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Why leftists hate the Declaration II

The leftist Declaration haters (cont’d)

The great problem with pretending that “empirical science” produces substantive knowledge lies especially in the paradoxical character of the unobserved observer.  In this respect, all the objects of our experience are like fossils, effects bequeathed to us by a being we can never observe directly, but whose activities produce all our observations. Even the actions taken according to our will, appear to our “science” to be the result of some prior determination, made before we are  made conscious of it.  Blinded by the arrogant assumption that materialism is self-sufficient, some want to conclude that this is evidence that our freedom (and the moral responsibility that goes with it) is just a delusion.

But if we put aside the prejudicial assumption of materialism, the appearance of this prior determination could be taken as evidence for the fact that both our will, and our understanding in general, arise in the context of a way of being beyond our perception, capable of origins, like the origins of the universe, inevitably hidden from our view, yet and still somehow accessing, and manipulating, our direct experience of being.  For when I think away every material aspect of my being, yet there remains the sheer, inexpressible sense of the being I continually purport to be.

This being there within me: it is somehow just beyond every observation I can make of it, but nonetheless I exist as and commune with it.  My eye does not see, though my ear hears from, this elusive presence.  It has a force in being that, at least within the little compass of my flesh, can summon the energies, themselves almost invisible, that spark the first beginnings of my acts. Even now, these first beginnings are little understood by our science, even at the pinnacle of its knowledge.

These reflections are in no way meant to disparage the achievements of modern science, or the validity of the knowledge it has developed, so long as we keep in mind the limited nature of that knowledge.  If anything, these reflections contribute to the vigilant skepticism that ought to be, and generally still is, characteristic of the truly scientific mind.  “I know that I do not know,” Socrates famously admitted.  His ancient wisdom continues to be acknowledged as such, despite the “present oriented” bias of our times, because we still appreciate the fact that the humble skepticism it encourages keeps alive the heart of wonder in us.

Only the dogmatic evolutionists defend their “theory” in tones of imperious, dogmatic certainty.  Only they pretend that their hole-some (i.e., full of holes) speculations must be accepted as ‘unquestionably true (a juxtaposition of terms no true scientist would utter.)  Why are they not willing to listen, even to those who acknowledge that there is some partial truth in the tattered tapestry of fantasy and speculation that can no longer claim to be a coherent body of scientific conclusions?

Their strangely defensive dogmatism is one element of the syndrome of tendentious combativeness that has marred the presentation of evolution theory since it first appeared.  True scientific thought advances objective knowledge by way of a certain method.  Evolution theory, by contrast, is not so much about what its adherents seek to know, as what they wish no longer to acknowledge. It advances toward a foregone conclusion, by way of a certain strategy.  As with all strategic thought, the conclusion has not been chosen for what it is, but for the harm that it will do to “the enemy”.

The enemy is God, or rather, the very idea of God.  And the objective is to explain what appears to be His handiwork in a way that supposedly precludes conceptual reliance on the essential attributes of His being. This is the reason the evolutionists cannot tolerate skepticism.  Socrates famous dictum is the basis for the kind of skepticism that arises in the quest for knowledge.  The knowledge of ignorance, which takes careful account of the method, is what then impels true minds to probe beyond those boundaries; not so much to push aside as to make sure of them.

But in doing so most comprehensively, the questing mind becomes more and more aware of its own premises.  It explores with ever increasing care the little steps by which the quest advances, so as not to mistake the ground that supports them; the starting points and assumptions that must be taken for granted in order for advances to be made.

Along with the particular swamps and pitfalls this due diligence may identify, comes a growing sense of awe and gratitude at the correspondence that each advance confirms between the way we know and the things that become known along the way.  We come to greater knowledge of the intelligence within us as we observe with greater assurance the intelligence at work in the world of our experience.

And unless we are blinded by inordinate pride or personal suffering, we come more and more to acknowledge that this correspondence is no coincidence.  As the universe responds to our capacity for knowledge, affirming the truth of our intelligence; so we respond to the intelligent power of the universe, which affirms for us the truth beyond knowledge and intelligence, which is the good will that has formed and ever informs both us and the world.

Ironically, true skepticism thus works in alliance with faith, as the two wings that drive forward questioning, disciplined research. It begins by exploring the knowledge of ignorance, but again and again it finds itself, not just in communion with truth, but within the precincts of ineffable being that connote the presence of the being being which informs the truth.

Every aspect of the cantankerous imperialism associated with dogmatic evolution arises from its aversion to this spiritual consequence of truly scientific skepticism.  Eventually this aversion must lead the dogmatic evolutionists to resent the possibility of any scientific discovery that awakens our spiritual sensibility and reminds us that the search for true knowledge has an infinite capacity to satisfy that corresponds to the deepest longing of our hearts. Crippling materialism encourages us to deny it, but in the end our science is still a branch of natural philosophy. And true philosophy has ever been about the infinite, boundless love of Wisdom, not just the kernels of knowledge that, even at its best, is all our understanding has to offer when we forget the One who is all in all the source of all that makes our knowledge possible.

[Look out for the next installment in this series, “Which ‘conservatives’ reject the Declaration?”, coming early next week.]

{ 1 comment }
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  • ken January 22, 2014, 10:47 pm

    Loving Creation, awesome Declaration.

    I’m grateful for this series.
    Part I set an all-night path for more.
    The next noon, more was from SavedByGrace.
    (article by Jerry R. Bergman gave rest and big smile)

    Looking forward to Part III.

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