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Title: Geskiedenis van die filosofie, studiegids vir PHIL 221 PAC
Author: JJ Venter
Editor: MF van der Walt
Publisher: Northwest University
Subdivisions of study guide:
Afdeling A: Algemene inligting – Pages (i) to (xii)
Afdeling B: Leereenhede – Pages 1 – 38
Afdeling C: Leesbundel – Pages 1 – 254
Reader: Mr. M.D. Pienaar (Excerpts relating to ICrM)
This document title:
A history of philosophy in relation to accounting of ideas
1. Organismic and mechanistic world pictures
1.1 How do world pictures and world views come about
1.2 Pre-Greek antiquity - Egyptian
1.3 Greek antiquity
1.5 Early Christianity
1.6 The Middle Ages
1.6.1 Early medieval Neo-Platonism (from Scotus to William of Conches)
1.7 The Renaissance
1.8 Modern Philosophy
1.8.1 The transition to the mechanistic picture
1.8.2 Descartes and Leibniz
1.8.3 Thomas Hobbes – mechanistic and organismic societal explanations
1.8.4 Radical mechanism – La Mettrie
1.8.5 Adam Smith and Kant – competition as mechanism
1.8.6 Hegel and the recovery of organismic holism
1.8.7 Goethe – organismic philosophy of nature
1.8.8 Darwin and mechanistic evolution
1.9 Irrationalism and the recovery of the organismic picture
1.9.1 JC Smuts – holism get as name
1.9.1 Mussolini – when the organic state itself becomes the reality
1.9.3 Capra – the organismic history and oriental philosophy
1.10 Understanding and rebuilding Africa
2. Nature versus culture
2.1 Ancient Greece
2.2 The Middle Ages
2.3 Modern philosophy and culture
18.104.22.168 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
22.214.171.124 Van Wyk Louw
126.96.36.199 Karl Marx
3. The idea of order
3.2 Ancient Greeks
3.4 Early Christian period
3.5 Middle Ages
3.7 Modern rationalism
3.7.4 Transitions after Kant
4. The dominance of reason
4.2 Ancient thinkers and Hellenism
4.2.1 Mythological thinkers
4.2.5 Sceptics and the Stoics
4.3 Early Christianity and the Middle Ages
4.3.4 Thomas Aquinas
4.4 Summary of first section
4.5 Renaissance and the modern era
4.5.2 Tomasso Campanella
4.5.5 Transitions after Kant
4.5.6 William James
4.6 Christian alternatives since the Renaissance
4.6.1 John Calvin
4.6.2 Reformed Scholasticism
4.6.3 Blaise Pascal
4.6.4 Maurice Blondel
4.7 Summary of the second section
4.8 Anselm's Proslogium
9 October 2012
1. Organismic and mechanistic world pictures
1.1 How do world pictures and world views come about
' Thus the question is: how do these views of reality come about? I contend that the principal answer is that any view of reality requires an overall perspective, transcending our present situation. Either we can transcend our own situation by our own human intellectual ability, or our view of reality will have to be fundamentally determined by some communication from outside, breaking into our experience (for example a “revelation”). '
I agree with Venter that the true definitions of God we believe in, come about after difficulty. The definitions that come about due to material wealth and current ' success ' are not true definitions of God. If ICrM can be successfully explained and accepted the situation could then change. I will then, if financial gain is the result probably argue differently, that ICrM's definition of God is true even though it caused financial gain. That will then imply that the definition is not the important part but something else and it will imply that the current ' successful ' has something on their side. A paradox, maybe, because ' success ' cannot be equated with presence of God or not in a person's life. Some other analogy must then be the sign of presence of God or maybe the absence of ' success ' must be the analogy that signifies presence of God in persons' lives. Certainly the absence of ' success ' cannot be the right analogy because some godless people are not ' successful '. Success here means material wealth. What then is the sign of God's presence in persons' lives? Maybe the presence of success caused through them for themselves and people around them for a long period, maybe the repopulation of Earth, maybe both. Maybe something else. True success is noumenon.
Afdeling B: Leereenhede – JJ Venter
' The priests then rewrote the stories about the origins of the universe and the gods in order to fit the new paramount chief into the story. '
' As die hemelliggame ewige lewende wesens is, wat 'n direkte invloed op my lewe het, dan moet hulle sekerlik oppermagtig wees (goddelik). '
equates power with God, which is comparable to my
understanding of God. One man cannot have power. Jesus was
crucified then he said his God left (' lama
sabagtani ') him. Truths are relevant when communication
takes place between members of a group in order to ensure
coherent actions. If only one man has power of God then truths
are not really relevant in groups because only one man is
Afdeling C: Leesbundel – JJ Venter
1.2 Pre-Greek antiquity - Egyptian
' The text is a magical one entitled: Book of the knowledge of the manifestations of Ra, for the sake of subjecting the snake, Apophis. .. Ra creates in different ways: by planning and executing his plans, by self-fertilising and spitting, by crying and by uttering a magical word. The many mythical ideas of “creating” are hereby woven into one, with special stress on the fact that Ra did it all alone and from his own self. And yet his father, Nun, also creates what Ra creates, by elevating Shu (Wind) and Tefnut (Rain) on high. By sexual intercourse other gods now come into being – a whole genealogy of gods. '
The planning and executing of intellectual (rational/worldly) creations plays a minor role. Sexual pro-creation is more important. The word creation does not distinguish between different kinds of creation for example planning, sexual procreation etc.
' The pool was there before any creator. Although Nun is sometimes called creator, he is not an active conscious creator. Rather the active creator (the sun-god, Ra, or the earth-god, Ptah, et cetera), come into being in Nun. The (few) myths in which the creator is actually identified with Nun, are of a fairly late date. '
' In Memphis the earth-god, Ptah, was revered from ancient times as the creator. He is the god of the arts, himself represented as a potter, who made the living beings and put life into the bodies of the pharaohs. He is called Ta-tenen (the earth who elevates itself), after his elevation from the pool, in the form of an island-hill, and has made things by forming them from the water, while he himself had neither father nor mother, and formed his own body. The sun is his son; … In Heliopolis the sun-god was honoured as the creator – a tradition that goes back as far as 3000 BC. He is known under the names of “Chepri” (his format at dawn: the becoming); “Ra” (his majestic form at midday), and “Atum” his dying form at dusk). In later time the priests also added characteristics of other creators to these: those of Amun (Thebe), Chnum (Aswan), Sobek (Crocodilopolis). About Ra it is said that he came into being out of himself ( as related in the long quote above). He was revered as the only creator, but in such a way that the other eight, making up the nineness with him, are supposed to create with him, being actually his members. ..
In some other myths, the sun is also accepted as creator, but he is provided with a mother, such as a cow who gave birth to him, or the goddess Neith (of the city of Esne), or the eightness (four pairs of gods, accepted in Hermopolis, and later also in Thebe and Crocodilopolis) ..
We have now only scratched the surface of the Egyptian myths about the creator god. Importantly, “creating” here is not represented as speaking a sovereign word. Although it does include forming (such as the work of the potter god, Ptah), it is mostly related to birth, or emerging from an egg.
The “theologian” priests landed in philosophical difficulties in their attempt at reconciling the myths. One difficulty was the age-old philosophical problem of how the “one” and the “many” are related to one another. For example, in Thebe, it was initially said that the sun-god was the product of the eightness; later this was inverted. To solve the apparent contradiction, it was said that the eightness is the manifestation of the sun-god, which was only later perfected in the one. In this way the eightness and the one are represented as actually being the same, but viewed from different sides. ..
Every city had its own supreme creator god, and a whole hierarchy of divinities coming into being out of it. To reconcile this variety, the priests were saying that all these creators were actually only manifestations of one and the same creator god. .. The “many” is actually only different appearances of the “one”. This approach is clearly an anticipation of Neo-Platonism, a philosophical school that developed, unknot (sic) surprisingly, in Alexandria in Egypt, and which had a vast influence on Christianity's conception of the “one” and the “many”. ..
Well-known hermaphroditic gods were Chnum (from Aswan), Amun (Thebe) and Ptah (from Memphis). ..
(Hapie is represented as a male god with breasts, a symbol still found among occult groups and sometimes even in esoteric representations of Christ) '
' Hermaphroditus |hərˌmafrəˈdītəs| Greek Mythology
a son of Hermes and Aphrodite, with whom the nymph Salmacis fell in love and prayed to be forever united. As a result Hermaphroditus and Salmacis became joined in a single body that retained characteristics of both sexes. ' (New American Oxford Dictionary, Version 2.1(80), Apple copyright)
' In a few cases the creator god emerges as a snake, such as in Dendera, where the god, Harsomtus, is represented as a shiny copper snake emerging from a floating lotus flower and is then elevated on high as the sun-god. ..
Different ways of “creating” is ascribed to the creator god, as … Finally, creation is also represented as artisanship – such as the pottery of Ptah, or of the master craftsman, the ram god Chnum, who enjoyed wide popularity all over Egypt.
It is very important to note that the different representations of the process of origination often appear as synonymous in one and the same story. This validates the conclusion that we have here basically a monistic viewpoint, according to which there is only one primal source, namely the initial pool, and that the creator god, who emerges from the water, let the next generations of beings emerge from himself. ..
Since the great powers, which originated in the beginning, came into being, when the light was made, thanks to the works of their hands – since this time the world was enlightened. The cosmic order came down from the heaven to the earth, and became the brother of all the gods. Food and nourishment was available in abundance, without limitation. There was no injustice in the land; no crocodile robbed; there was no snake bite in the times of the divine ancestors (Urkunde 14; WBG, 1980, 74).
How did evil make its entry into the universe? The stories differ. In Heliopolis the primal danger, the snake Apophis was indicated as the source of evil. He was there from very early on. In other stories, evil is derived from the rebellion of mankind. In Memphis, the source of evil was attributed to the attitude of humankind: he who loved that which Ptah wants to be loved, received life and justice; he who hated this, received death and injustice. Yet, even in this case, the fate of man is a direct product of the heart and tongue of the creator god. ..
In spite of the different mythological stories, we have one basic world picture, which is at the same time a world view determining the order and meaning of life. The world view is both organismic and pantheistic. ..
Ra assumed a human form and lived among human beings, governing them. .. Isis was jealous of the power of Ra, and she incited a snake to bite him. ..
Fourthly, there is no clear difference between man and god, or between creatures and gods. The gods can suffer and die, and they can do evil things. Human beings can threaten the lives of the gods. Ra was supposed to have lived among beings, and the pharaohs were considered as gods ruling over human beings. '
1.3 Greek antiquity
In Hesiod's Theogonia: ' With Ouranos evil became a reality in this world – later a whole group of gods were born who represented all kinds of evils:
“Baneful Night bore Nemesis too, a woe for mortals,
and after her Deception and the Passion of lovers” '
to Greek mythology Deception was one of the evil gods(esses)
that did not exist from the beginning. In Egyptian mythology
the snake was evil that could have been a reference to
creativity. According to ICrM creativities and honesties are
linked. There is thus an opposing difference between the
Egyptian and Greek mythologies. In the Greek mythology
adjectives are abstracted whereas in the Egyptian only names.
In Popper's book, The open society and its enemies, he wrote
that Plato opposed change. Plato was thus also against
creativities, according to Popper, but nevertheless he
propagated truths. Probably then Plato did not realise that
truths cause creativities and improvements. Plato's philosophy
could therefore be contradictory.
' Hesiod starts from a revelational perspective, but he relativises that immediately by saying that the Muses do lie at times. Thus he falls back on the mythological approach of up-scaling. Note that, at least much more than in Egyptian mythology, non-physical functions (Memory, Argument and Strife) are up-scaled into universal divine powers with personalities too. This is what takes away the hope. Who can resist a god? ..
The story of the gods proceeds with the marriage of Kronos and Rheia, but Kronos, being a deceitful power monger, personally swallowed all his children at birth in order to prevent any of them from taking his rule from him. '
The above statement supports my definition of God of ICrM because if metaphysical revelations cannot be trusted to be true who else can be trusted? Honest people who are God.
Pages 8 to 29
The word ' create ' does not clearly distinguish between sexual procreation, artistic pottery. It is therefore possible that in the bible too there is not a clear distinction between sexual creation and technological creation. I am sure there is an androalogy (genealogy) in the bible that starts with God, then Adam and so forth. Possibly the real meaning is that God sexually procreated Adam and we are misunderstanding the creation in Genesis.
10 October 2012
' While Heraclitus claimed that the universe is in permanent change (although guided by a law of change), Parmenides insisted on the primacy of stability and changelessness. However, Pythagoras, the great mathematician, with his followers, suggested that although the world changes it is somehow stabilised by inherent proportions that can be measured in geometrical terms.
Via the Pythagoreans and Parmenides, unity and simplicity became part of Plato's struggle to explain the “ideal” world. '
It seems the prioritization of stability or change is relevant. They generalised too much by saying stability or change OF the ' world ' IS primary. They did not focus and abstract. Plato down-scaled his stable forms into the sensible world and therefore pictured change and creativity as evil because he wanted the sensible world the same stable form as the concept truths. Plato did not realize it seems that the stable form of truths in the intellectual world becomes inverted in creativity and change in the sensible world.
' Plato attributes the myth, around which his explanation of the construction of the universe in the Timaeus is built, to an Egyptian prophet. ..
The Supreme Being is the world of Ideas, which is a living being, but a perfect one. In this, Plato followed Xenophanes by taking that which is the most important to him in the cosmos and elevating it into an ideal being. To Plato, this is a separate ideal world, even higher than any god.
It can be argued that Plato's philosophy propagated big thefts because he ascribed ideas of ICrM to his Supreme Being. He thus did not give credit to the creators who improved the world with their ideas and partly because of Plato's philosophy and influence ideas are today common properties that can be easily appropriated by the controllers of currencies. Did he do that to appropriate others' ideas and instill his families control or did he argue that because he was in danger because of his own creativities. According to Popper it was because he saw change as evil, possibly creativities of creator's that opposed his families control of the status quo.
The story goes that a supreme “artisan” (god), looking at the perfect “living being, the world of Ideas, tried to imitate it, creating “the world at large”. The “world at large” is called the macrocosm. Being an imitation of the world of Ideas, the macrocosm is itself also a living being. It is however not a perfect one, as it is only a changeable imitation of the Supreme Being. The macrocosm furthermore has its own soul and its own body (like humans). Inside the macrocosm we find the social organism (referring to the state) as well as the living beings (called the microcosmoi) with whom we are acquainted. Each human being is therefore a microcosm inside the state. '
' Smuts espoused three doctrines about “wholes”:
(I) against the mechanistic world picture (since Hobbes) Smuts says that the whole is more than the aggregate of its parts; and
(II) the parts can only be living entities within the whole;
(III) against the doctrine of a personal creator, Smuts maintains that every whole is creative and will open up the ways for wholes of a higher complexity to emerge (organismic evolution).
However, the basic principle of holism, that of a living whole that sustains its parts as if they are organs, has been there from ancient times, although not explicitly stated.(35) In many of the myths, the holistic presuppositions are not so clear, since the stories are directly focussed on the whole and its development and not much is said about the relationship of small parts (like individual human beings) to the universe as the “whole”. . the whole would be the most important, for this is what sustains the parts. ..
(35) The explicit formulation of the holistic principle by Leibniz to a certain degree, very clearly by Hegel, and given a name by Smuts, comes in reaction to the “partialism” of the mechanistic picture. '
Holism sounds one-sided because it over emphasises the importance of the whole. The whole, without creative ideas from individuals, will degenerate to a state, to be colonised, with holism. Individuals therefore through their ideas has an important enough influence on the whole to be recognised to a greater extent than in holism.
' (38) During the Renaissance especially the occultist Neo-Platonists removed the state from the picture, and simply said that the human being is the centre of the universe, for the human being is a mirror reflection of the world at large and its ideal model in the mind of God. Thus the human being could also be the concentration point of the secret divine powers on earth. '
' (39) This kind of social totalitarianism we also find, for instance, in Jean Jacques Rousseau, on the basis of a very similar world picture. It is present in Marx, who, in spite of his materialism, kept on using the organismic metaphors adopted from Hegel. It is found in many Romantic-ethnic idealisms. It is also found in the kind of Afrikaner nationalism espoused by influential Afrikaners in their defence of apartheid – every aspect of Afrikaner life (religion, culture, education etc.) is only given sense within the encompassing “organic” ethnic community – the “volk”. '
' Aristotle, especially in his later years, constructed an extended hierarchy of things, consisting basically of two archetypal elements, namely matter and form. All of reality is composed of matter and form [hylemorphism], except for the highest, the divinity, which is pure form. ..
What anything naturally strives for is what is good for that sort of thing. State differently, everything naturally strives for its own good. The form indicates the good. '
' (47) In the 17th - 18th century, biologists used these differences [Aristotle's forms] to classify plants and animals. It was called “artificial” classification, in contrast to “natural” classification. “Artificial” classification was popular among Roman Catholic biologists, for many of them were aligned to Aristotle. The result was a hierarchy of plants, and a hierarchy of animals. In the case of plants, for example, the classification was done on the basis of the development of their food absorption and their procreative organs, for feeding and procreating were considered the most important (or vital) functions. “Natural” classification was popular among Protestants. For some time at least they rejected Aristotle completely. “Natural” classification was based on the work of Linnaeus, and was based on the relationships between an organism and its environment. In the long run this method seems to have won. '
There is no direct link between ICrM and classifications except perhaps in relation to the Protestant measures of relationships between a creator and his/her environment.
' In the case of humans, it is not clear whether there are different species, but still there is a hierarchy. Aristotle truly believed that some are born to be slaves and others are born to be leaders. .. the emotions had to be controlled. .. (49)
(49) This idea of intellectual control over the emotions remained a central theme in Western thought. In Cicero it is central to the definition of human dignity. In the theory of human dignity of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, a Renaissance thinker whose work is often said to be the starting point of Modern humanism (since he said that the human being makes itself), the hierarchy is maintained, although the ceilings have been removed. Pico says that the human being can either intellectually move up to God, or relinquish this and move downward to become animals or plants. '
It seems a major difference, maybe The major difference, between Greek philosophy and Christianity is the emphasis in antique Greek philosophy on genetics, whereas Christianity emphasises the importance of the possibility of being reborn with a consequential erasure of genetic memories and by implication a reactivation or activation of creative abilities.
' One might say that the form, to Aristotle, was the destination of the particular being. '
If the highest form of human beings is being Creators then my definition of God of ICrM can be supported by Aristotle's philosophy.
' What Aristotle means is that somehow we are driven by our goals. This he transfers to all of reality in an anthropomorphic way: everything has a goal that drives it on. .. The god pays no attention to the lower beings. He is his own object, as Parmenides said. '
Although Aristotle has an anthropomorphic view of God, I believe today that his image of God is a negative image because his God is a selfish being. He created a image of God that has deceitfulness as a characteristic. Aquinas was heavily influenced by Aristotle and he said God (one being) only is honest. They maybe saw honesty as a selfish characteristic and did not realise the negative unpleasant social impacts on honest peoples.
' Towards the end of his life, Aristotle idealised the intellect even more. He came to the conclusion that the human intellect also needs actualising by an external cause and therefore supposed that there exists a supreme universal intellect (Nous) that made contact with the human intellectual soul and activated it. It has a memory and carry traditions from one generation to the next. The universal intellect works by “inspiring” - almost a spiritual “lightning” discharging itself into the individual intellect.
Finally, we find one single god at the top. .. the identical object-subject god of Parmenides. '
From the above it seems Aristotle also removed creativities to be not part of humans. Parmenides' view was organismic and Venter said Aristotle had a anthropomorphic view and Venter equates Aristotle's god with Parmenides'. Anthropomorphism and organismic pictures can be seen as one. In the case of ICrM an organismic picture does not exist because it cannot be seen although it can be imagined but that does not mean it really exists.ICrM is an anthropomorphic view of creativities with much less emphasis on Nous. The concept Truth is placed highest in that, that can be seen and imagined. My definition of truth currently is, that we can agree upon or would be able to agree upon if we were present and reasonably conscious, without much contemplation, whilst being honest. My definition of honesty currently is corresponding descriptions of our sense experiences.
' After Aristotle, “teleology” became closely associated with the organismic picture of the world. Telos is an anthropomorphic metaphor. It ascribes something like a will and a choice to all levels of things. Soon after the mechanistic picture became dominant, the belief in progress also grew. Thus all the mechanisms of world-history were regarded as mechanical (e.g. competition), although history is guided by nature – a hidden teleology. Darwin tried to rid science of this, but his own mechanistic discourse often reverts to the teleological formulas. '
' These new schools … the Stoics', whose ideas on logic can be connected to the minor Socratic schools. The Stoics' theory of the word logos resembles that of Heraclitus, while their astrology probably came from outside Greece, from the Chaldeans. '
11 October 2012
' According to Plotinus, the basic source from which everything has its origin is the One. The One is also the Good and the True, as well as Being. .. The One is the first god. All other things downwards in die (sic) hierarchy continually and eternally exist from the One as their source.
Plotinus uses the term, “emanation” to describe the way in which the other levels of the hierarchy originate from the One. .. The rest of the hierarchy, at all levels, is forever sustained by this emanation process, except, possibly, “matter”. '
' The first to emanate is the Intellect (Nous). It is a superior intellect, only one for all beings, the second god, and also the image of the first god (the One). This Super-Intellect contains the Ideas as its thoughts. These are the ideas of the Intelligible world – as Plato called it. This implies a unifying of the Intellect (subject) and the Intelligible (object) into one single being – the return of the philosophy of Parmenides and Aristotle, but with this difference: these two thinkers knew only one single divine entity or god, in which subject and object are the same, while Plotinus downgrades the divine object-subject to the second level. It is also a downgrading in terms of Plato's view of the (ontic) status of the intelligible world (the Ideas). .. it is not the same utter simplicity as that of the One, because perfection diminishes as one goes down the hierarchy. '
Plotinus also removed the origin of ideas from humans in one view. In another view one could argue that when ideas are brought into this world by speaking humans the ideas has a distinct human character because of the non-perfection. The perfect emanated ideas are changed by human interaction and therefore the remuneration relevant to the spoken ideas can validly go to humans because of the human nature of the ideas. This argument could be relating to reality because it seems in reality the good ideas are not remunerated at the human origin. The bad ideas are remunerated at the human origin after the bad ideas caused extortion of the good ideas. Perhaps it relates to the arguments why Sophists charged their pupils and other philosophers believed that they should not charge their pupils.
' Aristotle, in his later works, wrote about the Nous (Intellect), i.e. one single intellect for the entire world. This inspires the individual intellects of human beings from one generation to the next. '
' One thing is clear though: Aristotle's Super-Intellect was not the seat of the Ideas, as it is with Plotinus, for Aristotle rejected Plato's theory of Ideas... '
' Also from the World-Soul emanate the souls of individual human beings. These souls lapse into matter, and adopt bodies for themselves. They become “microcosms”, i.e. little worlds that look and act like the world at large and therefore each of them makes a body alive. This, according to Plotinus, is a kind of lapse into “sin”. The souls turn away from the World-Soul, they turn away from the Intellect with the Ideas, and also from the One. The souls can, however, become “converted”(59). By conversion into themselves (introspection and introversion), the souls can re-establish contact with the World-Soul, the Super-Intellect (gaining knowledge of the Ideas) and through this they can even have an ecstatic identification with the One. '
' (59) Plotinus picked up this and other Christian terms (although he wasn't a Christian himself) since he lived after Christ and among many Christians in Alexandria. '
The above philosophy again degrades creativity because of the World-Soul which can be logically compared to a culture that has its origin in multiple humans and human actions. Any new creativities which cause a change of culture or circumstances are sins according to Plotinus.
' Emanation means dispersion from the One, like the rays from the sun. Therefore the Super-Intellect and the World-Soul and the individual souls are not different in kind from the One. They are just less perfect and they have less being than the One. As you follow the path down the scale or extend your vision outwards in concentric circles, you will find the lower entities farther and farther removed from the source of being. Evil is not a power opposite to the One – like the ancient mythologists and some Gnostics believed. In Plotinus' system there is actually no “evil” - there is only less and less good down to zero. Evil is where the higher goods are absent in the lower levels. '
' The influence of Plotinus was considerable in many areas. [Saint] Augustine [of Hippo] kept on reading his works up until his deathbed. '
1.5 Early Christianity
' The learned early Christian church fathers were strongly influenced by Plato and the platonic traditions. Firstly, the predecessors of Plotinus in Egypt, i.e. the middle Platonists, influenced the Chistian school of Alexandria, notably Origen and Clement. There was also the influence of Philo Iudaeus (“Philo the Jew”), also of Alexandria, himself very strongly under the influence of Platonism. .. The main issue of these church fathers was how to interpret Plato and the Bible in such a way that these two interpretations would not clash. '
' To Xenophanes, the god that holds all together is a simple consciousness.(21) '
' (21) The idea of god as a simple spiritual being was adopted by the early Christians and since then Christian theology was very careful not to talk of God in anthropomorphic terms. The Dutch theologian, Kuitert, created quite a stir in Reformed circles with his doctor's thesis, De mensvormigheid Gods: een dogmatisch-hermeneutische studie over die anthropomorfismen van de Heilige Schrift (Kampen,: Kok, 1962) in which he argued that the Bible does speak of God in terms of the human form, and thus suggested that theological anxieties about this had their origin in Greek thinking, not in the Bible. Kuitert's approach does open the way to talk about the biblical Jahwe Elohijm as having female attributes, or being a Black god, a poor or downtrodden god, as long as one realises that these terms will then be metaphorical terms indicating the way in which Jahwe relates to the diversity of creatures, his (non-exclusive) solidarity as expressed in terms like Immanuel – the essentialist theologies have their origin in Aristotle. '
' They [Alexandrian Christians and Jews] were strongly influenced, however, by the Platonist doctrine of a living soul that is relatively independent from the body. They adopted the Platonic doctrine that the soul is on a journey of purification in order to recover its contact with the Ideas or the One or the divine. ..
The famous church father, Augustine, accepted a hierarchy similar to that of Plotinus. .. he adhered to the tradition started by Xenophanes. He eliminated the Super-Intellect … also eliminated the World-Soul … on the divine side he eliminated all the elements of Plotinus' hierarchy. It is on the creation side – angels, human beings, animals, plants and minerals – that a hierarchy very similar to that of Aristotle, remained. But Aristotle's hylomorphism was no longer there. '
The biggest differences of opinion exist with regards to definitions of the divine as can be seen above. The importance of these definitions relates to the influence it had on creators. ICrM's definition of God has a noumenon metaphysical part and a physical part that is all honest people. References to God in the singular human for example ' His ' is not acceptable for ICrM because my opinion is that it is simply not true. No singular human can have God's power as the origin of the power. A definition of God has to define God as close as possible to the origin of God. The definition was formed due to the courage that faiths cause, to stay honest and the creative results of honesties that is important for volhoubaarheid. It is a definition that generates the most faith in me and thus helps me to stay honest and consequentially creative.
' Augustine was always at pains to hold on to the idea that there is a fundamental difference between God and His creatures: God is eternal and uncreated; no creature flows out of God, so no creature shares in God's substance. All creatures have been created “in the beginning” (in time) from “nothing”. ..
He .. explicitly rejects those doctrines that are related to organismic occultism (such as astrology). '
1.6 The Middle Ages
' Intellectual life began to break free from the boundaries of the monasteries by the tenth century. By then some political consolidation had taken place and the expansion of the southern intellectual tradition to the north, again especially via the Catholic Church, began in all seriousness. Unfortunately, we do not know much today about the original intellectual culture of the north, as records are very scarce. Southern Europe, from Germany to certain sections of Italy, became a more or less unified political system, especially under the leadership of Charles the Great Charlemagne]. He started a Renaissance of knowledge, for he needed administrators to administer the large empire. The monasteries became centres of training and education also for those who did not want to become clerics and who would become civil servants. An important expansion of knowledge took place. '
The Renaissance proves the effect of pre-knowledge in the quote above.
1.6.1 Early medieval Neo-Platonism (from Scotus to William of Conches)
' A few centuries later John Scot's doctrines were rejected by the Catholic Church as “pantheism”. It is clear that Scot was not able to distinguish between God and creatures, for he followed Neo-Platonism too closely. '
' .. William of Conches .. He said that the World-Soul is the same as the “Holy Spirit” ...
organismic world view is here, as often elsewhere, directly connected with pantheism.
The Church as such did not act against William of Conches, but a fellow monk (William of St. Theodoric) attacked his viewpoints. William of Conches then retracted, saying that he was a Christian in the first place, rather than a follower of Plato.
But the far-going adoption of ideas from the Platonist tradition introduced exactly what Augustine seemingly tried to avoid – the blurring of the border between God and creation. '
influence of organismic Greek thought entered the Church and
Potinus' and Plato's removal of ideas from subjects becomes
apparent. Augustine had an opinion that opposed organismic
thought but for ICrM his thought had not a difference impact
because he removed God from the world therefore the origin of
ideas could be argued to be not in this world.
1.6.2 “Aristotelian” Scholasticism – Albert and Thomas
' During the 11th and 12th centuries, the intellectual tradition of the Jews and the Arabs made their way into the West. Parts of Southern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula had been occupied by the Arabs, and especially in Spain there were large Jewish communities. Both the Jews and the Arabs had initially been under the influence of Plato and Neo-Platonism. When the works of Aristotle were being read again, both the Jewish and the Arab Moslem traditions changed from a synthesis of their religious ideas with Platonism, to a hybridisation of this with Aristotle's ideas. Ultimately, the learned of the time discovered the differences between Aristotle and Plato more precisely, and a new synthesis of the traditions came about. The contact between Christians, Moslems and Jews in Southern Europe caused similar changes in “Latin” Western thinking. It moved from a synthesis with the Platonist tradition to a hybridisation with Aristotelianism and then to a synthesis with a purer distillation of Aristotle's thought. . decisions of the Synods .. were seen as equal in authority to the Bible. Thus Plato's influence remains strong, because his ideas had already been melted into the accepted tradition of the Catholic Church.
Albert the Great, an early thirteenth-century thinker, was a follower of Aristotle. He believed that the whole universe is teleological and accentuated this aspect. . he was also involved in alchemical experiments.
Albert's student and disciple, the famous Thomas Aquinas, followed Aristotle even more closely. .. He developed a very complicated theory of the relationship between his God and creatures. Being a Christian, he could easily follow in Aristotle's footsteps and say that God was his own object, and that He was not interested in His creation. The biblical idea of God, however, is that of a person: a father in relation to children, a king in relation to subjects, a judge in relation to transgressors and other similar metaphorical descriptions that abound in the Bible. ..
Remarks by Thomas Aquinas, it seems, provided the starting points for the witch hunts conducted by the church. Thomas's thought is ambiguous, leaning towards the organismic, and in some cases crossing lines in that direction, something Augustine would have seen as pantheistic or occult. '
Venter and I agree that God are partly people. ' The Biblical idea of God .. that of a person .. father ..relation .. king ..relation .. judge .. relation .. metaphorical .. ' Thomas Aquinas had a similar ugly, selfish; possibly totalitarian G[g]od that Aristotle had.
' .. being told to them, as it were, by God Himself Who cannot lie. ' [Excerpt from The summa theologica by Thomas Aquinas]
12 October 2012
1.7 The Renaissance
' There was a constant refusal to interpret the Classics or even the Bible simply in the light of the dogmas of the church. One of the reasons was that the theologians and philosophers of the church got so involved in solving complex logical puzzles that the issues that affected daily life were forgotten. Another was the corruption in the church hierarchy, which induced some to say that the original sources said something different from what the church officials were saying. '
' Since almost all of the Renaissance adherents of the organismic approach were proponents of occultism, they will not be discussed here. Well-known names are Copernicus, Nicolas Cusanus, Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Paracelcus, Cornelius Agrippa and Giordano Bruno. Not all of them engaged in serious occultism. .. yet others, like Bruno, were totally pagan in their thought. '
relevance of occultism at ICrM relates to trade secrets
because occultism implies secrets.
1.8 Modern Philosophy
1.8.1 The transition to the mechanistic picture
' In the late Middle Ages, we have the emergence of the impetus theory, which replaced Aristotle's theory of the natural destination of elements. ..
During the Renaissance, a new kind of technology emerged, namely the artificial imitations of living animals, viz. automata (little ducks moving by themselves) and very importantly, the development of the pendulum clock. ..
In this way, the image of the clock was transferred to the universe. The Perfect Engineer made the universe as a clock. ..
Organists would say that orthodox Judaism and Christianity contributed to this for, on the basis of the cultural mandate” in Genesis, they preach control. The Biblical tradition, they complained, de-sacralised the world. According to them, the world was living, spiritual and divine and we should treat it as such. Furthermore, we should stop trying to master it, and rather try to live in harmony with the great living god in whom we have our home.
Mechanistic pictures and Christianity allow more ICrM than organismic pictures, therefore additional truths are relevant. The truths that make us realise where to stop. Thoughts about maxima becomes relevant. Is it right to take and make the maximum possible. I argue currently that truth is a natural restrainer because honesties restrain onvolhoubare profits.
1.8.2 Descartes and Leibniz
' Descartes accepted the mechanistic world picture as developed to explain the movement of the heavenly bodies. ..
He expanded it even further by applying it, not only to the astronomical universe and the human body, but also to all living things. All animals are machines, he says: their bodies function like machines. As for human beings, they differ from brute animals in the sense that, apart from bodies, they have souls – A human being therefore consists of reason (thought) and extension (body) – a thinking soul in a mechanical body. '
The effect of separating soul and body could have different effects on human behaviour. Let's say a creator oppose a status quo with new intellectual creations (ICr). The controllers of the status quo can argue, if they sacrifice the body of the creator they will get rid of the opposing force. The sacrifice is not really a sin because the soul keeps on living. They could also argue that whilst the intellectuality (soul) is contained in the body they should rather preserve the body so that they can keep track of the intellectual development by spying, for, if they sacrifice the body the intellectuality contained in the soul will emerge somewhere else and they cannot foresee where. They could also say they should allow free will and free ICr and remunerate it because it will increase exports and wealths of nations. There are many ways of looking at the effects and I will not expand about it here.
' Descartes was one of the earliest thinkers to formulate the basis of Modern scientistic (68) rationalism, namely (i) that the laws governing the world are rational law; that (ii) we can know them by deductions from rational principles; and that (iii) these deductions lead us to truth if they are done according to the method of the natural sciences (especially mathematics). ..
Descartes believed that knowledge of these laws could help us obey another law, namely the one that commands the promotion of the general good of mankind. This we can do by coming to know the power of the elements and the heavenly bodies to the same degree that we know the crafts of artisans, and “apply them in the same way to all the uses to which we are adapted, and thus render ourselves lords and possessors of nature” (Discourse on method VI, V&L:49). ..
the organismic thinkers accuse modern thought of disrespect
towards nature, they have only to produce this quote from
Descartes. Descartes, in referring to the elements and the
heavenly bodies, really pointed to a divine throne for the
human rational engineer who, he believed, could become the
owner and sovereign over “nature”. On a small scale, a medical
follower of Descartes showed how the values and attitudes
towards the environment changes with the adoption of the
mechanistic picture. The Dutch physician, Boerhaave, had no
qualms about the vivisection of animals, since he thought that
animals have no souls; they are simply very complicated
machines. Thus, in fact, the sensitive life of the animal was
This attitude ingrained itself in modern Western thought.
(68) Scientism is the view of science which proposes that only the methods of the natural sciences can ever bring us near truth, also in the human sciences. Adherents of scientism move between two extremes: those that are deductivists, and believe that the answer lies only in the method of mathematics, and inductivists, who think the starting point is always experiment and observation. '
' Another seventeenth-century philosopher, Leibniz, (a scientistic rationalist like Descartes) tried to combine the mechanistic and the organismic world pictures. . “monads” .. They are all alive and all monads are “aware” to a certain extent. ..
The hierarchy is reminiscent of that of Aristotle. Some monads are sensitive (they can feel) and other monads are rational. ..
In Leibniz, the organismic side still dominates. Later we find combinations of the two pictures, where the mechanistic dominates (such as in Kant and Adam Smith below). '
Mechanistic pictures allow more abstractions which is good for ICrM and organismic pictures require more restraint which is also good for volhoubaarheid of ICrM.
1.8.3 Thomas Hobbes – mechanistic and organismic societal explanations
' Hobbes put his readers before a choice: if you want to be safe, rather be satisfied with the civil state. If you think of rebellion, then the state of nature will take over and you will be in constant danger.
.. The mechanistic picture, from them (sic) on, was associated with totalitarianism and – as we have shown in discussing Plato .. the organismic picture became closely associated with totalitarianism. The reason for this is that organismic thinking tends to include the smaller into larger wholes, which gives them life and control them. .. The mechanistic picture, however, suggests that one can remove the parts of a machine and replace them or put them back again. For those using these pictures, the machine is not a structured whole in the same sense as a living body (parts can exist for longer outside the machine than limbs can outside of a living body). '
how much change is implied by intellectual creations will
partly determine how rebellious it seems. The openness also
signifies rebelliousness or not. ICr in a way nullifies the
organismic picture because parts are dependent on the whole in
the organismic picture. If a new part grows independently then
it is not dependent on the whole especially if the
totalitarian nature of the organismic picture tries to destroy
new creations. New creations will normally be dependent on the
whole in the sense that it grows out of the whole, because of
the current circumstances that have incoherent imbalances that
cannot be sustained. More freedom is allowed in the
mechanistic picture to create because in the organismic
picture new creations that can disturb the equilibrium first
have to be approved by totalitarian rulers. Totalitarian
rulers will logically not be very creative because
creativities would be against their own philosophy of
' Hobbes, however, feels there is a difference between taking apart a watch and taking apart society. A watch is a small thing that is objectively there before me, but society is a large entity that encompasses me. Concequently, Hobbes says: “OK. We do as if ...” Thus he wants to take the social machine apart in a hypothetical sense. Hobbes may not have thought of this at the time, but what he says is very pretentious: he says that if you follow a mechanistic method, you can come to understand with scientific precision that in which you are boxed in. '
Studies of accounting of ideas is similar to Hobbes's study because it is a study of circumstances that encompass us all. It doesn't matter whether a person is a creator or not, we are all involved due to the effect that new creations have on us all.
' According to Hobbes, humankind has four faculties: bodily strength, experience, passion, and reason (1972:109). It is the passions that determine the way of life in the state of nature. All men are equal in that state, and nature allows everybody an equal right to everything. That different men have a passion (appetite) for the same thing must lead to the right of the stronger; intellectual contest, aimed at glory, may itself lead to severe violence. Even in the civil state this is visible in the fact that people socialise not for the love of fellows, but for the sake of self-love in the form of gain or glory. (1972:115) '
The above quote shows another paradox of the organismic picture. If a stable totalitarian organism exist people do not have to use their passions and bodily strength to survive. What will they use then? Mainly two things of which one is rational capacities, that leads to ICr that will naturally then cause new things that oppose totalitarian stability.
' The mechanistic analysis was to show that in the state of nature, the individuals as independent parts destroy one another, but inevitably come to the realisation that they have to cooperate and make peace for the sake of the self-preservation of all individuals. It is clear that this rational conclusion does not guarantee the peace and the right to self-preservation. The organismic metaphors then shift rationality and the righteous will to the living societal animal, using terms and metaphors that make it totalitarian and absolute. This serves the purpose of denying the right to protest and of warning that whoever considers rebellion is actually re-instituting the state of nature. Hobbes speeded up the publication of his work especially to warn against rebellion. Since the reason and the will of the state provide us with the protection needed for self-preservation, we have to serve the state as our god. (In the Leviathan, Hobbes calls the state the mortal god!)
… the criticism that he made civil powers too strong, taken away liberty of conscience, and set princes above the laws (1972:105). '
Currently intequism puts the law of truths highest above any ruler.
1.8.4 Radical mechanism – La Mettrie
' To De la Mettrie there is no real difference between a human being and an animal: both of them are really only machines. '
1.8.5 Adam Smith and Kant – competition as mechanism
' .. gravitational equilibrium model .. '
Smith's models gave too much power for free fluctuations that
led to economic imbalances that could have been prohibited
with enforcement of Kant's universal laws with regard to ICrM.
Extortion and other civil transgressions are used as methods
of competition whilst their models apply. The transgressions
are not easily controlled with criminal actions which makes
the transgressions highly relevant at ICrM.
1.8.6 Hegel and the recovery of organismic holism
' He believed that everything flows out of the Idea (or Concept). Hegel, being extremely rationalistic, thinks of reality is (sic) concept and logical deduction. The “Idea” or “Concept” is alive and divine, and the process of out-flowing occurs according to a logical system of deducing one concept from another. Yet it is all organic – to Hegel it is not simply dead logic, but the living concept enriching itself through its different oppositional moments. '
It is not clear where Hegel would ascribe remuneration with regard to ideas because he has a view similar to that of Plotinus and Plato but he acknowledges the logical reasoning that takes place in thinkers. I think copyright law is partly based on his philosophy therefore some attribution must have been accredited to creators by him.
' Thus, instead of the long hierarchical chain that we find with Plotinus, Hegel's ontology moves between two points only: the “Idea” and “Nature”. The Idea subverts itself and becomes its opposite, Nature. In nature, the Idea remains hidden (alienated from itself). Nature then subverts itself to become the Idea again, but now the Idea has completely opened up like a flower, and we call it Spirit. …
The initial Idea is abstract, claims Hegel, for we cannot make any distinctions in it. It is only in its development that we can make distinctions. It is like Plotinus' hierarchy in which we can only make distinctions in the lower emanations – not in the One. As the Idea transforms itself, it grows in content – it is now more specific: the universal becomes more and more individual. In nature, the individuals are fixed. Nature is subject to Necessity (the natural laws are inevitable). Thus in Nature, the Idea is not free. As matter it has no leeway at all, but Nature transforms and enriches itself to become more and more universal again, until it completely emerges as Spirit. Spirit is freedom. In its self-transformation, it increases its freedom until it is identical with the Idea again, i.e. the Absolute Spirit, the divine “flower” now being fully open. By then, it carries all the distinctions that opened up in it through all the moments of its opening up. '
The development of an Idea can be recorded through its phases of development until the idea returns to the Absolute where it cannot be recorded. The life cycle of a product can be recorded from the time it can be distinguished at the conceivers and from their, through the development process to the marketing process to the eventual replacement by other products. ICrM applies to the initial phase because we already keep record of the later phases. Modern information systems should make the earlier recognition of Ideas possible.
' This theory, according to which opposites are born from one another, is called dialectics. According to Hegel, the dialectical “process” works in this way: the Thesis gives birth to its Antithesis. Thesis and Anti-Thesis form a new unity, a new Thesis that gives birth to a new Anti-Thesis. In abstract form, one of the earliest traits of organismic thinking reappears, namely polaristic thinking. '
' To summarise the system: Everything is alive, for the Idea is alive. The Idea is the same as god, but in an undeveloped form. When the Idea goes out of itself, it becomes Nature, which includes matter and plants and animals. When the Idea returns to itself, it becomes Concept, Reason, Spirit, and god. Everything is alive and full of Reason (everything is logical), for the Idea is in everything. The Idea is god in development, In Nature, therefore, everything is alive, reasonable and logical. Even concepts are alive. …
- He firmly believed that the Idea develops into ever more complicated wholes, with Concept inherent in all of them.
- He said that, from their outward appearance, we could analyse them as parts of a whole –like machine parts.
- On the inside, though, they were organic wholes, like living things that have no parts, with only members and organs, ones which cannot function outside of the living body. (You can take a steering wheel out of a car and use it as the front wheel of a wheel barrow, but you cannot take an arm off a human being and use it as an instrument to dig your garden, for example.)
- It is Concept that give them life, that makes them into wholes. Even if outwardly it seemed as if the universe is a machine (as De la Mettrie proposed), inwardly the universe is a logical, living, conceptual being – it is “divine”. '
written with lower case because it refers to people? If so it
could be an argument in favour of ICrM. If ideas can be
analysed like machine parts they can also be recorded.
15 October 2012
1.8.7 Goethe – organismic philosophy of nature
' Goethe was a very famous German poet, and dramatist. In his own days, he was also a well-known philosopher not only with regard to nature, but also regarding the development of the human being. He was a humanist, related to the Neo-Platonist tradition. Like Lessing, his interest was the progression of the human being to a higher moral level.
As a philosopher of nature, he was clearly a pantheist and his thinking was closely related to that of Plotinus. …
Being an adherent of Neo-Platonism, he also believed in Ideal Forms. '
Being a poet he probably used metaphors that are against Plato's order. It is not possible to generalise about one thing as criteria in a categorical hierarchical order for example absolute truths being maximum honesties, or is it? Do pantheists always become ' poets ' or are some of them Platonists. I assume Plato was not a pantheist because his Forms were removed from nature of which our bodies form part.
1.8.8 Darwin and mechanistic evolution
' Darwin adapted the idea of competition from the economic sphere into a struggle of one organism against another, and of the organism against its environment. '
If Darwin's theory that our environments change us is true, then our attitudes towards accounting of ideas will change us as organisms, because attitudes towards accounting of ideas (intequism) changes the environment within which a person survives. Environments will eventually then cause different species. The difference is that when looking at two attitudes towards intequism the one attitude can be compared to materialism and determinism. Nature and the environment will determine those species. The other attitude relates more to idealism which will form that specie. The second that relates to idealism can be compared to an order in which God is present and the other to an order in which Pan is present as supreme deity.
1.9 Irrationalism and the recovery of the organismic picture
' Physical nature, the law of entropy says, always moves back to equilibrium when the equilibrium is disturbed, for example when I heat a glass of water and leave it in a room, the water will have returned to room temperature after a brief time. … The law of entropy thus seems to make the spontaneous generation of life impossible, because if by any accident an imbalance favourable to the origination of life should come about, it would not be sustainable for long enough for life to realise.
… Some organismic thinkers (such as Bergson) argued that life itself has creative abilities and that life as such did not come from matter but from some higher source. '
to the above my current thoughts do not classify Bergson then
as a pantheist or organismic thinker because ' higher
source ' implies God. According to the Penguin dictionary
of philosophy and the Oxford dictionary of philosophy
Bergson's thoughts compare favourably to mine but I remember
reading something somewhere else that differed substantially.
Maybe it relates to his opinion about ICr in his open society
and trade secrets and remuneration for ICr.
1.9.1 JC Smuts – holism get as name
' General JC Smuts was an adherent of holism, which stands in a tension with the second law of thermodynamics – the law of entropy.
According to this law, whenever you have any order, then by nature it will return to chaos. In other words whenever you have any imbalance, it will automatically return to equilibrium. '
' by nature will return to chaos ' implies an outside power or a higher power. In a mechanistic view in the short term this cannot be observed. After a chemical solution has reached a balance it stays stable unless something is added. The law of entropy is thus maybe not as pantheistic (organismic) as portrayed sometimes because if chaos is a result of balance in nature there is an unexplained (noumenon) first mover.
' Smuts said that anything that formed a “whole” is creative. A “whole” does not simply follow the second law of thermodynamics by returning to chaos, but rather creates all kinds of more complicated forms. Thus, if we had a whole system of matter, this may create life, and systems of life interacting as a whole may create even more complicated forms of life. … Starting form matter there is an evolutionary process, one which in the end brings about human beings and finally man changes into god. '
1.9.1 Mussolini – when the organic state itself becomes the reality
' Mussolini explicitly declared his adherence to an organic picture of the world and to him the world has only two parts: that which is spiritual and permanent (the state) and that which is material and transitory (the individual).
He adopted a kind of holism: the state is a real spiritual living being and the individual citizen is actually only an organ of the state. Individuals have no being and no life outside the state. The state therefore only cares for those individuals who really are in harmony with it. The interests of the state are primary and all-encompassing: a totalitarian state.
… Of course, our human tendency to expand the application of our pictures and symbols into areas more and more unrelated to their original application can also be seen in the history of the organismic world picture: the living wholes found need not be organisms in the ordinary sense of the word. '
to some sources the totalitarian regimes espoused Plato. Their
believes would then have the Anomaly of Plato (Truth and
stability combined cannot exist currently) inherent to it. I
wonder if Venter meant by ' human tendency ', human
weakness because earlier he talked about us transcending our
difficult situations by forming pictures of what we cannot see
' But note that even though the totalitarianism is extreme, there is no sign of scientism here: the bergsonian background, specifically the adjustment to the ebb and flow of evolution, points in the direction of anti-scientistic irrationalism. '
Bergson's philosophy was explained as follows:
' But, on the other hand, he has shown that life also consists in the practical necessities imposed on our body and accounting for our habitual mode of knowing in spatial terms. More specifically then, Bergson's project in Creative Evolution is to offer a philosophy capable of accounting both for the continuity of all living beings—as creatures—and for the discontinuity implied in the evolutionary quality of this creation. …
We can see again that there are bodily needs which must be satisfied. The force of these needs is the source of the closed morality. Because of these needs, there is a rigidity to the rules of closed moralities. Kant's moral philosophy has its source in such needs. The survival of the community requires that there be strict obedience: the categorical imperative. Yet, although Kant's categorical imperative is supposed to be universal, it is not, according to Bergson. It is limited and particular. Closed morality really concerns the survival of a society, my society. Therefore, it always excludes other societies. Indeed, for Bergson, closed morality is always concerned with war. And static religion, the religion of closed morality, is based on what Bergson calls the “fabulation function.” The fabulation function is a particular function of the imagination that creates “voluntary hallucinations.” The fabulation function takes our sense that there is a presence watching over us and invents images of gods. These images then insure strict obedience to the closed morality. In short, they insure social cohesion. '
(Lawlor, Leonard and Moulard, Valentine, "Henri Bergson", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), From: <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2012/entries/bergson/> on 15 October 2012.)
1.9.3 Capra – the organismic history and oriental philosophy
' Society is also an organic entity – it is born, it grows, it gets old, it dies … and somewhere in the womb of the old society a new one is born, one that has different characteristics...
… He opted for the organismic world picture and world view, and therefore occultists (who share this world picture) do find him helpful and interesting (also since they want to project the image that their beliefs are “scientific”).
… Capra follows the historian and philosopher of history, Toynbee, in his analysis of the cultural crisis. According to Toynbee, history proceeds through repeated cycles of cultural birth, flourishing, and decline. A cultural epoch or civilisation grows through the leadership of a creative group, until it reaches a summit and has a large following. Soon after this, however, it appears to become unable to handle the challenges of its times, because the leadership starts to smother creativity. From this point on, it goes inevitably downhill, but at the same time a creative minority will arise. They will develop new forms, and these forms will be able to handle the challenges of the time. Up to a very late stage, the traditionalists, who by then will be a minority, will still be in power and will attempt to suppress the creative minority. Still, the old forms will inevitably die out, and the new ones will take their place. A totally new civilisation will develop which, of course, will be subject to the same cycle of growth and decay. '
Capra implies that the new conceived states and objects start at parts, according to ICr. Organismic views can have two different directions that creativities are remunerated in. According to Capra creativities start at parts. According to Smuts creativities can only be ascribed to wholes.
' Capra combines Toynbee's ideas of the historical cycles with the so-called ancient idea of a cultural rhythm. He adopted this latter idea from a Russian sociologist, Sorokin. The latter developed a theory on cycles of values. He believed that there are basically three value systems, namely materialism, spiritualism and idealism. In materialism, all attention is directed to material things. Spiritualism focuses one-sidedly on spiritual values. Idealism, in turn, tries to keep these opposing sets of values, i.e. the materialistic and spiritualistic, in balance. '
Currently my thoughts distinguish between idealism and materialism. Thoughts of materialism start at objects of physicality and thoughts of idealism start at concepts/objects of meta-physicality for example truths. Philosophies can be categorised with these two directions. Both these directions include thoughts in brains that is a go-between, in between the physical and the meta-physical. Probably my ' idealism ' should rather be called spiritualism and my ' go-between ' should be called idealism in order to have the balance between physicality and meta-physicality. There are thus three points of reference to establish a balance and to exclude generalisations to one or the other side.
I have not conceived of a third point of reference between honesties and deceits. It is not necessary to choose between the two because we all choose naturally because we all communicate via words. At the categorical hierarchical level of truths and deceits thus there is only two points of reference which we all choose between without thinking about a choice. This automatic choice could be an instinctual choice that can perhaps only be affected and changed by being reborn to either side. Many people are not aware of the three choices inherent amongst idealism, materialism and spiritualism because to be aware of that, philosophical knowledge is required. That implies that ' idealism ' for a schooled philosopher is according to me the only honest opinion because of the generalisations inherent to ' materialism ' and ' spirituality '. Three lapses back in two when materialism and spiritualism are classified together in deceits and idealism in honesties. ICrM will have the maximum effect in territories that espouse ' idealism ' because it implies honesties by schooled philosophers and religious ministers etc. in those territories.
' Systems theory is holistic, like the philosophy of JC Smuts. It says that the whole of anything is always more than the sum of its parts. According to systems theory, the whole reality is composed out of systems, which are part of larger systems, which are again parts of even larger systems. All of these systems are living units. The universe in its totality is therefore not just a collection of things, but a living system (much like a human being or an animal). … wholes are more important than the parts – which is exactly what “holism” means.
… to be part of the larger whole, viz. the tribe [This is what Jesus' love implies. Individuals should be trying not to be breaking laws (with understanding that abnormal temptations from devils exist) to love one's enemies so that we can fit into a larger whole.] '
Systems theory contradicts the earlier section of Capra that said that parts change wholes. The situation is the same as Sorokin's idealism, spirituality and materialism. The impression exist that Western (Left?) philosophy has not reached a balance between the generalisations that wholes are more important than parts or parts are more important than wholes. Although our instincts are to generalise to one of these two directions, left (west?) or right (east?), we forget about other directions that have a more balanced view that combines the left and right, for example from/to straight ahead and from/to the back. Perhaps thoughts will be more balanced if its are conceived within a framework of north, east, west, south, north-east, north-west, south-west and south-east. Left becomes west, right becomes east. Although it gives eight directions of thought in stead of many's instinctual two directions it will cause much confusion if political thought for example is described as west in stead of left and east in stead of right.
1.10 Understanding and rebuilding Africa
Van der Walt, B.J. 2008. Understanding and rebuilding Africa, from desperation today towards expectation for tomorrow. Institute for Contemporary Christianity in Africa. (In: Van der Walt M.F.ed. 2012. Geskiedenis van die filosofie, studiegids vir PHIL221PAC, Afdeling C: Leesbundel Potchefstroom, South Africa: North-West University. Pp. 93-98)
' Of the three worldviews (sic) to be compared later on in this chapter, the modern Western [mechanistic] and traditional African [organismic] worldviews (sic) belong to the first category, viz. they are not built on divine revelation. However, the third worldview, the Christian, is based on God's revelation.
… A worldview functions like a map, it provides orientation; like a compass, it gives direction from a deep religious commitment.
… definition of religion: it is the central directedness (sic) of all human life towards the real or presumed ultimate source (God/god) of meaning and authority. I will not elaborate further on this definition. '
ICrM was heavily influenced by the Bible with regard to sacrificing of creators. ICrM has a definition of God that is actuality and not presumed.
' In his excellent book Christianity and African gods (1999) Yusufu Turaki indicates that the African holistic reality is a spiritual reality. This is in sharp contrast to Western materialism. Basically everything is of a spiritual nature. This is the reason why the African worldview was in the past described as “animistic”. Recognition of and participation in the spirit world is of the utmost importance to the African people (see also Steyne, 1989).
… the pietistic, apocalyptic, “gospel of wealth” and other types of Christianity imported from the US, which are regretfully spreading like wildfire on the continent. All of them are Christian “narcotics” rather than Christian “tonics”. They do not encourage challenging the status quo, but rather promote submissive acceptance.
… A communalistic worldview
.. in contrast to Western individualism, Africa emphasises the community.
… As we already know .. most Africans believe in a Supreme Being. He is, however, an aloof god, a deus remotus, not much interested or involved in his creation. He is (due to the holistic character of this worldview) also not clearly distinguishable from the all-encompassing spiritual reality.
… The religious life of Africans is not something isolated, focused on a god. It is an inherent part of their communal life .. spirit world of demi-gods and the ancestors or “living dead”.
… From a Biblical perspective – which equally asserts individuality and communality – human identity neither arises from within the individual nor stems from the community. God created human beings with both an individual and a communal facet. We are defined neither by our individuality nor by our communality. Individuality and communality are two aspects or qualities of the multi-dimensional human being. It is preferable to say that a person has individuality or speak of a person as having the quality of communality, rather than saying a person is an individual or is a communal being. Furthermore, individuality and communality are complementary.
… they do not acknowledge universal norms for one's behaviour towards other human beings. … Discriminating against or even killing a person from another tribe, is not considered a crime or sin. Good or bad, right or wrong can only be committed against a member of one's own ethnic group. Anything outside the kinship system is labelled the “outside world” of strangers where no rules apply and where “the end justifies the means” or “might is right”. '
With regard to ICrM the above kinship system is applicable in all parts of the world due to the common property status of ideas.
' Africa does not clearly distinguish between a creator and its creation, as already indicated. It is not acquainted with the Biblical idea of creation. What is, has always been. As a result “nature” is something isolated from the divine, separate from the spirit world. Nature is full of spirits (pantheism). '
2. Nature versus culture
22 October 2012
Leerenhede Bl. 24-25
' Die Grieke het nie 'n duidelike afgrensing van die idee van “natuur” gemaak nie – die term “phusis” wat gewoonlik met “natuur” vertaal word, beteken eintlik iets soos beweging, wat ook insluit die beweging van gode soos die sterre. ...
Gedurende die Middeleeue … God herstel die mens as “natuur” (skepsel) deur genade as die mens glo. Deur hierdie genade word ook die rasionele vermoë van die mens weer aangevul, sodat die mens die natuurwette vir sy lewe beter kan verstaan. Deel van vaardighede, soos berekeninge, musiek maak en skrywe, maar ook vervaardiging van materiële dinge en wapens. …
Die Moderne visie .. Hierdie visie perk die idee van “natuur” duidelik in tot die benede-rasionele (anorganiese, die biotiese, die sintuie, die instinkte, die passies, die sentimente). Die “kultuur” is die sosiale produk van die rede, maar dit ontspring aan die “natuur” en ontluik deur 'n lang natuurproses waarin konflik en kompetisie 'n groot rol speel. Die Moderne-Tyd gebruik die Griekse en Romeinse geloof dat die mens se waardigheid daarin geleë is dat hy sy benede-rasionele aspekte moet onderdruk, en omvorm met behulp hiervan die verhouding van “kultuur” en “natuur” tot een van oorheersing, onderdrukking, en herskepping.
Rasioneel gaan ook oor wat waar is. Venter het waarskynlik Sartre as irrasioneel geklasifiseer, omdat dit wat Sartre geskryf het nie waar was, bv. ' net mens self beïnvloed mens se lewe '. Waar is 'n ontologiese meta-fisiese begrip wat mens weer by die onbeskryflike bring. My begrip van ' waar ' is meta-fisies, beskryflik, as gevolg van geloof in God, wat dit verseker, soortgelyk aan Descartes.
Vandag dink ek die term rasioneel, waaroor mens eers begin dink waneer mens se kennis daaroor uitbrei, dui in essensie op geloof van God in God. Die ' ra ' gedeelte van die woord is waarskynlik 'n afleiding van die Egiptiese ' Ra ' en die ' sion ' van die Griekse ' sun ' wat met beteken. Die woord beteken dus—met God—wat gelees kan word in die sin van ' ration ' of ' ratio '. Dalk kom die ' tio ' gedeelte van Theo af wat ratio dan laat as: God (ra) God (tio). In Afrikaans ' breekdeel '. Dus wiskundige denkpatrone. Prof. Pienaar het gesê volgens sy kennis moet betekenisse van woorde nie bepaal word deur hoofsaaklik na die etimologie (oorsprong) te kyk. Die etimologie maak egter sin saam met die ander agtergrond. Om saam met God te dink veroorsaak dat mens onder omstandighede van druk nog steeds rasioneel optree. Die rasionaliteit verwys dus meer na die—met God—as na die optrede. Die—met God—hang weer af van 'n definisie van God wat reg of verkeerd is en die reg of verkeerd aangaande 'n definisie van God is moontlik 'n onbeskryflike oorweging. Die moeilikheid om ' rasioneel ' te definieer word veroorsaak deur definisies van God. Mnr. Van der Walt het gesê moderne rasionaliste sal nie na ekstreme voorbeelde kyk bv., met doodsgevaar, om rasionaliteit te verstaan. Gestel mens word aangeval deur 'n baie groot leeu wat mens verseker sal verskeur en die persoon vries. Mens kan nie dan sê die persoon is irrasioneel omdat hy vries, want mens weet nie of die vries saam met God of sonder God was. Hoe kan ons werklik seker wees oor definisies van God behalwe deur ons eie geloof?
16 October 2012
wherever mankind is present, there nature in man and in man's
environment is changed. In some contexts, these changes occur
in harmony with the course of nature. This could lead to an
adoration of nature, in which natural phenomena are
experienced as divine. In the Bible, man and his environment
are unified in creation. Sin, as well as the subsequent
actions of mankind, is the cause of the destruction of the
environment and man himself. In yet other instances,
alienation between man and nature occurs. We find this already
present among the Ancient Greek sophists who were contrasting
“physis” with “nomos”, some choosing the side of “physis”
(like Callicles of Acharnae, who preached the right of the
stronger as the only right). In modern Western secular
culture, for example, nature has been experienced as an enemy
to be subdued. '
2.1 Ancient Greece
' In Ancient Greece “nature” was conceived as “physis” (from which our modern word “physics” is derived) “Physis” meant something like “the moving”, “the changing”, “the growing”, which can probably be understood in terms of the organismic world picture of the Greeks. Opposed to “physis” were different terms that expressed the typical actions of humankind, such as “logos” (“reasoning” and “word”), “nomos” (“law” or “civil obligation”), and the most important one, namely “techne” (“skill” and its concomitant products).
2.2 The Middle Ages
' In the Middle Ages, we find a similar contrast: “creation” (which was probably related to the Greek “physis”), “that which is given by God in the beginning”, and “ars” (a translation of the Greek “techne”), which is that which is brought about by the intellectual and manual skills of man. Unfortunately, the words “techne” and “ars” are usually translated into English as “art”. The English word “art” is ambiguous; it can refer to the fine arts (like poetry, painting, sculpting), or to “skill” and its products (.. artisan ..). '
2.3 Modern philosophy and culture
' In the late seventeenth century, “nature” was conceived of as teleological, both in and outside of man. This means that “nature” aims at progress and that mankind will make progress, regardless of whether they know it or not. (This does not mean that everything is well with every human being, but that mankind as a species will improve over time). A mechanical concept of “culture” develops with this - “nature” is supposed to ensure progress through competition and war, and this works automatically. The constant threat of war forces us to develop faster, so as to avoid being overpowered by other nations. Thus, when we come to the eighteenth century, war and violence is considered to be good, for it contributes to progress. '
' Man was supposed to create order within his own reason, and impose this order on creation. Man was also supposed to be master of his own fate. Thus Kant, for example, tells us on the one hand that we do not know the order of the universe outside of the mind, but that we impose our plans on that order. He also views man as an end in himself (which to him means “freedom”), i.e. mankind autonomously decides on a rational moral order. …
Part of the nature-culture dialectic is the tension between a return to nature and the necessity of progress. …
Another aspect of the nature-culture tension finds expression in the individual-social tension. “The natural human being” is considered to be a free individual without any social bonds. Each individual takes care of his or her own needs. … We always need some power structure to protect us from one another. … It seems to me that this is also still the case with Locke, but towards the end of the 17th century, the relationship between nature and culture, and therefore between individual and society, became a historical one .. (Those who followed Aristotle, like Hutchinson, Adam Smith's teacher, accepted that the human being is always social. Such adherents were, however, few and far between.) This individualistic approach to the “natural” human being is exactly the opposite from the beliefs we find in Africa. According to African tradition, naturally, all human beings live in society – in fact, they are considered products of society: “A human is a human through other human beings”, is the Ubuntu adage. '
The meaning of ' social ' according to Hutchinson differs from the meaning for Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Hutchinson's definition relates more to Jesus' love because individuals show their commitment to society by not breaking laws whilst staying creators. Societies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau expect of members of their group (common wealth) to transgress universal laws for their common wealth and to oppose new creativities.
' (Hobbes and Defoe) … although it is believed that individual human beings are naturally unsociable (a war of all against all, as Hobbes says), yet they find some agreement with others not to attack one another and to form a group that is able to protect its members against the stronger. (The idea of ganging up in a group against the stronger ones was already denigrated in Ancient Greece by the Sophist Callicles of Acharnae. As modern thought became more naturalistic, it focussed more on the struggle for power and survival. After Hobbes, we find this as a very strong element in Turgot, Kant, but especially in Darwin, the Social Darwinists, and Nietzsche (who seems to be quoting Callicales).
We find two views of the contractual society:
- The first and most well-known kind we find in the theory of Jean Jacque Rousseau. According to him, society is set up by a single contract that binds all members, and this is almost “once and for all”.
- The second view was that of Adam Smith. To him, society is actually a continuous process of contracting. All human interacting is a continuous contracting, thus all human relationships are based on self-interest. Loving your wife is similar to trading or bartering. Life is one big “market”; we are “trading” all the time.
The inherent tension involved in the understanding of the individual-social relationship is quite complicated. … Both Hobbes and Rousseau tended to understand this freedom as under the protection of an absolute and totalitarian state. '
I do not agree with Venter's explanation about the forms of the two social contracts. The crux of the difference between the two contracts is that according to Jean Jacque Rousseau we should be creatures and according to Kant and Smith we should be creators. Kant and Smith thus imply we have to conceive ideas to survive, whilst continuous change is a given. Kant's and Smith's view implies a bigger emphasis on manufacturing as in the economy of Germany. Rousseau's view implies dependence on trade as in the economy of Israel. Rousseau takes an attacking stance and Kant a defensive stance if creations are seen as normal. Jean Jacque Rousseau implies we should not conceive ideas and therefore, to survive, we have to take creators' ideas and develop its or we should trade with creators' creations. The difference between the two views is maybe the essence of the different views towards ICrM in Western society and maybe in the world. Trading is therefore more relevant at Rousseau than at Smith and Kant. According to Venter trading is more relevant at Smith. Probably, Rousseau's followers are more dependent on territorial controls in order to sell products that are manufactured by Kant's followers and to sell raw materials to manufacturers (Kant's followers). It then logically follows that according to Rousseau's view, common wealth groups isolate creators and ' sacrifice ' creators because creativities are seen as evil. Plato's philosophy is part of Rousseau's and Kant's philosophies but Rousseau's philosophy still includes the anomaly of Plato whereas Kant's philosophy does not include the anomaly of Plato. The anomaly of Plato exists because Plato thought it is possible to espouse truths and have an unchanging sensible society, as stable as the intellectual concept truths. Truths (honest communications) however naturally cause change in Plato's sensible world because of intellectual/natural progressions and improvements that are logical results of knowings (knowledges). The ontic stability of Plato's truths (honesties) in his intellectual world gets inverted into change in the sensible world. It seems Plato did not realise that, according to Popper's book The open society and its enemies, because according to Popper, Plato viewed change as evil.
' .. what Rousseau says about the state, is an adoption and elaboration of the form taken by the city state in ancient Greece. He was not in the first place searching for facts in the classical works; for there were new methods of collecting facts, but rather for norms and standards, for a moral code. '
17 October 2012
' Never was a man more in earnest in his hostility towards the individual. And this hatred is deeply rooted in the fundamental dualism of Plato's philosophy; he hated the individual and his freedom just as he hated the varying particular experiences, the variety of the changing world of sensible things. In the field of politics, the individual is to Plato the Evil One himself. ' (Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. p. 99 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
188.8.131.52 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
' Once equality had disappeared, it was necessary to form coalitions for the sake of survival. The way in which to defend yourself against somebody stronger is to find the help of somebody else. In this way the first societies were founded. Free individuals formed groups. Some of their freedom was sacrificed for the sake of security. '
The opinion of Rousseau above is wrong today. Because of the protectionist nature of the state a person should not form groups to protect themselves. They should go to the state, who's job it is to protect people. When groups are formed it causes trouble and eventually civil wars. The same applies to extortion of valuables like ideas.
' Aristotle tells us that Lycophron considered the law of the state as a 'covenant by which men assure one another of justice' (and that it has not the power to make citizens good or just). He tells us furthermore that Lycophron looked upon the state as an instrument for the protection of its citizens against acts of injustice (and for permitting them peaceful intercourse, especially exchange), demanding that the state should be a 'co-operative association for the prevention of crime'. It is interesting that there is no indication in Aristotle's account that Lycophron expressed his theory in a historicist form, i.e. as a theory concerning the historical origin of the state in a social contract. On the contrary, it emerges clearly from Aristotle's context that Lycophron's theory was solely concerned with the end of the state; for Aristotle argues that Lycophron has not seen that the essential end of the state is to make its citizens virtuous. This indicates that Lycophron interpreted this end rationally, from a technological point of view, adopting the demands of equalitarianism, individualism, and protectionism.
In this form, Lycophron's theory is completely secure from the objections to which the traditional historicist theory of the social contract is exposed. It is often said, for instance by Barker, that the contract theory 'has been met by modern thinkers point by point'. That may be so; but a survey of Barker's points will show that they certainly do not meet the theory of Lycophron, in whom Barker sees (and in this point I am inclined to agree with him) the probable founder of the earliest form of a theory which has later been called the contract theory. ' (Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. pp. 108-109 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
Rousseau's philosophy seems like arguments he had in favour of revolution to overthrow the gentry of his time. He opposed creativities as evil and thus did not see the anomaly of Plato.
19 October 2012
Extracts from ' from The first and second discourses ' by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Stanley Rosen (ed.). New York: Random House Reference. In Leesbundel pp. 120-125.
' This selection is excerpted from “The Second Discourse,” also known as “Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men.” '
' Taught by experience that love of well-being is the sole motive of human actions, he [humanity] found himself able to distinguish the rare occasions when common interest should make him count on the assistance of his fellow-men, and those even rarer occasions when competition should make him distrust them. '
' .. they used it to procure many kinds of commodities unknown to their fathers; and that was the first yoke they imposed on themselves without thinking about it, and the first source of the evils they prepared for their descendants. …
until this time wandered in the woods, having adopted a more
fixed settlement, slowly come together, unite into different
bands, and finally form in each country a particular nation,
unified by customs and character, not by regulations and laws
but by the same kind of life and foods and by the common
influence of climate. '
' The one who sang or danced the best, the handsomest, the strongest, the most adroit, or the most eloquent became the most highly considered; and that was the first step toward inequality and, at the same time, toward vice. '
' For the poet it is gold and silver, but for the philosopher it is iron and wheat which have civilized men and ruined the human race. …
From the cultivation of land, its division necessarily followed; and from property once recognized, the first rules of justice. For in order to give everyone what is his, it is necessary that everyone can have something; moreover, as men began to look to the future and as they all saw themselves with some goods to lose, there was not one of them who did not have to fear reprisals against himself for wrongs he might do to another. This origin is all the more natural as it is impossible to conceive of the idea of property arising from anything except manual labor; because one can not see what man can add, other than his own labor, in order to appropriate things he has not made. It is labor alone which, giving the cultivator a right to the product of the land he has tilled, gives him a right to the soil as a consequence, at least until the harvest, and thus from year to year; which, creating continuous possession, is easily transformed into property. '
It was a general thought during the Enlightenment that only labours gave rights to remunerations according to my knowledge. Creative ideas have never been part of legal rights with regard to remuneration. Discretionary bonuses currently remunerate creative ideas but much creative ideas stay unremunerated and to change that is the main aim of ICrM.
Kant and Rousseau both lived early 1700's. Kant and Smith it seems espoused competition but Rousseau did not.
Extracts from ' The social contract or principles of political right ' by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Translated by Henry J. Tozer. London: Swan Sonnenhein & Co. In Leesbundel pp. 127-137
' In this investigation I shall always strive to reconcile what right permits with what interest prescribes, so that justice and utility may not be severed. '
' If I should concede all that I have so far refuted, those who favour despotism would be no farther advanced. There will always be a great difference between subduing a multitude and ruling a society. When isolated men, however numerous they may be, are subjected one after another to a single person, this seems to me only a case of master and slaves, not of a nation and its chief; they form, if you will, an aggregation, but not an association, for they have neither public property nor a body politic. Such a man, had he enslaved half the world, is never anything but an individual; his interest, separated from that of the rest, is never anything but a private interest. If he dies, his empire after him is left disconnected and disunited, as an oak dissolves and becomes a heap of ashes after the fire has consumed it.
A nation, says Grotius, can give itself to a king. According to Grotius, then, a nation is a nation before it gives itself to a king. This gift itself is a civil act, and presupposes a public resolution. Consequently, before examining the act by which a nation elects a king, it would be proper to examine the act by which a nation becomes a nation; for this act, being necessarily anterior to the other, is the real foundation of the society. '
reality is that practically all physical property belonged to
kings in the past before rights to remuneration after labours
were instituted. Currently most benefits of ideas belongs to
' kings ' with little benefit going to conceivers of
those ideas. ICrM thus aims to create intequible divisions of
benefits flowing from the conceiving (conceivement) of ideas.
The above quote from Rousseau supports my thoughts that
perhaps God are honest people (creators) that cracked and
became despots after cracking or some other related reality.
How do persons reach states in which they as individuals can
control multitudes. A logical manner is if they are willing to
use force. Another possibility could relate to the
' noble lie ' Plato wrote about. I could not find
the reference of the ' noble lie '. I remember to
have read about that in the Republic. Maybe a ' noble
lie ' that instills fear in subjects.
Rousseau explains how a group of people combine their powers into a formal group to enhance their chances of survival. He calls the group ' city ' or ' republic ' or ' body politic '. ' Forthwith, instead of the individual personalities of all the contracting parties, this act of association produces a moral and collective body, which is composed of as many members as the assembly has voices, and which receives from this same act its unity, its common self (moi), its life, and its will. '
The ' moi ' of South Africa I assume is the constitution. According to my knowledge the constitution does not give sufficient rights to individuals. Groups can extort ideas from individuals legally unless I am mistaken. The best available protection exist according to civil court procedures that is very expensive. Smaller groups can have a memorandum of incorporation (MOI) according to the new Companies Act. A problem of this belief of a ' common self (moi) ' is the different groups that eventually caused civil war in the British Isles at the time of Hobbes. In South Africa several kingdoms exist that could lead to the same problems. If ICrM acknowledge different groups maybe benefits of kreatieë can settle in a group, but that would imply that each person have to be a member of a sub-group in the Republic of South-Africa. It is more logical that by being a citizen one should be member of a national pool in which ideas are developed with rights to conceivers of ideas. The current biggest problem is that information is traded across borders. Free ideas are thus benefitting mainly the traders of these ideas whilst not being developed formally by using sanctioned capital as is being used by the OECD countries. In the OECD countries any conceiver of an idea can apply for development capital. I am not sure how it works in practise. In South-Africa conceivers do not have the possibility. See quotes of Jordaan and Barlow in Management accounting of intellectual creations (JETEMS, 2012 Feb). There has been developments in the OECD block with regard to South-Africa recently but we are not on an equal footing to citizens in other countries. If South Africa is part of the OECD group the ICrM group is wider than national and then the traders of South-Africa's ideas have obligations to other nations of the OECD group as well.
22 October 2012
' I shall close this chapter and this book with a remark which ought to serve as a basis for the whole social system; it is that instead of destroying natural equality, the fundamental pact, on the contrary, substitutes a moral and lawful equality for the physical inequality which nature imposed upon men, so that, although unequal in strength or intellect, they all become equal by convention and legal right.* ..
* Under bad governments this equality is only apparent and illusory; it serves only to keep the poor in their misery and the rich in their usurpation. In fact, laws are always useful to those who possess and injurious to those that have nothing; whence it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only so far as they all have something, and none of them has too much. '
Again, this view of Rousseau will not ensure sufficient ICrM to survive in the long run because he does not consider laws of truths that do not distinguish between possessors and those who have nothing. ' .. always useful to those who possess ..' is not true, maybe not even at his type of laws. The generalisations about laws is not sufficient because there are universal laws and laws that are not universal. The non-universal laws are the laws he refers to.
' Like John Locke, David Hume was an empiricist, one who believed that experience and experiment were the only real sources of truth. He also called himself a “sceptic”, since he doubted all kinds of doctrines, and especially our knowledge of the “metaphysical”. '
' He realised that the idealising of the method of natural science had its limits, and that it would fail, especially in analysing human culture and its products.
Hume seems to use concepts of rationality, which indicates his wider [than followers of scientism like Locke] view of the matter. Although he doesn't use names for them, one could say that he distinguished between a lower kind of rationality and a higher kind. The lower kind of rationality is that of the natural sciences, based on sense experience, induction, mathematical deduction, and logical reasoning. The higher kind of rationality is practical: the concept of experience here includes “skill” (as in the expression: “a man of experience in writing or painting”). “Experience”, in this case, even implies having had much exercise, or practise, in rational judgement.
It is the
latter kind of rationality that comes into play in the case of
morals and art. These disciplines are both part of human
sentiment, but the sentiment is refined by experience in
judgement of utility (morals) and beauty (fine arts). The
possibility of such experience is based on the structure of
human consciousness (a priori), yet we do need some
experience to awaken our ability to judge.
It is interesting to note that, like Rousseau, Hume wanted the scientific rationality of the lower kind to be subject to the higher, practical kind of rationality. Since he was no democrat like Rousseau, but a monarchist, practical rationality to him was not political thinking, but rather bound to the life of the nobility in the British Isles (he was a Scotsman), which was a life of useful service to the kingdom, and of appreciating the finer things in life. Hume seriously believed that the reading of poetry would make any person a better mathematician or physicist. '
' For Hume, “nature” also implies realism and simplicity, but art in itself is something decorative, artificial and not natural. This gives us two extremes: simplicity and refinement. Good art is the golden mean between the two, but the mean is a range, and since we tend to exaggerate to one side, we must force ourselves to lean over to the opposite side, so as to get the balance. Thus our human tendency will be towards exaggerating refinement. It is therefore a good policy in art production to force ourselves in the direction of simplicity. '
If truth, the concept, is the ' really real ' it implies that physical sensible realities/actualities are that what are. Metaphors of art can taint our memories and remove us from realities to such an extent that we cannot work properly. It seems the problem is at metaphors. Words that explain concepts could be not metaphorical. Those words can have their own essences that should not be mixed with actualities that could confuse us away from realities. The word truth should therefore perhaps only be used to refer to the concept. When I say someone speaks truths, that is incorrect because I should rather say someone speaks realities. If truth relate only to the concept then 'speaks truths' is a metaphor that can confuse. Designing beautiful shapes is part of ICrM. If we talk about our Father in heaven it is a metaphor that perhaps remove our abilities to design beautiful forms. We should therefore rather just talk about God because the word is not metaphorical.
' Like the secondary qualities in the theory of Locke, so the qualities of good art, according to Hume, are constituted inside the mind. The work of art itself stimulates, via the senses, this structural a priori of the mind: the sentiments of beauty (in the case of art) and utility (in the case of moral behaviour). It is on the basis of these sentiments recreating the qualities, that we judge the stimulant, the work of art, to be good or bad. '
The reference that Hume made to utility of moral decisions could imply that his a priori sentiments have been tainted and that he was not capable of really real good judgement. My conception of Truth exclude utility with regard to moral decision making because ICrM rejects the ' sacrifice ' of ' ones ' as a means of survival by extorting valuable ideas from people who have individuality. Let's say a father base his moral decision making on the utilisation of material things by his family. He argues that his lies are moral because the lies help to supply utilities to his wife and children and maybe extended group members. According to ICrM that is short sighted because it only looks at the immediate. Utility is a short term concept because it relates to immediacy. In a categorical hierarchy Truth is at the top or near the top and honesties are included in the concept Truth. Truth in one's life is an a priori decision because, how can it be proved that Truth overrides immediate utilisation of an effect that requires lying.
18 October 2012
' With most of the eighteenth-century philosophers, we find a tendency towards neoclassicism. They avoided, in other words, taking norms and standards from Christianity, and returned to classical sources for their inspiration and standards.
' .. Plato's central religious doctrine. The gods, he teaches in the Laws, punish severely all those on the wrong side in the conflict between good and evil, a conflict which is explained as that between collectivism and individualism. And the gods, he insists, take an active interest in men, they are not merely spectators. It is impossible to appease them. Neither through prayers nor through sacrifices can they be moved to abstain from punishment. ' (Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. p. 135 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
' We must now have a closer look at ART (as rule or Idea), to better understand what they meant.
From the point of view of ART itself, one could express it in a formula: for example the “golden mean” equals the right mixture of opposites (and a good work of art fulfils this rule). The opposites intended were such as extreme emotions, extreme change of fate, action versus silence, new versus old, simplicity versus decoration.
explains partly the current culture with regards to
' Ideas '. ART was investigated as Idea; a separate
entity. ' Idea ' in brackets after ART implies that
Idea is a separate entity that nobody owns. It is common
property and it is taken away from the artist. According to
ICrMA (Intellectual creations management accounting) their
should be a recorded link between ideas and the conceivers of
the ideas because links will inspire people to create and that
will increase the volhoubaarheid of a territory and its
people. Whether this link should be transferred to other
generations, by choice, by the conceiver is an issue, but the
current is a bigger issue.
' Kant believed that reason created its own order form (sic) the chaos of impressions coming in through the senses, but that we do not really know the order of the world-in-itself, as it is outside the mind. In fragmentary form, reason can impose its own plan on the things-in-themselves but, according to Hegel, Kant does not succeed in putting reason in charge of the universe. Hegel himself wants to be the consistent rationalist – he therefore goes much further than Kant: he represents reason as the creator of the world and the guide of history. In fact, all of reality is the out-flowing product of the Idea (which, to Hegel, is the same as reason). Reason is fully autonomous. It is god in becoming. '
' Hegel assumes the dialectical method as the expression of real history. In other words, he believed that history moves through polar opposites. The main opposites are: Idea, Nature and Spirit.
According to Hegel, the Idea is the most abstract form of reason. It is pure logic. Yet logic flows out of itself (much like in Plotinus the Super Intellect emanates from the One), and this outflow is the polar opposite of the Idea, namely Nature. Although Nature is the opposite of the Idea, it emanates from the Idea and is actually the same as the Idea, but in another form: It is the alienated Idea (alienated, then, from itself). In the form of Nature, the Idea is bound to the laws of necessity – like the law of gravity (which nobody can avoid), or the laws of vegetation, from which no living being is exempted. Stones and trees and animals are all forms of the Idea as Nature. In the same way, my senses and emotions are all forms of reason in its state of nature.
In the second phase, the Idea returns to its original logical form, but it is now enriched, and we call the Idea in this form Spirit. Spirit which is reason in its richest and most concrete form, to Hegel meant the same as freedom. As mankind becomes progressively more rational in all its higher functions, it also becomes more “spiritual” and “freer”. Spirit itself moves through three phases, namely subjective spirit (this is the lowest form of spirit, realising that it is bound to the laws of nature), objective spirit (this is the external projections of Spirit in cultural works like the state, construction, et cetera), and absolute spirit, which is art, religion and, finally, philosophy. …
The dialectic of Nature versus Culture in Hegel is concerned with the latter two phases of the development of the Idea, namely Nature and Spirit (for it is the Spirit that produces culture). Hegel attempts to overcome the alienation between nature and culture that is part of modern Western tradition. When Kant stated that reason does not know what the order of the thing-in-itself is, yet can impose its own order on those things-in-themselves (even if only in a fragmentary way) and also that rational man creates his own moral order, there was a clear alienation of man from nature and of subject from object. Culture became a threat to nature and nature, from which culture was born, was considered something dangerous to be overcome. Hegel thought that he could overcome this alienation through the dialectical method. On the one hand, he stated that Idea, nature, and Spirit are all the same, since they are all different forms of reason or of the Idea; on the other hand, he allowed for the alienation by also maintaining that they are opposites. In this way nature is subject to (p.114) necessity, but Spirit is free. And the freest and most divine form of Spirit is philosophy, which is at the summit of progress and of the “history” of the Idea. '
According to my current knowledge Hegel's philosophy influenced current copyright law a lot. Copyright is only applicable to physical work. An idea is common property but when it is converted into paper and ink (computer files?) copyright becomes applicable. I read somewhere that in Germany spoken word also applies in copyright law. Spoken word is thus seen as physical nature that was converted from Hegel's ' Idea ' and can be owned. ICrM investigates the ' Ideas ' and currently ascribes a bigger origination effect to humans than current culture. ICrM is mainly concerned with the time from the origination of the Idea to the time of conversion to nature. The process that takes place when nature is converted into Spirit is a communal process because it relates to observations, interpretations and analyses of multitudes that culminates in culture. Current studies at Northwest University has as objective a paper that proves a more substantial link between ' Ideas ' and humans. Hegel's ' Idea ', according to current intequism (ienkếtismi) originates more substantially in human thought than is currently believed by majorities.
The idea of ICrM formed in my head by adding my experiences and previous knowledges together. The process that started in 1987 (probably earlier) with studies, can be compared to Hegel's ' Idea '. Whilst writing my thoughts on paper ideas become something physical that can be compared to Hegel's ' nature '. According to Hegel, buildings, bridges, books and institutions are natures. The more visible our works become the deeper its are entrenched into nature. Nature then becomes Spirit (Zeitgeist) when others are influenced by our new ' natural ' surrounds. Spirits beget cultures that are prevalent for times and when new ' natures ' (books, buildings etc.) replace old Spirits new cultures are begotten. During this process there are economic interests that change, which cause oppositions and enemies but we can show that changes of ICrM encourage volhoubaarheid and the changes would be more easily accepted, without Plato's opposition, especially after the anomaly of Plato is understood.
' The German word Zeitgeist is often attributed to the philosopher Georg Hegel but he never actually used the word. In his works such as Lectures on the Philosophy of History, he uses the phrase der Geist seiner Zeit (the spirit of his time) — for example, "no man can surpass his own time, for the spirit of his time is also his own spirit." '
(From: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist> on 18 October 2012)
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
' It is thus that Hegel has effected the transition from a phenomenology of “subjective mind,” as it were, to one of “objective spirit,” thought of as culturally distinct patterns of social interaction analysed in terms of the patterns of reciprocal recognition they embody. (“Geist” can be translated as either “mind” or “spirit,” but the latter, allowing a more cultural sense, as in the phrase “spirit of the age” (“Zeitgeist”), seems a more suitable rendering for the title.) '
(Redding, Paul, "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/hegel/>. On 18 October 2012)
19 October 2012
' In romantic aesthetics, the accent was to move away from the Neo-Classicist obsession with rules or standards of taste. The focus moved away from the audience to the artist. From the Idealists, like Kant and Hegel, they had adopted a preoccupation with the autonomy of the subject, even though they did not necessarily focus on the rationality of the subject. The “nature” (inner experience of the artist) is the law.
… To them, nature was the ideal and the divine was inside nature. Many of them tended to look for idyllic natural surroundings where they lived and worked – their works tending to be dreamlike, idyllic, mystic, and melancholic. '
The romantics put more emphasis on the creators, therefore they were more in line with ICrM. The creations (buildings, books etc.) that Hegel saw as nature seems to be a correct reflection of nature according to the Bible. God (humans) created the trees etc. long ago. The way that current creativities with regard to genetics and so forth are developing includes the possibility that humans can again create organic things that can pro-create and grow and act like organisms. New creations might enter the universe again just like trees and other organic material did according to the Bible.
' Freud produced a combination of the nature-culture dialectic with evolutionism. He was neither real romantic nor a naturalist, but his psychiatry is framed by these themes. He distinguishes between the Id (literally the “it”), the Ego (the “I”) and the Superego (literally “that which is above the I”). The “Id” is his version of the naturalistic, brute side of our personality – the remnants of our animal ancestry; i.e. his conception of “nature” is us. The “Superego” is that which governs me from outside. He explains this to be the normative structure of society. There is a very real conflict between the forces of the Id and those of the Superego. Freud, however, does not finally choose for the one or the other; in fact, his conception of rationality is that of a balance between the two, which is the Ego. If a real balance is not reached, the person becomes psychologically sick (“irrational”), and the work of the psychoanalyst is to put this right. In practice, it means one has to find a way to satisfy both one's own irrational drives and society's normative needs in a balanced way. '
The current situation with regards to ICrM, that could change, depending on the circumstances of the ages are as follows: The Superego includes dishonest people who are controlling culture as a group. They are the people in control according to Capra and Toynbee (page 86). Id includes the honest instinct or reborn nature that creators have and if they have too much contact with the Superego then they become unstable. The interactions between two groups of people; deceivers and the honest, should be minimized for ICrM to flourish. Deceivers logically develop telepathic abilities and memories. Most of us want to know reality. Being in contact with deceivers thus decrease reality-reflecting verbal and written communications. Honest communications lead to creative abilities and dependence on reality-reflecting verbal and written communications. Deceits and honesties could have evolutionary effects with regard to verbal and writing (typing) abilities. Knowledges that form the individual pieces of the puzzle with which new knowledge is being created should be reality other wise ICrM cannot be effective. Egos, tending towards natural honesties need the knowledges of the system in order to build new puzzles and thus have to come in contact with deceivers. Contact with deceivers has to be understood by creators in order to know the effect that they have on the honest in order to stay balanced. Another way to keep a balanced Ego is by joining deceivers but that will decrease creative abilities and increase telepathic abilities with possible evolutionary effects towards absolute truths in the form of animals. Possibly when groups' telepathic abilities become so effective that deceits cannot exist, those groups become part of nature. I have always regarded nature as trees, mountains, animals etc. but since yesterday I have been influenced by Hegel to regard buildings and man made things also as nature according to his idealistic dialectic. Our dwellings, furnitures and the books in our bookshelves are therefore an extension of the trees and animals outside as part of nature. WE are not part of nature. WE have the honest part of nature as instinct and reborn characteristic and unless WE keep that characteristic we could become wholly part of nature.
184.108.40.206 Van Wyk Louw
' Van Wyk Louw, the Afrikaans poet, wrote an epic poem called Raka. …
The brutish figure, Raka, is the symbol of the dark, primitive, earthly, instinctual side of life; animal-like. It is the “Dyonisian” side of Nietzsche's cycle of recurrence. At the same time, it is also the “animal”, the brute, in man himself, which constantly threatens the veneer of civilisation.
Koki represents the culture of his tribe, their civilisation and traditions. … He represents the Apollonian half of Nietzsche's cycle. '
can be changed by creating new natural buildings, books etc.
Creations then, according to Hegel changes Ideas into nature.
Popper calls this type of change ' piecemeal
engineering ' in contrast to ' Utopian
Engineering '. (Popper,
K. 2011. The open society and its
enemies. p. 147 [First published 1945] London and
New York: Routledge Classics)
Another manner of change is by revolutions that
destroys Hegel's natural things by breaking buildings and new
technologies. If a small part of society for example lives
apart from the rest of society, utilising much foreign
products that cannot be afforded by the majority of the
population, this type of destruction can take place when
revolutions take hold. Raka seems to be this second type of
destructive behaviour, but I am not sure. In the Bible the
following was written as having been said by Jesus, which
could imply that Raka in the poem is a creator more in line
with piecemeal engineering. Jesus was not a revolutionary. He
' “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. ' (Matthew 5:21-22)
' Piecemeal engineering ' according to Popper relates more to a negative influence, by fighting ' evil ' on a piecemeal basis, in contrast to making sweeping new creations as in ' Utopian engineering '. Piecemeal engineering happens when, in an open society, crime for example is opposed, in a state where individuals are protected against groups. ' Utopian engineering ' refers to Platonic philosophy in which a whole new city is created on Utopian principles of a philosopher king in a closed society. Popper seems to have tended towards negative thinking because falsification of knowledge and piecemeal engineering was preferable in contrast to more positive measures like inductive creation of knowledge and utopian engineering.
220.127.116.11 Karl Marx
' Like Rousseau, he finds a connection between division of labour and property. In fact, he says that division of labour was the first form of property for, as you specialise, you own your specialised knowledge, which becomes a property to be sold and used as power. '
… The final progress will therefore also be the elimination of the lapse into the sin of division of labour and private property, which is at the same time a regress to the original state of man. '
' Karl Marx seems to have had a double concept of nature: on the one hand there is man in his original nature, unspecialised and without any private property. On the other hand, there is nature as environment, which has to be subdued and changed according to the needs of mankind. This is done culturally. According to Marx, cultural activity is focussed on production. Man is by nature a worker, but originally he does not divide his productive activity, for everybody does everything for himself (or herself). Once division of labour is introduced, the relationships of production become culture and form the basis of mental culture. Whenever production relationships change, the mental culture will also change. The final change in production relationships, which Marx hoped would come about through the activities of communism, was the elimination of the division of private property. The final stage of history was therefore supposed to be a return to the original state of man, i.e. a return to nature. '
Intequism inspires the following view of the future. Creativities are enhanced with remunerations to conceivers of ideas. New cities are created with utopian engineering and individuals are protected against groups with piecemeal engineering. Mechanisation and artificial intelligence will decrease job opportunities as a ratio of output. There will thus never again be jobs for everyone. A state thus will have to make use of socialist policies to keep people busy if they do not have work. People who do not have work should be funded by the state to develop themselves by playing sport and practising art or by studying to become creators. Public golf courses, tennis courts and other sporting facilities should be built. Art facilities should also be created in which unemployed people can develop their artistic skills like painting and musical abilities to earn foreign currency. An insurance fund of incomes could be created for them so that the big earners support the unsuccessful artists. It should be free, because there will never again be enough jobs for everyone. If persons do not have jobs they should be given training to be creators if they choose to be. The state should create new things in order to be competitive in the world economy and in order to defend itself against rogue states.
The final return to nature according to Marx makes sense but the property relations of Marx in the final stage is not realistic. According to ICrM properties will mainly be controlled by creators because they will create the new natural surrounds and will not spend most of their time playing unprofitable sports or practising unprofitable art. Their actions will be part of activities relating to selling products and services. People who live free unprofitable lives according to socialist/communist believes will have to settle for less wealthy and less decorative livings because they will be net unprofitable consumers. Gardeners for example will have a more decorative life than unprofitable players of sport or unprofitable musicians and other people that do not have profitable lives. People with unprofitable lives should however still have dignified lives whilst receiving opportunities to join the creative capitalist class by becoming reborn and by reigniting their instincts of Truth that could give them again abilities to create profitable utilities and ideas. It is possible that people with unprofitable lives include people with Truth as guide because of corruption in the capitalist class. Minimalist life styles of unprofitable players of sport and unprofitable artists could be the future of humans if it is reality that honest persons cannot get rich. If ICrM is however implemented as currently envisaged in a world where piecemeal engineering protects individuals against groups that extort wealth from individuals, it could change the current negative correlation between honesties and wealths.
22 October 2012
3. The idea of order
' .. to clarify some concepts such as the “order of the cosmos”, the “order of the “world”, as well as the “laws” behind it because, as it is today, philosophers tend to deny, at least regarding human life, that there is any universal “order” or that there are universally valid “norms”. Now this, of course, is critical: for instance if one wants to talk about human rights and one claims that there are no norms, for what reason then could we, or should we, be sensitive about human rights? '
3.2 Ancient Greeks
' Firstly, the “cosmological” level: This means thinking about the order of the totality of the world for “cosmology” means our knowledge or our theory regarding the whole cosmos. …
Anaximander … Pythagoras '
' Secondly, we can also talk about order on the level of cultural philosophy. …
The first point .. antropomorphic … Hesiod …
The second point of view was the relativistic one of the Sophists. …
Thirdly, there was the objectivistic point of view of Socrates, … universal qualities .. stabilising factor. '
On the cosmological level Heraclitus said nothing stays the same, Parmenides said nothing changes and Anaximander and Pythagoras combined stability and change. ICrM accepts ideas that cause good changes as remunerable when good changes are caused by creators.
' (i) Firstly, he argued that we do not understand the external, visible characteristics or qualities of things, without presupposing stable proportions. We have to presuppose stable proportions if we want to allow for any kind of stability in the external qualities of things.
(ii) Secondly, we are unable to make judgements and to work and be culturally active without presupposing norms for beauty, truth, goodness, etc. If we do not have such norms and cannot presuppose them, then there won't be any directive force in our cultural engagements. …
Now, according to Plato, this sensible world cannot have its order from itself; because that is the position already taken by Pythagoras and Socrates (ascribing the presence of order to the presence of certain characteristics). Plato, as we have indicated above, had already rejected that position, arguing that the characteristics always change together with their underlying subject. …
“straightness”. So where does this notion come from? Plato reckoned that this notion referred to a higher reality which was more encompassing than the macrocosm and which was an absolute reality in which notions like “straightness” were situated. This reality he called the “intelligible” world. '
' Yet Plato's theory of ideas is a nomism, i.e. he exaggerates the role of the law, because he calls them the only real (the really real), and even the craftsmen-god, who makes the world (in his book the Timaius), is subject to the ideas, and has to imitate (obey) them when he creates the world. In so doing, Plato actually seemed to say a very strange thing: since (for example), the ideal man in the intelligible world is the real man, and the man whom we can see is only real to the extent that he imitates the ideal man, he therefore seems to have said that in the sensible world the real is only real insofar as it is an imitation of the really real! '
writes about ' the ideal man '. Plato was according
to me referring to concepts and not a man in the intelligible
world. Creators are subject to truths (pre-knowledges) in
order to build new puzzles. Pre-knowledges are subject to
truths, the concept.
' in his little book, The Categories, Aristotle distinguishes between what he calls “universal” substances and “individual” substances. Individual substances are individual entities like John, Peter and so forth, and universal substances are the essential characteristics of things like the “humanity” of man or the “whiteness” of white. .. Aristotle was trying to say .. universal characteristics are not in the separate world of ideas .. present in the individual things … essence of a human being is present in Plato or Socrates as an individual. In other words, what Plato called ideas actually represented the universal side of the individual, here in the sensible world itself. '
' Secondly … “teleological” .. telos, which means a “goal” or “destination”, and thus every single thing has a “goal” or a “purpose” or a “destination”. …
everything has a “material” base, which he called “potentiality” … an “intention”, which he called the “form”. .. that for which the entity is destined. …
Form, therefore is actuality; … The form of a human being is intellectuality and that of a dog is emotionality. ...
Thirdly, Aristotle brought these two aspects together in what he called the essence (in Afrikaans “wese”) of the entity. The “essence” is the same as the “definition”, which for Aristotle consists of genus and difference – a human being is a living being (genus) with an intellect (difference), whilst a dog is a living being without intellect, but with senses and emotion (difference). Every entity has matter and form.
What is the matter and form of ICrM that makes up the essence?
Aristotle distinguishes four causes:
.. efficient cause [verb] …
final cause [unlimited adjective/noun] …
material cause [noun] … Without the potentiality that can assume a specific form, there is no way in which a form can be realised. …
formal cause [limiting adjective] ... highest potential a specific thing can realise. … Human beings .. intellectuality .. '
ICrM has as efficient causes; research and conceiving of ideas. A verb used is intequitise. Final cause is noumenon (unlimited adjective). Material causes [nouns] are intequity, accounting of ideas and ICrM. Formal causes are limiting adjectives; intequible and honery. What type of word is honery? It describes what is being tested. ' Testing ' can be a noun or a present participle verb.
23 October 2012
' Aristotle combined the theory of the four causes into a dynamic theory of reality, one functioning eternally according to a stable pattern. The supreme good [final cause / unlimited adjective] is the highest efficient cause [verb], which induces matter to change over into form by using a secondary efficient cause, which induces matter to form … from matter to form and so it continuous for evermore. Thus one could see a kind of cyclical movement starting from God as the highest cause, acting on the one hand as the supreme efficient cause and, on the other hand, as the final cause; these two are actually the same, because God, being the highest good (final cause), draws everything unto him, and in this way he activates the secondary efficient causes to change matter into form.
gives a representation of this process in which the supreme
good, being pure intellect, also functions as a final cause,
and in this way stimulates, for instance, intellectual debate.
This latter may serve as a secondary efficient cause in which
an idle living being with a potentiality for intellectual
debate, comes into actuality (i.e. begins to participate in
intellectual pursuits). The human being, for example, will,
through debate, realise his own intellectual potential, and so
its own form, striving to be as much as possible like the
supreme good. '
' At the upper end of the scale we find god, who is pure intellect, pure form and pure actuality. He is really only interested in Himself, and doesn't know anything else apart from Himself. Yet, as if he were a magnet, he is exerting an effect on the whole hierarchy, being their final aim and goal, and everything strives to be as much as possible like god.
By rejecting Plato's theory of ideas, Aristotle rejected a theory that provided for order by absolutising every element of this world into an ideal pattern, which was considered so absolute that even the gods were seen to be subject to it. However, Aristotle then reverted to the objectivism which Plato had rejected. The basis of order, the law, he finds to be in the universal substance which is a characteristic of the individual thing. This universal substance he later calls “essence” (genus and difference), and therefore especially one characteristic of the individual thing, the telos of its species, becomes both the law and the pattern of its functioning. For the human world, therefore, Aristotle will measure every action according to the standards of the intellect, for the “telos” of mankind is to be intellectual, and it is natural for human beings to imitate those that are intellectually the most sophisticated. But to be able to determine what the purpose of each species is, he took what he thought to be the purpose of man (intellectuality), ascribed [upscaling of Aristotle] that to god in a purified form, and measured all species against that standard.
It could be argued that the upscaling in Aristotle's philosophy from human intellectuality to his God was a reversion back to pre-Greek antiquity. Plato did not upscale as far as I know because he saw his Ideas (Being true and good that cause beauty) as concepts, not as an upscaled version of humanity. Concepts are man made ideas but the ' origin ' is from what we see and experience. If I use the word ' origin ' in the previous sentence's sense then that would mean I am a materialist or determinist, which I am not, because I do not generalise to materialism and determinism. On the contrary, it is part of intequism to not generalise. To not generalise is a generalisation and therefore a contradiction, therefore there has to be some generalisations that are warranted. Ideas, that are formed in thoughts are equally important to determined influences, because ideas, formed partly in people, create our environment and keep it in place together with other labours. There is something behind the determined, that is sometimes noumenon, that determines us in determinism. We can assume that, that something, is behind ideas as well but that would then discredit ICrM. We should just stay with what we can experience (pre-knowledge) and think, epistemologically, in order to stay in the integrated, non-contradictory cosmos, without upscaling theories we cannot be sure of. In this way we stay in the noumenon reality tat we know is integrated and subject to Truth. It seems thus that my thoughts are now more in line with Plato than Aristotle although I disagree with Plato because of his anomaly (Truths and stabilities combined in the two parts of the cosmos). Perhaps Plato's philosophy with stabilities excluded would be similar to intequism. It is not clear to me what Plato's philosophy was. Popper said his summary of religion was that God punishes (sacrifices?) individuals. Who or what was his God? Venter said he subjected creators to his Ideas. Does that imply that he thought of himself as God with a group and that they sacrificed individuals. Maybe the thirty tyrants of Athens; the Oligarchs.
' And the state will erect monuments … to commemorate them. And sacrifices will be offered to them as demigods, … as men who are blessed by grace, and godlike.
(Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. p. 131 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
' He will restore us to our original nature, and heal us, and make us happy and blessed
(Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. p. 162 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
' Hellenism is the period of transition between the ancient Greek period and early Christian philosophy. During the Hellenistic period, some of the philosophical schools of ancient Greece continued in their traditions, but some new schools also developed, such as scepticism and stoicism. '
' Scepticism believed that there is no truth. Their argument was that philosophers differ from one another, each having their own theory. Cultures also differ, each claiming to be the true one. The Sophists had already contended that there was no reason to assume that my culture is the true one, that my religion is really the only true one and that our norms are better than those of other cultures. Furthermore, scepticism says, we cannot trust our senses, meaning that Plato's whole theory of ideas is problematic, for if we cannot trust our senses, how can we trust them when they remind us of the ideas? And since one opinion is as good as any other, how can we trust our intellect? Therefore they propagated the suspension of judgement. '
… for the sake of practical life, they advised people to act on the basis of what they called probability” or verisimile, which is the Latin word for that which resembles the truth. '
culture is the true one ' is a way of using the word
truth that does not correspond with intequism. Truths
according to intequism relate to the correspondence and
coherence theories of truths that according to my
understanding includes probabilities. It does therefore not
relate to a wide concept like culture as in the quoted
sentence. Maybe a culture can be attempted to be truthfully
explained but to say a culture is true does not make sense
with intequism. The correspondence theory, as understood by
intequism, is understood to theorise that the more true
corroboration there is with regard to sense experiences the
more true something is. I read for example somewhere that once
in Spain many people agreed that the sun neared them with
dangerous intent. Although something like that was written
down as being corroborated, it is one of those things that is
difficult to be accepted as true, unless one was there to
' The Stoics tried to find a solution for the problems posed by the Sceptics, and for this purpose they actually developed a new theory of reality. According to them, inherent in the physical universe, there exists what they called “the natural law”. The natural law provides the order of the universe in which we live, and according to them we have followed the law of nature, or natural law, also in our ethical and cultural life. … The whole process of knowing had been made incredible by the criticism of the Sceptics.
However, the Stoics did manage to find a solution for this problem .. They realised that one needs knowledge for practical life and, to bridge the gap of untrustworthiness of the knowing process, they presupposed innate concepts and principles. In other words, our knowledge of the law of nature – at least the basics of it – is obtained from our genetic make-up. We are born with it! '
Plotinus constructed a hierarchy. ONE at the top, then the Super-Intellect lower, then the World Soul. ' From the World soul, however, the individual souls of human beings have emanated and each individual soul has quickened a piece of matter as its body. This, to Plotinus, represents the fall of the soul, but it is also possible for the soul to be converted, and to return into itself introspectively. By this conversion, it can unify or identify with the soul of the world and through the World-soul with the Super-intellect, and so acquire knowledge of the ideas (the intelligible world in the Super-intellect). In this way, Plotinus circumvents the Sceptic criticism for by some kind of mystical contact we know the ideas. We don't need our senses for this. Via the Super-intellect our soul can identify mystically with the One. Through this unification the human soul will be in a kind of ecstasy and lose its individual identity totally. … For man this implies that to live an orderly life, a mystical attitude is essential. He must turn away from the sensible world into his own intellect, in which the likeness of the World-soul will carry him “upward” to the Super-intellect, in which again, he will find the simple ideas of the “Good”, the “Beautiful”, the “True” - all of these mirroring the oneness of the One. … Complexity and combination comes to be associated with evil and transitoriness, whilst unity and simplicity are identified with goodness, stability and eternity.
3.4 Early Christian period
' .. we take as representative the most important and most famous of the Church Fathers, namely Augustine.
… He associated the Father with “being” and the Holy Spirit with “goodness”. It is especially with regard to the Son that we see a very strong influence of Plotinus. Before Augustine, another Church father called Clement of Alexandria had associated the term logos or “word” used to refer to the Son in the Gospel of John (chapter 1) as evidence that the Son was God's “mind” or God's “intellect”. “Logos”, a Greek word, can mean “word”, or “argument”, or “reason”, and is therefore associated with intellectuality or rationality. Augustine calls Him the “Wisdom” of God, but also God's intellect, in whom Plato's ideas are present. This mirrors the theory of Plotinus (the Super-intellect contains the ideas). However, being a Christian, Augustine could not (like Plotinus) accept a divine hierarchy in God. The Church would consider that a heresy. Thus Augustine did not follow Plotinus to the extent of putting the Father at the summit, followed by the Son, and then the Holy Spirit (three Gods in a column, one below the other, as Plotinus did). Augustine placed all three on the same level, but the Son, being the “second” person, contains the ideas or the laws. He situated the intelligible world of Plato in the “Logos”, and in this way made Jesus, as the “mind” of the Father, the source of the order of creation.
This had very interesting consequences. On the one hand, creation has to imitate the divine mind, and on the other hand, God and His laws for creation are viewed as one and the same. In fact, the laws are part of God, for the laws of creation are inside the Divine mind and God is total simplicity. This meant that God had some eternal blueprint in his mind, according to which He created. This is a typically Platonic (and not a biblical) representation of creation. '
is important to survive. From the above it could be argued
that Augustine tried to monopolise creativity in the church by
saying the church that ' controls ' God must control
creativities. The word creativity needs to be differentiated
because when Venter uses the word he does not distinguish
between creation of planets, products, essences of selves and
children. The efficient causes (verbs - Aristotle) that
describe how different creations originate show the difference
but there seem to not be a differentiation. All creativity is
ascribed to ' God ' but the different efficient
causes are treated differently. Conceiving children is treated
completely different from designing a product. Consequentially
the terms should be split.
' Secondly, Augustine also followed Plotinus in the belief that a kind of mystical unity is possible between the human intellect and the Son, who illumines the mind of man. We can, therefore, know the laws of God, through direct contact of our minds with God.
3.5 Middle Ages
' Thomas Aquinas was a follower of Aristotle rather than of Plato or Plotinus, although he still inherited influences of Plotinus from Augustine and others. We find in him a synthesis of Christianity with Aristotelianism and Neo-Platonism.
24 October 2012
He also had a two directional philosophy. God to him was essence and existence in equal measures. God was perfect form and 100% actuality in Aristotle's words. He then divides God's actions between likenesses and exemplars. Likenesses are essences of what God plans to create. Exemplars are divided between technical plans and eternal laws. This is where two directionality becomes relevant. Technical plans are actualised by combining essences and existences. In this manner angels, people, plants and minerals are formed. Their and its actualities are however not equal to essences. The process is a downward forming of complex beings (noun). Exemplars also includes eternal laws that draws the beings towards God in order to reach God's perfection. Beings (material and soul except angels that are non-material) imply potentiality and beings reach towards perfect actuality/God's essence by complying to God's eternal laws.
15 November 2012 [Insert]
The word ' likenesses ' implies that parts of God's essences that are implemented via the exemplars are copied ideas.
- Rejected church control
- Classicism emphasised Western culture and practical problems
- Reformation that included members of congregations on same level as ministers of churches
- Scepticism reappeared and Stoic's innate ideas (a priori)
- New research after reading classical texts.
3.7 Modern rationalism
' Descartes marks, .. the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of a new era, one in which not classical texts, but reason and natural science dominates: Rationalism. '
' What is “rationalism”? It is a life and world-view according to which it is reason alone that can provide us with certainty.
Medieval thinkers believed that faith provides us with certainty about the things we cannot see, and that reason, combined with the senses, under the direct or indirect guidance of God, provides us with certainty about creation. Medieval thinkers usually debated about the right way to combine faith and reason to lead us to truth. However, they did not doubt that some combination of reason with faith was necessary; neither did they doubt that reason, in its search for rational truth, was in some way dependent upon God.
thinkers tend to eliminate faith and God as prerequisites for
certainty. They trust in reason, with its a priori
mechanisms, to provide certainty. Rationalists tend to focus
their debate on the relationship between reason and the
irrational factors in man, such as sentiments, passions, the
senses, the instincts, biological needs and external
circumstances. Their (often unspoken) aim is to diminish the
role of these irrational factors and to increase the dominance
of reason. '
' Rationalism grew in phases ..'
The low-level initial rationalist opinion was that God warrants truths that we need for rational thought. The second medium-level phase opined we cannot define God and should limit ourselves to that what we can know. The third phase reasoned we can define God by reasoning and ' therefore the world-order is a logical order. '
15 November 2012 [Insert]
It seems that Intequism is between medium-level and high-level rationalism because it defines part of God by reasoning. The most faith that I could ever quicken in myself is with the current definition of intequism's God. All honest people are the physical part of God, because they all are the physical support that all honest people need to survive in the communalist world. Honesty could be a type of a-priori phenomenon that are formed by innate genetic (idealistic/materialistic) and deterministic (material/idealistic) influences. The metaphysical part of God is noumenon. Noumena are rationally determined entities-in-themselves that cannot be described objectively. Knowing that we don't know is part of rationality and acceptance of truths.
3.7.1 Descartes (low-level rationalism)
' Scepticism seriously contends that all claims to truth are doubtful.
Together with his Renaissance predecessors, Descartes rejected the aggregated systems of Medieval Scholasticism, but he did not reject the medieval belief that truth, and certainty of truth, is possible. Descartes held that philosophical certainty could only be attained if i) the vast, inconsistent, scholastic philosophical systems could be replaced by a system constructed by one man, with the help of ii) trustworthy logical techniques and on the basis of iii) secure principles. … In this he was also influenced by Machiavelli's argument that a sound state constitution can only be the product of a single leader proceeding from well-established legal principles.
Therefore, although Descartes clung to the possibility of certainty, he found a use for sceptical doubt after all. Descartes proposed to doubt all philosophical opinions inherited from the past. The intention of this doubt was not scepticistic however. He was not seriously questioning all truth and the certainty thereof. He was rather using doubt as a method to test the certainty of all opinions. We call this “methodical doubt” (in contrast to “scepticistic doubt”). '
' Only one certainty initially survived the onslaught of methodical doubt, namely: “I doubt.” The only statement that I cannot doubt is the one stating that I doubt.
Firstly he needed a warranty that this whole effort to establish certainty was not a dream. This warranty he found in a proof that God is unable to cheat. The capabilities of reason to acquire certainty cannot therefore be all deceit. The role of God is reduced to that of “certifier” of reason. '
3.7.2 Leibniz (low-level rationalism)
refers to God as an Architect and Monarch. The universe
consist of monads. Between God and the world there is a monad
in which whole of reality is reflected. His rationalism is
low-level because ' he does not present the order of the
universe as a rational construct of the mind that can be used
to straightjacket external reality as Kant, the next
philosopher .. '
3.7.3 Kant (medium-level rationalism)
' A chaos of sense impressions is coming in from outside. Human consciousness orders and synthesises this chaos in space and time. Space and time, therefore, are not aspects or characteristics of things as they exist autonomously within themselves. Space and time are ways in which we experience things. They are part of human consciousness. Now, the forms of space and time produce representations that are elevated to a higher level of understanding.
On the level of understanding, we have a higher level of ordering or synthesis, in which we order by categories, such as modality and relation [and quantity and quality]. According to Kant, the relationship between cause and effect is, for instance, not part of external reality. It is rather part of human understanding. This new order, viz. the categories of the understanding, produces concepts and rules, which is as far as science and scholarship can actually go.
Above the understanding, there is a higher level, namely power and judgement. Here consciousness structures its knowledge and synthesises it even further under the guidance of ideas. These ideas include the idea of God, the world, the soul, the good and the beautiful. This produces value-judgements. We must, realise, however that value-judgements are “metaphysics”.
I do not agree with Kant that ideas are metaphysics that cannot be scientifically looked at. The way that ideas are formed can be logically seen in some instances. Descartes as far as my knowledge goes distinguished between the sorts of ideas.
3.7.4 Transitions after Kant
' Hegel was a high-level rationalist, one believing that reason is a kind of divinity. He believed that reason created the world. It does not only construct order on the level of knowledge and compel the world to adjust to it. Reason really creates, and is, the order of the world because it is the logical law of the world. To Hegel, therefore, everything is logical. The whole world was logical because it is created by reason.
We have just spoken of Hegel. Hegel was what we would call a “metaphysical idealist”. Metaphysical idealism says that the “idea” is the same as reason, it is the same as “spirit” and it is the same as “God” It is the creator of the world, the source of all order. The world is orderly in a logical sense. Phrased differently, the order in the world is logical order.
Such extreme views always calls for a reaction. Positivism arose as a reaction to metaphysical idealism. August Comte is the principal philosopher with regard to positivism.
Comte said that everything is subject to a very solid, stable natural order, but that man could dominate rationally and be in control by using this order. If we know the order, then we can be engineers, even on a social level, to reset life in accordance with the natural order. '
' Irrationalism is a very varied philosophical movement emerging in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Western confidence and trust in human rationality at this stage started to decline. '
we take Jean Paul Sartre, one of the major philosophers of
existentialism as a representative example of irrationalism,
we can see the difference between rationalism and
irrationalism quite clearly. Whereas Hegel had said that
everything was orderly and everything was logical, Sartre
maintained that for human life, at least, there is no such
' We have seen in Thomas Aquinas that the essences of things in God precede their existence in creation. God was supposed to have had some blueprint in His mind. Just as Aristotle, he also called it “essences”. …
Sartre was an atheist, however. He believed that there is no God, and hence denied the idea that human beings were made according to a certain essence, aim or goal. ...
So, whatever “essence” a human being has, Sartre said, had been created by that person himself. By making our choices, by being confronted with different situations in which we make different choices, we “create” ourselves. …
We transcend. We try to be God, but we cannot. In our planning of ourselves we become the hell for all the others. In Sartre's words, “my neighbour is already my hell because he is planning his life in contradiction with my planning of my life. … We are actually choosing. Every time we choose, we choose also for the whole world, not just for ourselves. '
According to me Sartre was influenced by the Stoics' ' innate knowledge '. He meant also that when we decide we influence our innate inborn natures and we transfer that to our descendants. See page 171 and 167-177 of the study guide for the contradiction in the text of the study guide (Venter's opinion and excerpt from ' Existentialism '. I marked it with an encircled star. Sartre contradicted himself with regard to values and innate natures. That makes it possible that the excerpt from Existentialism can be interpreted in more than one way.
' Thus we cannot say how man should live, for man has no destination, since he has no essence. Every man creates himself and the whole world by his choices, but he has nothing to guide him in his choices. He has no norms and no innate ideas [I do not agree with this because Sartre referred to honesty and Kant's universal laws as norms]. '
Title: Classic philosophical questions – Seventh edition – edited by James A. Gould – Extract from Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism, trans. By Bernard Frechtman (New York: Philosophical Library, 1947), 14-18, 34-39, 45-46. In Leesbundel pp 175-179.
' .. let us say that, for the paper-cutter, essence—that is, the ensemble of both the production routines and the properties which enable it to be both produced and defined—precedes existence. Thus, the presence of the paper-cutter or book in front of me is determined. Therefore, we have here a technical view of the world whereby it can be said that production precedes existence.
When we conceive God as the Creator, He is generally thought of as a superior sort of artisan. Whatever doctrine we may be considering, whether one like that of Descartes or that of Leibnitz, we always grant that will more or less follows understanding or, at the very least, accompanies it, and that when God creates He knows exactly what He is creating. Thus, the concept of man in the mind of God is comparable to the concept of paper-cutter in the mind of the manufacturer, and, following certain techniques and a conception, God produces man, just as the artisan, following a definition and a technique, makes a paper-cutter. Thus, the individual man is the realization of a certain concept in the divine intelligence.
In the eighteenth century, the atheism of the philosophes discarded the idea of God, but not so much for the notion that essence precedes existence. To a certain extent, this idea is found everywhere; we find it in Diderot, in Voltaire, and even in Kant. Man has a human nature; this human nature, which is the concept of the human, is found in all men, which means that each man is a particular example of a universal concept, man, as well as the bourgeois, are circumscribed by the same definition and have the same basic qualities. Thus, here too the essence of man precedes the historical existence that we find in nature.
Atheistic existentialism, which I represent, is more coherent. It states that if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and that this being is man, or, as Heidegger says, human reality. '
interpretation of Sartre opines that ' at least one
being ' above refers to the current species. I do not
agree because the second last paragraph above does that. He
then changes that reference in the last paragraph above to the
future species of man.
15 November 2012 [Insert]
Aristotle defined essence as genus plus species or matter plus form. Aquinas used another word ' existence ' and he said that in the simplicity of God, essence equals existence. The essences of things that God creates according to Aquinas (Venter's) are divided into likenesses (theoretical) and Exemplars (practicable). See page 158 of study guide. A likeness is a copy. Does that imply that the God of Aquinas develops copies of ideas that are gathered in an information system that ICrM opposes? If patents and patens are related it could mean that. It seems as if these likenesses was in Sartre's words because he refers to the concept of a paper-cutter and the concept of a human. The manufacturer and God which he then compares bring the already existing concept into being. It seems now as if the God he refers to is a reference to parents that conceive a child because the concept human already exist. He does not refer to the first appearing human being because the concept of a first human being can be compared with the first ever made paper cutter. It also depends on when the first paper cutter was made.
' .. during the early Christian period and the Middle Ages from the first until the fourteenth century, the basic idea was somehow that the order is founded in God.
This had the drawback that God and His law were considered to be one and the same and so that everything of the order of creation is believed to be eternally present in God. It follows that God is thereby actually thought to be the cause of everything that happens on the creational level.
So, this theory in fact made God also the cause of everything that goes wrong in the world. Some Christians, at the end of the Middle Ages, said the doctrine should not be elaborated in this way. '
15 November 2012 [Insert]
Maybe the Catholic Church monopolised all manufacturing during the Middle Ages and that was partly the reason of the opposition to the church during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
25 October 2012
4. The dominance of reason
' Since very early on in the Western tradition, one aspect of human life, namely its logical functioning, was considered to be the supreme or most essential aspect of man's whole being. This took precedence over all the other aspects of human life and therefore, since then, rationality has been elevated to a position of dominance in Western tradition. Already in Greek philosophy this occurred to a considerable extent; it was adopted by the Christian thought – the early Church fathers as well as the mediaeval Christians. In modern secular philosophy, Rationalism, the absolutising of reason, dominated for more than three centuries. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, Western man seemed to have lost some trust in reason and progressively became irrationalist. '
4.2 Ancient thinkers and Hellenism
4.2.1 Mythological thinkers
' Initially Greek culture, like that of the Egyptians and the Babylonians, imaginatively produced myths about the Divine Being; such myths had a spontaneous, narrative character. They took the form of stories about generations of gods, by which the coming into being as well as the structures and processes with which we are confronted every day, were explained .. '
Self (Thoughts about mythology and the current)
' imaginatively ' is over emphasising the non-real
part of the myths. The actualities of gods (persona and
anima), without arguing about meanings of words, of those
times, cannot be denied. Herodotus and Hesiod as historians
wrote partly about facts of those people. Another part of
their work could have been propaganda. Possibly, ' Divine
Being ' is a description in the singular for a God that
does not exist. Singularity (One person) is weak and can
therefore not have the power of God. It depends how Venter
defines ' Divine Being '. It seems to me that the
gods (rulers) of the cities and the intellectuals (priests?)
were in power struggles and narratives of Hesiod imply
unhappiness on his side about the descend of the human race.
He therefore wrote history in such a way to take power away
from gods to suit his and friends' purposes. The narrative has
been carried forward in Christian philosophy and has been
interpreted to envisage a majority non-material God. In the
process, most conceiving of creativities, have also been
removed to this non-material God, although reality is, much
industrial creativities are rationally conceived by people.
Rationally here does not include metaphysical reasoning. On
the other hand, metaphysical faiths, that support honesties,
can be rationally incorporated in ICrM's intequism.
' Xenophanes complained about the fact that the tradition of mythological thinking produced an anthropomorphic view of the divine world (in other words, they represented the gods in human form). This approach, according to Xenophanes, was unsuitable for the essence of the divine, because the gods were represented also with our human weaknesses and even racial differences. The gods of mythology tended to snatch one another's wives, to cheat and also to treat mankind very badly whenever it suited them. ...
Xenophanes does not totally relinquish this [anthropomorphic] approach – he is rather looking for a way in which he can remove the enlarged human weaknesses and vices from our representations of the gods, yet retain the strengths and virtues. He wanted to represent the divine as ideals that we can imitate and follow.
What Xenophanes then did, was to abstract that which he considered the best characteristic common to all human beings (in spite of their different outward appearances), namely consciousness (life, sensitivity and thought), and to project this onto the divine. … The product of this idealisation was a conception of “God” as one simple entity: all ear, eye, and (especially) thought, and without a body. Corporeality was associated with differences, the need of others – e.g. the opposite sex – and the possibility of conflict and disempowerment. … in mythological thinking there was no clear distinction between “spirit” and “body” ..
Xenophanes may have thought that he avoided the pitfalls of the anthropomorphic representations of the gods. In fact he simply slipped into another kind of anthropomorphism, namely treating the gods not according to the outward human form, but rather modelling the divine on that which he considered the highest in humans, which is consciousness, with logical thinking at its summit. '
The values that was abstracted still have to be implemented by humans, therefore the concept of God cannot be removed from humans. Whether humans who uphold those values, that are important for ICrM, are part (semantics) of God or influenced (semantics) by God is not the primary importance in this sentence. The acceptance of values and implementation thereof is of primary importance. In current social conditions the implementation of those values is not possible for me, without my God, of whom I am part, in my view. If I say I am merely influenced by God to act in an intequible way, then God becomes an incorporeal being that does not have the power that is ascribed to God. The power, required to quicken intequible behaviour, can only exist if God is corporeal plural.
Plato's epistemology is situated in the following cosmos: Two regions can initially be identified. That is the sensible world and the intelligible world. The sensible world can be divided into two regions again; one pertaining to senses and the other pertaining to intellectual insight. Intellectual insight is the domain of Plato's epistemology. Intellectual insight is still part of the sensible world but it is nearing the intellectual world where the perfect Forms are situated—being true and good cause beauty. Senses and intellectual insight can again be subdivided each into two areas. Senses are divided into imaginations (for example the skewness of something under water due to light refraction that is not a real skewness) and ' beliefs ' (physicality that we see with our eyes and hear with our ears). Intellectual insights make use of these sense experiences to deduce knowledge from ' beliefs ' (seen and heard etc.). Intellectual insights (knowledge) are also acquired by dialectical reasoning from ' beliefs ' (seen and heard etc.) towards higher realities that are stable and do not ever change. The sensible world is subject to constant change. Higher realities (Forms) or the ' really real ' according to Venter's terminology, are the first stable existing principles, that order dialectics and deductions of intellectual insights scientifically. These higher realities that are called higher, because of the stableness and timelessness thereof, are a priori truths that can be summarised by saying; being true and good cause beauty. In the intelligible world below being, truthfulness, and goodness Plato incorporated Pythagoras' numbers that serve as measurement units in order to make scientific measurement possible. There are thus two extreme sides with regard to belief that work together. The belief (Religion) of the intelligible world supports the ' beliefs ' (positivism) of the sensible world and in between we have opinion. ' Beliefs ' of the sensible world, although close to realities are still only opinion because only the realities of the intelligible world are stable enough to be called truths. Basically there are just two regions for Plato. Belief (stable) on one side and ' beliefs ' (opinions) on the other side.
Ought to be
Intellectual insight (knowledge)
' Belief ' =
Deduction by hypothesis
philosophy of Plato with regard to the cosmos we can fathom
seems to be agreeable. There is a problem with regard to his
philosophy though. According to Karl Popper, Plato wanted a
stable sensible world. A stable sensible world was not
possible during his time and currently because of change and
creativities that are the results of Truths. I call it the
anomaly of Plato.
From: (Popper, K. 2011. The open society and its enemies. pp. 36 and 530-531 [First published 1945] London and New York: Routledge Classics)
' Accordingly, no sensible things (except perhaps the most excellent ones) resemble their Forms sufficiently closely to be unchangeable. 'Absolute and eternal immutability is assigned only to the most divine of all things, and bodies do not belong to this order' (3) '
' (3) This quotation is from the Statesman, 269d. ... Ultimately, I may perhaps refer to general psychological considerations. On the one hand the fear of innovation (illustrated by many passages in the Laws, e.g. 758c/d) and on the other hand, the idealization of the past ... All this indicates the view that our unhappy and unblessed state is a consequence of the development which makes us different from our original nature—our Idea; and it further indicates that the development is one from a state of goodness and blessedness to a state where goodness and blessedness are being lost; but this means that the development is one of increasing corruption. '
26 September 2012
' .. the highest destination anything can have being intellectuality, for this is the “divine one”. At the summit of the hierarchy we have god as pure form and this pure form is the supreme form of intellectuality. In other words, god is pure intellect. Then comes the astral world (the heavenly bodies), and all of those are also intelligences or gods .. Next in line the super-intellect: one single activating pure intellect for the whole universe (which Aristotle needed since his god was self-centred) On the next lower level we find the first or highest combination of matter and form: the human being. The destination of the human level is intellectuality, although the human being is not pure intellect, but also has sensitivity, biological life, and space and time as its material side. Conscious beings (sensitive ones, i.e. animals) are considered as worthier than non-conscious ones, for they occupy the next lower level; living ones are worthier than non-conscious ones, and therefore given second-level status above minerals (which are destined to move only in space and time).
Thus, in the totality of reality, the dominant aspect is the intellectual one, to be found in man, in the super-intellect and in god. '
' Aristotle believed human consciousness to be passive. To him, the active element in the knowing process is the objects of sense: smells, colours, tastes, figures and surface structures. The objects of the senses actualise the sensitive level of human consciousness by making an “impression” on it (like stamping a little picture with a rubber stamp on it). The intellect has only the sense impressions as its information. Yet, hidden in the sense impressions, are the objects of logical analysis (Aristotle called them logical “forms”). These objects of logic must be extracted from the sense impressions. This can happen only if the logical level of consciousness is actualised – which is done by the super intellect. '
According to Aristotle thus creativities comes from logic that comes from the super-intellect that is an entity below God and below the planets. The entity could be part of the world but it is a common entity. Individual creativities can not be truly claimed because the origin is not sufficiently enough from individuals. Only godlike individuals can reach the intellectuality to create according to Aristotle. WE cannot have affection for his god because his god is selfish.
' Consciousness being passive and god being self-centred, Aristotle had to invent an entity that could actualise the intellect into active logical analysis. The intellect as it stands can be considered as matter (potentiality) which has to be actualised by some efficient cause and <page 192> “moved” to its form. The senses are also passive, but they are actualised by the objects of sense. What can actualise the intellect, other than, higher intellect? Aristotle therefore invents what he calls the nous, the super intellect, which is one for the entire world and which actualises all the individual human intellects.
What happens when the individual intellect comes into action, being actualised by the super intellect? It extracts the logical forms from the little pictures or sense impressions on the sense level. It might, for example, have many impressions of human beings and from these impressions it abstracts the concept that “a human being is a living being with an intellectual form”. In this way it acquires a whole stock of general concepts.
connecting the general concepts with one another, the
intellect produces generalisations – i.e. universal
propositions like: “all human beings are alive” and “all human
beings are intellectual beings”. From amongst these
generalisations, Aristotle (especially in his later works)
specifically singles out those that indicate the cause of a
phenomenon. According to him, causal statements express
definitions. The statement “an eclipse of the moon occurs when
the earth moves in between the sun and the moon, casting its
shadow on the moon” provides both the definition of an eclipse
of the moon, and also spells out the cause of an eclipse of
the moon. … statement as a universal one as follows: “All
eclipses of the moon are...”
When we have a number of these causal, definitional, propositions about the same topic, deductive arguments (called “syllogisms”) can be constructed from them – arguments having the same structure as the proofs in the geometry of Euclid. For example: “A is the cause of B; B is the cause of C; therefore A is the cause of C”. This kind of syllogism, consisting of two universal, causal premises, from which a third, universal, causal statement, the conclusion, is deduced, is the only really scientific way of building knowledge. This is Aristotle's equivalent for what Plato called epistêmê.
The process is twofold: starting from sense experience the mind moves, by means of intuitive abstraction, to general concepts that are bound into general statements. Such a generalisation process is usually called “induction”, and it helps us to discover definitions and general causal principles. “Scientific” knowledge starts only from this point: it boils down to the connecting of general causal statements into deductive chains of propositions from which unavoidable conclusions can be deduced. Aristotle apparently shared Plato's belief that the world resembles the pattern of a deductive argument – he specified, however, that the principles from which we deduce, had to be causal statements, thus strengthening the confusion between “principle” and “cause”.
… <p. 193> Aristotle insisted that everything that is moving, therefore everything that is changing, is being changed or moved by something else. Now this “something else” is moved in turn by yet another mover.
Each moved mover itself has potentiality, which is changed into actuality when it is moved by another mover. What Aristotle means is that whenever something is moved, some aspect or characteristic is transferred from the mover (the “efficient cause”) to the moved. For instance, if water is being boiled, then heat is transferred from the actually hot fire to the water, which moves from potentially hot to actually hot. So the heat of the fire is transferred to the water. However, the fire in turn needs a mover that causes it to be hot (e.g. somebody striking a match) and so on.
Every one of these movers is therefore moved by something else. Yet, says Aristotle, we cannot go into infinity presupposing that everything which is moved has something else which is moving it. We must somehow arrive at the point from where all the movement is initiated: at an unmoved mover. In other words, our retrograding search must stop somewhere at a first principle of movement. (Aristotle's argument here resembles Plato's dialectics.) The unmoved mover is the principle of all movement, of all change on earth; it is god, Aristotle says. He is the highest goal – the supreme Good for which everything strives for everything loves the Good).
29 October 2012
<p. 194> Having proven the necessary existence of the unmoved mover, Aristotle started to deduce the essential characteristics of this god:
(i) It is pure actuality. It cannot have any potentiality in it, for if it had potentiality it would have needed some other mover to change its potentiality into actuality. The only way in which it can be the eternal unmoved mover, is that it be pure act, so that it will not need any other mover to actualise it.
(ii) For the same reason that it is pure act, it must also be pure form. Matter is considered to be potentiality and, if it is pure actuality, it cannot contain any matter.
(iii) Aristotle then tried to prove that it is a pure intellect. Being a form and being the supreme form, it must surely resemble the highest form on earth, the human intellect. Yet the intellect of man is combined with matter, which, with the divinity cannot be the case (as has already been shown). It must therefore be an intellect without matter – a pure intellect.
An analysis such as this one could be called a metaphysical analysis of god: it starts with the physical world but then it transcends to “behind” the physical world, to that which is not physical (and cannot be experienced by our senses). Exactly because metaphysical analyses move away from that which can be experienced by our senses, it tends to be deductive in approach.
Aristotle's intellectualism is not limited to his “theology”, as he himself called his metaphysics of god. …
Aristotle distinguished between two kinds of virtue: namely the intellectual and the ethical virtues.
(i) An intellectually virtuous person is a person who keeps himself busy with theory, attempting to understand the world. That Aristotle should choose this as supreme virtue is understandable: the form or destination of man is to be intellectual. If you do not occupy yourself with theoretical pursuits (or practical pursuits based on universal, causal, theoretical statements, like being a doctor), you are therefore actually dehumanising yourself. Moreover, the supreme Good, the god whom everyone strives to imitate (except those who are misguided and do not understand what is good for them), is pure intellect. If, therefore, human beings want to be the best they can be, they should strive to be as much as possible like the god. Aristotle's intellectualism and his accentuation of deductive thinking as the really valid process of knowing, has “scientism” as a consequence. “Scientism” is the idea (which we shall discuss in a later chapter) that all of our life should be governed by academic, theoretical insights, thereby denigrating practical insights and religious beliefs as invalid or even superstitious.
Ethical virtues occur on the level of emotion
and sense, but we will not have real ethical virtues if our
emotional and sense aspects are not under the control of the
intellect and its theoretical thinking. Ethical virtues are
virtues of the golden mean. However, we cannot really
find the golden mean on an emotional level if our emotions are
not governed by our intellect for, according to Aristotle, the
world of emotions and sense experience is always a world of
extremes. The virtuous life lies somewhere in the middle –
between the extremes.
<p. 195> Left to people's emotions, we could have a totally discriminatory society, or we could have a social system where everybody was treated exactly equally. Both of these are extreme positions .. left: total discrimination; right: total equality. The virtuous position, justice, will be halfway between discrimination and equality. It is the intellect that will show us where this middle position, the golden mean, is.
Aristotle's intellectualism also stretches out to his theory of literature, especially his theory of drama, to which his ethical theory is applied. (We, unfortunately, do not have a complete analysis of drama by Aristotle as his only extant work is On Tragedy.)
According to him in the tragedy the hero – the main character – is an above-average man, but he is not perfect. He is not the very best man in his class – the ideal-type. A drama, especially a tragedy, is a mimesis, an imitation of action; it has a plot. The action is initiated on the basis of a mistaken judgement by the hero. Because the hero is an above-average man, we admire him, but because he is not perfect, he makes an error of judgement and the consequences of his error of judgement structures the sequence of action in the drama.
Remember that, according to Aristotle's epistemology, scientific knowledge is knowledge gained by deductive arguments based on causal premises. Thus the tragedy is also structured on the basis of cause and effect of actions – every effect causes another effect … ending in a final catastrophe.
This catastrophe is experienced by the audience as a catharsis (“purification”). Greek drama developed from the rituals of Greek religion in which the cosmic events were imitated as a way of relating to the divine powers. Aristotle still saw something of this religious origin in tragedy. He ascribed to it the function of “purifying” the audience. Intellectualists tended to shy away from the rituals, because rituals excited sensuality and emotions. Purification, however, remained important to them, exactly to rid the person of the indecencies connected with body, sense, and emotion – producing purified intellectuality as a result. Plato, believing in the return of the soul to the world of ideas (and to its own true intellectual calling) through a process of transmigration, substituted intellectual pursuits (theoretical philosophy) for performing rituals, as a means of purification – rejecting “poetry” (drama) because it played on the senses and the emotions. Aristotle, although an intellectualist too, rejected both the theory of ideas and the transmigration of the soul closing Plato's door for the ordinary soul to escape from his bodily miseries) [sic: one parenthesis after miseries] Aristotle [' Aristotle ' own insert] had to find other means of purification for the man in the street. He chose participation in a quasi-ritual, engaging the senses and emotions in a way as close as possible to science (and therefore to intellectual virtue) – the drama!
.. we can see how the ethics of the golden mean was applied as an intellectualist purification ethics in Aristotle's drama theory. The audience may be frightened and in fear as the consequences of the hero's error unfolds but, given that he is a good man, they will also sympathise with him. A good tragedy will have excited the right mixture of fear and sympathy. It will move the audience to midway between fear and sympathy, i.e. where the audience has enough sympathy with the hero to identify with him, to relive his experiences and also the catastrophe that befalls him yet is fearful enough (given the consequences) not to follow the hero's example and repeat his error of judgement.
the liberating aspect that Aristotle sees in tragic drama. He
is looking at tragedy as something very similar to science and
just below it on the scale of values. Theoretical scientific
activity works by pure logic from general causal principles,
while the drama still needs sense experience because it is a
staging, an exhibition, of such cause and effect relationship
in human life. One has to watch it to gain insight into the
logic behind the visible process.
To recapitulate, we can say that Aristotle has a moralistic theory of the drama. To him, it serves the purpose of moral purification and the aesthetic value of a drama will be measured by its ability to move an audience to the golden mean. Yet it is also an intellectual theory of drama, for the success of a drama to move its audience to the golden mean will depend on how effectively the plot (the unfolding of the action sequence) exhibits and can induce in the audience, a quasi-scientific sense of the causal logic of actions that follow on bad or good judgment. The hero of the drama is almost (!) the ideal type of man of Aristotle's ethics. A true ideal type will probably be somebody who bases his actions on sound, theoretical, intellectual conclusions, pointing to the right (golden mean) line of action. Undoubtedly all this, as also Aristotle's deductions of the existence and essence of god, are all expressions of the belief that intellectual thinking, especially in its deductive form, can solve all philosophical and practical problems.
But we have to note that to Aristotle, the object was always important. It is not a subjectivist intellectualism, in which the knowing subject holds all the cards in his hand. The intellect in the knowing subject depends on the intellectual object, which is the “form” or the destination of something, which is also the “good”. Even god, the pure intellect, needs an object. The only object worthy of him is the Supreme Good, which is he himself. So he accepts himself as object and intellectualises only about himself. This is why Aristotle characterises his god as “the intellectualising of intellectualising” (Greek: noêsis noêseoos; usually loosely translated as: “the thinking of thinking”). '
The implications of Aristotle's philosophy about drama can be related to human sacrifice and the following section from the Republic by Plato.
Socrates discusses with Glaucon and Adeimantus the reasons for justice and injustice. Glaucon made the following statement before Socrates answered him with reference to the formation of a society wherein different people group together their individual attributes to have a better combined living than a living a single person can have when not part of a group. The quote thus relates to the interaction between groups and individuals and it seems to be biased towards a group. The good man has to overcome evil by transcending reality in this world to be happy and the evil man receives happiness although he does not comply to universal laws of Jesus and Kant.
“Adeimantus and Glaucon Restate the Case for Injustice ...
'So much for that. Finally, we come to the decision between the two lives, and we shall only be able to make this decision if we contrast extreme examples of just and unjust men. By that I mean if we make each of them the perfect of his own line, and do not in any way mitigate the injustice of the one or the justice of the other. To begin with the unjust man. He must operate like a skilled professional – for example, a top-class pilot [There was no pilots at the time. The editor is a pilot] or doctor, who know just what they can or can't do, never attempt the impossible, and are able to retrieve any errors they make. The unjust man must, similarly, if he is to be thoroughly unjust, be able to avoid detection in his wrongdoing; for the man who is found out must be reckoned a poor specimen, and the most accomplished form of injustice is to seem just when you are not. So our perfectly unjust man must be perfect in his wickedness; he must be able to commit the greatest crimes perfectly and at the same time get himself a reputation for the highest probity, while, if he makes a mistake he must be able to retrieve it, and, if any of his wrongdoing comes to light, be ready with a convincing defence, or when force is needed be prepared to use force, relying on his own courage and energy or making use of his friends or his wealth.
'Beside our picture of
the unjust man let us set one of the just man, the man of
true simplicity of character who, as Aeschylus says, wants
"to be and not to seem good". We must, indeed, not allow him
to seem good, for if he does he will have all the rewards
and honours paid to the man who has a reputation for
justice, and we shall not be able to tell whether his motive
is love of justice or love of the rewards and honours. No,
we must strip him of everything except his justice, and our
picture of him must be drawn in a way diametrically opposite
to that of the unjust man. Our just man must have the worst
of reputations for wrongdoing even though he has done no
wrong, so that we can test his justice and see if it weakens
in the face of unpopularity and all that goes with it; we
shall give him an undeserved and life-long reputation for
wickedness, and make him stick to his chosen course until
death. In this way, when we have pushed the life of justice
and of injustice each to its extreme, we shall [own
emphasis on shall] be able to judge which of the two is the
happier ... And if the description is somewhat
brutal, remember that it's not I that am responsible for it,
Socrates, but those who praise injustice more highly than
justice. It is their account that I must now repeat.' " (Plato,
2007c. The Republic [357 BC, Translated by
Desmond Lee], 2nd
edition, p.45:360a. England, London:
4.2.5 Sceptics and the Stoics (Hellenism)
' Firstly, the Sceptics doubted all truth and they very seriously believed that one cannot find truth and that all viewpoints are equivalents in their truth claims. Secondly, this paralysed not only theoretical thinking but also practical life. There is no way in which we can make sense of our practical life if we do not believe that at least a few statements are true.
The Stoics produced a notable answer to the challenge from Scepticism – or at least, they found a way to circumvent the potholes pointed to by the Sceptics.
The solution they offered was initially aimed at reopening the way to meaningful practical life: a priori (innate) concepts, as guidelines for ethics. Human beings were supposed to have innate concepts of virtue that “germinate” like seeds as the person matures, and which become useful of about the age of fourteen. …
In this way, the Stoics saved intellectual thinking and, in fact, equipped the intellect with what was later to be called “reason”. “Reason” (Latin: ratio) meant something more than “intellect” or “understanding”; it referred to an understanding or an intellect equipped with innate ideas, or innate concepts, or innate principles, or innate mechanisms by means of which it can circumvent the problematic aspects of acquiring the truth – those aspects pointed out by Scepticism.
The Stoics produced a very important response to Scepticism; in fact, their response provided the basis for modern secular Rationalism. '
4.3 Early Christianity and the Middle Ages
' Most Christians were from common stock, without any theoretical learning, finding themselves surrounded by pagans educated in Greek or Hellenistic thought, persecuting and oppressing them. They needed learning to defend their faith, but how could they be Christians and yet learned people when the education of the day was totally pagan?
By the second century, opposing points of view about this matter had developed: the viewpoint of Clement of Alexandria was in opposition to that of Tertullian. The former favoured the adoption of some pagan learning; the latter was totally antipathic towards it. '
' Clement of Alexandria said that we can learn something from the pagans, especially from Plato, from whom he borrowed many ideas. '
' What Tertullian actually meant was: In Jesus Christ, God became a human being. Human beings are not God, so God became something which is not God. … When God does something that is contradictory in terms of our human logic, this shows that He transcends even the strict laws of logic, and therefore is boundless – we can really belief in Him as really being God. He was saying something like the following: only a real god can transgress the laws of logic. The Greeks derived the laws of logic from the perceived identity of objective being. According to them, nothing could be itself and simultaneously something different from itself. Tertullian seems to say: “No, there is one exception to this rule: God in the flesh!”
main point of Tertullian's argument was that God loves the
flesh, … soul and body as a unity are image and likeness of
God – this in contrast to Clement of Alexandria who limited
the image of God to the intellectual part of the soul,
excluding the body from it.
' Therefore, every Christian who attempts a rational theology is in danger of heresy. All heretics, he says have their origin somewhere in Greek philosophy. '
ICrM is more in line with Tertullian because he acknowledged the physical part of God. He could not explain it because he referred mostly to the meta-physical part of God. ICrM explains the physical part of God and describes the metaphysical part as noumenon.
30 October 2012
' Augustine of Hippo became one of the most famous Christian thinkers of all times, and the most well known father of the early church. What is more, he is special to us, because he was an African. … He wrote many books after his conversion, and progressively moved his own accents away from the capabilities of the intellect to dependence on faith, God and the Scriptures.
In his earliest works after his conversion (like the Soliloquia), he showed a considerable trust in reason. All he wanted, he said, was rational knowledge of God and the soul. Probably because he was confronted with the Manicheans (he had a dear friend who belonged to this sect), Augustine realised that the ideal of rational knowledge of God and the soul was not a totally safe one for a Christian. The Manicheans pretended to be Christians and also to have rational knowledge of God. … Through this debate, probably, Augustine shifted his position somewhat, stressing faith as the starting point of all knowledge.
In a letter to his Manichean friend, which he published as a booklet entitled On the Advantage of Believing, he stresses that all rational insights have their starting point in God's authority. God has established his authority in the world through his revelation, through the prophets, His miracles and through the advent of Jesus Christ.
Augustine firmly believed that we can have rational knowledge of God, but such knowledge presupposes purification that comes through faith .. Faith, again, is based on the authority of Christ who entered the horizon of time and therefore represents the authority of God himself. … Yet, even though purified, reason cannot act independently – it always depends on God Himself for “illumination”.
' Christ, therefore, works in two ways: one, by entering time and creating faith and, secondly, by illuminating our soul's eye so that we can see God in a kind of mystical vision. This was the approach of the early Augustine.
Sadly, Augustine did not reject pagan insights out rightly. He rather believed that such knowledge, carefully selected and well-purified, could help our reason to move forward in its search for an understanding of God. In On Christian Doctrine he said that, after the initial purification of the mind by faith, purposefully selected pagan insights could serve our understanding of the Bible, which again served the further purification of the mind's eye, to finally bring us the wisdom (the latter being a “mystical, intuitive, direct vision of God”.)
The creation, Augustine now said, was a reflection of God. To his mind, we can represent the creation in terms of concentric circles .. The outer circle represents the physical world, which has its own trinities. The second one represents the soul, with its own trinity reflecting the Trinity of God. The inner circle, the intellect, with its trinity, is the real image and likeness of God: it is both a unity and a multiplicity: it is a unity in that the intellect is directed at itself; it is a multiplicity (namely a trinity) of remembering, understanding, and loving itself.
to correlate with some things Augustine said for example that
real faith makes clearer reason possible. Because of the trust
that can be put in God to be rational under difficult
circumstances. Faith is therefore important to keep
creativities in place that support communities.
4.3.4 Thomas Aquinas
' He really thought that our earthly life is dominated by the intellect, yet he tries to analyse the intellect in such a way as to leave room for faith. According to him, we have a continuous line between extreme functions of the intellect.
- On the one extreme, there is knowledge gained through “vision” and producing “certainty”. This knowledge is a product of direct experience of the object.
- On the other extreme, there is doubt, which is the opposite of knowledge. Where there is no direct experience of the object, there is also no certainty.
- The middle position (the golden mean??) is taken by faith. Faith shares with doubt the lack of directly experiencing the object. However, with knowledge it shares certainty. Although we have (for faith) no object that we can directly experience, faith still has certainty. Moreover, faith is an intellectual activity according to Thomas; it is not something of its own.
31 October 2012
' According to Thomas Aquinas, there are two levels of knowledge: the natural and the supernatural one. This is in accordance with man's two destinations: man has a natural destination, namely to act intellectually (as Aristotle indicated), and he also has a supernatural destination, to have a direct intuition of God (as the Christian faith, according to Thomas, clearly teaches).
(1) Thomas, therefore, did provide for a natural knowledge of God – a knowledge that can be either intellectual or rational, and which human beings can acquire without intervention of God's grace (unbiblical) or Scripture. Thomas also had no room for the idea of a purification or reason by faith, as we have in Clement of Alexandria or Augustine. Rational knowledge is analytic and argumentative (moving from unity to multiplicity) – a distinction reminiscent of Augustine's distinction between reason and intellect. This knowledge of God is called “natural theology”, which is divided into negative (natural) theology and positive (natural) theology. In negative theology we can, by rational argument, deny certain characteristics as being applicable to God. In positive theology we can prove God's existence by deductive argument (as Aristotle and his Arab followers had already done).
(2) Even the supernatural knowledge of God can be intellectual. Supernatural knowledge (of God and His creation) has its source in faith, but faith, as we have already seen, is an intellectual activity, which has its roots in grace (as God's supernatural gift, added on top of the natural gifts implanted at creation). We also have a kind of science on the supernatural level: Thomas calls it “sacred theology”. Thomas specifically tried to show that sacred theology is a science, an argumentative body of knowledge departing from steadfast principles that are self-evident in themselves. These principles are, in fact, as good as innate concepts – the only problem is that that which is self-evident in itself, may not be so evident to a human being. Therefore, the doctrines of sacred theology may need extensive argument and logical explanation before human beings can see that they are in fact true in themselves (biblical?)
The explanation of Aquinas' supernatural theology explains why his theology was probably used to justify sacrificing people, by burning them during the Middle Ages. Supernatural theology cannot be an argumentative science because it is noumenon.
Extracts from ' Summa Theologiae – Questions on God ' by Thomas Aquinas. Brian Davies, Brian Leftow (eds.). New York: Cambridge University Press. In Leesbundel pp. 227-241.
' The thirteenth century .. fostered a new institution called a 'university'. … Thomas Aquinas .. As a young man he joined the the Dominicans, who supported systematic theological studies for their members as a preparation for preaching, especially to non-Christians. He later became a professor in the Theology Faculty of the University of Paris, and Aristotle became the chief philosophical influence on his defence and explanation of Christian theology.
… Siger of Brabant, who defended as Aristotle's opinion the view of Averroes (Ibn Rushd) that all humans share a single soul.
230-231 [Parts added on 16 November 2012]
' Article I: Is it self-evident that God exists?
But once we understand the meaning of the word 'God', we immediately see that God exists. For the word means 'that than which nothing greater can be signified'. So, since what exists in thought and fact is greater than what exists in thought alone, and since, once we understand the word 'God', he exists in thought, he must also exist in fact. It is, therefore, self-evident that God exists. …
On the contrary, as Aristotle's discussion of first principles makes clear, nobody can think the opposite of what is self-evident.(4) But we can think the opposite of the proposition 'God Exists.' For 'the fool' in the Psalms 'said in his heart: “There is no God.” '(5) So, it is not self-evident that God exists.
Reply: A proposition can be self-evident in two ways: (a) in itself, though not to us, and (b) both in itself and to us. For a proposition is self-evident when its predicate forms part of its subject's definition (thus, for example, it is self-evident that human beings are animals since being an animal is part of the meaning of 'human being'). And if everyone knows the essence of the subject and predicate, the proposition will be self-evident to everybody. This is clearly the case with first principles of demonstration, which employ common terms known to all of us (such as 'being' and 'non-being', 'whole' and 'part', and the like). But if some people do not know the essence of its subject and predicate, then a proposition, though self-evident in itself, will not be so to them. …
So, I maintain that the proposition 'God exists' is self-evident in itself, for, as I shall later show, (7) its subject and predicate are identical since God is his own existence. But because we do not know what God is, the proposition is not self-evident to us and needs to be demonstrated by things more known to us, though less known as far as their nature goes – that is, by God's effects. ...
... Indeed, some people have believed God to be something material. And even if someone thinks that what is signified by 'God' exists in reality rather than merely as thought about. If we do not grant that something in fact exists than which nothing greater can be thought (and nobody denying the existence of God would grant this), the conclusion that God in fact exists does not follow.
' (4) Metaphysics 4.3, 1005b11; Posterior Analytics 1.10, 76b23-7.
(5) Psalms 13:1. The numbering of the Psalms follows that of the Latin Vulgate. '
Anselm's proof of material existence of God is dependent on his definition of God. Aquinas mentioned that in Summa Theologica as an argument against Anselm's definition without referring to Anselm if I remember correctly. There was no reference after the quote ' 'that than which nothing greater can be signified' ' in Summa Theologica on page 230. Aquinas refers to Psalms 13:1, Latin Vulgate version. The New International Version ©2003, Psalm 13:1:
' Psalm 13
For the director of music
A psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD?
Will you forget me for ever?
How long will you hide your face from me? '
I recall that Anselm referred to Psalm 14:1 (not sure what version) that reads in the New International Version:
' Psalm 14
For the director of music. Of David
1 The fool (a) says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good. '
' (a) 1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient. '
The definitions of essence at
Aquinas' and at Aristotle's seem to differ because essence at
Aristotle's is a wider concept (form plus matter) according to
the study guide than at Aquinas' (form as a likeness). Jesus
also referred to ' fool ' with reference to Raka
(See 18.104.22.168). See 4.8. for Anselms definition of God and his
reference to a Psalm 14:1.
' There are five ways in which we can prove that there is a God.
The first and most obvious way is based on change. … we are bound to arrive at some first cause of change that is not itself changed by anything, which is what everybody takes God to be. …
The second way is based on the notion of efficient causation. … If you eliminate a cause, however, you also eliminate its effect. So, there cannot be a last cause, nor an intermediate one, unless there is a first. If there is no end to the series of efficient causes, therefore, and if, as a consequence, there is no first cause, there would be no intermediate efficient causes either, and no last effect, which is clearly not the case. So, we have to posit a first cause, which everyone calls 'God'. '
In the third proof Aquinas wrote some objects can be or not. He wrote that objects that exist, are brought into being by existing things. Therefore there always had to be something that existed that could cause the first existence of other objects. God is that that was not caused and always exists. God cannot not be, therefore God is.
' The fourth way is based on the gradation that we find in things. … when many things possess some property in common, the one most fully possessing it causes it in the others. … So, there is something that causes in all other things their being, their goodness, and whatever other perfection they have, and we call this 'God'.
The fifth way is based on the governance of things. For we see that some things that lack intelligence (i.e. material objects in nature) act for the sake of an end. … So, there is a being with intelligence who directs all natural things to ends, and we call this being 'God'.
… So, it belongs to the limitless goodness of God that he permits evils to exist and draws good from them. '
Self (page 230-233)
Aquinas questioned Anselm's proof of God because he says the definition of Anselm's God is not true. He says God does not have to be defined as the Greatest we can think of. Anselm's proof of God is based on a definition. Aquinas's proof of God is based on cause and effect. He proves God with reference to effects we can see. It is thus similar to the deductive proof of Aristotle.
' It is necessary to believe that God is one and incorporeal; which things philosophers prove by natural reason. .. It is necessary for man to receive by faith not only things which are above reason, but also those which can be known by reason; and this for three motives. … The third reason is for the sake of certitude. For human reason is very deficient in things concerning God. A sign of this is that philosophers, in their inquiry into human affairs by natural investigation, have fallen into many errors, and have disagreed among themselves. And consequently, in order that men might have knowledge of God, free of doubt and uncertainty, it was necessary for divine truths to be delivered to them by way of faith, being told to them, as it were, by God Himself Who cannot lie. '
4.4 Summary of first section
Mythological philosophers, Xenophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, Clement, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas were emphasised.
4.5 Renaissance and the modern era
' The Renaissance attempted to return to ancient philosophy, which led to a revival of Scepticism. Although the Renaissance did not produce many serious sceptics, at least the sceptic arguments from the Hellenistic era surfaced again, and Renaissance philosophers had to take account of these. '
4.5.2 Tomasso Campanella
1 November 2012
' The following is Campanella's version of the Augustinian argument:
(i) The basic sceptic position is to doubt every viewpoint.
(ii) When I say that I doubt, this implies that I am thinking. Even if I doubt everything, I still, at least, cannot deny that I am doubting, so I cannot deny that I am thinking, which means that I cannot deny that I am existing.
(iii) Next, the fact that I doubt implies that I am a limited human being, i.e. that I am not perfect or complete, but defective. However, the fact that I can also love means that there must be other people in the world.
(iv) Furthermore, the fact that I am limited implies that I have the idea of finitude, or finiteness in my mind. This in turn implies that I also have the opposite idea, namely of the infinite, or of infinity. I could not have had in my finite mind the idea of the infinite if the infinite did not exist, and if he had not himself implanted that idea in my mind.
(v) This is infinity in the sense of power, wisdom and love, which again is mirrored in different degrees of being: the nearer a being is to the infinite being, i.e. the higher it is in the hierarchy of being, the more wisdom, love and power it has, and the lower it is in the scale, the less it has of these. This provides us with proof of the whole cosmic hierarchy.
and Campanella's have to be read to see if they also referred
to the infinite as ' he ' and ' himself '.
Except for that it seems the Augustinian argument cannot be
doubted, which implies life of a doubting human. With
accounting teaching we were taught to double check by double
doing tasks. Doubt is therefore an integral part of the
philosophy of auditing. Accounting of ideas seems to therefore
implies accounting where there is not much doubt involved at
first thought, but is that reality. Can no doubt exist. It can
be very certain that an idea exist when it is written down or
recorded in another manner. The accounting process that
follows after that first recording of an idea will determine
things like uniqueness in a territory, ownerships, copyrights,
renumeration etc. The doubt exist primarily at these secondary
processes that follow the initial recording of an idea.
' Campanella was in a way a predecessor of René Descartes. Like Campanella, Descartes had to take account of the sceptic arguments. … The sceptics doubted the possibility of certainty; Descartes was defending the position that certainty is based on human reason. [Self: Uncertainties exist whether Descartes wrote God warrants truths and thus reasons, whether reasons were Descartes' God and/or whether humans are God] This he probably found in the writings of Campanella, who had just been released from incarceration by the Roman Catholic Church and was supervising the first complete edition of his writings in Paris, France, when Descartes was still a young man. [Self: Why did the Roman Catholics incarcerate Campanella if he followed Saint Augustine's argument in essence?]
Descartes believed that it is the primary function of rational thought to distinguish values: it is supposed to distinguish the true from the false and the good from the bad. The main steps of Descartes' defence of reason against scepticism are the following:
(i) One of the values that we can distinguish is that of clarity and distinctness, Like Campanella and Augustine, Descartes argued that if I doubt everything, it implies that I think, and therefore that I exist. This is a clear and distinct idea. Clarity and distinctness are therefore values that are predicated of the proposition “I think, therefore I am”, and which reason can really distinguish.
(ii) My doubting, as Descartes says, following Campanella, implies that I am imperfect, that I am finite. This again implies the opposite idea: the idea of the perfect, infinite God – therefore God must exist.
(iii) But suppose, Descartes says, that some strange horrible god has made my mind such that it always deceives itself about its own existence, then nothing that I can figure out with my reason would hold. Since God is perfect, He cannot deceive me and, therefore, he could not have given me a deceiving reason. Therefore I can trust my own reason to lead me to the truth.
Descartes wanted to prove that reason is trustworthy and that makes him the first modern rationalist. He therefore produces proof of the existence of God. Augustine did so too, as did Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas Aquinas. Yet all of these were proving the existence of God so as to be able to assure their readers that all creatures are in the good hands of an Almighty God, who cares about us. Descartes used his proof of God's existence in another way, namely as an argument that, for truth and certainty, we may put our trust in reason. Although intellectuality and/or rationality had played an important role up to then, it had never been the warrantor of truth and certainty. This is a very modern idea in Western thought. '
' .. low-level rationalism of Descartes, trusting reason for truth and certainty. Descartes is not even hesitant to use God to prove the trustworthiness of reason. '
Currently intequism argues that faiths give warranties for creativities. Faiths of God in God that tie up with Descartes ' very modern idea in Western thought '. God warrants truths as first principles that are used in the processes of creations. Creations can be divided as creations of essences of selves, products to consume and planets for example. Intequisms philosophise about products to consume. Even at that level, Jesus' fishes become relevant. For now Jesus' fishes are ignored. Descartes combined the ideas of Saint Augustine with his own. Even doubt about all implies a certainty, because doubt about all implies certainties by selves that we exist. Doubts and certainties are thus very close. In the arguments doubts are primaries and finites. Certainties are secondaries and infinities that implies existences of selves. Existence predates doubts because I have to exist before I can doubt. Chicken or the egg? Certainties relate to creativities as secondaries. It seems that doubts about all after existences as primaries are the starts of reasoning and of intequism, because intequisms are currently limited to living, thinking humans.
' He looked at reason or consciousness in two ways:
Firstly, there are the different levels of consciousness that we discussed in the previous chapter. Starting with the level of sense, a chaos of impressions comes into consciousness, ordered by sense into representations. On the level of understanding, the representations are categorised and brought together into relationships, which gives us science as a product of the level of sense and understanding together. Transcending this level, we have the level of the power of judgement, where ideas will be used to synthesise knowledge even more.
Secondly, there are two sides to consciousness: one is the theoretical side and the other one is the practical side. … the right-hand side the practical (ethical) aspect, and on the left the theoretical aspect.
The implication of the latter is that reason is the ordering principle of our knowledge; it governs our lives not only on a scientific level, but also on a practical level.
In his essays on the Enlightenment and on the Origin of man, Kant views man as an end in himself, which means that no man ought to be used as an instrument by another human being. This, according to Kant, is the idea of freedom.
… Whereas Thomas Aquinas would have said that man is subservient to God who is the end (goal) of everything, filling Aristotle's terminology with some biblical content, Kant does not refer to God as the end for man, but to man as an end in himself.
This idea of freedom (man as an end in himself), is the a priori law of practical reason, which we can interpret as act in such a way that your actions can serve as a law for everybody else. In other words, practical reason sets a law for itself; it needs no law from elsewhere; it is autonomous; it needs no heteronomy. Reason creates this conception of a law.
… The conception provides the broad framework of an ethical law, namely: always act in such a way that your action can be a law for everybody else.
<p. 210> … In our providing rational content to the conception of the law, we autonomously come to know what the “good” is, and we live for the sake of the good. That is acting from respect for the law – not the external law, but law created by reason itself, from which duty is derived – a priori duty .. We can now act on the basis of respect for autonomous law, and not on the basis of the advantage that it brings, or from revenge, but really and only on the basis of a priori duty, as intuited by reason (without experience)
<p. 211> … Starting from the chaos coming in on the sense level and ordered into representations, further ordered on the level of understanding and changed into scientific knowledge, one finally arrives on the level of the judgement where our knowledge is related to our most fundamental presuppositions, explicating what we have been presupposing all the time.
… Practical knowledge follows an opposite route: it starts on the level of the power of judgement with the idea of freedom, and moves “downwards” to the level of the understanding, to derive the concept of pure duty, which is finally expressed in external, visible acts. Instinctive (pre-rational) man – one would even be able to call him “primitive man” - is a slave of his instincts. Rational modern man is autonomous, understanding his duty as being guided by the idea of freedom. '
knowledge is described as an opposing force to God. According
to the above description of Venter and Genesis, instinctive
illiterate people are closer to God than literate people.
4.5.5 Transitions after Kant
' By the middle of the 19th century, this confidence in reason somehow started to collapse.
To make this understandable, we must realise that already Descartes' thinking shows a kind of tension concerning the human being. He exalts reason as the function that can bring us truth if – and only if – it works in the way of the mathematician. [See pp. 209, 219] He also realised that there can be some obstructions like our passions and external circumstances.
… Western thinkers came to the conclusion that, more often than not, mankind is guided by irrational factors like passions, drives, and hunger for power rather than by reason. Thus, in the early 20th century, a very strong current of irrationalism began to flourish. This does not mean that reason and its role were now totally rejected. In the view of these thinkers, reason was merely being shifted from the “driving seat” to the “back seat”, or given a secondary role as an instrument of these irrational factors.
… A Number of irrationalist currents developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, like the philosophy of life of Nietzsche and Bergson (which we shall discuss only later), the Existentialism of Sartre (discussed in the previous chapter) and Pragmatism (which we shall now analyse). All of these different currents proposed a different irrational aspect as the dominant one. The existentialists <p. 212> said that man was doomed to freedom, that we have to choose in every situation, and that our choices are not guided by laws or norms provided by reason (as Kant had said), or implanted in man by God (as Thomas Aquinas had said). The philosophers of life (the vitalists like Nietzsche and Bergson) called the irrational force that is supposed to guide us the “life force”, a force that controls even our reason. The pragmatists, again, held that the practical situation to which we react in all kinds of (mostly irrational) ways (as long as they work), is the regulative one. Thus, when we use our reason we use it in service of practice. '
Venter seems to write here that if philosophers isolate one dominant concept as regulative over reason then they are irrationalists. High-level rationalisms, which he does not seem to accept, because it places reason above God, are philosophies that opine reasons determine the world at a metaphysical level (Hegel). Perhaps the distinction between rationalisms and irrationalisms becomes clearer when looking at plurals and singular. The plural of ' reason ' is ' reasons ', that implies causal relationships. Maybe causality then is the essence of rationalism. If miracles are believed to be causes then that can still be rationalism because of an event or object that was caused by a temporary break in causality. Rationalism currently means to me faith of God in God that gives logical reasoning powers under pressure. Sometimes it seems that Venter regards himself to be not rational nor irrational. He or someone else wrote on page 32 of the leereenhede:
' Jy het nou kennis gemaak met basies drie verskillende idees oor wet:
Rationalism on the level of intellectual creations of consumable products is important for intequism. Consumable products are prioritised from the most basic upwards from food and shelter first. A ICrM practitioner must understand first that actual faiths cause ICrM. Someone who already are utilising basic products.
4.5.6 William James
' Firstly, we have direct knowledge coming into consciousness - consciousness being represented by the [a circle, Venter referred to figure 12 on p. 213] circle. Our consciousness acts as a kind of sieve, selecting what we need (usually primarily for survival) and it is these selected fragments of knowledge that James calls ideas. Direct knowledge originates in sense experience.
From the left-hand side .. there is another line coming in, indicating mediated knowledge. Mediated knowledge is knowledge that we have not directly acquired, but which we have received via other people (as media), like our parents and our teachers. Mediated beliefs are also included in our corpus of ideas.
How does this inclusion process work? According to James, it is a two tier process:
(1) When we include new ideas, we shall try for a maximum consistency, attempting to make the new ideas fit in logically with the old ones. A tension arises if the new idea does not fit in logically with the older, and shifts may start to occur in the whole body of ideas (some being thrown out and others adjusted), until a new consistency is arrived at.
(2) Ideas are the basis of action, and the truth of an idea is determined by its efficiency in action: whether it can solve very old controversies in philosophy (which formerly seemed insoluble) – its efficiency being tested by just drawing its practical consequences; or whether it is able to guide us in solving a practical problem.
<p. 214> Ideas that are coherent can form theories. Theories are not true in themselves, for they serve as instruments to solve certain practical problems and to guide our actions. Thus theories are tested in the same way as ideas regarding their coherence with our body of ideas and their efficiency in solving our problems.
… Whereas the rationalists of the 18th and 19th centuries believed in automatic progress, the pragmatists rather believed that we had to improve our own future by experimenting (yet there is no guarantee of success, of course).
James even applies this to theology. According to him, we have a right to believe in God, for the sake of our own salvation. It is valid to believe, on condition that our idea of God has a salutary effect. Does it contribute to our sense of liberation? What kind of practical effect does the idea of God have? And if it has no practical effect, then our God is dead. '
can be used by ICrM at a low level because ICrM does not pay
attention to judgements. Pragmatism cannot be used when
judging has to take place for example when ICrM must decide
about levels of development that can cause global warming for
example, reason being that experiments cannot show results at
that level of reasoning. Pragmatism is not practical then
according to my current knowledge.
4.6 Christian alternatives since the Renaissance
2 November 2012
4.6.1 John Calvin
' He wrote a doctor's thesis on Seneca (who was a Roman member of the Stoic schools in ancient times). Calvin was educated strictly in the Catholic (scholastic) tradition on the one hand, but, being a typical Renaissance scholar on the other hand, he wanted to revert to classical times – thus he wrote a doctor's thesis on Seneca. Like the early Renaissance thinker, Petrarca, he became fascinated by Augustine (somewhat later) and he became more and more Augustinian in his thought. Reaching maturity, Calvin would become a reformer of the Church.
Foremost in Calvin's thinking was the relationship between theology and philosophy. Just as with Thomas Aquinas, this thinking expressed his views on the role of rationality, because it shows how he believed reason and faith were to be related to one another.
… Calvin fell in line with an ancient Stoic view, namely <p. 215> that philosophy is the search for Wisdom regarding both divine and human affairs. According to Calvin, we can find wisdom on the basis of converted reason, which is obedient to God – obedience on the one hand to the Holy Scriptures and, on the other hand, to the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of knowledge of God to be found by either reason or revelation.
On the left-hand side .. is represented knowledge of God as the Saviour and this, of course, we can only find through revelation (in the Scriptures), our reason being obedient to what Scripture says.
But then .. right-hand .. we have knowledge of God as the Creator and of this there are two kinds again: the knowledge which we find in (i) the Scriptures, and the knowledge which we find (ii) in creation.
Knowledge of God from creation, is again of two types: the knowledge that has been (a) implanted (or innate – the a priori of the Stoics), i.e. the consciousness of God that all of mankind has: every human being, according to the Bible and Calvin, knows that there is a God and we all have a conscience, a feeling of guilt when we have done anything wrong. This is innate. On the other hand, there is (b) an acquired knowledge of God, from creation, which again, Calvin divides into two types:
<p. 216> The first is derived from nature, and is everywhere – available for everybody to observe, Calvin says. The other one comes from history – God reveals Himself by favouring his children, or any human beings, favouring them when they do not even deserve it.
However, all the knowledge of God that we acquire from creation cannot be had in a mature and developed sense, if we are not obedient to Scripture, because only a submissive reason (submissive to Scripture and to the Holy Spirit) can transcend the spiritual blindness caused by sin. … The knowledge .. right-hand .. i.e. all the knowledge that we gain of God from creation, can only be had on the basis of the knowledge of God from Scripture, with our reason being guided by this while we are studying creation.
Calvin thus focuses on the knowledge of God. He does believe that we can know God rationally if, and only if, our reason is obedient to the Holy Spirit and to the Scriptures. … He obverts the schema of his early Christian predecessors – an elaboration of the Platonist and Stoic ideas of wisdom – who wanted to derive rational knowledge of God from rational knowledge of the human soul. Calvin rather wants to derive the knowledge of man from the knowledge of God. '
distinction between types of creativity cannot be found. The
word creator refers to God without distinguishing between
creations of God and creations of humans; that causes the
problems of ICrM. Calvin seems to have had a similar view to
Plato with regard to truths. Venter writes that Plato and the
Stoics prioritised human reason from where they upscaled to
God. Calvin started at knowledge of God that is derived from
the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.
4.6.2 Reformed Scholasticism
' Calvin rejected the Aristotelian tradition as we find it in Thomas Aquinas. By the 16th century, however, Reformed Scholasticism reverted to Thomas Aquinas and Aristotelianism.
… The Reformed scholastics added Descartes' belief in innate ideas to their Aristotelian, Thomistic idea of God. Represented in a diagram, we get the following: God knows Himself in a theological way; He is producing theology about Himself. (This is a new elaboration of Aristotle's idea of God, as “the intellectualising of intellectualising”; as intellectualising about himself.) How we human beings could know that God is theologising about Himself, is a question one would like to ask the Reformed Scholastics.
… Theology, being the thoughts of God Himself (and not of human theologians) is the queen of all sciences. The Reformed theologians thus moved away from the direction given to them by John Calvin.
The God thought is very clear to identify here. ' Himself ' causes the problem. Are selves God or not. Should I classify myself as part of God or as God or follower of God etc. The singularity implicit in first person singular references to God that we are brainwashed with hampers our honesties that are necessary for ICrM to be effective.
4.6.3 Blaise Pascal
' .. under the influence of Descartes. Later he became converted to the Jansenism – an order in the Catholic Church.
... He still used the Thomistic distinction between a supernatural and a natural sphere, but he explicitly stated that the former one, the sphere of grace and faith, guided the natural one of reason.
… In fact, almost all the French schools were using the books written by Jansenists. '
4.6.4 Maurice Blondel
' Maurice Blondel was a 19th century Catholic thinker, and is important for the way in which he posed the position of rationality. '
He opposed the nihilists because effectively the nihilists nullified action; the nihilists did not believe in positive knowledge. Blondel argued they have to know what truths are because one cannot argue against something one does not know.
Blondel wrote that we strive to be like God and when we realise that it is not possible it causes a desire for the infinite which we try to reach by transcendence. We reach out to others but still we cannot reach the idea of God as one human being. Descartes resolved the same problem, of being a doubting human being, coupled with the orthodox idea of the singular human nature of God, arguing that God is perfect. Perfect implies incorporeal, although I did not read that Descartes, explicitly acknowledged that implication. God being perfect and incorporeal they effectively excluded themselves from the weighty idea of self being or becoming God as Blondel did.
' The desire for the infinite also refers to a theme in Thomas Aquinas called the desiderium naturale. Thomas Aquinas maintained that, inside every creature, there is a “natural desire” to be as much as possible like God. This belief he adopted from Aristotle, but again Blondel puts <p. 219> this in a different context. The desire for the infinite creates the internal consciousness, the awareness that the full truth cannot be known in a purely rational way – we also need to depend on faith and grace. Inside the domain of philosophy, Blondel would not allow for a direct role of faith. Rather, he said, from within the domain of philosophy one cannot but realise that there is a natural striving towards the unlimited, towards the infinite, since we do not and cannot in our actions ever reach that which we see as our ideals. This truth compels us to agree that we need something more than what we acquire by pure reason. '
Blondel did not through Venter refer to God as the singular human form as referred to above. That singular physical form is however the problem in Blondel's argument that is not acknowledged in direct positive communication.
to ICrM the problem is resolved by ICrM's definition of God.
God has a metaphysical part that is noumenon and a physical
part that is all living honest men and women. Dead honest
people and their words are included in the metaphysical part
of God. The problem that is called the God thought, Mother of
God thought etc. is a problem that honest people, maybe all
people at a stage of their lives, naturally have to deal with,
because truths and God are analogised in theology and
philosophy. The problem can be solved like Descartes etc. did,
or the problem can be solved by changing the singular form of
the definition of God. Changing the definition to plural
causes more faith, therefore the plural physical form of the
definition of God is closer to truths. When a person can trust
more other people, being or becoming part of God, to take fair
decisions based on truths, that person can have more faith
than when believing in just an incorporeal God. Those higher
faiths in other honest people and in selves and in the
metaphysical part of God enhances intellectual creativities
because communication become more coherent and corresponding
with consequential assemblenesses.
4.7 Summary of the second section
The thoughts about rationality changes from Descartes' low level rationalism to Hegel's high level rationalism in the 19th century.
At the same time of Descartes the church started to reform by acknowledging the selfness of God in orthodox religion.
4.8 Anselm's Proslogium
Anselm bases his argument that God exists on his definition of God - ' God is that, than which nothing greater can be conceived. ' Something that exist is greater than something that does not exist therefore God must exist.
Page 224-225 [16 November 2012 insert]
' AND so, Lord, do you, who do give understanding to faith, give me, so far as you knowest (sic) it to be profitable, to understand that you are as we believe; and that you are that which we believe. And indeed, we believe that you are a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. Or is there no such nature, since the fool has said in his heart, there is no God? (Psalm xiv. 1) '
Aquinas' Summa Theologiae where he refers to Anselm's
ontological argument for the existence of God. Aquinas argued
against the method because a definition can change for people.
Currently in my mind, Aquinas can be sorted with Socrates and
Aristotle. More materialist than idealist. Prof. Mashuq Alli
of Unisa, if I remember correctly, changed Anselm's argument
slightly by writing that Anselm wrote - God is the greatest
truth (reality). Corporeality is closer to reality than
incorporeality, in an objectivist sense, therefore God is
corporeal. What is the truest? According to Plato it is the
idea of truth that cannot be killed. God is not either or;
corporeality or incorporeality. God is both. Humans have to
uphold honesties that cause assemblenesses after understanding
the incorporeal concept of truths. The concept truths, is
potentiality that becomes actualities during acts of beings
(noun), being (verb) and becoming honest.