There are arguments of increasing validity, but, in short, no argument in any field spares us the final leap.
Irrespective of one's philosophy, there will be an element of faith, which is to say, trust -- even if it means merely trusting one's own mind and senses.
The essay mentioned above suggests that, "Due to increasing skepticism and secularism,"
contemporary apologetics should prioritize the personal testimony, or witness, of the apologist over the content of his arguments. This testimony... is best supported by the personalist philosophy expounded by Pope St. John Paul II. By focusing “on the aspirations of the human heart for communion with the divine,” apologists can more effectively persuade “readers who suffer from the anonymity of contemporary collectivism or the isolation of contemporary individualism.”
I suppose we could say that we have to trust the messenger before we believe his message:
Apologetics succeeds, in this view, when trust develops between the apologist and his interlocutor, who accepts the testimony only when he comes to trust the apologist as a person. As such, converts will often name the apologist instrumental in their conversions before naming specific arguments. By contrast, “to reject the message is to withhold confidence in the witness.”
We live in a paradoxical age which combines a maximum of skepticism and credulity. For example, the typical member of the lunatic left is far too skeptical to believe in invisible sky gods and so forth.
And yet, he easily believes in lies so outrageous that they verge on the hallucinatory, such as the Russia hoax, the plague of White Supremacism, the ludicrous Insurrection, or thousands of innocent black men being gunned down by police.
Well, who ya' gonna believe, your lying eyes or a dimwitted barmaid from the Bronx? Crime statistics or a nursing home escapee mumbling about his hairy legs?
Regarding this strange admixture of a simultaneously maxed-out skepticism + credulity, Dávila alludes to the possibility of another way, in that
There is some collusion between skepticism and faith: both undermine human presumptuousness.
Note that this collusion undermines both human presumptuousness and human presumptuousness. Failing it, we are all-too-human and therefore all-too presumptuous, in the tediously predictable manner of Genesis 3 All Over Again.
In the absence of conscious awareness of his own inclinations, man will confuse his downward flight with "progress," merely because he's moving. Wheeeeeee!
This ends in pseudo-religious secular cult that shares most everything with religion except for a little thing called Truth, e.g., faith, salvation, purification, sanctity, ritual, and an imaginary choir of devils singing Heil MAGA! around the exalted throne of the eternal Orange Man.
Anyway, trust. Ultimately, in one way or another, you're still going to have to trust yourself. For example, even if you decide to put all your faith in science, it's still you who must do so, and why trust yourself, of all people?
For our purposes, the question is, just how much can we trust our own minds? You could say that this is the first question of epistemology and of critical thinking more generally. Indeed, it is the basis for a properly functioning skepticism that ultimately goes to what is real, and, even prior to this, on what basis man can even know the real.
This no doubt sounds rather basic and stupid. I was trying to explain it to my son a couple of days ago, in the context of a wide-ranging discussion of philosophy, theology, and science.
Specifically, I was trying to explain to him that modern critical philosophy begins with the idea that man has no access to reality, only to his own mental concepts. This naturally leads to additional novelties -- progress! -- such as the absence of free will, the impossibility of truth, the destruction of language, the relativization of morality, the denial of meta-narratives, and the death of the intellect and common sense.
In short, the modern left. It's so stupid, it's almost embarrassing to call oneself human. Nevertheless, it's something we have to face.
In the course of my diatribe to my son, I was reminded of God's death 139 years ago, when Nietzsche gave us the word (or anti-word). I thought of the analogy to a dead star. Supposing a star dies, we might not get word of it for many lightyears later. Indeed, even our sun is old news -- nine minutes old by the time it reaches us.
Which leads to the question: what's the speed of God? Supposing he died in 1882 or thereabouts, how long does it take for the darkness to reach us?
The darkness is here, to be sure. It seems to me that it must be a gradual thing. A star doesn't turn off like a light switch, but goes through a process. Come to think of it, this process can even become an inversion of itself: instead of radiating light, it can suck it and everything else into a black hole.
Is this where we are -- on the cusp of a black hole? It feels that way to me, at least collectively. Having said that, I have no faith whatsoever in this so-called death of God, nor in the resultant black hole. It's happening, but I'm not taking part in it, just watching the spectacle from a disrespectful distance. In the world but not of it, and all that.
Sorry about the derailment. We'll get back to the necessity of esoterism in the next post. It really does tie the cosmos together in a way nothing else can.