Quote From: Reeve, C.D.C. and Patrick L. Miller. Introductory Readings in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. 2006. Hackett Publishing Co.Indianapolis/Cambridge. P.334.
Aristotle said: “We think pleasure must be mixed into happiness; and it is agreed that the activity expressing wisdom is the pleasantest of the activities expressing virtue. At any rate, philosophy seems to have remarkably pure and firm pleasures; and it is reasonable for those who have knowledge to spend their lives more pleasantly than those who seek it.” Nicomachean Ethics X, 7, 1177a 25
A couple of years ago, my WordPress friend Don Charisma,http://doncharisma.org, came up with a great way to acknowledge his followers in WordPress who have not been awarded the WordPress Freshly Pressed Award.
I admit I was not giving any thought to why I have not been featured on the Freshly Pressed page. I have perused the Freshly Pressed posts once or twice, and it seemed to me that my humble attempts would not stack up to what I interpret as very polished, rapidly processed, cultural avant garde blogs with a dash of insight for flavor. But as Aristotle would say, we need to look at the whole work, and to each his own, right? Perhaps when I looked there was just a small sampling of genres.
In any event, I read some of the criteria for getting the award, winced at my almost negligible chances (considering WordPress looks at half a million blogs a day) and went back to doing what PonderAnew does- thinking about matters in life and formulating a faith response grounded in sound reason with sometimes a hint of humor. (Aquinas was once called a ‘dumb ox’ and it didn’t faze him!) The mind of St Thomas Aquinas is the most frequented visitor and reference in my perspectives, so I sincerely doubt the good powers that be (and WordPress supports are top notch), would be remotely interested in the thoughts of a 13th century, obscure theologian’s approach to contemporary issues, even if they are framed to accommodate cultural mores somewhat. So be it.
Anyway, it was very insightful and community-creating for DC to come up with these badges for those who are missing out on the fanfare and hoopla around FPA. Maybe one day our luck will change. Anyway, I still like my ‘unfeatured’ badge. Thanks DC!
I am always trying to figure out the ‘real issue,’ why things seem to be the way they are rather than another way. It is an occupational hazard for philosophers.
For example, I was asked at the Palm Sunday Mass if I would bring up the offering for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Now, usually a family takes the offering and gifts of bread and wine to the priest. I wondered why I was asked; single persons do not reproduce in like manner as blessed loaves and fishes.
“By myself?” I asked.
I asked because I am the perfect candidate to be a striker for Kierkegaard, in a single chair hugging a wall in the back of the sanctuary. Don’t mind me; I like quietly following the liturgy in the Missal, thank you. So you’d be better off to find the “correct” configuration of per-sons to offer the fruits of man’s hands for the most wonderful, the most solemn, the most joy filled, and the most sacred action on this planet.
“On the contrary,” my Aquinian conscience says, “the Church is a family.” Oops. This is the real issue. This includes me. And you and you and you.
“Sure.” I will answer yes, amen, so be it, when Jesus’ Church calls.
“Natural reason tells us that because of the inadequacies we perceive in ourselves we need to subject to some superior source of help and direction; and whatever that source might be, everybody calls it God.” Humility, p. 17
“One must, as St. Gregory said, honor man because he is man and made in the image and likeness of God, and not for anything that surrounds him (like riches, precious clothing, power, a noble name [even one like Aquinas or Homer! 🙂 ], or a multitude of friends and relations.” Love of neighbor, p.43
Many thanks to my friend, https://halfeatenmind.wordpress.com/, for sharing this neat design project.
“I too am a mortal man, the same as all the rest, and a descendant of the first man formed of earth. And in my mother’s womb I was molded into flesh in a ten month period- body and blood, from the seed of man, and the pleasure that accompanies marriage. And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wailing, I uttered that first sound common to all. In swaddling clothes and with constant care I was nurtured. For no king has any different origin or birth, but one is the entry into life for all; and in one same way they leave it.”
St John Paul II summed up the suspicion of the human reason faculty still with us today:
“Abandoning the investigation of being, modern philosophical research has concentrated instead upon human knowing. Rather than make use of the human capacity to know the truth, modern philosophy has preferred to accentuate the ways in which this capacity is limited and conditioned. This has given rise to different forms of agnosticism and relativism which have led philosophical research to lose its way in the shifting sands of widespread skepticism. Recent times have seen the rise to prominence of various doctrines which tend to devalue even the truths which had been judged certain. A legitimate plurality of positions has yielded to an undifferentiated pluralism, based upon the assumption that all positions are equally valid, which is one of today’s most widespread symptoms of the lack of confidence in truth. Even certain conceptions of life coming from the East betray this lack of confidence, denying truth to opinion; and there is a sense of being adrift. While, on the one hand, philosophical thinking has succeeded in coming closer to the reality of human life and its forms of expression, it has also tended to pursue issues—existential, hermeneutical or linguistic—which ignore the radical question of the truth about personal existence, about being and about God.” St John Paul II, encyclical Fides Et Ratio, “Faith and Reason.” I will continue this post with another piece by Dr. Richard Geraghty, which deals with how human reason has come to be so suspect and distrusted.