December 03, 2013

Concerning a Beagle and Translations of Aquinas

So gruesome: one of my sister-in-law's five dogs attacked and killed another dog last week while she and her husband were out.  It looked like a crime scene.  My sister-in-law now loathes the beagle perpetrator and wanted her out of the house immediately, and euthanized.  We are taking it until passions hopefully cool.

I'd searched the Internet and there are studies showing that dog-on-dog aggression was far more prevalent by boxer breed (my sis-in-law's big dog) than beagles. So I'm getting skeptical of the “official” verdict, which was based on blood on the beagle (we think she rolled in it) and vomiting blood (we think she licked it up). So we  made our case, and I'm hoping they'll take the dog back.

The endurance exhibited by a howling beagle is surreal; I thought surely she would bark herself hoarse. Apparently that's not possible. They must have vocal chords made of rust-proof steel.  If anyone wants a unfairly accused beagle, comment forthwith!


I think there's a point at which an interface is TOO attractive. That point is reached when you stare at its creamy visage just for the sake of staring at its creamy visage. That LOGOS Bible app in particular, and Apple ios7 in general, is a bit too rich. With the e-ink Kindle there's nothing to do but read and so I do. There's no distraction of shining, gleaming surfaces and elegant graphics.

It wasn't a shining, gleaming sort of day.  The psychic hangover from having worked just two days of the last two weeks presented itself in the form of a grouse-y morning mood that coffee was unable to alter. (Though the altar helped.)

The dog problem hangs over us and I feel it steeply. I fear it won't end well and I don't like the delay in having it settled. There's the unspoken tension of whether we'll take the dog semi-permanently. A week feels like a surprisingly long time when you have a dog on death row. Steph's blithely buying the dog beds and bark collars, which aren't quite in the same category as last meals. But she did send her sister the needed “come to Jesus” missive, explaining the unfairness of hanging the wrong dog. (Come to think of it, no wonder the beagle has a hang-dog expression….This completes the gallows humor section of today's post).

Sister-in-law responded by saying she didn't want to deal with that issue now. Maybe later in the week.


A relative on my wife's side upset that his father blew through $400k in inheritance that could've/would've/might've leaked down to him. Knows he has no right to complain given it's not money he earned but it still nags at him that another grandchild did receive $400k because that grandchild's father had died.

You have to look at inheritances like you bonuses at work: I never quite got the folks who complained about not getting a bonus some year given that it's a bonus, i.e. something imaginary until proven otherwise, sort of like a unicorn. Not something to count on.


In a not unrelated trend, article in paper said many baby boomers are moving to South and Central America for retirement, where the dollar goes farther and the climate is warm. Reminds me of that book I got when I was 25 titled “How to Retire at 35” (the short answer is: make good money, save about $200-300K and then retire in Mexico. Easier said than done on all fronts.)


Read more of Ben Wiker's illuminating Moral Darwinism.  You can certainly appreciate why it gained traction given discoveries of how mathematical and mechanical the universe turned out to be, despite the irony that that only goes to show how planned and designed it all looks.  It's interesting how the philosophy got spread through indirect means such as the beauty of the poetry of Lucretius and the inadvertent ministrations of the anti-Aristotelians.


A blogger wrote on depression, that if our pleasures are the shifting sands on which we build ourselves then we'll crash and burn. I had thought St. Thomas said one couldn't live without pleasure.  But turns out he actually said this:
Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.

It's surprisingly hard to track down the source of that Aquinas quote.  A ton of references on the web but no source.  Appears on Wikipedia as "unsourced".  A search of the English version on New Advent didn't get any hits on the Summa, and couldn't find it on Summa Contra Gentiles. 

I found something similar here in the Summa in English on New Advent:

Article 1. Whether joy is effected in us by charity?

Objection 1. It would seem that joy is not effected in us by charity. For the absence of what we love causes sorrow rather than joy. But God, Whom we love by charity, is absent from us, so long as we are in this state of life, since "while we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6). Therefore charity causes sorrow in us rather than joy

But, beware translations!

I looked up the same passage via a Latin-English parallel version and this is what it said:

Question 28. The effects of love Is union an effect of love? Is mutual indwelling an effect of love? Is ecstasy an effect of love? Is zeal an effect of love? Is love a passion that is hurtful to the lover? Is love cause of all that the lover does? 
Deinde considerandum est de effectibus amoris. Et circa hoc quaeruntur sex. Primo, utrum unio sit effectus amoris. Secundo, utrum mutua inhaesio. Tertio, utrum extasis sit effectus amoris. Quarto, utrum zelus. Quinto, utrum amor sit passio laesiva amantis. Sexto, utrum amor sit causa omnium quae amans agit.

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