Daily Archives: July 18, 2011
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
Everyone knows that it is a logical fallacy to believe that two events are connected only because they happened in order. Nevertheless, at times one just stops and ponders.
Let us take Sony, then. The once celebrated company, at one time seen as the very epitome of technological innovation for the consumer market (like Apple is today), has been in the last years collecting misfortunes with beautiful regularity. Whether it was the self-burning laptop batteries affair in 2006, the PlayStation fiasco in 2007, or the attacks on the PlayStation network of this year and the damage through the Japanese earthquake also of this year, it would seem that rather alarming things are happening. And so the losses are now at record high and counted in billions of dollar, emergency plans are prepared, work force is laid off. No, I am not talking of General Motors. The once proud makers of Walkman are now limping, big time.
When did it start? Well, did it perchance start with the decision to make a film out of a fashionable but very blasphemous book? No doubt, to bring “The Da Vinci Code” on the big screen must have looked like a brilliant idea to some. Alas, the US Christians soon organised themselves and were not slow in expressing their outrage; as a result, not only the film didn’t perform as hoped in its main market, but Sony even had to hire a firm to minimise the reputation damage. Yep, not a very smart move after all.
The situation doesn’t seem to have improved much in the last years, and the sky is actually becoming increasingly more clouded. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
As Catholics, we must avoid plunging into this kind of superstition. We don’t do that. We are rational, soberly thinking creatures. Still, it will be allowed to:
1. register the coincidence.
2. note how outlandish some of them are. Batteries starting to take fire, or hackers paralysing a big conglomerate for a month. Good Lord, this would be good material for a best-selling novel, and a movie!
3. notice, as the author of the above article brilliantly states, that the hypotheses that Sony’s woes may be traced back to their blasphemous greed is still easier to believe that the Da Vinci Code itself.
I do not want to indulge in Schadenfreude here as jobs, savings and pensions are involved.
But perhaps Sony would consider some big film production about, say, the life of Padre Pio?
My recent post about Medjugorje let me reflect about the vast amount of ignorance of basic Christian doctrine that might here and there – instead of the willed rejection of Christian teaching – be present. Whilst only the second would get one a first class seat on the Hell Express, it is necessary for every Christian to be informed of the most elementary truths of Christianity. Most of my readers already know this of course, but a couple of messages on my comment box (deleted, as the comment box on the Medjugorje post was closed) have persuaded me that at times it is better to state the obvious, so there we are.
1. There is no possibility of repentance after death.
“There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (CCC 393)
2. The judgment after death is immediate.
“The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith” (CCC 1021).
“Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven […] or immediate and everlasting damnation. (CCC 1022)”.
Besides this concept being a clear tenet of Christianity, and being clearly stated by the Catechism in several places, common sense tells us that it must be so. If we were allowed, as the alleged apparition in Medjugorje apparently states, to have a last shot at salvation after death the absurd consequences would be – to mention just the first ones coming to my mind – as follows:
1. confession would be devoid of every meaning or purpose in the economy of salvation: I’d just wait that I am asked after death.
2. the portals of evildoing would be open to everyone who believes in this tale: every wannabe Stalin would feel free to do whatever he pleases, just paying attention that he doesn’t do anything stupid when he is requested where he would like to reside.
3. the references of Jesus to a hell clearly surprising those who end up there would be devoid of every significance.
The idea that only those would merit hell, who would choose eternal suffering after death, willingly and just out of a great desire to be miserable in all eternity, is naive to the utmost. No Stalin or Hitler ever showed any desire to be miserable during life. Actually, they had a huge desire to be happy; it is only that this desire was ego-driven (and ego-gratification the way of their illusory quest for happiness) rather than tending to God.
It must be clear to everyone devoting two minutes to the matter that such fantasies make a mockery of Christianity and are only good to endanger the souls of those who believe in them; if someone tries to make you believe that the Christian God revealed to us is not merciful enough and that we now need to change our mind as to the way he acts, be sure that that person is doing the work of the devil.
Similarly – and also here, referring to a message I have received a propos Medjugorje -:
3.Private revelations can never change the truth of Christianity. In this case, the example made was from St Giovanni Bosco, who would apparently have had a vision of hell in which people are allowed to choose between heaven and hell after death. Firstly, this is not true as the dream (which you can read here; alas, sedevacantist site, but the text seems faithfully rendered) makes it perfectly clear that when one dies, the time is up. Secondly, a private revelation can never modify Christian tenets; on the contrary, it is the adherence to Christian tenets that is the conditio sine qua non of the private revelation’s credibility.
The dream of St Giovanni Bosco makes for a beautiful reading, and might be the subject of a separate post. But for today’s purposes I’ll leave the details aside.
Apologies to all those who don’t need to be told these elementary truths. Once again, I thought that – in consideration of both the stakes and the dismal situation of Catholic and Christian instruction – it would be better to, for once, state the obvious.
Let me start with a very European observation: I ‘ll never get accustomed to the way those american ads work. He looks at her smiling in a woody, embarrassing way as she talks, and she look at him with Newfoundland dog eyes when his turn comes; one almost expects to see her tongue dangling out whilst he gives her the bowl with the Royal Canin. Cheesy, I would call it. Still, if it works the other side of the Pond it is not for me to criticise…
What it is for me to criticise in this video is something that for many Christians in the US will probably be a detail, but for a Catholic actually never should: Pawlenty apostatised.
The messages I get from the video are the following ones:
1. Pawlenty discovered a profound connection to Christianity through Protestantism. He mentions very much en passant his being born as a Catholic, but it is very clear that the bible studies & Co. “introduced him to the Lord in new and powerful ways”. It seems to me that in Pawlenty’s environment Catholics weren’t doing their job properly (his family; his priest; the Catholic culture around him) whilst Evangelicals were. I can’t explain in any other way how the man could feel in him a desire to know the Lord “in a more powerful way” without understanding that the right way to do so is to improve his knowledge of Catholicism.
2. Pawlenty doesn’t see a problem in his apostasy, nor probably do most of his viewers. He doesn’t say a word of real justification as to why he apostatised; he seems not to consider this a possible source of trouble with the 70 million of US Catholics. He presents his choice as a kind of “path to unity”, basically still sending the message that he did something good. There’s not even a hint at his feeling, today, some degree of guilt, or at least discomfort.
From the points above I can only deduct that the Church in the US must have done something massively wrong for decades, as I can’t imagine any other possibility to explain how someone could not only apostatise, but think that he can candidate to the office of President without this becoming at least an issue that must be seriously dealt with.
Mind, I am not saying that Catholics shouldn’t vote for an apostate, as every sincere believer, pro-life supporter and defender of the real marriage surely is a zillion times preferable to Adolf Hussein Obama. I am also not saying that having apostatised should make every man not worthy of a Catholic’s esteem (Sarah Palin is, as far as I know, another apostate, and Glenn Beck a third; no doubt, there will be many others). I am merely pointing out that the absence of a real debate on the matter – a debate strong enough as to force Pawlenty to say a bit more about the issue than his utterly unacceptable “I wanted unity in my family, so I apostatised” – clearly indicates that there is an awful lot of religious relativism going on in the Church in the US and that this goes on unchallenged.
Independently of Pawlenty’s suitability as a President, it seems to me that:
1. he is still awfully ignorant of the relevance of the step he took at the time;
2. the broad public, even Catholic, is not much better instructed than he is;
3. the US clergy, collectively seen, doesn’t seem to care.
Irrespective of the US presidential race, it seems to me that there is a lot of work to do.
To this Catholic, it is instructive to see how the Holy Spirit works. In the Only Church, the tempest of “modern” thinking violently shakes the barque for a while; but in one or two generations the crew reacts and starts with the work of leading the barque out of the dangerous waters. This, they do with the sure instinct of the Only Church; they do it because the Holy Ghost helps His own Church, not the imitations. All the others are on their own in the dangerous waters of human frailties and sinful desires.
And so it is that the so-called (Protestant) churches, not having the help of the Holy Ghost, get into the tempest and can’t see the way out anymore; they have no invisible help at the helm; they’ll be blinded by the terror of the ship soon sinking, and start doing all the wrong things; and sink, one day, all of them will.
Good riddance, say I; and not a day too soon.
You see the Anglicans, and the Episcopalians, and the Methodists, and the Quakers, and the mainstream Lutherans all with the same problem: a secularisation from the inside that is eating them out like a slow, malignant cancer. They forgot God (which their ancestors, wrong and blinded as they certainly were, still had firmly in mind) and dedicated their attention to men; that is, to this earth; that is, to social justice and supposed “rights”. The punishment came swiftly, but in their blindness they can’t even see that they are killing themselves, and insist on pushing the knife harder within themselves in the hope that this might be what leads to their healing.
You see this from the article, curiously redolent of Father Corapi’s press office’s “fan base”. They want to “go for growth”, talking of themselves as if they were selling diapers, or energy drinks; they talk of “recruitment” as if the problem were in people not knowing that they exist, and where to find them. They can’t understand that their decline has not happened notwithstanding their feminist and secular drive, but because of it. They don’t get that in becoming a mouthpiece for social instances, they have made themselves superfluous as a religious organisation. They are terrified of drowning as their ship is violently shaken, and they can see all too clearly that the skipper is perfectly incompetent, more terrified than they are, and has no idea which route to take.
Whenever I think that the Church in England has problems, I only need to look at the Anglicans and feel much better already. These are people able to reduce themselves to between 3% and 4% of weekly churchgoers and still unable to see what’s wrong with them. And so they continue to sail towards even more dangerous waters, thinking that in this way help will come from…. no one knows where. More modern, more “inclusive”, more “relevant” they want to be; more superfluous, more ridiculous, more ignored is what they become. Even their dying out barely makes headlines.
All points out to a continuation of this slow suicide, drifting further away from Christianity and sinking deeper into a social mentality now barely distinguishable from socialism; a very cheap “go for growth” strategy, and a rather stupid one. By introducing bishopesses and very soon, no doubt, unrepentant perverts in official position of leadership, they will further become the Disneyland of what they once were, a Las Vegas-style outfit meant to please everyone, and not needed by anyone; the tacky “made in china” imitation of the only Church, hoping to survive with a cheap theology to be flogged to those who aren’t interested in any theology. It won’t work, of course.
In the meantime, the Only Church smells the blood. The very visible decay of this now clearly ridiculous outfit opens the possibility of reaping, in only one or two generations, all that was lost almost five hundred years ago. If there’s one thing that the Ordinariates clearly show, is the Roman conviction that worldwide Anglicanism is on its last legs and it is now time to start reaping the fruits of its deadly disease. And in truth, worldwide Anglicanism now strongly resembles a small version of the Ottoman Empire, bearing the signs of its advanced state of decay for everyone to see.
Some Anglicans begin to see it, too. They’ve opened their eyes to the madness of trusting their soul to a ship shattered by the waves, with no guidance whatsoever and no security of purpose. They long for an unsinkable ship, one able to carry them safely to their destination. A ship not without problems for sure, with some awful seamen, disgraceful midshipmen and, alas, the one or other evil officer; but unsinkable nevertheless. In the coming decades, more and more of the Anglican crew are going to change ship, as the waves of feminism and “inclusiveness” shatter the vessel with all their violence whilst it heads towards self destruction.
Unless they experience a phase of true repentance and moral regeneration – nowhere to be seen up to now; the contrary is the case – the Anglicans are going to extinguish themselves whilst discussing the next wave of feminist and “inclusive” reform; which, if you ask me, is exactly the end that this heretical outfit has deserved from day one.
Born from the bastard child of a swine and his concubine, it will die as the bastard child of feminism and sexual perversion.