Posts Tagged ‘thesis’
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I tend to think of biblical figures as heroes. Moses comes out of retirement and starts working at 80, Abraham has a child at 90, Paul faces death all day, and Daniel survives a den of hungry lions. But have you ever thought that they would consider us as heroes? Read the rest of this entry »
There seems to me to be a forced division between science and faith based systems of thought. I think there is a lot more overlap than each camp’s fundamentalists will grant. Each side wants to replace the other’s term with “Fiction”. But the truth is that theories require faith, even proved ones; and faith requires reason, especially real faith.
But there is a truly magical (and very real) place where these two elements, Fact and Faith come together, hand in hand almost, and demand that we give them equal portions, like siblings requiring the equal division of a packet of candy.
It is only in the realm of inter-personal relationships where fact matters as much as faith.
“What the philosophers say about reality is often as deceptive as when you see a sign in a second-hand store that reads: Pressing Done Here. If you went in with your clothes to have them pressed you would be fooled; the sign is for sale.” Søren Kierkegaard in “Either/Or”
God has dedicated Himself to His Worship. That is what He is Holy for.
Which is why He elevates His Word above His Name, when necessary. Ps 138:2 (the KJV get’s it right here as RT Kendall points out).
I’d put it this way, God has devoted Himself entirely to the cause of gathering and receiving for Himself all Praise, Honor, Glory and Worship.
Which is why every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and also why the Universe is so big, so that it may with some measure of success “declare the praises of God.”
This may seem to you a trifle irrelevant or even a little arrogant on God’s behalf. Well think about if with me for a while. Why His Word above His Name? Surely His name is the object of His worship, yes but His Word is the means of His worship. His Word is the exponential factor…
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“Does it Matter?” is not a philosophical question, because there is a lot that is not matter and which is also vitally important.
‘Matter’ comes from two separate sources: ‘materia’ which means ‘substance’ in Latin, and ‘mater’ which means mother. But we use it almost exclusively to mean ‘substance’, so influenced we are by the rationalists. When we say, “it doesn’t matter,” we mean that it has no material substance, therefore, we conclude, no value. But there is much that does not matter, in the material sense, but is vitally important. Relationships have no matter at all, there is no human who could point to a direct sensory experience with a relationship. Relationships have no matter, and yet the whole universe of matter is relational.
One could point to a meal made with love, a very sensory experience. Or a passionate kiss, a very sensual experience. But those things are the result of relationship, they are not relationships themselves.
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I thought I’d better summarize before I conclude.
I am presenting a synthesis:
1. The Thesis is Rationality which says that the physical laws and observations are absolute, we have to refine our observations to get to the truth, so the natural is the real and the real is the natural – this is the dominating and flawed scientific philosophy.
2. The Antithesis is 2 fold: Phenomenology explains that just because I experience or observe something does not make it real (one step closer to the truth), Existentialism agrees except in the case of the self experiencing itself, this is the dominating philosophy on which the plot of the movie The Matrix is built.
Existentialism deals with “reality” as a priori, as opposed to “nature”, so all nature is real, but not everything that is real is natural (two steps closer to the truth).
3. The Synthesis is Relationality which says, “The personal is the real, and the real is the personal, but the personal can only be experienced by relationship;” or “We relate, therefore I am, therefore we are.”
1. “…many scholars trace existentialism back through a ‘secondary’ cultural and intellectual viewpoint which runs throughout European history as an intellectual subtheme and stems from the implicit world view contained in the Hebrew strain in early Christianity and the Bible.“ Paul T Brockelman – “Existential Phenomenology and the World of Ordinary Experience” Brockelman is referencing Matthew Arnold, “Culture and Anarchy” and Lev Shestov, “Athens and Jerusalem”
2. “Reason is limited” – Emanuel Kant
3. “Heigel’s dictum that ‘The rational is real and the real is rational’ is not only in-demonstrable, but itself an irrational assertion.“ Paul T Brockelman – “Existential Phenomenology and the World of Ordinary Experience”
Now Søren Kierkegaard explained the philosophical problem presented in Genesis 3 exceptionally well in “The Sickness unto Death”: ”What I really lack is to be clear about what I am to do, not what I am to know.“
I’d say it can be simplified, I believe, to this ethical problem: What I really lack is to be clear about what I ought to do, not what I ought to know.
That is the human condition, and it’s only solution is found in subjecting ourselves to the question relationally: I will know what I ought to do when, and only when, I know whom I ought to know! That is the mantra of Relationality.
Relationships are not natural, they are supernatural. It is the disintegration of relationships that is natural. A man relates to a garden because it is cultivated, a man cultivates a garden because he is relational.
1. Things like gravity and survival assimilate and thus destroy relationships by their success. Result: black holes and extinction.
2. Things like the big bang and atomic theory disperse and thus destroy relationship by their success. Result: disparate galaxies and radiation.
Those are natural processes.
When there is a sustained balance between assimilation and dispersal it is relational and therefore supernatural. And, as it turns out, there is an observable balance just about everywhere we look! Therefore, the universe is Relational, that’s the only thing that makes it real.
And the primary question is not,”what can we to know about it?” It’s not even, “what ought we to know about it?” The primary question is, “Who is behind it?” For this is not nature, it is supernature, and what is behind it is therefore both relational and personal.
If we insist on defining what we observe as “nature” then we have no choice but to define what we ought to observe (chaos, meaningless suffering, endless and increasing destruction) as sub-nature.