Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Dialectic Three-Step


The German philosopher Hegel introduced dialectic thinking in the early 19th Century. In his philosophy, one idea, the thesis, works against a contradictory one, the antithesis, to create something brand new, the synthesis. The synthesis becomes a new thesis and the process starts all over again. The process trashes objective truth and welcomes subjectivity. Hegel's little three-step encouraged revolutionary nationalism throughout Europe, justifying conflict as a means to an end. The end was fascist or communist dictatorship, the Nazis and the Soviets, and over a hundred million killed.

Does Hegel still impact today? Sure. This is how the three-step typically looks now: "Our diversity brings together people from different religions and philosophies and points of view, finding the best from everyone of them to borrow and share and form a beautiful and strong mosaic." Somehow this sounds good and appeals to fallen flesh and human pride, but it is less than a dream, certainly not true. The United States originated with the idea that diverse people from varied backgrounds and locales could live together, but with only one culture. Their way of life was founded upon a Judeo-Christian ethic anchored in the absolute truths of Scripture. Without certain and steadfast beliefs, life becomes a grand Hegelian experiment, never truly knowing what will work or what is best. Of course, this fundamentally dismisses God as some figment of imagination no better than a character in a Homerian tragedy. Without the sufficient guidance of the Word of God, man wanders aimlessly toward ruin. God created us, gave us His authentic guidelines, confirmed and corroborated them with evidence, and called on us to do what He says. Success requires rejecting any antithesis.

Interestingly enough, dialecticism stops in several very suspecting places, including in the science classroom. The evolutionist doesn't welcome the antithesis of creationism. Suddenly purity of belief makes sense to a professor whose livelihood depends on the continuation of a hoax. Stalin had no dreams of any antithesis to his own meglomanic world, like so many other politicians who begin enjoying power. A grammatical and historical interpretation of the Bible can't be added to a public school system and a strict view of the constitution doesn't mix with a living, progressing document. For Satan, it never was an enjoyment of diversity, just a conspiracy against God and Truth, leaving man forever damned with him in eternal oblivion.

2 comments:

M Jones said...

Hi, Mr. B! It's sure been a long time since I've heard from you. I am glad you are still following the Lord.

I don't know what you are reading these days, but perhaps you will permit me to correct you on one point. It is very well known that Hegel was not himself a subjectivist. He believed that the dialectic of history would eventually culminate in arrival at truth. If I'm not mistaken, it was Hegel's harsh rationalism and focus on truth that was one of the primary motivating factors of Kierkegaard's existentialism.

God bless you and yous youngins.

-Mike Jones

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Mike, and good to hear from you. I have your younger face popping into my mind. Of course, I look the same. I could probably bow to numerous Hegel experts, even as I am a shade-tree philosopher here, but I did get my opinion from something I read. My statement about subjectivity was my observation in that Hegel's process welcome's subjectivity, whether Hegel thought so or not. Sounds like you are considering some of these things deeply. I welcome your input any time.