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Author Topic: Objectivity  (Read 46727 times)

Romero D Souza

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Objectivity
« on: September 02, 2012, 03:51:10 AM »
Lonergan, Bernard. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Understanding and Being. Edited by, Morelli Elizabeth A. and Morelli Mark D. Vol 5. New York: E. Mellen Press, 1980. 156 - 176.

Lonergan, Bernard. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Philosophical and Theological Papers 1961980. Edited by, Croken Robert C. and Doran Robert M. Vol 17. London: Toronto Press, 1980.

Lonergan, Bernard. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Insight: A study of Human Understanding. Edited by, Crowe Frederick E. and Doran Robert M. Vol 3. London: Toronto Press, 1957.

Lonergan, Bernard. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan: Topics in Education. Edited by, Doran Robert M. and Crowe Frederick E. Vol 10. London: Toronto Press, 1959.

Lonergan, Bernard. Method in Theology. London: Toronto Press, 1971.

In the year 2006, I screened the film High School Musical (HSM) starring Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson, Oleysa Rulin and Alyson Reed. A Disney Channel original movie, High School Musical is a true teenage love story. Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) meet on a karaoke stage one night while on vacation.  I was enamoured by the song ‘Start of Something New.’ 

Living in my own world
Didn't understand
That anything can happen
When you take a chance
I never believed in
What I couldn't see
I never opened my heart (ooh)
To all the possibilities (ooh)
I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
And right here tonight

This could be the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you (ooh)
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart (feel in my heart)
The start of something new

Now who'd of ever thought that (ooh)
We'd both be here tonight (ooh yeah)
And the world looks so much brighter (brighter)
With you by my side
I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
I know it for real

This could be the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you (ooh)
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart
The start of something new

I never knew that it could happen
Till it happened to me
I didn't know it before
But now it's easy to see

It's the start
Of something new
It feels so right
To be here with you (ooh)
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart

That it's the start
Of something new
It feels so right (so right)
To be here with you (ooh)
And now looking in your eyes
I feel in my heart
The start of something new
Start of something new
The start of something new

The thought that led me to this song is precisely what will perhaps be the fruit of the tree I plant now.
I, me, and myself were or rather are History. I am a Historical Being, as a matter of fact You and I are Historical Beings. But do we create History?….Think about this friends?…Now a question arises as to how can I (subject) create History living in my own world (context)…I am saying something that is within to live –dreams, goals, aims, desires, passion… give a chance, an opportunity for it to live, to grow. For this to happen you and I must let go of ourselves to become something new, give a start anew…How can this be done? Simply by giving meaning (adding meaning), and colouring the meaning with the experiences, understanding the experiences, and then judging the understanding of these experiences (Lonergan’s EUJ formulae). This act leads You and Me (subjects) to be Authentic Subjective Being in becoming Historical Being. In Being or Becoming History, in our daily lives we can or rather we have reached this Fruit of Objectivity.

Therefore, after reading and re-reading the Philosophy of Communication of Bernard Lonergan, I (subject – Romero D’Souza) as a prosumer  of this product has in a way made an attempt to advertise his (Lonergan’s method of communication) to you all. Now is the time for you all to buy this product which will serve you for lifetime. According to me, the secret of Lonergan’s Philosophy of Communication is …You will come to know as you read this article; a snippet from his (Lonergan’s) Collected works.

For the man who knows his logic and does not think of method, objectivity is apt to be conceived as the fruit of immediate experience, of self-evident and necessary truths, and of rigorous inferences. When method is added to the picture, one may succeed in discovering that objectivity is the fruit of authentic subjectivity, of being attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible.  Take for instance, this common ground or rather this common origin in the religious experience that it varies with every difference of culture, class or individual. But on a theological ground, such experiences are God’s gift of his love. Religious experience at its root is experience of an unconditional and unrestricted being in love. Here we see objectivity is conceived as the fruit of authentic subjectivity, and to be genuinely in love with God is the very height of authentic subjectivity.  Let us take this as an utopia - speaking about utopia is a wonderful thing even though it does exist. It differs in reality from the content yet similar in the structure. It involves claim to objectivity, objectivity in the world mediated by meanings and motivated by values. And, in what does this objectivity consist? It derives its claim from self-transcendence: the sense in which objectivity is authentic subjectivity, the subjectivity of a person who is attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible.  Making an attempt to understand objectivity, there was a need to develop a doctrine of objectivity that is relevant to a world mediated by meaning and motivated by values. The position of objectivity is the fruit of authentic subjectivity, and authentic subjectivity is the result of raising and answering all relevant questions for intelligence, for reflection, and for deliberation. Further, while man is capable of authenticity, he is also capable of unauthenticity. Insofar as one is unauthentic, there is needed an about-turn, a conversion and indeed, a threefold conversion: an intellectual conversion, by which without reserves one enters the world mediated by meaning; a moral conversion, by which one comes to live in a world motivated by values; and a religious conversion, when one accepts God’s gift of his love bestowed through holy spirit.  Objectivity rests upon the unrestricted, detached, disinterested desire to know. It is this desire that sets up the canons of Relevance: demands that the interpreter begin from the universal viewpoint to eliminate the bias of the interpreter and his audience. Explanation: Interpreter’s’ differentiation of the protean notion of being must be explanatory and not descriptive.  Contents and contexts of interpretation as related to one another and not to us. Residues: call for recognition of non-systematic components in the field of meaning. Genetic must not be confused with the dialectical or Lag of expression, while new viewpoints emerge. Speech and writing carry indications of the underlying psychic flow. Parsimony: Excludes the bogus aim of interpreters at the unverifiable through imaginable and invokes the resources of critical reflection. Successive Approximation: Need for scientific collaboration because the totality of document cannot be interpreted scientifically by a single interpreter. This gives rise to the absolute objectivity implicit in judgment from the experiential objectivity and the normative objectivity.  Intelligence inquires on what reasonableness reflects. Therefore, we ask the question, what is objectivity? This attempt unfolds in you and me a pure desire to know, which claims to be an extension and refinement of common sense.  The attainment of truth demands a willingness to follow the lead of intelligence and truth. So it is that man is boxed in, without the appropriation of truth. Here the account of genuineness and integration can be questioned with regards to the notion of objectivity.  The problem of interpretation can best be introduced by cutting between expression, simple interpretation (second expression), and reflective interpretation (smart idea, a beautiful object of thought).  In life, when we ask what do we mean by objectivity, the first spontaneous answer is that the objective is what is out there, secondly one might think of it as impartial detachment and another when we reach the absolute, the unconditioned. Making an attempt to combine the above we may come to the realization that the truth is the medium by which one knows being. An object is a being that is. One knows a universe of objects and the subject as one of the objects in the universe. We know that it is judgment and truth, and truth alone that is the criterion.  For it is now apparent that in the world, mediated by meaning and motivated be value, objectivity is simply the consequence of authentic subjectivity, of genuine attention, genuine intelligence, genuine reasonableness, genuine responsibility. There are fields of science and all of us study, have interests and passions of our own liking, like mathematics, science, philosophy, ethics, theology, communication, psychology and many other that differ in many manners, but they have in common a feature that their objectivity is the fruit of attentiveness, intelligence, reasonableness and responsibility  (airr… that we breathe in our daily lives). Thus genuine objectivity is the fruit of authentic subjectivity.  Being a Catholic and now a consecrated religious basing oneself on theology one sees the objectivity of theology. Theology has been conceived as reflection on religion and, indeed, in the present age as a highly differentiated and specialized reflection. Research, which assembles the data thought relevant, and interpretation, which ascertains their meaning, and history, find meanings incarnate in deeds and movements. Further dialectic, investigates the conflicting conclusions of historians, interpreters, researchers and foundations, which objectifies the horizon effected by intellectual, moral, and religious conversion. Further doctrines, uses foundations as a guide in systematic, which seeks an ultimate clarification of the meaning of doctrine, there finally emerges our present concern with the eighth functional speciality, viz., communications. It is a major concern, for it is in this final stage that theological reflection bears fruit. Without the first seven stages, of course, there is no fruit to be borne. But without the last the first seven are in vain, for they fail to mature.  The Genesis of this thought can be seen in the seed as well as the fruit.

Recalling the movie Rab Ne Bana de Jodi starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Vinay Pathak, directed by Aditya Chopra in the year 2008.  Taking the song ‘tujhe mei rab dikta hai.’ 

Movie : Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
Music Director: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
Director: Aditya Chopra
Producer: Yash Chopra
Lyricists: Jaideep Sahni
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Vinay Patak
Song Title Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai

Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai Lyrics
Tu hi toh jannat meri, Tu hi mera junoon
Tu hi to mannat meri, Tu hi rooh ka sukoon
Tu hi aakhion ki thandak, tu hi dil ki hai dastak
Aur kuch na janu mein, bas itna hi jaanu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Sajdhe sar jukhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Ohhhh hoooo ohh….
Kaisi hai yeh doori, kaisi majboori
Meine nazron se tujhe choo liya
Oh ho ho Kabhi teri khusboo
Kabhi teri baatein
Bin mange yeh jahan pa liya
Tu hi dil ki hai raunak,
Tu hi janmo ki daulat
Aur kuch na janoo
Bas itna hi janoo
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Sajdhe sar jukhta hai
Yaara mein kya karuo
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karuo
Vasdi vasdi vasdi, dil di dil vich vasdi
Nasdi nasdi nasdi, dil ro ve te nasdi
Rab Ne… Bana Di Jodi…..haiiiiii
Vasdi vasdi vasdi, dil di dil vich vasdi
Nasdi nasdi nasdi, dil ro ve te nasdi
Cham cham aaye, mujhe tarsaye
Tera saaya ched ke chumta
Oh ho ho… tu jo muskaye
Tu jo sharmaye
Jaise mera hai khuda jhumta
Tu hi meri hai barkat, tu hi meri ibadat
Aur kuch na janu, bas itna hi janu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Sajdhe sar jukhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Tujh mein rab dikhta hai
Yaara mein kya karu
Vasdi vasdi vasdi, dil di dil vich vasdi
Nasdi nasdi nasdi, dil ro ve te nasdi
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.. haiiiiii


Making an attempt to critically appreciate this song has lead my thinking to a search of Objectivity in my religious living (authentic subjectivity). The song goes on to say…’I see God in you.’ In this film, it is referred to his love. For me I would rephrase the thinking and address it to everyone especially the youth for whom I have chosen and decided to follow in the Don Bosco Way. It raises questions in my mind, such as Can I see God in the youth? Can I feel God in the youth? Can I have a God experience in and among the youth? Such fundamental and existential questions set my soul on fire that is ever burning for that ‘one thing’ I think and believe is the objectivity – To save souls and to conclude with in the words of Don Bosco, ‘ Da Mihi Animas, Cetera Tolle’  (Give me Souls, take away the rest).

 

Del Allan

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 07:11:35 AM »
Thank you so much for posting this reflection, what a joy to read!  Your assertion that true objectivity can only be found when one has reached the point of 'authentic' subjectivity; when one has experienced intellectual, moral and religious conversion, is absolute truth.  At this point one has become detached from self enough to be authentically subjective.

Be attentive, Be Intelligent, Be reasonable, and Be responsible.

Romero D Souza

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 01:12:13 AM »
Del,
I appreciate the fact of you reading the article as well as asserting my reflection on the same topic/subject to ponder on...objectivity.
Thank You

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 09:57:12 PM »
Romero and Del,
I agree that true objectivity depends upon authentic subjectivity, but my sociological soul impels me to add that authentic subjectivity, in turn, depends upon authentic intersubjectivity.  I think that this is present in your post, but I would like to make it explicit.  The fifth transcendental imperative is to be loving, and I interpret this as trying to obey the great commandments to love God and to love my neighbor as myself.   It is only by trying, over and over again, to be loving, that I will be able to be attentive, intelligent, reasonable,, and responsible.

How, you might ask, is this "sociological"?   I believe that loving God, neighbor, and myself enters into the very system of symbols into which I bring observations in the process of data construction.  It is in terms of this system of symbols that I discover the right questions for intelligence, get the insights that I formulate into hypotheses, and ask the questions for reflection that will enable me to be reasonable (objective) in my affirmations and denials of these hypotheses.

As a sociologist, I keep coming back to questions about social interaction.  The "standard model" of interaction breaks it down into three general types: cooperation, competition, and conflict.  I add a normative dimension to my model of interaction.  Good interactions are those in which the participants are open and honest (rather than defensive and deceitful).  Good interactions generate reciprocal trust, and contribute to the health of the participants.  Bad interactions  (in which the participants are defensive and deceitful) generate reciprocal distrust.  To me, a very practical and concrete way for me to be loving is to try to be open and honest in my interactions with others.  To the extent that I can do this, my interactions will increase the degree to which I am authentic, and, consequently, the degree to which my judgments will be objective.

Cooperation is the mode of interaction that facilitates openness and honesty.  Competition makes good interactions more difficult.  In conflict, it requires great heroism to be open and honest, because openness and honesty makes it easier for an enemy to do me harm.   Loving my enemies may lead to crucifixion.

“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Romero D Souza

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2012, 11:38:12 PM »
The fifth transcendental imperative is to be loving...i appreciate your interpretation on this...
and also your stand on the 3 C's - Cooperation, Competition, Conflict.
However, I think that inorder to reach authenticity or rather inter subjectivity authenticity as you mentioned...
one has to have CONVERSION be it as a person - individual or a society - sociological.

Thanks for your comment & sharing on the same.
Romero

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 05:50:05 AM »
Hello Romero,

Do you see conversion as something that happens to a person, or that a person does?  Is conversion once and for all, or is it something that I must happen to me, or that I must do, over and over again?   

Although I believe that loving interactions between persons is the setting for authentic conversions, I also believe that conversion itself is personal.  I doubt that a collectivity -- whether it is a dyad, a small group, or a larger organization or society -- is the sort of thing that can experience conversion.

Best regards,
Dick
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Phil McShane

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 12:47:46 PM »
Del, Romero, Richard,
I have only just seriously returned to this corner of Lonergan studies ...I was, until today, trying to finish a general challenge of 9 Posthumous essays: the last two go up on my Website tomorrow. But there is so much rich stuff being expressed here .... too much to comment on .....  Richard's reflections on slow climbs of conversion are right-on, and we need to articulate these, if only privately to ourselves at first, but eventually joining a suffering servant community of Method 250, following the challenge of what I call Lonergan's 1833 Overture (See Posthumous 7).

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 09:30:49 AM »
Phil,
In "Posthumous 7," you admit to having written hundreds of pages about the top half of page 250 of Method.  I haven't read, and don't expect to read, those hundreds of pages.  But I am encouraged by your endorsement of what I take to be very good advice -- "if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."  I believe that slogan has to be dialectically balanced by "we can do better," "practice makes perfect," and, "the perfect is the enemy of the good." 
Those hundreds of pages you have written constitute a small fraction of the many thousands of pages of commentary that have been written about Lonergan's texts.  There are not enough hours and days left in my life for me to attempt to read all of them.  It is likely that anything I have to say about Lonergan's thought is going to sound very similar to something someone else has already said.  I will keep at it, however, because it is worth doing, even if I do it badly.
Something that I have been thinking and talking about for over fifty years is the denial that objectivity is a quality of what is "already out there now, real."   I believe that dialectic is a key part of the process by which we approach the ideal of objectivity "the objective is the verified."  In P7 you use the metaphor of an opera, and have your readers imagine a dialectical community of ten who work on the overture, using lines 18 to 33 is the theme to be elaborated in this metaphorical overture.  This is to be done in three stages (I have omitted your enlightening footnotes to each of the three):
"[1] Each investigator is sentenced to express a personal categorical stand."
"[2] That stand is to be pushed by each towards a heuristics of the future."
"[3] The results of [1] and [2] are to be made available in print to all. Then, the
most brutal sentencing, the ten take their common bundle, ten-pack, back to the
last word of Method 249, selves-scratching towards the pragmatically best
heuristic Overture for the Opera of the future." http://www.philipmcshane.ca/posthumous-07.pdf

I am convinced that the tacit belief that the "objective" interpretation of Lonergan's thought is "already out there now, real" gets in the way of #1.   That belief is seldom explicitly stated, but is repeatedly reinforced every time we submit to the widespread rule of scholarly discourse, "never use 'I".'  The second commandment is like unto the first, "never use you."  One consequence of these rules for "objective" writing is the bad faith attribution of one's personal beliefs to an undefined "we," "us," and "our."  I say this way of writing is "bad faith," because the writer generally has not been elected or appointed to be the representative and spokesperson for any organized collectivity.
This is a point in my categorical stand.
Best regards.
Dick
 
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Phil McShane

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 10:21:58 AM »
Thank you Dick,
and yes, you are right on re the difficulty of "I" and "you" in moving into accepting  Lonergan's 1833 Overture. Might there be a break-through on this in 2013? Only if a few - or more! - risk doing the stuff badly. AND there is no need for anyone to go back to those earlier ventures of mine. That is the purpose of my focus on those lines of Lonergan. They present a very clear "second half" to his sketch of dialectic: discomfortingly clear. But we need to face up to their challenge OR do dialectic in our own way: but then be honest and clear and stop using Lonergan's name. 
Phil
   

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 10:51:55 AM »
Hi Romero, 

I have quoted three brief passages from your post of September 2. I comment on them, not argumentatively, but in support as well as in the interest of clarifying what I believe:

(1) "Here we see objectivity is conceived as the fruit of authentic subjectivity, and to be genuinely in love with God is the very height of authentic subjectivity."

(2) "Objectivity rests upon the unrestricted, detached, disinterested desire to know."

 (3) "It raises questions in my mind, such as Can I see God in the youth? Can I feel God in the youth? Can I have a God experience in and among the youth? "

One and two go together in my thinking, because the passionate love of God can become fanaticism unless it rests upon, and includes, the intellectual conversion that leads a person to affirm number two.  Number three points to a necessary part of being genuinely in love with God.  If I do not love my neighbor as I love myself, my love of God is not genuine.  The basis for loving my neighbor and myself is that I see God in my neighbor and in myself.

The following story from the life of St. Ignatius illustrates how close he came to performing an act of a religious fanatic:

"He had decided that he wanted to go to Jerusalem to live where our Lord had spent his life on earth. As a first step he began his journey to Barcelona. Though he had been converted completely from his old ways, he was still seriously lacking in the true spirit of charity and Christian understanding, as illustrated by an encounter he had with a Moor on his way. The Moor and he came together on the road, both riding mules, and they began to debate religious matters. The Moor claimed that the Blessed Virgin was not a virgin in her life after Christ was born. Ignatius took this to be such an insult that he was in a dilemma as to what to do. They came to a fork in the road, and Ignatius decided that he would let circumstances direct his course of action. The Moor went down one fork. Ignatius let the reins of his mule drop. If his mule followed the Moor, he would kill him. If the mule took the other fork he would let the Moor live. Fortunately for the Moor, Ignatius' mule was more charitable than its rider and took the opposite fork from the Moor."
"The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola" http://norprov.org/spirituality/lifeofignatius.htm

Best regards,

Dick Moodey
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Romero D Souza

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 09:10:08 PM »

Dear Fellow Reflectors & Readers,
I earnestly seek an apology for this long break & thank you for those reflecting and commenting on the article: Objectivity
Sorry & Thank You,
Romero

Romero D Souza

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 10:17:41 PM »
Hiee Richard,
Thank you and sincerely appreciate your thought and reflection on the article of Objectivity.
However, the word fanaticism and fanatic might seem to be too strong in elaborating your understanding or rather your reflection with the same but I respect your reflection.
Thank You,
Romero

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 03:29:14 PM »
Hi Romero,

I agree that "fanaticism" might be too strong a word, especially as I reflect upon the fact that in the first passage I quoted you wrote of the "genuine love of God" and "authentic subjectivity."  The question that arises for me is whether or not a person who is not authentic can have a genuine love of God.  I think that asking this question gets me into theological difficulties, because if the genuine love of God is equated with the supernatural grace of charity, it would seem that God could bestow that gift upon a person who has not achieved authenticity. 

My point in telling the story about St. Ignatius was to suggest that at that point in his life, even though he was experiencing passionate feeling of love for God and for the Virgin Mary, there was something deficient in that love, if it motivated him to contemplate murder.

Of course, there is something anachronistic about my reflection, given the fact that in the early 16th century it was not uncommon for devout Christians and Muslims to endorse the slogan, "death to the unbelievers."  But there is still the tension between the supernatural virtue and historically specific notions of a genuine love of God.

Best regards,

Dick
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Romero D Souza

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 04:54:50 AM »
Richard Moodey,

Yes very true...responding or rather commenting on the last line: with regard to the 'tension.' Definitely when it comes to reflecting on the supernatural love - it is Divine and when we speak of historicity element - it is Human.

Therefore, when we look at Lonergan's Way Up & Way Down method; we see that the element of LOVE does show itself; in a way that cannot be explained or described.

Thank You,
Romero

Richard Moodey

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Re: Objectivity
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 07:52:20 AM »
Hi Romero,

In The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout reports that about 4% of the population is "sociopathic" ("psychopathic," afflicted with "anti-social personality disorder").  Few of them become mass murderers, but all of them lack conscience, the ability to form emotional commitments to others.  They cannot love, and it seems that they cannot be cured by psychiatrists or psychologists.

I mention this because they have been denied a gift which 96% of the population has been given.  The nature-nurture dilemma holds here also, because there appears to be a strong genetic component, along with some infant and early-childhood learning.  But there is a sense in which the five or six year old sociopath is in that state through no fault of his/her own. 

One of the things I am saying about the supernatural gift of love is that God is free to bestow it upon a sociopathic child just as well as upon a child who has the natural ability to love.  Even with the help of Divine Grace, however, it will be a monumental task for a sociopath to attain to genuine subjectivity.

Best regards,

Dick
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac