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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All Proofs Come To An End

'Gagdad Bob' (the 'One Cosmos' blog) writes: Light and Vision, Truth and Intellect

...
In his critique of rationalism, Schuon notes that the rationalist places reason above Truth, the result being that he places himself in the absurd position of only believing things that he can prove (or thinks he can prove) with his reason.

This is to place a means to truth above truth; and not only that, for in order for to use reason, something other than reason must select the premises to be used for the proof. This thing is again intelligence, which transcends reason and is the very substance of the truth it wishes to prove. Sadly, in order to live as a rationalist, one must make intelligence less than what it is, and ultimately make the assimilation of Truth impossible.

Furthermore, to limit intelligence to reason soon enough leads to the denial of reason, for the same intelligence that affirms reason can just as readily deny it -- as do all materialists, relativists, multiculturalists, deconstructionists, and the rest of the leftist rabble.
I commented --

To paraphrase CS Lewis (and any number of other thinkers): "All proofs come to an end" -- [which is to say that] all rational proofs depend upon some prior truth-claim statement or statements to be used as the premise(s) of the proof's argument, which truth-claims may themselves be the conclusion(s) of some logically prior rational argument(s). But, soon or late, this chain of proof-and-logically-prior-proof comes to an end; which is to say, we arrive at the beginning of the whole process of our rational reasoning.

And at this beginning/foundation of our rational reasoning, we find one or more truth-claim statements which cannot be rationally proven -- if these foundational statements are indeed true, then our knowledge that they are true is not a rationally-derived knowledge, but is rather a non-rational knowledge (i.e. intuitive knowledge): we know it is true because we know it is true.

Thus, *all* the rational knowledge we posses, and all that we can ever hope to possess, sits upon a foundation of non-rational, intuitive knowledge.

Thus, reason cannot be superior to truth; and, as G'Bob points out, the attempt to place reason superior to truth must, ultimately, result in the denial of reason itself.

2 comments:

MK said...

Whoa that's too complicated for a simple peasant, i'm going to have to take your word for it. :)

Ilíon said...

Now, see, I can't tell if you're serious or teasing me about not understanding it.