The Counterfeits Of Transcendence


The Counterfeits of Transcendence

W. H. Marshner

Cultural Conservative Policy Insights
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Institute for Cultural Conservatism Policy Insight Number Three
May 12, 1988

Cultural Conservative Policy Insights is published by the Institute for Cultural Conservatism, a division of The Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, Inc, a non-profit tax-exempt educational organization, nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the view of the Institute for Cultural Conservatism or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

In a previous policy insight, entitled “Cultural Conservatism and Transcendent Norms,” it was argued that a high understanding of right and wrong is implicit in the stance of cultural conservatives.

The present essay takes the argument a step further. It deals with the problems of moral relativism, because the relativist position is often based on ideas about culture. Challenging those ideas will expose the dangers which emerge when transcendence is misallocated to sheer “human consciousness,” or to the alleged future of our consciousness, and when transcendent right and wrong are thereby mismanaged. In the hands of cultural radicals, the mismanagement is common and multifarious.

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Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD”


Addenda to “Metaphysical Personhood and the IUD”

W. H. Marshner

October 3, 1974

1. Emergence

Fr. Joseph Donceel’s account of ontogeny might be read as presenting an organism which, without changing genetically, undergoes a series of holistic alterations which can best be described as “emergent shifts,” Such shifts are said to occur (by evolutionary theorists) when life, for example, “emerges” in matter previously non-living, or when sensation “emerges” in living matter previously non-sentient, or when consciousness “emerges” in animals previously non-conscious. Teilhard, indeed, seems to extend this series indefinitely, lumping such phenomena as thought, value, history, community, and even the contemporary Zeitgeist into the general category of emergent qualities. Continue reading “Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD””