The Comic ConsciousnessHegel claims that

The Comic Consciousness

Hegel claims that philosophers first destroy the traditional beliefs in the gods, and that this leads to a comic consciousness, which is unable to take serious things seriously. This is not an altogether unfitting description of our own time. It may be one of the better descriptions of the spirit of our age.

“Nor ought we follow those

“Nor ought we follow those who say that a mortal should have thought concerned with mortality.”

Philosophy is the understanding of immortal and eternal things. If someone can attain such knowedge, it is commanded of them- love God with your whole mind.

Everything in the comsos can

Everything in the comsos can become something else. Said another way, there is something belonging to every being in the cosmos that is capaple of becoming something else. If we consider this thing that is able to be other inasmuch as it is able to be another, than it is clearly different from the thing. A such it is not determined to the thing, yet it is a part of it.

This lack of determination is the root of time and space, for in cosmic beings to endure means to have sucession in time, and to exist involves having a sucession of parts in space. It is also the root of death, for death can only belong to a thing which can become something else- for if it could not so change it would by definition maintain itself as what it was.

The word being is taken

The word being is taken from the word “is”. The word “is” is used in two ways.

Predicamentally: When it is used to indicate the truth of propositions.

Existentially: When it is used to indicate the truth of things; i.e. the actual existence of something.

Free choice connotes a certain

Free choice connotes a certain imperfection. In our own life, we only have free choice between two options that are proposed to us by a fallible power (we cannot choose whether we want beatitude, and so only to the extent that we see beatitude unclearly that we can be able to choose something other than it). In God’s life, there is only freedom of choice in relation to creatures, which can be or not be (although these creatures need not be in act- God still has free choice with respect to creatures virtually conceived in his own intellect- otherwise creatures would proceed from God in the same way that the divine persons, or Gods own willing of his goodness proceeds.)

Choice, in other words, though it is a perfection in an agent, still connotes a relation to contingency. God relates to contingency as its cause, but man relates to contingency though the actual weakness of his intellect, and through his subjection to a necessarily contingent world.

The Fourth Way1.) What is

The Fourth Way

1.) What is composite is caused by the uncomposed.
2.) What is composite is imperfect, and the imperfect is composite.


Two Bullet Points on ID

Two Bullet Points on ID and Evolutionism

-The ID/Evolution debate has mass appeal because it concerns our knowledge of God. To pretend that it doesn’t would be disingenuous. “The knowledge of God” deserves by nature to be called “theology”. It is also clearly a debate that has something to do with what is presently called “science”, by which is meant a body of knowledge that is proved with a hypothetical, inductive, experimental, metrical method (henceforth, HIEMM). Most broadly, then, the debate is about God (as intelligent designer) and Science. Even if one were not willing to concede that the debate is about God, he would most certainly concede that it is a debate about intelligent design and science.

-Either the universe is a product of intelligence, or it is not; and either we can know this by HDEMM, or we cannot. So logically, there are four options:

1.) The universe is a product of intelligence, and this can be shown by HIEMM
The position of the ID crowd

2.) The universe is not a product of intelligence, and this can be known by HIEMM
The position of Atheists-for the-sake-of -evolution

3.) The universe is a product of intelligence, but this cannot be known by HIEMM
We then either believe:

a.) it can be known in some other way, (i.e. science can be said of more than HIEMM) or
b.) it cannot be known in any way (the position of fideism).

4.) The universe is not a product of intelligence, and this cannot be known.

an odd position, and something of an irrational claim, a sort of atheist faith.

The cause of tension is from the fact that position 3a. is true, which accounts for the partial truth in positions 1 and 2. One can make this proof as rigorous as demanded, for now, we could content ourselves with the lesser proof of the kind that one finds in HIEMM: it explains the phenomena of one side always seeming to have a point on the other. Notice also that position 3 is the most conciliatory of positions: each side can preserve a large part of their claim, and it preserves a sort of happy division between “religion and science”, while still allowing a truly reasonable character to each one (if we choose 3a, at least).


The Myth of The RebelThe

The Myth of The Rebel

The myth of the rebel runs something like this: the world is full of inauthentic fuddy-duddies who control the culture. Out of all this inauthentic life comes the rebel, who leads himself and others to authentic existence through his love of art. The rebel is oppressed by the old fuddy-duddies, and overcomes them through the power of his authentic life.

In a word, the story goes like this: authentic life comes through self-expression, which is tested by the willingness to rebel against the established order. We have all heard this story a thousand times- it is the story of modern pop icons (Elvis, Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones… but why limit it? Every new wave of pop music boasts of authentic life exercised against the old fuddy-duddies) and it is also the story of many political and scientific movements (Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, the hippies, and many others.)

The myth asks us to admire the “authentic life”. Notice what authentic life is not: it isn’t moral life, it isn’t a life of self-denial out of love, it isn’t even an examined life. Far from ever having to examine his life, the rebel always seems to have everything worked out from the the beginning, as though he were Christ questioning the teachers in the Temple. The rebel never has to experience the essentially moral drama of figuring out that “the greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves”, for the rebel-as the story goes- only experiences grief at the hands of others, extrinsically, because he is oppressed and misunderstood. Because the rebel never experiences anything in his soul that he sees the need to correct or master (except perhaps, his own self- repression), the rebel is unable to have any moral development. In truth, the moral life begins when we accept that there are things in us that need to be perfected with outside help (family structure, churches, prayer) but the rebel sees his life as essentially perfect and ready to perfect the world around him.

The story of the rebel is bad art. Art pleases by making something known, and it makes something known by showing us what it is. But the story of the rebel doesn’t tell us what the rebel is. If you want to be certain of this, ask what people think of rebels when they actually have to deal with them. Ask a cop, or a teacher, or a parent how cool a fifteen year old rebel without a cause is. You know what you call a rebel in real life? A Brat. There’s nothing romantic or cool or hip about brats. In real life, whatever good they have is marred by the fact that they are awkward, lazy, ill-mannered, self-righteous, disobedient, smug little boys and girls. The cult of the rebel is the cult of the brat, and brats should conjure no feelings of admiration, but rather feelings of pity and sadness which should be ordered to empowering a mature society to empower the brats out of their misery.


Art presupposes something natural. Some

Art presupposes something natural. Some natural property is always taken as a given.

Whatever this property is: the rigidity of a two-by-four, the solidity of refined ore, the tendency of steam and gasoline to expand, the ability of copper to conduct electricity, fire making heat… the property must persevere in our artificial thing, in fact, it must persevere if we want our artificial thing to work or even exist.

This means that every artificial thing will be composed of things that already have a nature, and hang on to this nature. Our art will never have the unity of a natural substance. Our art is always “extrinsic” to nature, while nature is an intrinsic cause of motion. There is no replacing Antiphon’s wonderful observation that if you planted a bedpost, it would shoot up wood, not a bed.

Art always presupposes something natural as a material cause. Art is therefore a different kind of thing because its matter is from a different order of being. Art consists in giving certain artistic determinations to natural things- natural things taken as matter.

Material CauseMaterial cause is that

Material Cause

Material cause is that out of which something is made, and which remains in it.

Material cause is clearly a sort of cause, for material beings depend on the material they are made out of in order to exist.

something is made: we mean any sort of becoming whatsoever. Material cause is unintelligible apart from this “something”.

and which remains in it: this indicates both that material cause is an intrinsic cause, and that it is different from privation- i.e. a thing can come to be from its opposite, but the opposite does not remain.

Because material cause is necessarily related to the “something that is made”, and something made is clearly an end of making, then all material is for an end. If nature, then, is both material and acts, then nature acts for an end.

Again, because material being relates to something that is made, material cause is constituted by being able to be something. But material cause is real, therefore “being able to be” is real. Potency is therefore real being, although distinguished from being in act. And material cause is potency.

Given that material cause is a sort of potency to be, there is dispute over whether there can be some material cause which is only potency. The classical name for such a material cause is “prime matter”. Note first that material cause taken properly is not repugnant to prime matter, for material cause is properly constituted by its potency, and there is no repugnace for something to be nothing other than that by which it is properly constituted.


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