2019/04/30

They Don't Believe Nothing...

GoT Watching

This is a scene from a Game of Thrones watching party at a small pub--one of many which take place weekly around the world.

Including on Easter Sunday.

That's not a picture of people passively enjoying entertainment. What's captured in this still is an act of worship.

Look at the woman on the right with her hands clasped as if in prayer. The other bar patrons stare transfixed at the screen in a rapt state of communal piety.

Here's the source video:


GoT fans aren't the only ones working themselves into ecstasies over shallow mass media artifice.

Every natural human drive has a proper object. If these drives are denied healthy outlets, they don't disappear. They become warped and perverted toward unhealthy ends.

Just as childless women of a certain age go crazy and start adopting cats, a civilization cut off from the true end of its religious impulses will invest its frustrated piety in man-made substitutes. But instead of the golden calf, we have Star Wars, cape movies, and nihilist Tolkien.

To restore the West, we must restore the liturgy.

2019/04/29

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

In keeping with his ongoing Augustinian conversion, former hedonist and international gadabout Roosh V tweeted out a sermon by Fr. Chad Ripperger on spiritual warfare.

Best Sermon

Regular readers will be familiar with my stance on extraordinary demonic activity and its effects on society--both at the macro and individual levels.

Fr. Chad, a trained exorcist, gives an informed estimate that 25% of the American population is subject to demonic obsession. I've seen numerous sources cite the same figure when estimating the number of radical Leftists. While not identical, those Venn diagrams overlap.

Don't get me wrong. Fr. Chad's sermon isn't all doom and gloom. In fact, it's quite reassuring.

A central aspect of spiritual warfare I'd overlooked is that demons don't necessarily focus their attacks on a victim's worst weak points, but on the areas in which he has the potential to reach great heights of virtue.

Fr. Chad reminds us that demons are wholly subject to Christ. He even calls them Christ's slaves. They cannot overstep the limits God sets for them by even one inch.

Severe temptation and--even extraordinary demonic activity--can be allowed by God to shake a person out of spiritual laxity, lukewarmness, or complacency in regard to a virtue that God desires to see perfected.

We must remember that extraordinary demonic activity doesn't necessarily say anything about the morality of the person so afflicted. Possession in particular is on the level of the body, not the soul. Fr. Chad even mentions a possessed person he knew who went six months without sinning at all.

Recall St. Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' closest followers, who had been possessed by seven demons.

Some people who read my posts about the demonic influence on the Left falsely conclude that I hate Leftists. I don't. I hate error.

I do want to see the Left defeated so they will a) stop leading other people into error and b) turn from evil and embrace Jesus Christ so He can bring them to the fullness of their potential for virtue, which may be considerable.

That is why abandoning the political field is not just unwise but immoral. Fr. Chad notes that politics has left the stage wherein both sides debated a variety of ideas, some good and some bad. We now face a stark choice between good and evil, sin and virtue.

Father points out what everybody in politics has missed for years: virtue is the key to making proper political judgments.

Anytime a politician or pundit suggests a new policy, be it social or economic, ask yourself this question:

Will it assist the people in developing virtue?

We often lose sight of this fact, especially in regard to economic issues, but the ultimate purpose of all political activity is to make it as easy as possible for the people to cultivate virtue.

Socialism and capitalism both miss the big picture because they're both materialistic. It profits a man nothing to gain the world but lose his soul.

In not-Clown World, political discourse would look like this:

Congressman: We should let the market handle Big Tech monopolies.
Voters: Will it help the people cultivate virtue?

Think Tank Policy Wonk: Recreational drugs should be legalized.
Audience Member: Will it help the people cultivate virtue?

Sunday News Show Pundit: We may find Satanism repugnant, but our Constitutional principles require us to let them install a statue of Baphomet in the Capitol Building.
Actual Conservative Guest: Will it help the people cultivate virtue?

Spirit of Vatican II Catholic Blogger: Runaway diversity may erode social trust and smother community solidarity, but it's our duty to resettle unassimilable migrants in small Midwestern towns.
Catholic Chad: Will it help the people cultivate virtue?

See how changing the frame wonderfully focuses the mind on what's truly important?

The preceding were merely ruminations on a couple of points brought up in Fr. Chad's sermon. Watching it will be the best use you can make of an hour today, besides attending Mass.


2019/04/26

At Least They're Being Honest

Satanic monument

Leftists are flocking to Satanism, which shouldn't surprise you if you've been following this blog.
The Satanic Temple is the perfect religion for progressives.  You can believe anything you want, as long as you hate what Donald Trump, Christians and conservatives believe.  Unlike the Church of Satan, the Satanic Temple doesn’t even believe in a supernatural entity called Satan.  Instead, they celebrate Satan as “the ultimate rebel”, and they relish in using the symbol of Satan to greatly upset Christians.  The Satanic Temple was founded in 2013, and from the very beginning it was clear that they were primarily a political movement.  In fact, they openly tell prospective members that the only real requirement for joining is to believe “in the political and secular actions” of the group…
What are the Satanic Temple's political beliefs? Here's a hint:
"The Satanic Temple attracted ‘thousands’ of new members in just the first 36 hours after the election of Donald Trump,” the group reported. “The 4-year-old temple, which had a pre-Trump membership of around 50,000, has never before seen a spike in registration nearly this big.”
“We’re definitely a resistance movement,”spokesperson and co-founder Lucien Greaves said after a speech outside the University of Colorado Boulder. “We stand in stark opposition to this idea that we must unify under a single religious banner."
The media are working to raise the Satanic Temple's profile, as well. Huffpo recently ran a puff piece on the blasphemous organization titled "Satan Is Having a Moment."
Satanists, it turns out, are everything you think they’re not: patriotic, charitable, ethical, equality-minded, dedicated to picking up litter with pitchforks on an Arizona highway.
That much is clear in the fantastic new documentary “Hail Satan?” — which chronicles the rise of the Satanic Temple, a movement that has little to do with its titular demon. Founded in 2013, the organization is equal parts modern-day religion, political activist coalition and meta cultural revolution. By reclaiming the pop iconography that has long frightened evangelical America ― devil worship, ritualistic sacrifice, horns, pentagrams, the so-called Black Mass ― the Satanic Temple aims to catch people’s attention and then surprise them with messages of free speech, compassion, liberty and justice for all.
The Satanic Temple actually does celebrate the black mass, which is a sacrilegious inversion of the Divine Liturgy.

And if you think it's hypocritical for an avowed secular Liberal organization to adopt Satanic symbolism and ritual, you fail to grasp that Liberalism was devised as an assault on Christianity from the start.

It's no coincidence that the Satanic Temple champions free speech. The Enlightenment compromise sold as a way to prevent violence between Christians was a Trojan Horse designed to soften us up for our enemies.

Consider: The First Amendment is why we can't stone these witches as they deserve.

Here's what I say with my free speech: "More weight."

2019/04/25

Casting Call: Heir to the Empire

Heir to the Empire
In a just world.
An anonymous commenter on yesterday's post asks who should have been cast in a hypothetical 1993 film adaptation of Heir to the Empire.

The hour when such a film could have been made has long since passed, but wistful speculation on what might have been is all Star Wars fans have left.

Without further ado, here is my proposed cast for a production of Star Wars: Episode VII - Heir to the Empire circa May 1993.

Note: The original core cast of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, and Billy Dee Williams certainly would have returned, so their presence is assumed.

Let's get right down to business with the man of the hour himself, the only Star Wars villain to rival Darth Vader for menace and fan acclaim...

Grand Admiral Thrawn: Hugo Weaving


Hugo Weaving

Cosmopolitan actor Hugo Weaving had mainly done foreign films and television as of the early 90s. However, he's since amply demonstrated he has the chops to play calculating, menacing villains.

Add in Lucas' notorious penchant for hiring foreign actors and relative unknowns, and weaving might have gotten his big break six years early with a breakout turn as Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Talon Karrde: Danny Trejo


Danny Trejo

Ex-con and crime flick mainstay Danny Trejo may seem a rather un-Star Wars-ish choice at first glance.

However, bear in mind that HttE would have been produced during an intermediary period in Lucas' directing career. Trejo travels in the same circles as later Star Wars alum Samuel L. Jackson.

Lucas' existing preference for drawing talent from the indie scene and his then-evolving soft spot for prominent genre actors would've made Trejo a natural fit to portray gritty underworld player Talon Karrde.

Joruus C'baoth: Donald Sutherland


Donald Sutherland

OK, utterly mad Jedi clone Joruus C'baoth is a silly character. That's fine, because venerable actor Donald Sutherland has played his share of silly roles.

He also has the acting skills to elevate C'baoth from a rather dubious plot device to a three-dimensional, sympathetic character in his own right.

Sutherland pulling that off--which he could have--would have gone a long way toward beating the odds and delivering a film that surpassed the book.

Captain Gilad Pellaeon: Armin Mueller-Stahl


Armin Mueller-Stahl

Finding the right talent to play consummate naval officer and Thrawn's trusty right hand Gilad Pellaeon would give Lucas the perfect excuse to delve deep into the European cinema scene.

The role of Pelleaeon needs someone with gravitas and quiet dignity who can nevertheless bring the hammer down when called for.

I submit to you that accomplished German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl, best known to American audiences for his roles in Shine and Eastern Promises, aptly fits the bill.

Mara Jade: Bridget Fonda


Bridget Fonda

Admit it, you forgot about Bridget Fonda there for a minute. This member of Hollywood royalty might be keeping a low profile these days, but in the early 90s she'd made her name as an action star thanks to her lead role in Point of No Return.

Here's the deal: Next to Thrawn himself, no EU Star Wars character is more desperately needed to rehabilitate the franchise than Mara Jade. She would have spared Luke his fate as a dead end failure and given him a chance at a lasting legacy.

Plus, she's easily one of the most popular and enduring Expanded Universe characters.

Astlin - Souldancer Astlin - The Ophian Rising
Mara Jade clearly had zero influence on me.

The crucial role of Imperial assassin turned smuggler turned Luke's main squeeze requires an actress capable of projecting feminine strength with more than a hint of darkness lurking beneath the surface. Fonda has proven herself equal to the task.

Rukh: Kane Hodder


Kane Hodder

Need somebody for a stunt and makeup-heavy role involving stealth kills with a blade? This dude played Jason Voorhees. I rest my case.

Ah, what might have been.

Star Wars is dead, but we're in the midst of a space adventure renaissance thanks to indie authors who actually want to please readers. Check out my revolutionary mecha mil-SF novel Combat Frame XSeed!

Combat Frame XSeed

2019/04/24

Not Even Thrawn Can Save Star Wars

I'm recovering from the multi-day writing marathon that brought Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 to completion. Here's a post from a year ago made timely by the manufactured buzz in advance of Star Wars: Episode IX.

And yes, here in Current Year +3 we know that Disney's desecration of this 70s franchise that had a fluke resurgence in the 90s which its creator milked for another decade is motivated by malice; not incompetence. It's fun to speculate anyway.

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Gamespot, of all places, just ran a story by Christopher Gates that made the same assertion I've been making since The Force Awakens came out, viz. that film adaptations of Timothy Zahn's legendary Thrawn Trilogy should have been the official Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX.
It's hard to imagine these days, when every year brings a new Star Wars movie and a truckload of spin-off media, but in the early '90s Star Wars was effectively dead. In the '80s, Lucasfilm had tried to keep the franchise alive with animated series like Droids and Ewoks, but those fizzled out. George Lucas claimed that he had more Star Wars stories to tell, but not a single film was in active production. At the time, the only real source of fresh Star Wars material was West End Games' tabletop role-playing game.
Sourcebooks full of stats and trivia aren't the same as brand new stories, however. Fans were hungry for new Star Wars adventures, and Lucasfilm left them high and dry.
Putting a ten year moratorium on new Star Wars projects was one of the smartest business decisions George Lucas made. Always leave them wanting more.
That's the climate in which Bantam Spectra released Heir to the Empire, the first book in the Thrawn trilogy. While the book came out in 1991, work on the novel had begun two years earlier, when Bantam Spectra editor Lou Aronica negotiated a secret publishing deal with Lucasfilm. After securing the rights, Aronica hired Hugo Award winner Timothy Zahn to pen the new trilogy, and gave the author carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with Star Wars' classic characters.
Insert obligatory "Back when the Hugos used to be a mark of quality" lament here.
There had been Star Wars books before, of course. Before the original film's debut, George Lucas tapped sci-fi legend Alan Dean Foster to write Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which doubled as a blueprint for a potential low-budget Star Wars sequel (obviously, Star Wars did quite well at the box office, and Lucas decided not to adapt Foster's modest story). Two prose trilogies featuring Han Solo and Lando Calrissian appeared on shelves between 1979 and 1983, but those were prequels set before the main Star Wars films.
By contrast, Heir to the Empire is a direct sequel to Return of the Jedi, taking place about five years after the second Death Star exploded. In the book, a blue-skinned and red-eyed Imperial warlord named Grand Admiral Thrawn attempts to restore the Empire to its former glory. In order to secure victory, Thrawn enlists Joruus C'baoth, the deranged clone of a dead Jedi who agrees to help Thrawn in exchange for the deliverance of Luke and Leia, who he hopes to convert into his dark side apprentices. Along the way, the Skywalkers and the gang team up with a nefarious smuggler named Talon Karrde and butt heads with Mara Jade, a Force-sensitive assassin with a dark past.
Heir to the Empire was an immediate hit, and Star Wars fans propelled it to the number one spot on the New York Times' best-seller list. Dark Force Rising, the second book in the series, proved that Zahn's success was no fluke. By the time that The Last Command, the third and final entry in the series, came out in 1993, Bantam Spectra was hard at work on a number of other Star Wars books, which covered topics like Han and Leia's wedding and the Galactic Empire's final days and ultimate collapse.
Gates goes on to explain why the Thrawn Trilogy could have made a successful movie series, though his praise is alloyed with Disney apologists' "The new movies are too subversive, nuanced, and complex for stupid nerds" narrative.
Unlike the new movies, Zahn's novels stick to the trajectory set up by Return of the Jedi, taking the story to its natural conclusion. Leia is married to Han Solo, has her own lightsaber, and is pregnant with twins. Luke Skywalker has continued to train in the ways of the force. The Empire is waning, replaced by the democratic New Republic. The action continues, but Star Wars fans' childhood heroes remain heroes. There's nothing complicated about them.
That's wildly different from Disney's new films, which sever the bonds between the original cast and scatter them across the galaxy. In the new canon, the New Republic is a feeble institution hobbled by bureaucracy and corruption. The Empire didn't win, but the Rebel Alliance didn't really, either. Heir to the Empire is comforting in its predictability. While Luke Skywalker's legacy is one of failure in The Last Jedi, the Thrawn trilogy gives him a (relatively) happy ending.
Zahn also had the freedom to play with Star Wars continuity in a way that the new films don't, and offered fans tantalizing glimpses into then-unexplored areas of Star Wars' past. Clones play a big part in the books, as does a fleet of warships created before the still-mysterious Clone Wars. While writing, Zahn incorporated details from West End Games' RPG into his books too, creating the impression that all of this new Star Wars material was part of one consistent universe--a trait that the increasingly convoluted Expanded Universe maintained throughout its 23-year run.
Of course, the most important thing about Star Wars is its characters, and the Thrawn trilogy delivers there, too. Thrawn, who relies on his mind instead of brute force, is a very different type of villain from Darth Vader, but is no less intimidating. Mara Jade, who viewed the Emperor as a father figure, is the perfect foil for Luke Skywalker, a guy with his own daddy issues. Luuke, a Skywalker clone made from Luke's severed hand, is kind of silly, but fans didn't seem to mind too much: In the lead up to The Last Jedi, fans transformed Luuke's origin story into a popular theory regarding Rey's parentage.
A popular theory that The Last Jedi summarily threw out in favor of the least interesting answer possible.

Note to Kathleen Kennedy: Space opera fans want their heroes to be heroic, their morality clear, and their endings to give closure consistent with the story's themes. Saying that fans want happy endings is a glib oversimplification. Look at the film widely regarded as the saga's best, The Empire Strikes Back, for proof that audiences don't need to be fed a steady diet of sunshine and lollipops.

Despite having to burn his pinch of incense to the mouse god, Gates can't miss the glaring reason why film versions of the Thrawn Trilogy would have made a superior follow up to Return of the Jedi. In short, Zahn's magnum opus is Star Wars, and Abrams/Johnson's cynical imitations are not.

The Thrawn Trilogy is heroic, swashbuckling space opera at its best, and mirabile dictu, it doesn't represent a rupture with prior Star Wars canon. Indeed, Zahn admirably placed his novels in harmony with the mood, tone, and style of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Could a conjectural trilogy of Thrawn films have succeeded where Mouse Wars is failing? Like all things, the answer depends on the execution. Releasing an Heir to the Empire movie in 2015 probably would have been a bad idea. The original cast was simply too old for the heavy action that would've been required of their characters. But let's tweak a few details to see how we might have gotten a Thrawn movie trilogy to work.

RotJ was released in 1983. It's nigh inconceivable today, but Star Wars all but vanished from the popular consciousness for roughly a decade. Sure, you had the Marvel Comics series, a handful of novels, sporadic home video releases, and a few failed cartoon shows; but nobody thought about Star Wars except for the rare occasions when one of the movies would be aired on TV. Gamers kept the flame alive with WEG's superb Star Wars RPG, but even the toys disappeared from shelves after 85.

But the seed that Lucas had planted in fans' minds quietly laid deep roots throughout that lost decade. Zahn's novels were timed perfectly to tap the undercurrent of Star Wars nostalgia waiting just below the surface of the zeitgeist. By the Thrawn Trilogy's conclusion in 93, Star Wars was back with a host of new Expanded Universe novels, hit video games based on the classic trilogy, and a highly lauded LaserDisc release that defined the original trilogy for a new generation.

Here's how Lucasfilm could have taken maximum advantage of Star Wars' early 90s resurgence:
  • 1991: Begin pre-production on a film adaptation of #1 best seller Heir to the Empire with Zahn hired to co-write the script. Sign the original cast to three-picture deals.
  • 1993: Release Star Wars: Episode VII - Heir to the Empire on the 10th anniversary of RotJ, playing up the date to maximize fanfare. Presented with a movie based on a best selling novel and co-written by the author, thirsty fans would almost certainly have propelled HttE to stratospheric box office heights. Kenner releases tie-in action figures two years early, and they fly off the shelves. With a major hit on his hands, Lucas gets the next two films into pre-production ASAP.
  • 1995: Release Star Wars: Episode VIII - Dark Force Rising to an expectant public. As the sophomore installment in a trilogy, DFR probably wouldn't have performed as well as HttE, but it wouldn't have had to clear a very high bar to beat TLJ.
  • 1997: Release Star Wars; Episode IX - The Last Command, bringing the new trilogy to a triumphant close. Bonus: TLC would have spared us the garbage fire of the Special Editions and may even have kept 1997 from utterly sucking.
Don't know about you, but that's the timeline I'd want to live in if given the choice.

A few lingering questions remain. Would Lucas have gone on to do the prequels? Probably, but he wouldn't have been as rusty, and with any luck Zahn could have helped him steer clear of major blunders. What about fan favorite EU projects like Shadows of the Empire? I don't see why they couldn't have squeezed those in between Thrawn Trilogy tie-in games. If anything, the new trilogy would have incentivized studios to create even more Star Wars games.

As entertaining as thought experiments like this are, it's time to come back down and face reality. Star Wars is dead for good, and there's no going back and saving it. Fortunately, a new generation of indie authors are working hard to give readers entertaining adventure stories in the spirit of Zahn.

Looking for a fun space opera with horror and fantasy elements and a distinct old school anime vibe? Then Nethereal is for you! Give it a read today.
-Author JD Cowan

2019/04/23

CY 40 Update

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40

Over past few months I've been working so hard on Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 that I've neglected to give my readers a proper update. Here's an overdue progress report.

The final draft of the novel will be finished today. Then it's off to my crack team of beta readers who will provide valuable insights for the final polish.

I expect to deliver the finished CFXS; CY40 eBook to Indiegogo backers at the end of this month. Due to Amazon's nitpicky cover approval process, I anticipate that the paperback will be ready to ship out in early May.

Digital copies of the first Combat Frame XSeed eBook have been sent to backers who claimed them. If you're a CFXS: CY40 Indiegogo backer who chose any perk except for the second eBook only tier, check your inbox.

To backers who selected the Be in a Book, Build-a-Mech, and Be Killed in a Book perks: Yes, I have written you and/or your mech into the novel, and/or killed you.

Last but not least, the second series of CFXS trading cards has been ordered. They should arrive here any minute, and I will ship them to backers as soon as possible thereafter.

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 proved more challenging to write than I'd anticipated. However, it's all been to the good, as I think XSeed fans will appreciate the extra effort put into the book. This one's gonna be my most intense novel yet. If you've been reading me for any appreciable length of time, you know I don't make such statements lightly.

You're in for one hell of a ride. I can't wait to see your reaction.

If you haven't experienced the thrilling post future of Combat Frame XSeed yet, now is the perfect time to dive in. Get the first revolutionary installment now, and be ready for the explosive sequel's release!

Combat Frame XSeed

UPDATE: Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 is complete at 80,000 words and has been delivered to beta readers. Stay tuned for further updates. Backers, keep an eye on your inbox.

2019/04/22

In Memoriam: Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe
Photograph by Matheiu Bourgois/AP
Most readers of this blog will have heard by now that science fiction grand master Gene Wolfe passed away last week. If you just wandered in out of the rain, you may not have heard of him.

Wolfe was a visionary author best known for his Book of the New Sun science fantasy cycle. He influenced generations of SFF authors including the sublime John C. Wright.

He also co-invented Pringles. 'Tis true!

You'd think the funeral procession for a man of such high accomplishment would've stretched a mile. I had the chance to find out, since my folks live three blocks from the funeral home where Mr. Wolfe's visitation took place. I estimate that roughly two dozen people attended, including myself and his surviving family.

It is well said that a prophet is not without honor except in his home town. There's another lesson here: Legacy publishers are pretty bad at publicity. Wolfe should have been a household name. It's just as well. We're entering an age when there will cease to be any such thing.

If the public mourning for Mr. Wolfe lacked breadth, the outpouring of palpable grief and hope made up for it in depth. Everyone present was profoundly affected by the sight of the great man lying in repose in his American flag-draped casket. Snapshots of a long life well-lived with family and friends adorned a bulletin board nearby.

Neil Gaiman was in attendance. He'd planned to come into town and say hello to his longtime friend that Wednesday. He ended up saying his final goodbyes instead. His presence clearly meant a lot to Mr. Wolfe's family.

Mr. Gaiman is the last SFF rock star. He has enjoyed a level of notoriety that was largely denied to Mr. Wolfe due to circumstance, a fickle twist of fate, or an unready public.

Neil's comment: "I'm not worthy to untie Gene's boots...He was the best of us."

A simple funeral followed the visitation. The pastor of the Catholic parish my family belongs to presided. It wasn't a funeral Mass, but at least the mourners--many of whom probably hadn't set foot in a church in years--had the Word proclaimed to them and even got a brief lesson in Catholic sacramentality.

So fades another bright spark of wonder and beauty. This Holy Week, it seemed like Lent had gone into overtime. The passing of Gene Wolfe and the burning of Notre Dame felt as if God decided to take our toys away.

He's right to do it. We don't deserve them.

2019/04/19

Divine Attributes

Divine Attributes

In honor of Good Friday, a follow up to last week's theology post seems in order.

Previously we defined what theologians mean by God: the necessary, self-existing uncaused Being that is the ultimate source of all contingent being.

Having established God as the uncaused, necessary Being, we can conclude to a number of His divine attributes.

Here are the attributes of the godhead with which readers are most likely to be familiar, in no particular order.

Infinity

In theological terms, infinity refers not to unrestricted extension in space or number, but means that God's perfection is unlimited, and that He possesses every possible perfection to the highest extent.

God's infinity necessarily follows from His self-existence. If any other being could place an external limitation on God, then God would in that regard be dependent on that being. He would thus be contingent, therefore not self-necessary, and therefore not God.

Nor can God limit himself, since His existence is His essence, and a change in His mode of being would require a change in His nature, which would render Him not God, which as a self-contradiction, is impossible.

Omnipotence

Probably the most well-known of God's attributes but also the most misunderstood. Omnipotence does not mean that God can "do anything", e.g. create a rock so big He can't lift it. It means that He is free from any limitation on the exercise of the powers proper to His nature.

That said, the range of God's power excludes only what is self-contradictory, such as the rock above, a four-sided triangle, etc. The intrinsic inability of the impossible to exist is not a limitation on God's power, much as being flightless does not limit a penguin's natural powers.

God's omnipotence logically follows from His infinity. There can be no limitation on the exercise of His powers because such a limitation would constitute contingency and result in a self-contradiction.

Eternity

Another often misunderstood divine attribute, eternity as attributed to God does not mean that He exists on a timeline extending perpetually into the future and the past. It means that God transcends time and dwells instead in an ever-present now.

Due to God's eternity, any mention of Him acting in the past or future tense is made only by analogy--there is no was in God. This divine attribute is attested in Sacred Scripture with the revelation of the Divine Name, "I Am."

Again, we inexorably conclude to God's eternity from His infinity, since the self-necessary Being cannot be limited in time any more than He can be limited in power.

Omnipresence

In light of the divine attributes we've already covered, God's omnipresence needs no elaborate explanation. Since God is not limited in time, He's not limited in space.

God's omnipresence does not contradict His eternity. Though not limited in time, He coexists with it, just as He, though infinite, coexists with finite beings.

To say otherwise would be to claim that necessary and contingent being--i.e. cause and effect--are mutually exclusive, which is absurd.

Omniscience

It should go without saying at this point that the infinite Being cannot be limited in knowledge. For the same reason that God's power cannot be contingent on any other being, He must derive His perfect knowledge solely from Himself.

Failure to understand God's omniscience poses a stumbling block to many philosophical and theological laymen. God is not like a man atop a high tower afforded a longer view by His superior vantage point. Nor is He like a man at the end of time looking back over the historical record.

God's knowledge is not dependent on any creature, nor is it mediated by senses. Instead, God knows all things causally and from all eternity by virtue of His status as First Cause.

Consider a cellist publicly performing a new composition. The audience only knows the song through the mediation of their sense of hearing. The composer, however, knows the piece more intimately since he wrote the sheet music. This analogy is imperfect, because regarding omniscience, God didn't simply write the sheet music, He is the sheet music.

These are just a few of the divine attributes. To be precise, they're really artificial delineations of God's singular, infinitely simple nature split into separate categories for easier human understanding. Theologians are, by necessity, blind men groping an elephant. But we do know that the subject of our inquiry is there, and our investigations can obtain some truth, however incomplete.

2019/04/18

Empress Theology and Queen Philosophy - Encore

Family business called me away from the internet today, so I thought it a good time to re-blog this post on theology and philosophy from way back in 2015.


The commendable Tom Simon writes about the contempt which late Moderns have been conditioned to hold for theology and philosophy:
Only the philosophers and theologians, nowadays, try to concern themselves with the entirety of any question, from first principles down to final answers. And we have taught the humans to regard both philosophy and theology as useless and even stupid pursuits, and thereby cut them off from any possibility of meaningful knowledge.
Mr. Simon has his finger firmly planted on the most colossal intellectual deception of our age. Passing over mangled quotes about a lie's believability being proportional to its bigness, the propaganda campaign against speculative reason has had very real and detrimental effects on Western civilization.

The reason is simple. If you limit your thinking to matters of immediate utility, you remain ignorant of the reasoning behind your actions and the ultimate ends you're laboring toward. Things still get done under such a scheme, but we're increasingly prone to forget that the why of something is as important as--if not more important than--the how.

Professor Stephen Hawking's famous report of philosophy's demise shows how even the most brilliant among us are so pre-rationally biased against speculative reason that they unironically make philosophical statements declaring philosophy dead.

For anyone who's sympathetic to late Modern pragmatic utilitarianism, I've got bad news. Philosophy and her big sister theology are both quite alive--and even worse, from your viewpoint, relevant.

Philosophy sets forth the criteria whereby we can know whether or not our ideas conform to reality. All other disciplines depend on this sole prerogative of the Queen of Sciences. Contort your thinking all you like, her writ is inescapable short of forsaking rational thought altogether.

You can rightly object that, by philosophy's own rules, reliance on reason can't justify itself by itself. What cause, then, have the West's philosophers to trust human reason?

The first principles of logical thought rest on axioms--propositions that can't be proven logically, but which have the character of universal laws that must be true for rational thought to take place. A further objection arises: why not deny the axioms? Why put faith in rational thought?

This is the point where Queen Philosophy must yield precedence to her fellow and elder sovereign Empress Theology, who answers that faith is precisely how we know that the conclusions of human reason are trustworthy.

We do well here to consider that, besides love, few words have been as mangled at the hands of modernity as faith. The old saw that faith is persistent belief in the face of contrary evidence is as insipid as it is misleading. Faith isn't cockeyed optimism. It's not wishful thinking, and it's not self-deception. It is a transcendently gifted way of knowing with certainty. Ultimately, faith is what allows us to examine evidence and accept conclusions drawn from it.

For those of utilitarian bent, it's difficult to name anything more useful to the development of Western civilization than faith. It was faith in divinely imaged human reason that gave rise to the great universities. It's no accident that initially more advanced cultures, steeped in voluntarism and occasionalism, stagnated intellectually while the foundations of the scientific revolution were being laid in the West.

Why the relentless assault on speculative reason? Listing the specific historical-intellectual developments would fill volumes. I suspect that the ultimate motive for denigrating the sovereign sciences is simple human selfishness. The true object of philosophy is the Good Life, which is attained through practice of virtues that draw us out of ourselves and orient our thoughts and acts toward others. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and love is always selfless.

The same goes double for theology, whose Subject (for a person can never be an object) is none less than love Himself. And this love is divine Wisdom. No rivalry exists between the royal sisters. The decrees of the elder confirm and uphold the younger's judgments.

I advise rebels against these great monarchs to recant their treason and seek the wisdom--offered freely at the city gate--that promises freedom from your errors. Theology and philosophy reign whether you acknowledge their authority or not. By casting aspersions on them, you only demean yourself.

2019/04/17

Star Wars' Target Audience

Man Cries Over Star Wars

Two cultural observations that have repeatedly been made on this blog are that Star Wars has been weaponized against its original fans and that decadent Westerners are perverting normal pious sentiment by investing it in corporate pop culture products.

Now a viral video has surfaced that documents the unholy confluence of both phenomena. Watch only if you haven't eaten recently.


Mock this video's subject for bursting into tears at a cynical marketing tool if you want. I certainly won't stop you. He's reacting to watching a commercial as if he were watching the birth of his first child.

But before you mock, know that this is how Disney sees the male segment of their fandom. The weepy soiboi in the video, which may as well be the West's epitaph, is Star Wars' target audience.

If you still call yourself a Star Wars fan; even if you're merely willing to pay to consume another Star Wars product, you can't point the finger at this manlet without three pointing back at you.

Clown World: How do they keep making it more septic every time?

Conservative capitalists abandoned Hollywood to the Leftist propaganda mill long ago. Tinseltown is now one of the most prolific vectors of the poz.

If we're to have a hope of retaking lost cultural ground, it's imperative for dissenting sci-fi aficionados to stop funding their own demise, i.e. stop giving money to people who hate you.

Lest you doubt that they hate you, watch that video again. Take careful note of the visceral revulsion you feel at the nu-male's blubbering, and understand that he is Disney's image of you.

Trudging off to the theater might be understandable if Mouse Wars were the only game in town. But we're in the midst of an indie science fiction boom the likes of which haven't been seen since the golden age of the Pulps.

There's simply no excuse for spending your finite time and money on Soy Wars instead of independent creators who share--or at least won't desecrate--your moral vision of the world.

I get that the good stuff can be hard to find, especially with converged media and Big Tech actively throttling any artist to the right of Fidel Castro. Like panning for gold, finding unpozzed entertainment in the reign of the Mouse takes some work.

Luckily, I'm in a position to make it easy for you. Get my hit mecha space adventure Combat Frame XSeed now!


Combat Frame XSeed

2019/04/16

Abomination in the Sanctuary

Notre Dame

As the charred embers of Notre Dame Cathedral cool, the internet is abuzz with speculation from the usual speculators as to whether the fire that catastrophically damaged this monument to the height of Christendom was deliberately set.

The authorities have been diligent in the execution of their duty, which is to assure everyone that this is a freak accident. They tell us there are no signs of foul play and pin the blame on some kind of mishap vaguely related to ongoing renovations.

Skeptics of the official line point out that 875 French churches were vandalized last year alone. Most of us have probably forgotten, but one church attack in 2016 claimed the life of an 85-year-old priest.

It bears noting that as of this moment, the powers that be are right. There's no evidence, beyond rampant speculation, that Notre Dame fell prey to arson.

Even if it does turn out that the church was burned down by invaders from over the horizon, or secular death cultists feeling their oats, or government stooges intent on replicating the Reichstag Fire, it's all just window dressing.

Most of the speculators are already drawing the wrong conclusions. "This is what you get from diversity!" they say. The clear implication is that France's--and the West's--main problem is too many incompatible foreigners eroding their culture.

Causally speaking, that theory puts the cart before the horse. Immivasion is the most visible symptom of Western decline. It's not the cause. If the French still had confidence in their culture, they wouldn't be watching their churches burn.

What's the real culprit? It's almost a miracle, of the heart-hardening kind, that more people don't see the root of the crisis when it's staring them in the face. The myriad images of the cathedral in flames are crystal clear visual aids.

In Scripture and history, the loss of a nation's temple is taken as a sign that God has revoked or suspended that nation's charter. Jesus Himself prophesied the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. It was fulfilled in AD 70 at the hands of the Romans.

That's the other common theme running through these divine chastisements of nations. The transgressors' worst enemy is chosen to carry out the punishment. This extra humiliation helps drive the lesson home. God is the Lord of all nations and the Master of history. You're not putting one over on Him.

Another important takeaway is that it's the destruction of temples, not political capitals or economic centers, that sounds a nation's death knell. This makes perfect sense to everyone but late Moderns.

A nation's religion is how it explains itself to itself. Culture is what happens when religion intersects with daily life. Temples are sophisticated meme machines precision engineered to apply the power of shared faith to people's lives. Notre Dame Cathedral was the integrated microprocessor of its day.

That's the deeper significance of a temple's destruction. Culture without faith is decapitated. It's as hollowed-out as a gutted cathedral.

Some disingenuous or terminally stupid commentators have called Notre Dame Cathedral a monument to the Enlightenment. The children of the Enlightenment desecrated Notre Dame by installing a "goddess of Reason" in the sanctuary and holding raucous bacchanals.

Secular Modernists' 300-year attempt to replace Christianity with a makeshift alternative has gone down in flames, which the images of Notre Dame burning show. Banishing Christ from the heart of the West hasn't brought freedom. It's ushered in feckless nihilism that's no match for crude yet confident barbarians.

Electing nationalists is not enough. Mass deportations alone will not save the West. Perhaps the burning of Notre Dame really was a freak accident. The lesson remains the same.

We can restore Jesus Christ to His rightful place as King over our nations, as Poland has done, or our enemies will be the scourge that drives us from our former homelands.

2019/04/15

Combat Frame Data: XCD-100

XCD-100

XCD-100

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-100
Classification: general use anti-armor combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: EGE remnant, SOC
First deployment: CY 20
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19 meters
Weight: dry weight 70 metric tons, full weight 75 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 41,790 kg, 4x 20,910 kg, 2x 12,000 kg; top speed 3200 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 21, 180° turn time 0.85 seconds; legs: top ground speed 195 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: 2x plasma sword, power rated at 0.51 MW, stored in recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use; variable energy cascade shotgun, stored on back, powered by reactor/capacitor contacts in fingers, hand-carried in use
Special Equipment: nuclear self-detonation device


General Notes

While the HLO's resistance to the Coalition was still in its infancy, combat frame magnate Tesla Browning devised the first new XSeed in 18 years. His goal was twofold: 1) to test theoretical Project S concepts, 2) as a fail-safe should a later product of Project S fall into the wrong hands. This second aim would plant the seed of a bitter irony.

A staunch proponent of the "Use what you have," school of engineering, Browning started with the venerable first XSeed, the XCD-001-1. He added a nominally more powerful propulsion system and a frankly overpowered One Series generator planned for later Project S XSeeds. Despite its added weight, the XCD-100 featured only slightly reduced performance compared to the Prometheus.

Like all XSeeds, the XCD-100 was equipped with "1D" laminar carbyne armor. These layered sheets of monofilament carbon could shrug off most ballistic attacks and channel one-third of an energy attack into the CF's onboard capacitor. In an improvement borrowed from Zane Dellister's XSeed Dead Drop, the XCD-100 could power its weapons directly from its reactor or its capacitor, drastically increasing its staying power on the battlefield.

The XCD-100 retained the XCD-001-1's standard pair of plasma swords. Instead of a plasma rifle, Browning continued his habit of modifying legacy equipment with new weapons. In this case, he designed an energy "shotgun" which fired a variable proton discharge capable of destabilizing the molecular structures of carbon allotropes. Affected carbon molecules would fly apart with explosive force, and the effect could cascade to carbon-bearing structures in contact with or close proximity to the initial target.

Other XSeeds, with their carbyne and graphene components, were the XCD-100's natural prey. Browning intended the shotgun-toting CF as a predator from the start, kept it in his arsenal as a last resort in case the Coalition should steal a later XSeed or manufacture one of their own.

As a One Series XSeed, the XCD-100 also carried the advanced Vercingetorix laser targeting system. It was never considered as the main targeting module for the Roter März, but it could communicate with other XSeeds of its series via laser "opticomm".

In contrast to later One Series XSeeds, the XCD-100 did not have an A.I. operating system, since a workable alternative to Max Darving's Prometheus strong A.I. wouldn't be developed until CY 40. The 100 did boast a special feature that its later brethren lacked: a nuclear self-detonation device meant to annihilate the XSeed rather than allow the nightmare scenario of the SOC acquiring it.

That nightmare scenario almost came to pass due to a series of mishaps in CY 20. An unmarked BEC transport returning the XCD-100 from Browning's black testing site in the Metis debris field met with a freak accident and crashed in China's Taklamakan Desert. A crew of former EGE soldiers-turned-scavengers led by Captain Spencer Sheridan found the crashed transport with all aboard killed. They eagerly took the XSeed as salvage, unaware that they'd opened Pandora's box.

Upon learning that his wife Dorothy had been aboard the missing transport, Project S designer Zane Dellister returned to Earth in the prototype fighter from which the XCD-102 Emancipator would descend. He hoped to use his fighter's Vercingetorix system to track the radar-invisible shuttle but instead found the XCD-100 with Sheridan and his men. An altercation between Dellister and Sheridan was preempted by the arrival of a Coalition recon squad supported by a sizable CF force.

Aided by another BEC team led by Jean-Claude du Lione and a small detachment of Wehrbund Bavaria, Zane and the EGE remnants wiped out the Soc forces. But word of a second, even stronger Coalition force soon reached the uneasy allies. Arrangements were made to evac allied personnel to Browning's satellite, but it was deemed necessary to destroy both XSeed test types with their nuclear detonators. Sheridan's right hand man volunteered to pilot the XCD-100 into the desert and set its nuclear self-detonator while the others escaped. Meanwhile, Zane unilaterally decided to sortie in his fighter against the larger Soc force and cover his friends' retreat.

The second Soc force was wiped out in a conflagration consisting of at least one and probably two nuclear blasts. Jean-Claude, Sheridan, and his men safely reached the BEC satellite. Neither Sheridan's first mate nor Zane Dellister were ever heard from again.

Combat Frame XSeed


2019/04/12

When America Died


Each day, more people wake up to the fact that, "How can we save America?" is a pointless question. America is already a corpse. Many of us have finally noticed that it's stopped twitching.

A better question is, "When did America die?"

Was it at the start of this year when Trump signed the spending bill?

What about George W. Bush's invasion of Afghanistan, allegedly a response to 9/11, which kicked off US involvement in the Forever War?

Was it in 1998, when Bill Clinton was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate?

How about Reagan's 1986 amnesty?

For that matter, what about the Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965?

Or all the excesses of FDR's imperial style presidency?

1920 was the year when American men inexplicably gave women the franchise.

What about Wilson involving America in World War I?

Was it in 1913 with the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment?

Many mark America's time of death as 1861, when the Civil War killed the understanding of the United States as a voluntary union and facilitated her transformation into an international empire.

Was it in 1794, when the US government under the fledgling Constitution deployed an army against its own citizens, many of whom were Revolutionary War veterans--for protesting a tax similar to those they'd rebelled against Britain over?

Was it in 1789, when that same Constitution based not on eternal truth but on worldly compromise, took effect?

Taking a long view of history shows that America's death was not a single, violent event. It was the work of slow poison corroding the national fabric over years, even centuries.

And the poison was baked into the cake from the start--at least from the start of the United States as a political entity.

Most of you will have heard by now that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested yesterday. Those who support his arrest decry him as an enemy of the United States. Meanwhile, his supporters lament his incarceration as a blow against free speech.

But America was already long dead before Assange leaked any secrets.

More so freedom of speech, which was devised by practitioners of Enlightenment realpolitik to hoodwink Christians into unilaterally disarming themselves.

What we're seeing are the inevitable wages of Liberalism. A political system based on an attempt to replace absolute good with absolute freedom can last a while in a society with a largely homogeneous demographic, cultural, and religious makeup. We have not inhabited such a society for a while.

There is no putting Humpty Dumpty back together. Nor should we want to. Recreating America ca. 1955 would eventually land us right back in Clown World.

Providence will soon give us the chance to start again and avoid the mistakes of the past. We can build a new, sane order founded on immutable truth. But first enough of us must let go of the homeland where we grew up, and which is just as lost as Atlantis.

If we let go of the past, we can build a future where the rhythm of life harmonizes with human nature, where the state and the market exist to serve man, and where the common good is upheld.

The last black pill has turned out to be the ultimate white pill after all.

2019/04/11

Proof From Atheist Absurdity

Atheist Church

Over at John C. Wright's blog, Basic atheist Ilja Deifts copiously demonstrates why no one takes atheism seriously anymore.

The verbal onanist spews quite a torrent of sophistic effluvium, so I'll just hit the high notes from his smug, effeminate efforts to rebut Mr. Wright's argument against an infinite regress.

First up, our very own D.J. weighs in.



As always, an #IFuckingLoveScience! type retreats into intellectual nihilism rather than confront the reality of You Know Who. Philosophical illiterates like Deifts fear the light so much that they'll plunge us into a dark age to escape it.

Enter JCW.



It looks like John's laser scalpel logic might have cut through the fog dimming Deifts' intellect.


I spoke too soon. The cool, rational atheist who spends hours obsessing over the God he doesn't believe in on the internet just can't help himself. And once again, he undermines his own position.


Before making a rookie category error.


JCW delivers the coup de grace.


Atheism briefly gained some traction in the previous decade by plying the gullible with a world where they'd be free to indulge their vices with impunity. Their gains evaporated when even the less astute realized it was also a world without accumulated knowledge, electricity, or indoor plumbing.

Having cataloged so much of it lately, I'm tempted to cite internet atheists' sheer absurdity as a proof for God.

2019/04/10

A Proof for God

Creation of Adam

Based on reader feedback from Monday's post on the definition of God, presenting a proof for God's existence seemed in order. Here's the salient excerpt from a previous post that dealt with the subject.

Defining God

The first obstacle that must be surmounted is the generally debased state of contemporary philosophy and language itself. Let's start by defining the key term God, as far as is possible for limited beings.

When Christians--and some theist philosophers like Aristotle--say God, we don't mean an old man on a mountaintop composing a global naughty/nice list when he's not conjuring boulders he can't lift. Such a being would fall into the category of a creature, albeit a powerful creature, existing within the material, temporal order.

What we mean by God is the uncreated, all-powerful, and absolute Being who transcends the created order.

Proving God's Existence

Anyone who says God's existence can't be proven is either ignorant or lying. The deception usually lies in moving the goalposts regarding what constitutes evidence. Materialists are fond of demanding physical proof of God while they themselves required no physical proof for materialism.

The claim that God's existence can't be proven contains another subtle a priori bias. It assumes that God exists in the same way that a hydrogen atom, a pencil, or an aardvark exists; that is, contingently within the order of creation. God does not have existence per se. It's more accurate to say that God is Being. The Bible sees eye to eye with Aristotle here. "I Am that I Am."

In truth, absolute, uncaused, necessary Being is self-explanatory. The physical universe is more in need of an explanation--both from its origins and at every moment--than the eternal, transcendent God.

Christians are sometimes accused of begging the question by positing a self-necessary Being from the start and declaring God's existence a fait accompli. That accusation gets the process backwards. Theologians and philosophers start from evidence gathered through observation, experience, and reason and conclude to absolute Being.

The most elegant and time-tested arguments for absolute Being are the cosmological arguments refined by St. Thomas Aquinas. Moderns and Postmoderns will glibly scoff that these arguments have long been discredited. But each attempt to refute the classical arguments from cosmology, such as David Hume's, is revealed as a straw man under scrutiny.

Here's a common cosmological argument. An apple ripens on a tree branch. That means the apple had the potential to move from unripeness to ripeness, and that potential was put into act. We can rightly ask where the impetus to actualize that potential came from. Apples aren't self-sufficient. They need water, sunlight, and a host of other conditions to grow. You can try locating the source of the apple's actualization in any or all of these contingencies, but that just kicks the can a little farther down the road since water, the sun, etc. all contain potentialities requiring external contingencies to actualize.

Positing that it's contingent beings all the way down doesn't do any good. That just gets you an infinite train of boxcars with no locomotive. Such a train would be incapable of motion. Similarly, an infinite chain of contingent causality could never move the apple from unripeness to ripeness.

[Ed. Why not? Because there would be an infinite number of preceding steps that would have to be completed before the apple could ripen. But by definition, an infinite series of steps can never be completed.]

We do see apples that ripen and myriad other examples of actualized potential, yet an infinite chain of contingent beings would be absurd. The only logical conclusion is that a being which is pure act with no unrealized potential is the ultimate source of all being. Since existing potentially instead of in actuality is a limitation on being, that which is pure act must be unlimited being and is therefore Being itself. And that is what Christians call God.

2019/04/09

I'm Not Saying It's Demons...

In all the years I've run this blog, nothing I've written has triggered the Leftist death cult more than my observation that their heretical religion is demonically informed and motivated.

Here's a comment that recently showed up out of the blue on a post I wrote almost four years ago.


Note the result of my little demonic activity check. The anon who went to the trouble of digging up a post from 2015 just to leave a mocking comment suddenly falls silent when I ask him to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. This wasn't the last instance of that phenomenon.

A reference to the same post from 2015 appears in a 2017 post by a blogger and Hugo nominee who calls himself Camestros Felapton.

16th Century

Camestros wants everyone to know that he had a hearty laugh over my warning that Leftists show signs of demonic obsession. I clearly don't know that it's Current Year. Anyway, he isn't bothered by superstitious hocus pocus.

But then, just four days after the drive-by comment on my old demonic activity post, Camestros himself showed up to troll the comments.

Camestros Felapton1

Camestros Felapton2

That's him performing Exorcist style contortions to deny me the satisfaction of hearing him admit that  this shape is a triangle:

blue triangle
And note that he specifically won't admit it to me. He has no problem calling the triangle by its right name in his first comment in the second image, which was a reply to someone else in the same thread.

I went ahead and applied the test.

2 choices

Suddenly the trolling stops. It's like flipping a switch! A pattern is starting to emerge here.

SJWs may always lie, but even though they have no problem running their mouths when it comes to snarky sniping at normal people, they can't bring themselves to profess faith in You Know Who, not even in jest.

Guess what an aversion to holy things is a sign of.

By the way, the name of the tipster who alerted Camestros to my post rings a bell. Why does the name Doris V. Sutherland sound familiar?

Oh, yeah. "Doris" is a six-foot-tall cyberstalking tranny.

Drag Queen Story Time

Can't imagine why an actually mentally ill cyberstalker would take issue with me pointing out the rampant demonic influence on the Left.

By now everyone knows that the slippery slope is real. What the death cult vehemently denies one day, they violently enforce the next. Just as with butt marriage and child trannyfreakism, your celebration of and participation in open satanism will soon be legally mandated.

Free market worship and the NAP are no match for the twisted religion of conquest that is the current Left. Wake up, repent, and believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has authority over demons.

2019/04/08

What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Theology

Over the weekend several readers asked me to do a dedicated theology post. I'm not entirely convinced they know what they're asking for. Western culture is now so estranged from basic theological knowledge--purposefully, it bears noting--that most people don't even know what theology is. Of those who fancy they have some idea, most think it's a curious branch of philosophy wherein old men in silly robes endlessly debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

To disabuse you of that notion, angelology is a separate discipline. Nor are questions of Petrine primacy or congregational structure theology in the strict sense. Those are ecclesiological issues. Thought experiments about whether or not a Christian can lie to the Nazis about the Jews hiding in his attic aren't theology, either. That's Christian moral philosophy. Even the study of Christ's saving work is soteriology, not theology per se.

These opening paragraphs do provide an introduction to the key method of theology, which by necessity begins with what its subject is not.

What is theology, then? Theology is the science of obtaining true knowledge with certainty about God. In its pure sense, theological inquiry properly deals with the godhead itself.

That means today we won't be urging absentee pastors to defy Susan from the parish council, shaming Millennial women for browsing SnapChat in church, or commanding the demons riding SJWs to disclose their names. We'll have plenty of time for all that later.

Today I thought we'd wade into the shallows before diving in the deep end. Because the academy has been asleep at the wheel for 300 years, almost everyone on the internet is so theologically illiterate, if we mapped their theological literacy to real literacy, they'd be writing their names in finger paint--with multiple misspellings.

Let's start with the most basic and vital definition. What is the meaning of God? Specifically, what do theologians mean by God?

The meaning of God is a deceptively contentious subject. The whole of modern atheism is really just a word game that arbitrarily ignores the consistent understanding shared for over 2000 years and substitutes a handy tackling dummy.

First we need to lay a little groundwork. There are two fundamental aspects of every really existing being: what it is and that it is.

Everything that exists has intelligible qualities. Empirical science relies on that fact. Those qualities come in two types: optional attributes that could be otherwise, and necessary qualities determined by what the thing possessing the quality is.

Here's a blue triangle.

Blue Triangle
It is blue and three-sided. You can discern which quality is necessary by performing this fun experiment at home. Simply ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Would this shape still be a triangle if it were red?
  2. Would this shape still be a triangle if it had four sides?
A a green triangle is still a triangle. A four-sided triangle is an absurd contradiction in terms. We know with certainty that a triangle necessarily has three sides. A three-sided figure is what it is.

You may well ask, if every existing thing possesses some qualities by necessity, can the same be said of any being's existence?

I answer: Yes, O intellectually curious and insightful reader.

Once again approaching our subject by defining what it is not, consider that it is in no way absurd to ask why the triangle above exists or to posit circumstances under which it would not exist. I could edit the post and erase it, for example. The triangle doesn't possess existence necessarily--like it possesses three-sidedness. Its existence is contingent.

Every contingent being is so called because its existence relies on some other being. The source of its existence is outside itself.

But there must be a being whose existence is self-explanatory. It must exist in the same way a triangle must have three sides. Otherwise, contingent being would be groundless with no ultimate cause of its existence. No motion could take place. No qualities inhering in contingent beings could unfold and mature. The cosmos would be an infinite chain of boxcars with no locomotive.

A being that exists by necessity is called necessary being. It possesses no variable qualities. Instead, what it is is that it is.

In metaphysical terms, necessary being's existence is its essence.

That means it's just as absurd to deny necessary being's existence as it is to deny that a triangle has three sides.

And necessary being is what theologians mean by God.