An English In Kentucky


















Monday April 22nd 2019Tim Candler9


    Inalienable is defined as: cannot be transferred to others.  In the language the word belongs to the quality of dueness, what's owed, indebtedness. But the question to explore within the word is why, rather than OK that's settled for ever and ever, let's not mention it again. Nor have I ever been quite certain what Thomas Jefferson meant by inalienable when he wrote "Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and inalienable rights of man." Yet to reach this conclusion he must have made a wonderfully bold assumption because you and I don't actually have any rights, what we have is a society in which certain behaviors and actions are less acceptable than other behaviors and actions. Some behaviors rewarded, some behaviors punished. And you can go on to explore the shades of grey, and see a constant movement in the back and forth, the inherent right of kings, the right to this, the right to that. Go ahead, quarrel if you want, but in the discussion between Idea and Material the rights of man are Idea.  My own view is that you can list the rights all you want, but rights are neither inherent nor inalienable and over time they are subject to change. Idealists tend toward an end point where all is settled to the point of entropy, which in physics means to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity, and like it or not because life as consciousness is by necessity irrational, an assumption of mine, that point of entropy is not so much inconceivable as it is greeted by a "nah" which is kind of like a sneering "no" in the more visceral regions. Always a depressing reaction and very typical, it inclines the great and the good, as they cling to the Constitution, toward saying things like "clinging to their bible" and "the deplorables" or something like "The Libtard have no idea and are just stupid." An overall level of discourse that suggests one of two things neither of them particularly attractive or encouraging, and yet serves to remind us all how short a distance it is from the Tree to the Cave.



      Thomas Aquinas was a most interesting man in the development of thought for us Westerners. We're looking at the 13th Century. His mother didn't like the idea of him becoming a Dominican, one of the poorer more begging of the religious orders, so she confined him to the family castle for a couple of years in the hopes that he'd pull himself together. But he was stubborn for the great ideas and finally off he went to become ordained as a Dominican priest and get his doctorate in Philosophy, which in those days was mostly Plato and Aristotle. At the time the Church of Rome was struggling with a very divisive quarrel. On the one hand were the Averroists who were all about Revelation as the sole source of Church doctrine. Truth they argued was revealed by god and certainly not by man, and while stuff like philosophy, adding up and earthly learning had it's lowly place, it shouldn't play much of a role in the church. The problem with that for the church was it meant any wild eyed nutcase could come out of some rural nowhere and declare a new and possibly crazy revelation and the chaos, the fracturing that this could produce in the faithful would result in endless conflict. Thomas became an advisor to a Pope who was anxious to put an end to the Averroist dispute. He argued that revelation, faith, believing something, was a sense like any other sense. But it's through the intellect that we people make all the senses intelligible, and this meant the church would be pretty dumb to ignore the capacity God had given us to make intelligible any revelation he might see fit to grant his many, many children. Oh sure, he went on, some things can only be known by revelation, these he argued were the higher truths, but most things can indeed by known by experience of the day to day here on earth. The Averroists had to agree. Thomas basically saved the church as a useful institution with a functioning bureaucracy and he went on to formalize his doctrine, which included the useful assertion that all animals have souls, but only human souls were immortal, so no chance of someone's Parrot receiving anything like a comprehensible revelation. Fifty years after his death, despite never having performed a traditional miracle, the Pope made him a saint.


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