Knowledge Inflation and the Central Bank of the Cosmos
The postmodern view -- and as always, I am trying to be perfectly fair, accurate, and insulting -- would be affirmative to the latter.
I mean, right? Isn't this one of the bases of the whole culture war? That some things are objectively good or evil? Depending upon which side one comes down upon, one is either a classical liberal conservative or an illiberal postmodern leftist.
Ironically, the postmodern fellow doesn't believe in moral absolutes, and yet, he presumably believes that it is good to believe this (otherwise, why believe it?).
In fact, I don't remember encountering one of these folkers who wasn't even a little superior and sanctimonious about it -- like a chronic troll who frankly considers us "mentally ill" for our belief in a reality that transcends nature. I once thought this way, and I well remember what it was like to have such total faith in myself. What an insopherable assoul was the Bob!
If the postmodern view is correct, then man is an intrinsically sick animal, since virtually all human beings over the past 50,000 years or so have believed in, and tried to maintain contact with, this transcendent reality we call O.
Conversely, the cult of atheism is a rather new deviation, but it's a little difficult to account for, since it must be parasitic upon the intrinsically sick animal underneath. And how does such a ghost-ridden and demon-haunted being ever give birth to the atheist messiah who shall lead it out of darkness? Why, it's some kind of immaculate conception, or like space beings from planet Nerd to the rescue!
If man-as-such is so demonstrably and persistently out of contact with reality, how could such-and-such a man ever transcend his pathetic species, and what makes modern man arrogant enough to believe that he won't be surpassed and ridiculed by the superior Man of Tomorrow? What makes such a daft and unreliable beast have such total faith in himself? Has he no sense of cosmic irony?
The Raccoon is a Man of the Future who is authorized to ridicure his detractor trailers today, in the hope that the guffah-ha! experience will release the troll from his self-generated craptivity, through which he subsists on his own excrement.
Ironically -- again -- the secular fundamentalist has a kind of dim but inverted recognition of man's fallenness. One might say that the ass is only half-full of himself in concluding that Homo religiosus is nuts. But again, that being the case, it is equivalent to saying that man is nuts, a view that we enthusiastically endorse.
Nor can man lift himself by his own buddhastraps, a la the atheist, and somehow escape his own nature. To be sure, he can make horizontal progress -- as in science and technological feats -- as he becomes increasingly conformed to the World. But a one-sided conformity to the world has its own costs, which include alienation from the vertical ground beneath our feats of clay and above our heads of rock.
But in any event, I believe we can all stipulate -- both liberal conservative and illiberal leftist alike -- that Something Ain't Right with the humans. However, in our case, we have an absolute standard whereby we are able to measure the distance between archetype and individual, between our outward appearance and our interior clueprint, between what man is and why I oughta cease being a stooge and start acting like one.
I frankly don't know where the atheist gets his model of proper humanness, or how he is able to transcend his own humanness in order to pass judgment upon man.
Actually, I do know: they just make it up. And they usually make it up based upon their feelings, since it is impossible for mere logic to prove anything outside its own initial assumptions, which lie outside the logical system.
Rather, to know truth of any kind -- whether scientific, moral or artistic -- there must exist an objective and absolute standard that is orthoparadoxically "outside" us, and yet, which "communicates" with us in an intelligible way that is conformed to our nature. Importantly, it does not mean that we may somehow possess or contain the absolute.
Rather, it is a little like money -- at least the way it is supposed to function. The value of money cannot be determined by the individual. Rather, it is supposed to be maintained by the Federal Reserve, the function of which is to see to it that a dollar remains a dollar.
In the case of rampant inflation, for example, there are too many dollars chasing too few goods, resulting in devaluation of the currency.
The identical thing occurs on the cognitive plane if there is no central truth that makes this or that fact or knowledge fungible to truth. In other words, we believe that man's ability to know reality is backed by the full faith and credit of the Central Bank of the Cosmos.
Now, if there is no such bank, then we can expect a kind of "knowledge inflation," whereby increasingly worthless information proliferates, with no real way to arbitrate between outright lies and mere bullshit.
And we will keep spending more and more for less and less, which is, not coincidentally, the crisis we face in higher education. For few things are more expensive than a liberal education at an elite university, and yet, so utterly worthless, harmful even. Not only do they not put one on the path to truth, but they blow up the bridge, salt the earth, slaughter the big chiefs, and persecute the survivors.
In a lecture called Crises of Law, Ratzinger discusses the relationship between faith and law, for the one is impossible in the absence of the other. One might even say that faith is interiorized law, while law is exteriorized faith (that's my formulation, not his).
For example, as Ratzinger explains, "Israel's liberation from Egypt did not end with the Exodus -- it only began."
Rather, "it became full reality only when Israel received a juridical ordering from God," which regulated the community both horizontally (i.e., man-to-man relations) and vertically (man-to-God). Thus, "common law is a condition of human liberty." It is the truth that sets one free, the burden that is easy, and the Joke that is Light.
Ho! By the power of Toots, I call out your mind parasites and pronounce you ridicured!
Back to the Cosmic Bank whose central location is nowhere but whose local branches are everywhere. It is not only government that is bankrupt -- and with it all the dreams and memes of the left, all of their scheming and reaming.
Rather, there is a cognitive and spiritual bankruptcy that must precede this. What I mean is that America was built by drawing upon our vast inheritance of Judeo-Christian value tucked away for future generations.
But about 75 years ago, we began spending down the capital, with predictable results. As the Chinese say, the father builds the business while the sons destroy it.
In our case, we are now completely overdrawn on our account, and have no means to back up our values. Today it's all cognitive and spiritual funny money, except that there's nothing funny about it.
A culture that doesn't cherish and protect the values it was founded upon cannot survive. Of course, most cultures have no right to exist anyway. But some have an obligation to do so, since man is always and eternally obligated to the Truth that surpasses him and lights his way.
The denigration of law is never in any way at the service of liberty but is always an instrument of dictatorship. To eliminate law is to despise man; where there is no law, there is no liberty. --Cardinal Ratzinger