LaPlace iff Plato

Naturalistic explanations can work as descriptions of actual causal relations among reals only if nominalism is false, so that their terms – mass, extension, momentum, 2, h, valence, π, spin, c, equilibrium, homeostasis, system, organism, state, fitness, and so forth – truly refer. Otherwise, they are nothing but vain wind.

But the falsity of nominalism entails the reality of the Forms. It entails supernaturalism.

_____________________

Iff is a biconditional; LaPlace if and only if Plato, *and vice versa.* Now how can we say that Plato is true if and only if LaPlace is true? Are not the Forms prior to any of their instantiations?

The natural world can only be something or other if it is through and through constituted of instantiations of some forms or others. But likewise, the forms can be forms in the first place only of some actual things or other. You can’t get inactual forms any more than you can get formless actuality.

Prior to all worlds, then – i.e., prior to any particular instances of any Forms – the Forms must be all somehow actual. Only thus can there be such a thing as a natural world, with its intelligible nature, and thus its naturalistic explanations.

35 thoughts on “LaPlace iff Plato

  1. Pingback: LaPlace iff Plato | Neoreactive

      • So the forms are a possibly exhaustive list of all things that might possibly happen, or conversely a list of all impossible things, which might or might not be a shorter list. This is an interesting concept, but it boils down to saying that even with God some things are impossible, but except for those things (non-things), we will agree to call all things “Forms” with a capital F. I don’t know if Laplace would agree or not.

        I can see how this would be of interest to philosophers, e.g. for The Puzzle of Theseus’s Ship, The paradox of 1001 cats (Tibbles the cat), or more generally the problem of the many. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/problem-of-many/, but somehow the question of nominalism doesn’t grip me. Still, I find it hard to believe that William of Occam (Ockham) deserves to be in hell or that he can be blamed (or credited) for modernity.

  2. Kristor,

    I have been busy with the culture wars on various blogs (where we would be on the same side, such as defending Abp Cordileone), not to mention earning a living, taking care of my family, serving in my church, etc. I have noticed at Crisis magazine and elsewhere some culture warriors blame modernity’s faults on Luther or William of Occam. I believe that diagnosis is not only misplaced, but dangerous to interfaith alliances in the culture wars, which now are becoming wars over religious liberty in and out the public square. If we want to back to where the trouble started, we really have to go back to the Fall or Lucifer’s rebellion. See Paradise Lost.

    But back to nominalism. Putting the question of Platonic forms inside God’s mind solves some problems, but raises others. What if God is a nominalist? I don’t say He is or that I can prove He is or necessarily believe He is, but how do we know He isn’t a nominalist?

    • God’s knowledge of the Forms, like all his knowledge, is knowledge of God. And since God is necessary, the object of his knowledge, which to say his nature – in virtue of which all that happens does happen (including God (ergo the Forms), whose being is essential to his nature) – is eternal. So is he immutable. He can’t be other than he is without ceasing to be God. And because his knowledge of things is the forecondition and basis of their existence, in virtue of which they are what they are, it is perfect. Whatever he knows, then, he knows perfectly – really, and truly.

      So his knowledge of the Forms is Real, and not merely nominal.

      Things other than God are imperfect: not being God, they necessarily possess perfections and virtues to some lesser degree than he does. This includes the perfection of knowledge. That knowledge includes knowledge of the Forms. We know the Forms imperfectly, and so that’s how we execute them: imperfectly. Thus are creatures subject to the risk of a Fall.

      Nominalistic epistemologies are fine construed as attempts at a natural history of human knowing. Where they get into trouble is when they take our epistemological limitations as limits on what can be ontologically real. That we have trouble understanding how instances partake of their Forms does not mean there are not really such Forms or participations.

      None of this, of course, means that God cannot know us and respond to us, and love us. Because his knowledge of us is eternal and perfect, he knows and loves us better than we can know and love ourselves.

      Have a shower and a hot meal, replenish your ammo, and get back out there.

    • William of Occam (Ockham) deserves to be in hell

      Who said that here?

      but dangerous to interfaith alliances in the culture wars, which now are becoming wars over religious liberty in and out the public square.

      So truth should be set aside in favor of a political movement? The truth is that interfaith alliances have accomplished absolutely nothing and the culture is only getting worse.

      • Yes, it’s much more important for Roman Catholics and Protestants and Mormons and the Eastern Orthodox and the like to fight each other than to unite in some sort of temporary alliance to try to oppose the liberal juggernaut. After all, if we’re busy fighting each other, then the liberals will leave us alone, right?

      • Yes, let’s double down on failure because we can only defeat liberalism, by embracing a liberal constitution, appealing to liberal political concepts (religious liberty) by voting for liberal candidates, and watering our tradition so as not to offend good Protestant and Mormon allies like Wm. Lewis and Leo. Why we’ve been doing this so very well for last half a century and look what tremendous headway we’ve made in the culture!

      • ISE,

        Appealing to secular legal concepts is perfectly consistent with a firm witness to Truth. Paul used his Roman Citizenship when it was useful. We can appeal to the liberals’ own laws and then simply point out that the Christian Religion is true, and therefore it ought to be given liberty.

      • Appealing to secular legal concepts is perfectly consistent with a firm witness to Truth. Paul used his Roman Citizenship when it was useful. We can appeal to the liberals’ own laws and then simply point out that the Christian Religion is true, and therefore it ought to be given liberty.

        Don’t be daft. St. Paul did not call for making alliances with heretics and gnostics and appealing to the Roman civil theology. What is being called for here is the precise opposite. I am all for proclaiming that the Christian Religion is true, but that doesn’t include your sect, Wm. Lewis’s or Leo’s.

      • I consider this a false dichotomy, and perhaps the conflation of two disparate concepts.

        Of course the Reactionary rejects the Modern notion of ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious pluralism’, for he must reject the exclusion of the priestly caste from governing authority. Thus, he is seeking a state where his Tradition is the religion of the state. Secularism itself is antithetical to the World of Tradition.

        However, this is entirely different than the proposition of inter-denominational, and to a lesser extent, inter-faith collaboration against a common enemy, Modernity, which opposes all religions for it itself is a kind of degenerate cultic religion. I have read valuable insights from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Mormon, and even non-Christian Reactionary thinkers. Especially within the brotherhood of Christ, we should be able to put aside our theological grievances for the moment and recognize that we have a very common enemy. I consider sincere Protestants who reject Modernity to be people I have theological disagreements with. I don’t consider them enemies. Modernists are my enemies.

        There was once a time when Christians were not divided and we did battle together, side by side. Perhaps this may be achieved again, in whatever form you believe to be truest to the intent of the Lord our God. Until then, we should have each other’s backs and keep our disagreements to a cordial, intellectual level. Save the righteous anger of the faithful for those who proudly spit on the name of Jesus Christ and the divine right of his faithful to be under the Reactionary state. These foul devils are our real enemies.

        While many of us consider some group or other to be wandering in darkness, the Modern does not wander in darkness, but is guided by the red glow of Lucifer himself.

      • Ita Scripta Est,

        As a Protestant I looked into becoming a Roman Catholic and learned that your Church (Catechism) said I don’t really have to; the RCC says Protestants can be Christians, their baptisms are valid, etc.

        So I didn’t bother.

        Now can we get along?

      • ISE is correct to deride the failed ecumenical efforts of the past. Does this mean that ecumenicism is a dead end, a path to failure? Perhaps, but maybe there needs to be a new approach against our common enemy. Unfortunately, it appears that ISE is uninterested in trying to find a way to make it work, because he, too, is our enemy—but only because he declares himself as such.

        Come to think of it, Moslems declare themselves to be our enemies, too.

        I guess ISE never heard of Martin Niemöller, probably because Niemöller was a heretic—er, I mean, Protestant pastor (same thing for ISE, it seems).

      • As a Protestant I looked into becoming a Roman Catholic and learned that your Church (Catechism) said I don’t really have to; the RCC says Protestants can be Christians, their baptisms are valid, etc.

        So I didn’t bother.

        Sorry Earl, but I am afraid not:

        Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

        Catechism 846

      • That’s the thing about the Catholic Church: it does not speak with one voice. That’s why traditionalists like ISE and radical liberals like the current Pope both feel Catholic.

      • With which other person(s) does Alan Roebuck speak with one voice? I am much less likely to know the answer to that than I am of two professed Catholics, though I acknowledge it is indeed difficult in our day to know the answer to the latter also.

        I find myself parting ways with many in the self-described traditionalist camp on this sort of a foundational question: What does Pope Francis believe and how do you know that is what he believes? I sense overall an antsiness and lack of longanimity in traditionalist bloggers’ answer to that question. ISE quotes CCC 846, the claims of which, as a Catholic, I presume he believes. Mr. Roebuck doubts the unity of belief among Catholics by challenging whether Pope Francis also believes CCC 846 (or if not CCC 846, some other important Catholic teachings). How does Mr. Roebuck know what Pope Francis personally believes about CCC 846 short of asking him himself? Is it from his comments such as proselytism being “solemn nonsense?” Is it some other things he heard him say or heard reported about what he said? That’s all the evidence we have isn’t it? I am simple, perhaps to a fault in such a way as to be useless in this conversation, but Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff comments or reports about such comments are not enough evidence to determine a matter that has principally to do with a person’s interior disposition, his private assent of the will, the public manifestations of which have very much to do with things that cannot be known to us, such as his individual perception of his surroundings; his upbringing; the whole context in which his statements were made; his unique inclination to say rash things that, upon further reflection, he might have stated differently; his unique propensity to make the attempt to clarify past statements misunderstood by the public or to judge the matter not important enough to make the effort even if he sees he was misunderstood.

        I can envision a society in which such a drastic measure would not be necessary to make a determination (for example if our society, including Pope Francis, had less of a dependence upon the effete ‘social media’), but I can’t see anything short of an observable tribunal convened for the express purpose of examining (and asking directly) whether Pope Francis does or does not believe the claims of CCC 846 giving us the means by which to judge whether ISE and Pope Francis “speak with one voice” on the subject. It’s possible they don’t speak with one voice, but I can’t imagine anything Alan Roebuck has in his possession that would tell him so.

        Pope Francis Disclaimer: All of the above written statements have nothing to do with, and should not be understood as a position taken by their writer upon, whether Pope Francis is a ‘good pope’ or an ‘effective pope’ or a ‘prudent pope’ or any other personal quality about him other than that he *is* the pope.

      • I’m not referring to the beliefs of Catholics. I’m referring to what certain Catholic authorities (priests, bishops, theologians, popes) say that Catholicism teaches. It’s all over the map. I’ve even heard a Catholic Priest claim that Rome teaches justification by faith alone! (No, I can’t find the link. But I know what I read.) If you have to be an expert to tell what Rome really teaches, there goes the supposed advantage of having an Authoritative Church.

        Now it may be that much of this is an attempt (perhaps largely unconscious) to bamboozle the rubes so that they won’t be on their guard, and to make Rome look better in the eyes of the world, but in recent decades certain Catholic authorities have been hinting like mad that their Church is OK with homosexuality, divorce, and even Protestants, for example.

        There is also the fact that Catholic doctrine is so large that almost nobody (or maybe nobody) knows it all.

      • I’m not referring to the beliefs of Catholics. I’m referring to what certain Catholic authorities (priests, bishops, theologians, popes) say that Catholicism teaches. It’s all over the map. I’ve even heard a Catholic Priest claim that Rome teaches justification by faith alone! (No, I can’t find the link. But I know what I read.) If you have to be an expert to tell what Rome really teaches, there goes the supposed advantage of having an Authoritative Church.

        Now it may be that much of this is an attempt (perhaps largely unconscious) to bamboozle the rubes so that they won’t be on their guard, and to make Rome look better in the eyes of the world, but in recent decades certain Catholic authorities have been hinting like mad that their Church is OK with homosexuality, divorce, and even Protestants, for example.

        There is also the fact that Catholic doctrine is so large that almost nobody (or maybe nobody) knows it all..

        I hope nobody here gets the sense that I think the situation in the Church is swell and dandy. There is a obviously a profound crisis. I think you are exaggerating the degree to which the average Catholic needs to be versed in every facet of Church teaching.I also think that an authoritative hierarchy of the Catholic Church is superior to the Protestant model. I think much of secular modernity is the result of the triumph of the later. I acknowledge that you disagree, but this is point there will have to be intractable disagreement.

        I also do not think Pope Francis is a radical liberal. I think he is a good man but misguided at times (ecumenism). I believe he is in fact a strong critic of modernity. Anyway, I think the Pope and myself, actually do* speak with one voice on the following: opposition to neo-liberalism/capitalism, opposition to wars, condemnation of environmental degradation, opposition to abortion SSM ect, the recognition that economic circumstances are the real culprits on the breakdown of the family. Pope Francis even thinks the SSPX are Catholic

        “no, no, you are Catholic, that is evident; I will help you;”

        http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/05/sspx-bp-fellay-on-pope-francis-he-has.html

      • ” there goes the supposed advantage of having an Authoritative Church.”

        You can take that up with Jesus Christ.

      • Re William of Occam. You are quite right that no one on this site has placed him in hell. These days we correctly tend withhold judgment about such things, but I strongly suspect a number of his contemporaries thought he belonged there. He was, after all, excommunicated for disobedience and died excommunicated. He further argued that John XXII was a heretic. He was rehabilitated only posthumously. Yes, I know dying excommunicated is not the same as receiving a sentence to hell, but in the Middle Ages the implication of such a fate was strong. The imagery in late medieval prayer books testifies of the intense preoccupation with death and the uncertain fate of departed souls. Denial of the sacraments in such an environment was extremely threatening and was intended to be so.

        Some modern Catholics also see him as a critical part of a chain that led to all sorts of troubles, including the Protestant Reformation.

        See

        http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2014/01/post-tenebras-lux/

        http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/04/on-intellectual-genealogies

        Not that I object in principle to excommunication. It would be interesting to see what would happen if some prominent politicians were excommunicated. It might have a salutary and clarifying effect. Nor do I object to posthumous rehabilitation, perhaps for Martin Luther as an ecumenical gesture.

        http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2011/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110923_evangelical-church-erfurt.html

        http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/papa-pope-el-papa-germania-germay-alemania-ecumenismo-ecumenism-8346/

        Re Interfaith alliances. I agree the culture is getting worse. But Pope Francis is properly reacting by hosting interfaith events such as the recent Humanum Conference attended by some 350 interreligious leaders. I would even say he was both inspired and inspiring in this. See

        http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3524/Vaticans_colloquium_on_marriage_focuses_on_universal_right_complementarity_anthropology_and_strategy.aspx

        See also Pope Benedict’s efforts in behalf of religious freedom as a universal right.

        http://www.communio-icr.com/articles/view/religious-freedom-and-truth

        No one is asking you to set aside truth. Religious freedom, in fact, allows and encourages you to hold to the truth as you see it. But surely it is not too much to ask Catholics to be at least as conciliatory and open to interfaith causes as the two most recent Popes.

      • Some modern Catholics also see him as a critical part of a chain that led to all sorts of troubles, including the Protestant Reformation.

        Studies of the Reformation and its relationship to modernity have increased in recent years. Brad Gregory’s excellent Unintended Reformation is a prominent example. Consider BYU’s Ralph C. Hancock and his important work Calvin and the Foundations of Modern Politics

        http://www.staugustine.net/our-books/books/calvin-and-the-foundations-of-modern-politics/

        Hancock ultimately concludes that Calvin gets a lot of blame (credit?) for modernity. Hancock I believe is an LDS scholar who contributes to First Things. So its not just “some Catholics” who connect the historical dots. The Anglican Stanley Hauerwas comes to mind. These types of studies are important for understanding the nature of modern liberalism. They should and will continue irrespective if that makes some people uncomfortable.

        It might have a salutary and clarifying effect. Nor do I object to posthumous rehabilitation, perhaps for Martin Luther as an ecumenical gesture.

        That’s silly, if you’re trying to court traditional Catholics I can’t think of a more wrong-headed proposal. While its obviously good that Mormons question the tenets of their religion (and leave), even I wouldn’t presume to call on Mormon authorities to rescind their excommunication of a figure like John Dehlin.

        No one is asking you to set aside truth

        That is precisely what you are calling for in regard to rehabilitating Luther. I have noticed too that a lot of this requires concessions on the part of Catholics. I am curious as to what would your side be willing to give up or tone down?

      • because he, too, is our enemy—but only because he declares himself as such.

        Wm Lewis, you don’t speak for everyone here, the Orthosphere hasn’t quite devolved into a right-liberal protestant echo chamber.

  3. Don’t be daft. St. Paul did not call for making alliances with heretics and gnostics and appealing to the Roman civil theology.

    You’re the daft one here, since I clearly did not suggest those things. You read that into my statement because you have a nasty habit of slandering Protestants. Paul, however, does appeal using the established law of the land. It is not wrong for a Christian to appeal to the contradictory nature of a state guaranteeing religious liberty, and then turning around and persecuting a group for their religious beliefs. By their own standard, they are condemned. Pointing at someone and pointing out their own blatant hypocrisy and lies is in no way endorsing the standard they themselves are contradicting. It’s just saying they are liars, which liberals are nothing if not liars and hypocrites.

    • Nah, your point it is still idiotic. One can appeal to the law of the land without ceasing to criticize the ideology that underlies it. Traditional Catholics like Chris Ferrara argue in American courts all the time applying all sorts of American legal precedent, yet he makes the same arguments I do. None of this necessitates some kind of “ecumenical alliance” with people like you.

      And if you seriously think that liberals care about their own hypocrisy then you are just as delusional as the Mormons who think appeals to religious liberty will work (this time).

      • One can appeal to the law of the land without ceasing to criticize the ideology that underlies it.

        How can you be so blind and prejudiced that you cannot see that is the exact point I was making?

        None of this necessitates some kind of “ecumenical alliance” with people like you.

        Once again putting words in my mouth. And what makes you think I would want to have an alliance with someone who so blithely slanders and misrepresents people like me?

        And if you seriously think that liberals care about their own hypocrisy then you are just as delusional as the Mormons who think appeals to religious liberty will work (this time).

        The point isn’t to convince politically motivated rabid liberals of their hypocrisy. Most people aren’t rabid liberals. There are many ordinary “moderates” or even more ordinary liberals who are less dogmatic about the whole thing who might be helped to wake up when you point out the hypocrisy inherent in the Left.

      • How can you be so blind and prejudiced that you cannot see that is the exact point I was making?

        I was responding to other broader points made above before you inserted yourself into this thread.

        Once again putting words in my mouth. And what makes you think I would want to have an alliance with someone who so blithely slanders and misrepresents people like me?

        I am not misrepresenting anything you said. You said We can appeal I am arguing against ecumenism. To argue that there is a “we” is a pure contradiction.

        The point isn’t to convince politically motivated rabid liberals of their hypocrisy. Most people aren’t rabid liberals. There are many ordinary “moderates” or even more ordinary liberals who are less dogmatic about the whole thing who might be helped to wake up when you point out the hypocrisy inherent in the Left.

        Good luck with that. I am sure it will work this time around.

      • I am not misrepresenting anything you said. You said We can appeal I am arguing against ecumenism.

        I wasn’t making a case for ecumenism. I was saying we can make the same (or at least similar) legal arguments in regards to present law. Occasionally, perhaps, our lawyers might team up when we are both threatened on the same issue. I hardly think that constitutes ecumenism.

        Good luck with that. I am sure it will work this time around.

        I’m sure the Pope yelling that there is no salvation outside communion with the Bishop of Rome will work this time around too.

      • Occasionally, perhaps, our lawyers might team up when we are both threatened on the same issue.

        Right just like in the recent Hobby Lobby case “we have to rally around conscience rights of Christian Family Business Owners™ to sell only 16 different types of contraception!” What a victory for religious freedom! Maybe we could hire one of the legal scholars from Liberty University to represent us. Ted Cruz perhaps?

        I’m sure the Pope yelling that there is no salvation outside communion with the Bishop of Rome will work this time around too.

        Yes actually when the Pope proclaims that, it did work. That’s what I’m all about bringing back. It worked so much so that “traditional” Protestants such as yourself joined forces with liberals against the nasty authoritarian Catholic Church.

      • Legal teamups are useless, because any kind of legal action is itself useless (in most cases). Ita Scripta Est does make a good point here. Any Christian who thinks the Western legal system is going to safeguard his ‘rights’ in the long term is out of his mind. Secularism’s natural outworking is the destruction of the Christian faith and the persecution of its practitioners. It’s kind of like the MRAs thinking that they can somehow fight for a ‘level legal playing field’ with women when it comes to custody and such. The elite are NEVER going to give you that. They fought for decades to take it away.

        Conservatives are fast losing even their ability to ‘conserve’ things for brief periods like 10 years. Just look at SSM.

      • @Mark:

        My main point about legal team-ups wasn’t that they were a long term solution, but I still think rear-guard actions to temporarily preserve us from open and blatant persecution are desirable. Every one of those gives more opportunity for the ranks to conduct their strategic withdrawal from modernist institutions. In the end, it’s not going to stop the flood, but it might slow it down at strategic points.

      • I agree that appeals to religious liberty may not be sufficient by themselves, but if appealing to religious liberty is a delusional strategy then I am in the company of Pope Benedict and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Ita Scripta Est is not. Likewise, it was Pope Francis who invited many non-Catholic leaders, including Latter-day Saints to Humanum in the Vatican. Ita Scripta Est is apparently more Catholic than the Pope.

        What is delusional is to think that the culture can be repaired by a popular appeal to Plato over against nominalism. Leaving aside that fact that the man on the street doesn’t really care about that controversy, the obvious problem is that the liberals have a firm belief in a liberal set of Platonic forms, e.g. a degendered form of “marriage” that is thoroughly Platonic. As Sylviane Agacinski wrote:
        “Philosophy has always been uneasy with birth. With few exceptions . . . the philosopher sees himself as pure thought…the heirs of Platonism can continue to see in sexual difference and generation only the irrational, animal part of the human, as if this part ought to remain foreign to the higher preoccupations of a philosophic or political order.”

        I would be more impressed with the position that our current predicament was the fault of the Reformation (or of William of Occam) if the more Catholic U.S. states were the conservative ones and the Protestant states of the Bible Belt were the liberal ones. In fact, the more Catholic states are the more liberal ones, and the more Baptist and LDS states are the more conservative ones, and so many of the most liberal senators and governors are Catholic. In Ireland, for goodness sake, SSM holds a big lead in the current polls, though the actual vote remains uncertain. You can’t blame that on Luther or William of Occam.

        See also http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/dont-blame-the-reformation/

        and

        http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/939/the_pope_martin_luther_and_our_time.aspx

        and

        https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1987/10/the-reprieve-of-martin-luther

      • I doubt that the culture could be repaired by an appeal to any philosophical doctrine; certainly the philosophical doctrine that philosophical doctrines are bootless is itself bootless in that regard. But that a single proposition can’t fix everything under the sun doesn’t mean philosophy isn’t important, or at least helpful. The only thing that can repair the culture is the reformation of individual minds, and hearts, and lives, one at a time. It is a project of reformation of people’s ideas about what reality is like, and how one ought to behave in relation thereto. And for this sort of project, philosophical reflections can have some salience, and some effect. I have heard from many correspondents that they moved from atheism, skepticism, nihilism, liberalism, and despair – it is odd how often those things seem to arrive in company with each other – to Christian belief, traditionalism, and courage because of the philosophical arguments they encountered here, at Bonald’s Throne & Altar, at VFR, at Charlton’s Notions, or at Ed Feser’s blog.

        Agacinski paints with too broad a brush. Plato may himself have been somewhat besotted with the Forms, but Platonism is neatly corrected – not repudiated, mind, but only corrected – by Aristotle and Aquinas. And as Professor Bertonneau has just pointed out, the archon of Neo-Platonism, Plotinus, was adamantly opposed to the Gnostic hatred of created fact.

      • I agree that appeals to religious liberty may not be sufficient by themselves, but if appealing to religious liberty is a delusional strategy then I am in the company of Pope Benedict and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Ita Scripta Est is not. Likewise, it was Pope Francis who invited many non-Catholic leaders, including Latter-day Saints to Humanum in the Vatican. Ita Scripta Est is apparently more Catholic than the Pope.

        I certainly hope the hierarchy abandons the Americanist notion of religious liberty(indifferentism) which has no basis in Catholic tradition. Pope Francis visiting with the LDS is much more scandalous than anything the Renaissance Popes did, it is certainly a low mark in his Papacy.

        I guess these scholars are more Catholic than the Pope too:

        http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2012/02/religious-liberty/

        https://books.google.com/books?id=jdPCtTj7mygC&pg=PA220&lpg=PA220&dq=glenn+olsen+communio+americanism&source=bl&ots=lJjbNHEIPt&sig=NBXaVIwv_hhFtbagRdRCu_jhyxA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hphbVdnNDMHysAXP7YDAAg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=glenn%20olsen%20communio%20americanism&f=false

        What is delusional is to think that the culture can be repaired by a popular appeal to Plato over against nominalism. Leaving aside that fact that the man on the street doesn’t really care about that controversy, the obvious problem is that the liberals have a firm belief in a liberal set of Platonic forms, e.g. a degendered form of “marriage” that is thoroughly Platonic.

        I don’t see Plato or Platonism having much to do with gay marriage. If we Catholics supposedly bash Ockham too much, Mormons it seems have an ax to grind with Plato.

        I think we got to this point, because the economic significance of marriage is more or less moot thanks to capitalism. Marriage became a partnership based on mere sentiment. Marriage became less and less about having children, as technology and living standards progressed. Mormons take this trend to the one extreme by literally idolizing marriage, the final logical conclusion of the Reformation’s attack on the celibate clergy. I have actually read Mormons complain and try to pin the blame on issues like celibacy! I find this argument very strange, as celibacy has not been the dominate paradigm in the West since the Reformation. “Family values” now rules, not monastic asceticism. I think the whole way you and Charlton and some of the others on here approach issue is completely wrong and doomed to failure.

        That the gay marriage movement utilizes many of the same media,strategies and tactics to normalize their lifestyle that Mormons do is telling. They propagate very nice advertisements, with somewhat normal looking people standing with a child (see Kristor’s most recent post). Of course they are going to win.

        I would be more impressed with the position that our current predicament was the fault of the Reformation (or of William of Occam) if the more Catholic U.S. states were the conservative ones and the Protestant states of the Bible Belt were the liberal ones. In fact, the more Catholic states are the more liberal ones, and the more Baptist and LDS states are the more conservative ones, and so many of the most liberal senators and governors are Catholic. In Ireland, for goodness sake, SSM holds a big lead in the current polls, though the actual vote remains uncertain. You can’t blame that on Luther or William of Occam.

        This is a silly comment one that you unfortunately repeat often. In Utah, for goodness sake SSM is legal. Even those cheese-eating surrender monkeys in France took to the streets when that country’s government imposed SSM. What did Mormons do? It seems the Mormons are already throwing in the towel (which I admit is something of a Mormon tradition)-

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/12/utah-legislature-passes-landmark-lgbt-anti-discrimination-bill-backed-by-mormon-church/

        Also as far as politicians go, Mormons voted for progressive and liberal democrats until the 80s. Mormons came out in a landslide in favor FDR. Even when they began voting Republican, Mormon politicians have always been a liberal force- the last election cycle we had suffer through two liberal-Mormon candidates on the conservative side.It seems to me that you are out of step with the political traditions of your own ancestors. Everything you said here Leo, evidences a complete lack of understanding of the Catholic critique of the origins of modernity and 2) reinforces why ecumenical alliances with liberal-mormons, such as your self are a ridiculous waste of time.

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