Sunday, March 26, 2017

Shea apologizes


In some recent posts, I have been objecting to some things Mark Shea has been saying when commenting on the forthcoming book on capital punishment I co-authored with Joe Bessette.  In an email and in a post at his own blog, Shea has now graciously apologized.  I am happy to accept his apology.

Shea has also posted the apology at his Facebook page.

52 comments:

  1. Nice to see that he has apologized but if you look at his comments he has now turned his attention to christian conservatives who voted for trump. He questions their "honesty" . . . He also attacked trump for being a "sexual predator" for which there is zero proof.

    MM

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  2. This is just Shea's biennial shame spiral and public apology. Set your clock by it.

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  3. I think there is some mental health issues here and maybe some spiritual attacks too.

    To be honest, I don't even know where Dr. Feser's political allegiance lies. I assume he is some sort of conservative, but I have never read anything like an endorsement of one candidate or another...

    Also, I can somewhat sympathize with Shea. Of all the topics I would wish another book from Dr. Feser on, the death penalty does not make my top 10 list. I am still waiting for that book on how to raise a large family from a Thomistic perspective. I've very bitter about it too. ;)

    I better stop now before I say something that will send me to confession.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

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  4. Feser is a thomist, and thomism is only in some things coincidental with American conservative philosophy and politics (the categorical rejection of liberalism and focus on the telos). Very often Americans fail to see things outside of the dems/reps dichotomy for some reason and Shea fell into that, while Ed doesn't, making him far more meaningful to us Europeans.
    MacIntyre I think hits the mark perfectly and if Ed wrote more on political philosophy he would probably be somewhere in his line.

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  5. I agree. Feser seems more interested in being a consistent Catholic and Thomist than an advocate for any political power. In the case of the death penalty, he is well within his rights as a Catholic to weigh in on the subject.

    Having said that, Shea is also within his rights to disagree with Feser. To be honest, I would welcome a clear and logical response to whatever he ends up saying in his book. Its an unpleasant subject and in an ideal world, I wish we did not have to resort to killing people in the name of justice. Hopefully someone will take the time to give a dispassionate response.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

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  6. Some libertarian types regard me as a sell-out to big government welfare statism. Meanwhile, some Catholic lefty types insist that I'm really an Ayn Rand libertarian.

    Neither of these stupid caricatures is correct, but some people are incapable of thinking in terms of anything but stupid caricatures. Anyway, I think the fact that I'm (mis)perceived both ways is an indication I'm doing something right.

    If you want a quick description of my politics, here it is: Rerum Novarum.

    That requires explication, of course, which I'll get to at some point.

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  7. Feser seems more interested in being a consistent Catholic and Thomist than an advocate for any political power.

    Bingo.

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  8. I cant remember who said this when asked if they were left wing or right wing: "I have both a left wing and a right. I am an angel".

    Good to see shea apologised in the end, he should probably wait until the book comes out before commenting further.

    Speak of books, Five proofs should come out this year, right Ed?

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  9. I can't see how anyone with Rerum Novarunm in mind can do anything but categorically reject the social ideals of Burke, Locke, Bentham, Russell and the whole tradition of Anglo conservatism.

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    1. >Locke, Bentham, Russell
      >Conservative
      What's 'conservative' here? Anyone to the right of Lenin?

      Russell literally thought communism was a great necessary experiment, even though the USSR was itself a failure in his eyes. His personal character, and especially his sexual morals, were reprehensible and he spent his life shilling for world government and a clearly left-wing version of "democracy" and "equality". He died in blathering about JFK assassination conspiracy with Sartre.

      Delete
    2. I think he means Russell Kirk.

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  10. Miguel,

    With the significantly qualified exception of Burke, I reject all those guys. Why you'd think otherwise, I have no idea.

    Read my book on Locke. It's not exactly a fan letter.

    Also, why you'd think anyone even on the American right would have any sympathy at all for the political views of Bentham and Russell, I again have no idea.

    Callum,

    Well, I would say I'm definitely on the right. The trouble is that too many people have too simple-minded a conception of what that entails.

    And yes, the Five Proofs book should be out later this year.

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  11. Then again, Miguel, judging from the threadjacking comment of yours which I deleted (since it was irrelevant to the topic of this post), you are perhaps not, shall we say, the most careful or charitable of readers. Just sayin'.

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  12. Thanks for your cues. Well why don't you let others judge whether I'm charitable or not. I don't really think you are a Thomist on various issues. It's not the end of the world you know, at least not mine.

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  13. Miguel,

    Since the usual complaint people fling at me is that I'm too stridently Thomist, I suppose it's refreshing to hear this novel assertion I'm not "really" a Thomist. Anyway, since all you've done is assert that I am not without giving the slightest evidence for that assertion, there's nothing there for others to judge.

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  14. I haven't read the book on Locke but I have read your articles on the subject and
    others concerning the other authors. There an "engagement" with these people which seems unwarranted given that their world views are consistent and squarely based on principles that can't be reconciled with the Church's or Thomism's. It really does little to point out interesting coincidences of viewpoint between such authors and the truth unless one wishes to place oneself within their ideological traditions. They, like the Church are whole and entire in their way, and not assemblages of interesting facts which may be true or false. Unless they really are only wrong on non-essential detail it really is a question of all or nothing.

    I think the best way to move the well-meaning but mistaken people in Anglo-conservatism is to point out the radical divergence that exists between them and us.
    Anything else risks confusion, error, and even lack of charity from people like me who are acutely aware of what Anglo-conservatism has done to the world and the Church.

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  15. Excuse me Edward, I didn't see your other comment. Well my original comment did mention a couple of issues concerning your Thomism, but since you cut it out for not being on thread nobody will be any the wiser. I have to go now, but rest assured I will bring it up again and would like to see whether I am worrying about nothing or not.

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  16. I'm happy to hear of the reconciliation. Dr. Feser and Mark Shea are two of my favorite Internet personalities. Mark has really helped me reconsider some of the more blinkered ideas in Traditional Catholicism and has really instilled a very healthy suspicion of American political parties.

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  17. Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind"; a bit preciously written, but still required reading. Kirk will make very clear what American conservatives for the most part think of Bentham and Russell (and Locke) (and Burke, for that matter). The reaction is pretty much as Prof. Feser has hinted at in his responses here: Bentham no, Russell no, Locke a qualified not exactly, Burke a qualified yes.

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  18. Dr. Feser,

    This is off-topic but I'm hoping you'll see and respond to this before this comment section gets too large.

    As a father of 4 college and graduate-aged kids in southern CA, I have observed more atheism around this age group than when we were that young. When I say "more," I mean ALARMINGLY more. It's frightening. And it appears only to be getting worse.

    While speaking to these young adults, I realized that we need theistic apologetic resources that are more simplified than what's currently out there. What I'm trying to say is that the overwhelming number of people out there are not philosophically trained, like myself, and need help building the arguments for God in less technical methodologies. This just seems so difficult to accomplish however. (I posted a question on the Classical Philosophy forum asking if anyone can offer some simplified arguments for the mind's immateriality and it was terribly challenging.)

    You seem to be one of the leading "apologists" in this arena and I merely wanted to share with you this observation that there is a REAL need for these resources in the Catholic/Christian market. It reminds me of the late 1980s-early 1990s when the likes of Karl Keating and Scott Hahn arose. They literally were Godsends to those of us who needed practical guidance, arguments, responses and "how to's" in building the case for Catholicism and overcoming anti-Catholic arguments. I believe YOU are the apologist who can actually teach us today how to build the case for God.

    Thank you,
    Joe

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  19. Some advice to Catholics who oppose the Death Penalty.

    Read Feser's book. Accept everything that it says as gospel truth(on the nature of the Church's teaching on the DP) and CONTINUE to oppose the DP. It' s not hard guys.

    I haven't read it yet but I suspect if you do then at least you will KNOW how to argue against the death penalty rather then waste everybody's time with invalid claims the "Magisterium" teaches we must oppose the death penalty.

    Also arguments that appeal to almost all the Bishops & the last three Pope opposing the death penalty don't prove it is Magisterial. The current Pope is a Jesuit does that mean Molinism is now dogma and I am a heretic for being a Benazian Thomist?

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  20. Dear Joe: A couple of suggestions regarding your post: You might try J. Budziszewski and Peter Kreeft as well. They have both written academic works, but they also have written works aimed at college-aged readers; for example, Budziszewski's "How to Stay Christian in College" and Kreeft's "Handbook of Christian Apologetics." Best regards.

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  21. @Joe

    Check out Dr. Scott Sullivan's Classical Theist website. He has some introductory materials in Thomistic philosophy and apologetics, targeting less technical audiences.

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  22. With respect to offense and forgiveness, Our Lord urges 70 times 7. Feser probably has a bit to go with regard to Shea as respects the dominical limit, and although Mark is a sure bet to quickly relapse, Christianity is not a betting game (apologies to Pascal).

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  23. With respect to offense and forgiveness, Our Lord urges 70 times 7. Feser probably has a bit to go with regard to Shea

    You are severely underestimating Shea here.

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  24. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Shea's references to his past and present depression. The latter it appears, was, unless I misread what he seems to insinuate, a clinical case.

    I have made some slighting remarks about his soft appearance and suggested he get outdoors more; rather than getting emotionally knocked off kilter when everyone doesn't line up just right.

    Possibly he should in fact get himself a treadmill and a set of barbells. In fact it would probably do a lot of sensitive males a lot of good.

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt

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  25. Shea's error here (& I won't call it heresy since that implies he wants to put his own will over the known teaching of the Holy Church) is calling Pope St John Paul II teachings on Capital Punishment "Magisterial".

    That is it it is somehow doctrine or discipline to restrict the death penalty based solely on the criteria of it being the only means of protecting human life and eliminating the retribution principle entirely.


    This is the Shea Error. It must be addressed and refuted in it's entirety.

    With this in mind Shea has to also be reminded that HE MAY in fact oppose the death penalty. He may licitly call for it to be abolished. He may advance arguments to that effect.

    But he needs to drop the "magisterium" nonsense. He is confusing Catholics and un-intentionally misleading his loyal readers. Also it hurts his own cause by muddying the waters.

    Time for some fraternal doctrinal correction done in charity.

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  26. No dude, I am not underestimating that blowhard. I am counting, or guesstimating, the times he has publically committed objectively mortal sins against Feser in particular. That has got to be less than 490, right?

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  27. A correction.

    I have mentioned that I took from Shea's writings that he had had two (at least) self-definable episodes of depression.

    After distractedly changing my text around, I still used the term "latter" to tag what I took him to mean as the earlier and clinical episode, when I should have said "former".

    From my reading of Shea's comments, it seems clear to me that he was emphasizing that he means that what he is calling depression now, is not the same nor as severe as what he seemed to be referring to as having taken place earlier.

    There is no edit function on these windows, so I am making this correction at length here.



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  28. Edward, further up you said that I had merely asserted there were problems with your Thomism with nothing to back it up. I have tried to place the briefest comment on the thread Original Sin and Modern Biology which caused me to comment in the first place and nothing seems to be there. Should I place it here again?

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  29. Miguel (and others),

    Comments on old posts have to be moderated -- they don't automatically appear, but only after I see them (whenever I happen to get the chance) and approve them. I approved the comment you left there yesterday, Miguel, so you should see it there.

    By the way, I suspect you have not read Part II of that particular post, which is one of the places you'll find the topics you raise addressed further:

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/09/modern-biology-and-original-sin-part-ii.html

    Anyway, no more comments of this nature, please. Several people now have been posting comments irrelevant to the original post. Please CUT IT OUT. I hate to delete even threadjack comments, but I will have to do so if it keeps happening.

    (Since this problem keeps recurring, I'm thinking of starting an open thread feature. We'll see.)

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  30. S-O-Y,

    I was watching the video of the march for life today. VP Pence and Kelly Anne Conway spoke about their support for the pro life position and said that Donald Trump asked them to come there.

    According to Mr. Shea these folks are out to kill people without health insurance, support the KKK and the Nazis (!) etc.

    Perhaps Mr. Shea should read the polls that show that poor conservative people are more charitable percentgage wise than the lefists he's in love with (if only they would stope supporting abortion on demand).

    -Neil P.

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  31. This is off topic, but I wonder if Ed has responded to this view somewhere? David Goldman, reviewing Dreher's book on the benedict option, writes: "It wasn’t William of Occam who overthrew the medieval order, though, but Leibniz and Newton, who demonstrated -- against Aristotle -- that there are indeed objects in our mind that are not in our senses that nonetheless are provably real: for example, the arbitrarily small (“infinitesimal”) increments of movement of cannonball in flight that the Calculus can sum up into a positive number."

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  32. Dear Andrew Preslar: DDT was just joking.

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  33. EF writes:

    Several people now have been posting comments irrelevant to the original post. Please CUT IT OUT.

    Michael C writes:

    This is off topic, but I wonder if...

    EF:

    Bangs own head against desk repeatedly.

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  34. Replies
    1. No worries, Michael. Check out the new open thread I just posted. Re-post your comment there and let the fun begin.

      (I will take a look at Goldman's piece.)

      Delete
  35. @EF

    Please don't damage that brain of yours. We need you to keep writing and thinking...

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  36. The Masked ChickenMarch 28, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Dear Joe,

    A Summa of the Summa, by Peter Kreeft is an easy-to-read introduction to Thomism.

    The Chicken

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  37. He should apologize to E. Micheal Jones while he is at it.

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  38. Would you ever consider entering a public debate? Whenever I see a debate with some arch-theist, I many times think they have not selected the most rigorous Christian opponent to argue with.

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    1. I meant arch-atheist, of course.

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  39. So now, comments have to "approved?" Hmnmm. Was that because some of the comments by readers in your "How to be A Pervert" column?

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  40. Well that apology didn't last long.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/04/everybody-knows-slavery-evil.html

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    1. Nate, good catch.

      This is incredibly sad. Mark Shea used to do a lot of good stuff. He now is giving the appearance of having either a mental illness or a moral illness. I would assume the former, not knowing anything about his moral state. Publicly accusing someone of attacking your "home" truths, and then apologizing, and then turning right around and publicly accusing them again - especially, not because of new acts or new evidence, but the very same stuff you already attacked - looks like SOME kind of derangement. Paranoia? Well, whatever it is, Mark needs to see a professional.

      We need to add Mark to our prayer lists. He needs it. (Not that I don't, so if you have extra prayers to send my way too, go right ahead.)

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  41. Shea has hit a new low:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/04/reader-robert-stove-fine-fettle.html#disqus_thread

    It isn't even funny.

    -NP

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  42. Yed this is sad. Note that Shea thinks catholics who dont hate Trump are members of "the church of porn."

    I think its best to ignore him and pray for him

    MM

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  43. Mark's at it again. You'd think he'd lay off a topic that obviously makes him a litle unhinged.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/04/next-week-catholic-weekly-will-starting-series-death-penalty.html

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    1. And the person mark thinks is likely innocent and the victim of racism (edell lee) has been convicted of two unrelated sexual assaults. I guess that's all racism according to Shea. Hopefully bread box media and Catholic weekly will catch up with him like Catholic answers and NCR did.

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  44. His first part is posted now for those wanting to review it.
    https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/mark-shea-capital-punishment-study-development-doctrine-part/

    It's just... look at lines like this:
    Many suspect he changed his tactics, but not his goals and means to destroy the Church from within, by using new tactics straight out of Satan-worshipper Saul of Alinscus’ Rules for Radicals. In fact, his name is actually Saul but he now has pulled the same stunt as Rachel of Dolezal by denying his true ethnicity, changing his name to “Paul” and trying to ingratiate himself with Gentiles in the Church in order to plead their cause and attack reliable and unbroken Tradition dating all the way back to Abraham.

    But I'll admit, the funniest line is at the bottom:

    "Comments are closed."

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  45. For those curious:
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    I'm willing to bet Feser's book still ends up rebutting some of these even if published sooner.

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