The Scale of Perfection, Book 2, Part 1 – Chapter 4

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That through the Sacrament of Baptism (which is grounded in the Passion of Christ) this Image is reformed from Original Sin

This is chapter 6 of The Scale of Perfection – Book 2 in Middle English:
That thorugh the sacrament of baptym that is groundid in the passioun of Crist this image is reformed fro the original synne.

some more thoughts

Justin: Without individuals to ascribe meaning to information, truth does not exist as you define it, and yet you confidently say that you know what is true because it corresponds to the reality which you have perceived by your own Wittgenstienian criteria.

Jerome: Not true. Whether I am sitting in a room or not, the objects in that room *are*. Again, you are presuming the existence of "information" or "data", which you should not do.

But how do you know that the objects in that room *are*? Unless there is a conscious observer of these facts, you don't. It may be true that the proposition "there are tables and chairs the room" corresponds with reality, ie what is in the room--put the proposition itself is not something that science can propose. It takes a cohesive, coherent mind to establish certain criteria (like scientific criteria) for determining the accuracy of that statement--science is ONLY a tool which is used by and therefore subservient to consciousness and being.

Jerome: You assume the existence of "information": perhaps you should question that belief? Also, as I pointed out before, we are using different definitions of "meaning": I mean by "meaning" what a proposition refers to ("A barn means a building in which grain is stored"), whereas you mean "that Teddy Bear means something to me".

How can I possibly question the existence of information and retain logic, empiricism, or rationality, your own preferred methods of sorting information? If "information" doesn't exist--though I'm willing to add nuances to the understanding of "information," such as information only exists as we perceive it--then you can't reach logical conclusions about anything. You can't empirically verify anything. You can't rationally proceed with any type of proposition at all, because if information does not exist, there is no way to verify any proposition made, ever.

Further, you assume that my understanding of "meaning" refers primarily to subjective opinion--"I find this opera meaningful." Your assumption is in this case incorrect.

Ultimately, I think, when you aim the cannons at "God" and all the other philosophical/metaphysical concepts you disapprove of and blast away at them as empty signifiers--on the grounds they correspond to no empirically verifiable reality--your own foundational concepts are caught in the crossfire; all language, by this critique, is empty, sound and fury signifying nothing, a social power game. It is not the priests and prophets only using language as a weapon against the masses; it is politicians; it is revolutionaries. "Freedom," "equality," "justice." These are concepts near and dear to you a someone who feels, for example, we should be invested in social justice--but what is justice? Fairness under the law? And then what is the law? Constructs of society? And what is society? Constructs of humans? And what are humans? Constructs of thought expressed through language. If you yank the rug out from under language which does not correspond to the reality you perceive to be true, you yank the rug out from under the proposition that propositions can correspond to reality at all, and that would include that proposition that "a true proposition is that which corresponds to what exists in reality."

This is where the argument, I think, fails--Wittgenstein's reality can go no further than the perception of consciousness, which may believe only in one type of reality, and which belief may not correspond to all of reality. To say it another way, before one can accept Wittgenstein's proposition about the truth of propositions, one must grapple with what "reality" is in the first place.

Jerome: "God" is a term like any other. The problem with it is, though, that I cannot qualify it without immediately resorting to a priori, metaphysical propositions. As I have pointed out elsewhere, it is therefore meaningless.

What exactly do we look for when we gauge the corresponding evidence of a particular proposition? A priori assumptions have to be made about the nature of reality. And if I had to guess I would say that under this paradigm, the verifiable aspects of reality are the only aspects which can sustain W's proposition of true propositions. It falls flat, precisely at the point it attempts to address, because it assumes "reality" is (or can be) the known, and the truth of the "proposition" is the unknown.

This is in practical experience often the case, but not always. Consider a man who asks himself, "Does my wife love me?" He can carefully consider her actions, and ask her directly about her feelings. But if he does not understand the concept of love, his conclusion that she does love him may not correspond with reality, even though it corresponds to the reality which he perceives. And yes, I know, you can challenge the idea that "love" exists at all--you can challenge every abstract signifier, until you are left with no signifiers at all.

Justin: ...I don't have the words to describe this "more."

Jerome: I think, rather, it is a tool to justify the current system of social relations, as Marx has pointed out, nothing more.

As you said of Jesus in a recent post, Marx is long dead. His theories merely die a slower death, with every passing day. He had some good sociological theory, but what he was certain would materialize has not, and with passing centuries it becomes apparent that perhaps Marx wasn't right about everything.

Justin: You would try to judge with mathematics that which you would not subject to logic?

Jerome: I think you've completely misunderstood me, otherwise you wouldn't appear so smug.

Or maybe I completely understood you, and responded as I did because the smugness runs in the other direction. I'm serious, Jerome. Look at what you wrote in this post.

"Who is so pretentious as to arrogate themselves above the simple demands of logic (soundness and validity)? Seems rather childish to me."

"No, you've got the tables turned--it is not logic that is wrong, but you."

"I am merely asking what any sensical person would of you: rational argument. If you cannot offer this then I see no reason in debating with you, as you are unwilling to escape the tower of dogmatics."

Then don't. But you're the one that keeps coming back, in search of something. Are you here to satisfy intellectual curiosity? To berate with practiced argumentation those who are here for other reasons? Are you driven to look for fights with those you can humiliate with ease? Or are you here because you want to understand mysticism on some level? If you have all these perfectly developed answers, you could instead win people over, and bring them into a better understanding, advancing your own valuable insight, rather than chastising everyone who does not roll over for your every proclamation.

Dogmatics--what tower of dogmatics am I stuck in? Perhaps I am being dogmatic, but in that sense we are stuck in twin towers. Do you mean that I refuse to change my criteria and subject mysticism to your standards of argumentation and debate, and thus I am dogmatic? But why don't you change your criteria, and adjust your standards of argumentation? Why don't you consider my argument that reality is not as you suggest? Because my suggestion is that reality is not constrained by logic and its principles? You are as dogmatic about the superiority of rationality as I am about its inadequacy in this area.

The appeal of empiricism and logic and rationality to me was, once, the illusion of control and empowerment it granted me--it was like being handed a weapon by which I could make right the world. But it took me some time to conclude that it was not the world that I needed to right, but myself. "He who controls others is strong. He who controls himself is powerful." Now I have come to believe that logic, empiricism, and rationality have their places, but that reality supersedes logic. I'll tell you why, and you can shred it for your own amusement as you like.

You wrote earlier that science only describes what IS, and as I understand you, this IS is what constitutes reality.

And you also wrote that you think, maybe, that language is hardwired into the human brain, and is something we cannot be without, physically.

How does science affirm what IS? Through language. If humanity as a species died, the observations of science would perish with it. There would be no observers of reality. And yet do we think the earth must then not exist? Or the stars, solar system, the galaxies and the universe? Things would continue to be real, even after all propositions about reality ceased. This is logical--reality exists beyond language. So while it seems absurd to you that human beings would pursue consciousness beyond the constraints of language as a way of perceiving reality, to the logical mind synthesizing the propositions you have offered, this pursuit is not only rational, but desirable, for if language is a fundamental constraint of physical existence, the reality which exists beyond language is existence beyond physicality. You have touched on immortality.

Now, I'm sure you would like to have a go at that :)

There is a saying I read in Huston Smith's "The World Religions" which you might appreciate--Zen Buddhists refer to language as "the philosopher's disease." Aptly put, I think.

Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life;
And these are they which bear witness of me;
And ye will not come to me, that ye may have life. (John 5:39-40)




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