Friday, December 20, 2013

Truth Served Here

I can't tell if this post is difficult because the subject is difficult or because my brain is just being difficult. Nevertheless, here it it. If nothing else, it demonstrates why this blog will always have an upper limit of popularity.

I am in 100% agreement with Berdyaev in his assertion that "Truth is revealed only by the creative activity of the spirit; outside this, truth is incomprehensible and unattainable." Here again, this goes to the freedom without which truth cannot be known. So, in freedom we discover the truth that truth may only be discovered in freedom.

The bottom line is that freedom, truth, and creativity are all bound together, to such an extent that they are really three sides of the same object. What could be this higher object? Person, perhaps? Well, for Berdyaev, "I am the Truth" equates to "The Absolute Man is Truth," so we seem to be sniffing around in the same attractor.

Or, if we reverse imagineer Person, what do we discover? Freedom. Creativity. Truth. What else? Love, which is free and creative goodness; beauty, which is the truth of creativity; virtue, which is the beauty of freedom.

These seem to be the biggies. There is also courage, which is fighting for what is good and true; prudence, which is the balanced consideration and application of all these general factors in particular situations; and justice, which, according to my son, means treating others the same way they mess with you.

What about personal failure, i.e., the failure to become a proper person? What are these assouls missing? Well, let's see, it depends. There is Harry Reid, who is soulless; Nancy Pelosi, who is brainless; Barack Obama, who is ruthless; the media-academic complex, which is truthless; the politico-cultural left, which is freedomless; etc.

Each of these testifies to a "social accumulation of lies which have been made into social norms," and to sub-persons who "consider falsehood more useful than truth." Indeed, falsehood is always useful, even pragmatic, whereas the highest truths are completely useless to the depraved worldlings who worship power instead of truth. Their falsehood is "holy duty" for the sake of some higher purpose revealed only to them, e.g., socialized medicine.

In contrast to these fractured fairytools, "Truth, the one integral truth, is God, and to perceive Truth, is to enter divine life."

And "truth serves no one and nothing." Rather, "we must serve truth" (Berdyaev, emphasis mine).

Now, here is a subtle point: can truth be "proved?" Yes and no. The answer is "no" if by proof we mean by using only the tools of the tenured, because such tools are ultimately tautologous.

In reality, the world is an open system, so nothing within the world can possibly contain the world in its own truth. Thus, according to Berdyaev, what is called "proof" may well be "an obstacle of necessity encountered in the way of knowing the truth," for "every proof rests in the unproven."

For this reason, "Creative philosophy must free itself from the tempting power of proof, must fulfill the act of renouncing this safe adaptation to necessity." The operative word there is creative philosophy, for there can be no end to creativity, even while it must be oriented to a truth that can never be attained, i.e., proved.

Rather, it seems that truth must be assumed, or better, lived, in free creativity. To simply "prove" it in the mundane way would be an end of the adventure, would it not? After all, no one spends their life in search of a truth already proved.

Indeed, that word: "proved." It is in the past tense. But what if truth is in the future, or vertically above? In that case it can never be proved, if only because of the temporal structure of reality. You could say that to prove it would spell the end of time. In other words, if there were a fully attainable timeless truth, it would deny the distinct -- and humanly vital -- differences between past, present, and future.

In the closed world of scientistic proof, truths are necessary truths, and therefore undermine creativity, i.e, truth lived. This kind of truth is adaptation to the world, whereas the very different truth we are advocating involves adaptation to... to what?

We can't say what, because to say it would be to contain it in language, which is the one thing we cannot do, on pain of neutralizing it. Which is why we use the placeholder O to accumulate the truth-meaning which never stops. I hope. Its most important feature is the hole in the middle, which, thankfully, is always half empty. If it weren't, I would have nothing left to say with this big shovel.

"In philosophy, what had been proved would not be creative knowledge: it would only be adaptation." This latter type of proof "lies always in the middle, neither at the beginning nor at the end, and hence there can be no proof of initial or final truths."

Except perhaps in the appearance of the first and last, Absolute Man, i.e., Alpha and Omega. Thus, "The reason why Jesus did not reply to Pilate's question, 'What is truth?,' is related to this. He was Truth, but Truth which is to be divined and discovered through the whole course of history."

"There is no criterion of truth outside the witness of truth itself, and it is wrong to seek absolute guarantees, which always demean the truth. Such is the consciousness of man, at the borderline between two worlds."

And in this confined area, "pure truth" would "burst the world apart" (Berdyaev).


Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Indeed, falsehood is always useful, even pragmatic, whereas the highest truths are completely useless to the depraved worldlings who worship power instead of truth. "

And don't they show it.

12/20/2013 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Along those lines, Yet another journalist says lying is ok.

12/20/2013 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In this excellent book on Roe v. Wade, the author references a letter to the attorneys for Roe, which advises filling the record with dubious research, "then keep citing it until courts begin picking it up. This preserves the guise of impartial scholarship while advancing the proper ideological goals."

These people are so inhuman, it's chilling. Nowadays they're clever enough to not come right out and say it so directly.

12/20/2013 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

... or as a captions I just saw read: "Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth."

12/20/2013 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

BTW, I truly appreciate everyone's response the other day to my questions on free will. The workout continues.

Philippians 2:12ff "So then, my out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

12/21/2013 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That seems like a ringing endorsement of our view. A footnote to that passage in the Orthodox Bible explains that "we are to take hold of what God offers, accepting His grace and working toward becoming mature in Christ. Note the cooperation: we work out our own salvation while God works in us to do his will."

Co-operation is a good word for (↑↓). I might add that (↑) is of course God in deusguise.

12/21/2013 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Like "inverse grace."

12/21/2013 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

So here's a bit of a tangent, but this morning on Yahoo the big headline is this:

"Charlie Sheen Blasts ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson for ‘Unforgivable’ Comments"

I've not read the article; I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Sheen decided to "tell it like it is" on his twitter account. Also, I've seen an episode or two of Duck Dynasty but it doesn't grab me. I guess it just isn't for me. But that said, Robertson seems to be pretty much what and who he says he is: a Christian who tries to live according to his beliefs, who has managed to be successful.

Anyway, what strikes me about all this is that Sheen, of all people, should be in any position to condemn the words of another person as being "unforgiveable." But then to the left, the most unforgiveable sin of all is to be faithful to a truth which teaches that they really ought not to follow every impulse.

12/22/2013 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You should send it to Taranto for his Bottom Story of the Day gag.

12/22/2013 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ha - that would be a good one. Looks like Taranto's on vacation, though.

12/22/2013 09:42:00 AM  

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