Friday, August 22, 2008

Good point, Deacon Scott...

Confusion on a fundamental matter

from Καθολικός διάκονος:

If Sen. Obama is making a poor judgment by claiming not know when life begins and permitting unlimited abortions anyway, then Sen McCain, in addition to not knowing how many houses he and his wife own, or the difference between Shi'a and Sunnis, is just as confused. When answering the same question that was above Sen. Obama's pay grade, which evasion on such an important issue comes dangerously close to disqualifying him from leading, McCain boldly asserted that life begins at conception. My question here is, If life begins at conception, then how can you support embryonic stem cell research?

Michael Sean Winters, writing over on America magazine's In All Things blog observes:
"So, if he truly believes that human beings acquire rights at conception, he is evidently willing to overlook the rights of some unborn children on behalf of research to assist other already born adults. And, let us be clear here. The right he is overlooking is the right to life which he purports to be championing."
When it comes to life issues, if conscience is acting in accord with knowledge, it seems that Sen. Obama needs to do some research and Sen. McCain needs to act consistently on the basis of his correct judgment about when life begins.

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."