Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Whom It May Interest: Philosophic Solution To the Impasse Between Traditional Metaphysics and Modern Consciousness

Consciousness of truth and formation of Being are one and the same act.

The Impasse: Truth and Being are separated.

How to resolve freedom of conscience and objectivity of truth? If Christ reveals Himself to be “The Truth” (Jn. 14, 6), can one make the other accept it? Rocco Buttigliogne: “It is evident that for the Christian conscience, as well as for a fully human point of view, it is impossible either to choose for truth against conscience or to choose for conscience against truth. This consideration brings us to an impasse from which we can escape only if we can show that entire problematic has been grounded in an erroneous way, and that the unacceptable necessity of sacrificing either conscience or truth depends on this error… What is a stake here is the whole relationship between Christianity and modernity and between the philosophy of being and the philosophy of consciousness.”

Solution: Truth is achieved in the very formation of the person as being: Self-determination. The primordial experience and access to being is the self in the moment of free action. Reason experiences this tree through the exercise of sense perception, and the "I" of the self through the experience of exercising sense perception.

Consciousness of self arises from the formation of the person. Consciousness comes from the act of self-determination of the being of the self. The act of self-determination is free. Truth and Being arise from the same source, but that source is being as experienced subjectively. Not only is conscience and truth subjective, but the “I” as being is subjective. And this subjectivity is what the tradition has understood by objective truth and objective being, “objective” meaning “real.” This insight solves all the aporias, conundra and impasses between the objective metaphysical tradition and modernity with the philosophies of consciousness.

Vatican II: The above is the achievement of Vatican II: Wojtyla announced it in Part I, Chapter I of “Sources of Renewal:” “(T)he pastors of the Church were not so much concerned t o answer questions like ‘What should men believe?’, ‘What is the real meaning of this or that truth of faith?’ and so on, but rather to answer t h e more complex question: What does it mean to be a believer…”

The “believer” is the believing subject who is the “acting person” that Wojtyla wrote about in the “Acting Person.” The believer is the ontological subject who becomes consciousness of the Person of Christ as “Revelation.” Consciousness results as experience of the self in the act of faith which Dei Verbum #5 (of Vatican II) describes man’s obedience in his totality as man to God: “ ‘The obedience of faith’ (Rom. 16, 26; cf. Rom. 1, 5; 2 Cor. 10, 5-6) must be given to God as he reveals himself. By faith man freely commits his entire self to God, making ‘the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals.’”

And so, truth can never be imposed on a person. He musts freely determine himself to accept that truth. And since truth is ultimately a Person, the Word of the Father, then, the Word can never be imposed on anyone. It demands the determination of self from within to accept. “Consequently, the truth enters the very interiority of the process through which the person determines himself and achieves a human act, that is, an act which engages the person as such. In this way, the duty of the person to seek the truth and to conform himself to the known truth, by subordinating his own passions to it, arises from his own interiority. By introducing the structure of self-knowledge into the formation of the person… Wojtyla breaks the vicious circle of the philosophies of consciousness which recognizes no truth outside of consciousness and, consequently, no duty for consciousness to conform itself to an objective truth outside of it.

“On the other hand, it is precisely in order to direct himself toward truth in the way which is proper to him that the person needs to be free, unbound by any external pressure.”

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