Considering Truth and Reality. Where Science, Religion and Superstition meet; The Communicative Move.

Everyone has an idea of what is true and real. In fact, most do not see any difference between these ideas. Against this we have the notion of superstition, in the historical mythological sense. Superstition is the justification of faith, and together they form a basis by which the activities to solve the problems of reality are justified.
When superstition is excluded in the consideration of what is true, that is, when it is taken as a ‘false’ by which ‘truth’ is situated, meaning if it is included then it is so by a negation, here we have not only reality, but the evidence of faith.

There is a different route before us. Let us take the example from what we can call Biblical mythology.

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It would seem we have at least two possibilities; the universe of Adam and Eve that does not adhere to our modern scientific version of laws that have governed the workings of the universe since its beginning, and the the universe (of them) that has operated the same since their time to our time.

It seems it has to be one or the other. A beginning of the universe that actually began with two God created people must have existed, as humans like us, in a universe that was completely foreign to our understanding, that is, by contrast, if we live in our present world of scientific type methodology of real things, where evolutionary theory describes the actual universe for all times.

The former universe, one could say, had ‘miracles’, a universe where a serpent at times could talk and be motivated by ‘more than instinctual’ animal processes. This universe also has staves that could turn into snakes (Moses), a certain finite number of creatures that Noah could gather, and ‘works’ of Jesus, where a person that was dead could actually come back to life physically, and probably a myrad of other miraculous possibilities spoken about by other cultures. A universe where extra-universal energies (God?) still were involved directly with the universe.

Now, see though, I am not being facetious. I am not even thinking about ‘what if’.

The other universe is one where the humanity we know now, the capacity and ability we count as human today, including that part which extends into science, is The universe that has always been, running by the same Laws, the same limitations, one of which says that serpents could never speak to humans let alone convey a complex thought in speaking, or staves that could become snakes, or if such things could happen, then it was a mistaken apprehension of the events.

Also see that I feel that in being human, I should explore the world with all my capacities, barring no thought, considering all that might be able to come under my view. Granted, this view involves a certain morality so far as to what I may enact, but so far as the possibility of truth in the world, I must be at least willing to consider it in its possibility, including the possibility that may offend my idea of what is real and true. To me, this is a God given capacity and ability, that It gave me (us) to use to its fullest. In other words, I should, within this capacity and ability, be at least willing to try to set aside what I know is correct; the truth lay then with all that is known. The transition from real discourse to true communication occurs as we move to the experience itself.

Under this maxim for being in the world, this is why I can say or have said I do not have faith, but my faith is in doubt. For, if I do not have faith, then the faith that I do have is defacto, by definition, doubt. But inso much as somehow I have a commitment or an imperative of my being that does not allow me to have faith, by virtue of this situation, I am having faith in a meaning from which I derive that statement ‘I do not have faith’ in order to be able to say it and mean it, and thereby this condition admits, my condition, my faith is in doubt. I become subject to a peculiar situation whereby the position I advocate betrays itself, and I am left nowhere by what I may say, except that somehow I have said it, because the faith that I do have, the faith that allows me to speak and mean with conviction, is in question by the very fact that I may say and mean ‘my faith is in doubt’.

So it is that the possibility that there was a singular and momentous human being who was the Son of God, sent into this world for the forgiveness of sins, that those who believe in him may not die, but have everlasting life, this actual person-God 2000 years ago as the Bible tells – I do not have faith in this, which I to say I do not believe it, but yet I do believe, have faith in the idea, that it is just as possible as the truth I know, by which I have faith in doubt. This is ironic, the situation of irony: to have faith in doubt.

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The possible situations of the universe as I presented above, both rely upon an implicit idea of progress. The former, where a serpent actually talks to Eve, suggests a universe that has been moving away from God, a universe that began with a God and where God used to interact, where miraculous things could and indeed did happen as they are told about, but that the universe is or has been moving in a manner where such strange occurrence, one could say at least, become less and less, leading ultimately to our time, wherein any and all miraculous events are immediately usurped and explained by our modern understanding, thus stripping them from the truly miraculous and leaving them, at most, merely strange or mysterious.

The latter universe extends its reaches to the ‘beginning’ and proclaims that humans a long time ago were not as intelligent as we are now. Even though they had the capacity innate in the (our) developed brain, its processes, as an adapted mechanism of natural selection of acquired traits, needed time in trial and error in dealing with the true universe to find out what is actually real and true. Early man was superstitious, and believed in all sorts of spirits and demons, gods and deities, supermen and fantastic creatures, and was prone to believing false ideas such as a geocentric universe, four basic elements, and the body’s functioning through chakras and humors. Eve talking to a serpent is explained as analogy or as ignorance, as a real human event hidden in symbolism or clouded by superstition. This universe is of a progress toward true knowledge, of humans learning and understanding their true place and the true structure of the universe.

I am unable to have faith in either one of these universes, to believe , which is to say, will myself, choose, to have one or the other be true; ‘evidence’ merely begs the question of and announces simultaneously to what ‘faith’ is being attested. I can only consider their possibility in regards to possibility. In fact, so much as what is true, is that they are both possible given the condition of knowledge that I inhabit; and this is to say, they are both true, and this truth requires, as an act of will, no faith. But my faith is in doubt. That which I come upon as true has given these sensible conclusions. What is real as to the world in which I live, while tending toward the latter, ‘scientific’ universe, comes to be in question because of what is true. This question then brings what can be called ‘commitment’ (see my posts “Tangent 3.9: Love”, and “Concerning Commitment…”) and develops along lines that can be called faith. Which universe do I choose?

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As I invite the reader to truth, I can confront your faith.

The point, I suppose, that I am getting at so far as Eve and the serpent is that I am incapable of coming to a Big Story of the history of humanity. Or, I would have to say that it is ‘in between’.

It is this in between-ness that is the problem between us, between individuals, maybe. Because, in a way, what the story the Bible presents I can say to be true, but the meaning I have of this truth seems not the same as what you mean when you say it is true or false. In part, I would say my Story is both stories, the former and the latter. What this would mean is that taken separately their veracity must be taken in faith, an ‘either/or’. Taken together would show something to the effect that the historical move away from God is the move toward God, that in one way, God is knowledge of truth, and in another way God is false knowledge; this totality then would deny that there was ever a ‘true’ history designated by either the Bible’s Big Story or the Science/evolution Big Story, but that the apparent contrary movements reveal no movement, or a movement that exists only in the ever-present moment, and that on one hand, the promise of Jesus can come ‘in the blink of an eye’, at the end of time, or on the other hand, in the ‘thoughtful’ realization of the oppressively limiting power that ‘scientific’ knowledge has over the individual in reality right now. Since the Subject of both stories is the single human being’s relationship with the world, and how that Subject really has nothing to do with the world, but has everything to do with him or herself as a Subject of worldly things, the true issue cannot be so much what one believes is true, not so much what their faith ‘witnesses’; rather, the issue has more to do with what it is to be the Subject of God.

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Now, the notion presented in the foregoing essay might seem to many quite…ridiculous. We are quite comfortable with what our scientific reasonings say; basically, we got it down. Our explanation of reality is true; evolution is the right fit, even though we still are working on the details. Fundamentalist Christians have their Biblical creation truth. Then there is the debate that crosses these two truths that attempts to pull ideas from either side and argue which one is more true, and this occurs at all levels, between all sorts of ‘fundamental’ ideas, their arenas of discourse.

This essay poses the issue upon the more religious horizon. But this is not merely an isolated ‘what if’; it is a sound reasoning based in the same ability that I would say is stuck in its own faith.

Science is also offering it own reconciliation of the problem of such faith; here is a link to an essay that describes this same motion put into the rhetoric of science:

http://darkecologies.com/2014/02/22/lee-semolina-time-physics-and-climate-change/

Likewise Quentin Meillassoux, for one, offers his more scholarly reduction in his discussions referring to analytical appropriations of historical philosophical authors and their ideas.

The issue I address through this ‘coincidence’ of reality, has to do with how it is possible that such a reduction is being made. Reality has it that there is an historical context that is informing our ability to know of things, and the conclusions and assertions of truth, put forth usually as theory and or hypothesis, are likewise informed due to these previous delineations of ideas. Such it is that we have the individual who exists because and due to the information that was before him or her, mediated by a sort of transcendent consciousness of free will, determining by this contingency of essential forces what the present is as well as what the future has to deal with in ideas of the world.

When we move from superstition, which is of faith, which includes what is otherwise metaphysical, conventional science, to what could be called true science, we find our place in the statement, “I doubt this causal formulation”.

The Impossible; part 2.

I am offering nothing new. Yet, it seems that very few people have understood what has already been told. The fact that most people want and expect something new shows, in relief, that a new configuration of terms is needed, but I am quite sure that what is impossible again will be put into good use for progress, if only because it has become possible to do so, because people want new things, especially if it is a new thing that hasn’t been new for a long time – or even a short time.

The ridiculousness of a discussion about the impossible, let alone a constructive one, no doubt has reduced my readership to very close to zero, but this is truly ironic because what is truly impossible, as to our discussion so far, resides just this side of it: Most readers are hardly non-readers and so see such a discussion as so useless and nonsensical – so offensive it is, of course it has to be discussing something absolutely impossible, which is ridiculous. They like to stay in the middle, in the moderated state, in the mediated reality; very comfortably, I’m sure. We, by contrast, are not so comfortable with being comfortable; indeed this mediocre is not comfortable, it is aggravating as it is outright lazy. The being comfortable lay in the couch of ignorance – so much is bliss, so they say. Every comfort is quite possible; one can only surmise that this is the reason why what is new and novel plays in such an assertive attitude for identity. I imagine another thousand years might pass until the impossible becomes pertinent again.

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In order for there to be a discussion about the impossible, we must be able to find what is possible. We cannot begin with the impossible. This route then must venture to present what is true, and not merely true in faith. The philosopher must be concerned with establishing a ground, for this is the point of contention: Where or what is the basis of reality and what then results for reality when its ground is found?

What we find, though, is contradiction; the ground is paradox. Not that the paradox is then the indicator of what true, is possible , against what is false, the impossible, but that the paradox, the contradiction, what constitutes the impossible, is the ground. We find irony: It has already been found, but something gets in the way. What invariably happens is then another person feels they have to reiterate it. Each next person, because this person has come upon the point of contention, sees it in others before him or her and then draws upon the previous discussions to explain how those discussions have been incorrectly understood, and what they are really saying. This, or these, discussions thus then mark what can be called a quality of history, a historicity, because the discussion is not really moving toward anything, not gaining a more thorough description or drawing upon causes for correction, but is merely reiterating the point of contention for that particular moment in which it manifests. More precisely, the more thorough description is showing that itself is incorrect, but this explanation is contradictory to reality and so is habitually ignored or justified by a need for more study. In this way the something that gets in the way is exactly history, which is the developing of storyline of cause-effect relations of true objects along a temporal scheme of progress. The something that gets in the way is exactly faith. The point of contention is that which distinguishes what is of faith and what is true, and from this, what is real and not real, and what is possible and impossible. We come upon is the existential bifurcation: the impossible possibility that what is human must be not me, the point where the impossible, ‘I am’ the total world, becomes possible, where the quality of the assertion that is history is exposed.

The irony of this the reiterated discussion is that because it can only reiterate due to the apparent temporal change of meaningful terms, it is then represented in time as an extended or extrapolated progressive explanation. The discussion upon the point of contention is seen or understood as gaining a better ability to more thoroughly describe the issue, and appears to be actually getting to the most comprehensive discription yet – as if a progress is indeed occurring (is it?) This is why for many in their moments in history, certain authors have been heard to say how they are witnessing a ‘crucial’ or ‘significant’ time in history – because the quality of every moment is crucial and significant when the observer is viewing from where their humanity has been brought into question due to their ahistorical expression upon the point of contention. Only from the conventional historical view, from the view that sees proper objects to be discerned, objects that dispense or give up information of themselves to our knowledge when the proper method is enacted upon them, do only certain particular moments becomes significant, as these moments work to serve the cosmology of universal structure of true objects as well as the ontology of temporal progress. Particular objects are punctuated according to the teleology of conventional reality as reality necessitates a particular scheme of meaningful terms, the substance of faith, of intrinsic mythology: the structure and framework, the scaffolding, of true objects, how they got they way, what this all means, where humans fit in – the answers to these questions arise necessarily and correspondently from the issues that prompted them, as they reflect, equate and amount to the reality of the possible universe.

Here we have then a description of how I might say that convention – the proper scheme of meaning that rules the method by which to discover real objects – usurps what meaning might otherwise find or express truth, a virtual coup d’etat for the sake of maintaining and establishing reality, and this is to say, what is true is routinely and consistently routed back into reality through faith. Again: Reality is founded in faith upon a ground of true objects that contain the potential to convey their inherent truth(s) in terms that are not contradictory of meaning. Terms are taken, seen and understood in conventional faith to be presenting meanings that stem from actual or true objects, true material essences, so that what is conveyed by terms is automatically and innately brought into reality, within or along the temporal scheme of progress.

The reiteration, because it is merely presenting the same ‘thing’ in different terms, thus represents a potential for departure from such temporality. Here also is the point of contention. What is presented is always atemporal, it does not exist in time. The problem with this statement, though, is that it appears in time, just in time, to fulfill the teleology implicit of the scheme of meaningful terms that are used to describe the situation of what is presented. The attempt or effort to overcome the ubiquity of the conventional scheme, and to thus present what is presented, never occurs, because the meaning of time itself is innate in the structure of conventional reality (reality), and what is presented is typically taken to be the same as what is represented in the conventional meaning. Yet conventional reality is always represented, and that, in time; reality cannot be but represented. Hence, reality contains all that is possible in faith, and what is then true, apart from faith, is impossible. The question “If the statement is true, why is it reiterated”, is salient.

Realize that what I have just described is ironic: Its meaning betrays itself, for what I have done is presented an impossible situation of reality using real terms in reality, and this then must be impossible, or, for those conventional realists, because I have presented a contradiction, a paradoxical meaning, its meaning must be not true, ridiculous, absurd. But indeed, this is why I say, the truth is impossible, not real. Yet, because it is indeed true, and I have presented it, it is ironic. If irony means anything, it means that conventional reality is real but it is not true, but only true in faith.

What I have also done is created or indicated an essential polemic, an essential duality. As well, I have presented and it will be represented. Now; reality would not be real if it was held or if its establishment was known only by a small number of people. Obviously, what is reality is held as true and real by a huge, overwhelming majority. But is this so? Is it merely a situation of numbers of people who know what is real? I am also indicating that I am of a minority that knows the truth, and that this truth includes reality but is not real. It is here that we can begin to see the true significance of the discussion of the impossible. The indictment itself reveals how history, what is for all purposes conventional history, moves not so much upon true objects in time, or interpretations of such objects, but upon a quality of existence that includes through exclusion, that what is inclusive then presents the truth as what is exclusive represents reality. And, such a representation then bifurcates unto grounds that at once speaks true human agency, as well as the route to inclusion of socially excluded or marginalized persons. Yet these discourses remain, as an existential imperative, polemically exclusionary.

In a way, it could be seen that I am saying that (conventional) reality is not really real, and that I am attempting to convey what is truly real. This also, strangely, ironically, is not the case, but indeed I could be taken to be meaning just that; I am thus able to extrapolate unto social contingency. If this latter case is actually the case, that I am attempting to describe a more real reality, then, by the bare fact that I know of this ‘better’, ‘greater’, or ‘more comprehensive’ reality, it would seem that somehow I have been able to move beyond the ‘limit’ of what is conventionally real. What is real by virtue of a ‘majority rule’, a majority in which I participated to create reality, and still participate, has lost its power. Reality then cannot be a manifestation, an actual ‘substantial’ arena of objects the nature of which have been (necessarily) agreed upon (as imperatives) such that ‘the few’ are in need of therapy or rehabilitation, as people might be discontent, paranoid, neurotic or plain delusional; the result of an ability to know of a reality that is more real than reality is to see that what is real is a manifestation of a particular assertion of power. By this standard and way of speaking, what is impossible from a social perspective with reference to reality, is that other human beings, particularly members of a marginalized group such as ‘race’ or ‘culture’, have or otherwise exist in a different reality altogether. What is more real in this case must then be indicated not merely by the other reality, but by the admitting of another reality. This turn of what is expected to be true in presentation yielding a truth that is represented, one that remains true to the original presentation while representing something else, can be called transformation. And, though I hesitate to say it, could, in some circles, be called the moment of irony, or the ironic turn.

The issue here with the dialectic that represents the critique of human relations (critical race theory is the politicized ‘human’ critical theory) is, since reality can only be represented by conventional terms, and we have admitted that other realities do exist, but that they exist marginally, or now ‘barely exist’, and this with reference to power, exist only where the effective conventional assertion of power has ‘allowed’ these other realities to exist – the relation of the oppressor to the oppressed: How do we go about ‘breaching’ or ‘compromising’ the rhetoric of power (the phrasing of conventional terms, the discourse of reality), what can be called the ‘priority discourse’, in order to bring such excluded realities and humanities into just relation with the universe of human beings? We might call such an endeavor “inter-relative”, or even “trans-relative” discourse, or simply “transitional” discourse, since all conventional realities find truth in negotiations of relativity and have veracity in as much as they are conveyed or related through discourse; this is difference in conventional discourse because convention is ‘already agreed upon’, and transitional discourse thereby involves the negotiation of at least two faiths, at least two conventional realities.

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Of course, conventional reality establishes the real in faith; in so much as there may be more than one (not necessarily ‘more real’) reality, this ‘other’ reality likewise is real by faith, hence the problem of compromising the truth of faith, and hence the truth that exists outside of faith. From the perspective of the admittance, the opening in reality that considers the possibility of what was once impossible (the existence of another reality), the conventional one would look out into the potential that lies beyond reality and conclude that the more real reality will one day take form when the negotiations of faith have settled or come to terms between them. What occurs as result is thus not the more real reality, but exactly, again, reality itself. The problem has not been solved, but only put off into another problem. This then presents the impossible as exactly not real, and brings to the front the issue that is delayed in critical human theory. Politics here is merely a symbol, a vehicle for approaching the impossible; social justice, an ‘end’ that must function within the reckoning of marginalized parties, serves a purpose that it does not recognize in its own purpose if it will achieve its purpose. But in the end, if there is more than social justice, its implementation achieves only social justice, since what moves beyond is entirely not real, but is actually, for reality, absolutely absurd.

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Next up: can it be ?? The Impossible, part 3.