Monday, September 12, 2016
The Sublime Mess? (H3)
In our reading for, Plato at the Googolplex, this week a concept called, the Sublime braid, was mention. The Sublime Braid is a trinity of three qualities: goodness, truth, and beauty, which in the words of another great philosopher from a galaxy far far away, “surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds us together.” In a less cryptic nutshell these are the things that make up the world and our perception of it. These are also called Transcendentals just to make it a little more confusing. However, is this a sublime braid, or a sublime mess. I want to start this little query with a story some of you might have heard before about the philosopher Socrates. Once a friend of his went to the Oracle at Delphi and asked her if any man was wiser than Socrates? She answered “no.” Thinking this must be impossible he went out to question the wise men and politicians of the day. Wherever he went though, he could always say. “Well at least I am wiser than him. He thinks he knows what is great and good, while I know I do not.” I know I do not. Socrates had many failings but one thing he believed that has some grain of truth in it was that his wisdom was in acknowledging his own ignorance. So, taking up this position in a way, I have to wonder. Beauty is not a universal thing, it can be argued, debated, speculated and disagreed on, the same applies to goodness and truth. What is goodness, what is truth, what is beauty? What is the Sublime Brade, maybe, a sublime mess?