Yesterday we began to examine the annual Roger W. Heyns Lecture delivered by Cardinal Reinhart “Bling” Marx at Stanford University, as related in the Jesuit magazine America. (see here)
Since we observed that the speech had a very strong “ideological” subtext, we instinctively began with providing definitions so as to properly understand what it was in fact that Cardinal “Bling” Marx was trying to convey. Given that the speech was delivered in the classical Verrecchian” pseudosacral homopoetic” rhetoric, we had to “data mine” the gibberish to discern what the Cardinal of “Bling” was really talking about. Since the speech itself contained a gold mine of valuable information, we decided to break it up by subject matter. Yesterday we dealt with the political and ideological aspects of the speech. Today we move on to moral theology.
Before we start, a few words about the title of this post. The term “man marking” is an English soccer expression that means to stay close to a “specific opponent to hamper his play”. So today, the Deus Ex Machina blog will be man marking Cardinal Reinhard “Bling” Marx.
Ambitious you say?
So let’s get cracking.
Man Marking Marx – The Common Good
Due to the quite large amount of valuable information that is contained in the transcripts of this Marx speech, I will break down the Man Marking Marx – The “Common Good” analysis into several separate post just to keep them from running too long.
Today we will delve into the moral theological or rather pseudo-theological aspects of that same speech. When looking at this text from a moral theology perspective, definitions are key since Marx is all over the place. The good cardinal uses the term the “common good” quite often. Even though he does not expressly state it, he implies that he is using the term “common good” as is understood in the context of Catholic social teaching. So we begin our analysis today as usual with a definition. The following passage from the Wikipedia definition of the term “common good” (see here) provides us with the essentials: (emphasis added)
Jonathan Dolhenty argues that one should distinguish between the common good, which may “be shared wholly by each individual in the family without its becoming a private good for any individual family member”, and the collective good, which, “though possessed by all as a group, is not really participated in by the members of a group. It is actually divided up into several private goods when apportioned to the different individual members.
Taking Dolhenty’s very sound advice, I broke up the above entry into two parts for clarity sake:
common good, which may “be shared wholly by each individual in the family without its becoming a private good for any individual family member”
collective good, which, “though possessed by all as a group, is not really participated in by the members of a group. It is actually divided up into several private goods when apportioned to the different individual members
Reading the Marx speech as related in the magazine America, it becomes quite apparent that what Card. Marx is referring to is not what is defined as the “common good” but rather that which would fall in the category of a “collective good”, as per the Dolhenty distinction above. So let’s test this hypothesis
Take for example the following quote: (emphasis added)
The cardinal also spoke about the importance of human rights in the pursuit of the common good. “Human rights are not the property of Parliament,” he said. A challenge of modern society, he said, is “how to define points that cannot be decided by the Parliament.”
Three important pieces of information are contained in the above paragraphs.
A. Marx links the concept of “human rights” as being a component (subset) of the “ common good”
B. Marx characterizes “human rights” as those rights that are not a “property of Parliament”
C. Marx claims that “challenge to define points that cannot be decided by Parliament”
So now we need to define what are “human rights”. Here is the definition (see here):
Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behavior, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law.
Right off the bat, we notice a rather explicit logical fallacy, a violation of the principal of “non self contradiction”. If as Marx claims “Human Rights” are not the property of Parliament, then how does he explain the fact that those same “Human Rights” by definition need the “protection as legal rights in national and international law”?
Therefore the point B. is a false statement.
In reality Human Rights ARE those rights that are a property of Parliament.
Furthermore, the reason point B. is false is because Marx is confusing natural law with human invented law, such as Legal Rights which is the general category which contain the subset “Human Rights”. Proof is provided in the definition of the general term “Rights” itself, which reads (see here):
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights. Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system. Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., cannot be sold, transferred, or removed).
From the above definition, we also observe that point A. is also a false statement.
If the definition of a “collective good” is something that:
“though possessed by all as a group, is not really participated in by the members of a group. It is actually divided up into several private goods when apportioned to the different individual members”
Something that is a natural right (inalienable) as:
those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., cannot be sold, transferred, or removed).
It stands to reason that what Marx is talking about in the above paragraph is not about the “common good” but rather the “collective good”. Which allows us to assert that this paragraph is not based in Catholic social teaching but in the “left position” ideology that Marx “got through conversation with his father”.
Let’s examine that Marx paragraph once again this time with emphasis and comments:
The cardinal also spoke about the importance of human rights in the pursuit of the common good. [Human Rights by definition have nothing to do with the “common good” but rather with a “collective good” since Human Rights are Legal Rights that can “be sold, transferred, or removed”. ]
“Human rights are not the property of Parliament,” he said. [“Human Rights ARE the property of Parliament since their VERY EXISTENCE is dependent on legal acts and government enforcement to exist – this is a demonstrably false statement.]
A challenge of modern society, he said, is “how to define points that cannot be decided by the Parliament.” [logically false, but also a non-sensicle statement depending on whether these “points” refer to Legal Rights (false) or Natural Rights (non-sensical). Furthermore, Marx is actually speaking about “points”that can be decided by Parliament, like issues relating to Human Rights.]
Concluding we can clearly see the complete and utter corruption of both definitions and language. I will leave it up to you dear reader to
judge assess the degree of intent as opposed to the degree of ignorance of the cardinal.
With respect to the paragraph that was used as the basis of our analysis, what we see is Marx speaking about “Legal Rights” that are man made and in the purview of Parliamentary decisions. These “legal rights” fall into the category of a “collective good” and in no way can they be considered part of the “common good” as per definition and as per Catholic social teaching.
Therefore, it stands to reason that what Marx is speaking about is not Catholic social teaching but about his self confessed “left position” ideology.
Furthermore, it is clearly apparent that Marx attempts to artificially elevate the man-made “legal rights” which can be decided by Parliaments into the category of an inalienable right given by the Creator to His creation. The most likely reason for this is to create in the listener the impression that these man made rights somehow come from “natural law” when in fact they are the “work of human hands”. Just like the Novus Ordo Missae. But I digress… With this classical Modernist sleight of hand, what Marx is actually doing is attempting to corrupt our understanding of the concept of natural law, since he is de facto claiming that somehow these man made legal rights are something more than they actually are.
In other words, and this needs repeating, Cardinal Reinhard “Bling” Marx is trying to artificially connect the man made concept of Human Rights with the inalienable rights authored by our Creator who is the author natural law.
And as you dear reader can clearly observe, once we understand the definitions, we can clearly identify what the cardinal is up to. Furthermore, we can also observe that this lecture has nothing to do with natural law or moral theology, but has everything to do with leftist ideology.
And since we have come full circle to Marx’s leftist ideology, I will leave off this post returning to the Wikipedia definition of “Common Good”, and the passage that reads as follows:
As regards contemporary American politics, the language of the common good (sometimes referred to as “public wealth”) is increasingly being adopted by political actors of the progressive left to describe their values.
And this goes for the German leftist politicians disguised as clerics also.