Thursday, December 20, 2007

eye saw JESUS in philosophy

Harry Frankfurt taught philosophy at Princeton University. In 2005, he wrote what I would consider a classic – On Bullshit. Then in 2006, he wrote a sequel entitled On Truth. I remember reading these a year or so ago and my mind and spirit being caught up to see the beauty and goodness of Jesus. If all the world is bull and there is something in the nature of truth that makes it sweet, sure, and able to be experienced [as he asserts], then Harry Frankfurt has unconsciously made Jesus look good. You might think I’m just being stupid or that I just wanted to have the word “bullshit” on here, but see for yourself....
It is preposterous to imagine that we ourselves are determinate, and hence susceptible both to correct and to incorrect descriptions, while supposing that the ascription of determinacy to anything else has been exposed as a mistake. As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial – notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things. And insofar as this is the case, sincerity itself is bullshit.
The NIV of all this is that humans are dependent, unstable, and needy [St Paul might say we are blind needing sight or dead needing life]. We get to respond to a sovereign! Too bad ol Harry calls this “other things.” Just go read both of them and you too shall find yourself blessed.

Here and here are other takes on Frankfurt's bull. And here is a must-view, political slant with Harry’s same thesis.

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