Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Man is a Person in Order to Become One

File under Hints that You May be More than a Finite Object: "The experience of radical questioning and man's ability to place himself in question are things which a finite system cannot accomplish."

You see? We are always standing "outside and above the system of empirical, individual and specifiable data." And this is not just one element to be placed aside the others that constitute man, but is again always above them. If I say "you are a bepedal ape" and you say "um hmm," you've just transcended apehood, however tenuously.

Which makes one wonder: why can't leftists see this? The whole enlightenment project of classical liberalism culminated in the notion that we are unique persons, not races, genders, classes, ethnicities, and all those other lucrative accidents of existence.

But no. Progressives want to turn back the world historical clock and devolve to a time when man identified with his contingencies. Which, among other problems, always leads to increased civil strife.

If you wanted to come up with a malign doctrine of unregenerate hatred and resentment, you could hardly do better than multiculturalism and "diversity" (in the diabolical leftist sense of the term, i.e., neo-Marxist materialists of different colors and sexual preferences). Obama and the left might not know much, but they certainly understand the principle of "divide and conquer."

People talk about Obama's failure to "heal" the polarization in the country. Well, doy.

When we say Obama is a wicked man who is unfit for the office he holds, this is what we mean -- that he not only stands by silently while his allies engage in the most slanderous racial and sexual demagoguery, but that he himself instinctively engages in it. Instead of healing it, he fuels it: the police acted stupidly, my son the thug, Trayvon Martin, incompetence is beyond the reach of blacks, etc. If Obama doesn't make you want to vomit, you may be morally retarded.

But more to the point, he participates in and even leads the campaign to render man a shadow of what he actually is and can be. Yes, these mephistofeel-your-painian statists will give you losers lots of stuff. And all they ask in return is your soul. It's that sucking sound you hear at the core of your desiccated being.

Remember, leftism doesn't explain man. Rather, it explains him away. It does this in a multitude of ways, for example, with respect to crime.

In a free society, man is responsible for his acts. I mean, I realized this by the age of six or so. But in the 1960s the left finally had the power to actually implement their crackpot ideas about crime and justice. In this view, people were simply creatures of their environment, lacking the ability to distinguish between good and evil that I, as a six year old, understood.

So, what happened with that experiment? As we all know, crime rates increased exponentially, most especially among the supposed beneficiaries of the new approach, e.g., blacks. Which is my point: if your philosophy regards people as animals, you shouldn't be surprised if they behave like animals.

You can also point to the economic crisis of 2008, which resulted from the state deciding that some people are just too stupid and helpless to develop the traits consistent with homeownership. How'd that work out?

Note also that such an infrahuman animal is no longer in need of redemption from above. Rather, he can get it from some quack psychologist who pardons him because -- well, in the words of West Side Story, because he's depraved on accounta' he's deprived!

"Being a person," writes Rahner, "means self-possession of a subject as such in a conscious free relationship to the totality of itself."

You must understand that this peculiar way of being is the prerequisite of little things like truth, freedom, and virtue. It is the antecedent "space" out of which we all operate, and the point is to expand this subjective horizon, not to shrink or negate it!

Oh peoples, I gots the anointin' this mornin'! Listen to what the almighty is tellin' you in yo' soul! And lord, help me shut my big mouth at tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner with the liberal relatives!

In contrast to the free person, the left offers us this... this bigbrained cosmic freak who is "totally determined from without," even if this is impossible, because a person who believes this nonsense has nevertheless chosen to do so. There is no escape from your freedom and responsibility, leftist assoul!

To say that man is a Person "means first of all that man is someone who cannot be derived, who cannot be produced completely from other elements at our disposal."

Yes, you can say that only God can create such a singular being. Or, if that makes you uncomfortable, just render it in the form of an algebraic equation: only X can produce such a being. But don't pretend you understand the nature of the variable before investigating it. In other words, don't be a jackass.

"Man shows himself to be a being with an infinite horizon." It's not just that in America you can "be what you want." Rather, the point is that you already are (as being), and because you are, you can make the choices you want, i.e., drive the cosmic bus over the subjective horizon:

"When freedom is really understood, it is not the power to be able to do this or that, but the power to decide about oneself and to actualize oneself."

And since the space is infinite, there is no end to the expansion: "The infinite horizon of human questioning is experienced as a horizon which recedes further and further the more answers man can discover."

Elsewhere Rahner writes that "A person is always a Christian in order to be one." But this is because a person is always a person in order to become one.

Conversely, a leftist is always a leftist in order to become less than a person in the full sense of the word. And yes, we mean that literally. Because we are trying to help.

But unlike the left, we only offer the help. It would frankly never occur to us to force it on you, backed by the threat of state violence.

If the more radical empirical psychology is, the less freedom it is able to find, that is perfectly consistent with its method... --Karl Rahner

25 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

Oh peoples, I gots the anointin' this mornin'! Listen to what the almighty is tellin' you in yo' soul!

Tongues of fire came down upon them.

11/21/2012 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Note also that such an infrahuman animal is no longer in need of redemption from above. Rather, he can get it from some quack psychologist who pardons him because -- well, in the words of West Side Story, because he's depraved on accounta' he's deprived!

He's only a lad!

11/21/2012 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

... man is someone who cannot be derived ...

Yes, as you point out with ape statement, even the part of a human that could be considered derived could only be seen from the underived.

11/21/2012 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

When we say Obama is a wicked man who is unfit for the office he holds, this is what we mean -- that he not only stands by silently while his allies engage in the most slanderous racial and sexual demagoguery, but that he himself instinctively engages in it.

I've often thought that if he were a genuinely decent person who really wanted to see the black community grow and improve, he could have taken his presidency as an opportunity to counsel reason over racism, and to lead by example. What a perfect chance he had and has to model strength, leadership and virtue to young black men; instead, we have a man who surreptitiously flips the bird, literally and figuratively, to anyone who gets in his way.

11/21/2012 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Conversely, a leftist is always a leftist in order to become less than a person in the full sense of the word. And yes, we mean that literally. Because we are trying to help.

But unlike the left, we only offer the help. It would frankly never occur to us to force it on you, backed by the threat of state violence."

Precisely! We're about giving help through freedom, while the left is about FORCE! which only helps themselves (the chosen ones that is. The rest of the left, as always will also suffer along with the restuvus, but they usually won't know why unless their eyes b' ears are opened).

Great post, Bob!

11/21/2012 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

I recall a conservative hispanic talk show caller in my blue state mentioning that his brethren would only vote for Romney if his name were 'Romero'...and also a hispanic lady in a debate 'focus group' mentioned she didnt know any people like Romney [so she would vote Democrat] ...ah the dumb vanity of the average doofus of today

'One idiot body, one stoopit vote'...
white males should never have given up the vote
:)

11/21/2012 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Pope dating controversy
in the news
Symbolism reigns!

The stable
"Now let us go back to the stable. In this stable there were neither shepherds nor flocks, only the ox and the ass. Why? The story has been repeated again and again over the centuries without being understood, because the knowledge of universal symbolism has been lost. The stable represents the physical body, and we know that in ancient days, the ox, the bull, stood for the principle of generation. In Egypt, for instance, the bull Apis was the symbol of fertility and fecundity. The bull is under the influence of Venus and represents sexual force; the ass is under the influence of Saturn and represents the personality, man's lower nature, the old Adam, headstrong and stubborn but a good servant. Here are the two animals, waiting to serve Jesus. But serve him how?
When man begins the work of making himself more perfect, he comes into conflict with his personality and his sensuality. The Initiate is one who has been able to master these two forces and put them to work for him, not by annihilating them... the two beasts are not chased away or killed... they are there, present at the Birth, but what do they do? They breathe on the Christ Child and warm him with their breath! When the Initiate is able to transform the ass and the ox within himself by putting them to work for him they warm the newborn child with their breath. The forces are no longer there to torment him, lead him astray or cause him suffering... no, they are now life-giving forces. Breath is life! You see, the breath of the ass and ox is reminiscent of the Breath of God which brought Life to the first man. The ox and the ass serve the Christ Child, meaning that all who have the Christ within them will be served by their personality and sensuality, and once you put them to work, these are extraordinarily useful forces... "
-O M Aivanhov

11/22/2012 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger David J Quackenbush said...

So apart from being right about what man is, how do we offer that truth to others, and receive it more ourselves? The best example I know of that is these guys, inspired by Giussani: http://www.meetingrimini.org/eng/

This is the summary statement about the 2012 Rimini meeting: (forgive the length -- it corresponds so well to this conversation that I couldn't decide how to cut it)

"Ninety-eight encounters with 271 speakers, 9 exhibitions, 21 spectacles, and 800,000 people present from 40 different countries. The experience of these days, the facts that have occurred, the population of the Meeting, have shown that it is possible to live this dimension of human existence, giving testimony to this 'relation to the infinite' for which each man yearns. This is not a question of spiritualism for insiders or 'pious' people but an essential factor in living every aspect of life with truth.

'Nothing is trivial or meaningless in the path of life and of the world. Man is made for an infinite God who was made flesh and that took our humanity to raise it to the heights of His divine nature,' wrote Benedict XVI. An infinite that became flesh, present in all circumstances of life: this is why everything interests us, this is why we confronted ourselves with institutional personalities and with men of other cultures and other religions, such as the Lebanese company protagonist of the opening spectacle. This is why we proposed a new lecture on Dostoevsky and a new way to look at rock 'n' roll, as took place at two of the most visited exhibitions during this Meeting. Then we have the exhibition, The Unforeseeable Instant: Young Protagonists for Development: young people that have said that to thousands and thousands of people that it is possible to not be broken down by circumstances but to be reborn and build in every moment, discovering again the profound nature of our own 'I' as insuppressible desire for good.

This is our path. This is the journey that we want to keep walking: testifying to that which we have encountered and that to which generates what we have witnessed in recent days.

In society that we live in there is an urgent need to redefine a clear identity to our 'I,' the protagonist of life and builder of history. For this reason, the title of the 34th edition of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples -- which will take place from the 18th to 24th of August, 2013 -- will be: 'Human Urgency.'"

11/22/2012 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Man is a Person in Order to Become One"

Yep. In an equation like a2 + b2 = c2, the left side of the equation equals the right side of the equation, and did so from the very beginning. The mystery is only felt by the person who hasn't solved it yet.

And of course the answer is the One that is three.

Go figure.

11/22/2012 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Meanwhile, over at Slate: Who Said It: Marco Rubio or Barack Obama?
Willful ignorance of science is a bipartisan value."

11/23/2012 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Re what David posted above about Father Giussani -- alert readers will have noticed that Magnus also mentioned him in a comment a couple of days ago. This qualifies as genuine synchronicity, i.e., a cosmic coonspiracy. I took the hint from Fr. G and ordered a couple of his books, one called The Religious Sense, the other Communion and Liberation. I'll no doubt be writing about him in the near future.

11/23/2012 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One reviewer writes that

'The word "God", at this stage, is only used as a name for the mystery the total understanding of which lies beyond the grasping of human mind, but still leaves man with no other choice than to pursue it. In other words, when Giussani looks inside the human, he sees the intuition of an answer to our basic questions (like the meaning of life to say one) and the need to go toward that answer. That unreachable hypothesis we go after, he calls God.'

That sounds kind of familiar....

11/23/2012 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Great Whittle: The Gods of Virtue and Wisdom want their stuff back.

11/23/2012 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I just hope they're kidding about wanting it back on December 12....

11/23/2012 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Is it the 12th, or the 21st? I've seen it both ways. But either way, yes, lets hope they aren't in a hurry...

11/23/2012 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Terrence McKenna said 12-21, so I'll go with him. I'm unaware anyone else who took a sufficient amount of drugs to be in a position to know these things.

11/23/2012 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals enshrines ad hominem attack as the basic tenet of his teaching. And which political persuation worship Alinsky? Yes, that would be the progressive personality with their psychological projection pathologies.

As the old saying goes - "no one is useless because they can always serve as a bad example". So having one useful idiot around isn't so bad.

11/23/2012 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"But unlike the left, we only offer the help. It would frankly never occur to us to force it on you, backed by the threat of state violence. "

Amen.

11/23/2012 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Sarah Palin
as youve never seen her

11/23/2012 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

bob
here's one
for your sidebar list

with a head like a pin

11/24/2012 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

AKA the Yelverton Bible.

11/24/2012 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm becoming more and more convinced the end really is near...

11/24/2012 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

After seeing the onesie parade, I can say with pride I'm glad to be old and out of it.

11/24/2012 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Bravo Pravda!
At least they get it

11/25/2012 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/25/2012 03:16:00 PM  

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