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Sorting Truth Claims and Categories

Sorting Truth Claims and Categories

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Published by John Sobert Sylvest

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Published by: John Sobert Sylvest on Jan 21, 2012
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01/21/2012

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Sorting Truth ClaimsWhether embedded in discursive analysis or mythopoeticnarrativeIs this a claim that can be safely abstracted from its contextwithin the whole without doing violence to its integrity?rather than, to paraphrase C.S. Lewis, being wrenched from itscontext in the whole and swollen to madness in its isolation?And the general default stance would be that most truth claimsshould have some interreligious, intercultural significance ashuman beings are, for the most part, vis a vis the humancondition, similarly situated and, furthermoreDespite any pretense to the contrary, individual truth claimsare not going to be inextricably bound within or to systematicformulae because they are otherwise ordinarily going to berelated as individual strands of cable that collectivelyimpart strength and resilience one to the other in a way thatis much more informal. And the distinction in play, here, isthat between foundational and nonfoundational epistemologies,between deductive reasoning from a priori, apodicticpropositions and a form of reasoning that otherwise cyclesthrough abductive and inductive inferences in a cumulativecase-like approach. Further, one must consider the distinctionbetween propositional claims and nonpropositional posits.As one moves within and across various communities of value-realizers, one must consider the nature of the concepts beingemployed vis a vis to what extent such concepts enjoytheoretic (negotiated), heuristic (still-in-negotiation),dogmatic (non-negotiated) or semiotic (non-negotiable) status.One must further distinguish between articulations of anygiven theory of truth (correspondence & congruence) versus aproposal for a test of truth (coherence, consilience &consonance)next between nomological (descriptive/interpretive) &axiological (normative/evaluative) truth claimsand then further distinguish between prudential(moral/practical) norms and relational norms(unitary/unitive), the latter whichfoster realizations of absolute unitary being and/orintersubjective unitive intimacy, distinct realizations, to besure, but bothfrom which solidarity and compassion seem to inevitably ensue?and which have profound existential import?The relational norms (ceremonial, liturgical, ascetical &mystical) may, perhaps, be the most interesting when they leadtophenomenal experiences that do not so much lend themselves to
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phenomenological descriptions (much lessmetaphysical/ontological hypotheses?) as they will otherwisebring about a practitioner's affective attunement with realityvis a vis how friendly and safe it is notwithstanding allappearances to the contrary (ridding folks of angst, perfectlove driving out all fear)?There is a "Taste and See" approach to such truth claims thatengages our participatory imaginations more than ourconceptual mapmaking?This is not to say that empirical, logical, moral andpractical propositions are unimportant, only to realize that'marital propositions' are far more 'engaging' and meaning-giving, inviting what I like to call an existential-disjunctive: "I am going to live as if She loves me." And whenso many efficacies ensue from thus living AS IF ... perhapstruth will come flying in on the wings of beauty & goodness?as it is not merely informative but robustly performative,even transformative?Our existential responses can be mapped along either the axisof co-creativity (formative and redemptive poles) or the axisof codependency (a/pathetic poles) based on their frequencyand amplitude, revealing behavior to be existential orneurotic, life-giving and relationship-enhancing or theiropposite.Distinctions & Neologismspansemioentheismpneumatological consensus (the secular as)nomological vs axiological trut claimsprudential vs relational normsunitary vs unitivedescriptive sciencesevaluative culturesnormative philosophiesinterpretive religionstheoretic conceptsemiotic conceptheuristic conceptdogmatic conceptintraobjective identity (absolute unitary being)intersubjective intimacy (intimate unitive communion)intrasubjective integrityinterobjective indeterminacysimple phenomenal experiencevague phenomenological conceptsrobust ontological descriptions
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risk management, both attenuation & amplification, orderedtoward the augmentation ofvalue-realizationvalue-realizations asintrinsic vs extrinsic rewardsend-product vs by-productaxis of co-creativity (formative and redemptive poles)axis of codependency (a/pathetic poles)theoretical theological capitulationpractical pastoral accommodationuniversal ethical norms of justice & ordinary virtue (moralityas end-product)Christian unitive norms of love & extraordinary virtue(morality as by-product)A Pneumatological Consensus?In a pluralistic country, might we perhaps discern how much,on the whole, its people cooperate with the Spirit?Might we observe how well its:1) culture sanctifies2) history orients3) society empowers4) economy heals &5) politics save ----------- its people?Might the secular there manifest, for better or worse, a"pneumatological consensus" with its implicit theology(sanctifying),eschatology (orienting), ecclesiology (empowering),sacramentology (healing) & soteriology (saving)?Of course, we are talking about proleptic (anticipatory)realizations of Kingdom values that are yet unfolding toward afuture fullness.This would clearly differ from any overly dialecticalperspective that would essentially run counter to a robustlyincarnational and profusely pneumatological approach to all ofreality, even while recognizing significant differences in anydegree of cooperation with the Spirit. Of course, failures tocooperate might result from either inabilities (due to poorformation or even deformative influences) or refusals (knownto God alone).Also, this might differ, somewhat, from any Niebuhrian realismthat would draw too sharp a distinction between theeschatological and temporal significance of Gospelimperatives? For example, nonviolence then but not now?Or from any exegetical interpretations that would too sharplydistinguish between our personal vocations and political
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