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Today we continue with our ontology and epistemology thread.
In the below post, we broach the subject of Francis, the sophisticated theologian of Rome, and his latest novelty pertaining to capital punishment. This post has been brought about by a post by Diane Montagna which appears on the Life Site News portal, (see here) and should be considered as background to that post.
I will treat this subject in two parts, this post being Part I.
The Montagna post, titled Sawing off the branch on which he sits: Experts question Francis attack on popes over death penalty, reads as a case study in the folly that arises when an individual wantonly violates the precepts of ontological reality (the study of the nature of being) and epistemological Truth (the study of the nature of truth).
For those who still haven’t figured out Jorge Bergoglio, let me spell this out for you exactly. To understand what Francis is “all about”, as the hippies used to say in the mid 1960’s, one needs to understand the logical fallacy known as the APPEAL TO NOVELTY.
So let’s do a definition…
The APPEAL TO NOVELTY is defined as follows: (see here)
The appeal to novelty (also called argumentum ad novitatem) is a fallacy in which one prematurely claims that an idea or proposal is correct or superior, exclusively because it is new and modern. In a controversy between status quo and new inventions, an appeal to novelty argument is not in itself a valid argument. The fallacy may take two forms:
overestimating the new and modern, prematurely and without investigation assuming it to be best-case,
or underestimating the status quo, and prematurely and without investigation assuming it to be worst-case.
Investigation may prove these claims to be true, but it is a fallacy to prematurely conclude this only from the general claim that all novelty is good.
With Bergoglio, what we are dealing with is a man of average intelligence, a very ambitious man, possessing a good understanding of human nature, while simultaneously being devoid of all moral constraints. The primary character trait that Bergoglio exhibits is what is known as:
CUNNING, i.e. the ability to achieve things in a clever way, often by deceiving other people.
As to the support for the above HYPOTHESIS, I send you, dear and loyal reader over to Henry Sire and his excellent book The Dictator Pope. (see here) Yet, Mr. Sire’s book doesn’t go quite far enough in explaining why Francis would adopt this “career strategy”, which turned out to be very successful in Francis’ “climbing activities”.
To understand Francis, we need to examine closely the personal profile provided us by Senor Jack Tollers. (see here) In his summary document, Mr. Tollers observes the following about what can be called the typical Argentinian mindset as follows:
There’s a whole bunch of Argentine words that anyone foreign (be it someone from Spain, say, or even Mexico) would be hard put to explain: words like “piola”, “macaneador”, “chanta”, “trucho” and so many more depict a people who find it laughable to cheat, to trick, to swindle, to get away with anything – that enjoy nothing so much as breaking the rules. As a rule, Argentines hate rules, and that’s why the propensity to anarchy keeps showing up in the public sphere. Usually, Argentines love to pretend and have no time for uprightness, fair play or straight talk. Lying is common, words mean nothing unless they are put to work for cunning purposes, for a ruse, for any scam, to put one over you. It is a make-believe country.
With respect to Bergoglio specifically:
Take Bergoglio, for example. His studies amount to nothing substantial. The Jesuits over here (in Argentina) have no professors worthy of the name, the subjects were tossed about in an un-scholarly manner, the philosophy would never be properly taught (and, it would only be crassly digested Suárez in the best of cases). The theology seats had been all but captured by badly trained Jesuits who were prone to repeat the last of Teilhard’s work, or Rahner’s, when not divulging the Liberation Theology’s tenets (the Nouvelle Theologie never made it over here, few people could read French or German, and St. Thomas was all but perfectly ignored).
“Few people could read French or German..” says it all!
So what does Bergoglio know? With that sort of training, pretty much nothing. No Latin, no languages at all, for that matter. His Italian is awful, not a word of English, no French, let alone his clumsy Spanish! (I wonder what on earth he studied in Germany for a couple of months, as is reported, because, for that matter, he knows no German either. And he certainly did not earn a degree over there.)
“NOTHING” is the operative word.
And here is how Senor Tollers sums up the tragedy that is Bergoglio:
So, yes, he has played his hand carefully and, in the long run, won the day. Which doesn’t mean a thing if it weren’t for the fact that his election is very telling about the current condition of the Catholic Church.
So just how does a badly trained individual with no language skills, a clumsy speaking style in his native language, yet very ambitious who “played his hand carefully”, in the long run win “the day”?
Well, what Bergoglio did is use the logical fallacy known as the APPEAL TO NOVELTY. Now, he wasn’t the only one, but he was by far the most successful. And as it just so happens, this is exactly the PHENOMENON that is explained by Dr. John Lamont in his seminal essay The Attack On Thomism. Here is how Dr. Lamont illuminates this situation:
Thomism made an easy target for this (neo-Modernist) propaganda, just because it is a highly developed philosophy. Any advanced field of study, such as philosophy, mathematics, or physics, can be convincingly portrayed as ‘arid’ and ‘rigid’. For most people’s tastes, this portrayal will often be true. Precise and rigorous subjects inevitably have arid components. Because it deals with fundamental questions whose answers are true always and everywhere, philosophy will be ‘ahistorical’ and ‘immutable’. It will not meet the desires and expectations of individuals or societies, because these desires and expectations are never geared towards subtle and difficult concepts. It will meet their needs – if it is true. But a demonstration of philosophical truth is a feeble counter to propaganda.
In other words, Bergoglio and the neo-Modernists (cum post-Modernists) hated Thomism, i.e. Catholicism because it was a “highly developed philosophy”.
In other words, it was hard.
Concluding and speaking of HARD…
For a young seminarian, a former chemistry program drop-out, who most likely dropped out of the university because chemistry was hard, yet who was very ambitious and motivated, a seminary in Argentine, with the new “opportunities” that the post-Modernist formational program offered, and with a potential meteoric clerical career at the back end, appeared to be a good alternative for young Jorge.
And what better way to differentiate oneself in this new “paradigm”, one that “discouraged” ‘abstract’, ‘rationalist’, ‘ahistorical’, ‘arid’, ‘frozen’, ‘immobile’, ‘obsessed’, ‘encouraging pure secularity’, ‘sclerotically hardened and furred theologically, spiritually and ecclesially’, ‘causing a rupture between theology and life’, a ‘wax mask’, a ‘straightjacket’ that ‘reduced theological speculation to sterility’ and all that, and replace it with the need to appear “new”, “joyful” and “refreshing”, than to adopt a career strategy based on the Logical Fallacy of Argumentum ad novitatem, i.e. Appeal to Novelty.
A new approach or a new era, an era of the “new springtime of the spirit of Vatican II”!
A new man for a new season…
More on this in a Part II…