Monday, March 01, 2004

This is something I sent to my brother in January

The commies were right about one thing. Dialectic is the road to wisdom. Of course, they were stupid Hegelian perverts: they thought The Universe was engaged in a Dialectic (talking to itself--this is an impersonal universe, mind you) that would guarantee that their political philosophy would win. (Because, of course, God (so to speak) would come around to Marx's way of thinking.)

The first true philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, invented dialectic reasoning, by which they meant: engaging the arguments of their predecessors and gleaning the wisdom they could find from them and then clearly explaining how they, Plato and Aristotle, differed from them. Aristotle was the inheritor of this method from Plato and, with it, single-handedly invented Science and Logic. That statement sounds grandiose. If you study Aristotle (and his great commentators St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas) you will see that it is actually an understatement. Admittedly, you have to forgive them for not having God's perspective.

Most of the world's troubles today exist because some people are disappointed that other people do not have the perfect knowledge that only God has. And some people think they do, and act accordingly.

Oh! Yeah. If I pay Blogger a ton of money, I can get all sorts of amenities. I may be able to do that soon. I figure anybody who is inspired to comment will notice the email address at the top of the page.

Sex? What did I say about sex?

Oh. I guess it's such a part of my psyche that I take it for granted. Sometimes good philosophy is just a matter of expressing such things well. Dave Thompson was discussing some cases of teachers sexually abusing their students. I was saying, "Dude! That's what I lived for!" Never happened, of course, but such is adolescence. I'm just admitting that I fail to see the negative side. That's a failing on my part.

Of course, I wasn't imaging Mrs. Scharhaug doing it. Which I'm afraid is about the equivalent of how it goes for young girls. But that wasn't under discussion.

Right, Ron! When I use the phrase "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God" - that's what I'm trying to understand and apply. I want to make sure that I don't misunderstand any part of that. I actually think that it is an exercise of the capacities God gave me to question anything that might just be hearsay. To compare it with my own experience. But it is also important to question my interpretation of my own experience when I find that it conflicts with the wisdom of the ages (previous philosophers, the Bible, other sacred texts, old wives' tales). I am not a sceptic. I have faith in the revelation of God's Word and the understanding of God's Natural Law as revealed by God's Gift of Reason to our experience here on Earth.

To cut it short, I have no doubt that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Within Reason. And Love is the essence of happiness. Anything that conflicts with Love will lead to unhappiness. I say that to acknowledge the wisdom of what you said and to offer encouragement to continue in that course.

Dad? I am glad I am not alone in that feeling about Dad. One day, I mentioned to my in-laws that Dad was a mean-ass bastard and that we kids avoided him as much as possible. Not one of my more temperate announcements I'm afraid. They were shocked. I got to see Dad after he really accepted Jesus. You were married by then. You didn't get to see the miracle Jesus worked in Dad. I did, but the Lord seems to have held my tongue... or maybe it was my secular education. I saw miracles and took them for granted. You didn't see Greg before he accepted Jesus, did you? The guy was an unholy mess. A miracle right before my eyes. Ho hum.

That's the other major component of Evil: taking The Good for granted--as if it would exist without the actions of good people. That's the major flaw of Socialism and Communism; they think that good people will continue to contribute to the well-being of their neighbors in the absence of any incentive to do so. "If it's my Right to get this benefit from you, why should I be grateful or return any favor (or good or service)? You owe me!"

Finally, my brother, gossip is temporary. Love is forever. Your siblings love you. We only talk about you in your absence because God hasn't given us perfect knowledge and wisdom, in the hope that we will be able to gain enough understanding to say the right thing the next time we have the opportunity. We dialogue in order to learn. I think you'll find all of us ready to engage you now. In those conferences, it seems like each of us in turn counseled love and understanding when others of us became intemperate. Jesus was always there to encourage lovingkindness. We love Jesus too. If you can accept that, we want you in the conversation.


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