Telos All About the Truth of the World, Brother Bob
That was a comment I left over at Just Thomism the other day. It was provoked by James' interior dialogue, in which he tells himsoph -- or rather, vice versa -- that "if it takes so many seeds to make a dandelion, we could expect a universe to be left over after making an earth."
I am reminded that in another post -- if I remember correctly -- James mentioned that it is not as if there are four independent kinds of causation, i.e., material, efficient, formal, and final. Rather, there is only causality, so that all causes will have features of each.
This is one of the intrinsic errors of scientism, as it tries to pretend it can get along without final causes, even while habitually slipping them in the back door. For the truth is, one cannot even think coherently in the absence of final causation.
As the wiki article specifies, the final cause "is that for the sake of which a thing exists or is done, including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities. The final cause or telos is the purpose or end that something is supposed to serve, or it is that from which and that to which the change is. This also covers modern ideas of mental causation involving such psychological causes as volition, need, motivation or motives, rational, irrational, ethical, and all that gives purpose to behaviour."
Now, to say that the cosmos was created is just another way of saying that it has a final cause, purpose, or end: an alpha and omega, for the one implies the other.
Or, to turn it around, to the extent that final causes exist, then there is a Creator. Or to turn it around again, since there is a Creator, we should expect to see final causes permeating existence. Furthermore, in the absence of a Creator, these final causes make no sense at all, for in eluminating the Creator you have removed their very ground. It would be analogous to positing material cause in the absence of matter, efficient cause in the absence of energy, or formal cause in the absence of boundaries between things.
So the scientistic attack on final cause is simply a veiled attack on the Creator, and with that, thought itself; and ultimately on man as such, for there is no man without purpose. Take away meaning and you have abolished man.
This is why the "final cause" of the left is to systematically destroy intrinsic meaning, and to replace it with their wholly man-made meanings and purposes; which in turn converts you to a slave, for a slave is any human who is forbidden to discover and actualize his transcendent reason for being.
Metaphysics deals with ultimate causes "from above," i.e., the vertical, as opposed to the purely horizontal causes explored by science. Thus, one way to eliminate final cause is to simply pretend that the vertical does not exist, even though, again, the very conduct of science is impossible in the absence of verticality, no matter how attenuated. The moment a scientist has said "truth," he has said "vertical," and therefore finality, absolute, and God. For the truth of something is its final cause.
What is the truth of man? Note that the materialist does not really eliminate final cause. Rather, he simply affirms that the final cause is the material or efficient cause, i.e., random matter and energy. That being the case, he is promulgating the metaphysical absurdity of "absolute relativism," or the impossible idea that the ultimate meaning of existence is ultimate meaninglessness.
But being is thoroughly infused with the "residue of God," most notably, in the form of the truth, beauty, goodness, and unity we encounter there. As Balthasar writes, these transcendentals "are all pervasive and therefore immanent qualities of being as such." Furthermore, they are inexhaustible, in keeping with their divine provenance.
Which is why the perversion of scientism is so perverse, in that it annihilates "the depth dimension of being." "The formula A is nothing other than... typifies this perversion, whatever transcendental it affects." For it is much more the case -- again, thanks to the radiant plenitude of O -- that "A is always something other than" (Balthasar).
Therefore, despite the best efforts of the scientistic Adversary, "Neither goodness nor beauty nor truth is exhausted by any de-definition [or deconstruction, or attack on linking]; the multi-dimensional reality of the transcendentals can never be flattened out by any kind of reduction, and there is no way to capture the mystery either of their existence or of their essence in a formula" (Balthasar).
To lead a spiritual life is simply to lead a life that fundamentally bears on eternity. The tragedy of existence, as all Christians know, is that -- at least for the time being -- "ever-greater love calls forth ever-greater hatred."
Ah, little lambs, you're starin' at my fingers. Would you like me to tell you the little story of left wing-right wing, of Rush vs. Obama?
I think we are now in a position to coontemplate DeKoninck's orthoparadoxical statement that "Every natural form tends toward man. The idea of man bursts forth from no matter what form, even from a material point of view. The essential desire of prime matter, which always indefinitely exceeds any form received, is to be actuated by the immobile form of man. And in this perspective, subhuman forms are much less states than tendencies."
Ah, dear hearts, do you see the point, and how DeKoninck cannot not be speaking the truth? For you see, "truth is not just a property of knowledge, but a transcendental quality of being as such" (Balthasar). To know any truth is to know all truth, at least in potential. And to know this is to know the final cause of existence, as the cosmos completes and perfects itself in the life and truth and being of spirit.
[T]he man who does not dare to jump in the water will never learn what it means to swim and... the man who does not dare to jump into the truth will never attain the certainty that truth in fact exists.... [T]his first act of faith, of self-abandoning confidence, far from being irrational, is simply the prior condition of any certainty about the existence of the rational in the first place. --Balthasar, Theo-Logic: Truth of the World
Definitely one of my all time favorite films: