Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baseball and Orestes Brownson Meet Tacitus and Darwin - Sox in 1st Place Again!

I was reading the Annals of Tacitus last night, as I could not get the Sox Game on Cable. I read until Clare came home and checked the web - Sox Win!  11-4 and back in 1st Place AL Central!

Had I not known that the Sox played the Minnesota Twins at home and relied solely upon my beliefe that that they, had, in fact played, the Chicago Tribune account would not have satisfied with conclusive evidence that that had been the case. The article is joyfully exuberant, but lacks a small but essential verity -Who Played????

Nowhere in the report by Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales are to be fund any veriable evidnce that Chicago White Sox had played the Minnesota Twins at Sox Park ( AKA The Cell to Sheep) on the evening of July 24, 2012. -By Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune reporter
11:51 p.m. CDTJuly 24, 2012

Absent is any idenification whatsoever to the professional baseball team from Minnesota:  the reader will not find the words Twins, Minnesota.  Other teams are mentioned: Detroit, Yankees, and Texas Rangers.  There is a hat-tip to Josh Willingham who plays for the Twins, but this was something that I believed prior to game itself, but could not verify upon reading the Tribune account of the Dunn,/Konerko/Ventura Victory Troika:
Konerko, who is 7-for-8 over his last two games and batting .536 with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs in his last eight games, gave plenty of credit to Dunn.
As I said above, I read Tacitus while game was played.  Tacitus wrote Roman history and the Annals
concentrate the reader upon the Empire -dominated by the Julio Claudian family.  Augustus (Octavian) was the first emperor. While he ruled Jesus was born. Tacitus talks about the Jewish carpenter's kid  when he gets into telling about the reign of Tiberius ( Tiberius Nero).  When old Augustus was about to die, all of Rome fretted that this would signal the start of a bloody fight for power.

August was married to a horrific old bitch who was a combination of revolutionary Bernardin Dohrn welded to hack loud-mouth Jan Schakowsky.  Livia was not above killing her step-children and grandkids to advance her agenda.  Livia and Tiberius( her son by a previous marriage) plotted to bump off the next in in line -Agrippa.

Give this long passage a read.

Thus thus the State had been revolutionised, and there was not a vestige left of the old sound morality. Stript of equality, all looked up to the commands of a sovereign without the least apprehension for the present, while Augustus in the vigour of life, could maintain his own position, that of his house, and the general tranquillity. When in advanced old age, he was worn out by a sickly frame, and the end was near and new prospects opened, a few spoke in vain of the blessings of freedom, but most people dreaded and some longed for war. The popular gossip of the large majority fastened itself variously on their future masters. "Agrippa was savage, and had been exasperated by insult, and neither from age nor experience in affairs was equal to so great a burden. Tiberius Nero was of mature years, and had established his fame in war, but he had the old arrogance inbred in the Claudian family, and many symptoms of a cruel temper, though they were repressed, now and then broke out. He had also from earliest infancy been reared in an imperial house; consulships and triumphs had been heaped on him in his younger days; even in the years which, on the pretext of seclusion he spent in exile at Rhodes, he had had no thoughts but of wrath, hypocrisy, and secret sensuality. There was his mother too with a woman caprice. They must, it seemed, be subject to a female and to two striplings besides, who for a while would burden, and some day rend asunder the State."

While these and like topics were discussed, the infirmities of Augustus increased, and some suspected guilt on his wife's part. For a rumour had gone abroad that a few months before he had sailed to Planasia on a visit to Agrippa, with the knowledge of some chosen friends, and with one companion, Fabius Maximus; that many tears were shed on both sides, with expressions of affection, and that thus there was a hope of the young man being restored to the home of his grandfather. This, it was said, Maximus had divulged to his wife Marcia, she again to Livia. All was known to Caesar, and when Maximus soon afterwards died, by a death some thought to be self-inflicted, there were heard at his funeral wailings from Marcia, in which she reproached herself for having been the cause of her husband's destruction. Whatever the fact was, Tiberius as he was just entering Illyria was summoned home by an urgent letter from his mother, and it has not been thoroughly ascertained whether at the city of Nola he found Augustus still breathing or quite lifeless. For Livia had surrounded the house and its approaches with a strict watch, and favourable bulletins were published from time to time, till, provision having been made for the demands of the crisis, one and the same report told men that Augustus was dead and that Tiberius Nero was master of the State.

The first crime of the new reign was the murder of Postumus Agrippa. Though he was surprised and unarmed, a centurion of the firmest resolution despatched him with difficulty. Tiberius gave no explanation of the matter to the Senate; he pretended that there were directions from his father ordering the tribune in charge of the prisoner not to delay the slaughter of Agrippa, whenever he should himself have breathed his last. Beyond a doubt, Augustus had often complained of the young man's character, and had thus succeeded in obtaining the sanction of a decree of the Senate for his banishment. But he never was hard-hearted enough to destroy any of his kinsfolk, nor was it credible that death was to be the sentence of the grandson in order that the stepson might feel secure. It was more probable that Tiberius and Livia, the one from fear, the other from a stepmother's enmity, hurried on the destruction of a youth whom they suspected and hated. When the centurion reported, according to military custom, that he had executed the command, Tiberius replied that he had not given the command, and that the act must be justified to the Senate.
As soon as Sallustius Crispus who shared the secret (he had, in fact, sent the written order to the tribune) knew this, fearing that the charge would be shifted on himself, and that his peril would be the same whether he uttered fiction or truth, he advised Livia not to divulge the secrets of her house or the counsels of friends, or any services performed by the soldiers, nor to let Tiberius weaken the strength of imperial power by referring everything to the Senate, for "the condition," he said, "of holding empire is that an account cannot be balanced unless it be rendered to one person."
Meanwhile at Rome people plunged into slavery- consuls, senators, knights. The higher a man's rank, the more eager his hypocrisy, and his looks the more carefully studied, so as neither to betray joy at the decease of one emperor nor sorrow at the rise of another, while he mingled delight and lamentations with his flattery. Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Apuleius, the consuls, were the first to swear allegiance to Tiberius Caesar, and in their presence the oath was taken by Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius, respectively the commander of the praetorian cohorts and the superintendent of the corn supplies. Then the Senate, the soldiers and the people did the same. For Tiberius would inaugurate everything with the consuls, as though the ancient constitution remained, and he hesitated about being emperor. Even the proclamation by which he summoned the senators to their chamber, he issued merely with the title of Tribune, which he had received under Augustus. The wording of the proclamation was brief, and in a very modest tone. "He would," it said, "provide for the honours due to his father, and not leave the lifeless body, and this was the only public duty he now claimed."

As soon, however, as Augustus was dead, he had given the watchword to the praetorian cohorts, as commander-in-chief. He had the guard under arms, with all the other adjuncts of a court; soldiers attended him to the forum; soldiers went with him to the Senate House. He sent letters to the different armies, as though supreme power was now his, and showed hesitation only when he spoke in the Senate. His chief motive was fear that Germanicus, who had at his disposal so many legions, such vast auxiliary forces of the allies, and such wonderful popularity, might prefer the possession to the expectation of empire. He looked also at public opinion, wishing to have the credit of having been called and elected by the State rather than of having crept into power through the intrigues of a wife and a dotard's adoption. It was subsequently understood that he assumed a wavering attitude, to test likewise the temper of the nobles. For he would twist a word or a look into a crime and treasure it up in his memory.
On the first day of the Senate he allowed nothing to be discussed but the funeral of Augustus, whose will, which was brought in by the Vestal Virgins, named as his heirs Tiberius and Livia. 

Tacitus, like your humble scribbler here, is limited by what he knows and yearns for what is knowable; when that is denied, like Mark Gonzales' account of the 11-4 victory over the Twins, who remain unmentioned, we must hold onto faith - Josh Willingham is on the Twins and my head is still attached to my neck.

History, Science and  Baseball  can be reduced to faith -belief a priori truths ( I knew Josh was a Minnesota Twin) and ontologogical issues. Consider this -
Does anyone really doubt that he has a head? Notice that the mere possibility of error is not enough to defeat this belief. Just because I could be a brain in a vat deceived by a mad scientist doesn’t give me any reason to think that I am. Until you give me some compelling proof that I do not have a body, I am perfectly rational to believe in a properly basic way that I have a head.
Similarly, the theist would need some compelling reason to think that God is deceiving him in order to abandon the belief that he has a head. Brian, turn the tables on the sceptic by asking him to give you a proof that theism gives you a defeater of your properly basic beliefs. About all he can say is, “God could be deceiving you.” But that provides no reason to think that He is. We could be deceived by a mad scientist; but that possibility is not sufficient to defeat our properly basic beliefs. At most, it shows that one cannot prove inferentially that one’s foundational beliefs are true. That’s right; that’s the lesson of Descartes. But that doesn’t imply that our properly basic beliefs are therefore irrational or unwarranted
Perhaps but Darwin said Descartes was wrong. Darwin is the Progressive pivot point and ontological prime mover.  If  you are au courante, have the New York Times delivered to your door daily, watch only PBS, and are so much smarter than everyone else ( Rubes, Tea-People, Catholics, devout Jews, Evangelicals, and working stiffs), Darwin trumps God.  In the 19th century, an American former-Transcendentalist and Catholic convert, Orestes Brownson, argued against Hegalian-Darwinian theology.  In 1873, Brownson wrote  
Say what you will, the ape is not a man; nor, as far as our observations or investigations can go, is the ape, the gorilla, or any other variety of the monkey tribe, the animal that approaches nearest to man.  The rat, the beaver, the horse, the pig, the raven, the elephant surpass the monkey in intelligence, if it be intelligence, and not simply instinct; and the dog is certainly far ahead of the monkey in moral qualities, in affection for his master and fidelity to him, and so is the horse when kindly treated.  But let this pass.  There is that, call it what you will, in man, which is not in the ape.  Man is two-footed and two-handed; the ape is four-handed, or, if you choose to call the extremity of his limbs feet, four-footed.  In fact, he has neither a human hand nor a human foot, and, anatomically considered, differs hardly less from man than does the dog or the horse.  I have never been able to discover any of the simian tribe a single human quality.  As to physical structure, there is some resemblance.  Zoologists tell us traces of the same original type may be found running through the whole animal world; and, therefore, the near approach of the ape to the human form counts for nothing in this argument.  But here is the point we make; namely, the differentia of man, not being in the ape, cannot be obtained from the ape by development.

This sufficiently refutes Darwin’s whole theory.  He does not prove the origin of a new species either by natural or artificial selection; and, not having done that, he adduces nothing that does or can warrant the induction, that the human species is developed from the quadrumanic or any other species. . . .Two-thirds of his work on the “Descent of Man” is taken up with what he calls Sexual Selection.  . . .
Mr. Darwin, though his theory is not original with him, and we were familiar with it even in our youth, overlooks the fact that it denies the doctrine of the creation and immutability of species, as taught in Genesis, where we read that God said: “Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth.  And it was done.”  “And God created the great whales and every living and moving creature which the waters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind.”  “And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and everything thing that creepeth on the earth.” Genesis I, 11,21,25.  Now this doctrine, the doctrine of the whole Christian world, and which stands directly opposed to Mr. Darwin’s theory, is, as say the lawyers, in possession, and therefore to be held as true until the contrary is proved.  It is not enough, then, for Mr. Darwin to set forth his theory and ask us as Christians, as believers in Genesis, to accept it, unless able to disprove it; nor is it enough for him even to prove that it may be true.  The onus probandi is on him who arraigns the faith and convictions of the Christian world, which are the faith and convictions of enlightened and living mankind.  He must prove his theory not only may be, but is, true, and prove it with scientific or apodictic certainty, for only by so doing can he oust the Christian doctrine from its possession, or overcome the presumption in its favor; and till he has ousted and made away with that doctrine, his theory cannot be legally or logically entertained even as a probable hypothesis.  This he hardly pretends to have done.  As far as we can discover, he does not claim apodictic certainty for his theory, or profess to set it forth for ant(sic) thing more than a probable hypothesis, which he leads us to suspect he hardly believes himself.  But in the present case we must prove it to be true  and indubitable, or he has no right to publish it at all, not even as probable; for probable it is not, so long as it is not certain that the Christian doctrine in possession is false.
This principle, which is the principle both of ethics and logic, is disregarded by nearly the whole herd of contemporary scientists.  They make a point of ignoring Christianity, and proceed as if they were perfectly free to put forth as science any number of theories, hypotheses, conjectures, guesses, which directly contradict it, as if they were under no obligation to consult the universal faith of mankind; and theories too, not one of which, even if plausible, is proved to be true, or deserving the name of science.  We by no means contend that the general belief of mankind, or the consensus hominum, is in itself an infallible criterion of truth; but we do maintain that it is, as the lawyers say, prima facie evidence, or a vehement presumption of truth, and that no man has the moral right to publish any opinions, or uncertain theories or hypotheses, that are opposed to it.  It can be overruled by science that is science, by the truth that is demonstrated to be truth, and which cannot be gainsaid.  He who assails it may plead the truth, if he has it, in justification; but not an uncertain opinion, not an unproved theory, or an unverified hypothesis, however plausible or even probable it may appear to himself.  Sincerity, or firmness of conviction on the part of the defenders of the adverse theory or hypothesis, is no justification, no excuse even; and no one has any right to assail or contradict the Christian faith, unless he has infallible authority for the truth of what he alleges in opposition to it.  And this no scientist has or can have. (emphases my own) Brownson 1873 - Dawin's Descent of Man
Thanks to Mark Gonzales, I knew the score -Sox win 11-4 . . .over somebody.
Unlike your humble servant, Orestes Brownson knew not only the school but he really knew who was playing.

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