Tuesday, March 17, 2015

On the remediation of rape in the Mosaic Law...

In the Old Testament Law, if a man raped a woman, and got her pregnant, he had to pay a fine and marry her, and was forbidden to ever divorce her.  (Deut. 22:28, 29)

Unfortunately, this is interpreted almost universally as a dastardly law designed to let men get away with rape in an era of unbounded patriarchal oppression of women.

It is anything but that.  Quite the contrary, in fact, especially given the cultural norms and stigmas surrounding marriage and family life at the time.

Rather than oppressing the woman and allowing her rapist to get off scot-free, this law gives her a valid method of accusation and remedy against him, in a time when marriage was a) not for love anyway, and b) a huge financial boon to women.  Notice the prohibition of future divorce, which locks the fellow (and his whole family!) in, so he cannot get out of providing child support, etc. (and if he neglects her, his family is liable).

There is no shame or stigma in these commands.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

Far from allowing him to "get off scot-free", it locks him into having to provide for her and her child for the rest of his life, and also into publicly acknowledging his sin and doing his best to make it as right as possible for the rest of his life (note, again, the prohibition against divorce).

This law would even be fair today, let alone in an era where it would have locked the whole family into providing for her.

On the "rape case scenario": Abortion as convenience to avoid shame and responsibility

When asked if there are any exceptions to our rule, too many of us "pro-lifers" -- that is, anti-baby-murder activists -- grant the "rape case" exception without hesitation and without thought.

This is one of my pet peeves.

I do not acknowledge that that situation is justification for murdering a human being.  Is he somehow worth less, simply because he was conceived in tragic circumstances?  Is her life worth nothing, because her mother thinks* she might have to bear the shame?

Yes, rape is horrible, and pregnancy from rape is the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy.

But the ending of a human life (and yes, the baby is a human, whether it is still in the womb or not) is a serious matter.

It is precisely at this point, this black and white, no-shades-of-gray point, that the principle of Life should shine most clearly.  It is precisely here, if anywhere, that we should make our stand.

And yet this is the point we most easily surrender!  This is quite frustrating.

A pro-lifer who says abortion is OK because of rape contradicts herself.  On the one hand, she asserts that murder is wrong, that the decision to end a human life should not be based on the convenience or lack of readiness of the caretaker of that life.  Yet on the other, she allows it for exactly those reasons.

Yet what is the rationale behind the allowance of the rape case exception?  She might respond (along with her baby-murdering opponents, with whom she agrees in this scenario), "Why, compassion, of course!"

"She shouldn't be forced to bear the shame of having been raped, because the child will be constant reminder of her tragedy.  The child will have a stigma as well.  The child will never know it's father."  Etc. Etc.

You're saying that rather than have her bear the shame of being victimized (something she could do nothing about), you'd rather she add the shame of being a murderess?  That rather than overturning her sorrow by bringing a precious little life into the world, she should add to it by giving herself nightmares and depression, if not by cutting off her emotions entirely?

You're saying that having your life cut off -- and involuntarily at that -- is better than living with stigma (assuming there even will be such a stigma, and not universal empathy)?  You're saying that having your life involuntarily ended is better than not knowing your father?  That somehow all of these things -- tragic though they may be -- are enough to justify ending the child's life?

What a bleak and hopeless (and selfish!) world-view!  And it's poppy-cock.  There are plenty of other, non-murderous alternatives to abortion, even in the case of rape. For example, putting the child up for adoption.

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*most of the time incorrectly, but the point stands even if the mother's fears are accurate

ROUGH NOTES: Of gods and tech: a brief, introductory exploration of some potential origins and ends of mankind's drive to express

desire and drive to create
but get bogged down in the details....distracted.
desire not simply to create, but to express.
And not just things, but life.

Unfortunately, life (and things) are rather details oriented and somewhat chaotic.

We want to be able to slay the dragon in the waters
to bind the behemoth
to put a bit in leviathan's mouth.

And we want to do it by expressing ourselves, that is, by command, by pure manifestation of will.

We want, in short, to be gods.  Being "regular humans" is such hard work.

ROUGH NOTES: Mathematical Musings...

functional --logical operators, intermediary steps--> algorithmic

can boolean operators be recast in terms of waveform math (interference of given waves?)  If so...standing or travelling? (or both?)


Consequences:

all algorithms are functional math
quantum computing becomes much easier to understand visually (currently cast in statistical math, which is somewhat hard to visualize).

Grace for grace: the mediation of Mary in the light of Christ, the One Mediator

Random, unorganized thoughts on created vs. uncreated grace  (Prompted by meditation on this link: http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/oecumenical-grace-roman-catholicism-and-created-grace/)
And of His grace we have received: grace for grace.
God's uncreated energies synergize with our created energies, bolstering them, and making them the carriers of true grace, created though they be, through a sort of hypostatic union of His own and our own, exactly parallel to (if not repetitive of) His own hypostatic union.

He has as His principle uncreated nature, and so He is "God by nature", although He "took on Himself the form of a servant" -- that is, He took on Himself created nature, and so became man.

We have as our principle that same created nature which He put on.  And we are called, by a similar "putting on" of Him, the Christ, to become "god(s) by grace" -- that is, "partakers of the divine nature".

But -- I think -- it is one and the same hypostatic union that results, both in Him (uniting uncreated with created) and in each of us (uniting created with uncreated): both He and we are Sons of God.

The only distinction is this: that He is the only begotten Son, having His generation from the Father before all ages (that is, eternally), and being manifested in the flesh only afterward.

Whereas we are manifested in the flesh first, and receive our generation only after, "that we may become the sons of God", receiving the Spirit of adoption.

In this sense, then, we understand that
There is [but] one mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus.
Namely, that it is "of His grace [that] we have received", "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" that is with us all.

Any other "mediation and help" for which we ask the saints (particularly Mary) are mediations not between God (the Father) and man (for that is Christ's alone), but rather are mediations of the grace of the Son to His fellow men, which grace we have received, each according to the measure of faith given to him.

And so, when I synergize with this grace -- this energy, this action -- I mediate it to the world, and so it can properly be called "my mediation", and I a "mediator", as I am the instrument of Christ's One Mediation in the world: for it is yet not I who lives, but Christ Who lives in me.

So, when we pray, asking the Virgin Mary for "Thy mediation and help", calling her "Mediatrix", we do not replace Christ with her, and we are not speaking as though she is the Mediator Between God and Man. Rather, we express precisely the correct doctrine that He, the One Mediator, is present in and active through His saints, that "of His grace we have received: grace for grace", and that we are called to activate that grace in the world by uniting our own (created) energies to it, subjecting our own will to His even as He subjected His human will to His divine will.  We express this doctrine by asking Mary to (continue to) do that thing that every Christian (Mary included) is called to do: use her God-given gifts (χαρίσματα, 'charismata' = 'graces' or 'gifts'), which she receives from our collective Head, for the edification and help of the Body.

(Side note: There is also the sense that she mediated Christ to the world insofar as she gave birth to Him from her own flesh.  She is the ladder upon which He descended.)

We single her out specifically and specially simply because, while the grace given to her is not "without measure" as her Son received from the Father, she has the greatest measure of grace of any of the Saints, even so far as to have been referred to by the angel as "full of grace" (κεχαριτωμένη).

This is evidenced by the fact that she is the only Christian to have undergone the Resurrection of the Body as of yet.  And not only that, but her faith is the simplest and most direct in the Kingdom, and she is the Queen Mother, set at the right hand of the King, having born Him as a result of an act which precisely portrays and activated exactly what we're talking about here: namely, her active, complete, and humble submission of her created energies (her "natural" or "created" graces and abilities) to the will and operation (uncreated energies) of God, to manifest Christ to the world in the flesh, when she said to the angel: "Be it unto me according to thy word."

Also, because of her aforementioned Resurrection, she alone among the Saints has full and unfettered use of the graces given to her by Her Son.  Unfettered on the one hand by the body of sin, unlike those of us still in the flesh here on earth.  And unfettered on the other by the lack of any body at all, unlike the rest of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord, but have not yet been resurrected.