Johnboy musings part1a


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Johnboy musings part1a

  1. 1. Christian Nonduality Anglican - Roman DialogueNEW: CathlimergentInternet ForumThe ChristianNonduality BlogHomeRadical Emergence -Nonduality & theEmerging ChurchEmergence HappensWhen:To Avow & Dis-avowan AxiologicalVision of the WholeMontmarte,Colorado Springs &the KingdomWanted: WomenWarriorsMaiden, Mother,Crone & Queen:archetypes &transformationEast Meets West Discipline, Doctrine & Dogma – Roman & AnglicanKi, Qi, Chi, Prana &Kundalini DialogueNo-Self & Nirvanaelucidated by I once strongly considered converting from Roman to AnglicanDumoulin Catholic, likely agonizing as much asOne: EssentialWritings in Newman, who converted in the opposite direction. How many timesNonduality - a review have progressive Roman CatholicsSimone Weil been sarcastically urged to go ahead and convert by variousJohn of the Cross fundamentalistic traditionalists since ourThomas MertonThe True Self beliefs were "not in keeping with the faith?"The Passion After all, while there has never been an infallible papal pronouncementHermeneutical to which I could not give myEclecticism &Interreligious wholehearted assent, I otherwise do adamantly disagree with manyDialogue hierarchical positions such as regardingThe Spirit a married priesthood, women priests, obligatory confession,Christian Nonduality eucharistic sharing, divorce and remarriage,more on NondualityThe Contemplative artificial contraception, various so-called grave & intrinsic moralStance disorders of human sexuality or anyHesychasm indubitable and a priori definitions employed vis a vis humanMysticism - properlyconsidered personhood and theological anthropology.Karl Rahner At times, I truly have wondered if I belonged to Rome or Canterbury,Wounded Innocence and I suspect many of you have, too,Rogation Days and, perhaps, still do? My short answer is: Youre already home; take aRadical Orthodoxy look around ...
  2. 2. Presuppositionalismvs Nihilism? In other words, for example, take a look, below, at some excerpts fromScience the September 2007 report of theEpistemic Virtue International Anglican - Roman Catholic Commission for Unity andPan-semio- Mission: Growing Together in Unityentheism: apneumatological and Mission: Building on 40 years of Anglican - Roman Catholictheology of nature Dialogue.Architectonic Does anyone see any differences in essential dogma? Are some of youAnglican - RomanDialogue not rather surprised at the extent ofThe Ethos of Eros agreement, especially given the nature of same?Musings on Peirce Are our differences not rather located in such accidentals as matters ofEskimo Kiss Waltz church discipline or in such moralthe Light Side ofDark Comedy teachings where Catholics can exercise legitimate choices in theirBlog Visits moral decision-making? (To be sure,Other OnlineResources thereAre YOU Going to has been a creeping infallibility in such differences but there haveScarborough Fair? never been infallible pronouncementsSuggested Reading regarding same.)Tim Kings PostChristian Blog "As we shall see, reputable theologians defend positions on moralThe Dylan Mass issues contrary to the official teaching ofIf You Are InDistress, Spiritual or the Roman magisterium. If Catholics have the right to follow suchOtherwise options, they must have the right topending know that the options exist. It is wrong to attempt to conceal suchThe Great Traditionproperly conceived knowledge from Catholics. It is wrong toPostmodern present the official teachings, in Rahners words, as though there wereConservativeCatholic Pentecostal no doubt whatever about their definitive correctness and as though further discussion about the matter by Catholic theologians would be inappropriate....To deprive Catholics of the knowledge of legitimate choices in their moral decisionmaking, to insist that moral issues are closed when actually they are still open, is itself immoral." See: “Probabilism: The Right to Know of Moral Options”, which is the third chapter of __Why You Can Disagree and Remain a Faithful Catholic__ and available online at For those who have neither the time nor inclination for a long post, you can safely consider the above as an executive summary. My conclusion is that we belong neither to Rome nor Canterbury, but to the Perfector and Finisher of our faith. And Im going to submit to ever-ongoing finishing by blooming where I was planted among my family, friends and co-religionists, enjoying the very special communion between our Anglican, Roman and Orthodox traditions, the special fellowship of all my Christian sisters and brothers, and the general fellowship of all persons of goodwill.
  3. 3. I gathered these excerpts together to highlight and summarize thereport but recognize these affirmationsshould not be taken out of context. So, I made this url where the entiredocument can be accessed: foster the wide study of these agreed statements.Below is my heavily redacted summary.In reflecting on our faith together it is vital that all bishops ensure thatthe Agreed Statements of ARCIC arewidely studied in both Communions.The constitutive elements of ecclesial communion include: one faith,one baptism, the one Eucharist,acceptance of basic moral values, a ministry of oversight entrusted tothe episcopate with collegial andprimatial dimensions, and the episcopal ministry of a universal primateas the visible focus of unity.God desires the visible unity of all Christian people and that such unityis itself part of our witness.Through this theological dialogue over forty years Anglicans andRoman Catholics have grown closertogether and have come to see that what they hold in common is fargreater than those things in which theydiffer.In liturgical celebrations, we regularly make the same trinitarianprofession of faith in the form of theApostles’ Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.In approaching Scripture, the Christian faithful draw upon the richdiversity of methods of reading andinterpretation used throughout the Church’s history (e.g. historical-critical, exegetical, typological,spiritual, sociological, canonical). These methods, which all havevalue, have been developed in many different contexts of the Church’slife, which need to be recalled andrespected.The Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church recognise thebaptism each confers.Anglicans and Catholics agree that the full participation in theEucharist, together with Baptism andConfirmation, completes the sacramental process of Christianinitiation.We agree that the Eucharist is the memorial (anamnesis) of thecrucified and risen Christ, of the entire workof reconciliation God has accomplished in him.Anglicans and Catholics believe in the real presence of Christ in theEucharist.
  4. 4. While Christ is present and active in a variety of ways in the entireeucharistic celebration, so that hispresence is not limited to the consecrated elements, the bread and wineare not empty signs: Christ’s bodyand blood become really present and are really given in theseelements.We agree that the Eucharist is the “meal of the Kingdom”, in which theChurch gives thanks for all thesigns of the coming Kingdom.We agree that those who are ordained have responsibility for theministry of Word and Sacrament.Roman Catholics and Anglicans share this agreement concerning theministry of the whole people of God,the distinctive ministry of the ordained, the threefold ordering of theministry, its apostolic origins,character and succession, and the ministry of oversight.Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that councils can be recognisedas authoritative when they expressthe common faith and mind of the Church, consonant with Scriptureand the Apostolic Tradition.Primacy and collegiality are complementary dimensions of episcope,exercised within the life of the wholeChurch. (Anglicans recognise the ministry of the Archbishop ofCanterbury in precisely this way.)The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop ofRome as universal primate is inaccordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential elementfor maintaining it in unity and truth.Anglicans rejected the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome as universalprimate in the sixteenth century.Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potentialvalue of a ministry of universalprimacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a signand focus of unity within a re-unitedChurch.Anglicans and Roman Catholics both believe in the indefectibility ofthe Church, that the Holy Spirit leadsthe Church into all truth.Both Anglicans and Catholics acknowledge that private confessionbefore a priest is a means of grace andan effective declaration of the forgiveness of Christ in response torepentance.Throughout its history the Church has sought to be faithful infollowing Christ’s command to heal, and thishas inspired countless acts of ministry in medical and hospital care.Alongside this physical ministry, both
  5. 5. traditions have continued to exercise the sacramental ministry ofanointing.Anglicans and Roman Catholics share similar ways of moral reasoning.Both Communions speak of marriage as a covenant and a vocation toholiness and see it in the order ofcreation as both sign and reality of God’s faithful love.All generations of Anglicans and Roman Catholics have called theVirgin Mary ‘blessed’.Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that it is impossible to be faithfulto Scripture without giving dueattention to the person of Mary.Genuine faith is more than assent: it is expressed in action.Given our mutual recognition of one another’s baptism, a number ofpractical initiatives are possible. Localchurches may consider developing joint programmes for the formationof families when they presentchildren for baptism, as well as preparing common catecheticalresources for use in baptismal andconfirmation preparation and in Sunday Schools.Given the significant extent of our common understanding of theEucharist, and the central importance ofthe Eucharist to our faith, we encourage attendance at each other’sEucharists, respecting the differentdisciplines of our churches.We also encourage more frequent joint non-eucharistic worship,including celebrations of faith,pilgrimages, processions of witness (e.g. on Good Friday), and sharedpublic liturgies on significantoccasions. We encourage those who pray the daily office to explorehow celebrating daily prayer togethercan reinforce their common mission.We welcome the growing Anglican custom of including in the prayersof the faithful a prayer for the Pope,and we invite Roman Catholics to pray regularly in public for theArchbishop of Canterbury and the leadersof the Anglican Communion.We note the close similarities of Anglican and Roman Catholiclectionaries which make it possible to fosterjoint bible study groups based upon the Sunday lectionary.There are numerous theological resources that can be shared,including professional staff, libraries, andformation and study programmes for clergy and laity.Wherever possible, ordained and lay observers can be invited to attendeach other’s synodical and collegialgatherings and conferences.
  6. 6. Anglicans and Roman Catholics share a rich heritage regarding theplace of religious orders in ecclesiallife. There are religious communities in both of our Communions thattrace their origins to the samefounders (e.g. Benedictines and Franciscans). We encourage thecontinuation and strengthening of relations between Anglican andCatholic religious orders, andacknowledge the particular witness of monastic communities with anecumenical vocation.There are many areas where pastoral and spiritual care can be shared.We acknowledge the benefit derivedfrom many instances of spiritual direction given and received byAnglicans to Catholics and Catholics toAnglicans.We recommend joint training where possible for lay ministries (e.g.catechists, lectors, readers, teachers,evangelists). We commend the sharing of the talents and resources oflay ministers, particularly betweenlocal Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes. We note thepotential for music ministries to enrich our relations and to strengthenthe Church’s outreach to the widersociety, especially young people.We encourage joint participation in evangelism, developing specificstrategies to engage with those whohave yet to hear and respond to the Gospel.We invite our churches to consider the development of jointAnglican/Roman Catholic church schools,shared teacher training programmes and contemporary religiouseducation curricula for use in our schools.END OF EXCERPTS regarding stated agreementsBelow are excerpts recognizing DIVERGENCES regarding: 1) papal andteaching authority 2) therecognition and validity of Anglican Orders and ministries 3)ordination of women 4) eucharistic sharing 5)obligatory confession 6) divorce and remarriage 7) the precise momenta human person is formed 8)methods of birth control 9) homosexual activity and 10) humansexuality.Thanks,JBBEGIN EXCERPTS regarding stated disagreements:While already we can affirm together that universal primacy, as avisible focus of unity, is “a gift to beshared”, able to be “offered and received even before our Churches arein full communion”, nevertheless
  7. 7. serious questions remain for Anglicans regarding the nature andjurisdictional consequences of universal primacy.There are further divergences in the way in which teaching authority inthe life of the Church is exercisedand the authentic tradition is discerned.In his Apostolic Letter on Anglican Orders, Apostolicae Curae (1896),Pope Leo XIII ruled against thevalidity of Anglican Orders. The question of validity remains afundamental obstacle to the recognition ofAnglican ministries by the Catholic Church. In the light of theagreements on the Eucharist and ministry set out both in the ARCICstatements and in the officialresponses of both Communions, there is evidence that we have acommon intention in ordination and in thecelebration of the Eucharist. This awareness would have to be part ofany fresh evaluation of AnglicanOrders.Anglicans and Roman Catholics hold that there is an inextricable linkbetween Eucharist and Ministry.Without recognition and reconciliation of ministries, therefore, it is notpossible to realise the full impact ofour common understanding of the Eucharist.The twentieth century saw much discussion across the whole Christianfamily on the question of theordination of women. The Roman Catholic Church points to theunbroken tradition of the Church in notordaining women. Indeed, Pope John Paul II expressed the convictionthat “the Church has no authoritywhatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women”. After carefulreflection and debate, a growing numberof Anglican Churches haveproceeded to ordain women to the presbyterate and some also to theepiscopate.Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Roman CatholicChurch therefore have different disciplinesfor eucharistic sharing. The Catholic Church does not permit theCatholic faithful to receive the Eucharistfrom, nor Catholic clergy to concelebrate with, those whoseministry has not been officially recognised by the Catholic Church.Anglican provinces regularly admit tocommunion baptised believers who are communicant members fromother Christian communities.Despite our common moral foundations, serious disagreements onspecific issues exist, some of which haveemerged in the long period of our separation.
  8. 8. Anglicans and Catholics have a different practice in respect of privateconfession. “The Reformers’emphasis on the direct access of the sinner to the forgiving andsustaining Word of God led Anglicans toreject the view that private confession before a priest was obligatory,although they continued to maintainthat it was a wholesome means of grace, and made provision for it inthe Book of Common Prayer for thosewith an unquiet and sorely troubled conscience.” Anglicans expressthis discipline in the short formula ‘allmay, none must, some should’.Whilst both Communions recognise that marriage is for life, both havealso had to recognise the failure ofmany marriages in reality. For Roman Catholics, it is not possiblehowever to dissolve the marriage bondonce sacramentally constituted because of its indissolublecharacter, as it signifies the covenantal relationship of Christ with theChurch. On certain grounds,however, the Catholic Church recognises that a true marriage wasnever contracted and a declaration ofnullity may be granted by the proper authorities. Anglicans have beenwilling to recognise divorcefollowing the breakdown of a marriage, and in recent years, someAnglican Churches have set forthcircumstances in which they are prepared to allowpartners from an earlier marriage to enter into another marriage.Anglicans and Roman Catholics share the same fundamental teachingconcerning the mystery of humanlife and the sanctity of the human person, but they differ in the way inwhich they develop and apply thisfundamental moral teaching. Anglicans have no agreed teachingconcerning the precise moment fromwhich the new human life developing in the womb is to be given thefull protection due to a human person.Roman Catholic teaching is that the human embryo must be treated asa human person from the moment ofconception and rejects all direct abortion.Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that there are situations when acouple would be morally justified inavoiding bringing children into being. They are not agreed on themethod by which the responsibility ofparents is exercised.Catholic teaching holds that homosexual activity is intrinsicallydisordered and always objectively wrong.Strong tensions have surfaced within the Anglican Communionbecause of serious challenges from within
  9. 9. some Provinces to the traditional teaching on humansexuality which was expressed in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 LambethConference.In the discussions on human sexuality within the AnglicanCommunion, and between it and the CatholicChurch, stand anthropological and biblical hermeneutical questionswhich need to be addressed.END OF EXCERPTS regarding stated disagreements, some of whichseem rather incoherent onceconsidering certain of the agreements (for example, not recognizingAnglican Orders and ministries!Gimme a break!!!).Discipline, Doctrine or Dogma? the Roman-Anglican CATHOLICDialogueI like to think of liberal and conservative, progressive and traditionalist,in terms ofcharisms, something analogous to pilgrims and settlers. And there isroom for the viamedia, the middle path, something analogous to bridge-builders,which might be theloneliest and most difficult for, as Richard Rohr observes, they getwalked on by folkscoming from both directions.Unfortunately, too much of what we see is nowadays is betterdescribed in terms of maximalism,minimalism and a/historicism. Ill unpack those terms below. Toomany so-called progressives consideressential and core teachings as accidental and peripheral; too many so-called traditionalists consideraccidental and peripheral teachings as essential and core. In essentials,unity; in accidentals, diversity; in allthings, charity. (attributed to Augustine)Ormond Rush writes, in Determining Catholic Orthodoxy: Monologueor Dialogue (PACIFICA 12 (JUNE1999): "The patristic scholar Rowan Williams speaks of orthodoxy asalways lying in the future".(see for the article)Rush continues: Mathematicians talk of an asymptotic line thatcontinually approaches a given curve butdoes not meet it at a finite distance. Somewhat like those two lines,ressourcement and aggiornamentonever meet; the meeting point always lies ahead of the church as itmoves forward in history. Orthodoxy, inthat sense, lies always in the future. Christian truth is eschatologicaltruth. The church must continuallywait on the Holy Spirit to lead it to the fullness of truth.
  10. 10. Ressourcement and aggiornamento will only finally meet at that pointwhen history ends at the fullness oftime. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face toface. Now I know only in part; then Iwill know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Cor 13:12)To unpack this meaning further, see: that Pacifica article, Rush draws distinctions between: 1) revelationas propositional, where faith isprimarily assent and revelation as personalist, where faith is theresponse of the whole person in lovingself-surrender to God; 2) verbal orthodoxy and lived orthopraxy; 3) theChristological andpneumatological; 4) hierarchical ecclesiology and communioecclesiology; and 5) monologic notion ofauthority evoking passive obedience and dialogic notion of authorityevoking active obedience.Rush then describes the extremes of on one hand,1) dogmatic maximalism, where all beliefs are given equal weight;2) magisterial maximalism, where the ecclesial magisterium, alone, hasaccess to the Holy Spirit;3) dogmatic ahistoricism, where Gods meaning and will are fixed andclear to be seen;and, on the other hand,1) dogmatic minimalism, where all dogmatic statements are equallyunimportant;2) magisterial minimalism, where communal guidance ininterpretation is superfluous;3) dogmatic historicism, with an unmitigated relativist positionregarding human knowledge.Rush finally describes and commends a VIA MEDIA between thepositions.He notes that the church does not call the faithful that we may believein dogma, doctrine and disciplinesbut, rather, to belief in God.He describes how statements vary in relationship to the foundation offaith vis a vis a Hierarchy of Truthand thus have different weight:to be believed as divinely revealed;to be held as definitively proposed;or as nondefinitively taught and requiring obsequium religiosum (seediscussion below re: obsequium).The faithful reception of revelation requires interplay between thedifferent "witnesses" of revelation:scripture, tradition, magisterium, sensus fidelium, theological
  11. 11. scholarship, including reason (philosophy)and experience (biological & behavioral sciences, personal testimonies,etc).Rush thus asks: "How does the Holy Spirit guarantee orthodoxtraditioning of the Gospel? According toDei Verbum, the help of the Holy Spirit is manifested in the activity ofthree distinguishable yetoverlapping groups of witnesses to the Gospel: the magisterium, thewhole people of God, and theologians.The Holy Spirit guides each group of witnesses in different ways and todifferent degrees; but no one alonehas possession of the Spirit of Truth."Rush further asks: "The determination of orthodoxy needs to addressquestions concerning the issue ofconsensus in each of these three authorities. What constitutes aconsensus among theologians and how is itto be ascertained? What constitutes a consensus among the one billionCatholics throughout the world andhow is it to be ascertained? What constitutes a collegial consensusamong the bishops of the world with thepope, and how is that consensus to be ascertained?"As for obsequium religiosum, from it is written:"Accordingly, the duty to offer obsequium may bind to respect, or tosubmission-or to any other attitudebetween the two.""When the council spoke of religious obsequium it meant an attitudetoward the church which is rooted inthe virtue of religion, the love of God and the love of his church. Thisattitude in every concrete case willbe in need of further specification, which could be respect, or could besubmission, depending on theprogress the church has made in clarifying its own beliefs. ... [W]e canspeak of obsequium fidei (one withthe believing church holding firm to a doctrine) ... [or] an obsequiumreligiosum (one with the searchingchurch, working for clarification)."Thus, on matters of dogma, I give obsequium fidei, and unqualifiedassent (or submission); this includesthe creeds, the sacraments, the approach to scripture. On matters ofmoral doctrine and church discipline, Igive my deference (or respect), even as I dissent, out of loyalty, onmany issues: married priests, womensordination, eucharistic sharing, obligatory confession, various moralteachings re: so-called gravely,
  12. 12. intrinsic disorders of human sexuality; artificial contraception, etc.Christian Nonduality Photos by David Joseph
  13. 13. Christian Nonduality Maiden, Mother, Crone & Queen: archetypes & transformationNEW: CathlimergentInternet Forum  The ChristianNonduality BlogHomeRadical Emergence -Nonduality & theEmerging ChurchEmergence HappensWhen:To Avow & Dis-avowan AxiologicalVision of the WholeMontmarte,Colorado Springs &the KingdomWanted: WomenWarriorsMaiden, Mother,Crone & Queen:archetypes &transformationEast Meets WestKi, Qi, Chi, Prana & There are rather clear archetypal themes playing out in ourKundalini cosmologies and axiologies, likely related to brain development andNo-Self & Nirvana individuation processes.elucidated byDumoulin A cosmology engages mostly our left-brain (thinking function of theOne: Essential left frontal cortex & sensing function of the left posterior convexity) asWritings inNonduality - a review the normative and descriptive aspects of value-realization alternatelySimone Weil establish and defend boundaries; we encounter the King-Queen and Warrior-Maiden with their light and dark (shadow) attributes asJohn of the Cross expressed in the journeys of the spirit and the body, primarily throughThomas Merton a language of ascent.The True SelfThe Passion An axiology engages mostly our right-brain (intuiting function of theHermeneutical right frontal cortex & feeling function of the right posterior convexity)Eclecticism & as the interpretive and evaluative aspects of value-realizationInterreligiousDialogue alternately negotiate (e.g. reconciliation of opposites, harnessing the power of paradox) and transcend boundaries; we encounter the Crone-The Spirit Magician and Mother-Lover with their light and dark attributes asChristian Nonduality expressed in the journeys of the soul and the other (Thou), primarilymore on Nonduality through a language of descent.The ContemplativeStanceHesychasmMysticism - properlyconsideredKarl RahnerWounded InnocenceRogation DaysRadical Orthodoxy
  14. 14. Presuppositionalismvs Nihilism?ScienceEpistemic VirtuePan-semio-entheism: apneumatologicaltheology of natureArchitectonicAnglican - RomanDialogueThe Ethos of ErosMusings on PeirceEskimo Kiss Waltzthe Light Side ofDark Comedy Our propositional cosmologies and participatory axiologies seem toBlog Visits best foster transformation when, beyond our passive reception of themOther Online as stories about others, we actively engage the archetypal energies ofResources their mythic dimensions for ourselves, with a contemplation orderedAre YOU Going to toward action, and further, when, in addition to our rather selfishScarborough Fair? inclinations and puerile expectations, they also include:Suggested ReadingTim Kings Post 1) a priestly voice that sings of the intrinsic beauty to be celebrated  in Christian Blog seemingly repugnant realitiesThe Dylan Mass 2) a prophetic voice that is robustly self-critical when speaking theIf You Are In truthDistress, Spiritual orOtherwise 3) a kingly voice that articulates a bias for the bottom, expressing bothpending a privileging of the marginalized and a principle of subsidiarity whenThe Great Tradition preserving goodnessproperly conceivedPostmodern 4) a motherly voice that, seeing and calling all as her children, drawsConservative every person into her circle of compassion and mercy with no trace ofCatholic Pentecostal exclusion, only a vision of unity. The Judaeo-Christian Mythos thus articulates a Way of the Cross, where the Magician, Warrior, King & Lover are further initiated as Priest, Prophet, King & Mother. The virtues and vices, health and dysfunctions, light and shadow, of each archetype play out in terms of boundary negotiation, defense, establishment and transcendence, which have both authentic and counterfeit expressions. Such are the dynamics explored in spiritual direction, enneagram work,  personality  & adjustment psychology, individuation processes and the manifold stage theories for intellectual, affective, moral, socio-political and faith development of humans along the purgative, illuminative and unitive ways. Such are the themes, then, that run through the dynamics of addiction psychology and codependency, the false self and true self,   sexual exploitation versus intimacy, socialization versus transformation, ego defense mechanisms and the persona, inordinate attachments and disordered appetites, idolatry and kenosis, as they all involve healthy and unhealthy, loving and sinful, boundary realities.  
  15. 15.   Christian Nonduality Photos by David Joseph
  16. 16. Christian Nonduality ArchitectonicNEW: CathlimergentInternet ForumThe ChristianNonduality BlogHomeRadical Emergence -Nonduality & theEmerging ChurchEmergence HappensWhen:To Avow & Dis-avowan AxiologicalVision of the WholeMontmarte,Colorado Springs &the KingdomWanted: WomenWarriorsMaiden, Mother,Crone & Queen:archetypes &transformationEast Meets West NOTES ON DEVISING AN ARCHITECTONIC-ORGANONKi, Qi, Chi, Prana &Kundalini OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGENo-Self & Nirvanaelucidated by 1) To describe Reality, devise an Architectonic/Organon of HumanDumoulin Knowledge ofOne: EssentialWritings in Environing Realities, which would include ourselves.Nonduality - a review 2) To describe ourselves, devise such an account as would include theSimone Weil HumanJohn of the CrossThomas Merton Knowledge Manifold as an Environed Reality, which would include both evaluative andThe True SelfThe Passion rational continuua.Hermeneutical 3) When devising a model of epistemic virtue (values), avoid the usualEclecticism &Interreligious (and many)Dialogue overworked distinctions and employ the very real but often under-The Spirit appreciatedChristian Nondualitymore on Nonduality dichotomies.The Contemplative 4) In our modal arguments for this or that reality, we must rigorouslyStance define andHesychasmMysticism - properly disambiguate our terms. Employ such criteria that, if met, willconsidered guarantee the conceptualKarl Rahner compatibility of any attributes we employ in our conceptualizations ofWounded Innocence this or that reality.
  17. 17. Rogation Days In order to be conceptually compatible, while, at the same time,Radical Orthodoxy avoiding any absurditiesPresuppositionalismvs Nihilism? of parodied logic, attributes must not be logically impossible toScience coinstantiate in ourEpistemic Virtue arguments and they must also be described in terms that define aPan-semio-entheism: a realitys negativepneumatologicaltheology of nature properties. For an example, see:Architectonic and useAnglican - Roman your edit/findDialogue browser facility to scroll down quickly to the first occurrence of theThe Ethos of Eros word “negativity”Musings on PeirceEskimo Kiss Waltz and then also for the name of philosopher “Richard Gale”the Light Side of 5) In defining such attributes as will describe the various aspects of thisDark Comedy or thatBlog VisitsOther Online reality, we must draw the proper distinctions between those aspectsResources that are predicated a)Are YOU Going toScarborough Fair? univocally b) equivocally or c) relationally vis a vis other realities.Suggested Reading Univocal is defined asTim Kings Post having one meaning only. Equivocal means subject to two or moreChristian Blog interpretations. TheseThe Dylan Mass accounts necessarily utilize some terms univocally and othersIf You Are InDistress, Spiritual or equivocally. The equivocalOtherwise can be either simply equivocal or analogical. The analogical can bepending attributive (if realThe Great Traditionproperly conceived causes and effects are invoked) or proportional (if we are invokingPostmodern similarities in theConservativeCatholic Pentecostal relationships between two different pairs of terms). If such an similarity is essential to those terms we have a proper proportionality but if it is accidental we have an improper proportionality, a metaphor. And we use a lot of metaphors, even in physics, and they all eventually collapse. 6) In our attempts to increase our descriptive accuracy of this or that reality, we must be clear whether we are proceeding through a) affirmation [kataphatically, the via positiva] b) negation [apophatically, the via negativa] or c) eminence [unitively, neither kataphatically nor apophatically but, rather, equivocally]. We must be clear whether we are proceeding a) metaphorically b) literally or c) analogically [affirming the metaphorical while invoking further dissimilarities].The best examples can be found in the book described at this url =
  18. 18. 271-01937-9.html, Reality and Mystical Experience by F. Samuel Brainard.7) We must be clear regarding our use of First Principles: a)noncontradiction b)excluded middle c) identity d) realitys intelligibility e) humanintelligence f) theexistence of other minds and such. See Robert Lane’s discussion: We must be mindful of godelian (and godelian-like) constraints onourargumentation: a) complete accounts in formal systems are necessarilyinconsistent b)consistent accounts in formal systems are necessarily incomplete andc) we can model therules but cannot explain them within their own formal symbol system[must reaxiomatize,which is to say prove them in yet another system, at the same time,suggesting we can, indeed, see the truth of certain propositions that wecannot otherwiseprove]. We thus distinguish between local and global explanatoryattempts, models ofpartial vs total reality.Seeödels_incompleteness_theorem9) We must employ semantical [epistemological] vagueness, such thatforattributes a) univocally predicated, excluded middle holds andnoncontradiction folds b)equivocally predicated, both excluded middle and noncontradictionhold and c)relationally predicated, noncontradiction holds and excluded middlefolds. Ergo, re: FirstPrinciples, you got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,know when towalk away, know when to run. See Robert Lane’s discussion: We must understand and appreciate the integral nature of thehumanknowledgemanifold (with evaluative and rational continuua) and Lonerganssensation, abstraction& judgment: sensation & perception, emotion & motivation, learning &memory,intuition & cognition, non- & pre-inferential, abductive inference,inductive inference,deductive inference and deliberation.11) We must appreciate and understand the true efficacy of: abduction,
  19. 19. fast & frugaldecision-making, ecological rationality, evolutionary rationality,pragmatic rationality,bounded rationality, common sense; also of both propositional anddoxastic justification,and affective judgment: both aesthetic and prudential, the latterincluding both pragmaticand moral affective judgment. See We must draw the distinction between peircean argument(abduction, hypothesisgeneration) and argumentation (inductive & deductive inference).See We must draw a distinction between partial apprehension of areality and totalcomprehension of a reality.14) We must employ dialectical analysis, properly discerning where ourdifferentaccounts of this or that reality a) agree b) converge c) complement or d)dialecticallyreverse. We must distinguish between this dialectic and hegeliansynthesis and resist falseirenicism, facile syncretism and insidious indifferentism, whileexercising due care in ourattempts to map conceptualizations from one account onto another.Also, we shouldemploy our scholastic distinctions: im/possible, im/plausible,im/probable and un/certain.15) We must distinguish between the different types of paradoxencountered in ourvarious attempts to describe this or that reality a) veridical b) falsidicalc) conditional andd) antinomial. We must recognize that all metaphysics are fatallyflawed and that theirroot metaphors will eventually collapse in true antinomial paradox ofa) infinite regressb) causal disjunction or c) circular referentiality [ipse dixit - stipulatedbeginning orpetitio - question begging]. See As part and parcel of the isomorphicity implied in ourepistemologicalvagueness, we must employ ontological vagueness, which is to say thatwe must prescindfrom the necessary to the probable in our modal logic. This applies tothe dance betweenchance & necessity, pattern & paradox, random & systematic, order &
  20. 20. chaos.See and the distinctionsbetween necessaryand non-necessary reasonings and also probable deductions.17) We must properly integrate our classical causal distinctions suchthat theaxiological/teleological [instrumental & formal] mediates between theepistemological[formal] and cosmological/ontological [efficient/material]. Thesecomprise a process andnot rather discrete events.This follows the grammar that the normativesciences mediatebetween our phenomenology and our metaphysics. See We must recognize the idea of emergence is mostly a heuristicdevice inasmuchas it has some descriptive accuracy but only limited predictive, hence,explanatoryadequacy. It predicts novelty but cannot specify its nature.Supervenience is even moreproblematical, trivial when described as weak (and usually associatedwith strongemergence), question begging re: reducibility when described as strong(and usuallyassociated with weak emergence).See on DonRoss.htmSee We must avoid all manner of dualisms, essentialism, nominalismand a priorismas they give rise to mutual occlusivities and mutual unintelligibilities inour argumentsand argumentations. The analogia relata (of process-experienceapproaches, such as thepeircean and neoplatonic triadic relational) that is implicit in the triadicgrammar of all ofthe above-described distinctions and rubrics can mediate between theanalogia antis (oflinguistic approaches, such as the scotistic univocity of being) and theanalogia entis (ofsubstance approaches, such as the thomistic analogy of being). Thisincludes such triadsas proodos (proceeding), mone (resting) and epistrophe (return) ofneoplatonic dionysian
  21. 21. mysticism. It anticipates such distinctions as a) the peircean distinctionbetween objectivereality and physical reality b) the scotistic formal distinction c) thethomistic distinctionbetween material and immaterial substance, all of which implynonphysical causationwithout violating physical causal closure, all proleptical, in a sense, tosuch concepts asmemes, Baldwinian evolution, biosemiotics, etc See We must avoid the genetic and memetic fallacies of Dawkins andDennett andthe computational fallacies of other cognitive scientists, all as describedby Deacon.See We must denominate the "cash value" of getting our metaphysicscorrect interms of the accuracy of our anthropologies and psychologies becausegetting ourdescriptive and normative accounts correct is preliminary to properlyconducting ourevaluative attempts, which will then inform the prescriptions we devisefor an ailinghumanity and cosmos, rendering such prescriptions efficacious,inefficacious, and evenharmful. This signals the importance of the dialogues between science,religion,philosophy and the arts. Further regarding “cash value” and the“pragmatic maxim” andall it might entail, asking what difference this or that metaphysical,epistemological orscientific supposition might make, if it were true or not, can clarify ourthinking, such asbetter enabling us to discern the circular referentiality of a tautology,e.g. taking existenceas a predicate of being (rather than employing a concept such as“bounded” existence).22) We must carefully nuance the parsimony we seek from OccamsRazor moresoin terms of the facility and resiliency of abduction and not necessarilyin terms ofcomplexity, honoring what we know from evolutionary psychologyabout humanabductive and preinferential process.See See
  22. 22. outline.text23) At wits end, confronted with ineluctable paradox, in choosing themostcompelling metaphysic, there is always the reductio ad absurdum. Andremember,whatever is going on in analytical philosophy, semeiotics andlinguistics, you can knowthus much is true: A single, even small, thermonuclear explosion canruin your wholeday.24) Regarding multiverse accounts, Polkinghorne rejects any notionthat science cansay anything about same if science is careful and scrupulous aboutwhat science canactually say, and this may be true, but it does seem that such anexplanatory attempt canbe indirectly determined at least consonant with what we are able todirectly observeand/or indirectly measure (thinking of Max Tegmarks ideas). It isplausible, for example,insofar as it is an attempt to explain the apparent anthropic fine-tuning.25) Importantly, not all human knowledge is formal, which is what somuch of theabove has been about!26) The major philosophical traditions can be described anddistinguished by theirpostures toward idealism & realism, rationalism & empiricism, whichare related to theirvarious essentialisms and nominalisms, which can all be moreparticularly described interms of what they do with the PEM (excluded middle) and PNC(noncontradiction) asthey consider peircean 1ns, 2ns and 3ns, variously holding or foldingthese FirstPrinciples as they move from univocal to equivocal and relationalpredications.27) With the peircean perspective taken as normative, PEM holds for1ns and 2nsand PNC holds for 2ns and 3ns (hence, PNC folds for 1ns and PEMfolds for 3ns).28) In a nominalistic perspective, PNC folds for 3ns and classicalnotions ofcausality and continuity are incoherent.29) In an essentialistic perspective, PNC properly holds for 3ns butPEM is
  23. 23. erroneously held for 3ns, suggesting that modal logic drivesalgorithmically toward thenecessary and not, rather, the probable.30) The nominalist’s objection to essentialism’s modal logic of thenecessary in 3nsis warranted but folding PNC in 3ns is the wrong response, renderingall notions ofcausality incoherent.. The essentialist’s objection to nominalism’sdenial of any modallogic in 3ns is warranted but holding PEM in 3ns is the wrongresponse, investing realitywith an unwarranted determinacy. The peircean affirmation of PNC in3ns and denial ofPEM in 3ns resolves such incoherency with a modal logic of probabilityand draws theproper distinctions between the univocal, equivocal and relationalpredications, theunivocal folding PNC in 1ns, the equivocal folding PEM in 3ns and therelational holdingPNC and PEM in 2ns.31) The platonic rationalist-realist perspective is impaired byessentialism. Thekantian rationalist-idealist perspective is impaired by both essentialismand nominalism.The humean empiricist idealist perspective is impaired by nominalism.The aristotelianempiricist realist perspective, with a nuanced hylomorphism, is notimpaired byessentialism or nominalism but suffers from substantialism due to itsatomicity, whichimpairs relationality. Finally, even a process-relational-substantialapproach must makethe scotistic/peircean formal distinction between objective reality andphysical reality.Radically deconstructive, analytical, and even pragmatist, approachesseize upon thefolding of PNC in 1ns and then run amok in denying PNC in 3ns andsometimes even2ns. Phenomenologists bracket these metaphysical considerations.Existentialists argueover what precedes what, existence vs essence, losing sight of theirnecessarycoinstantiation in 2ns in physical reality and failing to draw the properdistinctionbetween the objective reality of an attribute (its abstraction &objectification) and the
  24. 24. physical reality where it is integrally instantiated. Neither essence norexistence precedesthe other in physical reality; they always arrive at the scene togetherand inextricablyintertwined.32) The peircean grammar draws necessary distinctions betweenunivocal, equivocaland relational predications of different aspects of reality but, in sodoing, is a heuristicthat does not otherwise predict the precise nature or degree ofunivocity, equivocity orrelationality between those aspects. In that sense, it is likeemergentism, which predictsnovelty but does not describe its nature or degree. To that extent, it nomore resolvesphilosophy of mind questions, in particular, than it does metaphysicalquestions, ingeneral. What it does is help us to think more clearly about such issuesplacing differentperspectives in dialogue, revealing where it is they agree, converge,complement anddisagree. Further, it helps us better discern the nature of the paradoxesthat our differentsystems encounter: veridical, falsidical, conditional and antinomial,and why it is ourvarious root metaphors variously extend or collapse in describingdifferent aspects ofreality. It doesn’t predict or describe the precise nature of reality’sgivens in terms ofprimitives, forces and axioms but does help us locate how and whereunivocal, equivocaland relational predications are to be applied to such givens by acting asa philosophicallingua franca between different perspectives and accounts.Where arereality’scontinuities and discontinuities in terms of givens? The peirceangrammar speaks to howthey are related in terms of 1ns, 2ns and 3ns but not with respect tonature or origin or towhat extent or degree (if for no other reason that not all phenomenaare equally probable,in terms of 3ns). Is consciousness a primitive along with space, time,mass and charge? Isit emergent? epiphenomenal? explained by Dennett? described byPenrose? a hardproblem as per Chalmers or Searle? an eliminated problem as per theChurchlands? an
  25. 25. intractable problem as per William James? Each of these positions canbe described inpeircean terms and they can be compared and contrasted in a dialoguethat reveals wherethey agree, disagree, converge and complement. They cannot be apriori arbitrated by thepeircean perspective; rather, they can only be consistently articulatedand framed uphypothetically on the same terms, which is to say, in such a mannerthat hypotheticodeductiveand scientific-inductive methods can be applied to them and such thataposteriori experience can reveal their internal coherence/incoherence,logicalconsistency/inconsistency, external congruence/incongruence,hypotheticalconsonance/dissonance and interdisciplinaryconsilience/inconsilience.33) Do our various metaphysics collapse because of an encounter withparadox thatis generated by a) the nature of the environing realities, which arebeing explained? b) theexigencies of the environed reality, which is explaining? or c) somecombination ofthese? Is the paradox encountered veridical, falsidical, conditional orantinomial? Did weintroduce the paradox ourselves or did an environing reality reveal itsintrinsicparadoxical nature? We can describe reality’s categories (such as w/CSP’sphaneroscopy), a logic for those categories (such as CSP’s semeioticlogic) and anorganon that relates these categories and logic (such as CSP’smetaphysical architectonic)and then employ such a heuristic in any given metaphysic using anygiven root metaphor.When we do, at some point, we will encounter an infinite regress, acausal disjunction orcircular referentiality (petitio principii, ipse dixit, etc), and we might,therefore, at somelevel, have reason to suspect that those are the species of ineluctableparadox that eventhe most accurate metaphysics will inevitably encounter. If circularreferentiality isavoidable, still, infinite regress and causal disjunction are not and ourmetaphysics will
  26. 26. succumb to one or the other, possibly because these alternate accountspresentcomplementary perspectives of reality and the nature of its apparentcontinuities anddiscontinuities (as measured in degrees of probability or as reflected inthe dissimilaritiesbetween various givens and their natures and origins, some belongingto this singularity,some to another, this or another realm of reality variously pluralistic ornot).34) What it all seems to boil down to is this: Different schools ofphilosophy andmetaphysics are mostly disagreeing regarding the nature and degree,the origin andextent, of continuities and discontinuities in reality, some evenclaiming to transcend thisdebate by using a continuum of probability. The manifold andmultiform assertionsand/or denials of continuity and discontinuity in reality play out in thedifferentconclusions of modal logic with respect to what is possible versusactual versus necessaryregarding the nature of reality (usually in terms of givens, i.e.primitives, forces andaxioms), some even claiming to transcend this modal logic bysubstituting probable fornecessary. Even then, one is not so much transcending the fray asavoiding the fray if onedoes not venture to guess at the nature and degree, origin and extent,of reality’sprobabilities, necessities, continuities and discontinuities. Sure, theessentialists andsubstantialists overemphasize discontinuities and the nominalistsoveremphasizecontinuities and the dualists introduce some false dichotomies, butanyone who claims tobe above this metaphysical fray has not so much transcended theseissues with a new andimproved metaphysics as they have desisted from even doingmetaphysics, opting insteadfor a meta-metaphysical heuristic device, at the same time, sacrificingexplanatoryadequacy. This is what happens with the emergentistic somethingmore from nothing butand also what happens in semeiotic logic (for infinite regress is just asfatal,metaphysically, as causal disjunction and circular referentiality).
  27. 27. 35) Evaluating Hypotheses:Does it beg questions?Does it traffic intrivialities? Doesit overwork analogies?Does it overwork distinctions? Does itunderworkdichotomies?Does it eliminate infinite regress?36) Not to worry, this is to be expected at this stage of humankind’sjourney ofknowledge. However, if the answer to any of these questions isaffirmative, then one’shypothesis probably doesn’t belong in a science textbook for now. Atany rate, given ourinescapable fallibility, we best proceed in a community of inquiry as wepursue ourpractical and heuristic (both normative and speculative) sciences.37) Couching this or that debate in the philosophy of science in termsof dis/honestymay very well address one aspect of any given controversy. I have oftenwonderedwhether or not some disagreements are rooted in disparate approachesto epistemicvalues, epistemic goods, epistemic virtues, epistemic goals, epistemicsuccess, epistemiccompetence or whatever is truly at issue. I dont know who is beingdishonest or not,aware or unawares, but I think one can perhaps discern in/authenticityin a variety ofways.38) In trying to sort through and inventory such matters, throughtime, I have cometo more broadly conceive the terms of such controversies, not onlybeyond the notions ofepistemic disvalue, epistemic non-virtue and epistemic incompetence,but, beyond theepistemic, itself. Taking a cue from Lonergans inventory ofconversions, which includethe cognitive, affective, moral, social and religious, one might identifymanifold otherways to frustrate the diverse (but unitively-oriented) goals of humanauthenticity, whetherthrough disvalue, non-virtue or incompetence.39) Our approach to and grasp of reality, through both the heuristicsciences(normative and theoretical) and practical sciences, in my view, is quiteoften frustrated bythe overworking of certain distinctions and the underworking ofcertain dichotomies, by
  28. 28. our projection of discontinuities onto continuities and vice versa. Andthis goes beyondthe issue of the One and the Many, the universal and the particular, thelocal and theglobal, beyond the disambiguation and predication of our terms,beyond the setting forthof our primitives, forces and axioms, beyond the truth of our premisesand the validity ofour logic, beyond noetical, aesthetical and ethical norms, beyond ournormative/prescriptive, speculative/descriptive andpragmatic/practical enterprises,beyond all this to living life, itself, and to our celebration of the arts.40) In this vein, one failure in human authenticity that seems to toooften afflicthumankind is the overworking of the otherwise valid distinctionsbetween our truly novelbiosemiotic capacities and those of our phylogenetic ancestry and kin,invoking such ahuman exceptionalism (x-factor) as divorces us from nature of whichwere undeniably apart. Another (and related) failure, in my view, is the overworking ofdistinctionsbetween the different capacities that comprise the human evaluativecontinuum, denyingthe integral roles played by its nonrational, prerational and rationalaspects, by itsecological, pragmatic, inferential and deliberative rationalities, by itsabductive, inductiveand deductive inferential aspects, by its noetical, aesthetical and ethicalaspects. Theseotherwise distinct aspects of human knowledge that derive from ourinterfacing as anenvironed reality with our total environing reality (environed vsenvironing realities notlending themselves to sharp distinctions either?) are of a piece, form aholistic fabric ofknowledge, mirrored by reality, which is also of a piece, not lendingitself fully to anyprivileged aspect of the human evaluative continuum, not lending itselfto arbitrary dicesand slices based upon any human-contrived architectonic or organonof knowledge, forinstance, as might be reflected in our academic disciplines or curricula.41) So, perhaps it is too facile to say religion asks certain questions andemployscertain aspects of the human evaluative continuum, while philosophy
  29. 29. asks others, scienceyet others? Maybe it is enough to maintain that science does notattempt to halt infiniteregress because humankind has discovered, a posteriori, that suchattempts invariablyinvolve trafficking in question begging (ipse dixit, petitio principii,tautologies, etc) ortrivialities or overworked analogies, often employ overworkeddistinctions orunderworked dichotomies, often lack explanatory adequacy, pragmaticcash value and/orthe authentication of orthodoxy by orthopraxis? Maybe it is enough tomaintain thatscience does not attempt to halt infinite regress because humankindnow maintains, apriori, with Godel, that complete accounts are inconsistent, consistentaccounts,incomplete? Maybe it is enough to maintain that science traffics informalizable proofsand measurable results from hypotheses that are testable withinrealistic time constraints(iow, not eschatological)?42) Or, maybe we neednt maintain even these distinctions but can sayan hypothesisis an hypothesis is an hypothesis, whether theological or geological,whether eliminatingor tolerating the paradox of infinity, and that the human evaluativecontinuum, ifoptimally (integrally and holistically) deployed, can aspire to test thesehypotheses,however directly or indirectly, letting reality reveal or conceal itself atits pleasure --- but--- those hypotheses that are intractably question begging ortautological, that overworkanalogies and distinctions and underwork dichotomies, that lackexplanatory adequacyand pragmatic cash value --- are, at least for now, bad science, badphilosophy, badtheology, bad hypotheses? They are not authentic questions? Pursuethem if you must.Back-burner them by all means, ready to come to the fore at a moreopportune time. Butdont publish them in textbooks or foist them on the general public orbody politic; rather,keep them in the esoteric journals with a suitable fog index to matchtheir explanatory
  30. 30. opacity.43) In the above consideration, it was not my aim to resolve anycontroversies in thephilosophy of science, in particular, or to arbitrate between the greatschools ofphilosophy, in general. I did want to offer some criteria for morerigorously framing upthe debates that we might avoid talking past one another. It does seemthat certainextreme positions can be contrasted in sharper relief in terms ofalternating assertions ofradical dis/continuities, wherein some distinctions are overworked intofalse dichotomiesand some real dichotomies are ignored or denied.44) Thus it is that the different “turns” have been made in the historyof philosophy(to experience, to the subject, linguistic, hermeneutical, pragmatic,etc). Thus it is thatnominalism, essentialism and substantialism critique each other. Thusit is that fact-value,is-ought, given-normative, descriptive-prescriptive distinctionswarrant dichotomizing ornot. Thus it is that the One and the Many, the universal and particular,the global andlocal, the whole and the part invite differing perspectives or not. Thus itis that differentaspects of the human evaluative continuum get singularly privilegedwithout warrantsuch as in fideism and rationalism or that different aspects of thehuman architectonic ofknowledge get over- or under-emphasized such as in radicalfundamentalism andscientism.45) Thus it is that certain of our heuristic devices get overworkedbeyond theirminimalist explanatory attempts such as when emergence is describedas weaklysupervenient, which is rather question-begging, or as stronglysupervenient, which israther trivial. And yet one might be able to affirm some utility inmaking suchdistinctions as a weak deontology or weak teleology, or between thestrongly and weaklyanthropic?46) Thus it is that idealism and realism, rationalism and empiricism,fight a
  31. 31. hermeneutical tug of war between kantian, humean, aristotelian andplatonicperspectives, transcended, in part, even complemented by, theanalytical,phenomenological and pragmatic approaches. Thus it is that variousmetaphysics mustremain modest in their heuristic claims of explanatory power as wewitness the ongoingblending and nuancing of substance, process, participative andsemiotic approaches. Thusit is that our glorious -ologies get transmuted into insidious –isms.47) Thus it is that all of these approaches, whether broadly conceivedas theoretical,practical and normative sciences (including natural sciences, appliedsciences, theologicalsciences and the sciences of logic, aesthetics and ethics), or morenarrowly conceived asthe more strictly empirical sciences, offer their hypotheses for critiqueby an authenticcommunity of inquiry --- neither falling prey to the soporific consensusgentium(bandwagon fallacy) and irrelevant argumentum ad verecundiam(appeal to authority) norarrogating to one’s own hermeneutic some type of archimedeanbuoyancy for all sureknowledge, as if inescapable leaps of faith weren’t required to get pastunmitigatednihilism and solipsism, as if excluded middle, noncontradiction andother first principlescould be apodictically maintained or logically demonstrated, as ifknowledge and proofwere indistinct, as if all human knowledge was algorithmic and couldbe formalized.48) Miscellany: In the peircean cohort of the American pragmatisttradition, onewould say that the normative sciences mediate betweenphenomenology andmetaphysics, which could reasonably be translated into philosophymediates between ourscientific methodologies and our cosmologies/ontologies.So, there is aproper distinctionto be made between our normative and theoretical sciences, bothwhich can be consideredheuristic sciences, and yet another distinction to be made betweenthem and what wewould call our practical sciences.
  32. 32. 49) I think it would be fair to say that we can bracket our [metaphysics]and our[cosmologies & ontologies] when doing empirical science but, at thesame time, we donot bracket those aspects of philosophy that comprise our normativesciences of logic,aesthetics and ethics, which contribute integrally and holistically to allscientificendeavors and human knowledge pursuits. At least for my God-concept, properlyconceived, suitably employed, sufficiently nuanced, carefullydisambiguated, preciselydefined, rigorously predicated --- to talk of empirical measurementwould be nonsensical.50) I more broadly conceive knowledge & "knowing" and myconceptualizationturns on the distinction between knowing and proving, the latterconsisting of formalproofs. Since a God-concept would comprise a Theory of Everythingand we know, apriori, from Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems, that we cannot provesuch employing anyclosed formal symbol system, a "proof" of God is out of the question.51) Charles Sanders Peirce offers another useful distinction, whichturns on hisobservations regarding inferential knowledge, which includesabduction, induction anddeduction. Abductive inference is, in a nutshell, the generation of anhypothesis. Thepeircean distinction is that between an argument and argumentation.Peirce offers, then,what he calls the "Neglected Argument for the Reality of God," whichamounts to anabduction of God, distinguishing same from the myriad other attemptsto prove Godsexistence, whether inductively or deductively through argumentation.Even the scholasticand thomistic "proofs" realize their efficacy by demonstrating only thereasonableness ofcertain beliefs, not otherwise aspiring to apodictic claims or logicallyconclusivedemonstrations. Peirce made another crucial distinction between the"reality" of God andthe "existence" of God, considering all talk of Gods existence to derivefrom purefetishism, affirming in his own way, I suppose, an analogy of beingrather than a
  33. 33. univocity.52) Given all this, one may find it somewhat of a curiosity that Godel,himself,attempted his own modal ontological argument. Anselms argument,likely considered theweakest of all the classical "proofs" of God, was first called the"ontological" argumentby Kant and was more recently given impetus by Hartshornes modalformulation. I thinkthese arguments by Godel and Hartshorne would be more compellingif the modalcategory of necessary was changed to probable and if the conceptualcompatibility ofputative divine attributes was guaranteed by employing only negativeproperties for suchterms. At any rate, that Godel distinguished "formal proof" from"knowing" is instructive,I think, and his attempt at a modal ontological argument is alsorevealing, suggesting,perhaps, that one neednt make their way through half of Whiteheadand Russell’sPrincipia in order to "know" that 2 + 2 = 4, but, rather, that would benecessary only to"prove" same.53) I would agree that the statement, God cannot be measured, is truefor science asnarrowly conceived as natural science. More broadly conceived, scienceincludestheology as a discipline and many typologies of the science-religioninterface would, forinstance, affirm the notion of hypothetical consonance between thedisciplines. Much ofHans Kungs work entailed an elaborate formulation of the Godhypothesis, notempirically testable by any means, but, which uses nihilism as a foil toproceed reductioad absurdum toward what Kung calls a fundamental trust in uncertainreality that, given asuitable and "working" God-hypothesis, is not otherwise nowhereanchored andparadoxical. Another focus of theology as a scientific discipline is thatof practicaltheology where orthopraxis might be considered to authenticateorthodoxy.54) Strong cases have been made by historians of science thatsustainable scientific
  34. 34. progress was birthed in the womb of a belief in creatio ex nihilo, inother words, a beliefin the contingent nature of reality, which, when combined with theGreek belief inrealitys rationality, provided the cultural matrix for sciences explosivegrowth in theChristian West.55) I suppose there is an element of the aesthetic that guides onetoward such aninterpretation as Bohms rather than Bohrs, Chalmers, Searle orPenrose rather thanDennett, the Churchlands or Crick, Pascal rather than Nietzsche --- butsomething else isgoing on, and it is not time-honored, when anyone chooses info to fitan interpretation,which is a different enterprise from the formulation of alternativeinterpretations that arehypothetically consonant with whatever info is available at the time.56) To say more succinctly what I elaborate below: Approaching facts isone matter,rules another, and facts about rules, yet another. Theres no explainingor justifying ruleswithin their own systems and one hops onto an epistemological pogostick, incessantlyjumping to yet another system with such explanatory/justificatoryattempts (cf. Godel).Thankfully, Popperian falsification short circuits rule justification inour pursuit of factsand the reductio ad absurdum (with some caveats) short circuitsformal philosophy in ourpursuit of rule justification, which is otherwise, inescapably, going tobe questionbegging, rendering our metasystems, in principle, tautological. Anexample of a caveatthere is that one overworks the humean dictum re: existence as apredicate of being whenasserting that existence cannot be taken as a predicate of being --because it certainly can.One underappreciates the humean perspective when one forgets thattaking existence as apredicate of being is a tautology. But so are all metaphysics, which areall fatally flawed.None of this is about escaping all antinomial paradox but, rather,finding the metasystemleast susceptible to multiple births of paradox, least pregnant withparadox --- or, finding
  35. 35. that metasystem which, however fatally flawed, is least morbid.57) In dealing with metasystem formulations, inevitably, we mustconfront the timehonoredquestion: random or systematic? chance or necessity? order or chaos?pattern orparadox? At least, for me, this seems to capture the conundrum atissue.This conundrumis ubiquitous and presents itself not only in metaphysics but in physics,not only inspeculative cosmology and the quantum realm but also in speculativecognitive scienceand the realm of consciousness. This is reminiscent of the dynamic inthe TV gameshow,Jeopardy, for these dyads --- of random, chance, chaos, paradox vis avis systematic,necessity, order, pattern --- offer themselves as answers to a largerquestion posed in abigger framework. That question might be framed as: What is it thatmediates betweenthe possible and the actual?58) My brain loves that question and pondering the implications ofthose dyadsseems to help keep my neurotransmitters in balance, quite often firingoff enough extraendorphins to help me pedal my bike an extra mile or two, any givenday. That questionpresents when we consider reality both locally and globally, particularlyor universally, inpart or as a whole. I have pondered such extensively as set forth here: andelsewhere [links atthe top of this page]and one day I may take on the task of making such musings moreaccessible. For now, itseems that I have practiced the Franciscan virtue of seeking tounderstand rather than tobe understood and turned it into a vice, practicing it to a fault.59) I will say this: Science is a human convention, an agreemententered into by anearnest community of inquiry. It seems to operate on a consensusregarding 1) primitives(space, time, mass and energy/charge) 2) forces (strong and weak,electromagnetic andgravity) and 3) axioms (laws of thermodynamics and so forth) and therelationships they
  36. 36. reveal as this community proceeds via 4) popperian falsification,which, as Popperproperly understood and many others do not, is not, itself, falsifiable.There are no strictlines between physics and metaphysics inasmuch as any tweaking ofthese categories bytheoretical scientists is meta-physical, for instance, such as by thosewhod addconsciousness as a primitive, quantum gravity as a force and statisticalquantum law as anaxiom. The crossing-over from philosophy to science and frommetaphysics to physics bythis or that notion is not so much determined a priori as based on anygiven attributes of aparticular idea regarding primitives, forces and axioms but, rather,takes place when suchcan be framed up in such a manner as it can be empirically falsified. Weknow this fromthe history of philosophy, science and metaphysics -- although thepace of cross-over hasslowed a tad.60) Framing up reality in falsifiable bits and pieces is no simple matterto one whoagrees with Haldane that reality is not only stranger than we imaginebut stranger than wecan imagine. Still, as is born into our very nature as epistemologicaloptimists, we mighttemper this view by taking Chestertons counsel that we do not knowenough aboutreality, yet, to say that it is unknowable. We just do not know, a priori,either where wewill hit an explanatory wall or where we will break through same, thisnotwithstandingsuch as G. E. Pughs remark to the effect that if the brain were simpleenough for us tounderstand it, we would be so simple that we couldnt.61) What we do know, a priori, are our own rules and conventions andwe canpredict whether or not an explanatory wall will either be hit orpenetrated --- but only ifwe narrowly conceive of that wall as being built with the bricks ofempirical evidenceand the mortar of formal proofs. An explanatory wall thus conceived isindeed subject togodelian constraints, which allow us to model rules that we areotherwise precluded from
  37. 37. explaining. In reality, though, one would commit the equivalent of anepistemologicalMaginot Line blunder if one built her explanatory wall exclusively ofsuch materials, for,as we know, a large portion of human knowledge lies outside of anysuch a narrowlyconceived epistemic structure. Indeed, we know far more than we canever prove (orfalsify)62) Now, to be sure, we must remain well aware that we are freelychoosing ouraxioms and first principles and that, consistent with godelian andpopperian constraints,they can neither be logically demonstrated, a priori, nor scientificallyfalsified, aposteriori. We should keep an eye open, too, to the critiques ofDescartes, Hume andKant, insofar as they seem to have anticipated, in many ways, thesegodelian andpopperian formalizations, as well as some of the dynamics explored bythe analyticalcohort. What I personally cannot countenance, however, is anyepistemological caving into such constraints and critiques (cartesian, kantian and humean); theproper response, ifthe normative sciences are to retain any sway whatsoever, would seem,rather, to be atrading in of any naive realism for a critical realism (staying mostlyaristotelian cumneoplatonic?). So, too, the humean fact-value distinction, worthconsidering, should notbe overworked into a false dichotomy?63) If, in our inescapable fallibility, we have been dispossessed of anyapodicticclaims to necessity and logical demonstrations of our first principles,still, we do have atour disposal the judicious use of the reductio ad absurdum as ourbackdoor philosophy.True enough, the counterintuitive is not, in and of itself, an infalliblebeacon of truth, forscience has demonstrated many counterintuitive notions to be true,given certain axioms.Nonetheless, absent any demonstration to the contrary and guided byan earnestcommunity of inquiry, would we not do best to reject such as solipsismand radical
  38. 38. nihilism, and to embrace noncontradiction and excluded middle(within the normssuggested by both epistemological and ontological vagueness, which isanotherexhuastive consideration)?64) So, yes, in freely choosing such axioms as we might employ in ourattempt toanswer the question --- What mediates between the possible and theactual? --- we arefree to opt for chance or necessity, for order or chaos, for pattern orparadox, for therandom or systematic, and we are free to apply such an option locallyand/or globally,particularly or universally, to the whole of reality or to any part, and noone candispossess us, through formal proof or with empirical evidence, of ourchosen axioms.And, yes, once we have chosen such axioms, such meta-systems, wemust recognize that,fundamentally, they are clearly tautological by design and in principle,and that anyapologetic for same will be rather question begging. [Every time weopen an ontologicalwindow, reality closes an epistemological door, I like to say.] The onlyrecourse we havethat seems to be at all compelling is the old reductio ad absurdum,taking this or that setof axioms, applying them to reality as best we have come to grasp same,and, afterextrapolating it all to some putative logical conclusion, then testing itall for congruencewith reality (and with whatever else happens to be in that suite ofepistemological criteriaas might comprise this or that community of inquirys epistemicdesiderata).65) As a relevant aside, I have found that we best modify our modalontologicallogic of possible, actual and necessary to possible, actual and probable,which allows oneto prescind from the dyads of chance/necessity, order/chaos,pattern/paradox,random/systematic --- as these more and more seem to describedistinctions that shouldnot be overworked into dichotomies, not that I am an inveteratepeircean triadimaniac --for I am, rather, a pan-entheistic tetradimaniac (seems to me to be theleast pregnant,
  39. 39. anyway).66) What mediates between the possible and the actual? Probably, theprobable.[And that may be the window Reality opened for Hefners co-creatorsas God shrunkfrom the necessary? And that may be the future-oriented rupturebetween our essentialpossibilities and their existential realizations in Haughts teleologicalaccount of originalsin?]67) When the Beatles were with the Maharishi in India, at the end ofone session, heoffered anyone who was interested a ride back to the compound withhim on hishelicopter. John volunteered. When later queried about why hedecided to go, Johnquipped: "Because I thought hed slip me the answer." jb is going to slipyou theanswer.Ever heard of the pragmatic maxim?In my words, jbs maxim, ittranslates intoWhat would you do differently if you had the answer? [And it doesntmatter what thequestion is or that it necessarily be THE question, whatever that is.]Now, if Lonergansconversions --- cognitive, moral, affective, sociopolitical and religious --- were all fullyeffected in a human being and that person were truly authentic inlonerganian terms,mostly transformed in terms of classical theosis, then how would anauthentic/transformed human answer the question: What would youdo differently if youhad the answer?S/he would answer thusly: Nothing.68) Thats what I really like most about lovers. Ive seen them strugglewith all thesequestions and have even seen them afflicted by these questions to anextent, but loversare clearly among those for whom I know the answer to the above-question is: Zero. Zip.Zilch. Nada.Thats the epitome of unconditional love and thats theessence of the ImagoDei.And that is a small comfort ... so, its a good thing that comfort isnot what its allabout, Alfie. Carry on. Do carry on69) In another vein, all of philosophy seems to turn on those three bigquestions of
  40. 40. Kant: What can I know? What can I hope for? What must I do?Theastute observer mightrecognize that these questions correspond to truth, beauty andgoodness and have beenanswered by philosophers in terms of logic, aesthetics and ethics andby religions interms of creed, cult and code. They also correspond to the threetheological virtues offaith, hope and love and to our psychological faculties of the cognitive,affective andmoral (again, think Lonergan). At some point on my journey, I restedand answered thesequestions thusly: I dont know and I dont need to know. I dont feeland I dont need tofeel. I love and I need to forgive.All of a sudden --- I kid ya not --- allmanner of truth,beauty and goodness started chasing me rather than vice versa! If weframe the issue interms of foci of concern, then the scientific focus will be more narrowlydefined than thetheological. The first is positivistic, the latter, philosophic.70) The scientific focus looks at facts through the lens of popperianfalsification. Itstructures its arguments formally and thus employs mathematics andother closed,formal symbol systems through which it can establish correspondencebetween thoseparts of reality we agree to call givens: primitives (space, time,mass/charge, energy),forces (weak, strong, electromagnetic, gravity) and axioms(conservation,thermodynamics). It seeks to provide descriptive accounts of theseparts of reality anddeals in proofs.71) The philosophic focus is a wider perspective, which is to say itembracesadditional concerns by looking through the lenses of the normativesciences of logic,aesthetics and ethics. It looks at rules. Its arguments are not formallyconstructed but itdoes try to establish coherence in its accounts of reality. It seeks toprovide evaluativeaccounts of reality as a whole and deals in justifications.72) Lonergan scholar, Daniel Helminiak, defines two additional foci ofconcern,which are progressively wider perspectives, the theistic and theotic, the
  41. 41. latter having todo with human transformation in relation to God (and which mightrepresent one of manyperspectives presented at Star).73) Broader perspectives, wider foci of concern, do not invalidate thenarrower foci,if for no other reason, then, because they are focusing on differentaspects of reality, infact, additional aspects.74) In Jeffs frontier town, out on the working edge of science, anynovel conceptsbeing introduced must indeed be precisely specified in the language ofscience, which isto say one must introduce a novel primitive, force or axiom, or a novelinteractionbetween existing givens, into a closed, formal symbol system likemathematics. Thisnovelty can then be tested for correspondence with reality, in otherwords, factuality,through popperian falisfication (which is not itself falsifiable).75) As for unfortunate trends among scientists, philosophers andtheologians,descriptively, in terms of blurred focus, these are manifold and variedwith nomonopolies on same? I am time-constrained, wrote this hurriedly andmust run. My nextconsideration was going to be Theories of Everything and how theyshould becategorized and why? Any ideas?76) Obviously, I could not elaborate a comprehensiveorganon/architectonic ofhuman knowledge categories in only four paragraphs and thus did notdraw out suchdistinctions as, for instance, the very living of life, itself, from the arts,the practicalsciences, the heuristic sciences, the theoretical sciences, the normativesciences and soon. The particular point I was making, however, more particularlyturned on thedistinction between those matters in life which we prove versus thosewhich weotherwise justify. As a retired bank chairman/president, I must say thatit would havepleased me very much, too, to have seen the justice system derive moreof its rules fromlogic. Note, also, the operative word, derive, and youll have some
  42. 42. sense of how myelaboration will unfold77) Because one of the manifold criteria for good hypotheses vis a visthe scientificmethod is the making of measurable predictions in the context ofhypothetico-deductiveand inductive reasoning, we might properly talk about proof as beingmore broadlyconceived, our descriptive accounts lending themselves tomeasurements (andhypothetical fecundity). Of course, induction, itself, is not formal logic,anyway78) Those trends that frighten me the most are the differentfundamentalisms(including both the religious fundamentalisms and enlightenmentfundamentalism orscientism).79) By Theory of Everything (TOE). I mean such as M-theory,superstrings,quantum gravity, unified field theory, etc in the realm of theoreticalphysics. I believethere are metamathematical problems that inhere in such a TOE as setforth in Godelsincompleteness theorems. This is not to suggest a TOE could not bemathematicallyformulated but only to say it could not, in principle, be proven. Neitheris this to suggestthat, because it couldnt be formally demonstrated, we wouldntotherwise know weddiscovered same.80) A long time ago, my graduate research was in neuroendocrinologyAlso, theemergentist heuristic of something more from nothing but may haveimplications forsome of the difficulties that remain in our understanding ofconsciousness? As far asphilosophic accounts of same, my overall theological perspectivedoesnt turn on whetheror not Dennett, Searle, Chalmers, Penrose, Ayn Rand or theChurchlands are correct (visa vis the positivistic elements of their accounts), although, presently,Im leaning towardDeacons rather peircean biosemiotic perspective.81) For me to have written this: "Neither is this to suggest that,because it couldntbe formally demonstrated, we wouldnt otherwise know wed
  43. 43. discovered same," maybe Iwas talking about both? I purposefully left the categorization of anyTOE open to teaseout different perspectives. My take, to avoid being too coy, is that aTOE requires morethan a positivistic focus. It necessarily involves a broadening of ourscientific focus toembrace the additional concerns of the philosophic. Some folks gofurther.82) Its my guess that Baldwinian evolution captures manyimaginations because itemploys the notion of downward causation. Furthermore, if oneframes up the problem ofconsciousness biosemiotically, in some sense one recovers the classicaristotelian notionsof material, formal and final causality. Exciting? Yes. But ...83) However, one doesnt need to a priori dismiss cartesian dualismand neither doesone need to a priori embrace a fully reductionistic philosophy of mind(including thephysical causal closure of the universe) to, at the same time, recognizethat suchbiosemiotic accounts do not, necessarily, violate known physical lawsor the idea ofphysical causal closure. In other words, there can be strong and weakversions ofdownward causation, both being both nonphysical and nonreductive,and theemergentistic, biosemiotic account of evolving complexity utilizes theweak version. Thisdoes involve a work-around of frameworks that employ strictlyefficient causation.84) What might some of us do with our imaginations? Well, we mightinvokevarious analogies from different physical and/or semiotic accounts toour philosophic,metaphysical and even theological accounts. And, sometimes, wemight lose sight of howprogressively weak these analogies can become.85) I suppose I could at least be pleased that Dawkins did not considermystics andobscurantists to be a redundancy? My charitable interpretation wouldbe that herecognized that the conscious and deliberate invocation of analogies byauthentic mystics,who have their eyes open to this analogical dynamic (apophatically
  44. 44. inclined as they are!),is valid (even if he might impute little pragmatic cash value to same),while, for theirpart, the obscurantists might even altogether deny the metaphoricaland analogical natureof their extrapolations (not necessarily in bad faith). [The evidence infavor of acharitable interpretation is not being weighed here.] At any rate, themedieval scotisticnotion of the formal distinction, the peircean distinction betweenobjective and physicalreality, and the semiotic notion of form realism dont invite ghosts intomachines or godsinto gaps. Metaphorically and analogically, and metaphysically,however, differentnotions of causation are ... let me say ... interesting.86) All that said, consciousness remains way overdetermined,scientificallyspeaking, as well as, philosophically speaking, both epistemologicallyand ontologicallyopen (as far as strongly emergent, weakly supervenient systems areconcerned, not to saythat supervenience might not be a rather trivial notion). Pugh may beon to something: Ifour brains were so simple we could understand them, we would be sosimple that wecouldnt (or something like that). I submit we have no a priorijustification for selecting aphilosophy of mind and precious little a posteriori warrant either. Gunto my head,however, I like Deacon (and his important nuances of the accounts ofDennett andDawkins re: memetic, genetic and computational fallacies).87) Godels relevance to a TOE is controversial. Id be willing to argueboth sides.But let me agree with you by suggesting physics is formal andphysicists (and Nature andGod) are not, by drawing a distinction between proving and knowing,by recognizing thateven if a TOE was mathematically formulated in apositivistic/descriptive framework,wed have to fall back on our philosophic/evaluative framework tojustify our faith in it.88) In reading Hawkings take on Godels relevance to a TOE he doesseem to drawan obvious direct metamathematical connection? But I cannot say that
  45. 45. he did sounequivocally because almost everything else he said after that clearlyinvoked Godelanalogously. So, at the very least, per Hawking, a physical theory isgoing to be Godellike(M-theory per his discussion). Hawkings lecture can be heard here: I can better wrap my positivistic mind around a weak anthropicprinciple in thesame way I can accept weak versions of downward causation and weakdeontologicalethics even as I do not a priori rule out the strong versions. Heideggersquestion has beenrephrased, lately, as Why is there something and not rather somethingelse? and thismakes the strong anthropic principle more compelling in somephilosophic frameworks(but understandably trivial in others). Wittgensteins Its not howthings are but that thingsare which is the mystical doesnt sway those whod not take existenceas a predicate ofbeing, but what about a bounded existence, a universe in a multiverse,in a pluralisticreality? Maybe there is some univocity of being (Duns Scotist) andsome analogy ofbeing (thomism), too? [For instance, a pan-entheism is monistic,dualistic andpluralistic.]90) Chesterton said that we do not know enough about reality to saythat it isunknowable and Haldane says that reality is not only stranger than weimagine butstranger than we can imagine. They can both be correct. If humankinddoes formulate aTOE, it could well be something we have stumbled over and not ratherworked outthrough hypothetico-deductive and inductive reasoning/imagination.It not only takesfaith and the evaluative aspect of the human knowledge manifold tobelieve a TOE mightbe found. Those epistemic faculties would also necessarily be involvedin the recognitionthat it had indeed been found.91) To the extent that I may have had an agenda (transparent, I hope),and to theextent that agenda has been somewhat of an apologetic invoking
  46. 46. various (and sometimessubstantial)degrees of epistemological parity between the worlds great,extantweltanschauungs, I am willing (and, in fact, pleased) to argue this pointin favor of yourconclusion. In that case, perhaps I have been concerning myself withepistemologicalstrawmen or shadowboxing with the philosophical ghosts ofyesteryear, who advocatedlogical positivism, radical empiricism, hyper-rationalism, scientism andsuch or whocountered these with fideism, radical religious fundamentalism andsuch, such advocaciesand counteradvocacies being the obverse sides of the same coin of therealm ofepistemological hubris. As you are aware, neither do I countenance anexcessiveepistemological humility.92) Perhaps we can say that for me to make such points on theIRASnet orMetaNexus would be a preaching to the choir, for the most part, andthat no disciplinehas adopted that usage in a long time. In that case, I agree that I mighthave drawn anunnecessary distinction. Perhaps we can also suggest, however, thatnot everyone,perhaps even most (the un-disciplined), have been successfullyevangelized and that ourtask is not done, our work is otherwise unfinished, and the distinctionfor that audiencethus remains pertinent?93) Theology (forgiving the erstwhile - I hope - extreme scholasticrealism)employed what were known as the scholastic notations. Seminarianswere taught to place,in the margin of their notebooks, little notes indicating whether aproposition was: 1)impossible 2) possible 3) improbable 4) implausible 5) uncertain 6)plausible 7) probable8) certain. Lately, in the modal logic of a) the possible b) the actual andc) the necessary,the latter has been amended to the probable, by some.94) The distinction Id offer here is something like Hume makes re:skepticism andinduction. It is the distinction between the theoretical and the practical.Even if a TOE is
  47. 47. beyond our grasp strictly theoretically speaking, all TOEs being fatallyflawed inprinciple, still, from a practical perspective, I think it is fair to say thatwe may be able tojustify our belief in a TOE, someday, in a universally compellingmanner. Does thisundermine my assertions re: Godel? I would say that I meant that it ispossible myassertions could be undermined. How plausible or probable?95) Since I am working on another project re: Criteria for Articulating aTOE, I usedMichaels evocative query as a springboard in constructing myepistemological preambleto that project. Below is my original response, which I then edited andsent along justnow as a much shorter version. I think TOE discussions are central tothe dialoguebetween science and religion. However, they are notoriously difficult toair out on listservforums because too much renormalization is required to translate allhermeneutics into asingle lingua franca with logically compatible concepts and axioms.With that caveat,here it is for the few who may be interested.96) To the extent that I may have had an agenda (transparent, I hope),and to theextent that agenda has been somewhat of an apologetic invokingvarious (and sometimessubstantial) degrees of epistemological parity between the worldsgreat, extantweltanschauungs, I am willing (and, in fact, pleased) to argue this pointin favor of yourconclusion. In that case, perhaps I have been concerning myself withepistemologicalstrawmen or shadowboxing with the philosophical ghosts ofyesteryear, who advocatedlogical positivism, radical empiricism, hyper-rationalism, scientism andsuch or whocountered these with fideism, radical religious fundamentalism andsuch, such advocaciesand counteradvocacies being the obverse sides of the same coin of therealm ofepistemological hubris. As you are aware, neither do I countenance anexcessiveepistemological humility.97) Theology (forgiving the erstwhile - I hope - extreme scholastic