Thursday, May 10, 2018

Capital punishment at Church Militant


Recently, I did a Skype interview with Michael Voris of Church Militant on the subject of By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed.  It’s available at the CM website, though it looks like you have to be a subscriber to watch the full interview.

Earlier interviews about the book include those done for The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, The Dennis Prager Show, The Patrick Coffin Show, and several others.

60 comments:

  1. I fear that Dr. Feser (who I love) may have damaged his reputation by providing content for the utterly disreputable and often needlessly offensive Michael voris. Feser has always struck me as being fair-minded,kind, logical, open to facts, and totally in line with the church. Voris, meanwhile, seems to peddle in inflammatory statements (which often contradict church teaching) and pseudoscience. I dearly hope that Feser was just using the platform to promote his book, because if I discovered that Feser actually buys into Voris' poppycock I would lose a lot of respect for one of my favorite philosophers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes, this is the kind of intelligent comment that makes blogging worthwhile.

      Or not.

      It's an interview, man, that's all. Good grief.

      Delete
    2. I'm not a big fan of Voris either, but the intervew was interesting.

      I think you should consider having a show with Steven Crowder or Joe Rogan (I mean Harris went there and he's a boob)

      Delete
    3. Do you buy into the hype of Michael Voris though? He started making a lot of statements years ago that were extremely unhelpful and I no longer believe he is 'orthodox' but rather a bit of a provocateur in both what he says and how he says it.

      Delete
    4. I on the other hand, do not fear that Ed Feser, whom I do not "love", but whose machine-like intellect I respect and whose pugnacity I enjoy, and whose comprehensiveness drives me to envious distraction, has damaged his reputation in the least.

      Certainly he has not done so by explaining the theme and contents of his book, and 1600 years of Catholic teaching on capital punishment, to Michael Voris and his subscribers.

      Voris and Feser may be quite unlike. But one characteristic they share is a blunt delivery that lets the logical chips and implications fall where they may. If that gives some people the vapors, well ... ahem ...

      As for Voris' doctrinal purity, I am no judge. As for Feser being tainted through submitting to an interview by a traditionalist leaning, pot-stirring, Catholic activist, who is prone to call a malfeasance spade a spade and not a bloody garden shovel, well, just call me a 1st Amendment absolutist if you must. Life in an intellectual hothouse listening to the like-minded murmur soothing platitudes in each others' ears is not, in my view, a life honorably spent.

      Delete
    5. Why are you concern trolling?

      Was Feser fair minded before he talked to Voris?
      Yes.

      Did Voris somehow make Feser not fair minded?
      No.

      Is there anything to be concerned about re Feser's fair-mindedness?

      Seems no. Go take a nap.

      Delete
    6. What will Fr. Atonio Sparado think!!!!????

      LOL

      Delete
    7. Actually, after the fair and even keeled intellectual response you gave Sparado in your Cooperation with sins against prudence post, I could hope that Voris might learn a thing or two. One does not need to create an atmosphere of anger, outrage, and demonization to deliver hard hitting truths.

      Delete
    8. No, but it is usually more fun audience getting and effective. I don't like how fearmongering often goes, but it's not wrong to present fearful things as fearful.

      Delete
    9. Is Voris not a 'More Catholic than the Pope (tm)' or 'I am infallible because I'm a Pixie' type these days?

      Delete

    10. "Is Voris not a 'More Catholic than the Pope (tm)' or 'I am infallible because I'm a Pixie' type these days?"

      There are many tradition minded Catholics wondering if lots of people faithful to the teachings of the Church, are not in fact more Catholic than the Pope.

      One of the logical conundrums posed in theology as well as law, is how you can expect people who have seen stare decisis thrown overboard to suit one agenda, to then not adopt that as a principle and method of their own when it suits them.

      And in the case of religion based theology and morals specifically there is another related issue. That of how one pulls off the trick of tossing aside one Divine truth forever, in favor of a new Divine truth forever, and expecting that people will not laugh in your face, or question whether you were always lying for effect in the first place.


      You know, like, uh, "Why should I trust what you are saying now, or believe the reasons you give for changing your tune; when the old line was that the truths you gave out were unchanging?"

      Simply repeating "love, mercy, faith" in a singsong voice isn't much of an argument.

      Delete
    11. There are many tradition minded Catholics wondering if lots of people faithful to the teachings of the Church, are not in fact more Catholic than the Pope.

      Ain't that the truth.

      Given the historical situation in the past of one or two popes who held demonstrably heretical positions, it is CLEARLY the case that it is possible to be more Catholic than the pope. (And given the (relatively modest) times the pope was a whoring son-of-a-b*ch, it is also demonstrably true that some people are more holy than the pope. But that's not at issue for this.)

      Even when the pope isn't a heretic, the pope may simply not be as smart or as well educated or as enlightened by the Holy Spirit as some Catholics, like those men and women named Doctors of the Church. They don't have to be The Font of ALL Truth (tm) in order to be pope; they just need to preserve the faith handed to them, intact. This task is, unfortunately, something the current pope seems to find challenging in ways that recent popes did not.

      The inevitably critical consideration, (a consideration that MUST be faced by faithful and well-educated Catholics) in situations like this, is: How does a faithful Catholic adhere wholeheartedly to the pope as Vicar of Christ as God designed and calls to, while at the same time honoring the office of the papacy and its purpose (an office intended to keep the faith intact), when there seems to be tension between those two? It is impossible to simply state that the former must trump the latter, given the reality of past situations where faithful Catholics had not only the right but even the duty to resist the pope's errors and innovations, to point out his mistakes, and insist on the faith received from the beginning.

      Or, to put it another way: the papal office of teaching and preserving the faith is not simply encapsulated within the current holder of the chair of Peter, it is a reality that extends backwards through time to Peter himself, and faithfulness to that whole extended reality cannot be improper disloyalty to the current pope.

      Delete
    12. I did not imply that Pope Francis is infallible in everything he says or does. Not did I claim he was a particularly gifted theologian or philosopher.

      What I take issue with are people who do not even try to give a charitable reading of what the Pope says. I have seen things taken way, way out of context. There is also the problem of people making out that this Pope is the worst in history. HE. DOESN'T. EVEN. COME. CLOSE.

      There IS a lack of respect for the office, while people may genuinely be trying to defend orthodoxy they seem to go too far and increase the divisions within the Church. A them and us attitude.

      Not everyone who isn't a Pixie is a liberal. Orthodoxy isn't found in a small elitist cliché, it is found in the Church, as well as the cliché of Catholic à la carte.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See how the universe has furnished another fool drowning in despair with a keyboard. Chin up, Charlie. People can and do change their minds. Put the energy of your rhetoric into refining your arguments. You can help people.

      Delete
  3. "Whoever sheds the blood of man" would include surgeons, of course; but similarly, "by man shall his blood be shed" could just mean having to undergo a life-saving operation. Not really, but could literally mean that. Consequently we have to interpret. The passage seems to say that killers of men should be put to death, but of course we make exceptions for those killing in defense of the nation, i.e. our own soldiers. We might make exceptions for all those living in modern times too. Why not? Modern societal relationships are so different to those of the days of Exodus. Personally I think that it is crazy to spend tax dollars on keeping people locked up until they die. But that is a completely different question. They say that it is more expensive to put them to death, what with lawyers fees and all. We are all sinners, and we all need to reform. Killers are just the same. We all deserve to die if we are bad people. We are all better off dead if we are good people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They say that it is more expensive to put them to death, what with lawyers fees and all.

      The excessive amount spent is, certainly, an entirely contingent, entirely modern, and entirely changeable situation. Given the number of people who oppose CP "on principle", putting the costs of defense / appeals (after initial conviction) on the shoulders of voluntary contributions would be feasible. Let them put their money where their mouths are.

      Delete
  4. I briefly debated Michael Voris over at Crisis in the commboxes on the Subject of Bishop Barron & I didn't find him all that challenging. But so what? That doesn't mean he can't do a good interview with Dr. Feser. If experience tells me anything in formal debate (if one ever took place between the two of them) with Voris vs Feser my money would be on Feser. Not because I am a fanboy of Feser (I am) but because it would be no contest.

    But as I said that doesn't mean Voris can do a good interview with the good Professor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. edit: But as I said that doesn't mean Voris cannot do a good interview with the good Professor.

      (I wish I could edit my mistakes)_

      Delete
  5. I second Feser in Steven Crowder or Joe Rogan. But I would prefer him to talk about general philosophy there: theism, the immateriality of the mind, and to refute scientism (surely it is easy to refute scientism, but people in general still need it, and Feser does it very well). We need this for the culture. Getting Feser in the Rubin Report would be great as well.

    It would be such a great opportunity to at least make people rethink some of their presupposed philosophical commitments, to expose them to classical theism and metaphysics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think discussing the philosophy of mind is the best route he could take for dismantling scientism to a wide public audience. From my estimate, people are very fascinated with cool facts concerning neurobiology and its ties to consciousness. Though, of course, many have a lay-understanding of this connection, usually assuming some type of property dualism or epiphenomenalism. But discussing Nagel's work, qualia, etc. could really get people thinking about certain materialist assumptions they hold.

      Delete
    2. Just wondering, why is there a wait-for-approval time for comments now?

      Delete
    3. I hope you’ve been able to delegate that task. I’d be sad to hear that trolls are slowing down the production of your content.

      Delete
    4. Just a reminder to everyone, we do have a Classical Theism forum for those looking to have philosophical discussions in general.

      http://classicaltheism.boardhost.com/index_mobile.php

      Delete
    5. Ι don't think their audiences can even allow themselves to think on these issues. Last time Ed was on Be Shapiro's podcast (who audience overlaps with the of Rogan or Rubin) it was full of trolls saying things like who caused God and a bunch of irrelevant nonsense without even bothering to listen.

      Delete
    6. That's the difficult part. Many people have been fed a diet of fallacious arguments and strawmen concerning a theistic picture of the world. That's why I think Ed should discuss more the philosophy of mind if he appeared on, say, Rogan, Rubin, etc. At best he could call into question the materialist worldview and people might actually listen. I also think Jordan Peterson and Edward Feser would have an interesting discussion.

      Delete
    7. Trolls will be trolls and some people are just so stubborn that it's a waste of time discussing with them; but that does not mean there aren't some people whose views may change, even a little, if they listen to rational arguments against scientism, against materialism, and for God and related issues. Otherwise we'll just forever preach to the choir.

      Also it helps to give Ed some publicity. So his name gets out there and curious people will have more chances of finding out about him and classical theism.

      Delete
    8. I've said this before, but given the deep philosophical divide, while I'd love a Feser-Peterson show, it would have to be a series to get anywhere.

      Delete
    9. And full confirmation that conservatives are going full on right-wing conservative reactionary. It's only a matter of time before the inevitable seep into the alt-right occurs.

      Delete
    10. What "full on right-wing conservative reactionary", AKG? I just want Feser on these shows to disseminate classical theism and non-materialist philosopher, since they have large audiences and sometimes touch on philosophical and religions matters. Not even talking about politics, what the fuck does the alt-right have to do with anything?

      Delete
  6. I listened to the Patrick Coffin interview, I recommend it. Voris is a skilled interviewer too. I'm not sure what Anonymous means by inflammatory, Voris just comes across as a straight talker to me. He's no philosopher and has never claimed to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. "Voris is a skilled interviewer too. I'm not sure what Anonymous means by inflammatory ..."

      For large numbers of the(professional and otherwise)denizens of the Catholic-Talk economy, it means that Voris says things that are quite true, and probably worth knowing if you are really interested in "Truth" and all that stuff, but without taking sufficient account of pwepos feewinz. Because you know this whole "man is a rational animal" business has been way oversold. Heidegger, or somebody, proved it; and because so many Catholic prelates are so bad at reasoning anyway, that's how "concern" is supposed to work in the Church nowadays. So pony up your cash, and show your faith by shutting up. The Bishop has lots of sex crime judgments to pay off.

      Delete
    2. Voris contra Ecclesia? Maybe not.May 13, 2018 at 2:40 AM

      With respect, insults and assumptions about Anonymous et al don't help the discussion. It is also true that Edward simply allowed himself to be interviewed. It would be wrong to read into that an agreement with Voris on everything.

      If memory serves me right Voris has a panache for Pope bashing and a very almost self-righteous condemnatory way of expressing himself. I think there are valid reasons for sincere, orthodox Catholics to take issue with some of that and find Voris a bit of a 'preaching loudly to the very small choir' type. There is a real danger of becoming insular and elitist rather than interacting with the wider Church in a respectful.

      I watched his videos in the past, and for a while thought it was good but eventually things just seemed unnecessarily grating and unhelpfully confrontational.

      God bless the man, but I can't say I agree with him on everything.

      Delete
    3. Voris Pope bashes? He might "ex-Pope" bash (I don't agree at all with what he said about Pope Benedict retiring. It was stupid.) but he pretty much thinks "The Pope is Different" and has a policy against Bashing the current Pope.

      Now Bishop bashing OTOH...

      Anyway it doesn't matter. This was a good interview.

      Delete
    4. Voris contra Ecclesia? Maybe not.May 15, 2018 at 2:23 AM

      Thank you Son Ya'Kov (Are you Jewish?).

      That was helpful (and respectful) input.

      Delete
    5. I don't know if I am Jewish. (My Italian wife took a DNA test and found out she was 2.5% Jewish and 10% middle eastern). I am taking a DNA test. We shall see. But as far as I know I am Scottish, English and Italian. I have a lot of Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Catholic friends and BenYachov is a nickname I got from them. It's short for James Son of James which is me.

      That is the long and short of it.

      Delete
    6. Voris contra Ecclesia? Maybe not.May 16, 2018 at 10:44 AM

      Awesome. Glad I asked!

      Delete
  7. Has Rubin contacted you yet for an interview?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://twitter.com/RubinReport I am sure if we ask Dave Rubin nicely (several hundred times :) ) and Dr. Feser wants to go on the show.

      Delete
  8. In the Law of Moses the death penalty comes up for a whole bunch of things. I forget most. I had the vague impression that Aquinas held all the laws of reason still apply. Though I never got a chance to study Aquinas my impression is that that is the general approach of Catholics.
    [What makes thus confusing is that to me it is not clear which are laws of reason and which are not. Maimonides is giving reasons for all commandments. Other people seem to think ritual commandments are not based on reason. In any case, it is clear the Law of Moses --the Law of God-says death is proper punishment for some kinds of crime.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was very impressed with Godel's approach to Anselem's idea. That is more or less by condensing it in logical form he showed it is a good proof.

    ReplyDelete
  10. If I were Feser, I would avoid leaping into fora hosted by resurgent-conservative-movement hosts before looking carefully, first.

    Some, who are in some cases former leftists or "changers" who have seen the light in some respect or another: or been "red pilled" as they say, carry a certain amount of ideological or personal baggage which may be dumped at Feser's feet, by say:

    " ... a gay married, pro-choice, against death penalty, for reforming justice system, for single payer healthcare, far right winger ..."


    If he is willing to be brutally honest with his host ... then, well and good.

    I mean ... if you don't mind looking a homosexual in the eye and telling him his relationship with his "husband" is intrinsically disordered, and I don't think that Feser would quail at that, fine and dandy.

    But, I am not sure why a Catholic philosopher would necessarily grab just any interview opportunity, when it might become itself, little more than a major distraction.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is the real reason you support the death penalty because death is the just wage owed to murderers?

    So let me ask you a question. Suppose that a Muslim terrorist kills people in a terrorist attack for the glory of martyrdom, but is apprehended by the police. He believes that if he is put to death, he will become a martyr. Should he be put to death?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer to your questions is in the book, which you obviously haven't read.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Yes execute him so he can't kill others. Let God deal with him then.

      Delete
    5. ^ Found the non-RWA.

      RWAs are spatially unbounded predators, psychopaths are spatially bounded ones, and narcissists are a little bit of both. A serial killer predation resembles an interaction of two point particles, while a RWA's subjugation and compressing minorities into clumps is comprehensive predation. Narcissists prefer going out in a blaze of glory so they're a bit of both.

      Delete
  12. Hello Dr. Feser,
    I have done a pretty extensive search through your your blog's articles, going back to 2008. I haven't been able to find any specific treatment or article on Predestination, and specifically the tension between the Thomists and the Molinists in resolving the issue of predestination/reprobation with God's universal salvific will. I am hoping you might write up an appreciation on this matter, in the future. Or, if you have written on this matter, perhaps you can point me to the work. Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piggybacking off of this. I was wondering, Ed, if you are planning on posting a blog entry about your journey from mere theism to Christianity and eventually the Catholic Church. It might help out a lot of skeptics and doubters, I being among them.

      Delete
    2. I don't personal think this is a 'completed' area. I am not convinced by the Thomist line on some of these matters. That doesn't mean the Molinist solutions are 100% correct either, but I think it is an important discussion.

      Delete
    3. Molinism and Banezism were both intended to interpret and clarify Thomas. At least initially. As far as I understand it. I tend to think that both flavors miss the boat, and that the real Thomist teaching is not quite successfully laid out in either. But saying so does not discredit Thomas in the least.

      Nor does that automatically mean that Thomas got those issues right. But if one wants to at least understand Catholicism, one has to end up understanding the core of Thomas's teaching anyway, because Thomas explains Catholicism.

      Delete
  13. I could not access the interview. Still it seems that according to the Law of Moses, some sins do get the death penalty. Murder, kidnapping, homo sexual acts, some of the other forbidden relations--but not all... I forget most.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Prof Feser's work is mentioned (positively) here:

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/05/jordan-peterson-shepherd-of-the-easily-freudened/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous:

      An article that starts with a quote from Finnegan's Wake (James Joyce is my literary god) is bound to be a great article. Thanks.

      Delete