THE CATHOLIC MONITOR
Did Obama/Biden/Pelosi Abortion Values help bring “the Uvalde Shootings…which… Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre… in his book After Virtue… [shows were the] replacement of Virtue” according to Mother Teresa?
“Mother Teresa: If a Mother Can Kill Her Own Child, How Can We Tell Other People Not to Kill?”[https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/michael-w-chapman/mother-teresa-if-mother-can-kill-her-own-child-how-can-we-tell-other]
I was reminded of Himmelfarb’s important distinction when reading Stephen Soukup’s reflections on the Uvalde shootings in which he cites the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre’s discussion, in his book After Virtue, of the replacement of virtue by what Soukup calls [values] “a state of emotive expression, a condition in which feelings and sensations are elevated above objective reality and traditional conceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, etc.” – Ray Field[https://therayfield.com/alasdair-macintyres-essential-liberalism]
Did Obama/Biden/Pelosi abortion values help bring “the Uvalde shootings…which… philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre… in his book After Virtue… [shows were the] replacement of virtue” according to Mother Teresa?
Jonah Goldberg shows what Barack Obama values mean to liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden:
“Asked to define sin, Barack Obama replied that sin is ‘being out of alignment with my values.’ Statements such as this have caused many people to wonder whether Obama has a God complex or is hopelessly arrogant. For the record, sin isn’t being out of alignment with your own values (if it were, Hannibal Lecter wouldn’t be a sinner because his values hold that it’s OK to eat people) nor is it being out of alignment with Obama’s — unless he really is our Savior.”
“Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre… in his book After Virtue… [shows the] replacement of virtue” which are liberal Obama/Biden/Pelosi values like murdering the unborn babies which helped according apparently to Mother Teresa to brings about things like “the Uvalde shootings“:
The difference between virtues and values is adumbrated by everyday language. “One cannot.” Himmelfarb points out, “say of virtues, as one can of values, that anyone’s virtues are as good as anyone else’s, or that everyone has a right to his own virtues.”
I was reminded of Himmelfarb’s important distinction when reading Stephen Soukup’s reflections on the Uvalde shootings in which he cites the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre’s discussion, in his book After Virtue, of the replacement of virtue by what Soukup calls “a state of emotive expression, a condition in which feelings and sensations are elevated above objective reality and traditional conceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, etc.” Soukup broadens MacIntyre’s analysis, showing how it helps explain the structure and impetus of the administrative state. “Broadly,” he writes,
MacIntyre’s critique is that bureaucracy/management is emotive in practice. Because management is concerned EXCLUSIVELY with process, with means and NOT with ends, it is, almost by definition, an amoral scheme. Management is purportedly rational, but rationality can only apply to means, and therefore the ends become the purview of the manager/administrator who substitutes his own personal preferences for genuine moral positions.
In another column, Soukup glosses MacIntyre’s argument, arguing that “One of the greatest tragedies of the Enlightenment was the abandonment of virtue ethics.”
Prior to the Enlightenment, the entire history of Western Civilization—from (at least) the ancient Greeks right up to the American Founding Fathers—virtue ethics dominated moral philosophy and the expectations of moral people.
In brief, virtue ethics posits that the most effective and functional means by which to create a civil society, foster good citizenship, and encourage the pursuit of a ‘good life,’ is the identification, propagation, and encouraged PRACTICE of virtues deemed universally important and universally affirmative.
There is a lot to this point, and I thought it might be worth saying something more about the evolution of MacIntyre’s philosophy and his effort to reanimate the claims of virtue.
MacIntyre, who is still with us at 93, has had a long and distinguished career as an academic philosopher and public polemicist. Among other things, his mental and political itinerary provides a good illustration of the fact that few things are better calculated to garner attention than the spectacle of conversion, be it secular or religious. When After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory first appeared in 1981, it was not surprising that it should have caused a mild sensation, generating notice far beyond the purlieus of academic philosophy. Not only did the book present a bold thesis, suggesting as it did that the moral chaos of modern life might be overcome by rehabilitating certain aspects of Aristotle’s ethical teaching; it also appeared to represent a kind of conversion on the part of its author, the distinguished Glasgow-born philosopher and teacher.
Previously best known for his combative, Marxist-inspired ruminations on liberalism, ideology, and religion, MacIntyre now said goodbye to all that—well, goodbye at least to his old militancy—and came to the “drastic” conclusion that Marxism was every bit as bankrupt as liberal individualism. One no longer found him arguing, as he did in Marxism and Christianity (revised edition, 1968), that Marxism is “the historical successor of Christianity” and the only philosophy “we have for reestablishing hope as a social virtue.” By the time he wrote After Virtue, MacIntyre had decided that Marxism and liberalism both embodied “the ethos of the distinctively modern and modernizing world, and nothing less than a rejection of a large part of that ethos will provide us with a rationally and morally defensible standpoint from which to judge and to act.”
One might object that nothing is more “modern” than the ambition to reject “a large part”—the larger the better, it sometimes seems—of the modern world. But it was obviously not that aspect of the modern ethos with which MacIntyre quarreled. For him, the great curse of modernity is liberal individualism; and one of the main problems with liberal individualism is that it deliberately forsakes any substantive notion of the good, thus robbing moral language—and moral life—of an intelligible foundation. Liberal moral theory tends to be cheerful, permissive, relativistic—and quite empty. By appealing to a putatively universal rationality, it seems less particularistic and less culture-bound than other views of morality; but it is also less helpful in resolving important moral dilemmas.
In other words, liberalism does not dwell on the question of man’s proper ends. Instead, it offers an institutional framework within which individuals cobble together what answers they can from an unedifying process of compromise and debate. It is “the mark of a liberal order,” MacIntyre remarks, “to refer its conflicts . . . to the verdicts of its legal system. The lawyers, not the philosophers, are the clergy of liberalism.” Doubtless having to choose between lawyers and philosophers to preside over the commonweal is akin to choosing between Scylla and Charybdis. But MacIntyre’s point is that liberalism’s lack of allegiance to any positive conception of the good renders it ill equipped to provide a satisfactory response to the basic question, “What should I do?”
For MacIntyre, this is a crippling lack, one that is not shared by other traditions—what we might call “traditional traditions”—of moral inquiry. In his search for an alternative to liberalism, MacIntyre came to believe that the “key question” is whether “Aristotle’s ethics, or something very like them, [can] after all be vindicated?” As he put it near the end of After Virtue, “the crucial moral opposition is between liberal individualism in some version or other and the Aristotelian tradition in some version or other.” Two things above all attracted MacIntyre to Aristotle’s ethics. In the first place, Aristotle began by proposing specific answers to the question of man’s moral good. And secondly, Aristotle’s conclusions about morals consciously resulted from his response to a particular tradition of moral reasoning, one inherited largely from the heroic culture of Homer and from Plato.
In both respects, Aristotle’s ethics are the obverse of the ethics of liberalism. Where Aristotle advocated the practice of particular virtues—courage, justice, temperance, and so on—to achieve a well-defined moral end, liberalism begins with wholly abstract principles or “rules” of reasoning (of which Kant’s categorical imperative is perhaps the purest example), and regards the content of particular virtues and moral ends as secondary and relative. And where Aristotle consciously reasoned from a specific cultural tradition, liberalism typically aspires to formulate abstract, universally valid principles of moral reasoning. In After Virtue, MacIntyre puts the case for Aristotle and against liberal individualism, ending with the haunting suggestion that “we are waiting not for a Godot, but for another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict.”
As it happens, MacIntyre later came to find the original St. Benedict more persuasive than he here implies. In the opening pages of Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1988), the latter-day Marxist turned Aristotelian declares himself “an Augustinian Christian.” But the broad appeal of After Virtue lay less in any proposed saviors than in the extremity of its diagnosis. Beginning with the “disquieting suggestion” that the language of morality today is in a state of “grave disorder,” that it consists of little more than half-understood fragments salvaged from a disrupted tradition, MacIntyre charged that “we have—very largely, if not entirely—lost our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality.” Though we are mostly unaware of this moral poverty, we are nonetheless “all already in a state so disastrous that there are no large remedies for it.” Hence MacIntyre concludes by recommending his version of counter-cultural withdrawal. “What matters at this stage,” he writes, “is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and the moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us.”
As MacIntyre was quick to acknowledge, many of his dour pronouncements in After Virtue deliberately echo Nietzsche. The foundation of moral discourse has been shattered (“God is dead”); culture has lost its moorings; values have become increasingly arbitrary and pointless; the optimistic ideals of liberalism have shown themselves to be hypocritical fictions—all this repeated Nietzsche’s analysis of the nihilistic bent of modern culture. But MacIntyre departed from Nietzsche in his judgment about how we should respond to the fragmentation of traditional values. Nietzsche preached a species of heroic individualism, epitomized by his doctrine of “self-overcoming,” the Übermensch, and his vision of an ethic “beyond good and evil.” MacIntyre, on the contrary, advocated a return to community and resuscitation of the virtues as understood by Aristotle. [https://therayfield.com/alasdair-macintyres-essential-liberalism]
Moreover, MacIntyre regarded Nietzsche as a late, largely unwitting representative of the very culture that he, Nietzsche, criticized so perspicaciously: the rootless culture born of the Enlightenment with its suspicion of tradition and its faith in a putatively universal moral reasoning. MacIntyre argues that one can discern “grounds for the authority of laws and virtues” only “by entering into those relationships which constitute communities whose central bond is a shared vision of and understanding of goods.” “To isolate oneself from [such] communities,” he maintains, “will be to debar oneself from finding any good outside oneself.” It follows that in MacIntyre’s view Nietzsche’s ideal of the completely autonomous, asocial individualist represents an extreme form of liberalism, not an alternative. If Aristotle is the presiding deity of After Virtue, Nietzsche turns out to be something closer to its resident nemesis. As MacIntyre put it in the title of one of his central chapters, the real choice is: Nietzsche or Aristotle?[https://therayfield.com/alasdair-macintyres-essential-liberalism]
Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis’s Amoris Laetitia.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.
– Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:
“[T]he Pope… WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See.”
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said “the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church.”
– “If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?”: http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
– “Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?”: http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
– If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the”Roman Rite Communities” like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & “Eminent Canonists and Theologians” by “Resist[ing]” him: https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/12/if-francis-betrays-benedict-xvi.html
– LifeSiteNews, “Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers,” December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows “sexually active adulterous couples facing ‘complex circumstances’ to ‘access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'”
– On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
“The AAS statement… establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense.”
– On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
“Francis’ heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents.”
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
– Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: “212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted…Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden” [http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/intel-cryptanalyst-mathematician-on.html?m=1]
– Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times “Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003”: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html
– Tucker Carlson’s Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written” according to Rush: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/tucker-carlsons-conservatism-inc-biden.html?m=1
– A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:
What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/is-dc-capital-incident-comparable-to.html?m=1 and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: “Anitfa ‘Agent Provocateurs‘”:
Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God’s Will and to do it.
Pray an Our Father now for America.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.