For example, all thought is determined by unconscious motives except for Freud's; or minds are solely the result of selfish genes except for the theory of selfish genes; or our ideologies are a consequence of class interest except for Marx's. Which brings to mind a timeless Aphorism:
The left's theses are trains of thought that are carefully stopped before they reach the argument that demolishes them.
I have trained my son to recognize that all bad or inadequate philosophies do this -- that they always contain the self-refuting seeds of their own destruction. One can either proceed downward into an infinite regress, or upward in a progression toward infinitude. The word metanoia refers to the latter, i.e., to turning away from the shadows and looking out the cave door.
Here is a riddle: "What makes truth compelling? What is the force of reason?" (Hanby). The answer is that man is designed to know and love truth. That being the case, the pursuit takes care of itself. Except when it doesn't, for people are passionate in defense of the truth irrespective of whether it happens to be true or false. You could even say that this is man's most fundamental and persistent problem, the most obvious residue of the fall: passionate defense of the Lie.
We've said before that if Satan can get an otherwise good person to believe the Lie, then his work is done. The person will do all of his heavy lifting. For it is written: The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues (Dávila). Which is precisely why prudence is the highest virtue: thanks to the left, every day is a lesson in how justice minus prudence = tyranny. Likewise, courage minus prudence = oppression, or terror, or bullying.
Some things are true simply by virtue of their existence. They cannot not be, nor can we not believe them, at least implicitly. Of course, being that we are free, we are free to deny these truths, but only on pain of a primordial contradiction, as alluded to above. The contradiction is simply the price one pays for denying integral reality. This is all spelled out in Genesis 3.
In reality, "Philosophy in its aspiration to ultimacy is inherently open to theology" (ibid.). In other words, philosophy, in its pursuit of the ultimate principle, necessarily shades off into what surpasses philosophy. Here again, you may or may not see this, but it is you who are on trial, not the principle. The principle judges you, not vice versa. You might say that its ways are not your ways.
Any formal structure of philosophy "cannot be explicated without at least implicit reference to the absolute." Yes. I just said that. More to the point -- and this is the whole premise of One Cosmos, so pay attention --
Theology resides in the heart of philosophy because an intuition of the whole inheres in the apprehension of a part, because it harbors a legitimate aspiration to ultimacy, and because some form of the God-world relation is inherent in however it understands the subject.
You might say that theology/philosophy is an irreducible complementarity: engage in one and you are engaging in the other, so you might as well be explicit about it. Do you see this? If not, you are on trial.
Philosophy can never exhaust, much less contain, Being. You are again free to imagine otherwise, but a crack by Jesus comes to mind: he who loses his life shall find it, and vice versa. It is your self (or soul) vs. your ego, and only one can prevail. And to assimilate a truth is to die a little. In a good way.
"In the dynamic interplay between essence and existence, there is a certain bottomless depth, a certain infinity within the being of the creature itself..." (Hanby). This immanent infinitude answers, so to speak, the transcendent infinitude of God. We are an image, albeit an inverse one. In any event, you could symbolize this ultimate dialectic as O <--> ʘ; ʘ is not O, but nor is it not not O.
It's like the old Vedantic formulation: Atman and Brahman are not so much one as not-two. In our terms, the Son is not the Father, and yet they are one-in-love.
Left and right cerebral hemispheres. In a certain sense, you could say that profane philosophy is in the left, mystical theology in the right. But here again, our brains are one. We must always see the world stereoscopically, such that its infinite depth jumps out at us. Boo! We could no more demystify the world than we could remove the wetness from water.
The title of today's post was inspired by the immortal Sonny Boy Williamson: