Sunday, May 26, 2019

Lord, have mercy

"suppose a Catholic puts such an emphasis on Christ’s mercy that he takes it to imply that someone in an adulterous second 'marriage' can be absolved and receive Holy Communion despite having no intention of refraining from adulterous acts in the future.  This would manifestly be a heresy in the original sense cited by the Dictionary, and in the sense explained by Belloc.  For it would both be an obvious departure from two millennia of common doctrine, and would involve a distortion of the notion of mercy, turning it into a kind of license to sin.
     "Indeed, it would be an especially perverse distortion, since it would, in the name of Christ’s teaching on mercy, reverse Christ’s teaching against divorce and remarriage – a teaching that Christ enjoined on his disciples precisely in the name of mercy!  For it was, Christ said, only because of their 'hardness of heart' that the Israelites were permitted by Moses to divorce, a permission he explicitly cancelled.  So, a permissive attitude toward divorce and remarriage is the very last thing one could justify in the name of Christ’s understanding of mercy."

     Edward Feser, "Popes, heresy, and papal heresy," Edward Feser, Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Finitude gives us time to think

     "In transhumanism as we experience it and as it continues to emerge [(se profile)], the notion of time is turned upside down.  Longevity, i.e. the promised 'immortality', causes the horizon of death to recede or modifies it.  That much is obvious.  Now, death and suffering are essential to [the abundance of] life:  addressing our finitude clearly forces us to live and to choose, [and] therefore, for lack of time [(par manque de temps)], to optimize our life-choices.  This same lack of time is what makes it possible for us to avoid ennui and monotony, and, in the end, give meaning to life.  One can transcend death by leaving something to others, by giving life, or by enjoying [(vivant)] an experience. . . .  In transhumanism death is no longer seen as a natural event, but is medicalized, seen as an illness to be vanquished.  It’s the same with senescence.  These questions are typical of the singularity and of the reification of the human.
     "Paradoxically, faced with the promised eternity, transhumanism lacks time, lives in [a kind of] immediacy [(l'immédiateté)], and pursues it [(et la course, i.e. this immediacy)] via [constant] innovation [(aux innovations)].  Time is literally crushed [(écrasé) down into the immediacy of the present moment].  In fact, the finitude of the human being forces him to manage the time that he has to live, [and] the choices imposed on him cannot be made without a minimum of [critical] distance [(recul)] and reflection.  Finitude gives us time to think [(La finitude nous donne le temps de penser)].  Eternity, in the sense of [mere] longevity [(ou la longévité)], doesn’t have this capacity, for it is lived in [a kind of] immediacy.  Consumerism and ennui are accentuated in a roboticized society in which the human being is increasingly deprived of his capacity for meaningful action [(d’agir et de faire, to act and to do)]."

     Vincens Hubac, "Science sans conscience:  le transhumanisme est-il un humanism?," Foi et vie 114, no. 4 (décembre 2014):  23 (9-26).