A scatter shot of thought offered from an early Sunday eve.

  1. Ms Althouse offers that Ms Sotomayor’s remarks are not out of the pale, but are fit as a “feel good version” into a larger and widespread racial talk in the legal academy. She offers that this, among perhaps the non-bottom feeders, might be a good opportunity for discussion racially sensitive or color blind jurisprudence. Given that race is, in my opinion, a ontological travesty. Race is a fictional entity invented for (perhaps) political reasons and enforced by stereotype. It is, on examination largely meaningless. Black, White, Hispanic are meaningless tags. There is no such thing as any of those things. There are certainly ethnic affiliations which have meaning, culturally and in forming people’s outlook. It is obvious that an urban white metrosexual yuppie far far has more in common by any cultural metric you might choose with a black gang-banger than with a recent rural Serbian immigrant, even though the first and the last are “racially” both “White.”
  2. From Chantal Delsol’s second chapter of The Unlearned Lessons Of the Twentieth Century: An Essay On Late Modernity, to which I will return later in the week, “… However, today’s scientism, compared with that of the nineteenth century, has become both hypocritical and worth of disavowal. In the nineteenth century, scientism rested upon the naive yet understandable belief — since it had not yet clashed with actual experience, that once the religious mentality had been swept aside, science would be able to explain everything and to alone bring happiness to humanity. The twentieth century sufficed to show that this was hardly the case. Thus, the scientism of today is founded on the mere hatred of religion and makes use of its own resentment against good faith. […] Today’s scientism, when it claims a monopoly on truth and is used to blur the boundaries of the human species, has become virtually criminal.” I’m guessing that there will be some objections to this quote. One would wonder who and why would defend scientism, for it is likely a more pressing threat to the real practice of science than any religious attack.
  3. Apparently an late-abortion practitioner has been murdered. At least one on the left thinks this means, that an assault on the freedom of speech is the answer. For myself, I’m confused as to the motivation behind the murder. If, as I think it is, the pro-life position is one anchored in the axiomatic ontological necessity of the necessity of a belief that all men share dignity. How that then leads to justifying murder cannot be rational or reasonable. Keep that assault on free speech (and the right to assemble) in mind when I return to Ms Delsol’s essay.
  4. In part the piece linked above connects that murder to the “empathy” argument used by the President. I wonder if “empathy” would be replaced by nous, in that particular liberal (?) legal methodology (see the Eastern Orthodox entry following the nous Wiki entry). While it might be just a little change of pace to find terminology like that flowing from progressive lips when arguing that a particular justice was qualified. As an side, it seems to me that the judicial philosophy entailed in the “empathy” argument is one which assumes and supports continuing irrelevance and immaturity on the part of the Legislature. The point is, the Judiciary is not there to fix “bad” law written by the Legislature but merely ones which are contrary to the Constitution. Depending on the judiciary to fix bad laws is a bad idea, because it enables lesser legislators to pen laws which are politically expedient and “counting” on the judiciary to overturn those laws … which they are more free to do being not as dependent on the electorate. But I digress, if you want to kill the whole “empathy” in the judiciary argument, one might frequently replace “empathy” with “eye of the soul” or “mind of the heart” or similar phrases. We might be continue with a trinitarian judicial philosophy, claiming our judges should equally weigh nous (heart), logos (reason),and spirit. That will go over swimmingly in the secular liberal world. If the right takes up that as a just judicial spirit, I’d bet the left will be clamoring for textualism or originalism post haste. See how the epomynous publius quote reads now, “Anyway, this violent act also bears quite directly on the whole “eye of the heart” debate.  What’s interesting about Obama’s comments is that the eye of the soul argument doubles as both a populist argument and a high-level theoretical assault on conservative jurisprudence.” I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to cast Mr Obama’s argument in as a trinitarian one.

Filed under: Mark O.You Cry Out

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