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Christ the Way Part 1: Refuting the Nihilism

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posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 09:29 AM
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In his book, Nihilism, Father Seraphim Rose points out that what he calls negative metaphysics can be divided into the categories of realism and agnosticism each of which may be further divided in in to sub-categories of naive and critical. Here we are going to offer the critiques found in Nihilism by Father Rose.

Naive Realism/Naturalism
He begins by explaining that naive realism doesn't deny the existence of absolute truth, but rather makes absolute claims of it's own that cannot be defended. Rejecting any notion of an ideal or spiritual absolute we find that naive realism leads us to the absolute truth of materialism and determinism. It is the attempt to make a "scientific" metaphysic, which is impossible, because science gives us knowledge of particulars, while metaphysics gives us knowledge of that which underlies the particular and is presupposed by it. Father Rose deems this a suicidal philosophy for it renders all philosophy invalid as it must insist that like everything else an individual's philosophy is determined. Therefore, the advocates of such a philosophy may claim that their philosophy is inevitable given that it exists, but they cannot at all claim it to be true. He says that if they were consistent they would in fact get rid of the notion of truth altogether. The ideas of adherents to this view do not allow their ideas to go beyond the obvious, and their thirst for truth is so easily quenched that they have made science into their absolute.

Critical Realism/Positivism

This is a straightforward denial of metaphysical truth as it is "a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism." Rose claims that critical realism confesses to a greater modesty than naive realism in abandoning the absolute altogether by restricting itself to only that which is empirical and relative truth. The most obvious issue here is that the denial of absolute truth would itself be an absolute claim. Most people feel that this kind of criticism is a word game, but in reality it's just pointing out that to assert there is no absolute truth is to use a universal quantifier, and therefore to assert that statement is the case is self-contradictory. It's kind of like someone trying to tell you using language, that language has no meaning. The very act of uttering such a thing as though it could be understood would refute oneself. As with naive realism, the very positing of it's first principles are it's refutation. It refutes itself in more than one way. Beyond the implicit contradiction I mentioned above, the claim that the only rationally justifiable assertions can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical proof cannot itself be scientifically verified or given logical proof making it an unjustifiable assertion on it's own grounds.

Naive/Doctrinaire Agnosticism

By naive agnosticism Father Rose means to reference the systems of thought that posit the absolute unknowability of any absolute truth. He goes on to say that while this may appear more modest than critical realism, it still claims too much. For if the naive agnostic claims know the absolute to be unknowable, then this knowledge itself would be absolute. So as with the others the refutation is found within inconsistencies of it's own first principles. Thus naive agnosticism is nothing more than a variety of positivism that attempts with no greater success to hide it's self-contradictions .

Critical/Pure Agnosticism

Father Rose begins by explaining that only here do we seem to find a successful renunciation of the absolute, but he says that then logical consequence of this view is the renunciation of everything else and end, if consistent, in total solipsism. According to Rose, the claim of the critical agnostic is this: we do not know if there exists an absolute truth, or what its nature could be if it did exist. Rose goes on to mention that there is a corollary to this which says let us content ourselves with the empirical, relative truth that we can know. It is at this point someone in my camp may object, but what is truth? what is knowledge? If there is no absolute standard by which we demarcate what it is to be true or knowledge, then we cannot even begin to measure what is or is not true. According to Rose, if the agnostic acknowledges such a criticism he does not allow it to bother him. The position he is taking is a pragmatic one. There is no truth, but man can survive and get along in the world without it. Such people may have good intentions, but they only deceive themselves and others if they continue to use the word truth to describe what it is they seek.

The Nature of Truth

It is here that we see that man is working on the assumption that truth by it's very nature is not revealed. There is no revealed truth, and as Rose says, if there is no revealed truth, then there is no truth at all. The search for truth outside of revelation has come to an end, and Rose explains that this is evident by observing the way scientist operate. They restrict themselves to extremely specialized fields, and are content to see nothing more than coherence in a limited collection of facts, and does not trouble himself with questions about ultimate things. The majority of society demonstrates this by looking to the scientist not for truth, but practical applications of technology and medicine. As Father Rose has shown logic can show us that denial of absolute truth leads one to the abyss of solipsism and total irrational-ism for in this world there is no standard by which to measure what is or is not true and thus there is no truth for man at all. Thus the only position that is not going to contain logical contradictions is one that affirms that there is an absolute truth which underlies and secures all lesser truths, but Rose goes on to tell us that such an absolute truth could not be attained by any relative, human means. It is here for Rose that logic fails us, and we must enter into an entirely different domain of discourse. If one is going to assert there to be an absolute truth, then the affirmation can only be based upon one source, that of revelation. It is here that a critical mind is hesitant, and it is a blow to the ego of of a prideful mind. Those who accept this blow with humility will become conscious of the absolute they place their faith in. They will recognize that the believe there to be a source and arbiter of truth beyond that of human reason that serves as a foundation for the viability of reason and logic itself. What is truth? We see that Pilate ask the question of Christ, and for there Christian there is a bit of irony here as he is asking it of the Truth himself. As Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. Ye shall know Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. Truth that confers eternal life and freedom cannot be attained by any human means; it can only be revealed by One Who has the power to do so. Truth is not just an abstract idea to be grasped by the mind, but is in the Christian reality a person who reveals them self to you. Some may come and assert that the chief obstacle to faith is logic, but this is not the case. The chief obstacle is that you cling to some other opposed faith. The question then becomes whose faith is rooted in truth.




posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 11:11 AM
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So you are saying that scientists establish their claims on a collection of facts and they are too damn good at it?



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

I don't believe I said that anywhere



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb



 Rose explains that this is evident by observing the way scientist operate. They restrict themselves to extremely specialized fields, and are content to see nothing more than coherence in a limited collection of facts


And the rest was you apparently saying that they are too damn good at their job. Still having trouble connecting science with nihilism. Can you explain that part better?



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."
Acts 26:24



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 12:50 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Science is not necessarily connected to nihilism. It is a particular idolization of science within one's epistemology that is connected to nihilism. Scientist do not trouble themselves with questions of ultimate things. The guy studying earthworms in his lab, isn't thinking about the nature of existence or whether or not he has reason to believe that what he discovers of some subset of individual earthworms, will apply in a general sense to a larger set of things he calls earthworms that exists outside his lab. He's not asking is it possible for human beings to have knowledge? He's simply observing how the mechanisms of the organism operates, and assumes all of these other things in the process. The results of the scientific method are always provisional and always subject to revision or falsification. The only possible way to verify hypothesis X is to demonstrate that not X is false, and empirical endeavors cannot justify universal negations. Thus all scientific claims are subject to falsification at a later date, and are provisional in nature. In other words a person who contents themselves only with the claims of science, only believes in truth that is relative to a limited collection of facts that they believe to be the case, and holds true to the claim that there is no absolute truth which as Nietzsche put it is nihilism, and the most extreme of it's kind.

The section you're quoting though is about the search for truth outside of revelation. Scientist are not searching for answers to ultimate things like what is truth, and can humans access it. They just content themselves with the coherence they have observed, and the public finds content in the practical things that can be developed within these small domains of coherence. Rose is saying that you can observe the rejection of truth as revelational in scientist and the public based on how they're behaving. So the quote is related to what you asked me about, but not directly.


edit on 1-6-2020 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

Why are you quoting a man's response to Paul? Shortly after this you find the King does not think Paul mad, but to be one who speaks truth and reason. So I hope you're not suggesting that this post is to academic or requires to much learning. All of this is from about 5 or 6 pages of the book, and the arguments are pretty clear and simple.



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 01:42 PM
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But....first sentence you called some slob father......no

Bb....quit that....no one reverend....call no one father on this Earth.....have you not read.......



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

That's because science is concerned with phenomena that can be isolated and measured. That's not nihilism.



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb
I know the verses before and after. It was a little humor aimed at an OP filled with lofty words and mental gymnastics to justify faith in Jesus and convince others that you're right and they are wrong if they don't believe as you do. No justification is needed, believe as you wish, and those who are interested in your faith will pursue it on their own.


So I hope you're not suggesting that this post is too academic or requires too much learning.

You are flattering yourself. It's very unbecoming.

edit on 6/1/2020 by Klassified because: grammar + re-word



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

You seem to have a bad habit of responding to pieces of what someone is saying, and not accurately representing them because of that. I did not say that science is nihilism. This is actually the second time I've corrected this as we can see in my last post to you I say:




Science is not necessarily connected to nihilism. It is a particular idolization of science within one's epistemology that is connected to nihilism.


Now, I am referring specifically to this "Rose goes on to mention that there is a corollary to this which says let us content ourselves with the empirical, relative truth that we can know." One brings science to the forefront of their epistemology, and this leads one to nihilism for the reasons I just explained to surrounding falsification.



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: Klassified




I know the verses before and after. It was a little humor aimed at an OP filled with lofty words and mental gymnastics to justify faith in Jesus and convince others that you're right and they are wrong if they don't believe as you do.


I was taught to honor in my heart honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks me for a reason for the hope that is within me, and to do it with gentleness and respect. No one forced you to read that post. You clicked and read out of your own curiosity. My post here though is directed at propositions and views of reality, not people. I think I've defined the terms as Father Rose defined them in his book. If you feel that the post is trying to convince individuals, then I would imagine what you're recognizing is the solid rationale of Father Rose in his refutations of those propositions. These are not mental gymnastics. All you need to do is be able to read English, and understand what contradictions are. Do you have anything substantive to say about the OP?




No justification is needed, believe as you wish, and those who are interested in your faith will pursue it on their own.


Well you may believe there is no justification needed, but I do not think one knows something without justification or reason. To simply assert something to be the case is called being arbitrary, and arbitrary claims have no value in the search for truth.




You are flattering yourself. It's very unbecoming.


Yes, telling you that anyone could gain this information by simply reading 5 or 6 pages of a book is very unbecoming. How dare I.



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

What does the source of the information have to do with it's truth value?



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 05:26 PM
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The truisms of life......call no one father on this Earth....

Starts with scripture.....right there......catholics are being made victims by not reading or knowing scripture
Thea reply to: ServantOfTheLamb



posted on Jun, 1 2020 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

Amen Brother! You wear God's Seal but make sure you get the Holy Sabbath Day right. Sending love and prayers in Spirit. Our Father has his loving, merciful and just hands on all things. This site is in the belly of the beast and still you testify. That is awesome Brother!



posted on Jun, 2 2020 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

It’s their choice, let them choose for themselves
God can surely determine their heart over yours GBP, legalism is pretty poor form



posted on Jun, 2 2020 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Be careful Servant, you are blaspheming the atheist god, science
Expect much derision and anger in return



posted on Jun, 3 2020 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

I wouldn't say they're all good at it. That would be naive. Some may even intentionally be lying or giving half truths. It's just part of human nature.
edit on 3-6-2020 by Out6of9Balance because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2020 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY



Originally posted by GBP/JPY
The truisms of life......call no one father on this Earth....

Starts with scripture.....right there......catholics are being made victims by not reading or knowing scripture


Actually the Catholics know the scriptures very well…

Jesus says this…



Matthew 23:9
And do not call anyone on earth father, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.


But Paul says this…



1 Corinthians 4:14-16
I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.


Hence the dichotomy…

- JC



posted on Jun, 3 2020 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: TzarChasm

You seem to have a bad habit of responding to pieces of what someone is saying, and not accurately representing them because of that. I did not say that science is nihilism. This is actually the second time I've corrected this as we can see in my last post to you I say:




Science is not necessarily connected to nihilism. It is a particular idolization of science within one's epistemology that is connected to nihilism.


Now, I am referring specifically to this "Rose goes on to mention that there is a corollary to this which says let us content ourselves with the empirical, relative truth that we can know." One brings science to the forefront of their epistemology, and this leads one to nihilism for the reasons I just explained to surrounding falsification.


I'm on a mobile device, for what it's worth.

See, you said idolization of science has a nihilistic influence on our spirituality. Then you went on to say that there is a corollary between so called falsification of reality via scientific methodology and a nihilistic philosophy. You even say that scientific data is relative. But all three of these statements misrepresent the discipline of scientific inquiry and discredit its reputation for deriving fact from observation. If spirituality is at odds with this practice, it's not because science is misleading us.



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