Saturday, July 9, 2011

Philosophy, Morality, and Saying Dumb Things to Girls

  • There is perhaps no greater proof against materialism than the obvious existence of that terrible yet intangible thing called evil.
  • I spend far more time thinking up arguments against Distributism than against Socialism.  Distributism is far more worthy than Socialism and thus deserving of more consideration.  Also I have great respect for Catholic distributists and should I ever meet Mark Shea, Kevin O'Brien, or those of like mind, I would like to be able to have an intelligent debate on the issue.  George Orwell and Jack London are my favorite Socialists and they're both dead, so I needn't prepare to argue with them.
  • It occurred to me too late that a discussion among girls about their dream wedding was not the best time to mention the Pauline teaching on the superiority of celibacy.  Sadly, this was not the dumbest thing I have ever said to the opposite sex.  That distinction belongs to this gem: "So your name is Kathleen?  That's my mom's name, but I won't think of you as my mother."
  • Well meaning Christians tend to misuse the word "justice."  For example, someone might say that it is unjust to execute murderers or deport illegal immigrants.  On the contrary, neither act is lacking in justice but rather in mercy.  It is good for Christians to show leniency to wrongdoers for the sake of mercy, but we ought to keep in mind the distinction between justice and mercy and the importance of both.
  • I have found that the downside of being a borderline libertarian is that half the people you agree with are insane.
  • The importance of the double effect principle cannot be overstated.  The simple formula composed by St. Thomas Aquinas is the solution to every single moral dilemma that ever has been or ever will be proposed.


  1. "I have found that the downside of being a borderline libertarian is that half the people you agree with are insane."

    That's for damn sure. Every time I agree with Ron Paul about something, the next day he comes out with a whackjob statement. It gets a little irritating.

  2. There are some aspects of distributism I like, some I am not totally sold on. What I find interesting is how Dorothy Day was considered a distributionist while most of those who claim to be her followers in the Catholic Worker Movement are strongly in the socialist camp. But then these same people undermine a lot of other areas of Catholic teaching that she strongly defended as well.

    As for the dumbest thing ever said to the opposite sex, you're young, there is still plenty of time to say dumber things than the example you mentioned. Trust me, I speak from experience.

    Misuse of justice, spot on.

    As a liberal, conservative, moderate, libertarian I have noticed that there are some out there just as you described, in all areas of the political spectrum, but sometimes esp in the libertarian area.

    Principle of double effect, while not the solution to every moral dilemma, it could be used a lot more often than it currently is.

  3. You are about the 3rd person that did a bullet-point post that I am reading. I was bored...


    The last 3!!! Awesome! Stupendous! Spot on with all three!

  4. The Ranter: Exactly!

    Al: Good point about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers Movement. More than a few people in history would disagree profoundly with their supposed successors.

    I would argue that double effect is the solution to every moral dilemma, but because it is sometimes difficult to calculate proportionality, reasonable and faithful Catholics may come to different conclusions. Double effect has a solution for every moral problem, but people may not always figure out what that solution is.

    Joe: Thanks!

  5. "So your name is Kathleen? That's my mom's name, but I won't think of you as my mother." Buddy, I said some bad ones in my day, but that's a crash dive into the abyss ;)

    Did you get a second date?

  6. TH2: That wasn't even a date. It was an introduction.

  7. Your distinction made about libertarianism shows an acute, discerning mind. Although, I'm not a liberatian and yet to be convinced by distributism. Seems the latter is popular simply because Belloc and Chesterton advocated it. Given the current state of the world, the high technology which effectively runs all manner of things, and the nihilistic permissiveness of modern times, I don't think distributism will come any time soon, except (perhaps) after some Mad Max apocalypse type scenario.

    But neither am I a rugged free-marketeer nor a socialist. What I do know, after some years of reflection, is that I'm a monarchist, which might give a bad taste in the mouths of American readers (i.e. republicanism).

  8. I was recently screamed at because I am "thinking like a Protestant" because I am dubious about a man getting paid more for the same job because he has more kids than another man....maybe more info on radical 'just wage' is in order? I felt like my head was going to explode- you do the work! ;)

  9. TH2: Monarchism is a perfectly acceptable position. The purpose of a government is the protection of the life and liberty of the people and the advancement of the common good. Under certain circumstances, a monarchy may be able to do this better than a republic. However, as Aristotle pointed out, the problem with a monarchy is that a bad king might easily succeed a good one.

    priest's wife: Yikes! You're certainly not thinking like a Protestant. Pope Leo XIII wrote a good deal about just wages in Rerum Novarum and he never said anything about wage adjustments based on family size.