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An Existential Approach to God: A Study of Gabriel Marcel by Clyde Pax

By Clyde Pax

Man's difficulty approximately God is either a query and a quest. We search to understand with simple task that God is actual; we search additionally to attract as regards to God, to understand that he's rather for us. My target during this paintings is to re-think this two-fold situation and to take action with Gabriel Marcel. during the paintings i've got mixed the presentation of Marcel's perspectives with a serious exam of his inspiration, and within the spirit within which Marcel meets his personal predecessors and contemporaries i've got held myself loose to simply accept, to amend or to reject what he has written. therefore the point of interest of the paintings is simply by the way at the writings of Marcel; the direct concentration, as for Marcel, is on man's trying to comprehend and to attract just about God. the trouble to re-think that measurement of our event which we designate spiritual can't start except a severe attention of what we suggest via wisdom and simple task. what's going to count number as a solution to the query of no matter if God is actual and even if he's particularly for us? If, because the believer continues, God is the reply to guy - a solution entirely in contrast to some other resolution - then the tactic of attempting to find this solution needs to be assorted from different tools of looking out. in addition, even for the believer, God is still the hidden God, Deus absconditus, and at most sensible we see via a tumbler darkly.

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81. , p. 76. 4 Polyani, Michael, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, Harper and Row, N. , 1958, Ch. I. FIDELITY AND TRUTH 47 fact purely external, waiting to be perceived. Experientially, what is totally outside my experience is non-factual and can rightly be called fanciful or even non-existent. What Marcel's meditations on "being guided by the truth" and "sacrificing oneself for the truth" add to our understanding of the uncompleted structure of facts is the realization that this necessary relationship to the living center of subjectivity is one of value.

In trying to analyze the conditions under which such experiences can be made meaningful to reflection, one must ask when does truth become something for the sake of which an act is done. When we are faced with this question, the insufficiency of the traditional definition of truth as an adequation between intellect and object becomes apparent. No one sacrifices himself or should be called upon to sacrifice himself for the sake of a conformity between his knowledge and what is real. The experiences which are caught by the phrases above draw our vision not to ourselves, but require us explicitly to look beyond ourselves for the truth.

In this understanding, any effective bridging of the gap between the knowing subject and the object is at the expense of consciousness and of freedom. It is to Sartre's credit that he has himself, in his later writing, perceived the inadequacy of his earlier work. In an interview published in the New Left Review Sartre rejects the idea of freedom formulated in Being and Nothingness, saying that the notions of subjectivity and objectivity appear to him now as useless notions. 6 He goes on to say that he could use the word "objectivity" to indicate that everything is objective and that the subject interiorizes his relations to others and then again re-exteriorizes them.

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