Friday, March 16, 2007

Reason concerning the being

See, now this I can get behind, as much as I can, in good conscience support any logos on the existence of God. Wasn't feeling the cosmological, but although I've heard them both before, I just feel the ontological more.

My one problem with Plantigna (sp? It's downstairs) is that the idea that if something is impossible in one universe, it must be impossible in all universes. You guys don't understand from universes, I think. You philosophers, me (that's in the vocative), have no problem with a universe which lacks gravity, electromagnetism, space-time, whatever, but propose for a fraction of a second a non-causal, illogical universe, and you all flip out. Philosophers, and (to a lesser degree) theologians, beware! Lest God should smite you for your hubris in setting up a false idol, called Logos.

This, of course, relates to Sugarbutt, who has decided that it is more important to have logic than to have God. I can't really fault that, as long as you realize that in some ways, you are merely replacing God with logic. Oh, that plus it makes you a godless heathen.

Class twice today...that's going to be darned exciting. Oh, well. Little nap 'ere that begins.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


My head spinneth, having been moved by an unmoved mover. I read the Anselm because, you know, I was interested, and...why not?

It's interesting to me that the proposition seems to hang on the issue of things being impossible. This leads to this leads to this which can't be true - it's obviously impossible. We seem to set about saying that the root of all philosophy is in eliminating contradictions.

I'm not saying that contradictions are necessarily good, but I'm not saying they're necessarily bad, either.

"And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare,"


"I hate and I love - why I cannot say.
But it is so, and I am in torment."

That's human life - there are contradictions, paradoxes, things that don't make sense. I understand the philosophical drive to combat contradiction and impossibility, but every once in a while, I suspect that a logical impossibility captures the essence of a thing much better than any book of sensical descriptions ever could.

Which may, of course, be why I believe in God. God is not a good explanation for the contradictions, and He contradicts a good few things by his existence, but He does say: mystery is necessary and good. Theologize, but don't get so caught up in thinking about Me that you forget what you and I are up to. We have work to do, you see.

And I'm down with that.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Veritas non posse scire

So this is my elemental criticism of Martin, that he thinks it's possible to understand unknowable truth in logical terms. I was reading, there, thinking that he might endeavor next to explain Shakespeare or Coleridge in logical terms. It's worth our while, certainly, to try and interpret poetry, and religious experience. I would be beyond foolish to deny it.

But he accuses mystics of attempting to explain the ineffable, and calls their definitions and distinctions internally inconsistent, if not paradoxical and contradictory

My skills at simile fail me entirely! It''s explaining purple to the blind, explicating the clarinet to the deaf! Brain surgery!

The reality we're endeavoring to discuss is clearly not the reality with which we deal on a daily basis. There is no reason why it should necessarily play by our rules, by any stretch of the imagination. There's no reason why it shouldn't, either, which is his purpose in his negative principle of credulity, but just because our language and thought are presented with a universe we can't explain is no reason to stop trying.

My favorite accusation, and I use that word with care, is when he goes after mystics for saying something can't be explained, and then trying so to explain.

He's missing, of course, the human drive to try. Just because something is indefinable doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to make the attempt. Those of us blessed with religious experience and with liberal arts educations should endeavor to give every account that we can, until reason breaks down and faith alone remains.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't always be trying to reason further, but a world entirely run on logos ends with the darkest visions of Huxley, Orwell, Bradbury and Plato (if you don't think Republic is Dystopian literature, you need to take a careful re-examination of your life).
You need mythos, and philos, and eros, and all those messy human desires, emotions and stories for mankind to maintain its humanity.

Bah! Silly people with your desire for a fully explicable universe!