When Shakespeare described philosophy as “adversity’s sweet milk,” I believe he must have had a premonition of the upcoming “mini-conference” in our Department of Philosophy.
Owned government would tend to good government. Stable, just law is a forecondition of prosperity, and thus of the sovereign’s revenues from his personal property in the state enterprise. So the prudent sovereign would not want his government to be capricious, or vicious. He wouldn’t want to run it as a racket. He wouldn’t try to rip off his customers, but rather do his best to give them great service.
To his subjects then would it be quite apparent that the laws their governors impose and execute are reasonable and just withal, fairly and properly enforced. They would not be unhappy with their lords, or chafe at their rule. That rule would therefore be legitimate; and the sovereign would enjoy the fealty of his subjects, and indeed their love. Their untroubled cooperation with him would follow.
This article Consciousness: What is it, and Where is it Found? published in the Sydney Traditionalist Forum offers reasons for thinking that though the brain and consciousness are frequently correlated, the brain does not actually generate consciousness. Oftentimes, the facts are not in dispute on this topic. It has more to do with their implications. When, for instance, there are cases of hydrocephalus where 95% of the brain is missing but the person has no cognitive deficits and is actually above average intelligence, the notion that brain mapping will get us very far seems slim; as does the fact of neuroplasticity where parts of the brain get repurposed after a stroke in a case of top down causation.
Placebos and nocebos seem to have mind over matter implications too and their existence was initially strongly resisted by materialist-minded scientists for that reason – meaning, they actually recognized the non-materialist possible ramifications.
Near Death Experiences also suggest that consciousness can exist without brains which is good news for anyone interested in the possibility of an afterlife. The cardiologist Pim van Lommel provides good scientific reasons for thinking that NDEs have nothing to do with residual brain activity during cardiac arrests or resuscitations. Apparently, for instance, manual manipulation of the heart during CPR is physically incapable of pumping enough blood around the body to restore consciousness, even partially.
The article ends with suggestions about the real relationship between minds and brains, and ideas about the nature and meaning of human existence.
The valuable EH Looney – an orthospherean through and through, let it be noted, and so our ally and friend (witly or not), whose site I visit daily – has in a recent short post subtly erred, in three different and interesting ways. An Orthodox Christian who admires Rome with fervent intelligence, he nevertheless writes with eyes open:
The problem with Rome isn’t papal supremacy, or even the filioque, it’s that the Roman church is the cradle of nominalism. That sickness should have been condemned immediately rather than being allowed to fester long enough to create Luther and the Protestant deformation.
Also Anselm’s theory of the atonement almost totally obscures the existential nature of the paschal mystery into a legalism of the worst possible sort.
Now, there is some truth to each of these statements. Some truth; not all.
Librarians have a lot of time on their hands nowadays, what with google searches and the internet and all. And one suspects they have always harbored ambitions to do more than hush noisy patrons and dust neglected tomes. Unlike Prospero in Shakespeare’s Tempest, their library was not, it seems, “dukedom large enough,” so they have gone SJW in a big way (see here). Continue reading
You may have seen an open letter that was recently written by some indignant Black students at Claremont Colleges, a consortium of pricy schools in Los Angeles. The occasion of their letter was a planned lecture by Heather Mac Donald, in which I understand the Black Lives Matter movement will be denounced, and to the delivery of which these students are consequently opposed. Their burden of their letter is that speech is Power, so power is speech, and censorship therefore enjoys Constitutional protection. Continue reading
When I was a lad, I loved few things more than roving abroad through forest and field. I liked to read, but I was no bookwork, and I could not imagine the crime for which I had been sentenced to sit, day after dolorous day, through the enforced ennui of the classroom. Although decently shod, I was in all other respects Whittier’s “barefoot boy.”
Had you stepped inside the fashionable Fargo Barbecue the other day, you would have seen a local gallant named Snapper Darrill Rush dining with his inamorata. On the table between the lovebirds, amid clean-picked rib bones and one or two fugitive beans, you would also have seen the cell phone of Mr. Rush. Had your entrance come at what was to be a fateful moment, you would have heard that cell phone ring, and you would have seen the inamorata reach out and answer it.
That was her first mistake.
We got some good answers in the comments. I will try to be brief in my own notes.
Conservative readers were expecting the author to condemn attachments based on biology and to propose his scheme as a way to overcome them. In fact, his scheme requires that people continue to especially value their biological progeny; the goal, stated plainly, is to get parents to love their children less, to shift focus from the children they are raising to a more diffuse concern for people in general. Parents are to be deliberately alienated from the children under their care so that attention shifts from those whom they are in a position to help greatly and who require from them an enormous personal investment toward strangers for whom they can do little for good or ill. The suggestion that his scheme would improve prenatal care is similar: take away a huge incentive from the person who most determines prenatal care; replace it with an insignificant, diffuse incentive on people with essentially no control over the care of the fetus; expect good results. The insanity of socialism in a nutshell.
Other unargued assumptions that should be contested:
- Even if this were a good thing to do, who is this “we” who has the authority to do it?
- Although the argument does not require that intense partiality (love) is bad, it does assume that it is not so valuable that it can’t be sacrificed to the presumed good of racial equality.
- The idea that cultural continuity can persist without biological continuity presumes that culture may not concern itself with biological continuity. In fact, we know many do, and no argument is given why this is illegitimate.
If government were the personal property of some men, they would have no reason to engage in corruption, and very good reasons to avoid it. So there would be less corruption, and a truer focus on policies that really worked for the benefit of the people (ergo, on tradition). For, good policy engenders prosperity, and prosperity generates lots of revenues for the sovereign. Where the sovereign can profit honestly and honorably from wise government, there will tend to be wise government. The net present value to the sovereign of the income from the golden goose far outweighs the value of the slaughtered goose.