Category Philosophy

The Curse of Middlin’ Smart

I consider myself as being “middlin’ smart”. I’m of above average intelligence. People have always told me I’m smart. I have one graduate degree and am working on another. I once considered an academic career. I speak two languages well and can muddle through in a third, which is quite an accomplishment for a ‘Merican […]

Conversion stories

Some of my posts lately have been about faith and conversion (what can I say, Lent) so a recent post by Rod Dreher caught my attention. He asks his readers what their moment of clarity was, when they realized everything they had formerly believed was just a lie. The responses, of course, are all over […]

Why Incest is Wrong

I confess that as a philosophy undergrad I’ve never read Thomas Aquinas’ treatments of ethics. I hated my intro to ethics class which was designed around the work of Karl Rahner, whom at the time I found not just incomprehensible but also deeply irritating, and I ended up avoiding ethics-related electives. So I am surprised […]

When your morals are exhausting

I am theoretically sympathetic to veganism but one of my complaints about it is that it is exhausting. Vegans I’ve known seem to yo-yo between guiltily eating meat and missionary zeal, passing from one phase to the other other as sure as the waxing and waning of the moon. The vegan tends to move from […]

Good Deeds Not Required

Bonum facendum, malum evitandum is the axiom that governs our practical behavior: do good, avoid evil. What good and evil consist of is not always clear, but the axiom always holds. Of the two, the malum is easier to define. The Ten Commandments list eight evils to avoid, but only two goods to do. Legal codes […]

Is A Vodka Martini Really A Martini?

In his Confusio and Excitorio Hereticorm, St Remy of Aquatine continues his discussion of Spirits with question 14: Whether or not a Vodka Martini is Really a Martini. Fifty years later Bonaventure would cite this exposition as turning him from vodka Martinis but Aquinas, who in Summa Contra Gentiles took the position described in Objection 3, never seems to have […]

Is Gin a Girly Drink? A Refutation of The Pink Agendist

The following is an excerpt from Refutatio et Exscidium Hereticorum by St Remy of Aquitaine (1150? – 1205). Book Four is De Spiritus which concerns itself with Angels, Demons, and Alcohol. In Question 14, St Remy takes up the thesis, Is Gin A Girly Drink?   To some heretics, it seems that gin is a girly drink, fine for summer […]