Wednesday 14 November 2018

Philosophers need to remember God and Jesus

Since epistemology displaced metaphysics; philosophers tend to leave-out God as an explanation. This is a big mistake, in many ways; since when God is left-out the strong impression is left that God is not really necessary, is optional.

Trying to explain reality without reference to the fact that it was created, means that there can be no reference to the purpose or meaning of 'it all' - and many philosophers seem to be quietly hoping that nobody has noticed that this has been left-out.

But even acknowledging God, does not get us all-the-way to an account of purpose and meaning, unless we take account of Jesus Christ. Because it was Jesus who told us the nature of God, and what God hopes from us - so without Jesus; meaning and purpose are not related to you and me and humanity in general.

In an ultimate sense, I would be the first to argue that our conviction of the reality and nature of God does not (and should not) depend on what we have been told; that is, it must not be based-upon scripture, history or institutional authority (either individually or in any combination) - any more than it should depend on philosophy. All these are merely communications, hence indirect: no communication can be sure or certain.

In the end, we must each of us attain a direct and intuitive understanding of reality.

However, since intuitive understanding is a way of directly apprehending Truth; all individuals will reach God and Jesus Christ as surely (more surely) by this route than by any which depends on, or is mediated-by, 'other people'.

My point is that when we begin our explanations with an understanding that God is our loving parent and creator; it is possible to explain matters simply and in very human terms; whereas when we leave-out God and Jesus Christ then we are compelled to speak abstractly, generally, impersonally, philosophically and with a great deal of assertion about texts, the transmission of practices and the nature of human authority...

I don't say it can't be done; but there are so many steps-in and strands-to the argument; that most people will fall off and get lost, long before the argument has been completed. 

Note: This comes from William Wildblood's comment yesterday that Rudolf Steiner (in his vast output of words) hardly ever mentioned God - although he very often mentioned Christ... The impression remains Steiner described the means, but left-out the end. I have also commented that Owen Barfield could have made his job much easier if he had emphasised that 'the evolution of consciousness' - which he expended such great effort on proving - happened because it was an essential part of God's plan. A positive example to contrast is William Arkle who, especially in Letter from a Father and Equations of Being, explicitly began with an understanding of God's nature as loving parent and creator. I have found this extremely valuable - because most Christian dilemmas and difficulties can be resolves by recalling God's nature - understanding what he would, and would not, do. 


Chiu ChunLing said...

The problem is that sophistry has largely replaced philosophy.

Or to unpack it, knowingness has replaced knowledge as the core aim of 'philosophers'. This is because those who actually seek knowledge are drawn into STEM fields, in which there is actual knowledge to be had. This left philosophy as such to those who would rather argue over whether anything was known at all...other than by themselves.

Of course, every organization intended to promote some good is under constant threat of co-option by those who would rather pretend to be or seek that good rather than actually be or seek that good. Once something is recognized by society as a good thing, it will attract those who merely wish to be recognized by society. This is true of every kind of honorable position. Even positions that are not really honorable so much as currently fashionable.

To the person who wants to appear knowing rather than actually know things, making it clear exactly how things may be known by nearly anyone who really wants to know is the last thing they want. Even if they weren't already determined to deny God (who obviously knows far more than them, making apparent the foolishness of their 'knowingness'), they would reject making it easy for ordinary people to know through faith in God.

Everyone, not just philosophers, needs to remember God and Jesus Christ.

But sophists desire to forget them.

Bruce Charlton said...

My impression of those who enter professional philosophy is that they are mostly high IQ (confirmed by GRE scores), low creativity/ highly conscientious - and dishonest... in other words, they are effective careerists (in the way that applies to nearly-all successful modern academics).

Chiu ChunLing said...

The phrase "glib examinee in subjects that require no exact knowledge" comes to mind.

pyrrhus said...

Philosophers in this era are mostly hacks conforming to atheistic Academic politics in order to gain tenure and status...Which has worked for some of them.

Bruce Charlton said...

There are exceptions: One academic philosopher that I used to know, liked and respected, was Jonathan Lowe.

Chiu ChunLing said...

The great problem is that the main remaining task of genuine philosophy is defense against sophistry. rather than breaking really new ground. While science was exploring new knowledge that clearly was unknown to previous eras (as demonstrated by advances in technology), philosophy was essentially relegated to translating ancient concepts into modern parlance.

Now science is decaying into the same path, with fake discoveries of "new" principles being the order of the day, supported by sophistic reasoning.

Such is the way of things.