There seems to be lot of interest in the recent fracas between Simon Schama and Rod Liddle.
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What is most startling about the exchange is the total absence of any reasoning on the part of Simon Schama. Rod Liddle claims that taking in lots of refuges/migrants who have trekked across Europe and risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean, merely encourages more people to do the same and so will increase the number of people who die in the attempt. People in France or Italy do not have well a founded fear of persecution in those countries and therefore cannot be refugees by definition. Taking in such migrants for the sake of feeling good about ourselves is mere emotional self-indulgence at the cost of other people’s lives. Schama apparently has no answer to this. This does not appear to concern him. It is hard not to be reminded of the liberal attitude to contraception. Every study (and common sense) shows that flooding a population with contraceptives encourages people to engage in irresponsible and immoral behaviour and proportionately increases sexually transmitted diseases and unwed pregnancy, the very things liberals claim it will reduce. Apparently, liberals are so impressed by the fact that that rescue ships in the Mediterranean and Contraceptives will reduce the chances of catastrophe in each particular case that they cannot see that in general they will ensure greater misery.
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The real reason for this of course is that they actually positively desire fornication and immigration as goods in themselves. Well that’s not quite right, they desire fornication as a good in itself, they desire immigration for the sake of cheap labour to keep them in the manner to which they are accustomed and in order to dilute the stable moral norms of their own societies. I think it would be fair to say that they positively prefer Muslim immigrants to Christian ones for precisely that reason. Naturally, due to the hostility shown to Christian immigrants in the various camps and boats on the way to Britain they are more likely to get Muslim immigrants from Calais than from a camp in Syria. When it comes to fornication they simply do not believe that extra-marital continence is either possible or desirable and thus the only way to reduce ‘unwanted pregnancy’ and disease it to equip the fornicator with the means to reduce the risks in each instance. If contraceptives were eradicated and the population responded by reserving sexual activity for life-long monogamy and all sexually transmitted infections died out they would actually see this as a cultural catastrophe. Consequently, if you confront them with the fact that contraceptives increase sexually transmitted diseases and unwed pregnancy they will either blank it out or obstinately deny the known truth.
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And yet, there is another mental block at work. Liberals are preselected for the incapacity to grasp the fact that certain evils might be necessarily concomitant upon certain goods. Liberals are by and large atheists and agnostics. Those who are religious are generally deists, which is to say atheists who believe in one very powerful alien. The reason they adopt this inexcusably stupid [Romans 1:20] position (and even when the real cause is a desire to escape the moral law they generally look for a justification) is because they cannot see how evil is compatible with an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent entity. St Thomas dismisses this objection extremely casually in ST Ia,2,3 obj 1 and reply:
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Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word “God” means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.
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Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): “Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.
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The reason certain people cannot grasp this is because they do not understand that evil is privation and that God is subsistent being itself. As St Thomas says in Ia, 25, 6 “God can make something else better than each thing made by Him.” Consequently, there will always be an infinitude of better possible worlds than any universe God has actually created. It is therefore pointless to complain that God has not made the best of all possible worlds as there is no such thing. God in His literally infinite wisdom makes use of our necessary finitude and imperfection to achieve good for us. As atheists and agnostics are unable or rather unwilling to accept this, they imagine therefore that anyone who can remedy any evil must do so, and if they do not do so they are themselves evil. As this is the pretext for their rejection of the Creator they must apply the same idiotic principle to the state. If there is any ill that the state could remedy and it does not, then the state must be responsible for that ill and will it to be. The idea that the attempt to remedy some ill by the state might occasion a greater ill or even that permitting some ill might occasion a good greater than that opposed by the evil tolerated must be rejected by the atheist and agnostic because otherwise they would have to surrender their beloved ‘problem of evil’ and expose themselves to the logic of theism. This is why atheists, agnostics and deists must demand an ever vaster and more intrusive state intruding into every recess of human existence and when this state worsens every ill it seeks to remedy then some enemy must be identified ‘climate change’, ‘religion’ or ‘the forces or conservatism’, ‘human nature’ or hilariously ‘intolerance’ which may be blamed for the failure of their beloved Leviathan (and punished accordingly). For the only alternative is repentance and belief and this is a prospect that may not be contemplated even for a moment.

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