Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cognition - And Other Issues - Final Part

What, then, finally of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars? Are they, each one, a Substantial Form? Like the Earth with its waters, the Sun, Moon and Stars fulfill the 3rd requirement: they cannot be subsumed. They seem to be incommunicable, complete and autonomous. But are they? Do they not depend in a rather absolute way – upon the firmament in which they have been set on Day Four? The waters cannot exist without some kind of container, such as the ocean’s shores, the river’s banks, the firmament for those above? It seems to me that all of these larger parts, as well as the atomic and other particles, require a larger Substance in which they inhere as to be what they are: accidental forms, not substantial. Did not St. Thomas recognize this implicitly when he said: “The world is composed of the whole of its matter. For it is not possible for there to be another earth than this one – since every earth would naturally be carried to this central one, wherever it was. The same applies to the other bodies which are part of the world. (ST,I,q.47,a3. - See answers to all the objections. “No agent intends material plurality as the end…”)

My present thinking about organ donation and related topics has not changed since previous statements. All “scientific” experiments involving human body parts – I find extremely repulsive, and I truly believe they are all deeply immoral. It is agreed, I think, amongst Traditional thinkers, that “brain death” ought to be considered illegal as a test of body death. All organ transplants require a living organ. The implications are quite obvious. I even question now, the very common giving of blood. And I find the issue of frozen embryos highly questionable. If an adult human body is frozen, death certainly ensues. But embryos are routinely frozen and thawed and implanted!?! I wonder if we have the whole truth here? Maybe there is some truth in the medieval idea of the vegetative soul preceding the sensitive and the sensitive preceding the rational. Cardinal Mercier of Louvain, (and the villain in the so-called mandate to accommodate Thomism to modern science’s “method and data”). (See this writer’s “A Great Betrayal”) --- also was a proponent of the medieval embryology, as opposed to the modern pro-life consensus that at the time of conception, i.e., fertilization, the soul is present, when the genetic complement is complete. 
The method of modern science is the exclusion, the absolute ruthless exclusion, of any relation or reference of creatures to the Creator-God. And the “data” of modern science is the imposed ideology of evolution, which is also and just as ruthlessly, that is, categorically ruled to be the given that replaces the real and true givens of the First Principles of all knowledge. The marvel is that this great deception has succeeded for so long to convince so many people that it is the truth about reality. I think it is evidence, before all else, of the power of the authority of knowledge. This is Lucifer’s Masterpiece: the evolutionary worldview – starting with the heliocentric cosmology of Copernicus and Galileo. With the fixed-central Earth dislodged and sent whirling and twirling like any other planet, the entire cosmological order of reality was bound to produce a chaos in men’s minds. It could not disturb the Created Order, which continues the same as God created it and fixed it on Days One, Two, Three and Four – in preparation for Adam as the prototype of the God-Man Jesus Christ, Our Lord and His Immaculate Mother Mary, the Second Adam and Second Eve to redeem us from the ruinous fall of our first parents. It remains to demonstrate – that the elements are accidental forms, NOT substantial forms. This is best done, I believe, by showing how they operate – always – as the model properties of one or the other of Aristotle’s nine categories of accidents of some substance.

I think it was John Locke who first made a big To-Do over what he called Galileo’s secondary qualities, such as color and sound. This issue was also first brought into prominence for me when one of the boys I was home-schooling, one who had been through the first six grades in a public school, refused absolutely to believe that there was any objective reality to color or to sound. Color, he was convinced, and so remains to this day – I suppose – is due entirely to the rods and cones in the eye. With sound, it is entirely to the action of the apparatus in the ear. The way he put it was that if a tree fell in the forest, there was NO sound at all, if there was no one to perceive it. What must be emphasized, therefore, is the objective reality of dimensive and continuous matter or atomic motion. The particles of material forms are always in motion, and this motion, whether measured and perceived by anyone or not, takes place as a result - as an effect of the action of some material – secondary cause, created by God. The same is true of the colors generated by the photons of light in the air. It is the finite character of the Prime or Primary Matter of the Universe – what St. Thomas designates when he says that the “world, that is, the Universe, is composed of the Whole of its matter”, (ST. I, q.47, a.3) – it is the potencies contained in this immensity – the virtually infinite number of potentialities for all material-corporeal beings, including Man – that determine, in conjunction with each specific form – the essential nature of each, in the Order of Generation, but always preserving the substantial forms of the Order of Creation.

Agency and Passivity are the two categories that follow quantity and quality in the list of nine categories of accidental forms. And they designate the areas of secondary causality. There are two areas most clearly illustrative of secondary causality and the production of accidental forms. One is the transmission by generation of the substantial forms of each physical species. A. in plants of the cereal forms – the flowering forms and the tree forms. B. in all the marine forms and the birds. C. in all land animal forms and D. of man-kind.

In all of these areas, the Substantial Forms of the Order of Creation are transmitted by the male-female reproductive process which produces new Substantial Forms, without any substantial change in the parents. The same is true in the areas of making things wherein the beings who are Substantial Forms, make things of beauty and of use. They are Secondary Causes, acting under God’s primary efficient Causality. (See the 2nd Way of St. Thomas). In the area of Art, the maker or cause is a Substantial Form, and the product or effect is an accidental form. In the Inanimate domain of the elements, we have innumerable examples of agency and passive receptivity on the part of the elements, illustrating the operations of accidental forms amongst themselves – obeying the laws of the Substance into which they have been subsumed. Here, I need the help of a physicist and chemist to illustrate the many operations of physical and chemical change on the part of the elements – especially as they climb up the ladder of the Hierarchy of Being, from one-celled plants and animals, to the human body in its fallen state, and in the perfect integral Sacred Humanity of the God-Man and His Immaculate Mother Mary. The Category of Relation is one that needs special attention. For Aristotle, it meant consanguinity. But it can be extended to designate any inter-relatedness between beings, such as our relatedness to the environment and to other human beings. The notion of value, under the new “science of aetiology, (please check me on this), is an attempt, in my opinion, to replace the notions of natural and un-natural, of virtue and vice – or sin with a notion of “value”.

(ST, I-II, q.31, a.7)

In an article “asking” whether any pleasure is not natural? St. Thomas answers that in man, what is natural can be taken in two ways: One being pleasures that are experienced when one acts in accord with reason. For instance, it is natural to man to take pleasure in contemplating the Truth and in doing works of virtue. The second being – and here I invite the reader to read for himself – what St. Thomas says and especially his use of the term – connatural, which I have seen printed as connatural and I do not think they are the same. St. Thomas relates this second kind of pleasure to an individual deviation, disorder or corruption of nature in an individual and peculiar to him as individual. Such are from the body, from some ailment, or from an evil temperament – or on the part of the soul. Thus from custom – some take pleasure in cannibalism or in the unnatural intercourse of men and beasts, or other such things, which are not in accord with human nature. (ST.I-II, q.31, a.7)

It is in objection (2) that the objector quotes from Aristotle’s Metaphysics, v.5 – whatever is violent causes grief, for whatever is against nature is violent. Therefore, nothing which is unnatural can give pleasure. And as noted above, St. Thomas points out that some individuals do take a kind of con-natural, or really unnatural, pleasure in certain actions related to nature, but in an improper or unnatural or con-natural way. Well, the homosexuals, lovers of animals, and other lovers of the unnatural, could take this text from St. Thomas as their basic “justification”, I suppose, as Modernists are prone to do. I prefer to use such terms as unnatural and perverse – rather than connatural or co-natural. But I see St. Thomas’ point. The Objector was simply denying that even some actions so un-natural as to be perverse and mortally sinful in God’s sight – as St. Thomas surely demonstrates in his discussions of sin in the human act – are still so close to the natural pleasure as to offer to some individuals of a corruption in their body or in their soul, a kind of substitute for the natural pleasure. And he gives example of those who in a fever, taste sweet as bitter, those of an undisciplined, evil temperament – may commit totally irrational acts, such as eating dirt or hot coals, etc. This digression was occasioned by an interested reader who asked for more on proper and improper relations.

In the area of the natural sciences, Aristotle’s category of relation- I have extended to designate the relatedness between the atoms that causes them to be attracted or repulsed to or by each other. I suppose it would come under the valency of the electron and the bonding conditions. Here is where so much research needs to be done by those with expertise in such fields as pure physics and all the areas of chemistry in the life sciences. Time and Place are the next two categories and I have written at length on both of these in previous works. Time, was created on Day One as it began with the first motion of a physical particle. Its measurement by man was determined by God Himself with the inauguration of Days and the movements of the Sun, Moon and Stars. Adam, and his sons, made great use of the constellations by imposing the primary figures of the Redemption on these starry configurations. See Joseph Seiss – THE GOSPEL IN THE STARS. Any attempt to replace this realistic notion of time and of time coupled with space, in some kind of continuum, is only Einstein’s mental-mathematical construct - a work of science fiction at best and at worst.

As for Place, the Body of the Universe is, itself, one vast, immense created place for all of God’s creatures, including the Angels! On this subject, with special reference to HEAVEN AS A PLACE, see the excellent article of that title, by Robert Siscoe, in the Catholic Family News, for September of 2013. Posture and Clothing relate specifically to those accidents or properties of human beings that are accidental in the most superficial and external sense, but could be found quite relevant to someone deeply and thoroughly versed in physics, and the differing geometric shapes that the atoms assume in their many operations. In fact, the Platonists of the Pythagorean tradition – not only discovered the “music of the spheres” – but also the (5) Platonic solids in their emphasis upon the mathematical marvels – evidenced in Creation, for we know from Divine Revelation – that God hath ordered all things by measure, number and weight….mightily and sweetly. (Wisdom 1:8 and 11:21.)

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