Our friend Nicolás reminds us... of a lot of things, but in this case we're thinking of how our first and last Principle must rest on a final Because I said so, or in other words, on authority. However, much depends upon the reliability or prestige of the authority in question, and afterwards by the fruits of our faith in it: if we're wrong, reality will let us know.
Irrespective of how sublime or mundane your Principle of principles, it can never be proved absolutely, and therefore must be taken on faith. Both the world and God are always what they are, no matter what we say or believe they are, nor can we ever know a single thing with God's certitude. But if life weren't a Mystery, we'd be plunged into endless boredom:
Happily, the world is inexplicable. (What kind of world would it be if it could be explained by man?)
Being only falsifiable, a scientific thesis is never certain but is merely current.
Science, when it finishes explaining everything, but being unable to explain the consciousness that creates it, will not have explained anything.
To be precise, it will have failed to explain what we most wish to explain, which is to say, the Explainer, AKA the person. Is there a merely rational way to do so? Yes and no: yes because there is no better explanation, no because no explanation is fully sufficient, unless you are very, very incurious:
The man does not escape from his prison of paradoxes except by means of a vertical act of faith.
And let's suppose that
Faith is not knowledge of the object. But communication with it.
Along these lines, Clarke writes of how the acceptance of an explicitly Christian philosophy can advance philosophy as such.
Put conversely, left to its own devices, philosophy can by definition only advance so far and no farther, since -- among other limitations -- any form of rationalism will necessarily be enclosed in its own premises a la Gödel: garbage in, tenure out:
To say that something is “rational,” without indicating in relation to what postulate, is a meaningless statement.
Many if not most folks believe they're being rational when they're merely being absurcular, even putting a childishly absolute faith in their faithlessness. You know the type.
On the other hand, revelation can open up
a new possibility in the nature of being that we might never have thought of ourselves from our limited human experience, but which, once opened up, is so illuminating that it now shines on its own and as an insight into the nature of being and persons that makes many things suddenly fall into place whose depths we could not fathom before.
Let there be Light -- the blindingly obvious kind:
[T]he doctrine of the Trinity is a uniquely powerful source of illumination in both the philosophy of being and the philosophy of the person.
Speaking as a psychologist, every metapsychology (i.e., the first principles of psychology) short of this either assumes the existence of the person or explains this existence away. But in reality, the reason why we are the way we are is precisely because the Supreme Reality is the way
it is they are. Apologies if we threepeat ourselves, but what if our destiny -- or telos --
is to fulfill the image latent within us and to draw it out into manifest likeness.... This is the deep finality built into the very nature of every finite being as spirit, endowed with intellect and will.
Thus, human personhood involves an intrinsic element of self-transcendence, something Schuon often highlights, for example,
The paradox of the human condition is that nothing could be more contrary to us than the requirement to transcend ourselves, and yet nothing could be more essentially ourselves than the core of this requirement or the fruit of this self-overcoming.
And obviously, no God = no transcendence. Or, to put it the other way around, the fact that we (AKA the spiritually living) are always transcending is sufficient proof of God.
We'll leave off with a blunt aphorism and continue this deuscussion in the next post:
Truth is a person.