Beginning with the Peterson, Pageau, Vervaeke and Baron conversation, mentions of Thomas Aquinas began to enter the room. Since then, this has been happening more often. It happened several times in this conversation between Matt Fradd and Jonathan Pageau.
Pageau is famously known for talking about patterns. I have noted that patterns, in this sense, is not any different than purpose. I find that patterns are nothing more than purpose in action – as long as one recognizes that inherent in every being is a purpose common with other beings of a like type. Hence…patterns.
But now Pageau is making the connection overtly. He uses the words purpose and teleology. He has often mentioned this idea of a return to Aquinas. But, just as in the conversation with the four, hosted by Peterson, no direct mention in this conversation with Fradd of natural law. And this time, I lay the blame of Fradd, who cannot be oblivious to the connection (his channel is called Pints with Aquinas, for goodness’ sakes).
But…baby steps. I have waited several years for the conversation to at least crack the natural law door open. I believe it is inevitable that eventually those involved in this conversation will come to find the common point for all of them is to be found in the natural law ethic.
Through it, the question of where we should aim is answered; the question of how we should act is answered; the question of who we are is answered. These are the questions being asked in the discussion, and natural law points to answers for each of these.
Living a life in accord with the natural law ethic gives meaning in life – in other words, the cure for the meaning crisis.
Jonathan Pageau gave a lecture for an event put together by the Montreal Jung Society. During the Q&A, he was asked “How would you work with the problem of inclusive / exclusive categories in these times? Where do the movements of cancel culture or Black Lives Matter feed, or how to make sense of these movements?” Dangerous and loaded questions.
The entire section is about twelve minutes long, and is worth listening to directly. Pageau replies:
One of the things we are seeing is out of control versions of this identification system or this system of communion. Woke culture understands the problem of exclusion. The problem is, they want to account for everything. They want everything to fit.
I would say except for straight white Christians, whether male or female.
The problem is, that’s impossible. It’s even a dangerous thing. There are lots of ancient traditions that speak to this: in Jewish law, you have to leave a fringe on your vestment, or you have to leave the corners of the field untilled for the strangers.
All of these patterns make clear that you can’t have a system that is both coherent and complete at the same time. You can’t.
Perhaps you can if you consider human beings as perfectly interchangeable cogs in a machine. (Hint: meaning crisis.)
What’s happened is that people want to make inclusivity the only value, because of the problem of exclusion.
See my earlier post on Pageau’s thoughts on a speech by Tim Cook of Apple.
And so what happens, and what I am going to say is going to seem radical to some, what we are seeing in this process is the actual destruction of the world. This type of thinking can actually destroy the world.
Wait, don’t despair. He sees an alternative: