Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Impracticality of Seeking Truth in Material Objects


I'm in agreement with this quote from Elliot Milco ("Christian Identity in the Workplace"):

"Lately I have been revisiting Plato, and it strikes me that the basic problem of Christianity in the secular workplace is not the selective distribution of “identity” status or the uneven application of liberal principles. Our problem is that we live in a society as hostile to the aims of the philosophical life—a life in pursuit of moral integrity, the truth, and union with God—as was Athens in the time of Socrates. Our fellow citizens do not understand our preference for spiritual goods over material prosperity. They despise us because we disapprove of pleasures everyone else accepts. Chiefly, though, I think they are impatient with our impractical fixation on intangible truths."

This week I begin my sixteenth year of teaching philosophy at Monroe County Community College. I'll teach two Logic classes and one Philosophy of Religion class. If my students are hostile to philosophy I will change most of their minds about this. Some, even, will consider majoring or minoring in philosophy.

We live in a profoundly ignorant culture. This deep ignorance is fueled by social media as anyone can make belief-claims without understanding or justification. Ignorance breeds hostility. Some of my students, prior to my classes, will be hostile to spiritual truths. As class progresses some of them will deconvert from their prereflective physicalism to consider something like the Platonic worldview.

Do the followers of Jesus focus on intangible truths? Yes. But note this: "truth" itself does not exist as a tangible reality. That is, "truth" is not some sort of "thing" that can be empirically verified. Hence all who seek for truth in tangible realities are fundamentally misguided. Our fixation on intangible truths (the only kind) seems impractical.

That's some late night rambling. Time for bed...