Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Your Inside is Out and Your Outside is In

We're talking about the analogy of being, which both elevates the dignity of man while putting him in his place. 

This is because on the one hand we can learn a great deal indeed about God from the nature of reality. On the other hand, as Augustine remarked, "If you think that you comprehend God, it is not God." 

Good nous bad nous?

Thaaat's right Petey: a bad nous would be one that is so cosmically inflated that it pretends to comprehend God, just because he's s'durn comprehensible. It reminds me of quantum physics, which, if you understand, you don't. Besides,

modern science and the whole of human knowledge rests on principles that cannot be demonstrated but are presupposed, as Gödel's theorem shows (Betz). 

That's a bingö. 

Science requires faith, but it is hardly irrational, rather, supra-rational, for 
all sciences depend at some level on faith: faith that the world is intelligible and more than the effects of blind processes, faith that the human mind is something more than a product of natural selection and is actually made to know the truth of things... (ibid).

In short, faith that intelligence and intelligibility really do mirror one another. 

Which, of course, demands a principle, which is none other than the analogy of being. Any alternative to this results in a reductio absurdum or cosmic nul de slack:

For if finite being were not some kind of analogy, there would be no possibility of making a theological inference from it: nature would be either univocally identical to God, or equivocally different from God (emphasis mine).

Which is to say, "totally different," such that "the universe bears no traces of God's workmanship that would allow one to infer that the world is, in fact, created." 

No truth for you!

Therefore, the doctrine of creation -- not once upon a time in the past, but the continuous kind, i.e., now and everynow -- is what explains all the intelligibility-to-intelligence, whether scientific or metaphysical.

Again, as Voegelin says, we are always situated between the poles of immanence and transcendence. We are always open to the latter, but

no matter how hard one may try to close up the gap between them, it refuses to be closed, since to know what something is does not answer the question of why it is. Nor does the most complete knowledge of how something came about explain why it came about. 

This goes for science no less than for metaphysics, for "Not even the profoundest understanding of the laws of physics can explain why these laws and the world that obeys them exist." 

Do not pass Gödel, because you can't.

Unless, of course, there is some direct communication to us from the other side, i.e., not an inference but a fact that is given to us. And given how queer the universe already is, who would be so bold as to a priori rule out such a queer possibility? 

A bad nous, that's who, or at least a very presumptuous one. Rather, we must humbly abide in the "interstitial space" between immanence and transcendence -- and other irreducible existential complementarities such as essence and existence, subject and object, interior and exterior, vertical and horizontal, material and spiritual, appearance and reality, potential and actual, individual and group, et al.

Therefore, "created being" only is -- attains being -- in the Great Between, between "the various poles that define it." 

Therefore, "analogy is nothing other than a unity of the things that would otherwise seem quite different or even opposed." 

In the final unalysis, "creaturely being moves between the poles of nothing and Being," so we are not Being but not not-Being either, rather, always on the way to it. Which 

undermines every notion of the closed universe of modern science, however quantitatively infinite.... For the moment we see that being cannot contain itself but points analogically beyond itself, all immanence is exploded.

A big bang indeed.   

In any event, "followed to its logical conclusion, philosophy flows like a river into the sea of theology." Metaphysics and theology mirror one another in the same way as do science and the objective world; metaphysics is ordered to what is always in and beyond it: 

not only are philosophy and theology analogically related, they are so profoundly related that they... "interpenetrate" -- not in a confused way but such that each becomes itself, as it were..., only in analogical relation to the other.  

This is jumping ahead a bit, but Betz cites a Bible passage to the effect that "I, wisdom, have poured out rivers," and likens it to the "eternal procession whereby the Son proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit in an ineffable manner." 

The Aeon is a child on the shore at play with colored balls. 

Not bad. Original to you?

I don't remember. There are no footnotes in heaven. Everybody just knows.

Down here we give credit where it's due, and Betz writes that

life implies movement, and being and movement are inseparable, ultimately because all being is an image of the life of the Trinity, that is, of the Father's dynamic ex-istence in the Son.

The bottom line for this morning is that "belief in God as the Creator implies some kind of likeness between Creator and creation," whereby

the horizon of being radically opens up -- when the mind comes to see that all being, as created being, is nothing but an analogy of the supereminent source that is active within it but also beyond it.

We'll leave you with an old pneumagraph of what we're talking about: 


Gagdad Bob said...

Agreed: "we have the possibility (as St. Paul tells us) of coming to know the invisible attributes of God through the visible things of Creation."

"Thus, we must learn to read both the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture, for they are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they will ultimately illumine each other because both have the one God as their Author.

"Thus, in an authentically Catholic education, all the disciplines should be present and effectively integrated.

"Here, then, I conceive, is the object of setting up universities; it is to reunite things which were in the beginning joined together by God and have been put asunder by man...

"It will not satisfy me to have two independent systems, intellectual and religious, going at once side by side, by a sort of division of labor, and only accidentally brought together. It will not satisfy me, if religion is here and science there... I wish the intellect to range with the utmost freedom, and religion to enjoy an equal freedom, but what I am stipulating is that they should be found in one and the same place and exemplified in the same persons."

One Cosmos after all.

Gagdad Bob said...

Bad link: here it is.

julie said...

Great article. I have to wonder, though, how Catholic the average Catholic university in America really is at this point? Someone wants to market real education vs. woke education, and if true, that is wonderful and should absolutely be a selling point.

Open Trench said...

Hello Everyone:

Good News: Our organization is sponsoring the adoption of Bahai. If you haven't looked in to it do it now. Bahai is a meta-religion that is a basket you can put all religions in and reconcile them. This is part of the PPF plan for global unity; we work for spiritual, political, and educational integration of all polities and their eventual coalescing into a single Terran polity.

Great News: The Basic Universal Income (BUI) is on the horizon. All citizens of the Terran polity will have a guaranteed income to provide for their stability.

The PPF is also weighing restrictions on global ethanol consumption. This is going to be an uphill battle.

So that's the "NWO" plan; you don't like it, I know you don't like it, and that's OK.
We are on a 500 year schedule. I don't think you have much to worry about, frankly.

That dirty Trench, what a Mensch. Good night.

Randy said...

That "science requires faith" becomes endlessly fascinating when the bonehead atheists insist they don't rely on faith.

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