Indefeasible Inner Witness, Holy Spirit, Properly Basic Belief, Solipsism, Idealism, Eliminativism, and Absolute Consciousness
Some will on occasion mistakenly claim the following: “Some such as W.L. Craig say the Holy Spirit is what convinces us – Full Stop. No need for Evidence.” Notice the intentionally ((…not always…)) left out “Other Half” of what “Convinces” in addition to the Holy Spirit.
Notice it is not One-Or-The-Other – but “Both/And” and that is actually FORCED when we arrive at any Standoff/Armistice with, say, the Muslim and Mormon and Christian and the Solipsist and the Idealist all attesting to the “Inner-Witness”. Before looking at that Armistice/Standoff, another brief look at that “Both/And” which we find in the Christian Metanarrative:
Context: In the brief video at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/videos/short-videos/god-can-use-arguments-and-evidence-to-convince/ titled “God Can Use Arguments And Evidence To Convince” William Lane Craig recounts the experience of a non-theistic physicist who came to be convinced of God by the testimony of argument and evidence vis-à-vis natural theology ((…cosmology & physics in this case…)). And of course that narrative is recanted throughout the centuries and in fact Scripture affirms that coterminous union of “Testimony” plus “Nature” yielding a “Communique” which speaks to reason’s eye on various levels. None of this is said with the intention of BISECTING the Both/And “Whole that is (1) The Holy Spirit’s Work & Inner Testimony and (2) Reason’s Eye with respect to Perception vis-à-vis Mind with Argument and Evidence.
Context from “Coronavirus, Valuing Science Converging With Valuing Faith, And Jesus On Hand Washing” which is at https://metachristianity.com/coronavirus-valuing-science-converging-with-valuing-faith-and-jesus-on-hand-washing/ as per the following….
The error of Scientism is an error born of Non-Theism and yet that same error ((Scientism)) infects Christian premises as it leads Christians to follow suit and take  God’s Commission of “Come In And Know Me” ((…Prayer, Theology, Intimacy in & with Him…)) and pit it against  God’s Commission of “Go Out & Subdue The Earth” ((…master the created order, the physical sciences…)).
The Non-Theist’s error of Scientism just is the Christian’s error of “Commission-1 Pitted Against Commission-2” vis-à-vis Faith “vs” Science ((…wait…. for… it….)). Notice that the second half of God’s Dual-Command “just is” to appreciate & unpack and master and subdue the Created Order. It “just is” Science. Science Flourished In The Christianized Mindset. But Why? https://randalrauser.com/2018/02/biblical-god-ignorant-science/#comment-4138241674
Historically the [set] of beliefs we are operating out of with respect to reality as intelligible have not always been with us ((well, not in full)). Realism and Antirealism and “Reality Is Intelligible” all arrive out of a history of “becoming” — out from former contours of “The Gods Play & The People Pay So Reality Isn’t Intelligible”. As Jennings reminds us with a quote of William M. Walton: “The metaphysician knows that his task is to search for the ultimate foundation of the intelligibility of things.”
So then, recall again that it is not One-Or-The-Other – but “Both/And” and that is actually FORCED when we arrive at any Standoff/Armistice with, say, the Muslim and Mormon and Christian all attesting to the “Inner-Witness”. The Strawman arrives at that Standoff/Armistice and pretends “That’s It!” “Everything Stalls-Out!” “Everything Stops!”
But of course that’s false. It WOULD be true IF the “Other-Half” of Craig’s/Christianit’s/Etc. were not “simultaneously present” but notice that in the Armistice/Stand-Off it is actually the Strawman ITSELF which Stops/Stalls-Out while the actual Claims/Premises presented within Craig’s content and the Christian Metaphysic all push ahead into Evidence & Logic & Argument as “That Which” finally Tips-The-Weight and Breaks the Standoff/Armistice.
Epistemic History Wins Out Over Inner Witness
Every claim of Ya/Na is born out of an epistemic history unless one is essentially a neonate and Craig points specifically to the strengths of the epistemic history which Solipsism and Idealism and Mormonism and Islam and Christianity and Non-Theism and Pantheism all bring to the table as “the thing” this is going to pinpoint the Warranted beliefs and the Properly Basic beliefs. Craig pushes this all the way when he comments as follows:
“….if holding that the witness of God’s Spirit is indefeasible leads to some epistemic misstep…. then I’ll gladly give up that claim….” and follows with, “…but I don’t see that you’ve identified any epistemic transgression so far…” ((bold added))
The “weight” of “veracity” lands on that Epistemic History vis-à-vis that Epistemic Misstep vis-à-vis that Epistemic Transgression. And the reasons why that is the case become obvious as we follow through with all First Person Experience/Perception.
“Internal Knowing” by itself as a stand-alone presents us with nothing circular just as there is nothing circular in “…someone’s reporting that he does experience the reality of the external world or the presence of other minds…” ((…so far that is…. purely as a stand-alone / by itself…)) and that point is made by Craig when he discusses the question of his rather Hard-Semantic push on the Heavy-Weight which the Inner-Testimony of the Holy Spirit “sums to” in his description. One must be careful to fill in the rest of the narrative on what outweighs what and include all included avenues by which Light/Convincing arrives/breaks through ((…see the many essays on this at reasonablefaith.org as Craig is often asked to explain/qualify….)).
The problem of Circularity MAY/CAN arrive IF/WHEN that stand-alone Self-Report is challenged by, say, the full-on Berkeley-Idealist or by full-on Solipsism or the full-on Non-Theist carrying his Non-Theism to its unavoidable terminus within the full-on Elimination of Mind/Self.
So what is one to do there? Well that’s straightforward.
First, notice that the Non-Theist thinks he is Free-Of the Münchhausen Trilemma ((Agrippa’s Trilemma)) and/or in some case he may insist that he is Free-Of the Elimination of Mind/Self by some sort of Non-Reductive-Hope – but of course all of these “Self-Reports” and in fact ALL “Self-Reports” such as one’s own “Inner Knowing” vis-à-vis “I” / “Self” / “i-am” / “i-reason” / “i-exist” reduce to the SAME terminus – and that’s fine “As-Is” in that is at that point still a “Stand-Alone”. It is THERE and THEN that we will soon find that it is nothing less than Logic & Lucidity & Reason which will first precede, and then overtake, and then subsume, and finally outdistance other variables to win the proverbial day.
In Craig’s own accounting of the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit he describes the proverbial Standoff/Armistice when other folks have their own Inner Witness and so then what? Well then he ((rightly)) moves into Evidence/Argument to Tip-Over / Break the Armistice. But why should Craig or the Christian ((Etc.)) do that if the Strawman “gets it right”? Well because the Strawman is a half-narrative of sorts – and even fallacious as presented. We find that “Evidence And Arguments To Convince” is something that is Valid/Alive/Part-Of-The-Whole. Recall again that “Convinced” by such vectors is a narrative which is recanted throughout the centuries and in fact Scripture affirms that coterminous union of “Testimony” plus “Nature” yielding a “Communique” which speaks to reason’s eye on various levels – even to the point of “It Was That Which Convinced Me”.
A few quotes of Craig from a few different places for context:
“….the Muslim can say the same thing, and we have a standoff… here my distinction between knowing our faith to be true and showing it to be true becomes relevant…..the Muslim can say the same thing and engage in Muslim apologetics… Great! Bring on the debate!””….What your question underlines is that the theistic arguments constitute a cumulative case such as a lawyer presents in a court of law in which independent lines of evidence reinforce one another to support the overall conclusion not implied by any single argument….””….This raises the question, “how do we know these arguments refer to the same explanation?” Though much could be said about this, I think that the simplest and wholly adequate answer to this question is Ockham’s Razor….. We shouldn’t multiply causes beyond necessity…. One of the impressive virtues of theism is its explanatory scope: it unites so many diverse things under a single explanatory ultimate…..”“….What’s at issue here, rather, is whether holding that the witness of God’s Spirit is indefeasible leads to some epistemic misstep. If it does, then I’ll gladly give up that claim. After all, that claim is not essential to Reformed Epistemology, much less Christianity. But I don’t see that you’ve identified any epistemic transgression so far.”
Notice with that last quote that Craig is open to dropping the Inner Witness. One needs only to demonstrate the epistemic transgression he points out. But to do that one must demonstrate one’s own 1. Warranted Belief in a System which 2. successfully demonstrates Craig’s epistemic transgression.
Notice also that we find the possibility of a stand-off with the Idealist & Solipsist & Mormon & Muslim and Craig points out that epistemic strength with respect to Perception (Mind) is on occasion that which allows one to move forward in such cases. A brief observation on why that would be the case with Mormonism is that Mormonism finds Contingencies in God….. and so “Reason Itself” “as” “Being Itself” suffers in several key layers as it does in Non-Theism & Idealism & Solipsism. It is never about “One Part” because there is no “slice of” any “System/‘ToE’/Theory-Of-Everything/Etc.” which lives in vacuum but, instead, it always comes back to whichever System/‘T.O.E.’ is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality. See “Miracles In Other Religions? Eyewitness Testimony? Mermaids? Alien Abductions? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Zeus? Thor? Copycat-Gods? Celestial Teapots?” which is at https://metachristianity.com/miracles-in-other-religions-eyewitness-testimony-mermaids-alien-abductions-flying-spaghetti-monster-zeus-thor-copycat-gods-celestial-teapots/
The fallacious strawman of “Inner Witness Of The Holy Spirit” is fallacious not because “that” is not a “Valid” “Part” but because it is presented as the [Full-Stop] when in fact we have the following in play:
— 1— The claim that Evidence & Argument CAN be & ARE used to CONVINCE
— 2— The Epistemic Standoff/Armistice & the solution to break the Armistice
— 3— Spirit’s Inner Witness
— 4— Opened to dropping Inner Witness if shown Epistemic Transgression ((“…if holding that the witness of God’s Spirit is indefeasible leads to some epistemic misstep… then I’ll gladly give up that claim…”))
It’s obvious why Craig makes the move of including Solipsism when unpacking “inner knowing”. If one is not careful one may miss how that opens up the whole fallacy and empties it of all solvency. We find the Inner Witness of one’s own “Inner Knowing” vis-à-vis “I” / “Self” / “i-am” / “i-reason” / “i-exist” vis-à-vis the First Person Experience reduce to the SAME terminus which just is the same solipsistic arena as the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit which just is Properly Basic. I experience the outer world and I experience other minds and I experience “i-am” – and so on. As we have to move step by step we find that at “that step” or at “that point” so far all Inner-Witnesses are non-circular and equally footed. So far we have another Armistice. Another Stand-Off. The solution?
The solution is Evidence & Arguments according to centuries of Christianity ((& Craig when he unpacks this topic)). Interestingly those arguments & evidence weight significantly within and towards the Philosophy of Mind and Absolute Consciousness ((Divine Mind)).
Inner Witness: Our Non-Theist friends attest to their properly basic belief / inner witness of their perceived “Irreducible i-am” as per “I” / “Self” / “i-am” / “i-reason” / “i-exist” vis-à-vis the First Person Experience. Unfortunately our Non-Theist friends will at time ALSO ((…sometimes in the same sentence…)) affirm that at bottom all of “that” sums to Illusion as they Circle inside of Agrippa’s Trilemma amalgamated with mind’s eliminative ends within the shadows of non-being.
The Irreducible Nature of the First Person Experience vis-à-vis “i-am” vis-à-vis the Intentional Self/Mind vis-à-vis “i-reason” / “i-think” / “i-exist” is a Nature which cannot be retained except by an explanatory power outside the reach of Non-Theism. IF there are “Degrees” of “X” in a Universe which is necessarily void of X — well THEN God. “Just a little intentionality” ((Etc.)) is a cheat, an equivocation akin to “Just a little bit of being from non-being”. There is no room for “Degrees” of “Irreducible Mind / Intentionality” in the universe of Metaphysical Naturalism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM] whether we move from the bottom up or from the top down in ANY “Fundamental Nature of X”.
Think it through: That final Terminus of all Non-Theistic “Ends” is unavoidably forced by Metaphysical Naturalism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM] in ANY “Fundamental Nature of X”.
The Conscious Observer’s Irreducible Nature lands in “non-being” with respect to any appeal to “degrees” or “design” or “intentionality” given that aforementioned Necessary Conservation. Else God. The notion of any such “Ontic Incline” vis-à-vis “Degrees” collapses into a metaphysical absurdity given that aforementioned Necessary Conservation. Else God. Appeals to the perceived Irreducible Self will again and again force all semantic intent into the perception of non-being/no-thing — as in illusion — else God.
Dr. Dennis Bonnette makes the following observation:
“The seventeenth century French philosopher, René Descartes, insisted that what we first know is expressed as “Cogito, ergo sum” ~ “I think, therefore, I am.” In so doing, he recognized that, in the act of knowing, there is reflexive consciousness of the self as an existing knower. But what Descartes missed is that in every perceptive act of knowing – the kind first experienced in sensation – what is immediately known is given as an extramental object. The equally French contemporary Thomistic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, corrects Descartes’ omission by restating the initial proposition as “Scio aliquid esse” ~ “I know something to be.” In so saying, he affirms what is first and primarily known is something presented to the knower as an extramental sense object. It is solely in knowing such an object that I become conscious of my own act of knowing – and thereby, reflexively, of myself as the knower. In fact, direct experience tells us that both intra-mental and extramental objects are known clearly and distinctly, while they are also known as radically distinct from each other.”
The following two items overlap with segues there:  Comments WRT Realism vis-à-vis Meta-Narrative & Two Smart Guys – at https://metachristianity.blogspot.com/2020/01/comments-wrt-realism-vis-vis-meta.html and  The Trajectory Of All Ontological Arrows Part 1 – at https://metachristianity.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-trajectory-of-all-ontological-arrows-1.html
A brief excerpt from “The Trajectory Of All Ontological Arrows” linked above:
The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words, and then the key to the meaning of any paragraph comes from the chapter, not just from the individual paragraphs, and then the key to the meaning of any chapter comes from the specific book, not just from the individual chapters, and then the key to the meaning of any individual book in Scripture comes from the Whole Metanarrative that is [Scripture] and not just from the individual books, and then the key to the meaning of the Metanarrative comes from logical lucidity vis-à-vis ontological referents in a specific Metaphysic, not just from [The-Bible], and then the key to the meaning of the Map that is the Metaphysic comes from the Terrain that is the Trinitarian Life and not just from the Metaphysic, and that Terrain sums to Timeless Reciprocity & Ceaseless Self-Giving vis-a-vis Processions vis-a-vis the Trinitarian Life even as robust explanatory power on all fronts teaches us that just as it is incoherent to say “Physics” somehow “Comes-From” that physics book over there on the shelf, so too it is incoherent to say that Metaphysical Naturalism or that the Christian Metaphysic either does or “can in principle” somehow “Come-From” ANY-thing that reduces to a World-Contingent Explanatory Terminus.
The following is also helpful:
“…..The reason is that for the classical theist, whatever else we mean by “God,” we certainly mean by that label to name the ultimate source, cause, or explanation of things. Properly to understand classical theism, the hostile atheist reader might even find it useful to put the word “God” out of his mind for the moment – given all the irrelevant associations the word might lead him to read into the present discussion – and just think instead of “the ultimate source of things” …….” ((.. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-is-there-anything-at-all-its-simple.html ..))
BEGIN: Thinking Through Reality’s Irreducible Hard Stop “vs.” Presuppositionalism
Irreducible Being? Moral Fact? Logic Itself? Reason Itself? Mind as per Absolute Consciousness? Abstraction’s Transposition? Are THOSE reality’s concrete furniture? One way to see why that in fact IS the case is to look at the following:
Our Non-Theist friends often Challenge Logic along the same line as they Challenge Moral Fact and while that is honest on their part it is interesting that the they seem unaware ((…or unconcerned…)) with the cost of that choice. And it is a choice of course as other options are immediately available.
The Form of the Challenge which our Non-Theist friends present with respect to the fundamental nature of Logic typically shows up along the following lines:
A— “….If Logic ends in God then God must be subject to Logic and so God is not God, or else God is metaphysically free to be Non-Logic and therefore able to make round-squares such that [A = Non-A] is true in some possible world….or something like that….”
B— That which is “Logic Itself” is either 1. itself under the Laws of Logic or else 2. It (logic) can be, or is metaphysically free to be, Non-Logic.
Notice that the problem with that approach in [A] and [B] is the same problem with all contingent abstractions of all contingent minds and that is true whether one makes the attempt with Logic Itself or with Being-Itself or with The-Good Itself or with Reason-Itself or with Mind Itself and — lest we move to fast — it also holds if/when one makes the attempt with “I/Self” or with one’s First Person Experience vis-à-vis one’s one perceived “Irreducible-I-Am” vis-à-vis that which is nothing less than “Self” vis-à-vis “i-am” / “i-reason” / “i-intend” / “i-exist” and so on.
Notice that in both [A] and [B] the challenge redefines that which “God-Is” into that which “God-Has” such that THEN — and ONLY then — it can be said that Something Is Above/Beneath Something Else such that “…God must be subject to Logic and so God is not God, or else God is metaphysically free to be Non-Logic…” and so on as per [A] and [B] above. When the Christian speaks of “God” as “Being Itself” it is for a reason as that which “Has Being” cannot be ((…in any coherent sense…)) the Ground of All Being.
Obviously both [A] and [B] employ the syntax of the following:
A2— Logic-Is-Subject-To-Logic and/or
B2— Logic-Is-Beneath-Logic and/or
C2— Logic-Is-Metaphysically-Free-To-Be-Non-Logic or else Logic is not Logic.
Which then forces / sums to the following:
D2— “X Is Subject To X“ akin to
E2— “X Is Beneath X“ akin to
F2— “Being Itself Is Subject To Being Itself” akin to
F2— “Being Itself Is Beneath Being Itself” akin to
G2— “X Is Metaphysically Free To Be Non-X” akin to
H2— “Being Itself Is Metaphysically Free To Be Non-Being”
Those are of course are nonsensical identity claims and we rationally say of all such syntax:
— 1— None of them have anything to do with the Christian Metaphysic
— 2— All of them are themselves logical absurdities
Notice that “Getting In Behind/Beneath Oneself” is not coherent such that “We Mean To Apply Logic’s Force To Pre-Logic” is not coherent. “Presupposition” is not possible UNLESS and UNTIL the Critic can coherently pull-off A2 through H2. But of course the Non-Theist cannot pull-off those Nonsensical Identity Claims. It is not clear what our Non-Theist friends mean with respect to Reason/Mind when they accuse the Christian of Pre-Supposing by getting in Pre-Being and getting in Pre-Mind and getting in Pre-Reason and getting in Pre-Perception vis-à-vis getting in Pre-The-Intentional Self.
Think It Through: It becomes unavoidable as to WHY the Christian does not and in fact CANNOT Start/Stop in any such Pre-ANY-thing given that the very notion of Pre-Being collapses into a metaphysical absurdity. Indeed once we apply the UNDOING of those Nonsensical Identity Claims of A2 through H2 ((…which were only the result of fallacious re-inventions / fallacious strawmen of actual Christian premises/definitions…)) we find the express Start/Stop or the express A—Z of the Christian Paradigm vis-à-vis Reason Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis Goodness Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis Logic Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis Timeless Reciprocity and Ceaseless Self-Giving as Being in totum || Being Itself vis-à-vis All Processions as The Trinitarian Life.
Think It Through: We are forced to find Being Itself and I-AM as a metaphysical Singularity and here there are no options for any Non-Theistic Map of the Underived/Derived. The question of “The Fundamental Nature of X” vis-à-vis Intentionality, Reason, Self, Mind, and Being/Existence in/of i-exist/i-am in and of the First Person Experience forces us to ask, “From Whence The Fundamental Nature of i-am?” That question is what is on the table and the Christian Metaphysic alone houses all such semantic intent in and by the Principle of Proportionate Causality (…not to be confused with the PSR…) as per the following:
“…The idea is perhaps best stated in Platonic terms of the sort Aquinas uses (in an Aristotelianized form) in the Fourth Way. To be a tree or to be a stone is merely to participate in “treeness” or “stoneness.” But to be at all – which is the characteristic effect of an act of creation out of nothing – is to participate in Being Itself. Now the principle of proportionate causality tells us that whatever is in an effect must be in some way in its cause. And only that which just is Being Itself can, in this case, be a cause proportionate to the effect, since the effect is not merely to be a tree or to be a stone, but to be at all…” (E. Feser)
With that same Principle of Proportionate Causality in hand we realize that without any such (actual/ontic) Being To (actual/ontic) Being seamlessness there is no seamless ontology for the fundamental nature of Being/Existence vis-à-vis i-am/i-exist in ANY Non-Theistic “explanatory terminus” as in all such ((Non-Theistic)) termini one must attempt the metaphysically impossible — as alluded to in the following:
- One must willfully trade away one’s self as/in being instead of retaining being when one’s own First Person Experience in/as being never led one to do so ((how could it?)).
- One must willfully trade away one’s self as/in reason instead of retaining reason when one’s own First Person Experience in/as reason never led one to do so ((how could it?)).
- One must willfully trade away one’s self as/in intention instead of retaining intention when one’s own First Person Experience in/as intention never led one to do so ((how could it?)).
- One must willfully trade away one’s self as/in existence instead of retaining existence when one’s own First Person Experience in/as existence never led one to do so ((how could it?)).
- One must willfully trade away one’s self as/in i-am instead of retaining i-am when one’s own First Person Experience in/as i-am never led one to do so ((how could it?)).
- Trading For Non-Being 1 of 3: One must willfully trade away what one Sees not only for what one Cannot See but for what one cannot see even in principle, which is to say one must trade away Being for Non-Being ((but how?))
- Trading For Non-Being 2 of 3: One must willfully trade away that which both Is & Can-Be, namely Lucidity, for that which not only Is-Not but that which Cannot-Be even in principle, namely Non-Being vis-à-vis the Metaphysical Round-Square — namely Non-Being vis-à-vis the Reductio Ad Absurdum ((but how?))
- Trading For Non-Being 3 of 3: One must therefore stop one’s Evidence Based Act of Walking Forward for one must stop placing one’s foot atop the Next Stepping Stone out in front vis-à-vis that which one in fact Sees because one must instead turn one’s gaze backwards and make one’s bizarre appeal to the Pre-I-AM vis-à-vis Pre-Being vis-à-vis Non-Being vis-à-vis the Presupposition in order to “pull it off” ((but how?))
Think It Through: In one’s i-am/i-exist First Person Experience it is that very Consciousness as Intentional-Being which must willfully trade away i-am/i-exist vis-à-vis the Irreducible First Person in Reasoning as Intentional-Being when it is in fact impossible for one in/as i-am/i-exist vis-à-vis the Irreducible First Person Experience of Being/Existence to do/make any such Trade/Giving. The very notion of Reasoning Being ((Illusion)) following Reason In Being ((Illusion)) and thereby on the Force of Reason Itself ((Illusion)) giving away Reason Itself ((Illusion)) to Non-Reason/Non-Being ((Non-Illusion)) collapses into a metaphysical impossibility. But then that just is the Circularity & Question Begging & Reductio-Ad-Absurdum of all Non-Theistic “Ends” given Metaphysical Naturalism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM] in ANY “Fundamental Nature of X”.
The Compulsory A—Z as Logic Itself Sums To Irreducible Being: In simplicity and in seamlessness we arrive in that which is free of all Non-Being and thereby free of Pre-Being and thereby free of all Pre-Supposition and therein we arrive at the same A—Z which we arrive at through Natural Theology which [A] starts off with nothing but the Presupposition-Free Neonate + Perception + Self + the External World + Change ((Etc. Etc.)) and which eventually [B] terminates in nothing less than the Principle of Proportionate Causality vis-à-vis Being Itself vis-à-vis Divine Mind vis-à-vis Pure Act vis-à-vis the Christian Paradigm and all of that of course in arrives in seamless singularity as the Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis Reason Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis Goodness Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis Logic Itself as Being Itself vis-à-vis the Reference Frame of Totality — or The Absolute’s Own Reference Frame — which necessarily saturates (1) all possible reference frames within all possible worlds and (2) all actual reference frames within all actual worlds vis-à-vis Logos void of Potentiality and so in nothing less than Pure Act as the Fountainhead of all ontological possibility which necessarily streams from nothing less than all possible Procession & Communique amid The Infinite Knower & The Infinitely Known in Timeless Reciprocity and Ceaseless Self-Giving as Being in totum compelling us – carrying us – into the Map of The Underived.
The Compulsory A—Z therefore unavoidably Maps as follows: [Logic Itself] sums to [Irreducible Being] if and only if [Being Itself = Pure Act] and therefore is Itself the Metaphysical Wellspring of [All Ontological Possibility] — and therefore is Itself the Metaphysical Wellspring of [All Possible Propositions] in All Possible Reference Frames — and therefore is Itself the Metaphysical Wellspring of [All Possible Syllogisms] in All Possible Frames of Reference — and therefore Itself necessarily saturates all possible reference frames within all possible worlds and all actual reference frames within all actual worlds vis-à-vis Logos void of Potentiality in Timeless Processions vis-à-vis the Trinitarian Life.
Being Necessarily Displaces Non-Being It is helpful to look at Perception/Sight as it relates to the Reductio Ad Absurdum and to Evil and to Logic in the following 3 steps/phases:
Step/Phase 1 of 3 is the concept of Privation: There is that which “IS” such that there is there what we all “Being” and there is that which “IS NOT” such that there is not there what we call “Being” but we would instead say “Non-Being” as in the Philosophical No-Thing. A helpful bridge to explain that concept is the Christian Metaphysic’s definition of Evil. Evil is not a positive substance such as, say, “Goodness Plus X” but is instead a deficiency of substance ((…deficiency of Being, of Good, of Life, of Mind, and so on…)) or we can say that Evil is a Hollow or Vacuum of said Substance/Ontic as in “Goodness Minus Something”. Evil “Exits” in that “Goodness Minus Something” in fact “Exists”. That is what the Christian Metaphysic means when it speaks of The-Good and then in turn speaks of “The-Good-Minus-Something” which is to say “Evil is Good’s Privation” or “Evil is a Privation of Good” which is to say “A Deficiency Of Being”. It is not No-Thing, nor is it The Whole Thing, but instead it is “The Whole/Good Minus Something”.
Step/Phase 2 of 3 is Sight/Perceiving: When one “Sees/Perceives” that which is “Evil” one is seeing that which “IS” such that there is what we call “Being” but notice that what IS and what is Seen/Perceived is “Something Good With A Deficiency”. We see a “Part Of What Is Left” such that there is what we call “Being” ((though Corrupted/Deficient)). We do NOT See/Perceive an “Illusion” or “No-Thing” which is to say we do NOT See/Perceive that which “Is Not” which is to say we do NOT See/Perceive “Non-Being”. And so the following arrives intact:
It is a metaphysical and logical impossibility to “See/Perceive the Philosophical No-Thing” which is to say that it is a metaphysical and logical impossibility to “See/Perceive Non-Being” – which is to say that Being necessarily displaces Non-Being at any/all “decision-points”.
Step/Phase 3 of 3 is Logic, Being, and the Reductio Ad Absurdum: We can claim to follow what we “Perceive/See”, however, that which is in the box/category named “Reductio Ad Absurdum” or in the box/category named “Contradiction” is in fact the metaphysical equivalent of “Non-Being” or the Philosophical No-Thing. For example, the Round Square ((Reductio)) is not a “Thing That Exists” and it cannot even in principle exist, and therefore it referents a Non-Thing — or the “Being-Less” — that which “IS NOT” such that there is NOT there what we call “Being” nor even Being-Minus-Something but we would instead say “Non-Being” as in The Philosophical No-Thing.
Here it helps to think of “Privation” in the same way we think of “Evil” as Being-Minus-Something or a Deficiency Of Being. To “See Evil” is to see “Something” rather than “No-Thing”. However, that is not the case with “Seeing/Perceiving” the Reductio and/or the Contradiction and that is because when it comes to “Following Reason” and “Following what we can in fact Perceive/See” we do not and cannot even in principle in fact “See/Perceive” “Non-Being”.
Combining All 3 Steps/Phases:
There are metaphysical maps or decision-points when the Reductio Ad Absurdum and/or the Contradiction are Chosen/Followed “rather than” some other option such that “Illusion” and therefore “The Philosophical No-Thing” and therefore “Non-Being” are claimed to occupy some part of some Map at the expense of some other option which is NOT itself the Reductio Ad Absurdum and/or the Contradiction. Notice that this “other option” need not be “Whole” in order to actually be “something” and so win out over and above the “No-Thing” of the Reductio and/or the Contradiction and so notice that Being wins out over Non-Being merely by summing to ANY-thing more than No-Thing, even a mere “Privation” ((Being-Minus-Something)).
The Conscious Observer in the Map of all Non-Theistic Paradigms finds that very move/decision point given Non-Theism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-Am] in ANY “Fundamental Nature of X” whether we move from the Top Down or from the Bottom Up. Therein ALL First Person Data vis-à-vis “i” / “i-reason” / “i-think” / “i-exist” / “i-am” must die the death of a thousand equivocations and finally forfeit the Irreducible Hard Stop that is The Self / Conscious Observer and trade it away for what cannot even in principle take its place. One ends up “Equating” something like, say, “Gravity” for “i-reason” ((…and so on as Non-Theism must finally Honor the aforementioned Necessary Conservation …)) which of course collapses into “Non-A Equals A” which of course collapses into a Contradiction and the Reductio Ad Absurdum vis-à-vis the Total Illusion that is the First Person Experience. And so the following arrives intact:
It is a metaphysical and logical impossibility to “See/Perceive the Philosophical No-Thing” which is to say that it is a metaphysical and logical impossibility to “See/Perceive Non-Being” – which is to say that Being necessarily displaces Non-Being at any/all “decision-points”. When we say that we “Follow Reason/Evidence/Sight” we mean we follow that which “IS” to wherever it may lead us and therein we will find that all strong vectors converge in nothing less than the full-on syntax/semantic intent in and of The Great I-AM. ((…see more at https://metachristianity.com/logic-itself-is-being-itself-contra-the-fallacy-of-presuppositionalism/…))
Think It Through: The essay “The Lord of Non-Contradiction: An Argument for God from Logic” by James N. Anderson and Greg Welty is at https://www.proginosko.com/docs/The_Lord_of_Non-Contradiction.pdf and is 22 pages long. A brief excerpt offers context and segues of obvious relevance here is below. Recall first that it’s only an excerpt and also recall that the Pains of Platonism fail to do the necessary work here for the reasons described in https://metachristianity.com/platonism-and-be-ing-and-do-ing-and-pure-act-and-counterfactuals-and-moral-facts/ — Here’s the excerpt from Anderson and Welty’s argument for God from Logic:
“….In any case, the laws of logic couldn’t be our thoughts — or the thoughts of any other contingent being for that matter — for as we’ve seen, the laws of logic exist necessarily if they exist at all. For any human person S, S might not have existed, along with S’s thoughts. The Law of Non-Contradiction, on the other hand, could not have failed to exist — otherwise it could have failed to be true. If the laws of logic are necessarily existent thoughts, they can only be the thoughts of a necessarily existent mind….. The laws of logic are necessary truths about truths; they are necessarily true propositions. Propositions are real entities, but cannot be physical entities – they are essentially thoughts. So the laws of logic are necessarily true thoughts. ((…recall the failures of Platonism…)) Since they are true in every possible world, they must exist in every possible world. But if there are necessarily existent thoughts, there must be a necessarily existent mind; and if there is a necessarily existent mind, there must be a necessarily existent person. A necessarily existent person must be spiritual in nature, because no physical entity exists necessarily. Thus, if there are laws of logic, there must also be a necessarily existent, personal, spiritual being. The laws of logic imply the existence of God….”
Notice again that regardless of one’s “….metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility…” it is the case that “Getting In Behind/Beneath Oneself” is not coherent such that our earlier D2 “X Is Subject To X” akin to our earlier E2 “X Is Beneath X” are metaphysical impossibilities when we speak of ANY “Fundamental Nature” and for all the same reasons we here again find that “We Mean To Apply Logic’s Force To Pre-Logic” is again incoherent. “Presupposition” is not possible UNLESS and UNTIL the Critic can coherently pull-off those earlier/aforementioned A2 through H2. But of course the Non-Theist cannot pull-off those Nonsensical Identity Claims. It is not clear what our Non-Theist friends mean with respect to Reason/Mind when they accuse the Christian of Pre-Supposing by getting in Pre-Being and getting in Pre-Mind and getting in Pre-Reason and getting in Pre-Perception vis-à-vis getting in Pre-The-Intentional Self. The principle of proportionate causality, the metaphysic of Being Itself, and the fallacy of Presuppositionalism are perhaps segues into ((…or out of…)) the following:
“The most basic pedagogical decision to make in presenting the doctrine of the Trinity is whether to begin the exposition with the temporal missions and reason back from them to the eternal processions, or whether to take the opposite approach, beginning rather with the eternal processions and then working out and down to the temporal missions. Both procedures have much to commend them.” (Fred Sanders: The Triune God – New Studies in Dogmatics)
We know that whether we speak of Presentism or whether we speak of Eternalism it is the case either way that Time is neither the Absolute nor the absolute reference frame nor the Absolute’s Own Reference Frame. The Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing. We also know by both reason and logic that at the end of all explanatory termini we are forced into either A. final absurdity or else B. the Self-Explanatory in and of and by the Absolute’s Reference Frame, which must by necessity be Self-Reference and the reason why is found in both the necessity of Totality and in the necessity of Identity as each reveals (….forces else reductio ad absurdum…) all over again that the Absolute’s frame of reference cannot even in principle *be* Self-Explanatory unless and until the Absolute is in fact Self-Referencing — which is a metaphysical absurdity but for the Triune God who meets us in Genesis.
The I AM identity: There is no frame of reference for “Self” but for the fact of “Other”, as the Absolute’s Self-Reference presses in through the eons of the “I AM” traversing history:
“….. we are forced to conclude that these are relational qualities and have no meaning in isolation. In other words, in God, qualities of personality can be actualized only if there is an actual, eternal relationship in him prior to, outside of, and without reference to creation. Only in that way would God be a personal being without being dependent on his creation. When Moses asked God for his name, the answer he got was least expected: I AM (Ex. 3:14). This amazing mystery of the name (identity) of God solves a problem that we may not always be aware of: God is his own frame of reference. We have already considered the fact that the infinite cannot be defined with reference to the finite. God, therefore, must be self-referencing. This would be an absurd proposition but for the fact that, in the being of God, there is a plurality of infinite persons and each can define himself with reference to the other. God can truly be said to be self-existent only because he is the all-personal, all-relational being…” (L. T. Jeyachandran)
END: Thinking Through Reality’s Irreducible Hard Stop “vs.” Presuppositionalism
Not entirely of course but for the sake of referring to sections and reference we will segue here to the following before closing:
Disqualification vs. Falsification: Most of what we believe is not falsifiable in any heavy weight sense. “Explanatory power” and “robust reach” all reach a certain critical mass at some point, either in affirmation of an X or in disqualification of an X. Yet the lesser/milder “disqualification” is not always the stronger “falsification”. Though, there ARE times when that is the case.
Certainty / Uncertainty: Notice that uncertainty has never disqualified a premise, but what is clear is that when this or that premise forces a reduction to absurdity and/or a Brute Fact the premise itself is (then) rationally rejected (it’s been falsified) on pains of the “not possible even in principle” to “see” that which sums to “non-being“.
Certainty / Uncertainty: They cannot always help us decide – or more precisely – certainty/uncertainty do not necessarily and rationally compel reason (…in her role as truth-finder…) into A vs. B. vs. C., as it were. All that is left then is that painful “Y” in the road between the forced reductio ad absurdum and/or brute fact (…on the one hand…) and reason’s lucidity (…on the other hand…). What is clear is that when this or that premise forces a reduction to absurdity / brute fact, the premise itself is (then) rationally rejected — and falsified rather than “only” “disqualified” ((…general context via https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/overcome-your-cognitive-bias-with-the-50-50-rule/#comment-3967551213 …)).
Factoid: Reason Itself is falsifiable when unpacked through the Non-Theistic lens. It just eats itself alive. That is WHY it MUST “PRE-Suppose” the very being itself of reason itself. Whereas, should we allow logic and reason to carry through to lucidity, we arrive within the various contours of the Divine Mind.
Brief Digression On Semantic Intent: Univocal & Equivocal & Analogous & Semantic Intent
Question from https://twitter.com/polyphilosophy/status/1275904659169972225?s=20 “If God is Pure Act, and God cannot act upon Himself, then the Act can only be discerned via the bringing about of contingency. As every cause has an effect as part of its intelligibility, even the First Cause can only be discerned via its effects. But contingency by its very nature does not need to exist at all, that is what it means to be contingent. So you have a situation where the contingent is a requirement for God to be God. Hence, monotheism begs relation to be intelligible. ….Is ANY cause intelligible when it is separated from its effect?”
It’s fine to affirm the trio of Univocal, Equivocal, and Analogous just as it is fine to affirm Negative Theology, just as it’s find to affirm the reality of this or that “Reductio Ad Adsurdum” when we see it. What is not fine is to conflate or equate “Negative Theology” ((what it entails)) with “Reductio Ad Adsurdum” ((what it entails)) as that would be a “False Identity Claim”.
With respect to the comment of, “….the contingent is a requirement for God to be God. Hence, monotheism begs relation to be intelligible….” We can start with this: Things are not metaphysically free to Be/Inform apart from [Being Itself||Pure Actuality] ((…which will be [B-I||P-A] moving forward…)) but, that said, that fact isn’t relevant to the coherence of omnipotence. We’ve still the question of what [B-I||P-A] stands in relation to “in order to be God and/or Intelligible” and so on. Recall that the explanatory terminus of “Necessary Being” and the Tri of Omnipotence, Omnipresent, and Omniscient are not the starting point but the Explanatory Terminus which is logically compelled ((…else reductio ad absurdum...)).
There can’t coherently be a “Necessary-Juxtaposition” to the “Non-Necessary” ((…Contingent isn’t Necessary…)) “Two Necessary Beings” is also incoherent. “Contingent Things Are Necessary” is also incoherent and so any claim of this or that Necessary Juxtaposition between The-Necessary & The-Non-Necessary collapses into a metaphysical absurdity. Contingent Things are not metaphysically free to [Be/Inform/Communicate/Self-Account] apart from [B-I||P-A] and the proposed “Necessary Juxtaposition” which Omnipotence has with the [Non-Necessary] doesn’t make sense especially given that Contingent things are in fact Contingent ((…and hence the Creative Act was not / is not a Necessary Act…)).
“Is the First Cause or ANY cause intelligible apart from its Effect?” It depends on the Cause. In Physical systems Physics tells us Change ((Cause/Effect)) is fundamentally illusory and so one cannot mean to refer to “there” unless scientific realism is somehow salvaged Alternatively, if the question is about “Know” & “Causality” vis-à-vis Logos as Divine Progression vis-a-vis Pure Act||Absolute Consciousness then the question isn’t a valid question there ((“Can Knowledge-Itself Know Itself?” etc., etc.)). Regarding the contingent abstractions of the contingent minds of contingent beings — they’re not metaphysically free to [Be/Inform/Communicate/Self-Account] apart from [Being Itself||Pure Actuality] and so we have Language and Syntax and Semantic Intent all on the table so to speak. That’s also one of the reasons everything necessarily testifies of both of the following:
((1)) the insolvency of [Physics Full Stop]. The reason is because that Map runs into Reductio or else Brute Fact and cannot “even in principle” avoid one of those two fates given what is “not-present” in any “Non-Theism” regarding Mind, Reason, and Being.
((2)) the many & varied contours of [Being Itself||Pure Actuality] and as D.B. Hart calls it, “Being, Consciousness, and Bliss”. Others have used the phrase “The Always & The Already“.
That said, ((2)) & ((2)) aren’t contrary to Omnipotence and they don’t explain why we should expect any “Necessary Juxtaposition” between Omnipotence ((The Necessary Being)) and Contingent Things ((The Non-Necessary)).
Lastly: Relevant Content From E. Feser and W.L. Craig:
Batch 1 of 5
Consciousness, Emergence, Intentionality, Searle, Reason Atop The Irrational, And Naturalism’s Egregious Deficiency at https://metachristianity.com/consciousness-emergence-intentionality-searle-reason-atop-the-irrational/
Theology and The Analytic A-Posteriori at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2020/06/theology-and-analytic-posteriori.html
The Particle Collection That Fancied Itself A Physicist https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2020/08/the-particle-collection-that-fancied.html
Post Intentional Depression https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/01/post-intentional-depression.html
Batch 2 of 5
Mad Dogs And Eliminativists http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/08/mad-dogs-and-eliminativists.html
Batch 3 of 5
Batch 4 of 5
Kripke, Ross, and the Immaterial Aspects of Thought – at https://www.newdualism.org/papers/E.Feser/Feser-acpq_2013.pdf
Animals Are Conscious. In Other News, The Sky Is Blue – at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/08/animals-are-conscious-in-other-news-sky.html
Against Neurobabble – at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/01/against-neurobabble.html
Other Minds & Modern Philosophy — https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2020/07/other-minds-and-modern-philosophy.html
Batch 5 of 5
Properly Understanding Properly Basic Beliefs – at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/properly-understanding-properly-basic-beliefs/
Answering Critics of the Inner Witness of the Spirit – at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/answering-critics-of-the-inner-witness-of-the-spirit/
Is Appeal To The Witness of the Holy Spirit Question Begging? – at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/is-appeal-to-the-witness-of-the-holy-spirit-question-begging/
Indefeasibility and Openness To Evidence – at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/indefeasibility-and-openness-to-evidence/