Saturday, February 24, 2024

A Science of the Inexact, So to Speak

I think we're done thinking about God from our side of the divide. Let's flip the universe and check out what God has to say about himself. Then we can harmonize the two and come up with a single mega-metaphysic that covers everything from the universe on up, to God on down, and everybuddhi in between. 

I visualize it like a mountain, with O at the top: O . The upward pointing arrow to the left is natural theology, the downward pointing one to the right revelation. 

However, once received, the right arrow can circle back to the left and fill out lacunae and aporia that necessarily exist on that side: again, () can say that God is, but there are limits on what it can say about who he is. 

The right-to-left movement can correct any false conclusions of the left, but there is a mutual influence, because the left can correct certain incorrect interpretations of the right, at least where there is ambiguity. As always, Truth is the controlling principle.

I've said on a number of occasions that the very first thing revealed to us of God is that he is the Creator, which is a rather large hint, and turns out to be full of implications. 

I thought I was the only one who felt this way until stumbling upon a book called Creator: A Theological Interpretation of Genesis 1, which we will be playgiarising with this morning and until further gnosis. 

Leithart comes to a number of unorthodox conclusions, but for me they are perfectly orthoparadoxical. I don't know enough about Presbyterianism to know why he is one, but Calvin? I find him intellectually and morally offensive in the extreme, but I'm not here to judge, let alone condemn. That's Dupree's department.

His writing is at times pedantic and rambling, without the concision and organization of a Thomas. Nevertheless, I find his criticism of certain Thomistic conclusions to be entirely coongenial. 

For as I've said on a number of occasions, it seems to me -- for what it's worth, since I am not a Trained Theologian -- Thomas smuggles in certain Greek assumptions of deity that are insufficiently baptized, let alone bobtized. This is precisely what I mean above about the right arrow of revelation () having to fill out and correct the left arrow of metaphysics and natural theology ().

If that's not clear, it will be as we proceed. I'm not a sola scriptura guy, but nor am I not one. Rather, "sola O" with two avenues of approach that we aim to reconcile. 

This approach is also distinct from Schuon, who, as it were, posits the same mountain but with with different authentic religions constituting distinct but equally valid paths meeting at the top: "the transcendent unity of religions." We are not religious indifferentists, but nor do we dismiss the others. 

Again, this should become clear as we proceed. But for me, the revelation of the Triune God most adequately accounts for even the possibility of (), not to mention science and other nice things we take for granted in the West.

I'm just going to start flipping from the beginning, and light on any passages that shed further light on the argument.

Our capacity to name and shape the world through words at all is a continuous miracle, a daily aftershock of the Creator's first magical fiat lux. Mystery does not suddenly confront us when we begin to speak about God.

Exactly. This goes to what was said above about even the possibility of (); you might say that we need a metaphysic that can account for the very possibility of metaphysics -- or a () that explains how () is possible. To paraphrase the Aphorist, not an exact science but a science of the inexact. Our two arrows 

are mutually determinative. Because God [AKA O] is transcendent, unbounded by temporal and spatial limits, he is immanent, present, and active in every space and time.... his hiddenness -- his transcendence -- is always already manifestation.

God transcends the language he never stops speaking. So to speak. "He transcends language because there is always more to say of him, always forever more to say..." Even -- especially -- "scientific knowledge is not impersonal and objectivized but arises from deep communion with reality" (cf. Polanyi for  details).

The truth is objective but not impersonal.

It is at once () but nor is it not ().

Anthropomorphism is not a projection from finite to infinite. In the order of knowing, it seems so. In the order of being, it is the opposite: It is authorized from the top down.


Truth is a person.

If not, then there is no ground, principle, or basis for () of any kind, whether scientific, philosophical, or theological. Stalin said, No man, no problem, and he wasn't wrong.  

Having created a world that comprehensively speaks of God, why would God prohibit us to use the language he made? How could it possibly be inadequate or inappropriate?

He's making an argument against radical apophaticism, but at risk of belaboring the point, () is perfectly valid so long as we don't detach it from () and pretend it is self-sufficient or self-explanatory, or can adequately map O. "Even abstract language rests on metaphor that has concrete, physical roots," and -- this is getting ahead of ourselves, but let us recall that

Metaphor supposes a universe in which each object mysteriously contains the others.

"God creates by the Word; creation is his speech to us. By virtue of creation, we are surrounded by the inescapable speech of God" (Leithart).

As we know from our recent series of posts, it's a talking universe, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it except listen and follow the words back up to their nonlocal source. Let those with ears see Oand hear it speak.

Much more to come...

Friday, February 23, 2024

Roll Over Shankara and Tell Einstein the News

They say that reality is the thing that doesn't go away when we stop thinking about it. But reality includes not only empirical facts and scientific laws, but metaphysical principles such as the one mentioned yesterday, effect-implying-cause: we never see a cause without an effect, and vice versa. 

Moreover, on the temporal plane cause-and-effect are simultaneous, whereas causation must be ontologically prior to its effects, or nothing makes sense. To understand something is to understand its cause.


Oh? Kant didn't think so. He thought you were just a form of our own ideas about you.


We agree, but why do we agree? Must be because of the analogy of being, which is one of our first principles: that there is an analogy between creature and Creator, even if the dissimilarities are always greater then the similarities.

I'm with you: I say we can learn a great deal from the sheer existence of the Universe, among which is the fact that you cannot be self-sufficient. Or, either you are or you aren't, and if you are, then you are unintelligible.

Even revelation must implicitly accept the doctrine of analogy, for any statements about God -- who is infinite -- 

must be expressed and plainly are expressed in language from the finite world.... the revelation has to be thought about to be received, and can be thought about only by the aid of words or finite images (Mascall).

Now, revelation comes in many forms: there is revelation proper, but so too is existence itself a revelation, not to mention the phenomenon of life and the miracle of subjectivity. 

And what can we say about the surprising relationship between intelligence and intelligibility? Einstein claimed that The most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible.

That's you in the spotlight, regaining your religion. Because I've got news for Albert: the doctrine of creation implies that the most comprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible. It is precisely what we would expect of an intelligent and rational Creator. Absent this doctrine, then the universe is not only incomprehensible but we could never know it. 

You know the gag: If God doesn't exist only he knows it. And if he does, only man could not know it.


OM he don't play. But God does. We're not nondual Vedantins, we're personalists.

In fact, your very existence implies the existence of a particular kind of God. Not just any God could have pulled this off. Ultimately he must be something like a triune God, but that's for a later post. At the moment we're still trying to reason up from our side of the finite-infinite relation. 

Now, the doctrine of analogy is what makes it possible for us to speak meaningfully of God, not in the past but in the Now, any Now. And if two men -- or a man and a Universe --

affirm and deny that God exists, they are in fact disagreeing about the nature of reality [i.e., That which doesn't go away just because we're not thinking about it], and not merely expressing different emotional or aesthetic attitudes (Mascall). 

So you and I have very different conceptions of reality -- of what does not and cannot go away.


No, we are making an existential argument with the assumption that thinking -- about finite things -- tells us about reality. Otherwise to hell with it.

Yes, we are assuming a realist philosophy, "which holds that words are not merely noises and thought is not merely about ideas, but that speech with its words and thought with its ideas are ultimately about things."

Granted, you are a Big Thing, but you're still a thing. And if you are not an intelligible thing, then you are no-thing at all, and Kant is right. But we've already stipulated that he is an ass.

Look, you and I are not so different. Indeed, the fact that we are different means that there is a sameness underneath the differences.


We're talking about Being, "which must embrace everything, including its differences; if differences were not instances of being, they would be non-existent, and no two things could be distinct from each other."


You can be, but by virtue of what principle? Because "every being must be, and must be in some determinate way," and "the way in which it has being depends in the last resort upon its relation to the self-existent Being which is the prime analogate of all."

You exist -- you are -- but you are not Being itself, rather a function of Being, or in relation to it: "being designates that which has relation to existence." Any finite existent is composed of existence + essence, but there is one being whose essence is to exist--


Can't be: "The world requires as its cause a being totally transcending it in every respect."


And I say there is a way -- only one way -- up and out of absurcularity: "The crucial moment" occurs when 

we apprehend finite being as what it really is, as existent and yet not self-existent, as effect-implying cause. Its essence is really distinct from its existence, in the sense that there is nothing about the kind of thing that it is that necessitates that it exists.

So, the analogy of being is what doesn't go away when we pretend not to use it. "You cannot get necessity from contingency by multiplying contingency." And

the more fully we understand the world, the more clearly we can see that the world does not explain itself and therefore its explanation must lie outside itself. Considered as a closed system the world is unintelligible.

But the world is intelligible; and open, and in relation. Much like the Trinity which is its ultimate principle to which (or whom) we are analogous.

But That! touches on the next post.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

I Am, Therefore God Is

The sole thing that the I is able to prove is that it exists; the sole thing that it can refute is whether it may be God.

Thank you, and drive home safely.


Go right ahead. I slept late, so I don't have much time. You, on the other hand, have another 2.8 billion years to babble on about nothing.


Then who is? 

the ultimate function of the Five Ways is to make it plain, by calling attention to five outstanding features of finite being, what the fundamental character of finite being is. And that fundamental characteristic is a radical inability to account for its own existence (Mascall).

In short, "the very essence of finite being is to be effect-implying-cause." In God -- or whatever you want to call it -- these three words are one, if that makes sense to you.

I suspect that the principle of effectimplyingcause may be located in the eternal procession of the Son from the Father. In response to your last statement, that is your daddy. 

We will have much more to say about this in a future post, but the Cause of causation is always now. It did not begin 13.8 billion years ago, nor will it end 2.8 billion years hence, so relax.


You must admit that you have undergone a great deal of change over these past 13.8 billion years. After all, for over two thirds of that time you contained no living beings, and it has only been 100,000 years since you've had anyone with whom to babble. Again,

The mere fact of change, then, is an indication that finite beings are not self-contained; they receive influences from outside themselves.

Expressed symbolically, the situation is not O  finitude but 



← finitude →

Even if finitude went on "forever," for as we said a few posts back, endless finitude is eternal insufficiency.

Now, man is plunged into finitude, with this difference: he knows it. We might even say that the dawn of man is the dawning of this realization. 

The events of Genesis 3 express this in mythopoetic form; expressed symbolically, once upon a timeless we lived in a kind of easy ↕ between finitude and infinitude, until something happened to disrupt the lines of communication, ⇞⇟.


Don't be so literal. Then again, it's hard to think of a better symbol of horizontality. Unless it's a snake eating its own tail.

Anyway, we have one solid "datum for an argument for the existence of God, namely the existence of beings whose existence is not necessitated by their essence (Mascall). 

And even before the realization of the relation of finitude to infinitude -- or contingency to necessity -- is the realization of relation, full stop. This is a relational cosmos anchored in the relation between the first and second Persons of the Trinity.

Of course, in adverting to the Trinity we have shifted from our side -- from natural philosophy -- to Godside, which is to say, revelation. And that is the subject of a future post(s). For the moment, let's stay in our lane, or silo rather.  

With the finite tools at hand, "we can form no clear and distinct idea" of God, rather, "We can define God only in terms of his self-existence," an existence that "is not conceptualizable." 

This is simply O, with no content other than its own necessary existence. It leaves open the question of why it should want to create anything outside itself. What are we doing here? And why? 

That is all for today, except to remind ourselves that 

There are a thousand truths and only one error.

 O and Ø, respectively. Much more to come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The First Fact: Trust But Verify

You said you were going to think about it. Well?


About whether or not I AM is the "first fact," so to speak. Because that's how the Bible characterizes it, but I guess we want to know if this can be known in an extra-biblical way, and you seem like a good source to ask.

The subject is touched on in a book I'm reading called Existence and Analogy. For Thomas. "He who is" is "the most proper name of God," as it "signifies 'existing in itself'" or "complete and absolute self-existence." 

Mascall writes that even "if there is no metaphysic in Exodus there is nevertheless a metaphysic of Exodus," and we aim to find out what it is. The ancient Jews were not a philosophical people, and yet, it seems to me that a whole philosophy leads from and back to those two little words: I AM.

Mascall says that the Septuagint phrase is O Ωv, and that's too good to check. I find it ironic, anyway.

But what does God mean, exactly? Was it intended as a meaningful answer, or was it a clever dodge, a non-answer, like That's for me to know and you to find out? Being that the Jews were scrupulous about not uttering the name, this seems plausible.

Again, the Hebrew scriptures

are supremely unconcerned with metaphysics and highly interested in ethics. The God of whom the Bible speaks is not a philosophical first cause or absolute; he is the living God, who makes himself known in his acts of judgment and salvation.

More of a doer, so to speak -- a man of action.

Some people claim that Thomas begins with an essentially Greek conception of God and then tries to fit the Biblical God into it. We don't like to criticize Thomas, but we may have to as we proceed. At any rate, 

although the Old Testament is written almost entirely in ethical and hardly at all in metaphysical terms, the declarations which it makes about the activity of God have very far-reaching metaphysical consequences (Mascall). 

I certainly agree, but "The Old Testament as little thinks of arguing or proving that God may be known as it thinks of arguing that he exists." It is not as if Moses and the prophets reflect "on the unseen" and thereby ascend "to elevated conceptions of the Godhead," a la Plotinus. 

Rather, the opposite: "the Unseen manifests itself to them, and they know it." They may resist and rebel, but not because God doesn't exist. Think of how different a mentality this is from Thomas, who begins with existence and reasons up to their transcendent cause, which he then identifies with the God of Moses: IT IS leads up to I AM, so to speak.

But it can't be this simple, because I AM turns out to be a WE ARE, which is both very un-Greek and non-Jewish. 

As for the Greeks, their doctrine of the radical simplicity of the absolute principle is at odds with what amounts to a qualified simplicity posited by Thomas, for simplicity means simplicity: no distinctions allowed! Likewise the radically monistic monotheism of the Jews: What part of mono do you not understand?

But for me, the revelation of Trinity is something quite new, which is why it cannot be fully reconciled with Greek or Jewish conceptions. Doesn't mean it's right, but it does mean we have to rethink our metaphysic. 

I'm looking at my Orthodox Bible (a translation from the Greek OT of the Septuagint), and it reads the passage in question as "I AM the Existing One." A footnote says that this "is the name for the Essence of God," which is like "a boundless sea, containing all things yet not contained by anything."

Here again, a boundless sea is boundless (i.e., simple), so perhaps a little Greek thought has slipped into the Greek translation. 

In Dennis Prager's commentary on Exodus, he says the Hebrew phrase Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh has "four possible meanings, each one perfectly accurate":

I am what I am.

I am who I am.

I will be what I will be.

I will be who I will be.

He continues:

The reason all four translations are accurate is Hebrew does not have a word for the present tense of the verb "to be." In other words, there is no Hebrew word for "am" or "is" or "are"....

YHVH actually means "Being," or "Will Be," or even just "Is."

So, God just IS. I IS?

This shall be my name forever.


Don't rush me. The Name implies that God's essence is to exist, or that existence his his essence, AKA the Necessary Being to which being as we know it can only be a distant analogy. Hence the name of the book we're reading: Existence and Analogy.

Existence. "If we grant to a speck of moss or to the tiniest ant the value of its ontological reality," then "we can no longer escape from" the very "hand which made us."


God is the object of religion; is he also a principle of philosophy? Luther led the revolt against the second idea, insisting that, due to our fallenness, natural theology is a non-starter. Rather, anything we know of God must either be conveyed by the Bible or not conveyed at all.

Does the Bible imply such a thing? Not Paul, who tells us quite plainly that God's invisible attributes are clearly seen and understood by the things that are made. 


That's one way to put it. For Thomas,

however noble our concept of God may be it is totally incapable of telling us whether God exists or not; but the actual existence of the most humble and insignificant of actually existing beings is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of self-existent Being itself (Mascall).


No, it's an explanation of how we escape absurcularity. Which we do with any truth statement of any existing thing. The Great Question before us is

Can we, starting from the existence of finite beings, validly affirm the existence of God?

Do the effects imply the Cause? There was a time when

the vision of God in nature seems to have been the normal way of viewing the world, nor could it have been remarked as an exceptional experience. 

I suspect it's a left brain / right brain thing, in that the LCH ideologies of modernity have swamped a more primary RCH contact with the Real. Therefore, LCH arguments for the existence of God are "the price that we have to pay for our increasing sophistication." "Increasing sophistication" is another name for LCH capture.

Which may be why 

Proofs for the existence of God abound for those who do not need them.


I know. We're getting there. We will stipulate that you exist. The question is how.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Mind-Bearing Cosmos and the Truth-Bearing Primate

Which came first? 


Well, either the mind conforms to reality or it doesn't.


Good. I'm going with Thomas:

the human mind, by its very constitution, is capable of penetrating beneath the phenomenal surface of finite beings and of grasping them, however imperfectly and partially, in their ontological nature and so apprehending them in their dependence upon an infinite Being (Mascall).


Let's focus on that word: dependence, for it connotes a relation -- a relation between the sensed thing and the concept of it, or appearance and reality, finite and infinite, creature and Creator. 

Ultimately, the principle of Creation is a relationship between two ineradicable poles, but this is not to be understood as a horizontal relation -- as if it occurred long ago, whether on the evening prior to Sunday, October 23, 4004. B.C., or 13.8 billion years ago -- but a vertical one and thus always happening.

And I will go so far as to say that this principle of relation goes all the way up and into the Godhead, for to say Father and Son is to posit an eternal relation.


Unless you are the evidence. For it is not true that the exception proves the rule; rather, a single exception disproves the rule -- in this case the rules of radical immanence and unintelligibility.

We can't go into details, because it took Lonergan 875 pages of dense prose to affirm that "If the real is completely intelligible, then complete intelligibility exists," and that "if the real is completely intelligible, God exists."


You are wrong, but you are not unintelligible. If you are, then you would stop arguing at once. Let's flip the crypt and affirm that 

it is not God's existence that requires explanation but the existence of anything else.... The real miracle is not that God exists but that the world does.... 

The self-existent cannot but be; but that he in whom nothing is lacking should confer existence on us -- that is the wonder that may well stagger our minds (Mascall).


Oh, but you can. For we know darn well that you are contingent and full of contingency. No one believes that the laws of physics are ontologically necessary. Besides,

Natural laws are irreducible to explanation, like any mystery.


You're wrong:

Being only falsifiable, a scientific thesis is never certain but is merely current.

Nor is the argument from Mystery wrong, for

Mystery is less disturbing than the fatuous attempts to exclude it by stupid explanations.


Science, when it finishes explaining everything, but being unable to explain the consciousness that creates it, will have not explained anything.  

You might say that we can know anything because we can't know everything -- that knowledge is parasitic on Mystery. 

Or in other words, the Answer is the disease that kills curiosity. Another way of saying it is that man qua man is the unrestricted desire to know the unrestricted object, AKA being. And that the relation between the two is what we call knowledge.


I am speaking for myself. You, on the other hand, pretend to speak for God:

If anything exists, then self-existent Being must exist; if self-existent being does not exist, then nothing can exist -- this is the fact of the matter (Mascall).

The First Fact without which there can be no others. 


Cheer up:

It is infinitely more glorious for us to have been created for the glory of him who is than to have been created for ourselves (Garrigou-Lagrange).


Granted, creating a cosmos is a very odd thing to do indeed. Nevertheless, this very oddness allows us to deduce "a remarkably large number of facts about him."


Or love them. For I was once an idiot, and it seems that God's love for idiots is what lifts them out of their idiocy. This takes time, of course, and we're still working on it, but--


Not necessarily. Supposing there could be a last word in humble brags, it would have to be something like the divine condescension of the Incarnation. But even 

Before Abraham was, I AM.

No brag, just fact, for I AM always is, was, and will be. Or, show me a fact that disproves this rule.


Monday, February 19, 2024

Taylor Swift and Proof of God: The Argument from Beauty



Your point is well taken, for if we wish to "prove God," the very use of the word God implies that we already have this or that concept in mind. 

Your "x-factor" is what we call it O: an empty category that may only later be filled with content, whether from experience, contemplation, logic, or "revelation" (the latter being a special category that we hope to show is not unreasonable once certain necessary attributes of O are discovered and accepted).

But you are correct: to prove the God we begin with will be tautology dressed up as proof -- a deduction in disguise, whereas we are beginning at the other end, with the everyday objects of everyman. In other words, no hidden assumptions, just existence as it is revealed to us in our experience.

You could say that this approach is identical to existentialism minus the atheistic presumption. Rather, we will approach existence with an open mind and follow it wherever it leads.

But even this naked existence contains buried assumptions, doesn't it? For example, it must assume that our particular universe includes living and intelligent beings capable of reflecting on its existence. 

Thus, before we even begin, we can't help noticing that this is a rare universe, assuming an infinite number of possible universes without mind or life. 

No one can know anything about those latter universes because there's no one to know them. Then again, these universes would still be contingent and therefore dependent on a higher cause that gives them existence.  

But let's confine ourselves to the universe in which we are confined. 

There's the first rub, because the word "confined" contains the hidden assumption of pure immanence, when our universe is aglow with the light of  transcendence. 

And no, we're not just being poetic, because everywhere we look there is beauty and truth -- the universe is intelligible to our intelligence, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it: meaning is everywhere.

Beauty, by the way, is no less an adequation to the object than is truth. For example, to say that Aretha Franklin is better than Taylor Swift is as objectively knowable as any law of physics.

The existence of a work of art demonstrates that the world has meaning. Even if it does not say what that meaning is.

The argument from beauty, as it were. We don't need Balthasar's seven volumes on theological aesthetics to know that

From an aesthetic experience one returns as from a sighting of numinous footprints. 

And that ultimately, 

Every work of art speaks to us of God. No matter what it says.

This actually goes to Thomas' Fourth Way, the argument from Degrees of Being, that

Among beings, some are more and some are less good, true, noble, and so on. But more and less have a meaning only in so far as things approximate the quality under consideration to that which possesses the quality in the supreme degree (Mascall).


Works for me. But one needn't go that far. One could also say Mavis Staples, or Etta James, or James Brown.  

From where does the beauty emanate? What is its source? There must be a "being that possesses the quality in the supreme degree" which is "the cause of its occurrence in other beings in lesser degrees." Unless you say that Aretha is God. Or some other artist.

But we don't go that far, for even the Trane was one of the cars and not the engine. He wasn't the Love Supreme, only it's instrument. 

At any rate, "the concrete existence finite good necessarily implies the concrete existence of an absolute maximum good," otherwise we inhabit a chaotic or topsy-turvy universe in which my caboose is your engine, with no objective way to arbitrate between them. 

But a universe in which there is no objective difference between Miley Cyrus and Dusty Springfield is a kind of hell:

I don't know whether in another world the devil punishes an irreligious society. But I see that here it is soon punished by aesthetics.   

We can imagine the sound of hell, which would be like the Grammys, only forever. If you are sensitive to beauty. 

If you are sensitive to truth, then hell is a university humanities department. Nevertheless,

The truth does not need the adherence of man in order to be certain. 

Or maybe I'm just too sensitive. 

Schuon, of course, wrote a great deal on art and beauty, for example,

The cosmic, and more particularly the earthly, function of beauty is to actualize in the intelligent and sensitive creature the recollection of essences, and thus to open the way to the luminous night of the one and infinite Essence.

That's the train I want to board: the vertical one: 

It is not the sole obligation of art to come down towards the common people; it should also remain faithful to its intrinsic truth in order to allow men to rise towards that truth. 


The purpose of art is not a priori to induce aesthetic emotions, but to transmit, together with these, a more or less direct spiritual message, and thus suggestions emanating from, and leading back to, the liberating truth. 

All aboard!   

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Eternity and Eternal Insufficiency

Mascall considers Thomas' proofs of God to be five different ways of demonstrating that finite beings are "radically dependent on a transcendent, self-existent infinite Being." If this is the case, they resolve into one Big Proof: that (in my words) finitude is the appearance of Infinitude. 

Me? I go even further: that proof of Proof is proof of God.


Many years ago I wrote a post by that title. What I meant -- if memory serves -- is that if man can prove anything at all, this has vast implications. For example, if he could somehow disprove the existence of God, this would be ironyclad proof of God's existence. 


Because it would imply that finite man is capable of knowing the eternal and necessary truth of his existence. Now, this statement would either be a meaningless tautology or it would lift us from the world of immanent appearances into a realm of transcendent truth -- outside Plato's cave, as it were, from the shadows to the Light.


Excuse me while I consult that old post from 2008. Meanwhile, amuse yourself with a few quips from the Master:

Either God or chance: all other terms are disguises for one or the other.

He who does not believe in God can at least have the decency of not believing in himself.

If one does not believe in God, the only alternative us vulgar utilitarianism. The rest is rhetoric.   

The first thing I notice about that old post is that there are 75 comments! The second thing I notice is that the post is not up to the Current Standard, proving the better the Bob the fewer the readers. The only passages worth dredging up are as follows:

human intelligence "coincides in its essence with certainty of the Absolute" (Schuon). The existence of the Absolute is the first principle of any coherent metaphysics, whether "secular" or religious, as it is the condition without which there can be neither coherent thought nor communication of truth. But for the average man, "awareness of 'accidents' has stifled the intuitive awareness of 'Substance'; hence an intelligence that is systematically superficial, fixed upon a fragmentary reality" (ibid.).... 
In a certain sense, proof itself is proof of the supernatural, being that it obviously exists in a realm above matter. The metaphysical transparency of the world is all the proof the Raccoon requires, but all men are not Raccoons, and I do not write for the wider non-Raccoon world....

There is a translogical component to acceptance of any truth. We are not merely "logic machines." In other words, we must make a free act of assent to truth, and this cannot be reduced to the principles of logic. For example, there is no logical proof that one should abide by logic. What if I want to live an infrahuman life governed by impulse and transgression of logic, like people who live in San Francisco?

Back to the future. While it is possible to prove the existence of God, it is not possible to say exactly what it is we have proved, since God cannot be reduced to, or enclosed in, any manmade definition. So, what have we proved? God, like the universe, is radically unique, and there can be no science of the unique.


Lesser beings -- like man -- are a combination of uniqueness and universality; the higher up the being, the more uniqueness, which is why an individual man cannot actually be reduced to psychological or sociological categories, although the left never stops trying. 

Come to think of it, this latter might be the most objectionable dogma whistle of the left. Suffice it to say that leftism might be sufficient to describe the leftist, but not a proper human being who can never be reduced to vulgar universals such as race, class, gender, etc.

The great imbecilic explanations of human behavior adequately explain the one who adopts them.

Within solely Marxist categories not even Marxism is explicable.

The human has the insignificance of a swarm of insects when it is merely human.

The world is explicable from man. but man is not explicable from the world.

 Then again, 

Modern man treats the universe like a lunatic treats an idiot.


Agreed. But you'll have to take that up with the lunatics of the left.

Look, I am on your side. We are in this together, as we both want an explanation of what we're doing here. We surely start with you -- with the existence of the Cosmos. But we do not end there. Otherwise we are reduced to saying What is, is, with no way up and out. But we say: liberate the universe!


Oh, from scientism, materialism, existentialism, Kantianism, Marxism. You are so much bigger than those things!


That's the spirit -- the unmade God is seen and understood by the things that are made, and all that. 


So let's start with the facts: we are not angelic intelligences, rather, men. And what is the first self-evident fact we recognize? I don't know, how about being is? Who could disagree, for the only alternatives are self-refuting, i.e., non-being is, or being is not.

Let's start with another self-evident truth: that the greater cannot arise from the lesser -- that, in the words of Garrigou-Lagrange,

becoming can only emerge from determinate being; caused being only from uncaused being; the contingent only from the necessary; the imperfect... from the perfect; order from an intelligence.

To repeat,

The greater does not arise from the less; only the higher explains the lower. 


You tell me: because

if for one single moment, there is nothing [non-being] then there will be nothing evermore, non-existence cannot be the reason or the cause of being.... 

And it makes no difference whether the series of corruptible beings had or had not a beginning; if it is eternal it is eternally insufficient.... How could any one of them, which cannot even explain itself, explain those that come after it? 


Yes, what caused it? 


You don't give up, do you?

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