The conflict between passion and reason makes up a major portion of the drama of [man's] existence on earth; and when the struggle is over, passion very often emerges the victor. This is the sad epic of humanity from the beginning (Brennan).
Frankly, I think this understates the power of reason to mess things up just as badly as passion. For as Chesterton said, "A madman is not someone who has lost his reason but someone who has lost everything but his reason." One can go off the shallow end just as easily as the deep end.
The problem is that reason, in order to get off the ground, must begin with an appeal to self-evidence. However, most people hide the evidence and proceed with the reason anyway.
An example of this occurred the other day. As you know, we homeschool our son -- not just because of the Chinese virus but because of the far more dangerous and deadly progressive virus that has devastated California. Because of this pandemic of idiocy, it isn't safe to have contact with any state-mediated institution.
Anyway, he was watching some kind of science video that happened to be narrated by planetarium director Neil Dyson. I forget why, but I reassured my son that whatever Dyson says about science is probably sound, even though he is probably in error when he strays from his lane and opines on anything unrelated to whatever it is he actually knows about. He is as superficial and conventional as one would expect of someone whom the MSM has anointed a Pundit.
But I don't actually know that much about him, only that he is a figure of fun amongst people I respect. So I consulted with Prof. Wiki, who confirms that Dyson regards philosophy as "useless" and is "unconvinced by any claims anyone has ever made about the existence or the power of a divine force operating in the universe."
Now, why would anyone care what a science popularizer believes about anything unrelated to his role of ratifying the Conventional Wisdom? No doubt because he is an effective apostle of the left's naive religiosity and simplistic philosophy, plus he's a Scientist of Color, so there are bonus points for virtue signaling (which is of course not his fault).
Like a Bill Nye or Carl Sagan, his opinions pose no threat to the progressive agenda and worldview. He can be trusted not to go near the science of IQ, or the absence of science of transgenderism, nor point out the wild inaccuracy of the global warming models. He's safe. He won't poke his head out of the Matrix.
Timeout for timelessness:
--Each one sees in the world only what he deserves to see.
--The simplistic ideas in which the unbeliever ends up believing are his punishment.
--He who speaks of the farthest regions of the soul soon needs a theological vocabulary (Dávila).
The following paragraph describes what the philosophistry of the flatlander excludes, nor it does this expanded view limit science one iota -- rather, it places it in the context of a far grander vision, one worthy of the human station:
[W]ith the advent of the thinking process, a completely new world is opened up to us: a universe of ideas and volitions, an immaterial expanse of creativeness, a region liberated from the palpabilities of sense....
Because it can overreach the restrictions of matter and rid itself of all time-space dimensions, it is truly infinite in its potentialities of understanding, a microcosmos which, by its ability to know and become the universe, is actually the universe (Brennan).
IS the universe -- not in the manner of perception-is-reality, but rather, because to exist is to be intelligible. And
The highest type of living activity consists in the intellectual grasping of reality. This penetrative power of mind presupposes that what is real is by that very fact intelligible, otherwise it has no title to reality (Brennan).
This paragraph adverts to one of our first principles, but it is hardly arbitrary or indefensible, rather self-evident. For either the mind can penetrate beneath the ever shifting surface of things to the intelligible reality beneath, or it can't. And if it can't, then scientific knowledge isn't possible, let alone anything that transcends or grounds science.
Without knowledge of essences and universals, we would be like animals, confined to sensory data about our surface contact with matter. "Knowledge," such as it is, would be reduced to prescientific rumors, gossip, anecdotes, and single instances. Generalization and induction would not exist because they could not exist. Nor could deduction exist, because there would be no principles or axioms from which to do so. It would be a subhuman world, precisely, with no possibility of escape or inscape.
It is quite obvious that the senses do not capture the inner meaning of things. They are in surface contact, so to speak, with their objects; and the best they can do is to register the accidental or phenomenal qualities of matter.
Nor could they ever know these qualities as accidental or phenomenal, because these latter can only be understood in contrast to the necessary and noumenal. As freedom is knowledge of necessity, reality is understanding of appearances (because they can only be understood as appearances from the perspective of a higher or deeper view). The intellect
plunges beneath the surface and grasps the very thing which holds all phenomenal qualities together. The senses exist in a sort of perpetual twilight.... Intellect, by contrast, moves in the clear atmosphere of immaterial knowledge.
A man who is only a man isn't even that, for
Man alone, of all earthly creatures, exhibits a complete emergence from the conditions of subjectivism that make the animal's knowledge concrete and particular and restricted to the tangible realities of sense.
Bottom line: man is the animal that may know reality. If not, then what are we debating? Whose delusion is more powerful?