Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Furiae Conscientiae: Justificatio (et Rationalizatio, instrumentum suae)

THERE ARE TWO MEANINGS TO JUSTIFICATION, one of which has a true face, one of which has a false face. As Budziszewski notes in his book What We Can't Not Know, the English verb "to justify" can mean, among other things, "to make something just" as well as its practical opposite, "to feign that [something] is just." Budziszewski (2003), 154. The thought ties in to Pope Innocent III's comment that some seek justice with justice, while some seek justice by unjust means,* which, of course, is not justice. In the case of R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ([1924] 1 KB 256, [1923] All ER 233), Lord Hewart famously stated that "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done." Here outside and inside tally. The Fifth Fury thinks precisely the opposite. The outside and inside do not tally, and only externals matter. Thus, the motto of the Fifth Fury, pseudo-Justification is "Justice need not be done; it must only seem to be done." Budziszewski explains. According to real justification, "I am justified when I am finally brought in line with justice." According to ersatz justification, "I am justified when 'justice' is finally brought in line with me." Budziszewski (2003), 154.

Unraveling morality through rationalization

When pseudo-justification is at work, its favorite tool is rationalization. Rationalization is the chisel that makes the rotten wood of injustice look like justice. The first rationalizing step downward leads to many more, to an increasing incrementalism of vice, which soon results in a slippery slope which falls into the slough of moral decrepitness. Acceptance of legislative divorce, led to judicial divorce which required proof of fault, which led to no-fault divorce, which is leading to homosexual "marriage." The acceptance of artificial contraception led to the acceptance of abortion which is already leading to infanticide proper.

This is how rationalizing with evil always go. Good morals is the looser in this game where the odds are stacked against real justice, authentic moral right.

You cannot justify one evil yet expect the others to keep their place. The cloth of the moral law is too tightly sewn for that; it is made of a single strand. Pluck loose one stitch, and the rest unravels too.

Budziszewski, 159.

And so, through pseudo-justification, the mores of the West have seem to come undone. Furious at the spurning of her sister furies, Remorse, Confession, Atonement, and Reconciliation, the Fury of Justification has wreaked havoc with the social and moral fabric. O tempora! O mores!
O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion
That you are changing sadly your dominion —
I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased,
For men have none at all, or bad at least;
And as for times, altho' 'tis said by many
The "good old times" were far the worst of any,
Of which sound doctrine l believe each tittle,
Yet still I think these worse than them a little.**

*The quote is actually broader: Quidam enim iuste quod iustum est, alii iniuste quod iniustum est; rursus quidam iniuste quod iustum est, alii iuste quod iniustum est persequuntur. "[S]ome seek justice with justice, others injustice with injustice; and some seek justice by unjust means, while others seek injustice by just means." Innocent III, On the Misery of the Human Condition [II.3] 67.
**Edgar Allan Poe, "'O, Tempora! O, Mores!'

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