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Hope all my loyal readers had a pleasant and restful Passion Sunday weekend.
Today we continue the thread that we started in our post titled Scholastic Rationalism- Secularists See It As The Way Forward….
After this post was published, one of this blog’s good friends, namely Cold Standing passed the link over to Dr. Curt Doolittle, whose text I used in the body of the post. Dr. Doolittle was kind enough to respond, which in turn got the conversation started in the comment box of this blog. But before I get to the subject at hand, I would highly recommend that my readers go to the comment section under the above linked post and read the entire thread.
Today I would like to reproduce one of these comments in the below post, a comment which is very insightful, especially since it comes from outside the ecclesiastical circles of the Visibilium Omnium. I in turn will add my proverbial two cents.
But first some background on Curt Doolittle that he provided in one of the comments:
1) I was raised a catholic, and identify with the pre-vatican ii church. I consider vatican ii a disaster. I consider the chair of st peter empty. I consider the current pope a false pope.
So we are off to a good start. (see here)
Now to the comment that I would like to draw your attention to. It starts as follows:
The Cardinals chose John Paul – a smart Pope, of profound character, profound wisdom, and of balanced judgment. People loved him but it did not reform the future of the church. The Cardinals chose Benedict, a conservative intellectual pope. But it did not reform the future of the church. The Cardinals have chosen Francis – a non-intellectual, anti-intellectual, leftist Pope. And I suspect that he will also fail to reform the future of the church.
The issue that I think is of key importance to understand is the concept of “reform”. The problem here, as I and most of you dear readers recognize, whether consciously or not, is that the Church did not need to be “reformed” in the 1960s. The Church was doing quite well before Vatican II, thank you.
Actually, one can say that in Her infinite wisdom, the Church already had… and has for that matter, an integral “reformative” element built into its doctrinal DNA. This “reformative” element is what is known as “organic growth”. This product of the work performed by the Scholastic rationalists we have defined as follows:
Organic Growth: reconciliation of reason with revelation, of science with faith and of philosophy with theology, SUBJECT TO: that source of our Faith that comes from divine Revelation.
Now we know that the Church has always given primacy to that part of our Faith that comes from the “natural light of human reason from the things that are made”. (see here) This knowledge obtained from objective reality was then used to understand that part of our Faith that comes from divine Revelation.
And as per definition above, that part of our Faith that comes from “divine Revelation” was always treated as a mechanism for establishing limits (absolutes in philosophical jargon) to our human behavior. Think “Thou shall not commit adultery”. This “negative moral law” has been provided by Our Lord to His creation not only for “working out ones salvation in fear and trembling”, but simultaneously serves as a guide for “not doing those things” that would endanger our survival in this vale of tears as a community, dare I say as a Civilization.
So when one speaks of the law originating from divine Revelation, (Holy Scripture), one is speaking essentially about that which Dr. Doolittle calls the “Via Negativa”. It’s just that Dr. Doolittle extracts this “natural negative law” from a scientific process (trial and error) while the Faithful have it handed to them on a “silver platter”.
And just to add support to the above premise originating presently in discussion between secular authorities, in the discussion here, both Stefan Molyneux and Duke Pesta are in agreement that Holy Scripture is a purely “rational” document. Therefore, the contents of Holy Scripture and any objectively true knowledge contained in the Via Negativa definition must be compatible.
I had expected that the church, like the monarchies, was just trying to endure the 20th century so that this era of ‘fashion’ would exhaust itself, and we could return to business as usual, with the church, the burghers, and the aristocracy dividing the job of governing, the masses, the economy/judicial and legislative/military classes.
What is in fact the case is that the Church provides the optimal “arch-typical” structure to all these different sub-sets of what we call the Visibilium Omnium. We have seen that since the supposed “separation” of church and state, a separation dating back to the French Revolution, the competition between these special interest groups comprised of fallen men, has become quite brutal and bloody. The “tête-à-tête” between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie alone, cost the lives of at least 150 million people in the last century alone.
But my belief is that the church failed to reform with Vatican ii by expanding the liturgy beyond even what the protestants and universalists had offered, and merely tried to make a softer church. The academy broke from the church, because the church could not reform enough to accommodate science. The economy broke with the church because it could not accommodate competition. The aristocracy broke from the church because it could not accommodate war. And the state, the academy, and the financial sector defeated the church without firing a single shot – just letting the church commit voluntary suicide was enough.
Yes, the above is all true. What is missing is an explanation for why it happened. And using the methodology developed by our favorite 14th Century Franciscan, William of Ockham, we can easily identify the culprit as post-Modernist’s suppression of the definition of Aristotelian “Truth”.
If in the post-Modernist post-conciliar church, truth is defined as bringing thought into line with life (‘adaequatio realis mentis et vitae’), then the moorings between truth and objective reality have been completely severed.
And if the post-Modernists severed the linkage between truth and reality in the ecclesiastical sub-set of human activity, is any wonder that they subsequently severed this linkage in other areas of human activity? Just think about the concept of “biological sex as a social construct”.
As to the issue of “competition” I think the incorporation of “monetarist theory” into Catholic thought is just a question of time. If one understands that the basis for monetarist theory is the subjective theory of value developed by the Scholastic rationalists in the 14th Century, than “Chicago School” monetarism becomes just an issue of connecting the dots.
The church could have reformed, and integrated the academy, the law, and the military. But it found itself left outside, and with no means of funding, and no property and no production.
Yes, the Church’s funding model worked very well for almost 2 millennia. But when the Church abandoned its moorings in reality, it stopped providing a useful function within society itself. And once an institution, any institution, loses its “competitive advantage”, bah… raison d’État, then it either undergoes a rational reform process, or it ceases to be.
But in the mean time, it is of no use to either the academy, the law or the military. Or anything else for that matter.
So the church is left with a few traditionalists, and a vast legion of third world underclasses.
Myth and Soul, History and Tradition, economy and polity, politics and war.
A church that once practiced all, has ended up practicing none.
I think this conclusion is much, much too disheartening. What the Church is left with, is its doctrine, firmly grounded in NATURAL LAW and DIVINE REVELATION, i.e. a comprehensive and exhaustive explanation of objective reality. And that remnant of the Faithful who conform to this time tested methodology, i.e. Holy Tradition, that was given to us by Our Lord and handed down through the generations, will survive this period of madness.
And patiently wait for that remnant of humanity which will be left, to come back to its senses. Think Putin and post-Soviet Russia…
And this is exactly what your humble blogger has been picking up in the work of individuals such as Molyneux, Pesta, Peterson, et al.
And if that doesn’t convince you dear reader, always remember that Our Lord promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail…