Friday, December 11, 2015

God is truth

The statement that God is truth is deeply mysterious. Now the statement that God is love is also mysterious, but it is easier to get a start at what is being said:

  1. God isn't identical with our loving, but rather God is identical with his own loving, and our loving is but a participation in God's loving.
By analogy, we would expect to say:
  1. God isn't identical with our truthing, but rather God is identical with his own truthing, and our truthing is but a participating in God's truthing.
Except that English has no verb "to truth" (there is a verb "to true", which may be relevant, but I will pass on that line of exploration). However, the above sets us on what may be a promising course. We are looking for an action underlying truth.

I see two options: one reactive and one active. The reactive action is one that finds reality and unveils it (Heidegger suggests unveiling as at the heart of the etymology of the Greek aletheia--I have no idea if he's right as a matter of philology). The active one makes truths them true. If we're looking for something in God, the active one is more promising.

Here is a suggestion. God makes all truths true, though not always in the sense of "truthmaking". Propositions are divine ideas. Their ground is identical with God by divine simplicity. True propositions divide into the necessary and the contingent. Necessary propositions are made true by God himself: God is their ultimate truthmaker, and he makes them true by his being. So in the case of necessary truths, truthing is God's activity of making necessary propositions be true in virtue of himself. In the case of contingent truths, truthing is God's activity of making contingent propositions be true by creating the reality that grounds them.

Our truthing, on the other hand, is both active and reactive. Some truths we make true in the active way by being or creating the reality that grounds them. Others we merely react to. In both cases, our truthing is derivative from God's: our creative abilities are mere participations in God's, and require God's constant cooperation, and our reactions are ultimately reactions to God.

I do not have a great amount of confidence in this speculative analysis.

3 comments:

SMatthewStolte said...

It doesn't seem like a person can have truth in the same way that a person can have love. It seems more like this:

A person has love by loving or by being loved.
A proposition has truth by relating to its object in a certain way.
And maybe . . .
an object of a proposition has "truth" by relating to a proposition in a certain way.

So a person "has" truth indirectly, by having a true proposition (say, by thinking it or by believing it or something similar), or by being intelligible (as the object of a true proposition).

In my current mood at least, this seems like a more natural starting point than trying to find a human activity of truthing.

Richard Davis said...

There's a version of divine simplicity which goes:

For any state affairs S of which God is a constituent, God and S are numerically identical.

If there's a maximal obtaining state of affairs, and SoA's are propositions (some of them, Russelian), and conjunctions among propositions are just mereological sums of those propositions, and the mereological sum of the xx's is simply the xx's themselves (using a plural '... is ...' of identity), and the true propositions are the truths, then the maximal obtaining state of affairs is simply all the truths. All the truths are plausibly the truth. God is a constituent of at least one state of affairs. So plausibly God is the truth.

It's a lot of ifs, but I'm convinced. :)

Richard Davis said...
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