The theory of "double truth," according to Prof. Wiki, is
the view that religion and philosophy, as separate sources of knowledge, might arrive at contradictory truths without detriment to either.
This has always been rejected by the Church, and Thomas Aquinas in particular built a pretty nice career out of the contrary idea that truth is one, irrespective of our opinions about it.
Now -- spoiler alert -- not only is truth one, but every thinking person understands this, whether explicitly or, more often, implicitly.
For the act of thinking presupposes the unity of reality, of intelligence and intelligibility. After all, if reality isn't intelligible to intelligence, then we're done here: truth is reduced to opinion, and man can only forever marinate in his own stupidity, like an endless loop of CNN.
Our friend Nicolas observes that
Truths are not relative. What is relative are opinions about the truth.
Come to think of it, the act of thinking presupposes a number of things, and let us count the ways.
Better yet, let's consider science, since it is believed by many to be synonymous with reason itself, and very much opposed to any so-called "truth" of religion. Indeed, scientism is the doctrine of Single Truth, period. All truth is scientific truth. And that's the truth!
Yes, it's too easy to point out that this epistemological assertion isn't subject to scientific proof, but we'll let that pass for the moment. Suffice it to say that science cannot prove that science is the only path to truth, any more than the Bible proves the Bible is infallibly true because it is infallible.
Let's say we want to do us some science. What are the conditions that must be present in order for science to be possible? First of all, there must be an order in things, an order we do not invent but discover. On the one hand, these things are external to us, and yet, we are able to decode a hidden order via our own interiority.
As mentioned a few posts back, the word "intellect" means read within, and this is indeed what the scientist does when, for example, he discovers the invisible laws that govern the material world. The weirdness of this ability is insufficiently appreciated, but certainly no mere animal can access this immaterial world of laws, causes, and principles. Only an immaterial being could do this.
What kind of immaterial being? A person.
Now, we just finished a series of posts exploring the idea that person is the ultimate principle of the cosmos. I probably didn't convince anyone who doesn't already believe it, and besides, the deluded are prolix, so I probably should have just rested on the authority of the Aphorist:
Truth is a person.However, terse as he is, he makes some other key points about truth, for example,
In order for a multitude of diverse terms to coexist, it is necessary to place them on different levels. A hierarchical ordering is the only one that neither expels nor suppresses them.
This is helpful, because it allows us to see that what may look like a double truth is merely a result of putting these truths out of order, such that the lower truth may eclipse the higher. For example, the truth of scientism results in a total eclipse of God. But does the truth of God eclipse science? Not even remotely.
Rather, the truth of science is a direct consequence of the truth of God, which is to say, Truth. For Aquinas,
The intellectual light dwelling in us is nothing else than a kind of participated image of the uncreated light...
Which means that there is and must be something in humans that, despite the fact that we are created, nevertheless participates in the uncreated; although we are obviously contingent -- we exist, but our existence is unnecessary -- even in knowing this, we know a necessary truth; and as Aquinas says, "Everything eternal is necessary."
Therefore, if I'm following my argument, I just now participated in eternity, because the converse must be equally true -- that everything necessary is eternal.
Which is precisely what Eckhart says about the intellect, and so too does Schuon -- that at least some part of it must not only be uncreated but uncreatable, to the extent that it knows the necessary:
geometrically speaking, the Intellect is a ray rather than a circle, it “emanates” from God rather than “reflecting” Him.
Or only reflecting him. More specifically, we may distinguish
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.
And now that I'm thinking about it, it seems to me that the unfortunate events of Genesis 3 must involve a serious rupture in this prior unity, while the Incarnation must entail its reunification and healing via the metacosmic Person -- and our participation in Him.
So, I woke up two hours early this morning and decided to stay up. Big. Mistake. Without the usual nine hour coma, I'm feeling pretty fuzzy, so I never did get to the main event. To be continued...