Sunday, September 15, 2019
What animates every organism, what constitutes its nature, is purpose
In his essay “The Drug of Ideology” Russell Kirk quotes Edmund Sinnot: “With Aristotle, Sinnott recognizes final causes: he is a teleologist. What animates every organism, what constitutes its nature, is purpose: “If it be accepted, the idea of purpose, of intention, of the motive power of a goal or ideal rather than of an organic 'drive', changes the orientation of our psychical lives.”
Sinnot almost got it right, except for the last part of that statement. The organic drive of material evolution does not change the orientation of our psychical lives away from Godhood when Godhood is understood as evolved to in the material and supermaterial world.
We can appeal to both the rational knowledge of science and to the inner activation of life to aid us in our evolution toward Godhood. Progress is inherent in the nature of things. Life is evolving toward Godhood one way or another. As Raymond Cattell and others have implied, evolution moves inevitably in a pattern, even though it has its random elements, and the pattern has a discernible direction, in spite of instances of stagnation and retreat, toward higher and higher more effective living forms, all the way to Godhood.
So Russell Kirk and other paleoconservatives were half right, science if seen with the idea of purpose, of intention, of the motive power of a goal, does not need to rebel against religion and Godhood, religion and science can work together to aid us in our inevitable evolution toward Godhood.