I’ve had some great feedback recently that, I think, nicely puts into perspective the themes and issues I’ve been writing about these past weeks.
In response to my post on JPII vs. JPII, commenter emmasrandomthoughts said:
A huge problem Catholic theologians have is that they have changed the major premises and want to keep old conclusions. Most of Christian sexual morality was formed by Stoicism and Greek philosophy and biology. Now, they’re trying to accept modern premises such as evolution or the equality of women and still make it seem as if these same premises lead to the same conclusions. It’s not only faulty reasoning, it’s downright dishonest.
That about captures it, doesn’t it? Emmasrandomthoughts also left an insightful comment on my most recent post, on Budziszewski’s rejection of modernity.
And, via twitter, blogger Michael Boyle also commented on that latter post, in which I said that Budziszewski’s rejection of Werner Heisenberg’s cosmovision is unnecessary. I said:
When I approach Thomas’ writings, I see complexity, and challenges, and answers that, while brilliant, are questionable and not necessarily at odds with Heisenberg’s physics, or with relativity, or existentialism, or any of the things that define the modern mind—and that Budziszewski hates. In fact, I’d argue that Thomas’ writings led to those things.
Boyle reminded me that “Heisenberg is the father of Quantum Mechanics,” and says that a college professor of his once described Quantum Mechanics as “metaphysics with math.” Boyle says that “Quantum Mechanics puts a stake in purely material conceptions of reality, which Catholics should be happy about.”
I think there’s a real case to be made there. Even though Budziszewski frames his argument inOn the Meaning of Sex (which, I swear, I will stop writing about one day) as a defense of metaphysics against materialism, Michael’s comment shows that that’s not really what it’s about. Instead, it’s about order—and an overly simple, “friendly” order at that. It seems that to Budziszewski (and, by extension, much of the Catholic Right), what animates his writing is less concern for God than a concern for certainty.