Thursday, February 25, 2021

What's the Speed of God?

I read an essay this morning called Apologetics in the Age of Cancellation that adds another dimension to the esoteric angle we were discussing in the previous post, i.e., trust. (The link is at the bottom because I still haven't figured out how to embed them & I don't want to clutter the text.)

After all is said and done, who ya' gonna trust? Your parents? Your teachers? Your friends? Your church? A book? The government? Science? 

Among others, I trust Sr. Dávila, who observes that
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. 

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2021/02/25/apologetics-in-the-age-of-cancellation/?utm_source=The+Catholic+Thing+Daily&utm_campaign=bf1c53fd02-

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dunno about all this constant liberal bashing. One aphorism doesn’t well explain the explosion of Christianity under illiberal entities like Constantine, Charlemagne, Ferdinand or the Holy Roman Empire. I’m not saying we need another Inquisition to set the Jews straight, or even the gays, but that always blaming “the left” for everything gone wrong in America seems to be ducking the real reasons for the decline of Christianity. Just sayin'.

Gagdad Bob said...

A peek inside the black hole.

julie said...

The real reasons for the decline of Christianity? On the one hand, how much time do you have? On the other, just read the Old Testament. Or history in general. Same as it ever was.

Is this where we are -- on the cusp of a black hole? It feels that way to me, at least collectively.

Yes, it does feel very much that way. We seem to be on the verge of becoming a new Venezuela or Chinese vassal state. On the other hand, it is wrong to give up hope, and though the hour is late we have not gone completely into that darkness just yet.

Gagdad Bob said...

It's official: white people are the left's public enemy #1. All other enemies are #2 or lower.

BZ said...

I just want to say it periodically, this is my favorite read on the internet. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

ted said...

Just an aside Bob, came across this that may be of interest. Free and on zoom.

Gagdad Bob said...

Well thank you. It's helpful for readers to check in every once in awhile, if only to let us know you exist.

Gagdad Bob said...

The thank you was for BZ. No thanks to Ted -- the lecture was last night!

ted said...

Bob, check your month again. You're welcome! :)

Gagdad Bob said...

MARCH 24. I'll be there. I'm very curious to know what someone in a better position to know makes of him. I don't know how or where to situate him in the overall scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. In the post you wrote:

"Is this where we are -- on the cusp of a black hole? It feels that way to me, at least collectively."

I must say you are pessimistic, Dr. Godwin. You're attitude for years has been that of the grumpy old codger with bushy eyebrows one may overhear complaining to anyone who will listenb from a park bench. And the codger trusts nobody.

I should call your parents and ask what the heck they did to you. But they wouldn't know like all parents they are oblivious as to what they have done.

Now, when you talk to your child are you filling him with hope or with your own darkened outlook? Beware lest you transmit the venom inter-generationally.

And beware, when a father is overheard denouncing anything to his progeny, one is also hearing the seeds of future sedition being planted. Teens quite often rebell. Not always, but you can never tell. And if the rebel knows what the father abhors...well then, expect to see the very same served up on the field of conflict.

Word.

Cousin Dupree said...

The Lonely Lives of Childless Old Lefties

Anonymous said...

Julie, there's a huge difference between Venezuela and Norway. There are resources which itemize all the reasons for success and failure but I don't have the time to find them either.

But I do know that Venezuelans are over 90% Christian while Norwegians are at 70% or so.

Oh crap. Did Bob just try to inject a 'whiteness factor' into the equation? As in, God prefers honkeys? I might need one of the others to chime in about that.

Anonymous said...

Now where I do tend to agree with Bob’s white supremacy, is that the old Cheech and Chong bits about la migra don’t make sense anymore.

Witness this six minute video showing historic immigration groups

The causes? Liberalism? Leftism? Anti-whitey wokeism? Blame Bidenism? Perhaps. A little.

But actually it’s the major employers. Food processing interests of every kind always prefer low-cost Mexicans. They tell us that if the liberals won’t make us import these unusually industrious and hardy workers, that Mexico will become the next Japanese Miracle which outcompetes the USA. And then big tech imports Indians who they’ve trained at their centers in India. And the Chinese have convinced companies that they’re good at stealing the technologies that’ll let em outwork any iron chink.

Sleepy Joe said...

Low-wage Mexicans are the Juans we've been waiting for!

Kamala said...

I was not informed of this invasion.

Anonymous said...

Joe and Kamala will go to their various economics advisors who will likely advise them to just take the money and turn a blind eye on behalf of their meat processing plant donors. Trump couldn't do this because he ran on Mexicans being evil and all so his advisors had to take a tax cut as payment instead.

Anonymous said...

Now a word about "whiteness" and how this articulates into General Plan Ost.

The division of our species into regional variants occurred over long periods of time. These regional variants do have variations.

This has not played well since about 500 AD when contact between variant groups increased.

Planners realized the variations would be self-corrected over time; in other words, inter-breeding was going to take care of it.

This would require about 30-40,000 years. Eventually we would have a standardized homo sapiens with slightly nappy hair, rounded but prominent noses, very subtle epicanthic folds, and supple cafe-au-lait skin with moderate body hair.

Races as we know them today won't be a thing.

However this is going to be a long ride, subjectively anyway, although in deep time fairly rapid.

So grab two handles and hold on. You will be fine. In the meantime, keep on breeding and paying taxes, thank you. Keep your head down and your chin up, if that makes any sense.

And Asian girls are hot. On this we can all agree.

Anonymous said...

I read the article by Zubatov kindly linked by GDB. He writes:

"If Eros is a force that bonds and unifies us, then Thanatos is a force that has us tearing it all down and apart: if I can’t have you or any of my sundry objects of desire, then no one will. In the grip of Eros, our perception of everything around is enchanted; in the grip of Thanatos, we see the ruins of the wasteland, and where we do not yet see it, we are determined to create it, to reduce the remaining monuments around us to rubble."

The key thing here is, many of us ARE in the grip of Eros, and that is why America is wonderful and will always get more wonderful still.

Those in the grip of Thanatos, we would ask WTF for.

Even if you are white, you can hang on the shadiest urban street corners and go into the convenience stores. If you live through the first several days of doing this, you will become part of the landscape and will go un-molested. Over time you will see each convenience store has its own society and eco-system around it and once you get to know the players you will see plenty of human virtue on display. Granted amidst the lost souls who are not doing well and acting out, you will not see much virtue.

The thing here is not to be deceived by appearances. One must be a flaneur and soak things in properly. It is practically a lost art.

Flaneur often and you will come to trust your own impressions 100%.

Anonymous said...

No, whites are not allowed to hang on shady urban street corners, you racist. That's invading the spaces of BIPOC. Also, whites moving into urban neighborhoods is right out, because they gentrify the spaces and make BIPOC feel uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

I liked Isaac Hayes when he played the loveable chef on the otherwise all-white South Park. I didn't mind Will Smith taking out white zombies as the last black man on earth. But when Obama said he "governed like a moderate Republican" after selling himself as a socialist muslim, and Sowell said academics shouldn't opine outside their expertise right before opining outside his expertise, I'd had enough. I've come to see prominent blacks as a bunch of fucking liars.

So BLM says they're Marxist. But just wait a few years. They'll be rapping with Kanye and selling insurance with Ice-T.