A Liberal is a Man Who Can Prove Everything and Nothing
Then another thought: it is more than a little interesting that the logic of the left is so flexible -- a less charitable person would say nonexistent -- that it can prove anything. With one exception: the existence of God.
How weird is that? Even if we concede that the existence of God is absurd, this should pose no barrier whatsoever to the left. Rather, the very existence of the left is rooted in logical absurdities, in comparison to which God is the one and only thing of which we may be absolutely certain.
Now, as usual, this will sound polemical and bobastic, but it is not. Just think of the uses to which "leftist logic" is put, and to the many impossibilities it is able to prove: that there is no fundamental difference between men and women; or that children aren't entitled to a mother and father; or that earth is warming due to carbon even though carbon has increased by 25% over the past 17 years while the temperature has remained stable; or that charging more for energy will result in less demand, while charging more for labor will have no effect on demand; or that genes explain everything except racial differences; or that free will doesn't exist; or that homosexuality is natural and normal; or that our minds do not disclose reality... one could go on and on.
But the whole modern project is rooted in a profound and primordial illogicality, an outright rejection of reality. Once you accept this initial illogicality, then it is like the faith with which All Things Are Possible. Once you leave logic behind, then you can indeed use it to prove anything.
Chesterton makes this same point in his book on Aquinas, that "Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody's system of philosophy has really corresponded to reality; to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense."
Rather, each philosophy starts "with a paradox; a peculiar point of view demanding the sacrifice of what they [the common man] would call a sane point of view." One finds this initial absurdity in everyone from Descartes and Kant on down to the tenured rabble of today.
It's easy: just start by believing one little thing "that no normal man would believe," and the magic never ends. Chesterton cites several typical examples, e.g., that law is above natural right, or that things are only ideas, or that everything is relative. True, one cannot strictly prove, say, that solipsism isn't the case, but that doesn't mean that solipsism is the case. You also can't prove your eyes see the real world, but that doesn't prove you're blind.
Thomas too asks us to make just one little leap of faith, but this leap ushers us into the real world, for the simple reason that it asks us to believe that our senses disclose the real world. Yes, you can, under a multitude of guises, reject that leap of faith, but to do so is to commit spiritual suicide and cognitive cluelesside.
I wasn't kidding about having no time. To be continued tomorrow...