So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Not to our tastes? Part 2. Fact and fantasy.

It would seem that a previous post has provoked the ire of a few folk who are upset that the previous post said things which it did not.

Words to the wise:
  1. Take the time to notice the structuring and content of titles (of posts, books, theses, etc.]. Titles can and often do say a lot more than people might imagine.
  2. Blog post titles can be like exam questions. A lot of students don't take the time to read thoroughly the questions set before them. Students, if not careful, can impose upon a question a lot of personal (intellectual, emotional) baggage. Remember the story of the young student who got the math answer correct but was docked marks because the child missed the point of the calculation process? [click HERE for a reminder]
Society today is one in which there are no losers. Everyone gets a ribbon. People are demeaned as idiots or worse for criticizing modern "art". People are dismissed as conspiracy nuts when they question the media or point out media bias. People are fined and/or jailed for challenging certain irrational ideologies of the politically correct kind. If one does issue a reasoned challenge, he or she is labelled with a string of epithets which amount to an evasion of the responsibility to engage in reasoned argument. Sadly, the issuers of said unjust characterizations do not realize they are responsible for issuing ad hominem attacks—which makes them bullies—that have little merit among reasonable people of goodwill.

To further complicate discourse, a misplaced sense of entitlement (e.g., 'Even though my answer was wrong, my attempt deserves a better grade than it received.') and an attention span shortened by a dependancy upon or addiction to technology too often combine to make for a lethal assault upon any criticism that challenges an aspect of an opinion or a construction of one kind or another. A shortened attention span hamstrings people causing them to take in fewer facts, i.e., important facts that might help them better assess the information with which they are presented.

In the previous post [link], no mention was made regarding the objective artistic merit of the images representing the original materials. Links were provided to the home site of the works to provide readers the courtesy of evaluating for themselves a broader range of works by the same artist. Links were also provided to a site that challenges notions about liturgical attire and also to a site that represents an alternative view of liturgical attire. No value judgement was made either way. However, a commenter assumed a value judgement was made, took the post personally, and her comments assumed the form of an unfortunate personal attack on the blog author rather than a substantive defence of the artistic merit of the vestments and ceramics presented.

Unfortunately, people are too easily offended, and often they are offended for the wrong reasons. When people are offended because they are frequently conditioned to be by mind numbing ideologies such as those which occur under the umbrella of political correctness, a strange alchemy can result. Some people, not all, can and do make the leap to believing they are harassed simply because someone said something which did not agree with and/or challenged their understanding of reality. We live in an age when people are so confused about morality that they frequently demand their hurt feelings merit legal recourse to protect them from people who happen to reject their, for example, idiotic or dangerous behaviour.


Sadly, people too often substitute feelings for facts or authentic criticism. This should certainly come as no surprise to anyone who reads the content of comment boxes. People often think that their personal biases, biases without rational foundation, may take the place of reasoned argument. Unfortunately, too many people are unwilling to exercise their grey matter to a sufficient degree, it seems, to acquire even a rudimentary grasp of the discipline required to avoid imposing uncritical biases on things and the people who create them.

Artists (or gartists, as the philosopher C.B. Daniels once described makers of stuff possesing low artistic merit, i.e., "bad art") can rush to judgement as quickly as anyone else when someone places their work in a context that invites comparison by simply asking a question and providing a context for comparison.

Remember these... vestments?

[image source]

[image source]

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.