…by Jonas E. Alexis and Marc C. Digiuseppe
Digiuseppe was assigned as a Senior Business Process Analyst and Technical Writer reporting to the Director of Solutions Delivery for the TSA ITIP Transition Team. He was also assigned as a Senior Advisor (Project Manager) reporting to the Director of AT&T Consulting, Inc. (Calisma) working on the TNet Program (U.S. Department of the Treasury). He was an adjunct instructor at Mohawk Valley Community College.
Marc C. DiGiuseppe: I should qualify my use of the term “Infinite Universe” out of deference for your scholarship. I wasn’t referring to the Static Model. What scientists like Hawking are referring to in their suppositions is an “observable universe.”
These observations suggest that he Universe in fact is infinite, for they pose the question: Into what might the “observable universe” be expanding? Because we must wrestle with a quantifiable value of the speed of light, only a (relatively) small portion of our “Universe” (with a capital “U”) is observable.
This measurement—the distance light has been able to travel in the 13.8 billion years since Big Bang—would suggest that our “universe” has an arbitrary boundary that is continuously expanding (But, into what?).
When scientists discuss this aspect of our cosmology (the size of the Universe), they are, most often referring to this “observable universe,” or that area of the Cosmos in which the Earth and its solar system (or Galaxy for that matter) would seem to be centered.
That being said, even brilliant people like Stephen Hawking have been reported to have asserted that “the number of planets in the ‘observable universe’ is infinite” and in recent history referred to this observable universe as being “infinite.”
“We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth,” Hawking said. “So in an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life.”
Again, given the semantics of the parlance our scientists employ, in a relativistic universe which is expanding faster than the speed of light, the cosmological model would suggest that the “Universe” is effectively infinite for all practical purposes.
But that was not the descriptive device my reference was alluding to when I said: “The word “civilization” is a “name” for something of which we know nothing about for we cannot identify it (i.e., name it) until it manifests itself and becomes, to us, something real.
This conceptualization can be categorized as an “Absolute” as a civilization must become real in the “Infinite Universe” and cannot exist as a distinct alternate world view defined as a set of finite elements in a closed universe of ideation.”
Here, I was referring to the states of our consciousness when we observe something occurring within the domain of that which we can (comfortably) call our “reality,” and that which we surmise as a product of our thought. I use the word “Universe” to identify our material reality as something inclusive of every possible condition and state of awareness.
Our “reality” cannot be confined to our own individual awareness of it. Therefore, it is a Universe that is open and infinite, for it allows the thoughts of Jonas E. Alexis to be communicated—not just to me—but to thousands of readers who appreciate his discussions.
These discussions produce, within the mind of each reader, unique intellectual responses that—while some may be identified and categorized—illustrate the infinite possibilities of human thought as it evolves probabilistically. We cannot know the future as its elements are not known to us and therefore cannot be named—cannot be identified.
In our musings, we develop models of understanding what might happen but these models are limited by the finite nature of our knowing; our thought flows are conceived within the “closed domain” of what we know as that domain is “finite.”
This aspect of our awareness cannot be immediately understood until it manifests as an aspect of our human experience within the domain of our material reality—the infinite Universe; an arrangement of existence over which we have no control and seems governed by the mathematics of probability.
The act of thinking is real when we engage in it (which is all of the time) but the products of that act—our thoughts—are not real until their intent can be externalized in some way. In the one case, we are dealing with something that is real; that must be addressed.
In the other case, we are dealing with our own thoughts and they cannot be considered real since they are arrived at through a comparative process, however logical it may be, and not the practical reasoning we must employ to determine the validity of something we experience.
This conditional circumstance—once acknowledged and understood—underwrites Burke’s philosophical position against the Enlightenment philosophers, after all Kant did say: “The nominal definition of truth, namely that it is the agreement of cognition with its object, is here granted and presupposed…”
Well, I guess he’s right; you can’t have an intellectual transaction of “agreement” with something that is not real. Let me illustrate my point.
I’m sitting in a rocking chair on my front porch taking in the scenery when this thought occurs to me: What would I do if a wild lion came upon me? Laughingly—because I know that wild lions are not indigenous to my community here rural New York, I think to myself: well… I’ll just “think” him out of existence, after all, we’re just speculating—toying with the idea so-to-speak.
This is a perfectly plausible response within the context of my thought flow because I can “think” of anything—right? I don’t have to compare that thought to any condition in reality. I can be speculative and theoretical.
Now…I’m on a “big game” hunt in Kenya and a wild lion walks out of the bush to stand directly in my path. Logos would “inform” me that I am not able to “think” the big cat away but that I will have to employ alternatives associated with this very real experience: aim my rifle at it and kill it; call for help; run like hell!
Here, Logos compels me to address my present reality with practical reasoning as theoretical reasoning in the material Universe can be very “impractical” for anything other than determining some kind of “likelihood.”
In this case, I can assert that the classical interpretation of “Truth” is something that distills into a notion that “Truth, in metaphysics and the philosophy of language, can be considered the property of sentences, assertions, beliefs, thoughts, or propositions that are said, in ordinary discourse, to agree with the facts or to state what is the case [in reality]. Truth is the aim of belief; falsity is a fault.” [Britannica]
And, dealing with the facts in any discourse requires Logos—which is the point you continually make in your premise. So, logically, metaphysically, scientifically, and theoretically speaking you, dear Jonas, are consummately correct in identifying the root cause of our collective distress.
If we can assume an Aristotelian point of view that defines “Logos” as an appeal, then the classical definition of Logos as an appeal to logic is one that is suggests a method of persuading a listener through the use of practical reason.
Practical reason is a developmental process of evaluation of the things that are and can be employed deductively as well as inductively to arrive at a state of awareness that knows the occurrence of something natural; something that has become real. To use a response to Logos as a set of theoretical conditions is useful only as an exercise in risk management.
This, I think, is the fault in the rationale of theoretical philosophy as expressed by men like Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire. I’m sure they meant us all some “Good” but failed to see that by claiming their theories of social and political development to be “Truth” they destroyed the idea of acquiescing to the power and guidance of Logos in their dialogues, ignoring its sublimity to mislead millions who later adapted their liberal agenda as an excuse to engage in wonton barbarity.
It was a barbarity of social congress (survival of the fittest), a barbarity of political expression (the inhumanity of thoughtlessly conceived revolutions), and a barbarity of thought (the popularization of gratuitous vulgarity and intentional, devolutionary approval for any group or any individual to misuse a language of communication, ideation, and intent).
Today the teeming masses live by “the trend” and not by a set of proven methods of discernment. What does this tell us about our collective consciousness—our planetary “Group Think,” our Weltanschauung? It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs.
But, I believe that, as long as scholars such as yourself pursue “Truth” through Logos, your microcosmic point of view will follow the mathematical laws developed by Benoit Mandelbrot affecting the whole to correct for the aberration in our collective thought that engendered such heresy.
Yes, yes, I know that, in saying that, I’m going “Michael Talbot” on you and suggesting that our Universe follows the mathematics of the Mandelbrot Set and is a “Hologram” but then, it is an infinite Universe full of possibilities—a wonderment that cannot be contained by the limitations of any closed system of thinking as is often expressed by the mind of humankind. Wouldn’t you agree?
In other matters…Permit me to assert that Bibi Netanyahu represents the physical manifestation of human vulgarity. I pause to consider that you might be laughing at this statement but if I identified and categorized all of the actions that this human being has engaged in since he became of age, at least judged sufficiently competent to be considered a person of some import, his behavior can be identified as “vulgar” in both the formative and philosophical sense.
Netanyahu lacks any notion of refinement, cultivation, or taste. I submit that he is a very real example of the complete, utter abandonment of Logos! He does exhibit a behavior that exacerbates the fundamental nature of our present distress and therefore can be treated as an aberration of dialectical materialism as his presence on the world stage does not embody any sort of ideation akin to synthesis.
Netanya is also real enough but only from a “metaphysically” bizarre and other-worldly alien point of view as his presence seems to transcend the reality in which I find myself writing to you and that cognition is beyond what is perceptible to my senses, fleeing from experience as he often does.
Theologically speaking, I agree with you; he is a wicked and evil man. Rationally speaking he seems so irrelevant and unnecessary an object of our awareness. I’m quite certain that we could manage to get along without him.
Jonas E. Alexis: Let me say quickly that Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire were all somewhat dishonest. Voltaire wanted to “écrasez L’infâme” and ended up being a Freemason, another revolutionary and wicked ideology which sought to literally deconstruct the moral order in the 18th century in France. Rousseau in particular abandoned all his five children but wrote an entire book (Emile) telling people how to raise children! E. Michael Jones has a lengthy discussion on Locke in his magnum opus Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury.
I would still disagree with the definition of “infinite” here. I don’t think there is an infinite number of fish in the sea. David Hilbert, one of the greatest mathematicians of the last two centuries, showed that even an actual infinite is absurd. His analogy is quite complicated, so we won’t go into details here. Let’s just say that we don’t know whether there is an “infinite universe” out there. And the burden is on those who claim that there is. The scientific, experiential and philosophical argument only suggests that the universe if finite. Using Occam’s razor, I think we have to stick with the “finite universe.”
Some speculators talk about multi-verses, but there is not a single evidence for it. Cosmologist Lee Smolin, a staunch proponent of this theory, calls it “frank speculation, if you will, a fantasy.” In his recent study Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe, British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose says the same thing about string theory.
Some scientists obviously did not want to face the fact that the universe began to exist precisely because they knew the simple logical step that whatever began to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist, therefore the universe has a cause.
While physicist Paul Davies agrees that the scientific data (most specifically from his own fields of interest, which include mathematics, physics, and astronomy) suggest that the universe had a beginning, he rejects the conclusion of a Creator because, in his own words, “I never liked the idea of divine tinkering.”
This “divine tinkering,” or metaphysical Logos, is what Hegel was referring to when he said that “the world’s events are controlled by a providence, indeed by divine providence,” and this “divine providence is wisdom, coupled with infinite power, which realizes its ends, i.e., the absolute and rational design of the world…”
Looking at all the evil and chaos in this world, obviously the average person who has been blinded to higher realities would think that there cannot be an “infinite power, which realizes its ends.”
But Hegel would respond by saying that this is why this “infinite power” is “cunning.” This “infinite power,” according to scholar Robert C. Tucker’s interpretation of Hegel, “fulfill its ulterior rational designs in an indirect and sly manner. It does so by calling into play the irrational element in human nature, the passions.”
In other words, the “irrational element in human nature” will end up fulfilling the very goal and purpose of this “infinite power.” The pessimist, of course, cannot understand how this “infinite power” will work out in the future because he is blind to higher or metaphysical realities. He lacks spiritual vision and insight because he limits himself only to the philosophically worthless idea that the material universe, as Karl Sagan propounded, “is all that is or was or ever will be.” H.G. Wells was a classic representation of this idea. Having rejected Logos on irrational grounds, Wells proposed a metaphysical replacement—and his is a chaotic one:
“To a watcher in some remote entirely alien cosmos, if we may assume that impossibility, it might well seem that extinction is coming to man like a brutal thunderclap of Halt!…We may be spinning more and more swiftly into the vortex of extinction, but we do not apprehend as much…
“A harsh queerness is coming over things and rushes past what we have hitherto been wont to consider the definite limits of hard fact. Hard fact runs away from analysis and does not return.”
Yet even this irrational and destructive prediction could not stop Wells from searching for an ultimate meaning to life’s most important questions: “The question ‘Is this All?’ has troubled countless unsatisfied minds throughout the ages, and—at the end of our tether, as it seems—here it is, still baffling but persistent.” Why should it be “persistent” if it is a fact that the cosmos is all that is? That certainly does not make sense.
Suppose you walk the streets of Manhattan and come across a person who is constantly talking to himself, although nobody is around. So you approach him and ask, “What’s going on, dude? Why are you talking to yourself?” He answers, “I am angry with my wife.”
Further into the conversation, however, you realize that the man never had a wife. You then ask, “How can you be angry with an imaginary wife?” If he responded with, “Life doesn’t seem fair,” would you be satisfied with such an answer? You would immediately think that the guy is at least out of touch with reality, if not psychologically disturbed.
In that sense, it is crazy to look for life’s meaning when you already stated that life does not have any meaning whatever.
I would disagree with Hawking on the view that “life arose spontaneously on Earth.” Notice that he begins by saying “we believe.” Ever since Darwin, no one has ever provided scientific evidence showing that life arose spontaneously. Miller tried to do that but failed miserably. Moreover, if a brilliant scientist happens to show that life arose “spontaneously,” that means that it takes intelligence (the scientist) to create life!
To say that “civilization” is actually a ‘name” “for something of which we know nothing about” seems self-defeating. You are actually positing the claim as if you have exhaustively looked at all the evidence in the “observable universe” and found that there was none. That’s quite hubristic, I must say. We do no something about civilization, and the term isn’t arbitrary at all. I would highly recommend Lawrence H. Keeley’s War Before Civilization: The Myth of a Peaceful Savage.
Marc C. DiGiuseppe: I must admit that I would have to agree with your point of view in that, inasmuch as we have no real material evidence for an “infinite Universe” governed by mathematical probability, we can only suggest it as a possibility. I guess my understanding of it as a phenomenon is derived from my Catholic upbringing and amounts to nothing more than my belief system.
Again, you are right about this notion that “life arose spontaneously on Earth.” That too is like my “belief” in Infinite Intelligence (God) ergo an infinite universe. It’s just too subjective an idea and when people employ too much subjectivity in their thought flow, they expose themselves to the same risk of “fault” the speculative philosophers of the Enlightenment did.
I would also have to accept your position on the manner in which you have identified the error in the way that I use the term “civilization.” When I chose those words I was attempting to frame a common misinterpretation of what a culture is.
I have had dialogues with some reasonably educated friends in the past who would call the social, economic, and political system of China a different “Civilization of the East” when, in fact, their governance model resembles similar models in the West and their Communist elements were perfected by “western intellectuals.”
So, the differences that we see are what could be called a “culture” bias but not a separate civilization as were the Ancient Egyptians who had different social, economic, and political infrastructure governed mostly by a state religion.
When we look at organizational society in this fashion we can’t really identify it (i.e., give it a name) until we understand what it is that we’re observing. However, that being said, I will hunt down a copy of Keeley’s book.
Jonas, your interpretation of “Natural Law” (as opposed to how the Enlightenment Philosophers thought of it) can be called an “absolute truth”—right? I mean, that it’s Immutable.
That is, by and through the failure of speculative logic in both denying Logos and eschewing practical reason, the social engineers, scientific mountebanks, and speculative philosophers proved your definition of the immutability of Logos and practical reason is an “Absolute”—that because of its apparent efficacy, Logos is the most “real being” (the word “being” as a verb and not just a noun); the “Absolute” nature of Logos being itself or perhaps that of a condition that transcends and comprehends all other “beings.” Am I close?
Jonas E. Alexis: Let me make it clear here that I am not arguing for an epistemological foundation of objective moral values and duties, but rather for an ontological foundation of objective moral values and duties. For example, if a sexual predator rapes a twelve-year-old child, every human being on this planet will admit that this act is morally wrong. Why?
Well, this principle can be universalized very easily: it is wrong at all times and all place to rape little children. This is exactly what Kant was talking about when he proposed the categorical imperative.
By the way, Kant’s categorical imperative is logically consistent with the principle that we all need to do to others as we would have them do to us. It sounds to me that Christ got it first, and Kant was just philosophically treading on that principle.
You see, apart from practical reason, which provides the basis for the moral law, there is no such thing as child rape, sexual abuse, or immoral acts. Once practical reason is out of the equation, then morality, as philosopher Michael Ruse himself puts it, is just “flimflam.”
This is one reason why I categorically reject Darwin’s ideas. They are not grounded in serious metaphysics but in “survival of the fittest,” which is logically congruent with Zionism, Bolshevism, Leninism, and Maoism. Darwin’s ideas are philosophically and logically innocent and therefore existentially worthless because Darwin deliberately excluded practical reason from his project.
Schopenhauer himself declared that a man is still a child if he cannot understand Kant. I guess he was calling Darwin and Spencer children because neither one of them could understand Kant.
What we now need is not Darwin but a resurrection of serious metaphysics which takes practical reason as foundational to any intellectual or philosophical project. And this is why I am a fan of people like Kant, Hegel, and Solzhenitsyn. I sometimes like Nietzsche because he was brutally honest. Nietzsche understood that Darwin’s ideas brought a radical change to the West—so radical in fact that they intended to overthrow practical reason in the political landscape. Interpreting Nietzsche, Will Durant writes:
“If life is a struggle for existence in which the fittest survive, then strength is the ultimate virtue, and weakness the only fault. Good is that which survives, which wins; bad is that which gives way and fails.
“Only the mid-Victorian cowardice of the English Darwinians, and the bourgeois respectability of French positivists and German socialists, could conceal the inevitableness of this conclusion.”
Nietzsche made it very clear that once a person categorically denies or rejects metaphysical Logos, then he also categorically rejects the foundational basis for morality as well.
Nietzsche did reject the foundational basis for morality, but he was not like modern Darwinists who are not willing to the face the intellectual consequences of their ideologies. Those talking heads are still toe-dancing around serious issues.
 Rachel Feltman, “Stephen Hawking announces $100 million hunt for alien life,” Washington Post, July 20, 2015.
 I have a long discussion on Voltaire in Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism (Vol. II). For similar studies, see Nigel Rodgers and Mel Thomson, Philosophers Behaving Badly (London and Chicago: Peter Owen Publishers, 2004).
 Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 6.
 Roger Penrose, Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017).
 John Lennox, “Challenges from Science,” Ravi Zacharias, Beyond Opinion, 118.
 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975 and 1998), 35.
 Robert C. Tucker, “The Cunning of Reason in Hegel and Marx,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 18, NO 3, July 1956: 269-295.
 Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Ballantine Book, 1980), xxii.
 H. G. Wells, Mind at The End of Its Tether and The Happy Turning: A Dream of Life (New York: Didier Publishers, 1946), 5-6.
 Ibid., 13-14.
 On the Miller-Urey experiment, see Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong (Washington: Regnery Publishing, 2002), chapter 2.
 Michael Ruse, “God is dead. Long live morality,” Guardian, March 15, 2010.
 Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1926 and 1961), 401.
 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche (New York: Penguin Books, 1976), 515–516.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.