"I recently attended my first Latin Mass. It didn’t go well."
#11
LOL! I thought the same thing, which is ironic, since the East tends to be Platonic and the West, Aristotelian.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#12
Back in the day, Quis told me several times I think like a neoplatonist.
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#13
I should think you would, being an Easterner, but you're being very Aristotelian on the question of beauty, arguing against the 'idea' of beauty. 
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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#14
(11-25-2020, 06:09 PM)Melkite Wrote: What you are describing, I think of as dignity.

I think dignity is a more flexible concept. Let's take buzzhead from my previous post. Her hairstyle choice does not change her beauty in any way, but she would present herself in a more dignified fashion if she did have longer hair. Dignity (in terms of physical appearances anyway) can be a bit more malleable to culture, time and place, though I would say there are some underlying concepts of dignity that are foundational to it and consistent across time and place (but that's getting off topic).

(11-25-2020, 06:09 PM)Melkite Wrote: I don't subscribe to the idea that language is unchanging, or ought to be unchanging.  Once a word has been accepted as having a new meaning, that's then the meaning of the word until it changes again.

Neither do I, but words have meanings; and I don't think the commonplace use of a word in an incorrect fashion where there is a correct term that properly describes whatever is being defined is grounds to redefine terms.

(11-25-2020, 06:30 PM)Pandora Wrote: Sounds like Melkite likes Aristotle and NSMSSS likes Plato...

At last, somebody has finally be able to explain to me just what I am.
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#15
NSMSSS Wrote:
Melkite Wrote:I don't subscribe to the idea that language is unchanging, or ought to be unchanging.  Once a word has been accepted as having a new meaning, that's then the meaning of the word until it changes again.


Neither do I, but words have meanings; and I don't think the commonplace use of a word in an incorrect fashion where there is a correct term that properly describes whatever is being defined is grounds to redefine terms.



It is the commonplace use of a word that defines what its correct meaning is.  For example, "apple" is just a collection of letters and sounds.  It has no inherent meaning itself, but what hearers or readers understand it to mean.  It means nothing to anyone who doesn't speak a Germanic language.  Old English is unintelligible to us, but to extend your argument a little further, it would mean that Old English is the 'true' English, and what we are speaking is just a bastardization.  And then Old English would just be a bastardization of Proto-Germanic, and so on all the way back to the beginning of human language.

I think Russian is a beautiful language.  Not just that it is an attractive language to hear, but that there is beauty in it.  The way it retains cases, the way consonants shift from nouns to their adjectival forms.  It has an almost metaphysical appeal to me.  And yet, many others see it as harsh, unattractive, clumsy, and altogether unappealing.  Even that which I recognize as being of a deeper beauty in, that goes beyond aesthetics, is subjective to me.  The beauty I see in it is not seen by all.

The meaning of a word is in how people understand it.  If people generally understand beauty to be a subjective quality, then that is what it now means, for better or for worse.  I guess I can understand the appeal to see beauty as something objective from a Catholic perspective.  My description of language and its inherent "unmeaning" rings very nihilistic. Maybe it's just my training in linguistics from a public university.  But I can't see an inherent meaning in a word if no one means it that way when they use it any longer.
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#16
OK, so you don’t think Beauty or Truth or Goodness exist?  We won’t get into any theological aspects here, just as abstract concepts.

Actually, your linguistic training rings very Marxist and materialist.  I had the same problem when I went to a public university.  If one doesn’t take it upon himself to personally classically educate himself, to the point where he can defeat all of his professors’ arguments, he’ll probably come out a raging leftist (as was the plan).
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#17
(11-26-2020, 02:52 PM)Pandora Wrote: OK, so you don’t think Beauty or Truth or Goodness exist?  We won’t get into any theological aspects here, just as abstract concepts.

Actually, your linguistic training rings very Marxist and materialist.  I had the same problem when I went to a public university.  If one doesn’t take it upon himself to personally classically educate himself, to the point where he can defeat all of his professors’ arguments, he’ll probably come out a raging leftist (as was the plan).

I recognize objectivity in truth and goodness that I don't recognize in beauty.
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#18
(11-26-2020, 02:15 PM)Melkite Wrote: It is the commonplace use of a word that defines what its correct meaning is.

And whenever somebody asks me if they can do something when they're really asking if they may do something, I respond, "I don't know, can you?"  Just because people commonly use can when they really ought to use may, no matter how commonplace the practice is, does not change that can refers to ability whereas may refers to permission, to use a very simple example.

I can accept that commonplace usage does have some clout.  Conservative doesn't carry the same meaning today as it did a hundred years ago.  To be conservative has meant different things over time, but the root meaning of the word (to conserve) has not changed.  We're just generally referring to different things when we say we're conservative now than we would have yesteryear.

(11-26-2020, 02:15 PM)Melkite Wrote: Old English is unintelligible to us, but to extend your argument a little further, it would mean that Old English is the 'true' English, and what we are speaking is just a bastardization.

Well, it certainly hasn't grown in quality, and I say this as one who has a personal preference for French though am woefully out of practice with it.  I also concede defeat that the "language of the Internet" is English, and as much as I'd like to turn French into my primary language, I have little incentive to do so.
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#19
(11-26-2020, 04:26 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-26-2020, 02:52 PM)Pandora Wrote: OK, so you don’t think Beauty or Truth or Goodness exist?  We won’t get into any theological aspects here, just as abstract concepts.

Actually, your linguistic training rings very Marxist and materialist.  I had the same problem when I went to a public university.  If one doesn’t take it upon himself to personally classically educate himself, to the point where he can defeat all of his professors’ arguments, he’ll probably come out a raging leftist (as was the plan).

I recognize objectivity in truth and goodness that I don't recognize in beauty.

I think you are conflating Beauty (capitalization intended) with "pretty-ness" or attractiveness.  I'll agree with you that in that natural world especially, we all have preferences that we may find attractive that others do not.  Some people may like soft voices, some may like sheer physical strength.  There are things, though, that lack such physical qualities that that are beautiful.  Parents sacrificing to care for children is beautiful.  Soldiers fighting to protect their homeland is beautiful.  Most of all, Christ dying on the Cross for our sins is beautiful.  None of those things are attractive.

It may be a case of being from different cultures, but if God is the source and summit of all that is Good, Beautiful, and True (and He is), and you concede that there is objective truth and objective goodness, why do you maintain that is does not follow that there is also objective beauty?
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#20
Pandora Wrote:I think you are conflating Beauty (capitalization intended) with "pretty-ness" or attractiveness. I'll agree with you that in that natural world especially, we all have preferences that we may find attractive that others do not. Some people may like soft voices, some may like sheer physical strength. There are things, though, that lack such physical qualities that that are beautiful. Parents sacrificing to care for children is beautiful. Soldiers fighting to protect their homeland is beautiful. Most of all, Christ dying on the Cross for our sins is beautiful. None of those things are attractive.

It may be a case of being from different cultures, but if God is the source and summit of all that is Good, Beautiful, and True (and He is), and you concede that there is objective truth and objective goodness, why do you maintain that is does not follow that there is also objective beauty?

I think what you are describing is better described by the word "dignity." We have rights given to us by God, and they are inherent in us for the sake of being human. Do we have these rights because of human beauty or human dignity?

I agree that the quality you are describing is objective. I just disagree that beauty is its best appellation.
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