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Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 19:41:56 -0600
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 2/6/02 5:10 PM, Thomas Bitterman at tom@bitterman.net wrote:

> The RCC is pretty picky about things that are merely "teachings" but not
> dogma.  Note
> the animosity between the Pope and many American Catholics on birth
> control.  Given
> Wolfe's conservative nature it seems reasonable to believe he submits to
> most teachings.

There are plenty of conservative Catholics who believe that abolishing the
Latin mass was a mistake.

> Adam Stephanides wrote:
>> You quoted the Encyclopedia earlier as quoting Aquinas describing a "a
>> tyrannical law" as "not being according to reason."  I don't see that the
>> rulers of Dorp fall under this definition.  They're corrupt and unjust, but
>> probably no worse than the average medieval ruler or lord; and presumably
>> Aquinas would not give a definition of tyranny which would justify rebellion
>> against most rulers.
> That's debatable.  Church-state relationships were hardly cozy during
> the period that Aquinas
> wrote.  The fact that most (if not all) medieval rulers were unjust was
> a handy weapon for the
> Pope in those fights.

While there was rivalry between secular and ecclesiastical authority in the
middle ages, the Church had no desire to propound a theory which would give
peasants a generalized right to rebel.  Most bishops and abbots were from
the nobility, and many exercised temporal lordship in their own right
(including the Pope).

> You give good reasons.  I would view Silk, however, in the role of the
> RCC, not as an
> ordinary member of society.  As the representative of the Outsider on
> the Whorl (ie, as
> the representative of God on Earth) he holds ultimate decision-making
> power over
> whether a government is legitimate or not.  In short (in Whorl terms),
> the theory is
> that all government ultimately derives its authority from the Outsider.
> In most
> cases that authority is implicitly granted by the mere fact of the
> authoritiy's existence.
> That does not change the fact, however, that the Outsider (or a suitable
> representative)
> can de-legitimize any authority by withdrawing his support.  Hence,
> Silkhorn is not
> bound by the rules against rebellion becuase he is not rebelling.  He is
> removing the moral authority underneath the government, making it
> tyrannical by fiat, so to speak.

This is an ingenious argument, but I don't think Silkhorn is the
representative of the Outsider on the Whorl.  To be sure, Silk was
enlightened, and given a mission from the Outsider, but that doesn't make
him equivalent to the Pope (if it did, he presumably wouldn't have shut
himself up in a hut with Hyacinth for twenty years).  Nor are we intended to
take his words as divinely inspired a la an Old Testament prophet.  Silk
certainly doesn't think of himself in these terms.  A fortiori this holds
for Silkhorn.



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