January 5, 2015

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Not only is there no imperfection in God’s infinity, says Thomas in Chapter 21 of the Compendium Theologiae, but He is necessarily more perfect than anything finite.  And this has an obvious consequence: The further inference clearly follows that all perfections found in anything at all must originally and superabundantly be present in God. Whatever moves something toward perfection, must first possess in itself the… Read more

January 1, 2015

Goal: 1000 letters.  Final Total: 845.  Publicity Ended: January 31, 2015. Project Ended: February 9, 2015. When we started we were hoping for a minimum of 250 letters; 1000 was a goal we hardly hoped to approach. By the end of Saturday, January 31st we’d had a groundswell all the way to 595! We expected to get a few stragglers coming in, and end with a total just over 600. Instead the letters kept coming in, and we ended at… Read more

December 24, 2014

Jane and I have been arguing where we first heard this bit of Christmas goofiness. I seem to recall running into it on Usenet; she seems to recall having heard it from a fellow she worked for for a while who was a big-wig in the dairy industry. Either way (or possibly both), it’s sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”, and it goes like this: O Christmas Cow, O Christmas Cow,     You bring us lovely cheeses. O Christmas… Read more

December 23, 2014

Tom McDonald has been doing a series of interview posts with on-line Catholics on the subject “How I Pray” over at his blog, “God and the Machine”, and somehow I crept into the Machine’s hopper. Go give it a look! But ignore the goofy picture; everyone knows I really look like this: (Yeah, I know, not blogging, downtime, Christmas week, yadda yadda yadda.) ____ photo credit: mcn2zst via photopin cc Read more

December 22, 2014

I’m most unusually going to take some time off from blogging this week, and enjoy being home with the family. May you and yours have a most blessed Christmas; and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, may this season still be everything you hope for, within the limits of the law and the well-being of your neighbors. I might pop in now and then over the next week or so; but if not, see you in the New Year! Read more

December 19, 2014

Just in time for Christmas, here’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra with a tune called “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”, which strikes me as a sort of unholy cross between “The Carol of the Bells” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells”. I hasten to add, there’s no actual Poe here; but I can’t listen to this without thinking of the Brazen Bells: Hear the loud alarum bells, Brazen bells! What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night How… Read more

December 18, 2014

Yesterday I quoted the maxim “from nothing, nothing comes”; it’s actually a philosophical principle that goes back to the ancient Greeks (notably Parmenides), and it’s more typically stated in Latin: Ex nihilo nihil fit. And what it means is that “nothing”—pure, philosophical nothingness—cannot be the cause of anything coming to be. Parmenides used this to argue that change must be an illusion, because any change involves something coming to be that previously wasn’t. Sure, it seems that there’s a red… Read more

December 17, 2014

From nothing, nothing comes. That’s not an excuse for not having a more substantial blog post…but it could be. Read more

December 16, 2014

Once upon a time, David Weber wrote reasonably-sized individual novels concerning a character named Honor Harrington. And then Honor Harrington was captured by the Bad Guys, and the next book, Echoes of Honor, was ever so much bigger. You see, Weber needed to tell us the whole story—not only the years Honor spent working to escape, but also everything that was going on while she was out of the picture. So we heard about what was going on with our… Read more

December 15, 2014

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Just because something is infinite doesn’t mean that it is infinitely perfect—depending on how you define “infinite” and how you define “perfect”.  I can imagine an infinite patchwork quilt, infinitely long and infinitely wide, that contains an infinite number of stitching errors.  It might be perfectly huge, and yet by no means perfect. But as Thomas explained in Chapter 19 of Compendium Theologiae, God’s infinity… Read more

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