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On ‘Proof’ & Knowledge of the Nature of Things

I should let the philosopher speak, and for what gems he has carved, shine in the "Dark Age"* of ours:

"A proof is not convincing because it is absolute – which it could not be – but because it actualizes in the mind an evident truth.

"Proof is possible only on the basis of some pre-existing knowledge. Only the artificiality of a way of thinking that is cut off from its transcendent Principle could seek to graft a proof on to mere emptiness. That is like seeking in time for the origin of eternity.

"It is wrong to reject a 'proof of God' just because one is ignorant of the premises that are implicit in it and which are clear to the author of the proof."

* * *

"Every truth can assuredly be proved, but not every proof is acceptable to every mind. Nothing is more arbitrary than a rejection of the classical proofs of God, each of which is valid in relation to a certain need for logical satisfaction. This need for logical satisfaction increases in proportion, not to knowledge, but to ignorance. For the sage every star, every flower, is metaphysically a proof of the Infinite."

* * *

"Men of rationalizing disposition are obsessed with 'thoughts'; they see concepts and not 'things'; hence their inept criticisms of inspired and traditional doctrines. Such men perceive neither the realities of which these doctrines treat, nor the unexpressed things that are taken for granted. They criticize after the manner of jurists whatever is shocking to their habits of mind; unable to attain to 'things' they make play with words. It is characteristic of philosophers to objectivize their own limitations."

* * *

"A concept is a 'problem' only in the context of a particular ignorance."

* * *

Frithjof Schoun,

Chap # 1, Spiritual perspectives and Human Facts

__________________________________________________________________________________
Notes:
* See "The Crisis of Modern World", by Rene guenon.

6 did criticisms:

Rhodora Online said...

"A proof is not convincing because it is absolute – which it could not be." When we look into the scientific method, the standard method of proof-finding today, we immediately discovery this point - No scientific truth can ever be absolute. Reading the wikipedia article on 'scientific method' will be enough. On the other hand, when we look into the ability of any logical system to be immune to contradictions, we find that it can never have that immunity - Kurt Godel proved this point many years ago.
Ultimately what we are left with are our beliefs (the premises). You begin with a well-defined set of premises, and all the 'observable' observations will fit your point of view. Logic and proofs are simply NOT the way towards God!

Umer Tur said...

What if logic is wed to the Transcendent knowledge?

Rhodora Online said...

I don't understand your question fully... As far as I understand, logic is a tool for deriving truths from a set of given premises. It's an instrument applied for certain usage; it cannot be inherently 'wedded' to anything.

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Muslim Kid said...

You begin with a well-defined set of premises, and all the 'observable' observations will fit your point of view. Logic and proofs are simply NOT the way towards God!

I agree completely.

M. Umer Toor said...

@ Muslim Kid,

Well, these are not my words, by Frithjof Schuon.

Thanks for dropping by :)

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