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Yours truly is traveling so is even more pressed for time than usual. Therefore, more reposting is instore today. Todays we will do a post that synthesizes a couple of subjects that we have touched upon recently, and try to explain how they fit in. It will be long, since it is critical to read the linked post and below republished post together. Therefore, if you don’t get through it today, mark this post and if you have some time over the Christmas Holidays, revisit it and PLEASE give this post the time that it deserves.
Now to the subject at hand. I have been raising the term “NARRATIVE” lately in my posts. The subject matter of these various posts where this term has appeared cuts across the various sub-sets of the Visibilium Omnium, et Invisibilium.
Furthermore, I have been stressing the 4th Principle of the LEX ARMATICUS which states that Dishonesty Is The ONLY Neo-Modernist Policy. The supporting EVIDENCE for this 4th Principle comes by way of the use of FAULTY, FALLACIOUS LOGIC in texts that purport to defend a position that is taken in any particular discussion in any particular subset of the Visibilium Omnium.
Further PROOF or the 4th Principle itself can be DEDUCED from the use of the term “FAKE NEWS”, a term that is deceptive by it’s very nature. When we use the word “FAKE”, we are implicitly referring to something that is FALSE. Or to put it another way, something that is not OBJECTIVELY TRUE.
Yet the definitions that we have obtained for what constitutes “FAKE NEWS” does not align with the OBJECTIVE MEANING of that WORD or its COMMON USAGE. One example that we provided for the definition of what constitutes “FAKE NEWS” comes from Francis, the bishop of Rome. According the Francis, “FAKE NEWS” (COPROPHAGIA in FrancisSpeak) is defined as “the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,…”. The URBAN DICTIONARY in turn defines FAKE NEWS as: fake news often covers actual public figures when they are caught making comments that reveal their utter stupidity and/or hypocrisy.
As you see dear reader, no reference to the OBJECTIVITY of the NEWS itself is involved in these definitions.
And as we explained in our post titled The Soap Bubble Papacy™ : The Battle Is In Your Mind – Francis’ Gaslighting, the reason that FAKE NEWS is produced is to create FALSE NARRATIVES.
Which is where we pick put the subject matter today. The problem with FALSE NARRATIVES is that they are easily forgotten by the common folks, or as they say, the unwashed masses. Furthermore, FALSE NARRATIVES need to be continuously repeated since they are not LOGICAL SEQUENCES of thought (LOGICAL CONSTRUCTIONS). In other words, you cannot LOGICALLY DEDUCE a FALSE NARRATIVE through a RATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESS. In scientific jargon, one would say that FALSE NARRATIVES are NOT FALSIFIABLE. In other words, they cannot be tested. Here is the definition:
|falsifiable – capable of being tested (verified or falsified) by experiment or observation|
The reason that NOT FALSIFIABLE arguments cannot be tested is that they are not REAL. Or as we say here on this blog, they are not OBJECTIVELY TRUE.
Given the above, one can now easily OBSERVE the RELATIONSHIP between FALSE NARRATIVES and their underlying FAKE NEWS. One can also OBSERVE the BIG GAPING HOLE (BGH) that exists between using FAKE NEWS to derive FAKE NARRATIVES. That BGH exists because one can not use a RATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESS (EMPIRICAL TEST) to derive the FAKE NARRATIVE from the FAKE NEWS. And the reason is that FAKE NARRATIVES are NOT FALSIFIABLE.
So how do FALSE NARRATIVES survive, you may ask dear reader?
Simple. The reason FALSE NARRATIVES survive is because the FAKE NEWS that supports them is MEMORIZED by the purveyors of the FALSE NARRATIVES. In other words, the FALSE NARRATIVE is based on MEMORIZED “FAKE NEWS” ELEMENTS that are then arranged into a FALSE NARRATIVE.
So the next question is: how can a wide sector of any particular SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP (a group that is promoting a certain FAKE NARRATIVE) MEMORIZE and REMEMBER a SET OF FAKE NEWS ELEMENTS that support their FAKE NARRATIVE?
The answer to this question is through something that is known as TALKING POINTS. TALKING POINTS are defined as: something that lends support to an argument. Are more expanded definition is: (see here)
A position or planned series of remarks on an issue or an aspect of an issue, especially when used to help guide a person’s discourse in public and in the media.
Notice again, the absence to any qualifier pertaining to OBJECTIVITY or VERIFYABILITY?
OK, so you are still not quite sure if what I am conveying to you is accurate, or even OBJECTIVELY TRUE?
If you are not certain, (or if you generally agree with that which I have written above) I suggest you do an experiment. On any given Sunday, go to early MASS and come home in time for the Sunday morning POLITICAL talk shows. Pick any one at random and watch it. As you are watching it, try to identify the LOGICALLY problematic arguments/statement and see if any of the other panel members correct those questionable statement.
What you should see is that not only do they not correct any questionable arguments/statement, these panelist will throw in more TRANSRATIONAL arguments/statement on top of those that they and their co-panelist have already made. After a while, you will be able to DEDUCE the “TALKING POINTS” that all (or maybe most) of the panelist use.
And if you still don’t believe me, here is another manner in which to TEST the above HYPOTHESIS. Go to your default internet search engine (DUCK DUCK GO is the official Deux Ex Machina search engine) and type in a cause and the term “talking points” after it. You will get pages of officially produced talking points for a hole host of issues. As an example, I typed in PRO CHOICE TALKING POINTS and got this link up on top titled: Your Pro-Choice Cheat Sheet: How to Respond to Anti-Abortion Arguments
Which brings us back to FALSE NARRATIVES. Over at the most catholic Zero Hedge website, a post appeared titled: Were Democrats Beaten By Their Own “War Of Narratives”? (see here) Here is the lede…
Who says something like this? Well, it’s people who believe that as long as they control the narrative, as long as they control the story, then they are winning. The facts don’t matter, the actual events, the situations, the way things unfold, these are also the things that do not matter.
And to finish this thought, here is an example from this post. This example does not identify the underlying problem that FAKE NARRATIVES are not only FALSE, but UNSUSTAIBALBE (due to their NON-FALSIFIABLITLITY as explained above), but it does provide a great example of this PHENOMENON: (emphasis added)
An example of this came up between now President elect Trump (then Mr. Trump) and Hillary Clinton in the last debate. It came down to a tough question on abortion where Secretary Clinton could not move off of her previous position/narrative and Mr. Trump could make a statement like, “You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb as late as one or two or three days prior to birth,”
That is an image that is very uncomfortable to many people and hard to defend, but it is an extreme example of why things can not be defined in black and white terms. Secretary Clinton had no real response or perhaps did not respond in the moment but my point is to illustrate why you can’t win by sticking to a prescribed narrative. At it’s core it comes off as dishonest as well because folks see you are defending a position instead of taking one. It might legally be ever woman’s right to end a pregnancy with two days remaining but it might not sit well with your average person/voter.
Actually, one reason that Sick Hillary couldn’t move off here FALSE NARRATIVE is that it is IRRATIONAL and ILLOGICAL. And most people are not IDEOLOGUES i.e. make the effort to MEMORIZE TALKING POINTS so as to be able to argue a TRANSRATIONAL NARRATIVE. So the best that Sick Hillary could do is stay consistent, i.e. not introduce DISSONANCE. On the other hand, if she change her position, she would be introducing DISSONENCE into the TRANSRATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESSES of those who are IDEOLOGUES, i.e. contradicting the MEMORIZED TALKING POINTS. And those IDEOLOGUES are “sure votes”.
Finishing this though, it is correct to say that RATIONAL, dare I say SANE (ability of the mind to recognize OBJECTIVE REALITY) people can take individual arguments (DATA POINTS) and REASON OUT a RATIONAL POSITION. And the reason being that a RATIONAL THOUGHT PROCESS is FALSIFIABLE, as per above text.
Which brings us to the MAIN EVENT of today. Below is a republished post from the Life Site News website and a post titled: How to debunk the dubia. (see here) In this post, the author sets out the TALKING POINTS DEDUCED from the statements made by the HERESIARCHS who are supporting Francis, the bishop of Rome in his fight with the 4 Cardinals.
If you have read the above, with the Zero Hedge link, the post below that you will read will be much, and I mean much more understandable, and enjoyable I might add.
How to debunk the dubia
December 19, 2016 (CatholicCulture) — At this point it’s quite clear: close associates of Pope Francis, defenders of Amoris Laetita and critics of the four cardinals who submitted the famous dubia are all reading from the same script. When you notice that many different people are using the same arguments—in fact the same phrases, even the same words—you know that someone, somewhere at the Vatican, has put together “talking points” for those who want to debunk the dubia.
We could probably speculate about the source of this media strategy. But first, notice that it is a media strategy. Prelates and pundits have been making public statements about Amoris Laetitia and its critics, clearly intending to reassure the public and to diminish the impact of the dubia. Taking a careful look at those statements, and noticing the arguments that keep appearing, we can easily discern the main talking points:
- Don’t talk about the dubia. The goal of this coordinated activity is not to answer the dubia but to sweep them off the table. So don’t mention the questions that the four cardinals actually asked; they might sound too reasonable. Instead, do your best to convey the impression that the cardinals were asking trick questions, or probing into arcane possibilities. Above all, don’t let on that each of the dubia would allow for a simple Yes/No answer.
- Say that Amoris Laetitia is perfectly clear. Point to others who have remarked on the document’s clarity. Don’t mention those who have said the opposite. Don’t call attention to the fact that different bishops have issued contradictory interpretations. If you want to push the argument further, accuse the four cardinals of spreading confusion. They say that Amoris Laetitia is the source of the confusion; let’s take the offensive, and steal that argument away from them. Remember how, in high school, your teacher said, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question?” Forget that.
- Poke fun at the traditional Church teaching and at the old-fashioned pastors who uphold it. If you’re speaking through the mass media, this will be easy, because you can play upon popular ideas, prejudices, and sympathies. Everyone has friends who are divorced; aren’t they nice people? Do we want to punish them? Does anyone still believe that Catholics in a state of sin should not receive Communion before making a sacramental confession? Heck, who goes to confession anymore? Even a priest can write, in a (theoretically) Catholic newspaper, that the requirement for a divorced and remarried Catholic to abstain from sex is “not only absurd, it is unjust.” That’s the message we need to convey: that Church teaching must change, because today people think it’s absurd.
- Say that the dubia reflect a simplistic approach. The document is perfectly clear, but the recommendations call for a more nuanced understanding. Thus The Australian Archbishop Coleridge says that the four cardinals are seeking a “false clarity”, which is not compatible with the reality of married life. Dublin’s Archbishop Martin chips in that some people “are unsettled by the ability of the Pope to place himself in the midst of the uncertainties of people’s lives.” Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Spanish Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar observes that the cardinals “do not understand what Francis wanted to say” (a bit of a slip, there, since if they don’t understand, it would seem reasonable to ask questions). Then, in a nastier tone, he adds: “If those who doubted would save some paper and hear more confessions, then they would understand better.” You see, this deeper understanding of the complexities comes from hearing confessions, counseling, and other pastoral involvement. Skip lightly over the fact that when priests hear confessions and counsel couples, they apply principles that they derive from Church teaching—so that although the circumstances of individual cases may be murky, the teaching in papal documents should be clear. Emphasize that the Pope writes as a pastor. But…
- Come down hard on papal authority. Especially if you are not a bishop—and therefore will probably not be seen as an authority figure in the Church—act astonished that anyone would dare to question what a Roman Pontiff has written. Never mind that the four cardinals are only asking questions. Never mind that you yourself have probably questioned papal statements in the past. Never mind that in its most contentious recommendation, Amoris Laetitia seems to be a direct contradiction of previous papal documents, so some papal teaching must be questioned. Never mind that Pope Francis himself has called for free debate and encouraged people to “make a mess.” Hammer away on papal authority. Take as your model this argument by Austen Ivereigh, who suggests that we should move on and leave the dubia behind. “Roma locuta, causa finite, as Catholics used to say,” Ivereigh writes—notwithstanding the fact that this whole debate is caused by the fact that Roma has not “locuta’d” clearly on the key issue.
- Don’t be afraid to impugn the integrity of people who disagree. Again, follow Ivereigh’s example. He wrote of an “anti-Francis revolt” that had taken on “a newly vicious tone.” And then he proceeded with his own vicious attack on critics ofAmoris Laetitia. (That’s always an effective rhetorical tactic, you know: accuse the other guys of doing precisely what you’re doing yourself.) So write angry Tweets, saying that the other side is writing angry Tweets. We’ll be speaking a lot about “accompanying” couples in troubled relationships. But we don’t want to “accompany” the people who disagree with us. Shout them down. Ridicule them. Don’t give them a chance.
- Paint a rosy picture of relationships between Catholics and their pastors. The “Kasper option” presumes that a divorced and remarried Catholic has engaged in a deep, lengthy examination of conscience, aided by a discerning pastor. Portray that sort of penitent-confessor relationship as the norm, even though we all know it’s the exception. Don’t get bogged down worrying about the lackadaisical priests who will quickly tell people not to worry about the “old rules” against adultery—or the divorced couples who will seek them out, avoiding the more conscientious priests who might be more demanding. Insist that the question of whether or not someone receives Communion should be strictly between the individual and his pastor. Does that argument have a familiar ring? Yes, you’ve heard it before: the claim that government shouldn’t set rules, because the question of abortion should be “between a woman and her doctor.” You might not be entirely at ease with the comparison, but the argument is a proven rhetorical winner.
As you read through these talking points, you might notice some contradictions. We’re saying that it’s all very simple, yet we’re saying that it’s all very complex. We’re insisting that “Rome has spoken,” yet the whole point is that Rome has not spoken, leaving fundamental questions up to individual priests. We’re inveighing against “clericalism,” yet giving priests enormous new powers with no means of accountability. We’re saying that the Pope is a pastor rather than a lawmaker, yet we’re trying to lay down the law. We’re telling people that Amoris Laetitia upholds the traditional Church teaching, yet we’re making fun of that teaching. These are not comfortable arguments to make. That’s why we’re trying to end the debate quickly. When in doubt, remember point #1: Don’t talk about the dubia.