To stay or not to stay?

Many recently graduated students of the Wyoming Catholic College (WCC) Class of 2022 are currently pondering the next steps of their lives, which means that the all important question, whether they should stay around Lander, Wyoming for the rest of their lives or not is currently on the table. 

IIT researchers put some philosophers’ heads together (not literally, we don’t have brain to brain USB data transfer perfected yet) and out of the disputatio on this important question we believe we have formed a general consensus answer in the form of a Scholalistic style articulus.

Articulus 83.7.55.4431

Obj 1: It would seem that one should leave Lander. For the rest of the country is larger than Lander alone and thus contains more intelligible objects. As Aristotle said that “all men by nature desire to know” and, as according to Aquinas, the “human intellect is infinite in potency to all intelligible objects, it would seem that it would be more in accordance with human nature for man, and especially WCC students, to move outside of Lander than to remain within it.

Obj 2: Furthermore, Lander is in a valley. According to Dante’s Inferno, hell is situated in what seems by his description to be a sort of valley. As hell is full of suffering and sorrow, it seems by analogy that staying in Lander could bear elements of the same, and no one hoping for happiness should stay there.

Obj 3: “NOLSeys” are known to inhabit Lander and are the contrary of WCC students. Since amidst a pair of contraries one is necessarily better than the other, it must either be the case that WCC students are better or “NOLSeys” are better in the order of nature. Now if WCC students were to remain in Lander after graduation, Lander would possess an admixture of a better and a worse and in the order of nature the good that is found in WCC students would less clearly shine forth but be muddled by such an admixture.

Obj 4: Furthermore, according to the authority of Fr. Joseph Bolin, the brother of Dr. Michael Bolin, it is clear that reason is to be the first principle of discernment of one’s decisions, followed by love, and then lastly providence. Now, reason can only fully guide one’s decisions as its first principle if it is in full accordance with the first principle of all created being, God Himself. Only, also in the presence of this first principle will one love God fully and thus fully make his decisions in accord with this love as a second principle of his discernment, and, by presence to God, the director of providence, will decisions also be made in accord with the signification imparted to each individual through particulars of the same. Thus, the only man truly capable of making a decision about whether or not to leave Lander would be the one currently experiencing the Beatific Vision of being brought into union with the Divinity. Anyone currently pondering the question of leaving Lander, must, in fact, immediately leave Lander in order to properly answer this question in the presence of God.

On the contrary, many good and holy people currently remain in Lander in good conscience and the object of the act of remaining in Lander does not “in itself close off human flourishing, nor countermand any basic human good of the agent or any other person, nor violate any exceptionless norm.” Therefore it is not in and of itself wrong for any individual person or WCC graduate to choose to remain in Lander.

I answer that, not only should every WCC student remain in Lander after graduation as a matter of practical prudence unless extreme circumstances deem it necessary for him to be elsewhere, but that this conclusion is self-evident to all who consider the question.

What is contained within the definition of “WCC student” but that the one so being defined is studying under the tutelage of Wyoming Catholic College. Since man’s learning is embodied, meaning that unlike the angels it takes place through the senses and not through immediate intuition, this means that for a WCC student to fulfill the definition following upon the nature he officially took up at matriculation, he must remain at WCC for the rest of his life in order to continue to fulfill this nature. Since WCC is located in Lander, it is thus self-evident that the WCC student ought to remain in Lander. Otherwise, a student is voluntarily renouncing his higher calling for something lower and thus losing out on great possibilities for future formation and improvement.

Further arguments are possible according to the ranking of “place” within the categories, arguments from Abraham Lincoln’s political theory, and universal common descent, but again the self-evident conclusion follows so smoothly that it is useless to multiply arguments needlessly.

Reply to Obj. 1: This ignores the fact that Wyoming Catholic College possess a large library and a connection to the internet, which allows every WCC student who remains vicarious access to the phantasms of nearly any object whatsoever and thereby, indirectly, to the intellectual objects they reveal. Since man’s pursuit of knowledge is thus just as possible within Lander as without, there is no clear reason offered by this argument for anyone to leave Lander.

Reply to Obj. 2: Consider the Salve Regina’s verse “in hac lacrymarum vale” or “in this valley of tears.” Here the Marian canticle is referring to the entire Earth as a “valley of tears” and not any particular place because it is not only WCC students who sing this canticle but Catholics the world over. Therefore Lander’s being in a physical valley is not a sufficient reason to draw an analogy to Dante’s Inferno or to perver the intended meaning of the work by over-literalizing it to one particular meaning that could never have actually been intended by the author. Furthermore, Lander’s physical elevation, while in a valley, is also higher, at 5750 ft, than most of the rest of the county. Lander thus should not be treated as morally or psychologically more depressing than places like Glenwood, IA, or Tuscaloosa, AL. 

Reply to Obj. 3: Just as there is evil in the world in order that God may direct that evil to good, the presence of WCC students in Lander as well as “NOLSeys” allows, under God’s wise intention, WCC students to evangelize and convert the “NOLSeys”, as Andrew Russell’s 2022 Commencement Address argued for a “one nose ring at a time” path to holiness for each graduate of his class. It thus behooves WCC students to remain in Lander to pursue, inspire, and save each of these nose rings and the people who are wearing them.
Reply to Obj. 4: Were this to be simply true, no one on earth could ever make decisions. Now this was true before the Incarnation. But, because of the Incarnation, the grace of Christ’s human nature in its union to the Divine nature, theandric energy, is made available to all men. Through this, men gain a supernatural aid in making decisions and acting upon them. IIT analysts, judging from WCC’s student to chaplain ration, believe that theandric energy can be found in Lander, Wyoming just as well if not better than any other place, and therefore, this argument also fails.