Friday 4 February 2022

Basic metaphysical assumptions - before the Christian

I have been engaged in a discussion in comments at the Orthosphere during which I was invited/ challenged to describe my metaphysical beliefs - expressions of those primary assumptions regarding the ultimate nature of reality; upon which all other discourse depends. 

This is, in the context of blog comments, not really possible. But on reflection, I think that near the basis of my thinking is the understanding of 'creation' as consisting of Beings and the Relationships...

(Beings are alive entities, conscious, and capable of relationships.) 

And the further assumption that Beings are not all that is; because there is also what might be termed negative chaos - which is unformed, unorganized, un-ordered stuff that is neither understandable nor describable.   

I have chosen this group as my metaphysical assumptions because I regard them as a description of what Men spontaneously and naturally believe in our early childhood (and the earliest human societies): that God-given, built-in knowledge. 

In other words, I regard 'animism' (so-called, and in some way) as true. We began believing animism - but passively, unconsciously, without having choice; and our destiny is to return to animism - but this time by active conscious choice.  

Christianity came after animism; but instead of being conceptualized in animistic terms; Christianity has nearly-always been explained by abstractions. 

This abstractly-explained Christianity is an error, and therefore would best be discarded and superseded - and replaced with Romantic Christianity

Note: The opposite of this metaphysics about Beings is what I term 'abstraction' - a term that includes all descriptions that ignore or exclude the fact of creation being made-of Beings. Nearly all of traditional and classical philosophy and theology (as well as all of modern mainstream discourse, in all social functions and institutions) falls-into this category of abstraction. Abstraction is fundamentally wrong in all instances - but abstraction may provide those more (or less) useful models of reality by which law, science, technology, medicine etc. are administered. 


easty said...

I'm not sure if you mean by creation being made up of beings that for instance the sun and moon and stars are rational creatures, which the platonists believed, and seemongly early christians did too, in taling ideas like the sun running its course and the elements always obeying God and so on fairly literally; but I not the rejection of this idea in Christianity was rather late. It was enough to say don't worship the sun and wasn't necessary to say the sun is not a rational creature, until empreror Justinian and his document (whether authentic or forged, but which I note was supposedly presented to the 2nd Constantinoplean Council yet apparently not even discussed by them, certainly not ratified) condemning the Originists which includes "if anyone says the sun, moon, or stars are rational creatures, let him be anathema"...wait a minute...

ACKSUALLY the 3rd anathema says "If anyone shall say that the sun, the moon and the stars are also reasonable beings, and that they have only become what they are because they turned towards evil: let him be anathema."

So I guess the common misconception that it condemns believing the sun etc. are rational beings is only a misconception, because technically if you don't say "and that they have only become what they are because they turned towards evil" the anathema doesn't apply. There are so many things like this where people would be quick to condemn someone based on a council having supposedly condemned their position, when on closer inspection it actually did not.

Bruce Charlton said...

@easty - Back in those days, the concern was with converting pagans, who believe the universe is composed of Beings - but who did not believe in Jesus Christ. Now we believe that there is no life anywhere - and biology (and ourselves) is just information processing. Christians are caught up in this. Yet the world still is alive, even though we no longer spontaneously feel it - and our task from here is to choose to know this.