The Dumbing-Down of Unbelief and the Ascent of Stupidity
And prior to this, it must, of course, "attest to the human capacity to know the truth," or else it can never get off the ground floor of the cosmic telovator.
Anything less than this approach prevents us from circumnavelgazing the whole existentialada, for to say that man may know anything with certitude is to say that he may potentially know everything.
To put it another way, to "know everything" is to know that the knower may know the Absolute, or know all that is knowable of its prolongation in the herebelow.
More generally, "human thought cannot stop at the level of appearance but must reach beyond appearance to being itself" (Ratzinger), or from the passing phenomena to the eternal ground. This is the only type of philosophy worthy of the name --i.e., love of wisdom -- and in the absence of which man is but a child, a Darwinian storyteller, a tenured ape.
Try as he might, man cannot renounce the perennial philosophy without compromising his manhood to a greater or lesser degree. In such a frigid spiritual climate, he inevitably suffers an existential shrinkage that prevents him from being all that he could be and should be -- and more, by George!
False philosophies are not just cosmic nul-de-slacks, but psychospiritual walls that extend as high as stupidity, but fortunately, are as weak as love. I know this sounds sentimental, but allow me to explain.
Again, Wojtyla's metaphysic does not end, but begins, in humanness. Humanness is the first principle, as it were. In this regard, he is only explicitly acknowledging the prime real estate where any philosophy and all science are privileged to dwell: in the human knower.
For to be born into the human state is to follow the realtor's eternal advice of purchasing the worst property in the best neighborhood. Life -- or the civilizing process -- consists of improving your properties.
And it is a never-ending project. We are all fixer-uppers. Some may have more superficial "curb appeal" than others, but when you actually see who lives inside, or inspect the foundation, or consider how high the roof goes, you may be in for a surprise. Conversely, some rather modest shacks can be mansions inside.
If our metaphysic begins, say, with lifeless and mindless "matter," this principle immediately redounds to the unforgiving chance and necessity which cannot get here -- to the soul -- from there -- the willfully silly nihility of inconscient whatever.
In other words, such a "philosophy" simultaneously accounts for everything and nothing, since it reduces its knower to a meaningless iteration of its own absurdity. Truly, it is just one damn thing after another.
Now "chance" and "necessity" are none other than the cosmic inversions of Infinite and Absolute, respectively, as seen through the eyes of the tenured. Living by their lightwights, we are condemned to a life that is limited to "the sterile rigidity of the law and the vulgar disorder of instinct" (Don Colacho), which are again inverted categories of Absolute and Infinite.
For just as the imaginary abstraction called "matter" bifurcates into chance and necessity, O necessarily bifurcates into Infinite and Absolute -- or Infinite because Absolute, to be precise.
How do we know this? Because we cannot not know this if we *think* about it. Just as the One cannot not be, the One cannot not be Absolute and therefore Infinite.
If you do not *think* about it, then you are merely a subject living under the Tyranny of Appearances. And this tyranny is absolute, so there! You've locked yoursoph into your own little prison, and the key is right there in your pocket -- unless you're just happy to see me. Not that there's anything wrong with it.
For to plagiaphrase The Donald, the most naive unbelievers among us believe in many things in which they do not believe they believe.
Again, this primoridial truth is going to manifest in one's philosophy, whether one wants it to or not. As we know, one can chase nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always come back with a virus. The same applies all the more to God, who can be driven out of the pitch dark but whose Light always returns, even if the splendid blind beasts of the night can only see by darkness.
Back to our first principle, the human being. If this is our first principle, we must ask: just what is a human being, anyway? Is he just a statistically unlikely arrangement of matter? A chance conglomeration of genetic accidents, a kind of glorified earth defect? A clever ape? A good dancer with a smooth line of BS?
Here we must proceed beneath man's appearance, and get down to the core. Once we do this, we will see that man is not, and could not be, any kind of simplistic "one," i.e., a self-enclosed monad.
If this were the case, then man could never have come into being, not historically, ontologically, psychologically, spiritually, or in any other way. For beneath his oneness is always a twoness, and this twoness is always simultaneously rooted in, and converging upon, a third.
Abstract? No, not at all. Rather, this should be quite experience-near, if you can remama back to when you two had a touch of infanity, and were just learning how to use your opposable brains.
When a new baby comes into the world, a new world comes into the baby, and cosmogenesis is recapitulated in his very head and heart, or mind and body -- or mindbody, to be exact. For a person is being-in-relation, and this relational being mirrors the very inner life of the Godhead.
You might say that the "medium is the message." For human beings, our medium is the prior relationality that sponsors the human subject. In all we do or say or know, we are in relationship like Sam is to Dave. We are open systems at disequilibrium with the worlds of love, truth, and beauty, which we can forever exteriorize and assimilate, import and export, give and receive, without ever "arriving" at some imaginary final stasis.
Rather, we are quite literally the gift that keeps giving, on pain of a death that keeps dying -- both literal and metaphorical, or physical and spiritual.
To not know this is to not know the answer to every question, which is, it all depends. To be "dependent" means to be in the orbit of something more or less "independent," as child to parent, appearance to reality, time to eternity, and man to God. Thus, the truly modern Independent Thinker is the very instantiation of the dumbing-down of unbelief.
A modern man is a man who forgets what man knows about man. --Don Colacho