Freedom & Sufficient Reason

In commenting on my recent post Atheism is Not Strictly Conceivable, readers Vishmehr, Cincinnatus and Leo all pointed out that the Principle of Sufficient Reason [PSR] appears to rule out freedom for God, or for creatures, or for any sort of being. Leo provided a link to a short review of arguments that the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails necessitarianism.

It does not.

This is a good thing! If we were not free, then we would not be free to understand or intend anything. But if the PSR were not true, then everything would be unintelligible, and we could not understand or intend anything. Either way, as Vishmehr pointed out, we – and all other minds, including the Divine mind – would not actually exist. In order for minds actually to exist, the PSR must be true and minds must be free.

Fortunately, this is possible. Freedom and intelligibility are compatible.

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Notice: The Orthosphere May Be Moving

Our domain is expiring quite soon, and we are having some frustrating difficulties renewing it. So we may need to copy the Orthosphere to another domain in the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.

Do any readers have expertise with the process of moving a whole WordPress site from one domain to another? If so, and if you are willing to help us figure out how to do it, please comment below and we’ll contact you by email.

Thanks, all.

UPDATE: The site moved this morning (February 8, 2016) to orthosphere.wordpress.com. This change may or may not be permanent.

 

A Pact between Factions of Christendom?

Protestants, Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox might regard each other as different religions (then again, they might not), but our enemies certainly don’t. For liberals, Moslems, homosexualists, feminists, radical environmentalists, et al, the three versions of Christianity are just slightly different flavors of the same poison. Or, to switch metaphors, our common enemies see Christians of all sorts as essentially the same pack of rats who deserve to be exterminated. Continue reading

Mortified by the New Necromancy

If you wish to make a man do something that he does not wish to do, you must proceed in one of three ways. You may threaten to do him harm, you may promise to do him good, or you may persuade him that he is under some sort of “moral obligation” to do what you wish him to do. These might be called the three roads to power, power being “the possibility of imposing one’s will on the behavior of other people” (1). For simplicity’s sake, I will call these the Minatory Road, the Remuneration Road, and the Mortification Road. Continue reading

Pushing the Eschaton

It is in the discourse of the Right a commonplace that liberal policies implement Ponzi schemes; that their wild prodigality can be justified only on the basis of magical thinking which supposes that economic and cultural goods pour forth inexhaustibly from some mysterious cornucopia, rather than as products of unstinting, intelligent, diligent, difficult, costly labor rightly and prudently directed. In this liberalism has always reminded me of the cargo cults that sprang up among natives all over Oceania in the 20th Century after their contact with Europeans, especially during and after WWII. But of these cargo cults I had had only the most cursory knowledge. I knew only that some cargo cultists thought that if they mocked up a semblance of an airstrip, planes full of goods would land to disgorge them (“If we build it, they will come;” we see the same sort of thinking at work in those who suppose that if they just show up in a nice suit or arrive in Sweden, life will be for them thenceforth all wine and roses (and blondes)).

I’m reading Mircea Eliade’s The Two and the One, wherein he discusses the cargo cults. Now that thanks to him I now know a bit more about them, my hunch about liberalism has borne out to a truly spooky degree. Consider the following extended passages (page 125 ff.), and feel the prickle of the hairs on your neck as you begin to comprehend the true immensity of the intellectual gulf that separates us from latter day liberals:

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The Crevasse at the Center of Things

I recently conducted a “classroom observation” of a colleague. This involves taking a seat in the back row, with the students who are streaming Netflix and, perhaps, passing a flask, and then “observing” the fellow at the lectern for an hour or so. It’s not entirely clear what one is supposed to be on the lookout for, but my policy is to make sure that he doesn’t expose himself, tell off-color jokes, or forget to show up. Within those limits, I figure it’s his class. Continue reading

“Classical Liberalism” is a Myth

American conservatives are wont to say that the word “liberal” at one time denoted a person who believed in free markets and limited government, and that the word has only recently been twisted to mean a person who believes in free love and big government. This is false, so far as the United States is concerned, and results from conflation of the history of Europe and the United States. Continue reading