And yet, each of these is only possible because of the mind's prior intentionality. Again, this means that consciousness is always about something outside itself, meaning that it is intrinsically and unavoidably bound up with transcendence. You might say that intentionality is a side effect of our innate transcendence-drive toward the inborn TOE (Theory of Everything) grail.
As mentioned in yesterday's post, conscious intentionality can be directed toward objects, but for human beings it is quintessentially directed toward subjects.
In fact, in the final analysis, religious experience is predicated on the mind's intentionality toward the ultimate Subject, just as scientism is science transformed into the religion of the ultimate Object. Which is why science fits comfortably into a little corner of religion, whereas the constricted space of scientism has no room for nonlinear and nonlocal subjects with dimensions of more than three or four.
As Hart writes, everything that makes life so groovy lies "outside the circle of what contemporary physicalism, with its reflexively mechanistic metaphysics, can acknowledge as real."
Which means, as always, that the best things in life are free. Except that for these mechanistic grease monkeys, they aren't real. Thus, the best things in life are bogus. Only the worst things -- necessity, determinism, death, taxes, ignorance, and general cosmic slacklessness -- are real.
But interestingly, if you ask one of these tenured primates what makes him embrace such a pessimystic misosophy, he is liable to tell you with great pride that he prefers to confront reality with courage, with integrity, with unflinching realism -- transcendental categories each! So if they are honest, they will say that in their stoic religion, one transcends the world via a kind of fatalistic negation. Similar to Buddhism, minus the honesty and consistency.
But God is implicit in the very existence of human beings. This is because, as Hart describes, we are always "placed before the transcendent, the infinite horizon of meaning that makes rational knowledge possible," which thereby presents us "with the question of God" -- or something. You can't just ignore this something, because it is unavoidably connected to everything, i.e., every thought, every moment of conscious awareness.
It seems to me that faith has a lot of confusing and misleading connotations, but one of the more helpful ones is fidelity, or trust, or reliability. Thus, Hart speaks of our "loyalty to an ultimate ideal that beckons from beyond the totality of beings."
The atheist/materialist is no different, in that he too "strives to convince others that there is no God... out of a devotion to the absolute, to the highest values, to the divine." Which is why "one cannot meaningfully reject belief in the God of classical theism," since meaning is strictly impossible in a godless world.
In fact, one could even say that meaninglessness is impossible in a godless world, since it is always parasitic on presumed meaning. Only human beings can fall into meaninglessness. No animal is so lost and confused as to be an existentialist. No one misses what they can never know.
Which goes to the vertical commandments regarding idolatry and oneness. You might say that these two categories are at antipodes, for whatever image of God be rejected by the atheist, "it can never be more than an idol: a god, but not God" (ibid.), i.e., the very ground and possibility of transcendent unity.
Man hungers for truth, just as he longs for the good. But when these drives are deprived of their proper object and end, they can mutate into something monstrous. For what is the left but religious emotion in the absence of the religious object? (BTW, in this context we are referring to the ultimate Subject as the religious object, since God's subjectivity is an objective and necessary fact of being.)
Deprived of religion -- or, worse, when immersed in the degenerate religious marxism of a Reverend Wright -- the human being necessarily embraces a truth that is not Truth, and worships a god that is not God, usually the state, because it seems to be the most "transcendent" thing available to the leftist flatlander.
Remember the Democrat Convention last year, when we were assured that government is the only thing to which we all belong? This shows that liberals haven't made a dent in the most destructive kinds of poverty, i.e., mental and spiritual. Indeed, for the liberal, these impoverished states are mandatory -- sort of an inverted interpretation of Jesus's praise of the poor in spirit. "Blessed are the weakminded, for they shall inherit the state."
I have no doubt that Obama wishes Obamacare to do good. But that is no excuse! Indeed, we could call it culpable goodness, because there is probably nothing in the world that has caused as much death and destruction as misguided good.
I notice that Berdyaev makes a number of references to this problem, victimized as we was by communist do-gooders. He can be a little polemical -- like a religious Nietzsche -- but he writes that "No one ever proposes evil ends: evil is always disguised as good, and detracts from the good."
He makes the provocative point that God is located at either end, as source and destiny, whereas the devil is always in the middle, so to speak, where human schemes are elevated to divine ends. Thus, "There is nothing more evil than the determination to create good, no matter what the cost" (ibid.).
Unfortunately, Obama appears bound and determined that his signature accomplishment create good, no matter what the cost.