to the Hitchens bit are not closed here, so it’s hard to tell where Hitchens ends and LC begins (and that is not a compliment). But from what I know of LC’s style and mentation through the material he has presented here, I’ll  take a stab and say that that the close-quotes should go after the Hitchens phrase “which of course they do”. After that we get a story from LC – conveniently including Jewish ancestors – and his claims about what they were taught about everything going back to the Sinai experience (which old Jewish stories are – but of course – “of course fiction”. To all of which I respond with a polite clinical ‘ovvvv coursssssse’.

     

    We also see in the space of a single comment a mentality allegedly capable of producing the “Lying Promise” paragraph and then a mentality that produces this later paragraph.

     

    And “we evolved to think morally” … by accident? Or was that ‘evolution’ designed to lead us to ‘morality’? And we are still left with i) the problem of the authority of such morality such that we are obligated to it ourselves and then ii) can authoritatively impose it on others even if they don’t like to be thus restricted. (The boundary between ‘evolution’ and ‘accident’ is, as you might have noticed, not so clear.)

     

    As for the amazing-ness of God coming to “primitive Palestine” I would say that a) it was rather amazing that God should come at all; b) where – less primitive – does LC think God might have made a better job of it?; c) in what ways relevant to the matter here were the “people of Palestine” “primitive’? Compared to the Imperial Romans? Might they, rather, have been sufficiently advanced as to have a Judaic morality to serve as a basis for even more comprehensive moral development?

     

    Compared to the teachings of LC’s (alleged) Harvard profs, Christianity and even Catholicism have indeed “penetrated” the planet rather more widely and deeply than their books and lecture notes. And for a period not of two decades but of two millennia. And the point becomes only more vivid if we include cultures and civilizations that have any sort of Meta or supernatural.

     

    LC beats a retreat at this point by claiming that he has gone as far as he is going to go with this question. He has “neither the time nor the inclination to impress anyone with my knowledge of Kant or philosophy or moral reasoning” – to which I can only respond that he has not impressed (see above).

     

    But then he doesn’t stop and apparently does have the time and the inclination. OK, then.

     

    And here he gets to admitting what needs to be admitted: “Unless you are created and supervised by a supreme being, no authority” can or does make “one act morally when no one is present”. So there it is.

     

    He omits that in the absence of any such obligation there is also no “authority” to make you do the Good when you just don’t feel like it. And in the absence of any such obligation or “authority” then there is nothing to keep one from changing the fundamental obligations if one feels the urge. (Does Dostoevsky ring any bells here?)

     

    Nor are we – in a marvelously adolescent, not to say childish way – “supervised” by God. We got the flight-school training and now we at our controls up in the crowded airspace.

     

    Also that we are our brain. People are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for their kids to be educated into this? (A form of abuse, clear and simple, if you ask me.)

     

    Socrates – without getting into his metaphysical presumptions here – was able to reason and think clearly, by asking questions and continuing to ask questions. (He probably wouldn’t have done well at Harvard, by all extant indicators here.) But he was no Epicurean.

     

    It’s not simply a matter of personally making a judgment about others’ actions: it is a matter of imposing penalties for their transgressions. What does LC do about that problem?

     

    He then introduces the contemporary and non-professional cultural and (anti-)religious observer Sam Harris, apparently to the effect that as long as we are treating creatures as “ends” or “promoting the well-being of conscious creatures” then “there can be acceptable differences in how we act”. But if we do not know what the essence, nature and purpose of a human being is, then how do we know what their “well-being” actually is? If you haven’t been to flight school, then how do you know just what promotes the controlled-flight of an aircraft and what (catastrophically) doesn’t?

     

    So – alas for LC – we are still left with what is not at all a “false dichotomy” but is instead a glaring and vital and fatal problem in his position here.

     

    Kant – alas – seems to have presumed that if everybody followed his calculatory system, then they’d all come out with the same results. But that clearly has not been the case.

     

    Thus the insufficiency of the rather inane bit about “different peaks and valleys on the landscape of human flourishing” (do I hear a distant echo of Nussbaum here?). Pilots may develop over time some personal style, but the immutable essence of the fixed-wing aircraft still sets some rather firm boundaries to any individual pilot’s personal illuminations, desires, urges, or whimsy.

     

    And morality is “innate” in us? That seems very insufficient. Where does it come from and how did we get it? Did it just pop up? Was it just a lucky coincidence? Was it the result of an accident or just the mechanical working-out of evolution? (If so, why don’t other animals have such a sense? Evolution was working on them long before it was working on humans.) Or was there some source or Source for it?

     

    Nor does my question become anything less than acutely more vivid when LC then tosses in that “we are … only about a chromosome away from chimpanzees”. That must be one hell of a chromosome, to provide us with all the characteristics that make us – as he rightly says – “higher primates”. [italics mine]

     

    And then we are informed that “just like other higher primates, we have evolved to have, among other things, intelligence, emotion, and solidarity”. Aside from the fact that mammalian life forms generally do show some sort of affiliative capacity – at least for their own (however defined) – and thus the air goes out of the tire of “solidarity”, then what other “higher primates” does LC have in mind? The Great Apes? Does LC suppose that the only reason those creatures aren’t allowed to pilot commercial aircraft, drive autos, or vote is because they have been ‘oppressed’ and ‘hegemonized’?

     

    The adventure in Philosophy continues. And clearly needs to.

     

    That’s what “the other side thinks”.

  13. jim robertson says:

    Telling you the truth isn't an attack it's just telling you the truth.

    Say what about reason and science?

    Your religion has convicted itself by it's actions. "By a man's actions ye shall know him." Didn't Jesus say that?

    • Martha says:

      Jim, atheism is known by the death of tens of millions last century.

      Your logic si twisted.

    • jim robertson says:

      "Si" it twisted, Martha?

      And no Catholics killed anybody in the last century?

  14. Rondre says:

    Yawn Yawn that's our sentiments abouy MR. Dates article? Yea juat like MR

  15. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    In light of the current topic here, I would like to know why other commentors to this blog have not voiced their opinion, perspective or feedback re the below information that was previously posted.  Are these facts relevant to the matter being discussed?

    August 2011

    The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales have settled all 39 lawsuits against the order and its Salesianum School in Wilmington under the Delaware Child Victims Act for charges of sexual abuse of minors by its priests.

    According to the settlement announced Aug. 4, the plaintiffs in the Delaware Superior Court lawsuits will share $24.8 million paid on behalf of the order with significant contributions from insurance carriers.

    Oblate Father James J. Greenfield, provincial of the Wilmington-Philadelphia province, which includes 170 priests, brothers and seminarians, said that while he is grateful the suits are settled, he knows there is more work to be done toward healing and reconciliation.

  16. jim robertson says:

    "Where do children get that inate sense?" Evolution the same place we get everything else we have. Everything else we are connected to .Everything else we are.

    Other animals do have a morality connected to their self interest. Elephants mourning the lose of a child or a companion. Unrelated elephants protecting a lost or orphaned young elephant.

    Everytime humans pretend to be above other animals, horror ensues.

     

  17. jim robertson says:

    "Evolution was working on other animals long before it was working on humans"?????

    What did we show up here wrapped in plastic?

    From dust we came and to dust we shall return. And that's about it as far as human superiority and exceptionalism goes.

  18. jim robertson says:

    What moral development? Slaves knew their lives were crap long before Judeo/Christian "morality" got the message. Slavery didn't make the slave feel good. However the entire institution of slavery used to be called "God's will" by religion and that's including yours, Dr. Pangloss

  19. jim robertson says:

    I just counted the number of lines of script in Cardinal George's post. 239 whew! I then counted 77 lines in Learned's longest post above and 16 in my last four posts. (if they are printed). FYI

  20. dennis ecker says:

    Do I sense a little hostility when those are presented with the real facts.

    I won't say you are part of the problem with this world. But I will say you are the problem of what has and is happening within your church.

    Turn the other cheek ! NOT ME. I'm more of an eye for an eye.

    Doing good Jim and will feel even better knowing how long not only children but society will be protected from two cowards. 

    • jim robertson says:

      I know today in Philly means much to you Dennis. I'm wishing you and yours all the best. And I too sympathize with the defendants families.

    • Bam Gallagher says:

      The only coward is billy doe and j. doe jr. lest you forget it was jr. who was to be a witness for the defense. and then all of a sudden he writes a letter on his brother's behalf. guess he fgured a letter was worth a few bucks…..

  21. Publion says:

    ‘Donna’ once again demonstrates the classic Playbook gambit of presuming that whatever negative characteristics are displayed by a victim are merely and totally the result of the (alleged) abuse. This gambit a) neatly simplifies the Abusenik situation while b) further enhancing the appealing and seductive image of Pure Good Assaulted By Pure Evil.

     

    But conceptually it remains to be established whether the (alleged) victim was possessed of any or many negative characteristics before that abuse was said to have taken place.

     

    This rather substantial problem, of course, is neatly handled by a second Abusenik/Victimist dogma: you cannot be skeptical of any allegating ‘victim’, by looking carefully at the story s/he tells or by looking at his/her prior life or any such things.

     

    And ‘Donna’ tops off the sundae with a third Playbook bit: that since Shero (in this case) has already been convicted then that somehow demonstrates that Billy Doe (in this case) was telling the truth.

     

    But that’s not quite how it works, either in specific trials or in a Stampede generally or in the Catholic Abuse Matter Stampede specifically. The jury may not so much find for the Allegant as it finds against the Defendant: that is to say, the jury dislikes the Defendant more than it likes the Allegant.

     

    In the instant Philly case, readers may consult the commentary on the BigTrial site, where several knowledgeable commenters discuss these dynamics as they may well have played out in the trial-phase of this case (it will most likely go to Appeal).

     

    This point also connects to prior comments on this thread about admissions that Engelhardt’s religious Order made in settlement of a lawsuit. Because in a time of Stampede, there is no way of knowing what pressures operate on Parties. That is to say: once you have started a Stampede, then the normal context of legal proceedings – and the characteristic menu of options open to Parties – is deranged and deformed. And thus the Parties may well be driven to actions that, under normal and non-Stampede circumstances, they would not have taken or perhaps even contemplated.

     

    The Playbook gambit here is to b) presume that everything in the universe is normal while a) you have gone and deranged that universe with the Stampede that has been whomped up.

     

    Revolutionaries often make this mistake: they presume that they can introduce their revolution with no consequences except the (they presume) beneficial consequences they intend. This country, as well, made the same sort of mistake in the invasion of Iraq: we can invade, decapitate the government, and folks will just naturally set up another (and better) one and everything will come up roses.

     

    In the Stampede, specifically, it works out like this: you derange the legal system and the public milieu in which it normally operates, in order to get at what you are sure is ‘truth’ in some form; but the derangement itself generates pressures and forces that work to undermine the legitimacy of the ‘results’ that you Stampede creates.

     

    Thus, at this point and for quite some time in the Abuse Matter, there are reasonable grounds to doubt not the Defendants but rather the very competence (or even legitimacy) of the (now deranged) legal system itself.

     

    Once you have grasped that iron-law of human affairs, then you can see why Lenin decided early-on to dispense with ‘thinking’ or questions of ‘accuracy’ or ‘legitimacy’ and just start shooting and making the revolution with no further ado.

     

    The instant Philly trial sees its sentencing phase today. Commentary at the BigTrial site has already established the very reasonable probability and shape of the derangements that have already been working on this case in its investigation and pre-trial and trial phases. Unless the trial judge is prepared to take some clear and direct actions to restore it, then the integrity of the Philly justice system is already in question and thus its legitimacy is at risk. No matter what happens in that regard today, there will most likely be an Appeal (Msgr. Lynne’s Appeal should be coming to some resolution at the appellate level sometime soon).

     

    Stampedes bring their own toxic problems to any situation, and can never be blithely considered to be merely ‘solutions’; they rapidly bring and become Problems in their own right, by operation of their own dynamics.

    • dennis ecker says:

      Publion,

      Many here have been so polite to you including me when it comes to nothing less then your rambling on. However, I must say "Put a sock in it" already.

      I must say to everyone I am here with a group of people and once we learned of the sentencing cheered and cried joys of tears. Will I stop them or say anything to them ? NO

      The all have been effected in someway or another of how the catholic church has treated them and I believe they are not cheering because two individuals are going to prison for what they have done to a child, but are cheering because now the public is now hearing I HAVE BEEN ABUSED.

      Some may say I have hate and that maybe true. But my response is and always will be the catholic church not the faith has made me that way.

      We will and always have kept the family of Engelhardt and Shero in our prayers and have and always know that they have done nothing wrong.

      To all those who have been abused, people are listening !!!!

  22. jim robertson says:

    "To learn who rules over you simply find who you are not allowed to criticize." Voltaire

  23. LearnedCounsel says:

    Wow, maybe you should have taken 2 to 4 days before responding to my post!

    The Aviatrix, FKA LaunchCode, AKA publicly Publion said in his critique of the Kantian conception of reason,  "This is not Aquinas’s ‘Reason’ as being the human mind working in concert with the revelation of God in Christ that provides humans with a clear example or – more accurately – instantiation of God’s Vision and Plan for humans. Indeed, to use my own imagery, in the Gospels and the Church’s further deliberation on the Gospels we get a basic blueprint of the human ‘vessel’ or ‘craft’, and the dynamics by which it operates and by which it is governed. And with that information – like pilots in flight-school – we are thus armed with the knowledge of how the craft fundamentally operate and thus the behaviors and maneuvers that support and enhance proper operation of the craft (Virtues) and the behaviors and maneuvers which hamper and harm that operation (Vices)."

    The Aquinas bit sure does sound like white noise to me. "God's Vision and Plan?" Aquinas and you have all your work ahead of you in order to prove this key assertion that "God" has a "Plan." If you were to offer your Aquinas-based critique of Kant in a serious academic setting like a legitimate university (i.e. not a seminary), one where they study and teach science, no one would have any idea what you were talking about.

    Also, please stop with the aviation analogies. Unnecessary and too much. More is not always better. The way that you weave anaology into each point that you make is too repetitive.

    More bothersome than that though, is the implication that you know physics and might know something about science. Again, go into a legitimate university and say what you said about evolution by natural selection being random. You said/asked, "Where does it come from and how did we get it? Did it just pop up? Was it just a lucky coincidence? Was it the result of an accident or just the mechanical working-out of evolution? (If so, why don’t other animals have such a sense? Evolution was working on them long before it was working on humans.)" What are you talking about? What are these questions? The crowing achievement though of your statement is your assertion that evolution was working on other animals before working on humans. What is this nonsense?

    You then compound the ignorance by saying "Nor does my question become anything less than acutely more vivid when LC then tosses in that “we are … only about a chromosome away from chimpanzees”. That must be one hell of a chromosome, . . . " You need to get informed on the subject of biology. One chromosome makes an enormous difference and you here imply that it would be crazy to think that it could! That you could be so cocky and yet so ill-informed on this subject, is amazing. By the way, so called Intelligent Design is just the smuggled-through-customs name for Creationism. Is it 1925? Because I think we may be back at the Scopes Monkey Trial.

  24. LearnedCounsel says:

    (OK. Let's see if this awful comment takes.)

    Break-Break

    LaunchCode-Actual

    Roger that. Lima Charlie. Standby.

    I am asking because I really do not know. Where was Rev. James J. Greenfield before yesterday? "We need to stand up for what is right," he said, just before someone alerted him that the trial was over months ago. "Oh," he muttered, "Well, we do."

    If I was one of his brother priests in trouble, I would have loved his support prior to my conviction. Because that is when it .  .  . could have .  .  . helped  .  .  . oh, never mind. Oh, wait, I just found it! Sorry. Father Greenfield was praying for the deliverance of Engelhardt from the hands of the court and the media. Strange that didn't work.

    Pray for me .  .  . and I will think for you.

    LaunchCode. Do you copy? Send your traffic. Over.

  25. Delphin says:

    While the ever-needy philosophy/biology/legal wannabee is being schooled by the Master (can we bring back the paddle?), here's a little "tangential"  item that is of relevence to the topic -

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339692/Pope-admits-gay-lobby-highest-levels-Vatican.html

    Could it be that both sides of the Church abuse scandal debate are on to something; there may be a conspiring "corporate" church, but, it is more likely a little internal war being raged by the homosexual subculture that invaded our Church, against our Church?

    The destructive leftist permissiveness (societal cancer) of the 60's comes a knocking on our hallowed doors… 50 years later, and counting.

  26. jim robertson says:

    I have already compared Cardinal George,P, to the Brady character (William Jennings Bryan) in Inherit the Wind.( the dramatization of the Scopes trial). I can still see Spencer Tracy in the film. Breathtaking!

     

  27. Publion says:

    From commenter Ecker we get an admonition to me that “people have been so polite” as to put up with my “rambling on”, including himself.

     

    For those keeping a notebook on the Playbook, this is a nice two-fer: a) Ecker (and – by utterly unsustained assertion – much of the rest of the readership here) assumes the long-suffering victimized pose (I believe in some circles this would be called ‘putting on a wig’).

     

    Then, nicely, that my material – doubtless uncongenial when not utterly confounding – is “rambling”. If he would care to demonstrate by quotes where I “ramble” rather than address and analyze clearly-put ideas then let’s see those quotes.

     

    ‘JR’ – from the dayroom or the cafeteria – actually toted up the number of lines in my foregoing lengthy post. Which is probably more attention than he has paid to my material than ever before. However such noble effort – and I do not doubt that it was indeed an effort – is undermined by the presumption that Shortness-is-Good-and-Length-is-Bad (precisely the type of maxim you would expect from the cafeteria crowd at term paper time). If it is a consolation to him that – having performed his calculations – he has demonstrated that he too can indeed ‘study’ stuff, then why interfere with that mentation here?

     

    But now we come to Learned Counsel – allegedly elite educated (and by numerous named celebrity profs) at Harvard, and also (allegedly)a practicing attorney. What response will we get to the material I put up in response to his material?

     

    Snark: maybe I should have waited longer to post (“!”) – no explanation given.

     

    An epithet referring to me in the feminine (“Aviatrix”): pretty much anchored in the pigpen there.

     

    Then a long quotation from my material.

     

    To him, the Aquinas material “sure does sound like white noise”. No explanation as to how he reaches that assessment. All he can do is ridicule the material on the basis of his presumptive rejection that there is a “God” and that He has a “Plan”. When you can’t do anything else, ridicule it – that’s right from the Playbook. It works in the cafeteria.

     

    Then the threat and assertion that if I “were to offer [my] Aquinas-based critique of Kant in a serious academic setting like a legitimate university (i.e. not a seminary), one where they study and teach science, no one would have any idea of what you were talking about”.  So none of the mentioned elite celebrity thinkers at Harvard or elsewhere would recognize the Aquinas material? Really? LC knows this? Of course LC doesn’t know this; it’s simply another ketchup-splotched epithet tossed out in lieu of making any serious (and educated) response to my material.

     

    Of course, I have been working all along toward just this point: the Aquinian system is no longer wdeily taught and most so-called cutting-edge thinkers today are besotted with the Flattened dimension of contemporary thinking, where they are scratching about like hens in a barnyard trying to re-construct a Meaning for themselves that the consequences of their own intellectual  ‘liberation’ have already fatally undermined.

     

    Then we get a whine: “please stop with the aviation analogies” because they are “unnecessary and too much”. Who says that they are “unnecessary and too much”? LC? But then let him explain why. He doesn’t. We just get the whine. Reinforced merely by the further whine that “the way that you weave analogy into each point you make is too repetitive”. Is it really?

     

    What we see here is LC not being able to respond to the material and yet apparently aware on some pre-cognitive level that the point is fatal to his entire position. That’s because the point is fatal to this entire position – which is why I keep repeating it when any of his material gets around to that part of the field.

     

    But does this allegedly elite-trained paragon even bother to explain his assessments and characterizations? No. And again, perhaps he is aware on some dim level that he has no response to make. So make fun instead.

     

    But what he finds “most bothersome” is “the implication that [I] know physics and might know something about science”. Another epithet. Does he (or can he) point out any physics or science that I have discussed or referenced here that is inaccurate? (Quotations from my material, please.)

     

    And then outright incapacity to read (or willful distortion of what he has read): Where did I ever “say” that ‘evolution by natural selection was random’ as if it were an assertion of fact? Did I even actually use the term “random” at all? (This, from an alleged elite university graduate and a practicing attorney.)

     

    He professes himself unable to understand my questions about “morality”. And yet the material immediately preceding the bits he quotes precisely puts the question: “And morality is ‘innate’ in us? That seems very insufficient. Where does it come from and how did we get it? Did it just pop up? Was it just a lucky coincidence? Was it the result of an accident or just the mechanical working-out of evolution? (If so, why don’t other animals have such a sense? Evolution was working on them long before it was working on humans.) Or was there some source or Source for it?”

     

    My statement that “evolution was working on [other animals] before it was working on humans” reflects the fact that humans came along rather late in the developmental course of things. Is this news to LC? Did he take a course where he was told differently? Is he a scriptural fundamentalist? Or perhaps it is his own ignorance that confounds him and drives him to presume that if he doesn’t grasp an idea it must be “nonsense” (a characteristic shared by a number of the ketchup-crowd, as we have so often seen).

     

    If LC cares to discuss how one chromosome can account for the vast interior differences between even the Great Apes and the human, then I’d like to hear about it (precisely as I said in my original comment). Nor do I recall ever using the word “crazy” in my comment – especially as an epithet (direct or implied).

     

    So I can only conclude this by saying “That you could be so cocky and yet so ill-informed on this subject, is amazing”. Except that I am not amazed.

     

    There then remains a 3×5 reference to the Scopes trial that – in light of the rather substantial inaccuracies and conceptual incompetence demonstrated – simply pins a vividly flashing tail-light on the donkey.

     

    For the readership, let me state again why I go to such lengths with these comments in response to this or that chunk of material that appears on the screen. First – as commenter Ecker put it rather histrionically – people are indeed reading the material on this site. And thus I find that some of the material here presents opportunities to provide a fuller picture for some stuff that is floating around out there in the Abusenik universe.

     

    Second, I take the opportunity to offer further material to the general readership because I hope that it will give the readership, in some small way, further resources. And as a corollary to that: I do not actually seek to engage in one-on-ones with some of the types of mentalities that are encountered in comments here. If there weren’t a general readership here, I wouldn’t take the time any more than I would on numerous other sites on the web where such mentalities roam free-range.

     

    TMR is indeed a unique site. And that’s why I want to offer as much as I can. It is not ‘just another abuse site’, and personally I don’t want to see it subjected to merely the usual types of mentalities whose material (such as it may be) is so easily and vividly available in bulk on many other sites.

     

    But that material does have its uses – and that’s why I take the time.

    • jim robertson says:

      No it's  just your lengthy posts that are "bad" . And you are so right I don't read you. I speed read you.  Your stuff never gets better or smarter.; just longer. IMHO.

  28. Delphin says:

    No problem, let's suspend all Constitutional protections to get the Catholic Church, yep,  you're right, no bias here.

    http://thesestonewalls.com/gordon-macrae/the-catholic-press-and-the-shakedown-of-the-u-s-catholic-church/

    Let's hope Californication sheers off the North American continent and drifts into the middle of the Pacific, soon. No loss of life, God forbid, just a nice little Island of Misfits.

    • jim robertson says:

      You know what screw this playing patty cake I'm going down to the nearest Catholic Church and show them what real persecution is. I'll padlock their doors. And force their kids to go to public schools. You want "persecution" you got it.

       

  29. jim robertson says:

    Tracy played Darrow his agnostic opponent not Brady FYI.

  30. jim robertson says:

    And the insults just keep coming.

    Only believing Catholics are smart. Not smart enough to stop children from getting raped but smart enough to tell you how the universe is run in their favor.

    Have you no shame?

  31. Delphin says:

    Stephen Axts and North Carolinian hit the nail on the head, succinctly.

    Billy Doe is a liar, that undeniable fact has already been established – by his own soiled lips, as well as confirmed by his own family and friends.

    The case is a miscarriage of justice, and,  it is now ripe for appeal.

  32. Delphin says:

    Why be so reactive (is that…. hysteria?) and take your unresolved angst out on the poor little kiddies by forcing them into public schools where rape is rampant, and still protected by the unions, politicians,  and your tax dollars? Their parents, as did yours (and mine, thank God), determined that Catholic education was vital to their success, as Catholics, and as good citizens. And, the statistics bear that fact out.

    Lefties want to raise everybodies kids (except their own)- it's that silly "it takes a village" socialist BS. All it takes to raise a healthy child is a mom and dad – oh, and some solid Catholic formation for the faithful.

    • jim robertson says:

      Why is it religious people have no sense of irony or humor?

      Do you have any children Billie Donahue,D,?

      You keep whining about tax dollars yet it wasn't the "lefties" that put America in debt  for Iraq and Afganistan was it?

      Trillions in government "welfare" for the killing of innocent people. I'll bet you've backed those illegal wars.

      How much do you spend in income taxes princess?

  33. Publion says:

    When I posted my 510PM comment this afternoon, the last comment already published was the 1208PM comment by Learned Counsel.

     

    Since that 1208PM we see more comments from JR and (the alleged elite college grad and practicing attorney) Learned Counsel.

     

    They strike me as useful examples of the type of material and mentalities we would see on various sites where certain mentalities roam free-range. What we are seeing here, I would say, is material from an element that has played a substantial role in keeping the Abuse Matter going. But only on the internet; I think it is clear that in any other venue these types would have little chance to demonstrate the characteristics that the internet modality so easily enables.

     

    It becomes clear why front-groups seeking to present themselves as serious organizations representing serious persons and trying as well to keep up the appearance of a moral high-ground keep their distance from such mentalities. Or – I think it would be more accurate to say – try to keep the existence and participation of these types far from the public eye (not to say hidden).

     

    And there remains as well the remarkable and remarkably-displayed lack of self-insight: while one of them has never presented as anything but a one-liner ‘barfly’ type, the other continues to put himself forth with the credentials he has claimed yet can apparently put up a comment such as the 336PM today without the awareness (or perhaps the care) that such material so powerfully undermines the claims of education and professional competence and maturity.

     

    Both seem quite satisfied with their performance.

     

    Further, we see the Mental Shoebox phenomenon vividly demonstrated: Neither of these two can really think-through a subject. They have substituted for that a collection of mental 3×5 cards: if they come across a term or phrase, they simply pull out that phrase’s 3×5 card and try to pass it off as relevant thinking on the topic. In some venues that will work – but when it doesn’t we get what we see here.

     

    Further, they have to somehow squash the topic into the (limited) range of the 3×5 card; and not only the comment but – if they are resisted – the commenter as well. Neat – but hardly unknown in the clinical universe.

     

    That being said, I in no way seek to imply or infer that their comments belong elsewhere. It has always been my thought – since DP activated the Comments capability on this site – that comments would serve to enlighten readers through deliberation and analysis. But I think that there is clearly a second way that this site serves a useful purpose: it allows readers to see just what sort of mentation and mentalities actually constitute so much of the Abusenik universe of discourse.

     

    And I’m all for that.

    • jim robertson says:

      Do we live on the same planet?,

      Billie Donahue?

      Have you ever heard the term: passive aggressive?

      And of course my Alec Guiness post came after a longer one that wasn't deemed  "postable"  .

      I'll try again…….

      "Such mentalities"?

      Enough!

      Dennis was right you should "put a sock in it".

      "Deliberation and analysis" my tookas!

      And I'd like to see a "clinical analysis" of you.

      Dude I went to a junior college for 2 + yrs and still I'm smarter than you.

      Learned Council went to Harvard and he's smart enough to know you aren't.

      What was your alma mater. Chicken of the Sea U?

      "Bar fly"!  I can count the number of times I've been in a bar.

      [edited by moderator]

  34. jim robertson says:

    I also picture you as Alec Guiness in Kind Hearts and Coronets as the Captain going down with his ship. Drowning 10 ft. from shore. Because he "thought" it was his duty.

  35. jim robertson says:

    I only wish you were a "useful example" of anything but pomposity.

  36. Delphin says:

    The lefty brains (what's left of them after the substance abuse and disease that defines their lifestyles) have been trained by the drive-by media's sound bites.

    The lefty whine is as follows:

    "Life is too hard, you righties work 16 hours a day and give us your money (mo' taxes, please!) so that we can party all night and sleep all day"

    "I can't get into school by my own hard work, I need to be deemed a "protected class" that has suffered "oppression", so I can get in to a "good" school for free, ride along on social promotion, loaf all day, get an Ivy League degree and become a lawyer/prosecutor, politician, community organizer, journalist, educator, philosopher, historian [revisionist], etc."

    "I can't read or comprehend all those big words strung together in sentences constructed to form rational concepts and ideas – see the reasons above".

    Whining is lazy mans work- to get your free stuff.

    Hating is what you do when you fear your whining will stop working.

     

  37. LearnedCounsel says:

    Publicly Publion, You are in full retreat, as only you can do it, with unwarranted arrogance and misplaced paternalism. Commenting about your disappointment in the quality of the comments and the intelligence of the commenters. Explaining again your unsolicited educational mission. Please enlighten all of us on god's plan (your words) for mankind, the plan for which god started Evolution and by which he oversees and guides its operation.

    Creationism, Adam and Eve, used to be considered literally true by bible believing christians, including catholics. As science advanced and knowledge of reality increased (dramatically in the last 100 or so years), Adam and Eve became for many people a "beautiful" and "useful" metaphor. In fact, as scientific discovery and knowledge continue to increase, religion retreats further and attempts to explain less and less reality. But you must have a creator god, right? Right. The so called uncaused cause made the big bang about 13 billion years ago. He created the incomprehensively massive and ever-expanding universe so that life could begin billions of years later on a tiny speck in some suburban corner of it. And nowhere else! So much waste. Some plan!

    Take a recent human life example from our ancestors to try to understand evolution. It took over 1 million years for homo erectus to evolve into homo sapiens. We are talking about millimetrically slow progress. Only the tiniest, most minute changes occurring generation to generation. Was there a first person? You could not pick her or him out along the continuum of generations. So, no, there never was a first person. Anyone born belongs to the same species as her parents. There was never a homo erectus parent that gave birth to a homo sapiens baby. We, in this way then, have been here all along, as long as there has been life, evolving into the people that we know today and evolving into something much much different millions of years in the future, if we do not go extinct. Do not be fooled by the species diversity that we see today. The diversity that we see today developed over millions and millions of years.

    I repeat that you asked me, "Where does it [morality] come from and how did we get it? Did it just pop up? Was it just a lucky coincidence? Was it the result of an accident or just the mechanical working-out of evolution?" This is not analysis. OK. These are not even the sincere questions of someone that really does not know. This is just rhetoric. No, you did not actually say the word "random." You said, "just pop up," "lucky coincidence," and "result of an accident." I would characterize and sum up these as "random." The closest you come is "mechanical working-out" but in a three to one ratio, I would say that I am right to say "random." But you just asked questions, right? Please, wiggle a bit more for me. I guess I am just not wrestling with the nuance of .  .  . every damn thing you say. No. You meant exactly what you wrote and what I took you to mean with your rhetorical questions. I do not mind being lied to but I resent being expected to believe the lie.

    Stand by what you believe when you write. Say then, unambiguously, that you believe that god created the universe and the people in it and that you will reject any thought that he did not or that he is unnecessary to it. Or say that you do not know, if you do not know. Do not so weakly retreat to the defensive – you do/can not understand what I said, you do not get it, you must not be as smart or as serious or as well-informed as I am. Please. There is no inherent value in unchanging thoughts and opinions. Consistency, you say? Well, what if you are wrong? Or what if you get new data? Then, should you change your mind? That would not be inconsistency. That would be progress. Do you want to be a Flat-Earther?

    Also, the person who truly wants to engage the "general readership" here and not get into one-on-ones with the "types of mentalities" would not write, "My statement that “evolution was working on [other animals] before it was working on humans” reflects the fact that humans came along rather late in the developmental course of things. [This statement is utterly and completely wrong. As I have shown above, other animals and humans have been evolving together as long as there has been life on planet Earth] .Is this news to LC? [No.]Did he take a course where he was told differently? [Yes.] Is he a scriptural fundamentalist? [huh?] Or perhaps it is his own ignorance that confounds him and drives him to presume that if he doesn’t grasp an idea it must be “nonsense” (a characteristic shared by a number of the ketchup-crowd, as we have so often seen)." Bring it on. You should be embarrassed for having written that, if you have any self awareness. Your attck on me is childish, weak, snarky, one-on-one, wildly speculatively inaccurate, sinister and coooaaaated in ketchup. Please, everyone, notice the hypocrite, publicly Publion!

  38. dennis ecker says:

    Publion talks about natural selection. I don't see it taking place here. He still rambles on.

  39. Delphin says:

    For those of us unafraid to read words in sentences- or follow story lines with elaborate plots and "things", these two films about Catholic martyrs (in life and in death) are excellent historical accounts of holy men.

    http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/pius_xii_popieluszko/

    These priests documented and fearless actions (steeped in the humanity of Catholicism) won't likely be very pleasing to the reviso-lefties, but, then, who may be in more need of an honest education than those in such prolonged and irrational denial?

    These holy men were not whiners.

  40. Delphin says:

    My theories (evolution, big bang) daddy can beat up your theory's (creation) daddy.

    It is all based upon belief, and faith. Science is man-made and subject to all his faults, foibles and failings (they are many). This time next century half of what we thought we knew will be disproven/debunked and we'll be off on other tangent.

    Meanwhile, the case for the truth of the Bible, honored and/or revered by three major religions (but, not yours) in advanced cultures and societies (again, apparently -not yours?), is reinforced by the archaeological [historical] record, daily.

    If what comes around eventually goes back around, in synch with the "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" snippet a few posts back, I look forward to your religions' adherents belly-crawling yourselves back into the sea, soon.

  41. jim robertson says:

    "Steeped in the humanity of Catholicism"?

    I'm speachless!……….

    I'm only too glad you are "unafraid to read words in sentences". I've been doing that since second grade but mozel toff.

    • jim robertson says:

      Did you write, "mo' taxes, please!"?

      "MO' !!!!!!.

      Your bigotry as usual speaks for it's self.

       

  42. LearnedCounsel says:

    http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/06/13/mass-high-court-says-obscene-videochat-man-had-with-year-old-boy-was-illegal/Hr6KGp4xPjAkTtBY46WJaM/story.html

    Warning: Only for those who care about protecting children from sexual predators. The article has nothing to do with religion or the roman catholic church.

    Great news in Massachusetts law. Bad news for pedophiles and ephebophiles and their defenders.

  43. Publion says:

    We are provided – as if on cue – further material in furtherance of my theory as expressed in my most recent comment.

     

    Commenter Ecker said “Publion talks about natural selection”. Where did I discuss that, pray? Where did I even use the term, let alone discuss it? What we see here – again – is the Mental Shoebox at work: Ecker has a 3×5 on “natural selection” and somehow in his mind that connected to what I said (or was the 3×5 that came closest to what he thinks I said), and without further ado throws up a pile about “natural selection”.  Again, one wonders just how people so loose with reality and truth handled matters when it came to making allegations and assertions in that accusing-for-dollars game.

     

    And now for more from ‘Learned Counsel’, allegedly a Philosophy Major grad from Harvard and a practicing attorney.

     

    First, an I’m-Not/You-Are bit: it is I who am “in full retreat”. Supported not by explanation but by epithet (“with unwarranted arrogance and misplaced paternalism”). Apparently he was taught at Harvard that if people do not agree with you – and then have the gall to point out the problems with your position – then they are displaying “unwarranted arrogance”. Nicely, this would dovetail with Victimist dogma too – which for so many decades now has gotten a free pass (and more – and worse) from too much of the media.

     

    Also, apparently if one points out that the quality of material one is looking-at is not really impressive, then one is “paternalistic”. I would say that if an adult cannot or cannot be-allowed-to distinguish between unimpressive material and impressive material then we are in a heepa-trubble. But no doubt Harvard, like San Francisco kiddie-ballgame leagues, simply lathers congrats on anybody who shows up on the field; to do otherwise would be ‘insensitive’ and “paternalistic”. Thus no score-keeping either – and thus we see the shock when score is kept or a report-card grade is issued merely on the quality of the material submitted. The horror.

     

    The 3×5 Mental Shoebox method apparently works to the satisfaction of its Abusenik practitioners when they are merely gabbling among themselves: one puts up a pro-Abusenik comment (assertion or claim, almost never grounded or proven); then anybody who has a 3×5 card even modestly relevant to that stuff posts the content of his/her own 3×5; and that goes on for a while until everybody who cared to rummage through their personal Shoebox and post a comment is satisfied that they are all of them right and very clever.

     

    But it doesn’t work well in any other type of venue; a venue, say, where material is examined and assessed and discussed. Thus we see the results of that collision-of-worlds here. Certain mentalities now find that when they bring their plastic pails and shovels to a serious and adult construction-site, they are not given the praise and oohs-and-ahhs that they are used to in the Sandbox. They are clearly not amused.

     

    My “educational mission” is “unsolicited”. Well, teachers (and adults generally) never were welcome in the cafeteria. More to the point, my “mission” has not been rejected by the site-moderator and I will continue.

     

    “God’s plan” is merely “your words” – that about says it, although I didn’t invent the term, which goes back a millennium or two.

     

    My purpose – as I have recently explained – is not at all to “enlighten” the Mental Shoebox crowd (such a self-appointed task would indeed be “crazy” and hubristic); rather, my purpose is to further elucidate for everyone else just how the Mental Shoebox/cafeteria/dayroom crowd operates in the matter of the Catholic Abuse Matter. I shall continue doing so.

     

    “Creationism” is a conceptual phenomenon that has only recently developed, as an outgrowth of (Protestant) Fundamentalist thought; that should have been especially clear to LC when he tapped-out  “in the last 100 or so years”.

     

    Nor does “religion” (which is not the same thing as either ‘Christianity’ or ‘Catholicism’) continually “retreat” in the face of scientific advancement. Catholicism – let’s try to refine the focus here for the sake of clarity and accuracy – claims the right to talk about the Meta-physical (or Beyond/Above-physical), whereas the proper (and only) dimension in which Science operates is the Physical or Material.

     

    This confusion was also operating in Modern philosophy’s effort to align itself with Science and try to take over Religion’s (and Catholicism’s and Christianity’s) job in Western civilization, which job was to connect Western civilization Vertically to that Beyond-physical and to God. The unhappy consequences of that ill-advised Modern gambit are – I would say – floridly demonstrated today.

     

    As for LC’s personal assessment of God’s Plan – he’s welcome to it; he can write it up and put it with his Harvard philosophy-class notes (the existence of which are presumed here for the purposes of the present discussion).

     

    He then gives a quickie-refresher course on “evolution”. In doing so it is he who takes a scriptural-literalist position and from that Cartoon tries explain how there is no way to identify an original human pair. Catholicism does not insist on the literalness of an original human pair; rather it insists on the ultimate Reality that human-beings are made in the Image of God and works from there. The material dynamics of how that Reality came about are open to discussion and Science is welcome to offer its discoveries. Would LC care to offer dispositive Scientific proof that humans are not made in the Image of God? I’m sure many here would like to see that. (References required in support.)

     

    Rather, what LC would probably offer (it’s his only alternative) is some form not of Science but rather of Scientism: i.e. the Scientistic declaration that on the basis of this or that material hypothesis or discovery, claims are then made not about the Physical dimension, but rather about the Meta-physical dimension – usually to the effect that the Meta-physical dimension ‘therefore’ doesn’t exist. It wouldn’t be a stretch to note that Scientism is itself a form of “magical thinking” since it draws connections and conclusions unsupported by any sufficient evidence whatsoever.

     

    The rest of the disquisition about “evolution” is interesting but anybody who paid attention in high-school or college would be familiar with it. Although I would note that compared to the age of the earth itself, humanity has been around for a very very short time in comparison. We are a very young species, as that sort of thing goes.

     

    LC then notes that the questions I asked him “are not analysis”. To which I would have to reply: No, the questions I posed to LC are not analysis – they are (not to put too fine a point on it) questions and they are questions specifically designed to inquire as to where LC thinks “morality” and “conscience” come from.

     

    And I offered him some of the currently marketable alternatives to the Aquinian vision, while not stating them as facts that I personally asserted as established.

     

    To LC, as he reveals, the difference between a question and an assertion is merely “nuance” and he can’t be blamed for not picking up on such minor distinctions. (One wonders again what mentation went into the claims and allegations of abuse.) Nor was I ‘wiggling’ by asking questions: I was trying to move the discussion along. But to the Mental Shoebox, any effort to move the discussion beyond the (limited) range of the 3×5 has to be somehow avoided or ridiculed; preferably by putting on the ‘victim’ wig in the process (i.e. poor LC can’t be held accountable for actually reading and understanding the material I pose to his position – he’s only a Harvard grad and a practicing attorney, after all).

     

    I am accused also of ‘lying’ – but just where I did so LC does not bother to say. Perhaps ‘lying’ and offering questions or alternatives is equal to lying in the Abusenik universe of discourse. That wouldn’t be surprising.  But ‘lying’ makes for a nice epithet – and as a two-fer, LC has now been ‘lied-to’ and how can he be expected to respond maturely to such an infamy?

     

    Where do I not “stand by what [I] believe”? LC offered his view of a part of his universe and – in best philosophical (and scientific) style – I posed questions that seemed vitally relevant to the coherence and integrity of his position. This seems to confound him – and moves him, as we have seen, to all manner of not-philosophically and not-scientifically mature responses. It is what it is.

     

    Where have I said that I “do not understand” what LC has said? I think I understand it very well, and have then posed questions stemming precisely from my comprehension of what he has said. Who is dodging the consequences of his position here – myself or LC? (As evidenced by his repulsion – as if from holy water – from my “aviation” metaphor and analogies which, as I said, are fatal to his position.)

     

    He then tries to work in – as has JR on other occasions here – Emerson’s bit about “consistency”: that the truly enlightened and liberated are not bothered by “consistency”. But I have never used the word or concept of “consistency” in assessing LC’s material; I have used the concepts of conceptual incoherence and conceptual insufficiency and conceptual incompleteness. And – I would add here clearly – a demonstrated refusal to engage questions precisely designed to examine what I see as those incoherences and insufficiencies. This, apparently, is either an experience LC has never had in his academic or professional career (as an attorney, we recall) or else it is an experience that he does not want to have.

     

    Alas. It goes with the territory in conceptual discussion and analysis. Is this news to LC?

     

    I also point out that I do not and have not claimed that LC has inconsistently changed his opinions (which was Emerson’s point in his dictum about consistency being “the hobgoblin of little minds”) but rather that the position he continues to espouse has incoherences. I would refer him – it is apparently necessary to do so – to a competent dictionary for the difference between ‘inconsistency’ and ‘incoherence’.

     

    This whole bit then concluded by an epithetical bit about my perhaps wanting to be a “Flat-Earther”. Which is also irrelevant to the particular discussion here. But it’s right out of the Playbook, is it not?

     

    And I continue to say that I have indeed trying to make “progress” in this exchange by exploring LC’s assertions – thus my questions. But any such possible “progress” has been prevented by the various bits we have gotten by LC, as the record here will show.

     

    LC then asserts that it is “utterly and completely wrong” to say that “humans came along rather late in the developmental course of things” (i.e. that roughly 14 billion years of the universe’s existence since the Big Bang, and the several billion years of the earth’s existence as a planet). We are told that, instead, “other animals and humans have been evolving together as long as there has been life on planet Earth”. Is he serious?

     

    First, I said “humans” not “other animals and humans”, so he has already lost (or has ignored) the ball here and has (slyly?) created an assertion I did not make. And if he believes that there was not an extended period when the planet was forming and there were no discernible life-forms, except possibly – but dubiously – the most basic and primitive, monocellular kind, then I have to ask if he isn’t espousing here something rather very akin to fundamentalist flat-earthing himself.

     

    Would he kindly care to identify the Harvard professor who told him that human life was evolving from Day One? Or even that as a demonstrated and proven fact moncellular life was present at Day One of the earth’s formation as an independent planetary entity? People are paying for this type of ‘information’ at Harvard?

     

    And he concludes by merely taking all my observations and asserting that No-I’m-Not/ You-Are bit. We are back in the Sandbox. (And from Harvard and a practicing attorney … very not-impressive indeed.)

     

    “Bring it on” … ???? I have been trying to get my questions about his positions answered for quite a while here. Let me even make it easy for him to do so and thus further “progress” here: take my aviation and flight-school analogy and tell us why you don’t agree with it, rationally and coherently. That rather nicely focuses the discussion for him and doesn’t require him to keep track of all my other material.

     

    And things can move on from there. If that’s what you’d like to see happen.

  44. Delphin says:

    PSA:

    Please return the pink puppy sculpture that was "borrowed" by an "elderly white-haired" reveler after the LA-Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.

    It may have seemed funny at the time, but, the pooch's owner is heartsick.

    Reward for safe return.

  45. Publion says:

    If JR – in his comment of 311PM on the 13th – is hereby opening up the floor to psychological assessments, I’d simply like to ask him to confirm that. I certainly have some thoughts on that score that I think would land close to the bulls-eye and help clarify what some might already be thinking. So if JR says it’s OK, then some “clinical analysis” is on the table. And on top of his military “career” JR has also apparently now had an academic career, and is “smarter” than … and so on. And this is on top of the fact, from somewhere in the past week, that JR has been asked (by a “friend”) to proof-read or look-over a forthcoming “book” about “the saints”. Perhaps a book the publication of which will be celebrated at a publisher’s party attended by the Easter Bunny and a delegation of tooth-fairies. Kool-Aid instead of champagne will be served, perhaps.

     

    I recall a cartoon in The New Yorker a few years ago: two dogs are in an office, one of them sitting at a desk in front of a computer. That dog says to the other: “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. Just so.

     

    But I also think of the general plot set-up of Hogan’s Heroes (which TV show readers of a certain age might recall): in the up-is-down world created in the Third Reich, there actually was no way anybody could be sure that some ridiculous event wasn’t actually true. Was Klink awakened in the middle of the night to be told that der Fuhrer himself had just driven in through the front gate – how could Klink really be sure it wasn’t true in the topsy-turvy, irrational, up-is-down world of that place and time? Was Klink told on the phone (by Sgt. Carter or Sgt. Kinchloe imitating der Fuhrer) that he had just been promoted to Chief of Staff of the OKW or the Wehrmacht? Who could say for sure it couldn’t be true?

     

    This particular thought goes not so much to JR – there’s really not much of anything that’s even believably incredible there – but to Learned Counsel: given what they say has been going on in elite academia for the past few decades, who is to say definitively and dispositively that Learned Counsel hasn’t demonstrated all the characteristics necessary to graduate from an elite university in these up-is-down times? (Doubt, I would say, is far more easily justified in terms of the capacities required for the Bar … but then again Learned Counsel once informed us in comments that if I think he doesn’t have the chops, I should meet some of the other lawyers and/or law-students he knows. Charming. )

     

    Anyhoo, it’s Learned Counsel, not “Council”; we have already discussed the “passive aggressive” bit above; I’ll continue with using the term “mentalities” because it’s a more polite word than – say – “diagnoses”; JR’s support for “Dennis” is what it is; “deliberation and analysis” will continue; the “clinical analysis” bit has been dealt with above and the ball is in JR’s court; the college bit has been dealt with; the juvenile bit about my alma-mater is up there on the flagpole for everyone to see; and it would seem that JR isn’t welcome in bars either – perhaps the Church controls them and has told all the bartenders and patrons to be against him.

     

    Meanwhile, like the sturdy inmates of Luftstalag 13, we are constantly assured by the likes of Klink and Burkhalter and Hochstetter that our side is losing and they will soon be proven to have been right and honest and true about everything all along. Ovvvvvvvv coursssssssssssse.

    • jim robertson says:

      "Believably increadable"?

      Wow!

      [edited by moderator]

      Now to  the saints book I was proofing. It's true. Everyone from Ignatius Loyola to Mary Magdelene. It's a reference book and computer program that tells the reader who is the patron saint of what, from T.V.s ,  Clare of Assisi, to tin smiths; Joseph of Arimathea. from child abuse, Jerome Emilia, to seminarians, Joseph Borromeo; to sick animals, Nicolas of Tolentino.  Sometimes there are many saints handeling the same issues like: amunition workers is both Barbra and Erasmus..

      [edited by moderator]

    • jim robertson says:

      P.S. It should be obvious. I am not proof reading the spelling.

  46. jim robertson says:

    And to top it all with a racist and sexist rant. I couldn't have asked for an easier pair of ding dongs. P. admitedly has written nothing racist or sexist ( that I can remember) or sad to say  any thing interesting either.

    I all most want to commend him but complimenting people for behaving decently around race and sex seems stupid to me. Everyone should behave well.

    But we are dealing with christians and for thousands of years they've proven they can't be trusted. If you don't agree with them they will kill you. They have a track record.

  47. jim robertson says:

    "I look forward to your religion's adherents belly-crawling yourselves back into the sea, soon"

    Death.

    The good christian keeps offering us death.

    Did anyone on our side offer your side death?

    This is love?

  48. jim robertson says:

    "Steeped in the humanity of Catholicism" seems to have a darker edge.

  49. Delphin says:

    Typical boar/bore (even a bully?) to distort a word (slang, at that) and then try to refocus the content with a bogus attack, for the purpose of putting the author on the defense, and deflecting the content.

    I am not capable of being bullied, so, use that strategy where it may work- out there in Rainbowville, LoserLand.

    That strategy is an overused chapter out of the Alinsky Rules for Radicals playbook – which is seriously backfiring on your president/god/idol, as we speak (or is that speek in your urban fictionary?).

    If you are not able to effectively respond to the concept of a post, just pull a out a word, distort it to fit your own intent (and apparent biases?), and fling it on the wall along with all the other feces the [apparently still-evolving leftist] baboons will throw on the wall. I wonder if this ongoing evolution will eventualy bring the lefties to the right side of sanity?

    Incidentally, Publion is providing a great service to the TMR contributors by encouraging the lefty haters to post as many words, principles and concepts as their ideaology will sustain without [laughably] self-destructing (as it usually does). The Master has successfully teased the little rat-eyed vermin from their holes in order to shine the light, for all to see, on the dysfunction of the thought process that leads to the lefts irrational hatred of all that is good, rational, and sane. 

    Mo' words, principles and concepts, please, Publion!

    • Julie says:

      Agreed, Delphin. Publion does a fine job of bringing out the vermin and analyzing their irrational hatred.

  50. jim robertson says:

    Come on P,   Where did you matriculate? Annapolis?

  51. Delphin says:

    While COL Klink and SGT Shultz continue to "wrastle" with the Holy Spirit, vis-´a-vis Publion, EWTN is broadcasting the Pope Pius XII "Under the Roman Sky" film, Wednesday, June 19 at 8pm.

    It is hard work (so foreign to the left) suppressing the Truth, isnt it, boys?

  52. jim robertson says:

    Have all the faithful Catholics been driven out of "Rainbowville" in "LoserLand"?

    Doesn't "Rainbowville" sound like a nice place to live? 

    Oh but i forgot about all the feces on the walls and those "rat eyed vermin". Darn!

    [edited by moderator]

  53. Delphin says:

    …..about the revelation of a secret cabal of homosexuals "illicitly operating"  within the Vaticans Roman Curia – no words of wisdom, encouragement, discouragement, critique, shock, awe….anything from the TMR lefty-ists?

    Geez, I would have hoped we'd have at least some recognition, if not discussion and debate, on the possibility (likelihood) of the "cabals" activities being the root cause of the minor (both the verb and the noun) abuse problem in our Church. This is it boys, your big finale- you have your "corporate heirarchs"  in your cross-hairs….fire!

    Guess not- it would, after all, culminate in being a philosophical/ideaological circular firing squad.

    • jim robertson says:

      Where did Jesus say any thing abought fighting and killing? Maybe you're not the Christians you pretend to be.

      Death death death that's delpinium all death all the time..

  54. jim robertson says:

    The following proves once again how SNAP provides the Church's only "victories" in this scandal.http://tech.mit.edu/V133/N28/shorts1.html

  55. jim robertson says:

    Every time I tell the truth you call it an Alinskyism. I will infer then all your Catholic "truths" are  Alinskyisms and will address them as such.

  56. Publion says:

    Another aspect of this asking-questions bit, that sheds more light, I think, on what we have been seeing here:

     

    In revolutionary praxis, the objective is not to discuss or deliberate or to think-through, but rather simply to manipulate the responses of your hearers (if they are non-Party and non-cadre) or to whip up the troops (if they are Party-members and fellow/sister cadres in the Cause).

     

    Thus in the revolutionary paradigm ‘questions’ are used only in the most basic rhetorical sense. That is to say, when you use the grammatical format of a question you aren’t actually looking to open up discussion at all. Rather, you are looking to some other purpose (manipulation or reinforcement).

     

    And among the sub-sets of manipulation is ‘attack’: thus if you use the grammatical form of a question, it is actually only the lead-in to an attack.

     

    I think this might shed light on the curious responses we have seen here to simply-put questions: for Abuseniks (steeped in revolutionary dogma and praxis whether the individual practitioners realize it or not) if there is a question, then there is an attack. We saw this recently in an Ecker comment that began with a question and was grammatically put as a question, but that clearly was not seeking further information or seeking to advance deliberation and understanding, but rather actually was meant to provide the set-up for the actual attack (that did indeed follow up shortly thereafter). The ‘question’ in this context actually is like sliding the thin of the wedge against the door to jimmy it open (so you have a bit more room to swing your axe or bat).

     

    So while I have been posing questions in the pursuit of further elucidation and comprehension – as is the purpose of the question in philosophical and scientific exchange, the questions are perceived by those questioned as ‘attacks’ or as merely harbingers of attacks that are sure to come.

     

    And as a corollary, the genuine ‘question’ is actually perceived as a ‘threat’ – to the dogmatic presumptions that the Party or the Cause intends to hang onto no matter what any deliberation or analysis or assessment leads-to.

     

    It also doesn’t help, of course, if the positions that are being thus questioned are quite possibly greatly deficient to begin with. Thus Lenin’s insistence that any genuine questioning be avoided and that questions merely be of the manipulative-rhetorical-attack kind and in the service of the Cause. In the revolutionary paradigm those are ‘good’ questions; the other kind – looking to shed light and assess – are the ‘bad’ kind, as are the persons who have the counterrevolutionary gall to pose them.

     

    Thus the type of responses we have seen here. And things would only get worse if this Revolutionary Paradigm had replaced classical and genuine philosophical and scientific method in elite universities.

     

    And JR, we are now advised, has been asked to do the “proofing” (“speachless”, “believably increadable” … ?) of what will actually not be so much of a book as – apparently – a listing of what Catholic saints are associated with this or that profession or activity or concern. That makes a little more sense in one way, but even less sense in another.

     

    Also, I believe that there are also such lists already available (enter something like ‘list of Catholic patron saints and their meanings’ into your search engine and you get numerous responses). And would a publisher not have done the homework and realized that? Unless there is more to the book than that or there is no actual publisher (who usually have their own in-house proof-readers anyway).

     

    Or perhaps this will be a ‘book’ of such saints/patrons with some zesty if ketchup-splotched one-liner sum-ups of the various saints’ sleazy imbecilities and that sort of thing.

     

    Perhaps this will help somebody from investing a lot of time and effort for no useful purpose.

    • jim robertson says:

      I understand your point Dennis. Do what I do don't read him. He never gets any better or brighter.

      Delpinium is the real face of conservative Catholicism. Pub's the clerical face.

      And now Julie's rolling with the "vermin" crap. Catholicism speaks: I'm vermin.

  57. LearnedCounsel says:

    "Would LC care to offer dispositive Scientific proof that humans are not made in the Image of God? I’m sure many here would like to see that. (References required in support.)" – publicly Publion

    What you ask me to do cannot be done. Error in reasoning alert

    Publicly Publion has simply made what is called an appeal to ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. This is the fallacy that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true. If one argues that god or telepathy or ghosts or UFO's do not exist because their existence has not been proved beyond a shadow of doubt, then this fallacy occurs. On the other hand, if one argues that god or telepathy .  .  . do exist because their non-existence has not been proved, then one argues fallaciously as well.

    So, I could return the question to publicly Publion in this form: Would publicly Publion care to offer any proof that does not rely on the bible that humans are made in the "Image of God?" But then, I would be making the same mistake that he made.

    Where do we get this idea that we are created in the image of god? The bible. That is it. I added the qualifier about the bible to the question above simply because I wanted to transition down here and make the point that I do not believe the bible to be the word of god or the inspired word of god. And if the bible is neither of these things, then it is not reliable proof per se of anything. (I am assuming that catholics do not hold that the bible is just an excellent, accurate historical document.) Things in the bible could be true but in order to prove that truth, you would have to produce good extra-biblical evidence.

    If the bible is just a quasi-historical fiction book, with some true bits in it, then anything drawn from it must at least carry with it the disclaimer, "based on a true story." This is to say that I would not accept the assertion that because it (whatever it is) is in the bible and the bible says it is true, then it is true. Referring to the bible should be only as good as referring to Hogan's Heroes. The Hogan TV show is based on some real history and some facts or truths could be teased from it .  .  . but it is mostly just a made-up story written by some clever men. Just like the bible. (maybe women too, but given the era for writing Hogan and for writing the bible, I'll guess the writers were all men.)

    In the book Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan talks about what can be proved and the burden of proof. Sagan said, "Some claims are hard to test – for example, if an expedition fails to find the ghost or the brontosaurus, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Others are easier – for example, flatworm cannibalistic learning or the announcement that colonies of bacteria subjected to an antibiotic in an agar dish thrive when their prosperity is prayed for (compared to control bacteria unredeemed by prayer). A few -for example, perpetual motion machines – can be excluded on grounds of fundamental physics. Except for them, it's not that we know before examining the evidence that the notions are false; stranger things are routinely incorporated into the corpus of science. The question, as always, is how good is the evidence? The burden of proof surely rests on the shoulders of those who advance such claims." (pages 210-211)

    So people are created in the image of god. The bible says so in a few places, including Genesis. Prove that. Prove that what the bible says is true. I do not claim the bible, its truth or its assertion that we are created in the image of god. You claim these things.

    They cannot be proved, just as god's existence cannot be proved or disproved. Russell's Teapot and Dawkin's Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) also cannot be proved to exist or not to exist. Remeber that the FSM boiled for you that you might have eternal pasta-life. The burden of proof is on you.

    Sort of an aside but in the same book and on the subject of proof, Sagan talks about Lourdes, France and the healing of the catholic faithful. And if you can believe this, then you can believe anything.

    "In 1858, an apparition of the Virgin Mary was reported in Lourdes, France; the Mother of God confirmed the dogma of her immaculate conception which had been proclaimed by Pope Pius IX just four years earlier. Something like a hundred million people have come to Lourdes since then in the hope of being cured, many with illnesses that the medicine of the time was helpless to defeat. The Roman Catholic Church rejected the authenticity of large numbers of claimed miraculous cures, accepting only sixty-five in nearly a century and a half (of tumors, tuberculosis, opthalmitis, impetigo, bronchitis, paralysis and other diseases, but not, say, the regeneration of a limb or a severed spinal cord). Of the sixty-five, women outnumber men ten to one. The odds of a miraculous cure at Lourdes, then, are about one in a million; you are roughly as likely to recover after visiting Lourdes as you are to win the lottery, or to die in the crash of a randomly selected regularly scheduled airplane flight – including the one taking you to Lourdes.

    The spontaneous remission rate of all cancers, lumped together, is estimated to be something between one in ten thousand and one in a hundred thousand. If no more than five per cent of those who come to Lourdes were there to treat their cancers, there should have been something between fifty and 500 'miraculous' cures of cancer alone. Since only three of the attested sixty-five cures are of cancer, the rate of spontaneous remission at Lourdes seems to be lower than if the victims had just stayed at home. Of course, if you're one of the sixty-five, it's going to be very hard to convince you that your trip to Lourdes wasn't the cause of the remission of your disease . . . Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." (pages 220-221) 

  58. dennis ecker says:

    Jim,

    My friend I say this with only respect. Please stop feeding Publion. Like a creature he will continue to come back for more to be fed.

    I am interested in reading what YOU have to say. You speak with fact and experience.

    I respect everyones input but there has to come a point when he is over. He is putting me sleep before I get to comments with meaning like yours.

    • jim robertson says:

      Dennis, Cardinal George, P, was here posting his well spelled nonsense long before I showed up. He will never give up. It's the one quality we both share.

      And Learned, Why God would need to have genitalia is very odd to me?

      And since all humans, both male and female are " made in HIS image and likeness" my child like confusion only deepens.

  59. Delphin says:

    Justice prevails. It's been a two-thousand year fight for Catholics, but, with God's help, we're up to it.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/case-against-pope-benedict-tossed/

  60. stateofgrace says:

    I am thankful that my parish priests "opened my eyes" to a deeper faith.  Before returning

    to the church I would put faith in people, institutions and yes…even news stations.

    It took me a long time to recognize that the focus must be on Jesus, not a person or

    place.   I am lucky to have had wonderful, professional priests in multiple parishes.

    Any man who is willing to work strengthening the soul of our nation is a hero to me.

    For what most priests have had to endure, we (the laity) should be working to improve our

    own faith in action versus discussing their behavior.  The only regret I have is that I could

    not purchase an entire media conglomerate to protect them.  I have had the unfortunate

    experience of meeting an individual many years ago who was a mean person who put me

    though a horrendous experience.  If anyone deserved to be heckled when they go out in

    public, it should have been that person, not innocent priests.  Who ever said life is fair?

     

  61. Delphin says:

    Ummm, Ecker-guy, creature implies a creator,  and creation. Oopsy!

    Imagine wanting to skip over Publion's posts to want " .to get to JR's.." ?

    Why- are you "spell-check"?

     

     

     

  62. Publion says:

    Well, in the interests of collecting more notes for the Notebook on the Playbook, here we go.

     

    JR at 1229PM presumes that he is telling “truth” and thus quickly clears his own path to putting on the baffled/outraged/ finally-fed-up victim wig. That must console him.

     

    But Alinsky-type material refers more to method than to content – which apparently has escaped his notice or wasn’t included in the cache of knowledge he has so much more of than … and so on. There is a reason why the usual references one encounters are to Alinsky’s Method, because that’s what his book was about. Surely JR recalls the book, especially now that he’s got something of a career in the book trade, somehow.

     

    And this also clears JR’s path to justify what he does rather a lot of: calling-names and considering that a good day’s work. And he will now “infer” (my my) that “all Catholic ‘truths’ are Alinskyisms” and he “will address them [my my , again] as such”. Words are just play-blocks to some people, to be assembled or knocked-over in whatever pretty patterns captures the whimsy of the block-player at the moment. That they convey concepts … this appears not to occur to such mentalities at all.

     

    Then at 317PM commenter Ecker engages in one of those stagey just-entre-nous type of comments that you see so often on certain sites: we two marvelous victims must talk privately here (because they might be listening). The stage having been set, the script then begins: Ecker will assume the long-suffering, wise, and caring elder who simply must impart to the equally marvelous but outspoken firebrand JR …

     

    But here the script starts hitting an odd key: Not to encourage JR to continue his outspoken, bold, forthright, and marvelous truthiness (such as it may seem to Ecker) but rather to shut up and stop “feeding” me (because I am merely a hungry “creature” – charming).

     

    JR is lucky to have such a caring and wise admirer. Lenin would have had JR shot for so vividly giving the game away to those who do not participate in the marvelous Cause and its secret ‘truths’.  (Although I doubt Lenin would have taken any brighter a view of Ecker’s own material – such are the travails of the working cadre in any glorious revolutionary Cause.)

     

    And poor Ecker is also victimized by being “put to sleep” by my material. Yes, words and concepts and thoughts will have that effect on certain types. That’s a rather basic if perhaps unfortunate human reality about which I can do little.

     

    And with those thoughts, I will leave that little luncheon engagement to go on as it may.

     

    Now we come to Learned Counsel, from 248PM.

     

    First, may I note that in lieu of serious thought we are first treated to the fruits of LC’s most recent sustained cogitations: I am now re-named “Publicly Publion”. Nice trinket but it takes real money to make the juke-box work.

     

    LC has enough chops after all – at least enough to know that one cannot prove a negative. He didn’t actually explain that, but at least we got the correct tag – “error in reasoning”. However I had precisely asked the question to lead LC to the fact that his position cannot dispositively be proven. I don’t know if he has actually realized that much of the reality, but at least he knows enough to be able to recognize an error in reasoning, which applies to his own general position that Catholic – if not all religious belief – is some form of unproven and un-provable phantasmagoria.

     

    I would only have been responsible for making an “appeal to ignorance” if I had claimed and asserted that the Metaphysical can be proven scientifically or by the very absence of evidence. Which I have never done (quotes if that point is disputed, please – and accurate quotes). I also rather clearly call mentioning the Aquinian position – wherein Reason is aided by Revelation. But claiming that God is scientifically provable and/or proven? Nope. I never said it.

     

    Then – nicely if not also a bit too slyly – LC tries to head for the high-ground and pose a question to me about “offering any proof that does not rely on the Bible that humans are made in the ‘Image of God’”. But I haven’t been making the claim that such a Reality can be proven by Science or Philosophy. Precisely the opposite, in point of fact.

     

    What I have been doing is to take the philosophical position LC had put forward and asking questions that pertain to a) its internal coherence and b) its ability to explain such human realities as ‘morality’ and ‘conscience’ and c) the ability of his purely philosophical position to i) actually ground moral principles and sustained moral actions while also ii) grounding the authority to reliably prevent immoral actions.

     

    Still waiting for those questions to be answered.

     

    Thus, all along here I have not been trying to make the purely philosophical case for the Metaphysical. Rather, I have been pointing out that LC’s presumptive dismissal of the Metaphysical and his assertion that  (his idea of) the purely philosophical can sufficiently sustain morality does not (and perhaps cannot) lead to a sufficient grounding for morality or an explanation of conscience, among other things.

     

    I have not been trying to philosophically prove the Metaphysical here; I have been asking questions that elucidate the problem of trying to ground morality in the purely Physical or the purely non-Metaphysical, which is LC’s asserted position.

     

    The ball remains in his court. He made the initial assertion and I am merely asking questions specifically designed to test that assertion.

     

    LC doesn’t believe the Bible is “the word of God”. That’s a global and comprehensive assertion so we can infer that it means that he does not believe that the Bible is “the word of God” in any way whatsoever. Fine. I’m not going to try to philosophically prove that the Bible is the word of God – it’s not at its core a philosophical issue. And I haven’t tried to prove philosophically that the Bible is the word of God.

     

    I’ve been asking LC to explain certain problems with his assertion that morality can be reliably and comprehensively sustained and imposed without some sort of Beyond or some sort of Metaphysical, which rationally is going to work out to some sort of God (although not necessarily – for the purposes of the purely philosophical – the Biblical and Judeo-Christian God). Still waiting for the answers and explanations.

     

    But then LC tries – somehow – to equate the Bible and Hogan’s Heroes: one is as good as the other as a source of ‘truth’, since neither is guaranteed by anything philosophically demonstrable to be inherently and absolutely true unless supported by external evidence. And here he exemplifies rather nicely the ‘Modern’ problem: once Faith goes, there’s really nothing left that can reliably ground and sustain or even Shape a coherent world-view or Stance toward the world; in the ‘Modern’ (don’t let’s even start on the Post-modern) universe, you might as well look to Hogan’s Heroes as to the Bible because really they are both equally and essentially works of merely human imagination.

     

    Thus the problem of Meaning in the ‘Modern’ universe: we become hens scratching around for shiny bits in the dirt of the barnyard.

     

    The ‘Modern’ Problem is what it is and it’s not going to be solved here – but it is a real Problem. (Again, Dostoevsky and even Nietzsche saw that clearly more than a century ago.)

     

    “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” – how very true. Did it not occur to LC that Sagan’s embrace of this maxim works as well in the service of the Metaphysical as against it? In fact, it rather leans toward the Metaphysical, does it not?

     

    And Metaphysical “claims” are precisely not within the competence or jurisdiction of Science to deal-with, since Science has to deal with Physical and Material evidence. (But as I recently noted here, Scientism tries to bridge that profound gap by trying to make claims about the Metaphysical (mostly to the effect that the Metaphysical doesn’t exist) on the basis of results gleaned from the aforesaid purely Physical and Material.

     

    And bypassing what has thus now suddenly become all the irrelevant material from the remaining Sagan quote, I say again that the issue here is LC’s assertion that you don’t need any Metaphysical or Beyond to ground and sustain and impose morality and we still aren’t getting any answers to the questions I have posed.

     

    I have continually pointed out that humans are made in the Image of God in the Catholic Vision of life. LC can reject that Vision if he wishes – nobody’s stopping him and I certainly haven’t tried to in my material here.

     

    I have simply been getting at the fact that there seem to be very very substantive problems with the claim, asserted by LC, that one can sufficiently ground morality without recourse to some form of the  Metaphysical (which, not to dodge the point, will eventually lead to some form of God when you pursue the process of thought to a conclusion). It’s now on LC – as I have been trying to work-toward with my questions – to demonstrate that his purely non-Metaphysical approach is sufficient to the task he claims for it. Still waiting for those responses.

     

    Thus too then, the burden is precisely not on me here, especially in regard to the Flying Spaghetti Monster or “eternal pasta-life”. Which demonstrates that Dawkins is also mired well over his hubcaps in the Modern Problem I discussed above; although rather than scratching for chicken-friendly bits, he is envisioning pasta – much yummier to the human palate. It’s an improvement, but about as much as getting the 800 gpm pump on Titanic to work to replace the 250 gpm pump: a genuine bit of progress but under the circumstances …

     

    And again, Dawkins is addressing the impossibility of proving the Metaphysical through the Physical and the Material. Which – I agree and have never denied and have never asserted otherwise  – cannot be done (see above). But I also point out that Dawkins’s concern is not germane to what the issue is here, which is that issue about which I have been posing questions. Still waiting for responses there.

     

    Having not-gotten us this far, LC then indulges in “sort of an aside”. Sagan discusses Lourdes and LC offers merely the epithetical sarcasm that “if you can believe this, then you can believe anything”. (I have to ask here: does LC believe that SNAP is purely a creature and tool of the Roman Catholic Church … ?)

     

    First, as Sagan (and LC) notes: the Church rejected a number of claimed miracles at Lourdes. What isn’t said here is that the Church set up a rather imposing array of competent medical and scientific reviewers who followed some cases from before-exposure to post-exposure (to the waters) and those reviewers used the best scientific methods and equipment of the day (which over time would have come to include X-Rays and further developments).

     

    Still, in 150 years or so (as of Sagan’s writing) only 65 cases have been certified as miraculous healings (I am not personally certain of Sagan’s numbers here; I accept them here for the purposes of the discussion). Clearly the Church is not pushing a P.T. Barnum operation here in that regard.

     

    I am not sure whether Sagan is accurate that the cures have only been medical. Quite a few decades ago I came across a book on this very subject and it included before-and-after X-Rays of a leg whose bone change (before and after) was clear and beyond any scientific explanation – I have retained a very clear recollection of that moment with that book, but since I cannot recall the title I do not assert it as something others must accept on my word. But I retain a very clear recollection, as I said.

     

    However, Sagan’s handling of the material he has is what is most notable here. He simply reduces the Lourdes cures to a matter of the odds. For Sagan here, since the odds of a substantial and clearly demonstrable physical miracle are so miniscule then … what? By comparing spontaneous remission rates of various internal medical diseases he seems to be of the opinion that most if not all of the medical cures are attributable to the normal operations of remission. In fact, in a rather curiously specific add-on, Sagan goes further and says that (if you work the statistics in a certain way) your chances of a ‘cure’ at Lourdes for your cancer are actually less than if you had saved the time, money, and effort and stayed at home rather than making the trip to Lourdes.

     

    I don’t think that his calculations (apparently limited to cancer) are sufficient for the reality of what can happen at Lourdes. (And as I said, I have a clear recollection that would work against his assertion that all of the cures have been internal-medical or psychological.)

     

    And I am leery of Sagan’s non-mention (or was that simply the result of the material LC has chosen to include in his comment here?) of the review-procedures put in place by the Church precisely to assess skeptically the claims of miraculous cures. And the results of those procedures.

     

    But if even one actual miracle took place (and again, what I saw in the X-Rays those decades ago was certainly within those parameters) then Sagan’s assessment finally fails through inadequacy. Something happened and no medical or physical science can explain it.

     

    The fact that God does not choose to medically or miraculously cure everybody who goes there does not cover all the ground here. Whatever personal spiritual/ emotional/psychological developments are prompted by the Lourdes experience (in which the Holy Spirit would be involved) are not included in Sagan’s thus-limited consideration of the whole phenomenon.

     

    Further, the fact that God chooses not to medically or miraculously cure each individual who goes to Lourdes is (from the perspective of Faith) perfectly within the acceptable outcome-parameters; miracles are not ‘magic’ that can be unerringly deployed by those who have the power to invoke and manipulate its operations. That this point is inaccessible to those who do not believe in God does not alter the reality or the Reality of the Lourdes phenomenon. (Unless one were trying to prove something to somebody who does not embrace the Faith, which I am not here trying to do.)

     

    I have not read further on Lourdes in the intervening decades. I can certainly recommend further research to readers so inclined. I would simply suggest that they look for the actual medical and scientific documentation and examine that, and that they do not simply rely on Scientistically-inclined authors who are working that angle in their writing. (In saying this, I am not tarring Sagan completely with that brush.)

     

    And that concludes LC’s comment. I will conclude my own here by noting that nowhere in it does he respond to my rather clearly-put question as it appeared at the conclusion of my comment of the 13th at 625PM: “Let me even make it easy for him to do so and thus further “progress” here: take my aviation and flight-school analogy and tell us why you don’t agree with it, rationally and coherently”.

     

    I point out that nothing in LC’s comment of 317PM goes near that proposal. And yet I had pointed out – in response to LC’s own mention of it – that the aviation-analogy contains the vital core of the issue that was, is, and remains the subject of my sustained exchange with him here, the examination of which analogy should start moving things forward rather than roaming all over the shop.

     

    So, still waiting.

    • dennis ecker says:

      Oh dear lord in heaven. Please get a hobby.

      This trial is over. The guilty have been sentenced. Move on to something that you truly know something about.

  63. Delphin says:

    It's interesting how the lefty-ists whip out the "Jesus Loves" excerpts from the Book they don't believe to try to beat back the barrage of truths they can't disprove.

    It's fun being proselytized on Catholicism by atheists. It has almost as much value as being schooled on the truth by liars or being counselled for a mental health problem by insitutionalized loons (well, being the majority of psychologists [think APA] are certifiably nuts, that one may take on an unusual bent).

    Again, I don't know what the lefty-ists understanding (mostly not) of our religion has to do with the homosexual cabal's abuse of minors.

    Aren't we only committed to ensuring that offending men, everywhere, are stopped?

  64. Publion says:

    At 1129 today JR says “It should be obvious. I am not proof reading the spelling.” This is in regard to that “book” that “a friend” asked him to proof-read.

     

    JR doesn’t want to know all the things I find “obvious” about his material (although I had asked him specifically here if he wanted to open the floor in that regard; still waiting for an answer).

     

    But – prescinding from the matter of professional publishers having their own in-house proof-readers – then what will JR thus be proof-reading? Or – can it be? – that he has been engaged to do fact-checking? In which case the very least to be said here is that publishers also employ their own fact-checkers.

     

    Or perhaps – just as two-years translates into a “career” – then somebody in your circle of acquaintance asking you to take-a-look-at some material constitutes “proof-reading”.

     

    As a general point, imagine what could be done in this universe of discourse with the concept of “abuse”.

  65. jim robertson says:

    And since when did asking questions become a Communist plot? I thought it was a Socratic plot.

  66. jim robertson says:

    Oh I forgot I've had 12 years of Catholic schooling. Always getting the best grades in History and Religion and English as offered by the Church, (spelling not good granted).

    But I never heard anything about questions being a commie plot.

    Socrates liked to ask questions.

    All western philosophy seems to stem from his questions and Plato and Aristotle, poofters all.

    Yours must be a newer brand of philosophy. Something Italian, perhaps, in the first parts of the 20th century?

    • jim robertson says:

      And speaking about us poofters How about that Michelangelo and Raphael, and Da Vinci (though he was a child molestor and went to trial for it) How much Catholic art would you not have if not for us?

  67. jim robertson says:

    P.S. Headline: "SNAP Hands Church Another Victory." Headline: SNAP Hands Church, Church's Only Victories Headline, Pope Innocent Of Crimes Against Humanity.

    I hope you all send SNAP a huge bouquet of flowers.

  68. Delphin says:

    Oh good grief, is this going to turn into a "stop attacking the poor homosexuals, we're worthy" plea?

    I could not (would not wish to) imagine a world without homosexuals, and the beauty and myriad of incredible contributions they've brought to our sometimes too-bland world. Who is bashing homosexuals, or their gifts and talents? God gave us all sorts of special [unique] people (special as in relatively rare, not inferior). Who would ever question God's work, His wisdom?

    We trash the DEVIANT homosexuals that prey on minors. We don't PROFILE whole groups of people,  as do the Catholic bashers when profiling our priests, and our faithful, and our faith.

    • jim robertson says:

      I smell professional. What ever I say is wrong. Got it.( So Jim don't say anything).

      Ah screw that!

      Was it someone else talking badly about gay priests? No it was you.

      Oh my mistake it was the DEVIANT homosexuals not the guys like me. I see my error.

      Don't you all think that's what she really meant when she talked about gay cabals?

      You know I never heard the word deviant and homosexuals used together quite that way before.

      Again my mistake.

      When you mocked me being gay week in and week out, right in this very thread even. I got it wrong.

      Wasn't I the guy from Rainbowville? The Loser from Loserland?

      Just like your use of the word abreviation: mo'. As in "Mo' taxes please" Mo' as in Mo' better  Blues. has nothing to do with black folks when you speak of welfare.

      . Are you multiple personalitied?

      Where did Mz" kill all the lefties" go?

      Or is someone attempting to straighten her gown for the audience..?

       

      I see now I got it wrong.

  69. jim robertson says:

    And wasn't I called vermin? You probably meant ermine or something. Again mea culpa, baby.

  70. Delphin says:

    My posts stand; for which honest reception and interpretation is open to all, per their own honest perceptions, and unfortunate biases. Your interpretations of my posts are both clear distortions, and outright lies.

    This is the failed ruse of the left – to redefine the opponents words and content, via distortions and lies, and then criticize them as bigoted. It is the same one-sided dialogue of distortions between Publion and his critics playing out before all our eyes. We CAN read and comprehend (and spell) words and concepts, we don't require the lefts-ists "special interpretations".

    Lefties project their historically deep-rooted hatred and biases on the right, and then criticize them for their own sins. One example: the Dems, who are the party of American slavery, still attempt to smear that inhumanity on to the Repubs. This historical record can not be revised.

    The left practices the most extreme, vicious and demonizing profiling when it comes to whites, conservatives, Christian, heterosexuals and capitalists, but, manage with some success and with full complicity by the MSM, to piant that broad-brush of hate and bigotry onto the right.

    Your strategy is nothing new. My posts speak for themselves, they have no need of your hateful and bigoted reinterpretation.

     

     

    • jim robertson says:

      Well It's just that such a huge percentage of, white; cconservative; Christian; heterosexual, capitalists are thieves. They've stolen the government from the people for one.

      And don't get me wrong starting with Clinton we've had nothing but conservative democrats, in Republican drag in power. (when they get to be in power, Gore and Kerry were robbed.)

      Darlin! I thought you said I was vermin?  Wasn't it you who mentioned "glory holes"?

      The audience here knows what you've said. It's all there, easy to read.

  71. dennis ecker says:

    OH NO, Jim your gay ? Now that changes the way I should think about you.

    Oh wait, does it not say that ALL men are created in the image of God. Is there a disclaimer somewhere that says unless your gay.

    No fuss Jim, I have read from people here who have been created from a jawbone of an ass.

  72. Ed says:

    Danny Gallagher got away with murder here.

  73. Delphin says:

    Let's revisit the facts, and some truths: You want to shove your sinful lifestyle in everyones face (your "gayness" in only mildly tangential to the topic, you decided to "USE" it to defend your defenseless biases, and as a weapon to bash Catholics), on a site dedicated for faithful Catholics to analyze the media bias against the Catholic religion; don't be shocked when you are criticized for the diseases and deviant behavior that define your lifestyle.

    If a heterosexual that was engaged in a sinful lifestyle of debauchery were to display and defend his adultrous and abherrant behaviors, he would hear the same criticisms from any faithful Catholic; it is our obligation to advise the sinner to cease the sinful act. It is only God's domain to judge, and forgive.

    The deviancy that infects the homosexual community that glorifies pedophilia and pederasty, going back thousands of years, will always be called out by Catholics for what it it – a mortal sin. You want to brag about your lifestyle, while criticizing faithful Catholics, be prepared to take your medicine. It is your culture that glorifies pedopilia, pederasty, and "glory holes", not ours. Witness any "Gay Pride" parade and you will be inundated by debauchery and abherrent behavior on full "proud" display- in addition to the disgusting Catholic-bashing. Your community defines itself in this way. Don't complain when you are reminded of it.

    Now, regarding good homosexuals, whom I have referenced in several posts- those whom contribute to society without an entitlement mentality, and manage to keep their personal lives (whatever they may be), personal. Since sex should only occur within a marriage between a man and a woman, all other sex is sinful. Celibacy is what is required for single (unmarried) males and females of either/any sexual identity. There is no difference in my treatment of adultrous sin, whether it is from heteros or homos – it is sin.

    The abuse scandal that has expressed itself in my Church is as a result of deviant homosexuals, not celibates, not heterosexuals. And, therein lies the problem – it is all because of the sins of your community. Those weren't "practicing priests", those were "practicing homosexuals" committing those crimes.  If they were faithful Catholic priests, rather than practicing deviant homosexuals, there would be no Church scandal, and there would be 90% less minor abuse in the Church, and worldwide.

    So, now that you have your erroneous interpretation of my position all straightened out for you, once again, I am positive your only response will be how to distort every word, sentence, concept and principle to fit your biased perceptions of all faithful Catholics.

    I am wondering, though, have you actually ever captured your own tail?

    PS. Probably wouldn't stick with the "can you read" thingie too long,- you know, given your propensity for extensive spelling and grammatical errors.

    PPS. Ecker mentioned something about an "ass" – you boys should run along now, looks like your party is about to begin.

    • jim robertson says:

      Now there's the old Delphi we've come to know and love. Welcome back baby.

      You truely are Christ's love made manifest. ( and you wonder why I criticize a religion that produces such an example of it's goodness).

    • jim robertson says:

      LOL! So it's the numbers of partners that bothers you? Since we are talking, how many people have you slept with? That's right it is absolutely none of my business.  Get the point? Is there any part of truth you can handle with out demonizing it?

      I saw a show, a documentary recently where  studies have found that political opposites as we are, that our brains function differently. That our opposition may be a natural outcome of the evolutionary, a biological process. A way through opposition, to change; to evolve. Maybe.

      So how do we overcome the divide between us and live at peace with each other? 

      To me it's obvious, tell the truth, as much of it as you know and respect the other sides telling you as much of the truth as they know.

      [edited by moderator]

  74. Publion says:

    I saw the word “professional” in the JR post of this morning at 1239AM. The entire relevant bit is “I smell professional. What ever I say is wrong. Got it.( So Jim don't say anything).”

     

    Since JR has not confirmed opening up the discussion for matters-psychological, I am not going to go that route here.

     

    But for readers willing to reflect upon the above quotation, I think it becomes clear why something needs to be said for the (or any) “professional” – since the image one gets from the quotation is that the proper role of the professional comprises merely the quashing of things that the professional doesn’t want to hear and/or that the professional doesn’t think the person who has come to the professional should be saying.

     

    Such an impression would be seriously deficient and insufficient (although it requires little imagination to see how some sorts of persons might evoke such responses).

     

    The role of the genuine and competent professional … ummm … service-provider in this instance would be something like this: i) start where the … ummm … person-who-has-come-to-the-office is, then ii) try over the course of time to help that person-who-has-come-to-the-office gain some self-insight, which ideally would lead to iii) that the person-who-has-come-to-the-office is able to a) gain further insight into such derangements as might be operating and then b) gain increased capacity to self-monitor both interior process and exterior expression and c) enhance genuine self-growth and life-competence.

     

    Alas, though, things do not always work out so well. Some persons-who-come-to-the-office don’t demonstrate the willingness and/or capacity to move through those stages, and choose instead to adopt the more congenial (and evocatively adolescent or childish) approach that the professional is merely trying to tell the person-who-comes-to-the-office what to think and is also urging that in the absence of any improvement along those lines the person-who-comes-to-the-office would really be better off just keeping one’s thoughts to oneself.

     

    As you might imagine, all of this situation becomes even more complicated if the ‘person’ doesn’t actually ‘come to the office’ but is ‘sent’ to the office by competent civil authority or relatives or some such.

     

    And – in an interesting example of the ‘Modern Problem’ (and the Post-Modern Problem) that I have recently been discussing in other comments here – the entire situation for this type of professional is rendered even more difficult if contemporary intellectual trends do not allow for conceiving of any such ‘person-at-the-office’ as somehow deranged or unbalanced (because it would be oppressive or insensitive or hegemonic or patriarchal or elitist or take your pick).

     

    And further that the professional instead must treat the ‘person’ as simply in need of some advice and authoritative support and encouragement on how to ‘be’ him/herself. (Which – as an aside, if I may – is a goal not at all the same as aiming to ‘be all you can be’.)

     

    Lastly, it becomes clear that some persons-at-the-office (however they got there) are simply not going to respond well and instead will essentially present the professional with the stark alternative: tell me I’m normal and everybody else isn’t or I’m going to decide that you’re just one of them and are against me too and you can go fly a kite.

     

    A … ummmm … professional’s job “is not an ‘appy one” as Gilbert & Sullivan would say.

     

    When I say this, I am envisioning here a competent and genuinely well-trained professional and not one of the pandemonium of lesser types who in the past few decades have been permitted to take such root as they can in the field.

     

    Although – the complexities here being what they are – it is also quite possible that the ‘person-at-the-office’ will, if one of those unhappy types I noted above, simply claim that it is the professional who is deranged or incompetent, firing such Parthian shots as s/he goes out the door into such future as awaits him/her.

     

    On another topic, I have come across a new book on possible future tasks for the Church, entitled Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-century Church by George Weigel. I haven’t read it all yet, but the gist is that the Church hierarchy must certainly adopt for itself a Stance far different from the Stance taken by hierarchs in the past. I don’t know if I will agree with all of Weigel in this book yet, but he is well-respected and reliably serious and thoughtful in his material.

     

    Where he seems to be going would mesh with my own thoughts as to a) how the American hierarchy unfortunately faced the challenges of post-1965 American society rather like the military brass faced the strategic challenges of Vietnam (i.e. not adapting to the circumstances, so vastly different from what the leaders had known in their own formative era decades before) and b) that future hierarchs must be – in my terms – commanders of the legions rather than of the parade-and-garrison City Cohorts. More on this when I finish the book.

     

    Lastly, recent discussions in comments have moved me to do some exploring into the Lourdes reality. As I had said, my first and last efforts were way-back (1968, if memory serves) and whatever notes I took then are now so deeply hidden in the basement that prudence would dictate a fresh look instead. But I would urge readers not to remain in the attitude that I had in ’68 before coming across that book I had mentioned: that Lourdes was utterly and simply a psycho-emotional phenomenon better explained by sociology-of-groups and perhaps psychology (mass or individual). Something very much else is happening there and encountering that would provide a thought-provoking entrée into not simply the reality but the Reality of the Church and of the God she serves.

  75. Delphin says:

    Oh no, you don't critcize our religion, you've lied dozens of times in past posts and specifically said that you don't care about or criticize our religion, it's there in black and white, forever in cyberspace. Your only intent is to get justice for your "abuse victims" of the Church, don't you remember?

    Again, being lectured on good, moral, Godly behavior, and having to endure misquotes of words, content, context and intent (holy scripture and tradition) by Jesus, from a communist atheist is "cute", but totally useless. I won't tell you how to lead a completely hedonistic, selfish, morally and spritually corrupt and bereft practicing homosexual life, and you should not advise me how to live a Godly life. So, you now understand if I didnt heed your words of wisdom, I am sure.

    Your PC will never oppress my free speech (that's the special "speech" with two "e's' and no "a"). I will criticize and take as many "pot shots" at your lifestyle to make my point, as I see fit. I have never been, and will never be affected by the lefty "mob mentality" that dictates how to debate, argue, or fight. And, I am far more inclined to the latter (in case you haven't noticed), and will leave the judgement of that behavior to God (again, not the oppressive PC police of your ideaology).

    Recall- it is Christian theology/philosophy that informs us of our human failings and imperfections- all of us. It is atheist and communist theology/philosphy that [incorrectly] advises its adherents that humans are already perfect, they just need to redistribute their just rewards from the "imperfect",  in the names of "equality and fairness",  to the "perfect".

     

  76. TheMediaReport.com says:

    Comments are closed.

    Thank you.

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