Posts Tagged ‘truth’

The attempt to find an interpretive worldview?

September 17, 2009

The object of philosophy…is not to help people, but to discover truth. I want to know qua philosopher what the universe is like.

It is the business of philosophy…to seek to understand the understand the nature of the universe as a whole, not, as do the sciences, some special department of it, but the whole bag of tricks to which the moral feelings of the Puritan, the herd instinct of the man in the street, the religious consciousness of the saint, the aesthetic enjoyment of the artist, the history of the human race and its contemporary follies, no less than the latest discoveries of science contribute. Reflecting upon this mass of data, the philosopher seeks to interpret it. he looks for a clue to guied him through the labyrinth, for a system wherewith to classify, or a purpose in terms of which to make meaningful.

C.E.M. Joad, British philosopher

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A Mind should be like a door, or a mouth

September 12, 2009

An open mind is all very well in its way, but it ought not to be so open that there is no keeping anything in or out of it. It should be capable of shutting its doors sometimes, or it may be found a little drafty.

Samuel Butler, the 19th century British novelist

I think he thought that the object of opening the mind is simply opening the mind. Whereas I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

G.K. Chesterton, criticizing the notion of the ever-open and never-closed mind as espoused by H.G. Wells, Chesterton, Autobiography, 1967, pp.223-224

Lying is the worst of all evils.

September 5, 2009

Lying is the worst of all evils. Everything else that is diabolical comes from it. And we have been lied to; public opinion is constantly deceived. Not a page of a newspaper is free of lies, whether it deals with political, economic, historical, social or cultural affairs. Truth is under pressure everywhere; the facts are distorted, twisted and made into their opposite.

Wilm Hosenfeld, The Pianist, by Wladyslaw Szpilman. Picador: New York. 1999, p.200

Naturalism & truth

September 3, 2009

…to talk of one bit of matter as being true about another bit of matter seems to me to be nonsense.

C.S.Lewis, ‘De Futilitate’ in Christian Reflections, (Fount), p88.

Myth of Objectivity – Jung on Freud

August 30, 2009

There was no mistaking the fact that Freud was emotionally involved in his sexual theory to an extraordinary degree. When he spoke of it, his tone became urgent, almost anxious, and all signs of his normally critical and skeptical manner vanished. A strange, deeply moved expression came over his face, the cause of which I was at a loss to understand. I had a strong intuition that for him sexuality was a sort of numinosum. This was confirmed by a conversation, which took place some three years later (in 1910), again in Vienna. I can still recall vividly how Freud said to me, ‘My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.’ He said that to me with great emotion, in the tone of a father saying, ‘And promise me this one thing, my dear son, that you will go to church every Sunday.’ It is strange that Freud, who was basing his theories on and interpreting the dreams of others, including those of Jung, was curiously enough anxious to conceal his own and his private life. The motive for such concealment could hardly be academic or scientific. Jung writes, “Freud had a dream-I would not think it right to air the problem it involved. I interpreted it as best I could but added that a great deal more could be said about it if he would supply me with some additional details from his private life. Freud’s response to these words was a curious look – a look of the utmost suspicion. Then he said, ‘But I cannot risk my authority.’ At that moment he lost it altogether. That sentence burned itself into my memory; and in it the end of our relationship was already foreshadowed. Freud was placing personal authority above truth.

One thing was clear Freud, who had always made much of his irreligiosity, had now construc- ted a dogma; or rather, in the place of a jealous God, whom he had lost, he had substituted another compelling image, that of sexuality.

Jung, C.G., Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 150, 158

Controversy – how to engage in it

December 12, 2008

Controversy and how to engage in it

More is at stake than simply making up our minds. We ought also to struggle with the question of how best to communicate with those who disagree with us, and to sympathize with them where we genuinely can.

In a word, we will be trying to understand other people, not just make up our minds. At the same time, we can never ignore the concern for truth.

Vern Poythress On dispensationalism and Covenant theology

Truth is not a majority vote

October 21, 2008

On the subject of penance, however, Eck kept pressing Luther with the query, “Are you the only one that knows anything? Except for you is all the Church in error?

“I answer, ” replied Luther, “that God once spoke through the mouth of an ass. I will tell you straight what I think. I am a Christian Theologian; and I am bound, not only to assert, but to defend the truth with my blood and death. I want to believe freely and be a slave to the authority of no one, whether council, university, or pope. I will confidently confess what appears to me to be true, whether it has been asserted by a Catholic or a heretic, whether it has been approved or reproved by a council.

p.119 Here I Stand – A Life of Martin Luther, Penguin 2002, Roland H Bainton

We All Have an Axe to Grind

October 6, 2008

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence… No philosophy is completely disinterested.
The pure love of truth is always mingled to some extent with the need,
conciously or unconciously felt by even the noblest and the most
intelligent philosophers” — Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means, 1937,
p.270-272)