Monday, May 16, 2016

Hey Buddy, Do You Have Change for an Infinity?

This post started off one way, but ended up another. It was supposed to be a pretend interview with Josef Pieper, as in me asking questions and he supplying answers. But I got carried away with the first question, so the answer(s) are thoroughly intermangled with my own bobservations, so it's really a case of aggravated playgiarism.

Let's start with the difference between science and philosophy, and why the former can never take the place of the latter.

A: The specialized sciences abstract from the meaning of Being as a whole, and must be satisfied with that. Conversely, the object of philosophy is 'the holy and manifest mystery of Being.'

Now, science is only possible because truth emanates from Being; when we conform to Being, truth is the result. So the method of this or that science is correct only when it allows itself to be determined and molded by its object.

The problem with postmodernism is that not only does it not submit to the object, it doesn't believe it is possible to do so. This is precisely how we end up with the perverse educational adventures of Bathroom Barry, who refuses to consider the biological object in order to determine the truth of its sex. It is literally no different than refusing to open one's eyes and distinguish a wall from a door or window.

In short, to accept the given as it gives itself is the precondition for learning anything about any thing. The only alternative is to project one's own psychic content onto the object, i.e., to be trapped in Kantworld or worse. And yet, this is the world to which we are forced to adapt, in which "perception is reality."

Note the demonic switcheroo, in that the essence of political correctness is forced submission to a reality which is only perceived. It is a secondary reality superimposed upon the first, say, "women earn 60 cents to the dollar," or blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. The left is all about replacing first reality with second reality, and then forbidding curiosity about the former.

This is why the left's answers are always so dreadfully simplistic. Reality is never as simple as the left's policies, or, more to the point, the left manages reality via a crude simplification. For reality always gives more than can be grasped by man; it is an inexhaustible 'light that can never be drunk up.'

The other day we were talking about original sin and the fatal conceit. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek talks about why the left is always totalitarian at its core:

"The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends.... it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that the people should come to regard them as their own ends."

Which is why philosophy -- in the sense described above -- is forbidden by the left. Hey, it's why the state murdered Socrates, right? 400 years later the state tried to murder God. You'd think humans would get the message. The state certainly hasn't forgotten:

"So long as dissent is not suppressed, there will always be some [subversive Socrates or revolutionary Jesus] who query the ideas ruling their contemporaries" and put them to the test. Our new climate of intellectual fascism isn't new at all. The spirit of Obama was there in ancient Greece, preparing the hemlock.

As philosophy is adequation to Being, theology is adequation to God. Being is one of the names of God, so theology is obviously higher up the ontological food chain than is philosophy.

One reason why the left can never engage in philosophy is that philosophy -- obviously -- operates at the threshold of theology, and the left doesn't permit God. Analogously, it would be like attempting to study human biology without human psychology. There is a flow of intelligibility from the unitary human subject-object, and it is we who direct the flow into this or that sub-discipline.

But man, who is the mirror of the totality, is precisely the terrestrial analogue of the 'holy manifest mystery' of being. If we are ordered to the totality, we must in some sense be the totality in an implicit way.

Clarke touches on this in his The Philosophical Approach to God. He posits a kind of dialectic between two infinities, a "negative" and "positive" one. In reality there can be only the one infinite, but it is as if the infinite bifurcates into positive and negative images of itself, so to speak.

It's orthoparadoxical is what it is. Here is how Clarke describes it: man does not have the "positive infinite plenitude" which "is proper to God alone."

"But there can be an image of the divine infinity in silhouette -- in reverse, so to speak -- within man, precisely in his possession of an infinite capacity for God, or, more accurately, a capacity for the Infinite, which can be satisfied by nothing less. This negative image points unerringly towards the positive infinity of its original, and is intrinsically constituted by this relation of tendential (sic) capacity."

That's too much light. Can you dim it down a little?

Okay, it is as if "God had broken the coin of His infinity in two, holding on to the positive side Himself and giving us the negative side, then launching us into the world of finites with the mission to search until we have matched our half-coin with His."

But there's no such thing as a free launch. Rather, if you want the whole coin you have to pay with your ego.

8 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

The only alternative is to project one's own psychic content onto the object, i.e., to be trapped in Kantworld or worse.

And thus we see the inner workings of the average crybully brain...

Reality is never as simple as the left's policies, or, more to the point, the left manages reality via a crude simplification.

And in so doing, they often cause a crudely simplistic overreaction in the opposite direction as well.

Zombie's most recent essay about the protest kabuki being acted out in California (police would line up across a street where nothing interesting was happening, and protesters would dutifully line up in opposition and make a show of defiance, all the while being gradually led away from what was actually important) served as a sharp reminder that whatever focuses the simplistic fury of the day is almost certainly not where the real battle lines are being drawn.

5/16/2016 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Magister said...

"until we have matched our half-coin with His"

and to those who cheat us, the good Don remarks:

"Religion did not arise out of the need to assure social solidarity, nor were cathedrals built to encourage tourism."

and

"Every end other than God dishonors us."

5/16/2016 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good piece on how the secondary realities of the left end up being government policy imposed on the rest of us:

"One take-away from the transgender-bathroom wars is that the public ignores arcane academic theory at its peril. For two decades, a growing constellation of gender-studies, queer-studies, and women’s-studies departments have been beavering away at propositions that would strike many people outside academia as surprising — such as that biological sex and “gender” are mere ideological constructs imposed by a Eurocentric, heteronormative power structure....

"A pipeline now channels left-wing academic theorizing into the highest reaches of government and the media. The products of the narcissistic academy graduate and bring their high theory indoctrination with them into the federal and state bureaucracies and into newsrooms."

5/16/2016 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Same idea:

"Many observers noted early on in the Administration that the President had a strange inclination to believe that words alone created reality....

"Unfortunately for these unselfaware postmodernist spinners, their word-magic methodology stops at the water’s edge. The foreigners still know the difference between a story and reality."

5/16/2016 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Flesh doesn't become word, rather Word became Flesh.

5/17/2016 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Note the demonic switcheroo, in that the essence of political correctness is forced submission to a reality which is only perceived. It is a secondary reality superimposed upon the first, say, "women earn 60 cents to the dollar," or blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. The left is all about replacing first reality with second reality, and then forbidding curiosity about the former."

I was just talking with some friends about this, this morning, that back behind all the TransRendered legalhisstic switcheroos, was this, which they are but fronts for, and that we are not yet at that bottom which they are hurtling us towards.

They of course said,
"...uhm...whu...?"
, so it's nice to have some backup.

5/18/2016 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm just reading a couple of books that get into why going off the gold standard generated such chaos; with no standard of value, the medium (money) becomes the message.

It's the same with going off the male-female standard: humans are no longer tied to any biological standard of meaning, so the meaning will "float" wherever the central authorities want it to.

5/18/2016 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "...It's the same with going off the male-female standard: humans are no longer tied to any biological standard of meaning, so the meaning will "float" wherever the central authorities want it to. "

Tying the male-female standard in to the gold standard, is really apt - eliminating the true standard, and imposing the erotic demand as an actual measure in its place.

Mine this morning, trying to puncture the notion that shared stalls are the point, went as,

"...Just as ObamaCare wasn't about Health care, and free contraception wasn't about contraception, and gun laws and registration aren't about reducing gun violence, the Transgender laws aren't about transgenderism - they are all about eliminating your individual rights, about eliminating the sense that You have a right to live your own life, eliminating not only your political standing, but your sense of dignity, subordinating all to the power of - not the State, that too is but a means to an end - an ideology.

Every where you turn and try to think and act, that ideology slams down, cutting you off from what is real and true - it is forbidden. To see and make distinctions, to judge, to evaluate in order to discover what is True and how best to act, that is forbidden. You must conform not only in action, but in thought, to the Pro-Regressive ideology (and any of its masks will do, socialism, Fascism, etc), taking IT as the only acceptable reality, forcing you to 'be free' as the experts decree is best for all.

That is what these are all driving towards, and moral despair is what we feel more and more of, with every step closer to the goal."


Modernity is the Gold Standard of Madness.

5/18/2016 05:03:00 PM  

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