June 09, 2006

Plato, Goedel, Herbert Marcuse and N.O. Brown

Human Beastlings and Divine Blueprince
posted by Gagdad Bob at Thursday, June 08, 2006 6:21 AM 2 comments
What is reality, anyway? Our paradigmatic science, physics, reduces the world to a few beautiful equations, but the equations don't tell you how to generate a world with them. In fact, they provide no factual content whatsoever for the world we actually encounter. So which world is the "real" world? The inconceivable quantum world undescribed by physics, or the ponderable world we encounter with our senses? Science is obviously a wonderful tool, but when it is elevated to a philosophy it is remarkably empty of content and meaning.
One of the implications of Goedel's theorem is that any self-contained logical or mathematical system can generate questions that are not answerable within the system. Interestingly, many postmodernists use Goedel to try to prove that all knowledge is therefore relative, but this was not Goedel's point at all. Rather, Goedel thought he had proved that Plato was essentially correct--that there are things that are patently true but which cannot be proven with logic. There is a realm of ideas and archetypes that can only be known directly with the intellect properly so-called--the nous or buddhi.
This, of course, is the entire basis of religious knowledge. Our souls prove the existence of the Divine for the simple reason that they are so adequately proportioned to the Divine nature. We were built, so to speak, to know God. If we weren't built to do so, then we could not know or even conceive of him, any more than a dog can conceive of music. Nothing can account for the beauty and wonder of the soul except something even more beautiful and wondrous.
The riddle of the human being is he is the only animal that both is what he is and what he is not yet. We do not exist in the way that a star, a rock or an animal exists. An animal is what it is. Its nature and essence are fixed. But a human who is not perpetually becoming human is not a proper human at all. In other words, only human beings exist as both being and becoming. Unlike other animals, we have within us an essence that is both present and yet unrealized, and which it is the purpose of life to actualize and fulfill: to bring it from eternity into time.
Contemporary liberalism has an entirely different intellectual genealogy than classical liberalism. Something happened in the 1960’s that caused the breach with traditional wisdom, and we have been reaping its disastrous consequences ever since. The battle in America between left and liberal continues, and its outcome will determine the future of the world, much more so than the war on Islamo-nazism.
For leftism, in all its forms, is a revolt. Specifically, it is a revolt against our divine-human nature alluded to above. With the 1960’s came the pervasive message that one could be an authentic human only by being subhuman, by rejecting all of society’s hypocritical mores and values. Famous leftists such as Herbert Marcuse and N.O. Brown taught that Western civilization was false, oppressive and inauthentic. Therefore--in a complete inversion of the cosmic order--the purpose of life was to become “unrepressed” and to overturn tradition, which was simply an illegitimate means of control and domination.

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