Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Deconstructing Bishop Iker

Whatever else you think of being an Episcopalian, it certainly isn't boring. Take a recent article over at The Living Church Foundation interviewing Fort Worth's Bishop Iker, who today (July 27) signed a letter promising--incredibly--a presentment against Bishop Smith for inhibiting Rev. Hansen.

In the interview, Bishop Iker laughs, seeming at ease, even off the cuff, unguarded--enough perhaps to tell us something reliable about how he pictures his role in relation to the Connecticut Six Affair. A couple bits caught my attention (I've added the italics):

[I] We are willing to pay the consequences. If [Bishop Smith] continues to turn up the heat, we are going to respond. It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees with them.

[II] Our appeal [a separate issue--he alludes to Fort Worth's appeal to the Panel of Reference] illustrates the hypocrisy of the Episcopal Church when they say that they honor all theological views. That simply isn’t true.

[III] I have brought our concerns to the Archbishop of Canterbury on more than one occasion previously. One of the problems in the Episcopal Church right now is that there is no independent court system. The same goes for the Anglican Communion. We have previously had no means to appeal beyond our Province.

Pretty heady stuff; what to make of it all? I'm interested in seeing what Iker really thinks of ECUSA. He connects the Episcopal Church with: (a) phony liberalism; (b) occasional fascism; (c) the hypocrisy of favoring some theological views when claiming no favoritism; and (d) a biased, unfair court system.

It seems to me Bishop Iker associates (a) with (c): genuine liberalism treats all theological views equally, showing no favoritism. The "middle term" here might be "tolerance"--genuine liberalism is tolerant of competing points of view. Why? Ultimately, it is up to individuals to follow their consciences when choosing religious beliefs; liberals are loathe to impose on conscience from outside in matters of faith. Faith, like the free-market, operates best when free of planned interference from above. Points (a) and (c) connect with (d)--the Episcopal Church, on the liberal model, owes its constituents an unbiased court, just as government in the free market system owes the players a fair referee.

Is Bishop Iker himself a genuine liberal? Does he see himself that way? Note how his rhetoric, consciously or not, sets him outside "the Episcopal Church" as other to it. According to Bishop Iker, the Episcopal Church had claimed to be liberal--this is a tacit assumption of his criticism. That doesn't mean Bp. Iker would class himaself as a liberal, pining for ECUSA to join him--indeed, it follows Bp. Iker saw himself as other than a genuine liberal. The tantalizing question--just how is Bp. Iker outside genuine liberalism? Where would he step away--treating all theological views equally, tolerance, permitting guidance by conscience, freedom from planned interference from above, providing an unbiased court, or some combination of these? Inquiring minds want to know.

ECUSA's claim of liberalism--for Bp. Iker--turned out to be phony: ECUSA's "liberalism" isn't genuine.

ECUSA and Bp. Iker are thus, as it turns out, both other to or outside of genuine liberalism. Where does that place ECUSA? According to (b)--in the camp of fascism. The problem with ECUSA isn't so much the phoniness of its claim, but the intolerance, the imposition on conscience, the planned interference from above, etc. These constitute fascism in Bp. Iker's conceptual framework.

But now recall that ECUSA and Bp. Iker are both, according to Bp. Iker's own formulations, outside genuine liberalism. If that merits ECUSA the name "fascist" what name does it merit Bp. Iker?

It hurts operating within Bp. Iker's cramped conceptual framework, no? But it alarmed me to see where deconstructing Bp. Iker--using his own frame--leads. So far as I can tell, Bp. Iker doesn't think of himself as a, well, you know what--that might be a very well kept secret, provided we have indeed touched on a conceptual frame in which he is at home. After all, the framework used might be incoherent or inconvenient without the user consciously recognizing it--I think that's what we have here. But so what: meaning is not just "in the head." The framework may be incoherent without his realizing it; his passionate embrace of that framework in its incoherence is yet another instance of Postmodernism, a phenomenon on the Anglican right I've mentioned before. Bp. Iker, and perhaps that segment of the Anglican right that shares his framework, is caught in a degenerating dialectic.

I'm not suggesting Bp. Iker's conceptual framework is "a destiny": liberalism or fascism (fascism under one of various descriptions) is a false dichotomy. For the Episcopal Church to occupy either spot would mean something like the gates of Hell have prevailed against it. Indeed, I don't think ECUSA has ever been genuinely liberal in Bp.Iker's sense: but that does not mean it is fascist. ECUSA occupies an alternative he has neglected, an alternative not about to collapse (God willing) into either disjunct haunting Bp. Iker.


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Derek the Ænglican said...

But the Episcopal Church has *never* said that it honors all theological views. Indeed, it can't say this and be a religious organization with any meaning or sincerity. This is a favorite rhetorical trick of the "reasserters"--claiming that the "revisionists" must be all inclusive. Funny, I thought the whole point of the Episcopal Church was to use the prayer book and follow its rubrics. The point in inclusivity is that there is freedom concerning the points that the prayer book doesn't nail down; that's where we can and must be inclusive to allow for everything from smells and bells to hand-waving during praise songs. Are we doing that or not?

At 10:47 AM, Blogger bls said...

It's just a tactic to use in arguments, as Derek says, and not a very interesting one.

It's obvious they don't believe that we "don't believe anything in particular" - since we have been arguing for the inclusion of gay people in the Church for 40 years at least. We argue that women can also be ordained - and this is a very firm belief on the fascist liberal side, pretty much a non-negotiable one at this point.

The other interesting tactic I've been seeing lately is the argument that we can't call the African Bishops "bigots," because, after all, they are "people of color." And that since ECUSA has consistently argued for racial diversity, we ought to favor the Global South - no matter what sorts of positions they take.

Reverse discrimination, IOW. They're picking up past "liberal" arguments and using them against gay people, and perhaps also against "priestesses." They're arguing only that we're being inconsistent; IOW, they depend on "liberals" to create needed change - and then fight them, tooth and nail, every step of the way, when change is proposed and enacted.

But the basis of the whole thing is simple: they don't like homosexuality. That's the beginning and the end of the story.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I think you are right on, derek: the Episcopal Church has never honored all theological views equally. Isn't there a canonical requirement even to abide by the rubrics?

Bp. Iker and the lot seem to habitually confuse the inclusivity of the tolerant liberal state with the very different inclusivity of the Church, which has to do with the ministry of bringing reconciliation to everyone, to the world.

And I agree with you bls, that Bp. Iker etc. really don't believe the criticism they voice. His rhetoric, aside from being incoherent, is fashioned for melee.

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Mascallian said...

What I wish Bishop Iker (and Ackerman and Schofield) would say is, simply, that the Episcopal Church is an apostate body, and that it has been such ever since 1976, not merely 2003 -- but that would bring up the question of why they could stay so long in a church of priestesses but not one which sanctifies sodomy; and that is a good question.

I write as a Catholic in communion with Rome, and as one who almost became an Anglican in the 1970s, but was happily dissuaded, gently, by one of the best Anglican theological minds of the 20th Century, the late Eric Mascall (who by the way would have used the word "apostate" just as I have done above, as he clearly thought that a church that "ordains" women ceases ipsp facto to be in any sense a "Catholic" church). It was my great fortune to meet Mascall in 1977 and to become familiarly acquainted with him during my years in England.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...


Like Derrida, your deconstruction makes no sense whatever and bears no discernible relation either to the text or to its author. But unlike Derrida, you do not seem to have bothered to apply even the normal ordinary-language processes to the interpretation of the text.

If, for example, +Jack regarded himself as a liberal, would he refer to "those who claim to be liberal"?

Have you read the diocese' actual appeal? The appendices set out precisely what he means in this interview by "honor all theological views." Even Derrida sometimes pays attention to context...

"... now recall that ECUSA and Bp. Iker are both, according to Bp. Iker's own formulations, outside genuine liberalism. If that merits ECUSA the name "fascist" what name does it merit Bp. Iker?"

In other words, you say Iker is claiming that all non-liberals are fascists? Are you claiming that? What sort of confused reasoning is going on here?

There is substantial incoherence revealed in this post all right, Scotist, but it's not +Jack's...


At 7:27 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I have great respect for Mascall as a solid Anglican natural theologian (e.g. "He Who Is"). While you are blessed to find a Christian home within the Roman Catholic Church, a home not tortured with the type of flux wracking the Anglican Communion now, I have to ask that you re-think the ordination of women and the status of homosexual relationships in the Church.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

craig goodrich,
And I thought this was a rather clear instance of deconstruction; the fault is mine. Permit me to clear it up.

The question is not "Are all non-liberals fascists?" as you seem to think, but whether on Bp. Iker's way of speaking non-liberals are fascists. Of course I think Bp. Iker is not a real fascist, and neither is ECUSA really fascist--but that is beside the point. The point here concerns Bp. Iker's way of speaking.

Bp.Iker leaves no middle ground, no third way. For ECUSA, failing genuine liberalism in the ways I mentioned, merits it the term "fascist".

But Bp. Iker is no liberal either--if we are logically consistent, and apply to him the same rule he applied to ECUSA--leaving no middle ground, no third way--then on his own way of speaking, the term applies to him just as well. He could avoid this only by fallacious special pleading, introducing middle ground or a third way for himself, but not for ECUSA.

The incoherence: he doesn't mean for "fascist" to apply to him, but given his way of speaking--his way,not mine--it does. Contradiction, see?

Why attend to this incoherence? I guess it reveals not just that he is ready for melee over the Conn. 6 Affair, but also (a) he occupies what Kierkegaard calls the Aesthetic Sphere--he is speaking behind a mask, as it were; (b) there is a pressing question: "Did Bp. Iker really mean to say "fascist"? That is, who is behind the mask, and what does he think? Who knows?; (c) Is there a genuine, stable subject somewhere behind the mask who has something "authentic" to say as opposed to mouthing mere war rhetoric? How many masks are we dealing with here?

At 7:48 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

To see the (I think) crushing force of question (c) in response to goodrich, recall the mantra--meaning isn't just in the head. It follows what Bp. Iker means by "I" or where he would locate himself behind the mask(s) is not where he might really be. For all we know, having introduced a mask, we lose track of who we are--indeed, for all we know our "I"s are just a configuration of related masks.From a Christian point of view, that might make sense: a fragmented self is a consequence of transgression. Still, it makes me ill.

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Mascallian said...

Why should I rethink them, any more than rethinking the Trinity? It suffices me to know that both notions have constantly been condemned by Church Tradition, with such unanimity and reiteration that I take these condemnations for irreformable and infallible.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Fair question, mascallian: Church tradition does not regard all it condemns as of equal importance, nor is its uniformity in all cases sufficient for infallibility. The dogma of the Trinity is an article of faith, part of our canonical formularies. Is the prohibition of female priests of equal significance? There is at least logical room for a question here.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Christopher Hathaway said...

"Bp.Iker leaves no middle ground, no third way. For ECUSA, failing genuine liberalism in the ways I mentioned, merits it the term "fascist"."

This is an inversion of Iker's logic. He is not saying ECUSA is fascist because they are not true liberals. Rather, he is saying that they are behaving like fascists, therefore they are not true liberals.

If you call yourself a Scotist you should bone up more on you logical fallacies.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Christopher Hathaway,
You might be alluding to the fallacy of the consequent? Anyhow--your "because" strictly taken isn't truth-functional, so you probably don't have in mind a Modus Ponens; or do you? Please clarify.

I read Bp. Iker as arguing from a valid form, a disjunctive syllogism; that's why I talk about "throd ways". He is neglecting and alternative or two--indeed, the fallacy of the neglected alternative is peculiar to disjunctive syllogisms.

You go ahead and conjure the relevant alternatives in Bp. Iker's speech from the Ether: they aren't there.

And while you're at it: learn some more about logic.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Simeon said...

derek said: "This is a favorite rhetorical trick of the "reasserters"--claiming that the "revisionists" must be all inclusive."

Ah yes, a depressingly common case of the Straw Man fallacy, much beloved by the "orthodox."

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. i.e. "reasserters" claim we're bad because we profess tolerance & inclusiveness, yet we won't tolerate blatantly egregious words or behavior.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...


Where on earth do you get "all non-liberals are fascists" from Iker's (understood and semantically obvious) premis "fascist behavior is illiberal"? -- affirmation of the consequent is a classic logical fallacy.

One appropriate conclusion is "if X claims to be a liberal and X exhibits fascist behavior, then X is a hypocrite with respect to his liberal claim." This is the conclusion Iker draws; it can be attacked by demonstrating that X's behavior was not fascist (which is what Smith is maintaining in his letter of reply to the bishops) or (improbably) that X does not claim to be a liberal, or (even more improbably) that [some fascist behavior is not illiberal and X's fascist behavior falls in the non-illiberal class]. But it cannot be attacked on the basis of logical invalidity.

Your conclusion, by contrast, is obviously and egregiously invalid. This is what I mean by incoherent nonsense.


At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scotist: As I am sure you have written on the topic before, please provide links to your arguments why one should rethink ordination of women and the traditional stance of the Church on homosexual relationships?

Just passing through...

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Christopaher Hathaway said...

Cute Scotist. Nice throwing around of techical terms. It helps hide the fact that your thoughts bear little resmplance to what Iker said.

"It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees B. with them."

By this he implies that it is improper for liberals to behave like fascists. This idea may be transformed to the modus ponen: If you behave like fascists you cannot be liberal. These so-called liberals behave like fascists. Therefore they are not liberal.

Or shall I diagram it as a categorical sylogism?: No liberals behave like fascists. These so-called liberals are behaving like fascists. Therefore these so-called liberals are not liberals.

What one cannot draw from this syllogism is the thought: all non-liberals are fascists. This is a logical fallacy, and Iker nowhere commits such.

I think that was your work.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Dear Christopher Hathaway,
I sincerely did not mean to offend; I misjudged where you were coming from. My apologies, and I owe you something clearer. Here goes:

This is the form of argument I imputed to Bp. Iker:
"A or B; not B; therefore A"
Not much to it, but it's obviously valid. You could express the first premise as an equivalent material conditional, but why bother? As a disjunctive syllogism, my point is easier to see: the first premise should not be "A or B" but should have more disjuncts, like: "A or B or...N" Iker neglected relevant alternatives; that's a fallacy, just not a formal one.

Clearly, Iker thought ECUSA violated the canons of political liberalism--and the things that constituted that violation merited--in his world--the name "fascism". That is to say, violating the canons of political liberalism was a sufficient condition for being fascistic. That is to say, we have a material conditional here: If not politically liberal, then fascist. That conditional has the form of "If not A then B". Do you see where this is going? "If not A then B" is logically equivalent to "A or B." And that is the first premise I imputed to Iker. How much plainer can I be?

III. If you think the argument is simplistic, don't blame me, blame Iker.

I might be asking you to repeat yourself, but please be patient.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I'm working on reasserting my argument in favor of gay marriage--I don't have one yet for ordaining women. It'll take a few days.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...

This is the form of argument I imputed to Bp. Iker:
"A or B; not B; therefore A"

Mmmpf. No, "Scotist", what you imputed to +Jack was:

V(x): (A(x) xor B(x)) -- or, in other terms,
~e(x): (~A(x) ^ ~B(x))

That is, the additional claim that A and B exhaust the universe of possibilities -- which, of course, nothing +Jack said could possibly be interpreted to imply.

You then used this silly fantasy of yours to fuel a load of completely contentless rhetoric.


At 10:52 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Unless the topic makes it necessary, I prefer to stick with the simpler logic: propositional logic will do well here. Irst order predicate logic--does it add anything helpful to the analysis?

Indeed, taking your analysis seriously raises additional problems. By introducing the existential quantifier, you--not me--have to deal with quantifying over "options," "alternatives" or whatever it "is" that we think Bp.Iker did or did not supply. Do you really wish to treat them as objects? Preferring a sparse ontology where I can get away with it, I would rather use a logic that does not introduce dubious ontological commitments.

But the question of propositional or predicate logic is peripheral. The issue is: What menu of alternatives did Bp.Iker supply? What options do you think he articulated? How many, and how can you tell? Feel free to elaborate. For my part, I say it is clear he articulated at least two, liberalism and fascism. Where did he articulate more?

At 11:12 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Why worry about Bp. Iker at all, running through questions, objections, and replies this way? Does "Deconstructing Bishop Iker" have a serious point? Isn't it obvious when we attend to his argument, the argument is so simplistic, so obviously wrong, it is not worth taking time over?

In earlier replies on this thread, I mentioned two points: (1)noting that obviously his rhetoric is aimed at melee, not reconciliation, much less dialogue;(2)he most likely speaks from within what Kierkegaard would call the Aesthetic Sphere, characterized by a type of un-religious silence; I said that on the hunch that even Bp. Iker must know that what he said was false. (1) and (2) are of interest to anyone taking the ministry of bishops seriously, esp. "to act in Christ's name for the reconciliation of the world and the building up of the Church" (BCP'79 855). Something about the right's carrying on in the Conn 6 Affair seems to undermine our church's minstry. It's leading to yet more division, deception, calculation, and cunning where none of these things belong--even if you think what Bp. Smith did was evil, we are not to answer evil for evil.

But there is a third point to ponder: the method of deconstruction has affinities with Socrates' method--and differences, one being Socrates' unflagging confidence in our ability to eventually answer "What is it?", a confidence lacking in deconstructionists. Socratic praxis typically undermines presumptions to knowledge by eliciting contradictions, and that is what I have sought to do here with Bp. Iker. And just as when Socrates has elicited a contradiction, after a moment of being stunned, his interlocutor either becomes furious or becomes curious, erotically inclined to pursue the truth now in earnest, so when a contradiction is elicited from Bp. Iker's interview. The proper response is not fury, so much as curiousity: what options are there, besides liberalism and fascism? The corollary, that Bp.Iker's presumption to knowledge is empty, is at the end of the day not nearly so interesting.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...

What menu of alternatives did Bp.Iker supply? What options do you think he articulated? How many, and how can you tell? Feel free to elaborate. For my part, I say it is clear he articulated at least two, liberalism and fascism. Where did he articulate more?

After having it repeatedly pointed out to you, in my posts and several others, you still have no clue, do you?

If +Jack had mentioned that Episcopal bishops' shirts run to a bluish purple while Roman bishops' tend to be more reddish, would you have criticised him more severely for a) not mentioning Methodist bishops, or b) forgetting that many evangelical clerics wear yellow shirts with their leisure suits?

In other words, the mention of a contrast, or opposing terms, bears neither the implication that their respective meanings jointly exhaust the appropriate semantic universe nor the obligation to list terms which jointly DO exhaust the appropriate semantic universe (a "menu of alternatives" or "options"). This is so obvious and so fundamental to all ordinary human discourse that it's astonishing that we have to point it out to you at all, let alone repeatedly.

And as to the "ontological commitments", as I say above, THAT IS THE SOLE BASIS OF YOUR CRITICISM. YOU ARE THE ONE IMPLYING IT.

Sorry for shouting; my patience is exhausted. You may have the last word.


At 1:34 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...


I'm afraid that it may well be, as you suggest, that I still have no clue, and I regret you have run out of patience: I thought Bp. Iker's point was that the various non-liberal ways ECUSA behaved made them like fascists, when ironically they claimed to be liberal. After all, he said as much:"It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees with them."

I am also afraid you continue to display an alarming innocence of basic logical distinctions: among "opposed terms" are contraries, which you seem to be talking about (e.g. nothing can be both red and green all over; red and green are contraries) and contradictories (nothing can be both green and not-green). Whereas contraries are not exhaustive, contradictories are.

Surely fascism and liberalism are merely contrary, as you vehemently empahsize--and I agree with you, 110%. But, alas, it appears that Bp. Iker agrees with neither of us--inferring that non-liberal behavior implies fascism, he is treating liberalism and fascism as contradictories. Talk about clerical dressing habits, despite your fascination, is insufficient to settle the issue in your favor.

On a more technical but trivial note, were you aware that in using existential quantifiers, one typically incurs ontological commitment? My talk about "ontological commitments" was aimed not at Bp. Iker, who did not explicitly employ said quantifiers, but at your attempt to analyze the argument in terms of first-order predicate logic, which as you know uses existential quantifiers (your "e(x)" above), rather than in propositional logic, as I had wished.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...

I promised to give you the last word. But if I hadn't, I'd note that a) the predicate calculus makes no ontological commitments, any more than set theory does; it is simply another (and in most cases more useful) way of translating ordinary language propositions into a form that can be logically analysed; and that b) you have mistranslated +Jack's statement above in a way that would disgrace a first-year logic student; the appropriate translation of the relevant presupposition of +Jack's sentence:
"It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees with them."

is: "Fascist behavior is non-liberal (or illiberal; the distinction here is irrelevant)."

Since your entire vacuous discussion is based on this mistranslation, what's the point? Are you maintaining that some fascist behavior is liberal? Or are you trying to exploit semantic confusion between "liberal behavior" and "liberal theology"?

Or are you just making noise?


At 1:39 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

We've been talking long enough--go ahead and call me Todd. I'll open with an example:

(1) If humans are mammals, then they are animals.

We can symbolize (1) in formal logic equally well in a number of different ways ("-->" being a material conditional):

(2) P
(3) (Q-->R)

If we came across two people arguing over which symbolization, (2) or (3), correctly captured the logical structure of (1), we would be right to point out their dispute is wrong-headed: both are correct.

Just so, your translation, however you might formally symbolize it, may be entirely correct. I won't dispute the legitimacy of your translation--let us grant it. Nevertheless, the correctness of your translation does not imply that my translation is incorrect. Quite simply, there is more than one correct way of translating what Bp. Iker said, just as there is more than one way of symbolizing (1) above.

It follows that if there is a logical symbolization of Bp. Iker's speech along my lines, my point holds--you need not just to show that there is an alternative symbolization open to first-year logic students, but that mine is not open.

At 1:46 AM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

As for the point about ontological commitment and the existential quantifier, if you wanted to use the existential quantifier without incurring an onto-commitment, you could have used Free Logic or some similar non-standard system--but inferences in such non-standard systems are typically more complicated than in standard Logic 101 predicate calculus.

In standard predicate calculus, to truly say "e(x)Fx" or (for example) "Something is human" is to say that there is something from the domain of discourse, D, that is within the extension of the predicate "F". That is to say, one admits to the existence of members of D--objects in Frege-parlance--and of the extension of F. In this way, using the usual existential quantifiers does indeed commit one to an ontology.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Craig Goodrich said...

In standard predicate calculus, to truly say "e(x)Fx" or (for example) "Something is human" is to say that there is something from the domain of discourse, D, that is within the extension of the predicate "F". That is to say, one admits to the existence of members of D--objects in Frege-parlance--and of the extension of F. In this way, using the usual existential quantifiers does indeed commit one to an ontology.

Of course it does -- because the proposition being expressed itself does! The problem with symbolizing "Something is human" as "p" is that it does NOT reflect this fact about the proposition being asserted. The assertion of existence or non-existence is an inherent property of some propositions, and the fact that the predicate calculus reflects this is its strength. Note that propositions which do NOT assert existence are translated into expressions which also do NOT assert existence:

"Noone expects the Spanish Inquistion"
~e(x):Esi(x) -- or --
-- both of which can be true in an empty universe.

So whether you symbolize your example as "p" or as "e(x):H(x)", the proposition itself asserts existence.

As to your previous post, you are right of course that one picks the symbolic translation based on the intended use in a syllogism. But what you have done, I repeat once again, is to translate "Humans are mammals" into "if X is a mammal, then X is human" M --> H, which is of course a mistranslation REGARDLESS of the formalism chosen.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

OK--granted, "propositions which do NOT assert existence are translated into expressions which also do NOT assert existence", e.g.
"No one expects the Spanish Inquistion" ~e(x):Esi(x) -- or --
Vx:~Esi(x)-- both of which can be true in an empty universe". We're on the same page there, provided your predicates in the example are monadic.

On the other point, I am confused. There is no problem with symbolizing "Something is human" as simply "P"--that symbolization is legit.

Furthermore, I am almost certain that when you say, "the proposition itself asserts existence" you are wrong--propositions do not make assertions. People do, maybe computers and perhaps higher mammals; propositions assert nothing.

I'm not even sure that they imply anything either: the formal operation "implication" is always explicated within a logical system, and not all logical systems understand implication equally: the term is equivocal.

You have arrived at an ontology including propositions, which have seemingly logical-sounding properties all to themselves: asserting, maybe implying, et al? What are these items, propositions--ghostly Platonic entities? Abstracta? Do they really have these logical-sounding properties all to themselves, independently of their belonging to particular logical systems? That's an odd world you've got going, prima facie.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Anyhow, technicalities of logic aside, we should get back to the words of Bishop Iker; we have enough common ground to talk to each other productively.

In what I think we both agree is his key contested claim, Bp. Iker said, "It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees with them."

The phrase "those who claim to be liberal" refers to ECUSA and specifically to Bp. Smith; they are also the subjects of "behaving like fascists".

They are not really liberal; "those who claim to be liberal" and the rest imply that; moreover, they are or fascist-like.

Thus we sufficient grounds in the quote for two distinguishing two claims, at least:(~P) Bp. Smith et al. are not liberal; (Q) Bp. Smith et al. are fascist (or fascist-like, if you prefer).

What is the relationship between ~P and Q? I claim Bp. Iker draws a connection between Bp. Smith et al's not being liberal (~P) and their being fascist (Q), such that their not being liberal is sufficient for their being fascist. But that is to say

The connection Bp. Iker draws comes from specific behaviors of Bp. Smith: changing locks, seizing computer records, etc--just the same behaviors that gave him reasons for saying Bp. Smith et al. were not liberal.

Simple, no?


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