Monday, September 2, 2013

Dr. David Hart Again

There is no possible way of avoiding the issue - not just of sin in general - but of an Original Sin. Even the ancient Greeks in their very humanistic myths, retained vestiges of the Primordial Revelation. The most telling of those myths is that of Pandora's Box. Look it up! And all of the Greek Drama's "celebrate" the hero's flaw, from Achilles' heel on through the Great Tragedies. And so, Dr. Hart's insistence that there is some kind of justification for "modernity's" rejection of the traditional natural law doctrine - which touches that human nature - which is basically good - is nevertheless wounded and weakened - so that it is not as it was originally created. The Traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church is beautifully precise. It tells us what we experience every day: our intellect is darkened - our will is weakened and we are strongly prone to do evil, that is, to commit sin, especially when under the influence of the passions. There is no better systematic explanation of the natural law in its moral degradation, due to the Original Sin, than that of Homer and the Greek Dramatists in pre-Christian times, and that of St. Thomas - making use of Aristotle's Ethics and ordinary experience, in his Summa. Especially helpful for today - is his examination of the human act - in all of its circumstantial and contingent detail.

No, there is simply no excuse for Moralists or Ethicists today to dismiss the Medieval contribution to the intellectual life of today. Nor can I find any excuse or any reasonable explanation for the substitution of the term modernity, for Modernism. It is but a skillful evasion - typical of the reforming modernist's on-going - ever-changing - devolution of all things, - even the very words we use - just as Pope Saint Pius X explained in the encyclical PASCENDI and the syllabus LAMENTABILI in 1907. Due to World War I, (1914) and the efforts of Pope Benedict XV - to extinguish what he called the fires of witch-hunting, the entire legacy of Pope Saint Pius X to stamp out the destructive efforts of the Modernists, KEY FIGURES, in a movement with roots going back to the Galileo case and before that to Copernicus himself, not the least of which was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (d.1955), survived to blossom in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Teilhard's influence on all of the Council Fathers has never been acknowledged. However, it has been my contention, for some years now, that the Second Vatican Council was totally informed, in every word of every document, by what PASCENDI points out as the principal doctrine of the Modernists, - the so-called "law" of evolution by which all things must either change or die by extinction. (See #26). This is why it is futile to pick out two or three deviant chapters or documents - such as the one on Religious Liberty or on Ecumenism - or on collegiality - as departing from tradition - while allowing the Council as a whole to be acceptable. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers try to do. But it will never work. Vatican II is evolutionary - both in its letter and in its spirit. Until this fact is recognized and the Council is anathemetized, i.e., condemned in toto - its evil fruits - in the guise of the ever new thing - now it is "evangelization" - will continue to stifle and extinguish the divine Catholic Faith of untold numbers of souls.

It seems impossible for those committed to "modernity" - to speak directly. Here is a statement of Dr. Hart's with which I take issue:

One: The late modern picture of reality is, culturally speaking, something altogether unprecedented.

Two: In the days of, say, Thomas Aquinas, there was no particularly cogent alternative to seeing nature as a rationally ordered continuum in which all things witnessed to a final good, at once cosmic and moral.

Three: Even if one did not concur with Thomas' (often very questionable) moral judgments, one could scarcely reject many of his metaphysical presuppositions - and so one might not notice the covertly theological nature of those judgments. Not so now.

Four: The modern person's failure to find a moral meaning in nature's forms is not simply attributable to a perverse refusal to recognize objective truth.

Five: There is now a story that makes nihilism - in the technical sense of disbelief in any ultimate meaning or purpose beyond the physical - plausible and powerful.

This is all one paragraph - but contains at least 4 or 5 very distinct issues. And Dr. Hart does elaborate more in the remainder of the article upon the "story" that makes nihilism ...plausible and powerful.

First, I reproach Dr. Hart for masking or attempting to cover the irrational, evolutionary worldview with his very sophisticated and sophistical reasonings about the plausibility and power of this worldview - fictional story. Dr. Hart continues to explain that "with the rise of the mechanical philosophy, modern persons began to conceive of natural ends, not as inherent purposes, but merely as useful functions.." Here he puts his finger, however gingerly, that is, briefly, upon the rise of empirical science - with its emphasis, upon experiment and Sir Frances Bacon's insistence upon usefulness, that is, the beginning of the technological revolution breaking off from the Copernican revolution, but following it.

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