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With the gradual inversion of the dominant University worldview – taking place over the last several hundred years – many of the concepts, with which this missive deals, are thought passé; similarly with the worldview from which they are derived. The former dominant worldview was abandoned/rejected organically – although many like assign such happenings – to design (human design i.e., conspiracy…, nah! see: Why Christendom has been Rejected by the University, by this same writer…). Occasionally, one requires an explicatory essay (known as “lemmas,” in mathematics) to support subsequent arguments; such is the purpose of this note…

Generally, the concept of rational is defined (in a dictionary e.g., Webster’s) as something like: “reasonable,” or “ordered to a law-of-reason,” or “understandable because conforming to – or in conformance with – consistent orderly processes and relations…” We seek a more fundamental – presupposed – meaning of rational…

We note that our general definition (above) of rational presupposes transcendent meaning, and while “meaning” presupposes a knowing agent (being/subject), “transcendent meaning” presuppose a transcendent knowing agent (a.k.a. God). Moreover, knowing agents presuppose knowledge* and, we further note that knowledge presupposes a consistent character of reality which may be understood** And, all this necessitates (presupposes) that reality/existence be intelligently ordered which presupposes an immutable non-contingent ordering principle – or a transcendent knowing agent – as asserted above, which would be God. We acknowledge a number of additional – unspecified – necessary corollaries attend these presuppositions; listing such corollaries – exhaustively – is beyond the scope of this post; albeit we will address any which may present themselves – as necessary for definition and delineation – in the course of this exposition…

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* Knowledge: “understanding existents i.e., things, in relation,” or again, “in their relations.”

** Understanding: “an act of a knowing agent whereby a number of seemingly unrelated events, concepts, equations etc. may be reduced to a single event, concept or equation from whence they be derived or may be shown to be their point of origin…

Now we note that the root word of “rational” is the word “ratio” and one of the meanings of ratio is concerned with a proportion between two – or more – objects, entities, actions and/or meanings. The proportion may be:

1.) Quantifiable e.g., a ratio of 1 to 4; as in gear “A” has 1/4 the teeth as gear “B,” or

2.) Qualitative: more tractable i.e., manageable, rather than less; as in regulating movement, and/or behavior…

In addition, a ratio may be accidental (e.g., cause & effect, e.g., energy absorbed from a cause resulting in a proportionate effect e.g., altered coloration/ripening of a fruit due to ambient weather conditions…), or a ratio may be essential e.g., thru a proportionate combination of element “A” and element “B” results in compound X…, but our interest is in qualitative alteration of an essence*1; particularly essence-in-potency*2 (formal-cause), and how a being/entity in a ‘state-of-becoming’ (harkening of the language of Socrates/Plato); becomes (is activated; formal-cause) its essence… And note as we introduce formal and final causation that we hold Aristotelian hylomorphism i.e., teleological causal relation between formal and final causes as valid, and descriptive… Now the essence of which we are interested in is that of a rational agent/being…

*1 Essence (i.e., nature, i.e., character, i.e., form) that which forms the indispensable center/kernel of a substance, thing/object…

*2 Essence-in-potency i.e., a things form or its formal-cause is that which is ordered/directed toward what it is actually i.e., in completion/perfection which is the essence actualized i.e., finalized… Note: Of the certain essences which are in a state-of-becoming i.e., potency, our interest is in dependent moral animals (humans) i.e., rational beings albeit ‘in potency.’

One of the necessary presuppositions – logically necessary for any discussion of rationality -is that reality is measured intelligently (i.e., is the product/result of an imposed quantitative and qualitative measure…); assuming classical epistemology (Aristotle/Aquinas) – which we will not elucidate – the dependent rational being in-potency – is possessed of a discursive mind, and free-will*3 –  becomes (intentionally i.e., conceptually) the reality of its experiences; a dependent rational being then becomes its essence through minds activity when the will is ordered to the truth i.e., when the mind corresponds and conforms to objectively ordered reality upon which the mind depends…Thus, as the mind apprehends*4 the object – to the degree it establishes a truth relation to that which is apprehended – is the degree a ratio exists between mind and object. Thus, a potential rational being becomes actually rational*5 to the degree that the mind grasps teleological ordering (purposeful relation of formal and final causes) imposed upon that which is, by the Mind of God (note God’s Mind and Will are one)…

*3 Note: a free-will being is able to choose an action contrary to its desire/impetus; e.g., to choose to accord its actions with a principle…

*4 Note: the apprehension may be distorted through innate – or experientially acquired biases…) through interaction.

*5 Note – only one human entity walked the earth fully rational (which is moral virtue) i.e., Jesus Christ as he humbly# chose – daily – to align his mortality with His Divinity as his mortal being became the truth; Saints walk in grace; Christ alone walked with the Father (integrity is: to walk with God”) of His own accord… As Thomas Jefferson recognized, the path of the “rational” being is written into the Laws of Nature, by Nature’s God (Saint Paul references this law in Romans 1:19-20 and 2: 15); one may know the natural law, but humility is the condition of such knowledge…

So a rational being acts to order his conduct to the truth, this may be approximated by ‘denying oneself daily, picking up one’s cross, and following the Jesus Christ’ and/or an approximation maybe accomplished (this – we note is indicated by Saint Paul – in Romans 2) in which he/she dispassionately orders their soul – subordinating their appetites to discern the measure imputed to being, by the ordering principles he/she takes care to “see” that which is (i.e., objective existence), as it is, from whence he/she may bring their lives to agreement…

# Humility is: “an incessant desire to live the truth,” which is: the Will of God. Note that often “humility” is sickeningly defined and understood as somewhat effeminate (a stitch among many a modern clergy, particularly in public; these wan fellows obviously have absorbed and promoted the popular “San Francisco” caricature of Jesus Christ; this in-part may explain all the child-molestations), although misunderstanding humility is legend, dating to at least Thomas Á Kempis and Imitation of Christ. Á Kempis argues: “Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to all others.” The embrace of such misunderstanding (note Matthew Kelly – and others – promote such nonsense today) explains why many misread Scripture – if at all – thinking Jesus Christ doesn’t want his followers judging, and that forgiveness is to be rendered before repentance… We end with noting such sentimental inanity contradicts: “If your brother sins, rebuke him; if he repents forgive him. And if he should sin against you seven times in a day and asks forgiveness, you should forgive him.” Luke 17: 3-4, and “Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.” John 7: 24…

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

TJDonegan7

 

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