The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
- Job 33:4
They exchanged their glorious God for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
- Psalm 106:20
Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!’”
- Isaiah 21:9
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4
“Socrates wanted to ﬁnd out what concepts such as “goodness” and “justice” really were, so he questioned people who used these concepts, to ﬁnd out whether they really knew what these things were. As the dialogues of Plato show, most of the people Socrates talked to were surprisingly unclear about what it was they were actually talking about, despite their earlier conviction that they fully grasped the relevant concepts. In the same way, after an hour or two of being interrogated by a modern—day Socrates about how to treat hamsters, you might blurt out in frustration the following sentence: ‘But I just know, in my heart of hearts, that it is wrong!’
“We say or think this kind of thing relatively frequently, but it is not immediately clear what exactly we mean. To examine the idea more closely, we can break it down into three parts. First, it seems that when we say ‘I know, in my heart of hearts, that it is wrong’, we are speaking as if there is something out there in the world that is ‘wrongness’, and that this thing is knowable. Or, as some philosophers put it, we are speaking as if there is an essence of ‘wrongness’ to which this particular instance of wrongness corresponds.
“Second, by saying that we just ‘know’ in our heart of hearts, we imply that this mysterious entity-our ‘heart of hearts’—is a thing that, for reasons unknown, has a particular grasp of truth.
“Third, we seem to be speaking as if there is a straightforward relationship between our ‘heart of hearts’ and this ‘wrongness’ that lies out there in the world, such that if we know something in our heart of hearts, we can have access to an absolutely certain kind of knowledge. In other words, this is just another version of the idea that knowledge is a way of mirroring the world. And this, Rorty believes, is unacceptable.”
- Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained
Richard Rorty (1931-2007) believed that no one believed or knew anything in an innate manner. Everything we know, according to him, was learned at some point, buried deep, and then when the occasion arises, our “innate” knowledge is simply a mirror of what had been learned earlier in life.
Rorty must not have been a believer. Since he would naturally wish to avoid asking believers to explain their “heart of hearts,” he asked other believers, and he got no coherent answer.
If he had asked a true believer that could, through apologetics, explain that God makes each believer a new creation. Part of that new creation is that the Holy Spirit indwells us and is our guide. Thus, the heart of hearts within us is a person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. But Rorty would reject that coherent answer as meaningless since it involves something that he did not believe in.
But even in non-believers, they were made in the image of God from birth. Being a being that is sentient, we can reason and know that murder and robbery are wrong. We can see the dangers and injury of adultery. Thus, some portions of the Judeo-Christian ethic are innate in all of us, but do we act upon that innate knowledge?
As for Rorty himself, he is guilty of establishing himself as his own god, creating that mirror image of himself that contains the moral code that determines right and wrong. He thought we know nothing except for what we placed inside us. How else could you describe a person with that philosophy other than a god unto himself. In rejecting the Ten Commandments, he rejects the first, to have no other gods before Almighty God. And someone will enter town announcing that Babylon and all its gods have been destroyed,
If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.