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to Chapter Nine
REARGUARDS OF RELIGIONS
AND REALITY OF TRUTH
In Chapter 9, one wrote:
Thus has this inglorious race done, not each one but in normative rushes of misrule, till its very ludicrous adventuring, as now, makes mankind so bedevilled with rampant power and empty philosophy*7, hiding truth while preying on what may be ruined by it, that its name rings like a shattered bell. It is one that sounds, cacaphonous and cracked, during the descent to the ruin for which it now has increasingly inveterate destructive power, its own life in hostage to its own follies.
You will note the endnote. In that there were several references:
Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13,
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6,
SMR Chs. 3 with 5, by contrast,
Department of Bible ... Vol. 4, Ch. 2
Religion, Religiosity and Revelation ...
See further in
Department of Bible ... Vol. 4, Ch. 2, Vol. 3, Ch. 6,
Department of Bible and Spiritual Affairs, Vol. 4, Ch. 2, for example. in Appendix to follow.
This is that Appendix. We can note some salient points, and types of errors in philosophy, while realising as in Romans 1:17ff., that it has largely been an excursion into what you can do when you do not accept the truth which is demonstrable, clear and utterly harmonious in aspects and effective in performance. While the volume on religion above deals with the field, and Chs. 3 and 10 in SMR in particular, while Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer surveys the scene more generally as to its substance and meaning, this Appendix allows for some applications in a special coverage which may prove helpful. It is supplemental to the systematic coverages as in the above, and
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY, together with
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Of course some thinkers have not violated logic or truth, and Christian thinkers exist though their ideas frequently leave the biblical base. There is nothing outside biblical truth that can be found which does not delete some of the perfection of consistency found in the biblical perspective, efficiency in dealing with confusion: that is one of the characteristics of truth. Meanwhile, we consider a few currents in the seas of philosophy.
TRENDS IN EARLY GREEKS
The early Greeks had some bizarre misnomers, wanting everything to come from atoms, fire, water, intense changeabieness, utter fixity, as they groped, as Paul indicates, for the authority and meaning, nature and basis of all things. On this topic, treatment is given in Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13. Adventurous in thought, they were useless in accuracy, merely seeking some kind of a force or substance, mode of being or unit, to enable conception of the world in a form of unity, however arbitrarily selective.
Of course water is a great solvent and a great need, but this does not make it a source; and atoms are a variable of interest, the concept of building from generally adapted little things to make by design being something worthwhile as an aspect. But all things could not BE atoms, since there is the space between them, and since lacking is then the mode of adaptation to make them into things visible and invisible, which does not begin to meet reason, nor is their source signified, as they perform their measured antics in their given forms.
In addition to such concepts as these, the Greeks had flourishes of thought in two opposite directions, seizing partially on aspects of what is found. Thus, fixity is a great thing, mirroring law and order, as so impactively present in the world; and again, continual surging change is another aspect, within certain bounds, as weather, rocks, mountains, seas, situations change sometimes radically and strangely; so this was to be another component, roughly and rashly put together, precisely "groping" (as in Acts 17:23-28). This is as follows.
"Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing,
Him I proclaim to you:
God, who made the world and everything in it,
since He is Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Nor is He worshiped with menís hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men
to dwell on all the face of the earth,
and has determined their preappointed times
and the boundaries of their dwellings,
so that they should seek the Lord,
in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him,
though He is not far from each one of us;
for in Him we live and move and have our being ..."
In due course Plato came on the scene and in his Republic you find an interesting feat of generalisation, turning from an item, say a chair, to the form, idea, format or kin-basis of chair-ness, or beauty or goodness. The last, called the form of the good, was inspirational, source of wisdom, and in effect what the good of everything actually was, though it was not stated what that would be. It would bring some kind of vision to a State, but how IT would do this not operationally stated. Its ontology is obscure, but not what Plato sought. He wanted in the realm of ideas, something intrinsically good, just and inspiring, which would form a mantle for mind and a paradigm for living, free from confusion and mere allusion, but substantial and useful, on the grand and most general scale. It was indeed a groping, but one with sauce and peppe.
Meanwhile, ideas, and not matter, had the basis, and mind, not medleys and matter, had the highest position, will and performance, like the distillate of goodness, being somewhat hidden. Yet it was strictly in the idea rather than ideal realm, an intellection, even though it sprouted wings of ideals, as the generic of good. In the end, what is the good of something, of all things, has to be more than a verbal question or an ideational ramble, for it needs not hiddenness but disclosure if it is to be of practical value. Further, to perceive that there is a good for things, is not to be empowered to implement it, and its hiddeness is not a basis for exposition. In the Timaeus, however, Plato moved to a shepherding being, a supervisory personage who could deal with events, thus transcending his earlier talk.
Aristotle took things into a scientific mode, specialising in various sciences and conceptions of causation and grounds for things. Of him the following may be said.
ARISTOTLE, PLATO AND PANTHEISM, MONISM
Aristotle has a hybrid concept.
For him, it appears that back of all form and movement is its cause which however, is an energic and largely unrelated reality within, allied to, but differentiable in thought from the subordinate processes of the various sciences, so that though called the unmoved first mover, this action-occurrence is not isolable, merely distinguishable within the totality as its ideational basis and aspirational designation. Things move to it and with it. It is an aspect not an object, in the last analysis, operational not source of creation, an adjunct, not an activator, far less the ground of what is in its busy movements, modes, laws, limits and ways.
Aristotle's interest is in thought, and from this source is the enduement with man's thought. How does thought make thought sources ? like man ? He does not seem to have thought much about the implementation of thought, a crucial need.
This thought-principle is not to make things happen, but rather exists AS the happening. For some reason, it is given an effectual but unaccounted for thrust towards an ideal state physically and in thought. It is like a glow in the waters, in terms of which dreams may occur; but the source of the glow is omitted, like leaving out the proof in a geometrical theory, when that was the ENTIRE POINT.
This higher informing reason appears to be put back of man's reasoning as a thrusting component, and yet not a discoverable entity. The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowlege describes his position as clear pantheism, but one with a monotheistic quality of a distinct kind. For all that, it comes back to something akin to a principle, a mode of working, like Plato's form of the good, except that this might be called in parallel to Plato, the form of reason, though possesses in the intertwining interstices of the totality, for no known reason and with no stipulated basis, a teleological idea. That of course is not reason, but purpose, plan, production, agenda, and thus Aristotle marries his idea with an ideal, and that with a progress mode to the fulness of each idea, as a necessary thrust in the world. In assuming such things, he omits the ground and the mode for them, though the Creator did not do so, as shown in the DNA*1.
Basically, this is like an extension of Plato, with a basis in format, feature, function, behind all things, in his case applied to goodness, as a sort of hidden creed for uplift, among men, a stimulus to the seeking wise, but one without movement past the idea and ideal state, except perhaps in the Timaeus. This type of form or idea or ideal but more aptly, principle of being, inherent in actuality, was infancy-learning for Aristotle, as it were with the bottle.
The seemingly supreme reluctance of Aristotle to have a REASON for the teleological upthrust, or movement, and a ground for the intimation of reason to man, himself a personal agent from this impersonal source, does not appear. It is blank. Reason finds no funds here, because it is misused, results without adequate causes the order of the day. Ideas are ideas, forms are forms, principles are principles, and causation of all or any of this, requires action, not thought only.
These ideas of Aristotle - and they come by a mystery to man, all being action, yet are those which nevertheless continue to be as things work on and up to their appointed place (by whom ?), should become better expressed over time in man. That is the generic movement in the Aristotelian model.
Hence the prodigy of rationality-imagination-creation in man has to come from nowhere relevant, a fading failure in the schema of Aristotle. While yet adorned with this assurance of uplift, there is not found in his system a sufficient cause for causation itself in this world of imperfection, and a base for its existence. When the ALL is the actuality of actions, then it is the same as in all pantheism. The imperfect base has to be PRODUCED and then PERFECTED or processed in this way or that, by nothing, or if not nothing, nothing stateable. There is no explanation, although causality makes it simplicity itself to find it, and test it. This is merely discrimination about causation, neglecting a sufficient cause for ALL for an inherently inadequate one, not even designable in its powers and mode of being.
It is exactly like someone who speaks of disparate but un-isolable substance in solution, like calcite in water and declaring that the mix is intimate and eternal. However, when it is crystallised out, its individual existence is made clear, as that it was just a lack of action (in this case, since we are in analogy), a deficiency of ideation, of thought, of declared work which has failed . The unmixed state is there, but not worked out.
Thus action is not origin of action, but merely a re-statement of it. It is just an identity statement, of the order of confusion with words that have no explanatory effect.
An unmoved and inherent first cause does not account for the origin of both the first cause and the material amidst which, in terms of this model, it proceeds eternally with its causing. You have an integrated duality of quite different kinds,; and aspects of the delimited, organised whole and its association do not include its emergence into actuality, any more than we are shown the basis of the greater and greater approximation of its material designs to some better, but pre-determinate kind. WHAT determines these kinds, or makes them pre-determinate, their arising the kiss of what is not there. What moves them along, why, precisely how, and when to observation!
How indeed, for pure thought has no hands, no power to implement, is a lonely occupant of a milling world, touching not, but acting as a quiet insurgency. Yet alone in kind, it is composite in action, inseparable in nature, unstated in mode, ground and reason. It is what it purports to be: thought. But thought without a thinker is indistinguishable from principle, an oddity sitting there, having meaning but neither beginning nor outcome, a magic, a description and not a ground.
It is precisely to avoid such incoherency however that, in any explanation, we are concerned! This is simply failure notice.
WHAT can be insurgent into natural processes, if natural processes are all! How does thought make processes ? If the concept is that some processes are more pervasive in operation than others, this is not to say, more originating. That is a different step, not simply an augmentation.
But if they originate anything, whether upward or downward, they are not these very processes, but nothing less than an insurgency, however ontologically refined this aspect of the universe may be deemed to be. It has to ACT, to put thought into practice, design into culmination, man into reasoned state. Not continuing action but its source is needed for that, its inception and its continuation, its mode and its type of sequence, and the reason for each of these.
In effect, limited in his logical horizons to no small extent by Plato's theory of forms, which was beginning near the end, to come to a more supervisory being as in the Timaeus, Aristotle had his logic and ideas and teleological appetite; but the thrust, the actualisation of plan into being, idea into what leaves cognitive potentiality and moves into the field of de facto occurrence and inspectable actuality, from plan to performance: where is this! It is all is hidden in a pantheistic medley, inseparable but active. Either however the first mover moved things into being, and created them, or it is merely an abstraction, essentialising the concept of moving by giving it an eternal source, while still wrapped up in the things without which it has no realm or definition, a descriptive principle masquerading as a lifting force, though still immersed in and as thought2. Immersed in what ? with what continuum ? with what source of qualities ?
It cannot however sponsor things before they are there, being thought alone, deemed without existence without the things. So we have no explanation at all for the things, which apart from this move up from Plato's form of the good, to this form of the reason, are all! To account for nothing other than what is here an invented and dysfunctional concept, is not very satisfactory. What it omits is everything.
What then of this model ? The whole being multi-dimensional, as it is and it is assuredly to become, as it works and as it is made to work differently in time, and the first mover being an internal actuality always there, we have to find the mode of being of this moving principle, this ameliorating task-master, this teleological Sergeant Major, this imposer without interference, this dynamic without being other than existing action. Where does the disturbing thrust come from, if this mover does not touch! If shrouded thought, how does it think things into being, thrusting things into improvement to a set design, or design as an actuality, and where is this new design hidden, and does it erupt, or drool itself into being...
You cannot fuse a cause of all these things, including the strictly determined and limited, without differentiating what is happening and why it happened in the first place, with or without a convenient principle of pure thought in residence. Being made continually involves a continual maker, so that the active processes may be changed in their set course at any one time, not only slightly or gradually, but with a cohesive certainty of their arrival at a designable state. None of these things is what is happening, but what is, on this model, to be CAUSED to happen, and to make the current state the ground of an improved condition to a future uplift which lacks evidence, search as one will. Nature is not found writing a script, to be practical in terms of DNA, and if it did, the grounds of its doing so are totally unseen; moreover, the uplift thrust is not attested, but a downthrust ( cf. Divine Information ...).
Efforts to push God into a non-being inherent in the universe with all its orders, constraints, formulae and laws, efficient and disposed, means ignoring the cause of this system plus the reality of its maker, their partnership.On Aristotle's model it lacks the grounds of the association, the initiation of both, since they are one system, which as such makes demand for its grounds, for their pairing and progress. Instead we find what appears a logical void as to commencement, as to ground, even though the ground is ground down into the system itself, which remains without ground, any more than cause of association.
The imagined principle, first mover, innate thought, minus action to make thought work in a detailed reality in the beginning, this plus meaninglessness of the form of reason when separated from its field of action, turns the cause of all these things into a component, itself merely an indirect way of bypassing the cause of the features currently active, including their imagined thought-in-residence. This is not logically achievable by simply affirming them, void of evidence, of ground, of explanation. This is simply a lack of explanation, as if to say, the answer to this sum is 23, but I do not know why or how! Affirmation needs testability in this sphere, and that verification, as well as logical cohesion and relevance to the entire scope of the question. It is not provided, except in incoherence.
Principles do not produce, but REFLECT what does. The way a thing goes is not an account of why it goes, or how its coming came to be. Aristotle is caught in the same confusion as still lurks in other teleological schemas: principles describe what is, do not account for or actuate it into being, but show its ways. They can be imagined to be of this kind or that, but describing events of any time or kind, does not account for them.
What then ? In seeking the cause of all things limited, constrained, lawfully engaged, disparate and yet logically related, to affirm them, whether in diversity of concept or not, is not to account for them. Nor is a thought-principle a practical one; and if you want result, you need not only thought, but capacity to actualise it from concept to creation, from mind to matter, from the psychical to the physical; and you need a person to do the thinking, since imagination is part of the program, things to come being held in reserve, not for nothing, but by purposive mind.
When all the missing elements of this reductionistic rump are gathered, that are missing, you have as always the necessary read-out: The logical necessity of the cause of our universe with its limiting laws and causations, its time constraints and delimitations and its categories of creation. The partial separation, not in fact but in thought, of some principle is merely a descriptive idea given place, without ground for it, basis for it or work for it. If it works, it is there to work; if it has plans, it is there to have them; if the plans are hidden in some obscurity, there still need to be there or the concept of the teleological is merely a confused posturing, and ascription of functions without ground or cause or basis, is mere absentee thought itself!.
Eternity in actions and laws and causes does not explain their multi-partite character, delimitation, entry into being, nor their observable running-down character in the present, as a process*2 To imbue something with thought does not make it thought's product, but a container unit for it; and if thought is simply that in the model, then it is an abstraction, not a ground for being. Many things may be thought about in mind, whether hidden treasures or happiness, misery or discord; but to produce them is an entirely different matter, as if to have a mind for the thought, so that it is not deprived of a base or cause. That is the nature of thought, and if the interest is in the nature of nature, then this is fatal to pantheism. If all is ONE, how do contradictions persist as many. If it is delimited, who made it so ? What is the use of accounting for things without giving an account! It is merely begging the question, in this case avoiding the cause of these things, by packing in an ideal image, and giving it no scope for action.
Let us now take the principle, which is a description, not an explanation, and set it aside so that it can act in terms of origin and explanation. Let us find power for it, so that it can cause things to be as they are. Let us stop having it bound to our own ideas of improvement and teleology, but in dismissal, ask what is the demonstrable basis for that assumption.
Let us enquire as to its basis, the maker and mover and thinker and doer and source, sufficient, and find it is as must be, eternal, having nowhere to come from if ever there were nothing. Let it thus be the Eternal One, since who would give the uniformity to a duo, except the cause of the systems! Let it now indeed implement causes in a domain of cause and effect in a space-time setting as provided by power and not mere cogitation, excelling a mere mental cause-effect category likewise, while providing a spiritual imagination, orientation, perspective making selection capacity, as well, and then ?Then let us reflect and find that what we have been "doing", which is merely insistently finding reason for what is there, as we seek to find the nature of this sufficient being.
This is precisely as in SMR, in that way moving to the Bible, as there shown and demonstrated, where we read of the SOURCE-THINKER-ACTIVATOR'S own stated reasons for the creation, BOTH of things ideational and material, and of their conjunction, and of their availability in man for application of principles. Just as microscopes may show the orders of the DNA, so reason shows the place of revelation as there demonstrated. Just as DNA can then be investigated, and is, so the Bible can then be investigated, and is, confirming in what it is the necessity that it be there, thus in turn validating reason.
In so doing, we come to the nature of nature-worship, as a derelict item (cf. Jeremiah 2:27, Romans 1:17ff.), like that of Aristotle, who simply had not isolable being or intelligent person who could think and act and resolve, create or desecrate, but merely an unaccounted for model of a complex system, as it is, with a form of thought always around and integrated with it, meaningful ONLY in association with it, a principle not even isolable, not even prescribing, but having prescriptions looming about like a cloud except that it is not there. Not the source of system (without which it cannot live), it is yet agreeably snuggling up to system, though itself with the system without ground or cause. This thought-operative without a mind, then puts its (non-existent) mind to a self-originating system, which is yet always there, and so always groundless, a rational foundling and a causative isolate.
In fact, thought alone, however exalted in form or idea, does not create except in its own domain. To have it operative in what is found in this world, matter, mind and spirit, can never be a ground of its being, since what is there to be accounted for, is not in itself mere thought. For thinking, which is more than feed-in, feed-out, but involves imagination and trial and testing and priorities and perspectives for its operation, there is need for initiative and active-power to implement. For teleological thrust you need vision of what you are doing and where you are going, and power to promote it, invest it, or it is simply a rush of oddities. For vision you need mind and understanding, just as you do to move from thought to action. Sinking thought into substance is mere imagination. Matter does not show thought capacities, merely receptivity once thought is applied from outside its system, into it, first to make it and then to provide for its running affairs. Testing is not for episodic advents, but to be thorough. On this point of procedure, in some ways Aristotle was good; but not in practice at this level.
System needs provision, both for itself and its forms and laws and delimitations, and for the incursion of thought to do things with it, for which it shows no capacity internally; nor does 'nature' outside intelligence, do so in any natural system available for inspection. Operational orders are carried out, and provisions for environment being carried in, are also carried out. Matter does not think; thought does not arise in a vacuum; you need what has power to produce it.
A thoughtful system needs a thoughtful mind to have the thoughts, and a power from thought to matrix, to make it happen, and one upward bent, needs the vision and imagination and specifications and power, to make it so. It cannot be what it is not. It is what it is, as is the propulsive, actualising, schematic and multi-systematising source. This is not available for inclusion, where it has no place, no evidence and no business. Thought has been launched, but not the power or the sea into which it is to be launched; and in this case, the sea too needs to be launched as well as to power to launch, since the issue is accounting for all things.
A self-sufficient, all-sufficient being without control by laws, or principles, or combinations or associations or conglomerates or any material thing or medley of powers is the logical necessity. It is found when you cease going round and round, and come to the point of origin, past verbal athletics. Trying to cross-breed this with the products, is like making Shakespeare part of his plays. There is the creator and the created, and the latter bears some of the characteristics of the former, but what is formed is not the source its current being (a mere pleonasm), but what formed it.
To assume it done does not get it done. To have a criterion in a system, does not account for either the criterion or the system to which it is entirely wed, requiring both for its presence and for the system, the cause.
Aristotle had a marked influence on many in many ways, for his writings were many, his researches notable, his insistence on observation commendable. He was a prototype for hybrids, where the need of uplift and destiny with thought and thrust (needed to get things done) was to be sought, even if inchoately and with a mass of bits that did not connect, hopes that did not operate and ideas that did not articulate with reality.
On Monism in general see the Index under M.
Reductionism, mentioned above and often considered in its guises on this site, is a popular modern way of ignoring realities by bypassing them, preferably with cynicism or scorn (cf. SMR Ch. 3), as if they are 'only' this or that, when in fact, as in human imagination, they may surpass in power and effect many visible things (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9). In so acting, the mode of science is ignored and that of preliminary pontification is given a marked indulgence, so that with many fields to survey and consider, from origin to outcome, mode to relationships, there is a prejudicial consignment to the ephemeral, for reasons not given, or if given mere rehearsal of prior delimitation of fields, arbitrarily and often materialistically. On the latter, see Repent or Perish Ch. 7 and Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2.
In effect, in this or that mode or model, in reductionism there is a refusal to survey the many and manifest features of the disparate, in a sort of childish seeming stand-off. It leads confrontation with facts (cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, TMR Ch. 1, Ch. 7), succumbing to partial philosophies, often with an air of belligerence to cover what is ignored (The Way of Truth and the Way of Error Ch. 8).
In the case of Communism, you get the delicious oddity (not so to the many slain with it) of a religion that makes of morality an excrescence, a delusion, and then blames, accuses, condemns with the most militant vigour those who fail to be good, to live up to the sanctions and desires of the vision. If it is good, how is it not moral ? if it is moral, how are morals an illusion ? If it is illusion, why kill people for it! If you want their blood because they do not agree with your ideas, unfounded in themselves, but merely assuming things as base, why not say so, and be straightforward mass murderers ? Is it because it looks ... wrong! SMR Ch. 3 deals with some of the reductionism in systems, including that of Hume, to which we come shortly in terms of "Humian Nature", below.
Naturalism as seen in the Big Bang is of this kind, short-circuiting the arrival of force, time, space, potential, compression, mathematical formulation (and hence formulability in description of it), a baseless fairy tale of effects without cause, or a fable to which this definition fits. Moreover, it omits the reason for set up of the start (rather like that for a race), the actual starting and, in terms of the non-arrival 'naturally' of more information*2A, the reason for stopping this galloping process and procedure, for the arrival of categories such as mind and spirit without ground, just with explosion, and the use of explosion for the creation of what might rather in this simplistic account be destroyed. The fact that it does not meet with verification but confrontation does not help. Reductionism is always embarrassed and as so well illustrated in the Big Bang case, never verified*3, in some ways like a generalisation with superficial coverage, often covered with braggadocio.
Some of the above has great correlation with escapism, just as in an influenza syndrome, you may have high temperature and vomiting together.
In this case, you can have anything you like, gods, forces, IN system, even with creative aspects without the Creator of the systems or their operation or their correlation, all 'provided' on the something-for-basis basis which is great in many Social Systems, but not really so, since some source has to pay! Things mysteriously do things as if you were on a sea voyage for blood pressure, and such considerations were below your dreamy pleasure. The reason, ground, work involved is set aside as tedious, onerous, as things happen and so forth, logic given a shift to Siberia.
Whether atheistic in basis (in the omission of grounds for the ideas, rather than in their denial as a variant) as in Buddhism*4 or polytheistic multiplicities with their limits and interactions all pre-supplied as in Hinduism*4, you move into logical trap or imagination based on tradition, and move in the partial or the unverified, without any validation or ground for test. Plato was particularly negative about this sort of thing; and not without reason. The Big Bang*3 also inherits this category by its omissions, enabling pre-occupations with minutiae which do not arise logically without a basis, which lacks.
You also have the secular escapist where something needing its own cause is merely added without ground, a flit from the pit or the sky, pragmatism the crown, happening the motto, remote questions the disdainful dismissal of thought. You do not however escape, if you find yourself in the bottom of a drifting boat in the midst of the seas, by arguing that this is just the way things are. It is necessary to account for your position in some such way as to have valid thought of removal from this position, not accounting for it with a thirstless shrug. Thus here we readily get into the domain of the intellectual quiver, or to use the term differently, someone with a bow but no arrows of thought, and nothing to hunt but the promenade of events. It is the shifting sands approach, and alas, winds make such changes in deserts. To be amid being is neither explanation nor indication, being logically listless, and perfunctory with the Almighty.
as seen in THE HUMOROUS HUMIAN NATURE
But men will arise and think! even do God's thinking for Him, the other unblushing option!
Hume did so in what was called a 'puff', like a sudden blast of wind perhaps.
Causes ? just episodes expanded without reason to a false significance ? Is that the Humian effort at depicting nature at work ? It is not really so, however, for if events were all, and the functional reality of causality a misnomer, how could Hume survey events as distinct from being one of them or several, and how categorise them, when their passing is the point; how pause to get away from them in order to see that they are the thing called events, and form a theory which sits still in intellectual stasis; how assess events as a theory, which being the examination of the whole realm of events cannot be part of it, since this permits no observation platform (not an event) on which to do so. Hume literally forgot himself in making his schema, and explains neither logic nor theory, nor the dynamic behind events and their formulability into perspectives, which are not an event., which is because of their internal and informed form, their grant in order to be, along with man, each in the place provided.
In inventing a new form of human nature, therefore, if inadvertently, Hume has created the Humian Nature, which so far from explaining human nature and its nurture, basis and significance in actions in various spheres, is a humorous dispersion of concept and cause, without basis. Inventing a theory, alas, does not account for facts, even if it does create something that does not move, except in its downfall. On Hume see SMR pp. 258 - 270.
THE SUPER-SYSTEMATIC KANT
Kant invented a whole series of categories in a super-system so vast that its relationship to reality became more than suspect. Trying to reduce many human categories of thought to a projection of the mind and not an objective reality, as if transformed by glasses that one is wearing, except for this, that they are imagined to be intrinsic glasses not worn on the nose, Kant invented an area of the noumena, the rolled out unknown in its majesty or incognito grandeur or whatever way you wish to conceive what CANNOT BE CONCEIVED.This is deemed so by Kant because it exists beyond the realm of the processed, the intellectual glasses concepts given to man. It may be sensed; it cannot be conceived and therefore known.
Nevertheless, Kant for all the incognito character of the noumena, does a great job in defining it and characterising what it can and cannot do. He does this WITH the mind he so distrusts as to its depth, competence and adequacy, intrinsic validity, thus denying his fundamental postulate. If you can ONLY see with added categories by nature, then characterises elements of the actuality itself is beyond you: not so with Kant's version. He excludes it and then describes it, so that can see its nature and relationships.
In particular, in inventing the category of a mentally created causality as known in the phenomenal world (as distinct from the noumenal one he has created in thought), and operative naturally in man, without his permission, but by nature, Kant gives an explanation of causality as used amid mankind. Man literally makes it up; requiring no effort. It is endemic, intrinsic, on his model.
In other words, he is accounting for how it comes to be, our notion of cause and effect. Put differently, he is giving in this very act, a cause for causality, that is, a reason for its existence, an account of how it comes to be as it is. To do this he has to USE the concept of causality in order to give a reason for its existence as we have it. But to USE what you have to account for, or purport to explain, in ORDER to account for it, you beg the question. If you NEED it to get it, then you do not account for it in the beginning, just having it lie around ready for your act of explanation of how it comes to be!
The errors of Kant are dealt with systematically in Predestination and Freewill, my M.A. Thesis for Melbourne University in 1964. This work is in Section 4, which here comes in two files.
Causality, therefore, is not dismissed by Hume, who literally forgets himself, nor is it contrived by Kant, who tends rather to invent himself, but remains as it must, free of all explanation other than institution by an eternally sufficient source, since as SOON as you explain it, you USE it to do the explanation. Otherwise it is not an explanation. God, very much known, unlike noumena, is its source being logical in thought, having made the logical port and import in man and made it usable in a universe of the same logos type creation. It is His and in this it is like Him.
There is no escape from God, as in SMR, TMR, but everywhere the shrug is attempted, or the shrug-off, or the dismissal, insoluble problems arise, and the very gates of logic cry out, if you can stand an image, in revolt at such imaginations.
THE UNSYSTEMATIC CONCEPT OF WHITEHEAD
We come once more to the pseudo-systematic in Whitehead, as found in Christ Not Culture, the Lord, not Man, Truth not Mere Intractability. In in pure suavity, it forms an interesting contrast with Kant.
If Kant decanted a plethora of system, inventing rather than explaining in some things, here is something near the opposite. We have what appear residues from Arminian theology, with its stress on persuasion and freedom of will (not only in its creation, but in its operation now), and an almost neo-Humian immersion in events which forms a composite of the unexplained.
EXTENSION ON CONTORTIONS
LIBERTY, ETERNITY, HARMONY
AND THEIR NECESSARILY EXALTED BASE
The Synthesis that Failed
A Look at Whitehead's Philosophy in this Field
We have considered in Predestination and Freewill, the elements in this field and seen in this and the other six volumes in such themes, the answers to the questions raised by these things, from the biblical perspective. The perennial human desire to confuse or misuse them, depreciating God instead of appreciating the confusion which obtains when the mind tries to grapple without Him, and so appreciating God Himself the more, is well illustrated in the doctrines of Whitehead, the British philosopher. These have a strange stress on the synthetic and the eventive, rather like synthesising white and black, and satisfying neither with grey, or making a French impressionist painting to comprise impressive dots of different character, and failing to find the key to their presence, the basis, the creative insight which they merely attest, differentiable because of a power beyond all points, that has a point of its own, a purpose past deployment.
One can see the church background in Whitehead's efforts to move from his first formed subjective-objective mish-mash of inadequate construction theory, by which names act as in philosophy, without any operative interface, merely words to conjoin the disparate. He wanted events to have a non-sensory perception aspect and his 'God' to be a persuasive agency only, influencible by his environment as a participant in all, which as a totality has no basis. Whence liberty, whence authority, how combine them ? Alas, he defiled both and explained nothing by having a universe so composite that it could not produce the required results, itself resultant from no known cause, despite its aptitude as a container of law and liberty, both compromised by imaginary constructions from his own mind, without the burden of meeting the empirical facts.
A fluency of speech however does not create a fluidity of components in the universe, or the universe itself; nor does everything being influencible rather than simply coercive, fit the facts. Coercion by death in the case of tens of millions does not fit well in the synthetic universe of Whitehead's construction. In fact, in the area of the observably influencible, there are coercive elements and there are persuasive, which may act according to domain and dynamic as installed. Efforts to imagine a composite may please fancy, but do not even flirt with fact. There are cosmoi of law and thought, will and imagination, deliberation and dynamic. Their unification merely mars their specificity and accomplishes nothing but confusion. Their separation into fields is not precise, but becomes in Whitehead, an embroiled self-defeating set of qualities at cross-purposes with each other, unfounded, unfunded daubs of imagination.
Further, their combination in one field ignores the creation of laws without consent, their operation without permission and the deliberate efforts of man to breach them by his influence. Whitehead's construction looks like a combination of weak Arminian theology without its God, and social philosophy in the form of democratic movements, built up into a personalised 'god', which however being an outcome has no basis for being the ground, so that all this remains in the air of imagination without a logical basis.
For the uncontingent, you need law and construction, that it might be so. For the contingent, you need liberty that it might be so. For liberty you need what is beyond event, as a push or putsch, so that it cannot be merely another name for the same thing, with a quality painted on, but without any essential differentiation to enable and account for its operation. The contingent, the persuasible, which he features, has to be constitutionally different, not merely procedurally so, if it is to have what it takes to perform such functions. Making events king neither explains their appearance nor their operation, nor our power to envisage and characterise them. Thus Whitehead tends to condense the categorically different into one compressed system, where words do not have ontological differentials, so making a witless confusion.
Thus in coming to consider God more carefully and seriously, he has him as a persuasive agency, source of the non-determinate, but one occupied in taking a place in the whole, and so not individually differentiable or assignable as its entire cause, either in capacity or in actuality. Again, the thought itself is compressed and undifferentiated. If there is a persuasive agency not coerced in itself, then it has to have what is necessary in order to have such unintegrated facilities, such liberties, such capacities to propound, expound and present cases apart from mere eventive actualities that also occur. Events require their construction that they might occur, rather than confusion, and be sequential and correlative, rather than bitzas, operational nullities without meaning; and even then, they need the cause of this degree of construction. From nothing you get nothing, by definition.
What then ? To be thus, there has to be an ontological state coherent with the function, and this cannot be mere participation, which in the event world is itself coercive, in that while it has aspects, it does not have liberty in itself to BE persuaded.
Without this, there is neither ground for any of the paraphernalia of Whitehead's ideas, nor for their effective functionality as prescribed.
Just as you need a state of being for persons, to be influencible but not coercively controlled, so you need a state of being for God, to influence, without being coerced, controlled like timber on the beach of time, thrown up by whatever inherent powers the whole thing is imagined to have for no particular reason, being a complex of law and liberty of a sort, with limitations, delimitations, coercions and combinations, like the preparations for a particularly tasty omelette. But the ingredients and the mixing bowl ? these appear to come from nowhere. It is a marvellous intellectual kitchen, its diverse entities coming and combining without being self-generative, or generated from an adequate base. Of such stuff is the fabric of fairies in that exhibit of the liberty of man, his power to invent what has no relationship to actuality, and to present it as if it did.
Needed by the constraints of logic, however, whatever may be the fancies of imagination, is a Being both eternal and self-sufficient, to account for them beyond the delimited dynamics with which they are in fanciful thought, accredited.
Liberty for man has to have its place if influence is to be meaningful; and liberty for God is to be beyond any place, if it is to be capable of the acts of persuasion, rather than persuasively or even coercively controlled in itself. Moreover, just as you need a cause for the operative whole, in itself as constituted and instituted, if you do not desire a causeless notion to control the whole, and so being delivered up to irrationality, become a mere example of antinomy: so you need a source for the purity and reality of each component. In particular, you require a basis for systematic causes of our own personal type in this world, so that they have logical validity, but not logical uniformity, since the causal power to create our type of delimited causation, cannot be simply part of it, and at the same time its creator. There is thus the cause for our type of causal nexus, one with its personal and particulate ingredients, this being causality with the ingredient of time delay, and on the other hand, the operational power of what is not so limited by created barriers or constraints.
Merging the disparate without their aetiological basis merely destroys their qualities without supplying their cause, or that of their mutual involvement, in what then appears like a cloud from the North, a dynamic coming however in a system already there, with elements proposed propositionally, but not with reason.
An immersed god in an immersed totality, where the subjective is a phase and not a standpoint, is merely a self-contradictory and unharmonious totality, which needs separation into the components with their own necessary bases and ontology, and the anterior Causal Being with its eternity and its powers the only possibility for logical outcome. As to Whitehead, his extension of perception to the unperceptive in terms of descriptive investigation becomes a type of pseudo-celestial poetry, with as little relationship to ground and cause as many merely literary enthusiasms often possess, though without the understanding that these have, that this is a thrust of imagination to excite wonder but not reasoned discourse. It is like having Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream presented as an explanatory discourse rather than a poetical felicity of roving, roaming imagination, to stir a tired mind or a heavy heart.
It is therefore necessary to have separately endowed or endued or able Creator, creation and image-of-God creation, so that the necessitous may be in its sphere, uncompromised, the evidentially indicated in its site, without addition or poetic floss flown in, and so regular laws may be operational and so formulable and hence formulated in the beginning, with a causal basis for their powers and containment, so that the level of liberty accorded to man to think or blink or wink at reality at will, may be actual and not just a word, and that the operational totality might, being sourced where sufficiency eternally is, have a basis from eternity at the will of Him whose it is, and who made it. Nothing in eternity, as a postulated source, has no results, explaining nothing. Everything in eternity has no cause, being ordered, determined or enabled variously, without ground.
The causatively adequate (cf. Causes) is only to be found in eternal self-sufficiency,
requiring no cause since it is unlimited,
both the source of our processive causality,
and itself dependent on no force or ground,
being the start of all and its finish,
the prelude to events that are organised,
the proponent of laws that become inherent in the universe,
delimited and defined,
the purveyor of imagination and intelligence, Maker of the same in man,
whose is then the place and site
for the power to overview these constructions and perceive events,
being made in the image of the Maker, and hence equipped to discern
what response to make in actuality to Him, as to all His works,
to what is differentially imaginable by will,
correctly, directively or seductively construable by desire,
and so have liberty.
Whitehead blurred the horizons and did not cover their origin logically, in a synthetic bubble, neither explaining what is its source with the qualities of that, nor the nature and ground of its arrival Thus he failed for lack of basis to account for what is discernible in man, a freedom without autonomy, divinely enabled but not divinity, a deliberating power without suppression, a roving imagination without control, except by his liability to lesser themes such as sickness or ignorance or intellectual confusion which can intervene. Yet this liberty in man is one able and willing to ponder and even create his own principles and the breach them, discern those operative and mischaracterise them at will, creating and then covering up in an intensive masterpiece of liberty. This may thus seduce itself with lack of integrity not a little, leading both to guilt and anger, depending on who is doing what to whom.
As he surmises his preferred course in will, selecting by imagination, deliberates and operates with preferences which underlie, rationally or irrationally, so his liberty depends ultimately on the AVAILABILITY of what he seeks, an absolute platform for true pondering, and a reliable will, not kinky with shrouded purposes.
This is impossible without access to truth, without which no liberty is even in principle possible, but is rather dynamic and illusion or delusion; and as to truth, that is impossible without scope for access PLUS the provision of access, for there is much that would be useful IF accessible, which does not for that reason become so.
For truth, you need what is ABSOLUTELY free both of confinement to events and their inherent and effective power to push and control, and similarly absolutely available. If it required the operation of man's will and comprehension to MAKE it available, then the result would be warped or influenced or limited by the condition of the same, so that the truth would not in itself result. When however it is not only available but MADE available as it is, then man has confirmation not only of what he discerns logically as to the nature of God, but a valid and verifiable exposition of the same from the same. Truth does not stand on man's expertise, but vice versa.
When it comes, and is considered as operative, man's expertise however is one which he both should, for his safety, and can test, not in poetic and unaetiological rampancy, but in sober reality.
Thus liberty has its basis, the Bible is the testable revelation as so often explained in detail (as for example in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, and Deity and Design...), and at the same time, the universe has its causative construction explained, including the command-construction language and its potent exercise, a construction in words to enable construction in worlds, a symbolic masterpiece wedding action and command, capacity and consequence in the most imaginatively competent and effectual masterpiece in the realm of the visible, available to the eye of man - that is, his own being.
Efforts to construct liberty and universes without God fail alike, for the former requires Him qualitatively and the latter assertorially, to bring its analytically diverse elements both into existence and into non-deletive combination. You do not combine by poetry, but by prescription, whether in the form of DNA, or formalised dynamic in non-sensory construction and constriction. Without prescription, the marvel of form and power of matter, mind and spirit do not 'arise' from nowhere, or from nothing, or any sequence, which itself has to have its ground that it might be sequential, and something with which to do the sequencing.
From nothing, that is what you get, nothing. It is scarcely relevant except as a reductio ad absurdum. Culture cannot supply it nor can man. Insist on this lordly nihilist notion, and desist from logic; and hence from all argument.
C. S. Lewis had a book, The Great Divorce. It did not cease from argument...
The concept of man's divorce from God, ideationally, idealistically is a fruitful one, and biblically sound (Ephesians 4:17-19, Romans 5). With this, you have everything with various degrees of begging the question, or simple nothing, and so confused man in a capitulated world, under constant duress and furious fighting without resolution: he is divorced from his metaphysical, psychological and political basis. With return to the Lord of creation and liberty, love and licence, you have ground for everything, but not without imposed constraints, for man is never god, and God in spirit is never man, though the entire hope of escape of and for man comes from the fact that IN FORM, God came as man, that IN FACT man might be redeemed and brought back to God.
There is persuasion in that. There is resistance for that. There is scope and ground, meaning and witnessed result in this, capable of consideration as such, and confirmation on biblical grounds, which are highly descriptive, explicative and overtly testable (as in Isaiah 41, 48).
Hence God, not willing for his creation, man, to perish, has transcended man, before amending man, not as an event, which merely signifies something happening, without showing why and how, but as a resolution, for each person. Being God, this has been done as only He could, past the culling of events, in the power of His foreknowledge, before systems graced the universal tarmac of events, and corruption inhibited the results. He knows each one as His or not, as preferring darkness or not, that great and stated criterion of judgment or else mercy, proceeding from a mercy without limit (cf. Micah 7:19ff., Ezekiel 33:11, I Timothy 2), but truth, and without stay from love, and which stays in place in the heart where it is received as it is, and is not merely imagined to be (John 3:16-19, 5:24, I John 4:7ff., 5:11ff.).
So persuasion does not rule, nor yet law, though both operate. God as the source of reality for man rules and will has its preferences in man which in the end, God does not abort (John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff.), knowing all beyond mere events (Ephesians 1:4, Romans 9:11); for indeed, what sort of a preference can become what it detests, as its outcome, and what sort of compulsion can relate not only to persuasion, but to preference! Man is and remains responsible for his preferences; God for man's existence, His mind for ours, His truth for our actuality and strength and weakness, as it is subjected by human will to depraved contortion, or met in truth, which being His, He has liberally despatched in word and works.
When all these are past, with much more of diverse kinds, we remain with the demonstrability of God as in SMR, the assurance of the objectivity of causation, the validity of the verified Bible and the centrality of the Saviour Jesus Christ in the works of the God who can and does not only make, but deliver. Willingly, suffering because of a gift of freedom graciously given to man, a voluntary ruin as incarnate in His crucifixion, He thus has provided remedy for man's condemned plight, and this, not by force it but through making it optional. Even that is covered in foreknowledge-predestination so that there is nothing dubious about destiny, but an assured result of the desire of the Creator that ALL might be reconciled, so that He gave all He could to bring whom He might by all pity and power, to the fulfilment intended, and the crest of creation as at the first, but now in addition, thus made permanent, immanent and a grant.
In this you find to the uttermost that responsibility which lies beyond our own, that sense of duty, of justice to which humans seek as if its distortion of justice were worse than the breach physical laws, because this is imbued in them, with the desire for truth, from their inception in the image of God. So does His creation of man continually show itself, whether in the good or the evil, in the seeking or in the distortion from finding, through the abuse of will, and in the contentions and contraptions of man. In this latter, it is as if some devil were at many times directing him, to distort, disturb, belie, girdle the earth, not really as just mad, but maddened by the confusion and frustration of being what he refuses to become, declining remedy and establishing pock-marks on the earth, both psychic and geological, atmospheric and spiritual, as he seeks to seize power, whether from God, power and glory, or from man, substance and significance.
This is the ultimate perversion: that of the spirit of man. It is the profoundest mercy that the remedy is available and that no one has to endure this connection of confused combustibles, as a variant within it. God is available freely, readily, and in terms of pardon, power and peace, with a destiny not only desirable, but glorious. He IS glorious. It is only sin which is not.
The need for articulation, movement from thought to action, concept to performance, envisagement to enablement is shown dramatically in the discovery of DNA. This is precisely that, except that the means are now visible in terms of the structure of language, with its grammar, semantics, form and formats, its messages and its commands, set in programmatic form, which has just the same logical requirements, and more, as does the performance without program; for it is one thing to think it up, and another to formulate it for continued activity without further thought, as programmers know. Indeed, it is most exacting, the smallest error able to loom so large that it may take days to find it.
See Department of Bible ... Vol. 4, Ch. 4 for example.
See DIVINE INFORMATION AND HUMAN MISINFORMATION.
The Defining Drama Ch. 3,
Christ the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9,
Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 6,
Lively Lessons ... Ch. 5,
Dig Deeper ... Ch. 1
The Way of Truth and the Way of Error Ch. 8,
SMR Ch. 3 in contrast with Ch. 5.
See SMR pp. 1002C - 1022 concerning both these religions. Also for Hinduism, see SMR 995 -1008.
On both, see Department of Bible..., Vol. 4, Ch. 2. For implicit squashed in or synthetically operative pseudo-gods there is undoubtedly some measure of similarity between Whitehead, Hinduism and Aristotle. Suppressing God into aspects or modes or movements or oddities of aspiration, or partial combinations with humans, or themes with religious access in degree is quite an art form in humanity, though not in logic or objectively testable or demonstrable truth.