Nick_A wrote: ↑Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:48 pm
The attraction to impartial truth and the recognition of a Source greater than oneself along with recognition of the corrupt nature of our being is considered preposterous.
What is preposterous is that you present your personal opinion as "impartial truth".
The distinction between knowledge and opinion is not my idea. It is a hypothesis used by Plato. Of course I am invited to either verify or reject it
The ideal of free speech would be a universal languge which we can see is impossible. The emotional struggle between opinions as the highest for form of intellectual expression assures it will never be accepted. It presumes objective knowledge described by Plato is possible. Knowledge transcends opinions. But opinions is the life blood of Plato's cave. So to even consider that a universal language that reconciles and transcends opinions is possible is intolerable.
I will post this as a reference maybe to be used later. Here is an excerpt
Salvation from Egoism by Higher Knowledge
Now let's try to put the pieces together. To begin, we are probably on solid ground to suggest that the Divided Line is principally concerned with moral epistemology: how do we know what to do (i.e., what is best for us), both in general and at any given moment? Upon the answer to this eminently practical question all our well-being depends. It is true that Plato includes mathematical examples in the Divided Line. But this doesn't mean he's spliced in an investigation of mathematical or scientific epistemology amidst his great work on personal ethics. It's more plausible to see these as examples drawn from a fairly explicit domain (mathematics) to illustrate corresponding aspects of a less clear one (moral experience).
If we accept this view then what Plato seems to be saying in the Divided Line is that there is a special form of knowledge, noesis, which is a much better basis for guiding our thoughts and actions than other, lesser forms of knowledge. It takes little sophistication to recognize that noesis is better than the more degenerate kinds of 'knowing' — i.e., the eikasia and pistis displayed by prisoners of the Cave. What is far more subtle and interesting, and what is therefore perhaps more important for Plato here, is the contrast between dianoia, ordinary discursive ratiocination, and noesis.
This distinction is vital. While dianoia thinking certainly has benefits, we have a distinct tendency to over-rely on it and to forget its limitations. The weakness of dianoia is that it must begin by taking as true unproven assumptions. We are, in effect, presupposing a model of reality before we begin our deliberations. But any model, be it logical, geometrical, or moral, is only imperfect. Its conclusions may be, and frequently are, wrong. Our selection of assumptions, moreover, is bound to be influenced by our passions and prejudices. Our dianoia thinking tends to reflect the values and prejudices of whatever subpersonality is currently activated. We then see reality partly — through a glass darkly. Moreover, the principle of cognitive dissonance may cause us to ignore, distort, or rationalize away any data which do not fit our preconceived model.
In contrast, noesis presupposes a soul that has turned away from specific selfish concerns to seek the Good itself. With this change in mental orientation — this Pauline metanoia or Plotinian epistrophe — we may then begin to see things more truly, and in their proper relation to one another. We may better think, judge — and therefore act — according to natural law and right reason. We will consequently be more harmonized with the external world as well as within ourselves.
Noesis (Peters, 1967, 121ff.) is the mental power or faculty associated with an immediate apprehension of first principles (Forms) of mathematics, logic, morals, religion, and perhaps other things. So understood, noesis, when concerned with moral Forms, is very close to, if not the same thing as what is traditionally called Conscience. By Conscience we mean not a Freudian super-ego formed by the internalization of arbitrary social conventions, but an innate sense, something divine, and something perhaps closely associated with consciousness itself (let us not forget that in some languages, such as French, the same word denotes both consciousness and Conscience.) We need not commit ourselves to a particular religious creed to say that this moral noetic sense is a phenomenological reality — a clarifying, integrating, joyful, loving faculty of human consciousness.
The characteristic human flaw of turning away from the Good — and instead relying on our own fallible substitutes for divine Wisdom — is hubris, the fundamental sin against which Greek philosophy and literature so forcefully and persistently warns us. This great concern of Homer, Hesiod, and the tragic poets is also Plato's.
Of course accepting the premise of higher knowledge is an intolerable insult to secularism. Nothing can be higher than Man's collected opinions. Noesis is meaningless. Free speech is now used to glorify opinions by giving the illusion of knowledge. The idea of a universal language based on objective knowledge is seen as not just impossible but an intolerable hypothesis.