Category Archives: Sitater

Henry J. Koren om metafysikk

“Without metaphysics, the ultimate foundations of all other sciences are left insecure. In other sciences, we presuppose and take for granted such things as the principles of contradiction and of causality, the multiplication of individuals in the same species, the possibility of change, etc. If we accept all these things without examining their value, the whole structure built upon them stands on insecure grounds and thus leaves everything open to doubt. On the other hand, if we do not accept them, scientific knowledge of any kind will be impossible. Hence, in order to make true science possible, these principles and presuppositions must be examined, and their validity established.”

Dagens tanker.

Henry J. Koren er en dyktig nederlandsk filosof fra midten av forrige århundre. Sitatet er hentet fra “An introduction to the Science of Metaphysics“, som for øvrig er verdt å lese i sin helhet. Det viser godt at dersom vi ikke starter å tenke solid helt fra de første byggesteinene – de første prinsippene for virkelighet, vil bygget vårt siden henge i løse lufta. Snarveier vil straffe seg, selv når vi ikke forstår det selv.

Merk dessuten at Koren her bruker ordet science i en bred aristotelisk betydning, som en henvisning til all systematisk innsamling av ekte kunnskap, og ikke bare begrenset til et sett med spesialiserte metoder. All kunnskap vakler dersom vi ikke tar oss arbeidet med en første fordypning i metafysikk.

Om ubrukelige skeptikere

“But the new rebel is a sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. 

Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself.

A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take away that bauble. The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.

Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
– G. K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy

Videre

“There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.”
– G. K. Chesterton in Fancies vs. Fads

Om å fornekte korsfestelsen

“Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ. This is something that anyone who knows me could tell you, and I am not afraid to say it publicly, no matter what some people may think.

I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.”
Peter Rollins

For hva ville det, selv i prinsippet, hjulpet å kjenne Sannheten, dersom man ikke var i stand til å leve Den? Visshet frelser ikke fra synd, selv innen klassisk kristen tro. Kristus gjør!

It’s the moon, stupid!

Dagens reklame.

“I do not regard true philosophical atheism as an intellectually valid or even cogent position; in fact, I see it as a fundamentally irrational view of reality, which can be sustained only by a tragic absence of curiosity or a fervently resolute will to believe the absurd. More simply, I am convinced that the case for belief in God is inductively so much stronger than the case for unbelief that true philosophical atheism must be regarded as a superstition, often nurtured by an infantile wish to live in a world proportionate to one’s own hopes or conceptual limitations.

(…)

When I say that atheism is a kind of obliviousness to the obvious, I mean that if one understands what the actual philosophical definition of “God” is in most of the great religious traditions, and if consequently one understands what is logically entailed in denying that there is any God so defined, then one cannot reject the reality of God tout court without embracing an ultimate absurdity.

This, it seems to me, ought to be an essentially inoffensive assertion. The only fully consistent alternative to belief in God, properly understood, is some version of “materialism” or “physicalism” or (to use the term most widely preferred at present) “naturalism”; and naturalism – the doctrine that there is nothing apart from the physical order, and certainly nothing supernatural – is an incorrigibly incoherent concept, and one that is ultimately indistinguishable from pure magical thinking.

The very notion of nature as a closed system entirely sufficient to itself is plainly one that cannot be verified, deductively or empirically, from within the system of nature. It is a metaphysical (which is to say “extranatural”) conclusion regarding the whole of reality, which neither reason nor experience legitimately warrants. It cannot even define itself within the boundaries of its own terms, because the total sufficiency of ‘natural’ explanations is not an identifiable natural phenomenon but only an arbitrary judgment.”
– David Bentley Hart i The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

Videre.

“By the time Aquinas and the other Scholastics were done refining and drawing out the implications of the Aristotelian system, it was evident that it entailed nothing less than the entire conception of God enshrined in classical monotheism, the immortality of the soul, and the natural law system of morality. To acknowledge the truth of the Aristotelian metaphysical picture of the world is thus unavoidably to open the door to everything the Scholastics built on it. In short, Aristotle’s revenge is also Aquinas’ revenge; and for that reason alone, contemporary secular intellectuals cannot allow themselves to acknowledge it. For the project of the early moderns is their project too.

But that project is built on a lie. To quote a famous Confucian proverb, “When the finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger.” The modern secularist is, as it were, positively fixated on the finger – unsurprising given that, if (as he falsely assumes) there really are no fixed natures and natural ends in the world, no formal and final causes, then nothing could naturally point beyond itself to anything else. In fact, the material world points beyond itself to God; but the secularist sees only the material world. The material side of human nature points beyond itself to an immaterial and immortal soul; the secularist sees only the brain and body. The sexual act points beyond itself to marriage and family; the secularist sees only the sexual act. And so on, and so on. What else can one say? It’s the moon, stupid.”
– Edward Feser The Last Superstition

Med andre ord – du burde skaffe deg og lese disse bøkene. De vil fort forandre måten du tenker på, uansett livssyn og grad av skeptisisme!

Om moderne magi og tankefeil

“At the basis of the whole modern view of the world lies the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

“The concept of law is so well established in science that until recently few scientists stopped to think about the nature and origin of these laws; they were happy to simply accept them as ‘given.’ Now that physicists and cosmologists have made rapid progress toward finding what they regard as the ‘ultimate’ laws of the universe, many old questions have resurfaced. Why do the laws have the form they do? Might they have been otherwise? Where do these laws come from? Do they exist independently of the physical universe.”
– Paul Davies, The Mind of God

For såkalte “naturlover” er som kjent bare abstraksjoner som reflekterer en objektiv virkelighet, forsøkt beskrevet med matematikk. Hvordan kan de forklare noe som helst? Frem til de er forklart, er eksistensen av naturlover fremdeles noe ekvivalent til…vel, magi. Regelmessig, forutsigbar magi, that is. (Don’t worry, aristotelisme-thomisme [A-T] har et troverdig svar på dette også.)

Om progresjon og det Gode

“Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good. We are fond of talking about “liberty”; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about “progress”; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about “education”; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good.

The modern man says, “Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty.” This is, logically rendered, “Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it.”

He says, “Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress.” This, logically stated, means, “Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it.”

He says, “Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education.” This, clearly expressed, means, “We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children.””
– G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905)

Flat jord i middelalderen?

“The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth. Now the whole force of a demonstration, which is “a syllogism producing science,” as stated in Poster. i, text. 5, depends on the mean. And consequently various means are as so many active principles, in respect of which the habits of science are distinguished.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas på 1200-tallet, hentet fra Summa Theologica

“Again, our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the earth is circular, but that it is a circle of no great size. For quite a small change of position to south or north causes a manifest alteration of the horizon. There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward. Indeed there are some stars seen in Egypt and in the neighborhood of Cyprus which are not seen in the northerly regions; and stars, which in the north are never beyond range of observation, in those regions rise and set.

All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but also that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent. Hence one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one.”
– Aristoteles omkring 350 år f.Kr., hentet fra On the Heavens

Er klassiske filosofiske argumenter for Gud troverdige?

“The classical arguments for God’s existence are not scientific arguments. Not because they’re weaker than scientific arguments, but because they’re stronger. The reason is that they don’t start with particular empirical facts. They rather start with what makes it possible for there to be any empirical facts to study in the first place. Science takes for granted that change is possible. Physics, chemistry and biology study the specific kinds of change that exists, but why is there any change in the world in the first place at all?

That is a philosophical question. The answer has to do with Aristotle’s theory of potentiality and actuality. And it’s once that’s in place that we have the ingredients needed for an argument for God’s existence.”
Edward Feser i intervju

Vi kommer tilbake til hvordan disse ser ut i praksis i klassisk tradisjon! :)

Den største revolusjonen i menneskelig historie?

“The real turning point between the medieval age of faith and the modern age of unfaith came when the scientists of the seventeenth century turned their backs upon what used to be called “final causes”… [or] cosmic purposes… [belief in which] was not the invention of Christianity [but] was basic to the whole of Western civilization, whether in the ancient pagan world or in Christendom, from the time of Socrates to the rise of science in the seventeenth century…   They did this on the ground that inquiry into purposes is useless for what science aims at: namely, the prediction and control of events… This, though silent and almost unnoticed, was the greatest revolution in human history, far outweighing in importance any of the political revolutions whose thunder has reverberated through the world… The world, according to this new picture, is purposeless, senseless, meaningless.  Nature is nothing but matter in motion.  The motions of matter are governed, not by any purpose, but by blind forces and laws… 

If the scheme of things is purposeless and meaningless, then the life of man is purposeless and meaningless too.  Everything is futile, all effort is in the end worthless.  A man may, of course, still pursue disconnected ends, money, fame, art, science, and may gain pleasure from them.  But his life is hollow at the center.  Hence, the dissatisfied, disillusioned, restless, spirit of modern man… Along with the ruin of the religious vision there went the ruin of moral principles and indeed of all values… If our moral rules do not proceed from something outside us in the nature of the universe – whether we say it is God or simply the universe itself – then they must be our own inventions.  Thus it came to be believed that moral rules must be merely an expression of our own likes and dislikes… [But] what pleases one man, people or culture, displeases another.  Therefore, morals are wholly relative.”
Walter Stace i “Man Against Darkness”, publisert i Atlantic i 1948

Leses i sammenheng med post som kommer på torsdag.