If ground zero of modern thought is I think, therefore I am, the battle cry of postmodern thought must be I know nothing, therefore I know it all; or I am unemployable, therefore I am tenured; etc.
To repeat something Lewis said a couple of posts back, "What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience."
First, this is absolutely true, and second, it must account for much of the appeal of various forms of bonehead relativism. And every philosophy necessarily reduces to bonehead relativism in the absence of God.
To be scrupulously fair to relativists, they would insist that my belief in God is just bonehead absolutism: that the only thing we can know is that there is no truth, only opinions and perspectives ultimately grounded in interest. Granted, while it is true that there is always a perspective, it doesn't follow that perspective is all there is.
For one thing, unlike an animal, we can know we have a "point of view," and awareness of this at once situates us outside or above this perspective. In short, we may partake of objectivity and detachment, which are quasi-divine superpowers -- and literally so, since perception of perception, knowledge of knowledge, and consciousness of consciousness are all immaterial powers that transcend nature.
Along these lines, Schuon writes that
Our intelligence is made for the Absolute, or it is nothing. Among all the intelligences of this world the human spirit alone is capable of objectivity, and this implies -- or proves -- that what confers on our intelligence the power to accomplish to the full what it can accomplish, and what makes it wholly what it is, is the Absolute alone.
In other words, we mustn't reduce human intelligence to the least thing it can do -- i.e., what it shares with the animals -- but approach it from the perspective of what it can uniquely do, and what no animal could ever do. The end illuminates the beginning; we can't know what a seed is for until we see the mature tree.
In order to prove the existence of God, one need only prove the existence of man. I mean this literally, because in claiming man is totally reducible to animal, animal to matter, matter to physics, etc., one is affirming that man doesn't properly exist -- that he is only the appearance of a deeper reality consisting entirely of subhuman law + stuff.
Could be. In the end, it's either something like that or something like this:
The Intellect, in a certain sense, is ‘divine’ for [i.e., from the perspective of] the mind and ‘created’ or ‘manifested’ for God: it is nonetheless necessary to distinguish between a ‘created Intellect’ and an ‘uncreated Intellect,’ the latter being the divine Light and the former the reflection of this Light at the center of Existence; ‘essentially’, they are One, but ‘existentially’, they are distinct...
What this really means, however you wish to characterize it, is that first there is Intellect: it is In the Beginning. It is what we call divine, and we have the word "divine" -- or "sacred" or "holy" -- in order to mark a kind of primordial distinction known to all men at any time, by virtue of being men. Everyone knows that some things are sacred, especially people who don't believe in the sacred, and that it is distinct from the profane and secular.
As we've discussed many times, leftism is a religion; or better, because it superficially denies religiosity, the denied religious energies and categories return in thinly disguised form.
Political correctness, for example, is an enforcement mechanism used to discourage and punish heretics and blasphemy. "Cancel culture" is just excommunication. Victimhood is righteousness, Trump is the devil, and the NY Times is scripture. The saints are too numerous to mention. Elite universities are progressive seminaries, and you shall have no gods before diversity. You are full of ecological sin, and you must purify yourself of carbon and its many minions. You must confess the sin of White Privilege and make reparations.
Man also has imagination and creativity, but the intellect is not these; it is not "active," but rather, passive and receptive, as container to contained, female to male, or soul to God:
The intellect is a receptive faculty and not a productive power: it does not “create,” it receives and transmits; it is a mirror reflecting reality in a manner that is adequate and therefore effective.
This is precisely what it means to be created in the image of God. If you want to be purely logical about it, put it this way: 1) we have certain abilities only a god could have, 2) we are not God, 3) therefore we must partake of God, or be a prolongation of God, or somehow share in his nature. But beware #2: we are not God.
Every profane philosophy affirms premise (1) but denies premise (2), which leads to... well, history, AKA, the fall prolonged in time, the cosmic battle between men who believe in God and men who believe they are Gods. In this Age of Metaphysical Shrinkage,
the intellect is atrophied to the point of being reduced to a mere virtuality, although doubtless there is no watertight partition between it and the reason, for a sound process of reasoning indirectly transmits something of the intellect; be that as it may, the respective operations of the reason -- or the mind -- and of the intellect are fundamentally different from the point of view that interests us here, despite certain appearances due to the fact that every man is a thinking being, whether he be wise or ignorant.
That was a bit of a mouthful, but it goes to what we said above about the impossibility of irreligiosity, for even the most hardened atheist with the most shriveled intellect nonetheless uses a desiccated reason in order to make his case, and reason cannot but help to transmit something of the light and truth that surpass it. Reason itself (like life or freedom) is always good, even if it is inevitably used for bad ends.
Now, here is a key point: yes, the intellect is simultaneously composed of light while being an adequation to it. But it may be compared to a candle against the sun, nor would you light a match in order to get a better look at the sun. That would be stupid, but nevertheless, that is what atheism is: I will flick my little Bic to disprove the existence of Light!
But put that stupid thing down and look up at the sun! For
There is no difficulty in the fact that pure intelligence -- the intellect -- immensely surpasses thought, and that there is no continuity -- despite the identity of essence -- between a concept as such and reality... to lament over the shortcomings of thought is to ask it to be something that it is not; this is the classical error of philosophers who seek to enclose everything in the cogito alone [I think therefore I am].
Rather, and we mean this literally: He thinks, therefore I am; and He is, therefore I think. We cannot be men if there isn't someone superior to man. Or, one small step for the Son of Man, one giant leap for mankind.