Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein

copithorne said... My questions, and your inability to answer them do signal that you are trying to use language in a strange way. It is good for you to acknowledge the strangeness of how you are speaking and try to work out how you are using language, try to develop a theory of it all. If you know Wittgenstein, you'd know that those theories will never withstand analysis.

The philosophy you present here falls in the tradition of neo-Platonism. Thoughts are real, substantial, vivid. They are in contact with a realm of ultimate forms. Life as it is actually lived is, in your word, "trivial" -- a pallid reflection. In the Christian faith, this was rejected as a Gnostic heresy. Neo-Platonism was bypassed in the Vedic tradition as well. There IS a special way in which religion uses language. That way is the language of faith. You hear it in a church or a temple. But you are not using the language of faith, are you?

You are hoping to translate the language of faith into metaphysics. Many people would like to do that because faith can be difficult. It can be hard to control. It might come and go, whereas philosophical thoughts can always be brought to mind. So, people substitute piety for faith because it feels more secure. But it's a dead end, it's confusing your own thoughts with the grace of God. That temple will only have to be destroyed. 11:38 AM

copithorne said... Intellectual substance of faith which is required to understand scripture? This is like the "requirement" of implicit metaphysics isn't it? You won't be able to make sense of these "requirements." You won't be able to put your finger on them. When you try to look for the operation of this requiring, you'll find you are just playing with words, doing your bebop scat routine, manipulating yourself. In a tradition of faith we might talk about the Holy Spirit here and we might be able to say something meaningful. 12:51 PM

copithorne said... Kierkegaard and others have demonstrated very well that the language of faith cannot be translated into the language of knowledge without falsifying the faith. This falsification will show up as theological errors. This will show up a philosophical errors. This will show up as impediments on the spiritual path. This will show up as violence.
When the philosophical function works in religion, it plays a deconstructive role. That would be like apophatic theism. It would be like the theology of St. Paul. Or it would be like prasangika madhyamika tradition in Buddhism in which philosophical analysis is used to demonstrate the emptiness of every thesis. The alternative to this is that you are making an idol out of your own thoughts. 3:25 PM

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