History of Philosophy and Christian Thought - Lesson 44


The dialectic is a central idea in Hegel's philosophy.

Ronald Nash
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
Lesson 44
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Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

Part 5

II. Hegel

A. Hegel's Influence

B. Hegel's Corrosive Ambiguity

C. View of God

1. The Absolute Spirit

2. Pantheistic

D. View of the Dialectic

1. False View

a. Thesis

b. Antithesis

c. Sythesis (Aufheben)

i. To cancel out

ii. Preserve

iii. Elevate

2. Correct View

a. Antithesis = different

b. Upward zigzag

  • Thales and Anaximander were two philosophers in the sixth century BC that lived in Miletus.

  • Heraclitus and Pythagoras lived into the 5th century BC.

  • Any worldview addresses the subjects of God, ultimate reality, human knowledge, ethics and human persons.

  • Fundamental beliefs of a naturalistic worldview is that nothing exists outside the physical universe and that all things evolved.

  • Plato was a student of Socrates and lived into the fourth century BC. He opposed hedonism, empiricism, relativism, materialism, atheism and naturalism.

  • Plato described the universe as having three levels: the world of particulars, the world of forms, and the form of the good.

  • Plato's view of the universe was dualistic.

  • One of Plato's fundamental arguments is that the human soul is immortal.

  • Evaluation of Plato's arguments and comparison of Plato's philosophy with biblical theology.

  • Empiricism teaches that all human knowledge arises from sense experience. Rationalism teaches that some human knowledge does not arise from sense. experience

  • Aristotle was a student of Plato and lived in the fourth century BC.

  • Aristotle rejected Plato's doctrine of two worlds.

  • Discussion of Aristotelian philosophy as it relates to the incarnation.

  • Aristotle's philosophy as it relates to attributes of God and fundamental assumptions about psychology.

  • Aristotle made a distinction between passive intellect and active intellect.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the law of non-contradiction.

  • Discussion of the nature and substance of matter.

  • Hellenistic philosophy was an approach that was popular from the fourth century BC to the fifth century AD.

  • Stoics were determinists who believed in living according to nature.

  • Hedonism emphasized pleasure as the greatest good. "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we might be dead."

  • Philo's philosophy was based on a synthesis of Stoicism and Platonism.

  • Implicit "Logos" Christianity is an underlying theme in the book of Hebrews.

  • Plotinus lived in the third century AD and is considered the founder of Neoplatonism.

  • Augustine is a Latin church father, is considered by many to be one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.

  • Augustine wrote Confessions as an autobiographical work to record his experience as a sinful youth and his experience becoming a follower of Christ.

  • Augustine wrote to refute some heresies of the day by focusing on the concepts of faith and reason.

  • Augustine writes about the problem of evil and describes evil as the absence of good.

  • Augustine writes to refute Pelagianism by focusing on the biblical teaching about sin.

  • Augustine writes to refute Donatism.

  • The fundamental idea of skepticism is that no one can know anything. Augustine this statement contradicts itself because the skeptic is claiming that you can know that you can't know anything.

  • When Augustine wrote "The City of God," he had a linear view of history.

  • In Augustine's theory of knowledge, he says that eternal reason and human reason are two different levels of reason.

  • Augustine was personally convinced of the importance of divine illumination.

  • The intellectual background of Thomas Aquinas was influenced by the discovery of ancient manuscripts, the rise of universities, the rise of religious brotherhoods and the rise of Muslim philosophy.

  • Aquinas describes faith as whatever a human can know through special revelation, and reason as whatever a human can know outside of special revelation.

  • Aquinas attempts to prove God's existence.

  • Aquinas describes four kinds of law as eternal, divine, natural and positive.

  • The rationalists and empiricists set the stage for Kant and other philosophers of the modern era.

  • Kant argued that moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative."

  • Kants two worlds are the phenomenal world and the noumenal world.

  • Discussion of criticisms and questions about Kant's ideas.

  • Similarities between Kant's ideas and postmodernism.

  • The dialectic is a central idea in Hegel's philosophy.

  • Ideally, Marxism begins with class struggle, then revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, withering away of the state, and a utopian classless society.

  • Discussion of four faces of Marxism.

  • Nietzsche proclaimed that, "God is dead." His cure was to live life knowing there is no ultimate meaning. Kierkegaard emphasized a worldview based on true faith.

In this class, you will explore the rich history of philosophy and its relationship with Christian thought. The course begins with an introduction to the definition and importance of philosophy in Christian theology. You will then delve into the evolution of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratic era, through the Classical Greek philosophers, and into the Hellenistic period. As you progress, you will discover how early Christian thought emerged and developed during the Patristic period, with a special focus on Augustine. The class continues with an examination of medieval Christian thinkers, such as Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, and concludes with an analysis of modern philosophers like Descartes, Kant, and Kierkegaard, and their influence on contemporary Christian thought.

Dr. Ronald Nash
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
Lesson Transcript


We're going to talk about George Friedrich. Wilhelm Hegel. Okay. Now, there are three basic points that I want to make about Hegel, maybe four points. Lots of people would regard Hegel as the dominant philosopher of the 20th century that I'm sorry, of the 19th century. There's a little difference there. Okay. The truth is that it is rather difficult to find, in my judgment, any really great philosophers in the last 200 years. Pretty hard to find them. But if you simply look at influence. Hegel was certainly the dominant thinker in the Western world from, say, the death of Cot in 1804 through, well, through most of the 19th century and to some extent into the 20th century. So there is Hegel's influence. That'll be point one, point to Hegel's corrosive ambiguity. Something terrible happened in the thought world of the German Germanic states during the 18th and 19th centuries. They forgot how to how to write and communicate. You see this in court and we don't need to review courts. You know, often when you get a Ph.D. in philosophy, you have to you have to show prowess in both French and German, and you actually have to translate both some philosophical classic that's in French and some philosophical classic in Germany is a true story. Some guy decided that his German work that he would translate would be Contes critique of pure reason. And after his exam was over, he wrote this note. He said, I don't care what language Cott writes in. I don't understand what he's talking about. All right. The critique of Pure Reason. Now I need your help here.


[00:02:32] Have I in this course? Have I told you how to become a famous thinker? Have I? I did. In other words, always make sure that whatever you say and write, nobody can understand you. That's the key to becoming a great thinker. And see, I will never be a great thinker. Because you people understand me, right? See, that's my problem. I will never be a great thinker. Because, you see, you got to have disciples. But you not only have to have disciples, your disciples have to fight among themselves as to what your correct interpretation is. Now, in Hegel's case, there were right wing hegelians and there were left wing hegelians. Can you imagine 50 years in the future there being a left wing Nashi? I mean, it is incomprehensible. All nations will be right wing right wingers now. Not in Hegel's sense, because let me warn you here the right wing Hegelians became the fascists of Europe. They became incarnated in the Nazi movement in Germany and the left wing Hegelians, as most of you know, were the Communists. Marx was a left wing Hegelian The left wing Hegelians were liberals. They were radicals, both in theology and in politics. Okay, so Hegel's ambiguity. Now let us note that ambiguity. This is now point three With respect to Hegel's view of God, nobody really understands what Hegel's view of God was, and I single this out because if there's any place in a person's worldview is there if there's any place in a in a thinker's philosophy where he ought to strive for clarity, it's in his view of God. Now, most people who talk about Hegel, most people who translate him don't talk so much about God, they talk about Geist. The German word, which is usually translated spirit, sometimes translated mind, and sometimes people add the German word for world of velt.


[00:05:12] GEIST The world spirit was Hegel a theist? Absolutely not. No way in the world. And thus his God could not be a person, could not be a thinking person, could not be a personal god. But then what else do you do with Hegel? Because here's what he does. He takes a principle or being in his system, which cannot think, which cannot be a person, which cannot have intentions or plans or designs. And he attributes all of the wrong verbs to this being. He continues to talk about the plan of God. But Hegel's God cannot have any plan, He cannot have any design. He cannot because he is not a person. Now, let me read from the meaning of history this great book. I have no idea how left wing nations could interpret this book, but I give you my best attempt to explain Hegel's God. Page 103. Okay, well, let me read just a little bit from page one or two. Hegel uses several words to refer to God, including the absolute and the German word Geist, which is most often translated either as spirit or mind. But regardless of Hegel's terminology, the most important problem is what Hegel means by God. Hegel at times seems to be saying that God controls history and directs history toward some divinely selected goal. But interpreters of Hegel agree about separating his understanding of God from that of the historic Christian faith. Hegel repudiated every essential tenet of the Christian faith. Christians believe that God is the Almighty personal holy just trial, an eternal spirit who created the world out of nothing and without whose continued providence everything he created would cease to exist. None of this could be said of Hegel's view of God. Hegel was neither a Christian nor atheist.


[00:07:24] He was, however, a Lutheran. But you cannot forget that because now I was born a Lutheran. I was a Lutheran for the first 14 years of my life. But don't ever confuse. Now, some of you may be Lutheran, right? I'm not passing judgment on all Lutherans, but I'm telling you about myself and my family. All right. And we were Missouri Synod Lutherans, that is. We we were an errant us. I mean, you want to get a missouri send a Lutheran to fight you and you say you tell him that you deny the inerrancy the Bible. He'll punch you out. He'll punch you out. I mean, not that I don't have these German genes for nothing. See? But they don't know the first thing about being born again. It's tragic. Now, maybe you do know. But I'll tell you this. Now, Hegel was a particular kind of Lutheran. He was a German. Lutheran, which meant that believing in a divine son of God who had died for your sins and so on was not that important. Now I finally give you my best guess at what Hegel meant by God. Oh, I'm on the middle of page 103. Throughout history, Hegel's God struggles to reach complete fulfillment of its capacities. Notice I do not use a personal pronoun. Hegel's God is not a he or a she. It is an it. The absolute does this that is a It strives to reach complete fulfillment of its capacities, whatever that means. I have no clue what that means. The absolute does this as nature and human beings develop toward their final state. What is their final state? Hegel never said. All right, I'll tell you Hegel's God is always striving to be better than He is at that particular moment.


[00:09:28] For Hegel, history manifests the fulfillment, the completion, the self realization of God. I think that's just. Meaningless jargon. Hegel regards everything in nature as well as any every individual person as components of his God. Everyone in this room makes up a part of God. Everything in nature makes up a part of God. Does that make Hegel a pantheistic? Probably. But who knows? As as nature and humans evolve, God also develops and in the process attains a self-realization of himself in those entities and through them. It would be wrong to think of the absolute mind as another mind distinct and above human mind. See, for plotinus the mind of God. What It had an existence above finite particular minds. Even though finite minds were an extension of the cosmic noose for Plotinus. Hegel doesn't even. Hegel doesn't even reach the level of plotinus pantheism. Rather, for Hegel, other minds in the universe are constituents of the absolute mind. I think that's just gibberish. I'm saying I'm. Do you want to say what I'm saying here? I hope you do. Well, since Hegel's Geist or absolute spirit is not a personal being who exists independently the world, Hegel's God hardly resembles the personal, transcendent God of Christian theism. Okay, well, what are you gonna do? That's Hegel, incidentally, a very good philosopher named Robert Solomon, who has been teaching at the University of Texas at Austin for a very long time. Robert Solomon wrote an interesting book about Hegel, in which he pointed out the following that early in Hegel's career he was a newspaper journalist. He was a newspaper reporter. Now, I find this fascinating because even though clarity of thought and expression is not a requirement to be a philosopher, clarity of thought and expression is a requirement to be a newspaper writer.


[00:11:54] I guarantee Hegel would never have been hired by the Orlando Sentinel. Okay, Maybe The New York Times. I mean, that's just liberal enough. Okay. Now, the next point about Hegel, Hegel's view of the dialectic. Anybody who has ever taken a philosophy course or even certain courses in the history of ideas associates Hegel with the word dialectic. Even if you know, if you've if you've ever heard the name Hegel before, you have heard his name connected with the word dialectic. What's also interesting, of course, is that the word dialectic also gets linked with the name of Marx. Now, Marx Marx's philosophy is often called a form of dialectical materialism, and I'm going to explain that all in maybe 10 minutes. Dialectical Materialism. Hegel's position and Hegel came first. Incidentally, Marx was an early student of Hegel, but he he took he became a left wing Hegelian. But Hegel's position was known as dialectical idealism, and when Marx came along, he bragged that he had turned Hegel's dialectical idealism upside down, getting rid of idealism, mind, spirit, God, and replacing it totally with a form of materialism. Now there are two views of Hegel's dialectic. There's the right view and the wrong view. All right, I'm going to begin by explaining the wrong view, the false interpretation. And once again, let's have a little fork in the road. And we're going to call this the false view, the mythical view of the dialectic. Now, I, I hope you won't regard this as a display of arrogance on my part, because I want you to understand that I taught the false view of Hegel for 30 years. Okay. I once had a student in my office. He came to see me before he left school and he was very angry at me.


[00:14:29] And he said, It must be nice to go through your entire life and never make a mistake. Well, he was really. He was really mad at me. And because I knew it was kind of bad and hopeless here and I wasn't about to engage in a debate about how many times I had been wrong in my life. But some people get that idea. I have been wrong. And here's here's an example. Now, here's how the false view of the dialectic works. And this is what I taught for 30 years. According to Hegel, everything advances, evolves, develops in a three stage process. I'll repeat that sentence according to this false view of Hegel. He taught that everything that exists, evolves, develops through a three stage process. And dialectic is the name for this three stage process. I will illustrate this in terms of circles. The first stage of this development is what Hegel calls a thesis. It could be a belief. It could be a form of life. It could be something in history. All right. It's a thesis. And then the next stage in this development is what Hegel calls an and tie thesis and antithesis, which is the opposite of which is the contradictory of the thesis. You see, you have conflict, struggle, development. But then the third stage of the dialectical process is what Hegel calls the synthesis. Now, I'm going to give you the German word here. German word is alpha haben, A.U., FH, BBM. Incidentally, this is the only one of these three words that Hegel himself actually used in regular in his regular writing. Now, the German word Alpha has three basic meanings. Let's see if I can remember them. I can't remember my phone number, but I can remember the three meanings of alphabet.


[00:17:04] Meaning one is to cancel out C and for the people listening by tape. What? I've done it. I've drawn a once an unrelated circle. That's the thesis. A separate circle is the antithesis. And then the circle that is supposed to represent the synthesis intersects both with the thesis and the antithesis, but of course includes a great deal of material outside. So the first thing the synthesis does fill out a huge chunk of the thesis and a huge chunk of the antithesis. Then it I may have to cheat here and go to the book. Let me see. Cancel out preserve. Yeah, I'm going to do it. I'm going to get it. If you want to applaud, that's fine. Just don't ask me for my telephone number. Preserve. Not only does it cancel out a part of the thesis and the antithesis, but it preserves a part of both the thesis and the antithesis. And then the third meaning of of Haven is to elevate C. It takes what it preserves from the thesis and the antithesis and an elevator to a higher level. Now the synthesis becomes the thesis of a new triad. This synthesis becomes a new thesis, which generates a new antithesis, which then takes the progression to a new synthesis, a new synthesis, and then that becomes a new thesis and you have a new antithesis. And so the whole of war reality evolves, develops according to this three stage process, thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Now, what Hegelians did during the 19th century was apply this dialectical triad to a whole lot of things, for example. And the example is very, very interesting here because it almost looks as if this makes sense. If you find and I'm sure we have them in our library, if you find an old German history of Philosophy book, now would have to be something that was published originally around 1860 or 1870.


[00:19:44] You will find a whole history of philosophy interpreted as a development of human thinking, according to the dialectical Triad thesis, antithesis synthesis. For example, for example, we have amenities who explained all of reality in terms of being. That would be the thesis. Anybody? I have any idea which philosopher and what idea represents the antithesis of being verified? Heraclitus Oh man, I didn't spell Parmenides right, but you know what I'm doing there. Heraclitus Okay, so here's our antithesis. That's Heraclitus. And what Heraclitus said is everything is becoming you are being and becoming. Any idea who, what philosophy, what thinker represents the synthesis of being and becoming Plato? What a teacher. Put that sentence in your notes. What? And put a exclamation point by that. All right, so we have Plato now. What Plato did was he synthesized, being and becoming. And how did he do that? He did that in terms of two worlds, remember? So what he did was he canceled out a whole lot of the garbage and palm entities and a whole lot of the garbage in Heraclitus. He preserved what was important, and then he elevated all of it to a higher stage. Okay. Now, does anybody here's Plato, does anybody know which philosophical system then becomes the antithesis to Plato? This is really tough. Aristotle. Wow, wow, wow. What a teacher. So here we have the antithesis. Aristotle. Now this gets tough. I hope the people listening by tape are impressed. See, I'm just standing up here asking questions. Which philosophical system? Which thinker represented the synthesis of the best in Plato and the best in Aristotle. Plotinus. You're right. Give that. May. I almost said give that man a cigar. But I'm a Baptist and we don't do that. Why not? So we have a new synthesis.


[00:22:22] Plotinus now whose system represents the antithesis. Huh? Give me an a Augustine. Augustine. And whose system represents the synthesis of Plotinus and Augustine? Aquinas. Now, by this time, some of you really should be saying, Wow. Nash This is what he did in the first part of Life's Ultimate Questions. He took us gently by the hand, and he guided us through the first several stages of the dialectic of philosophy through Aquinas. And I didn't know he was done with that acquaintance. Okay. Now, to make a long story short, because, frankly, I mean, to get this far and to go even further, you've got to simplify and simplify and simplify and forget a whole lot of things. You talk about canceling out a whole lot of things. Okay. But you know what? Hegel had the gall to do. You know what he had? He had the gall, the temerity to suggest that the final synthesis, while ultimately in Hegel the final synthesis would be the mind of God in which all contradictions are resolved. But what Hegel did was see, He reached the point where he acted as though the end of history was the mind of Hegel. The mind of Hegel. Now we're skipping a whole lot. He acted as though you can't get any bigger. You can't go beyond Hegel's philosophy. Talk about stupidity. If this is what Hegel meant. No, you know, there are interpretations that say, Well, Hegel couldn't be that dumb. But the problem with Hegel is history didn't end with Hegel. Now, here was Hegel's problem. Hegel thought that his system was the synthesis in which all contradictions were resolved. But of course, the history of ideas went beyond Hegel. And so there was another antithesis, and that would have been Kirkegaard.


[00:24:54] Kirkegaard. All right. So now I'm going to tell you where Hegel made a mistake. The truth has to be found in the philosophical system that is the synthesis of Hegel and Kirkuk. GORE And that's where the history of human ideas can't get any better. And I'll tell you, this is the final synthesis that that integrates all of the history of ideas. And that would be Nash. Okay. That was Hegel's mistake. He didn't know that I was around the corner. Are you impressed? Yeah. Okay. Wow. Yeah. The synthesis. Am I not right, though? The synthesis of all of the best is to be found in this room right here. I can see some of you coming back in 50 years for a reunion and saying, you know, this is where my dialectical adventure ended. Can't get any better than that now. Unfortunately, all of this is wrong. Makes a great story. Makes my books look good, but it's wrong. Now what's the right interpretation of Hegel? And I not only tell you what's wrong with the wrong interpretation. I tell you where it went wrong. Let's open your meaning of history. Book to page. Here, you see, on page one or five, you see the little circles, the dialectic. Until you get to the final synthesis, which is the mind of God or Hegel. Or maybe something from Cleveland, Ohio. Isn't that appropriate that the final synthesis comes out of the most despised city in the western world? Cleveland, Ohio? Hmm. Okay. Now, what I do beginning on page one or seven, that a number of German scholars who pointed out that the dialectic is not Hegel shorthand for thesis, antithesis and synthesis. This is page 107 that one German scholar who does this as Gustaf Mueller, Mueller explained.


[00:27:29] Now, here are some of the arguments against the wrong view of the dialectic. Mueller explains that Hegel never, never used these three words together, although he did allude to their use by other thinkers. Other thinkers use thesis antithesis synthesis. But in any time Hegel used those three words together, he was only quoting and referring to other thinkers, never himself. One of these allusions to the triad appears in the preface to Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind, where he attacks its use by other people. Here is one place where Hegel does use the three words and he attacks it. Mueller's translation of the passage brings out Hegel's discussed, quote, The trick of wisdom of that sort. That is the Triad thesis antithesis Synthesis is as quickly acquired as it is easy to practice. Its repetition wins once it is familiar, becomes as boring as the repetition of any bit of sleight of hand once we see through it. Let me just pause here. I want to add one more point and I should have done it earlier, but it's worth bringing this out after we give you Mueller's statement. Here is the way in which liberal Old Testament scholars used the wrong interpretation of the dialectic to justify 80 years of bad Old Testament scholarship. For example, then I was still getting this when I was your age or younger. If you're looking at the development of the Old Testament, religion always begins with the simplest and moves to the most complex. Okay, so looking for the Old Testament religion, it the earliest religion of the Old Testament is called animism and a muslim. That's the thesis. Now, where do you find animism in the Old Testament? You find it in Abraham. Now, I know you believe that Abraham was a monotheist, but that can't happen because monotheism is an advanced, perhaps the most advanced form of religion.


[00:30:00] Therefore, Abraham, there at the beginning, could not have been an Anna, a monotheist. He was an animist. Now, I know some of you want proof that Abraham was an animist. So let me tell you what these liberal Old Testament scholars did to prove their claim that Abraham was an animist, an animist, as a person who believes in many spirits, who inhabit waterfalls and trees and so on. Here's the proof. Every time Abraham camped somewhere, he camped by a well, what do you snicker in a bar? And the reason why he camped by a well was so that he could commune with the spirits of that. Well, I'm not kidding you. This is German liberal Old Testament scholarship. This is what Old Testament scholars from America used to go to Germany to study, and then they'd bring it back to Presbyterian and Baptist seminaries. I'm serious. This is what corrupted Princeton Seminary. Abraham camped by a well, I never saw that before. Now, I know some of you fundamentalists are going to think that Abraham's camping by a well, had to do with water. All right. But that only proves how your fundamentalist background corrupts. You see truth because you're blinded by these fundamentalist paradigms. Now, the next step was polytheism. And that's when we get to all Isaac and Joseph. See, now they're worshiping many gods. That's the antithesis. And then the synthesis is Hino theism. And that's represented in Moses. Did any of you see the Prince of Egypt on television last night? They didn't tell you in the credits, but I was there. I was a technical adviser to that. One of my I advised them to give Moses hair. Did you notice Moses had hair? They followed my advice on that. I didn't spell he no theism right.


[00:32:44] I will spell it right now. Okay. Remember, I can't remember my phone number. He No theism is the belief that there are many gods, but one of them is superior to all the others. And that one that is superior to the others is known as Yahweh. Moses was not a monotheist. He was a he. This is liberal scholarship. You know what it makes me want to do? Maker? I'm ready to gag right here. I'm ready to honestly ready to gag that People were dumb enough to believe this. This is what Hegelians did to the Christian faith. They also did this with the New Testament. There would be a thesis that would be the religion of Peter. And then there's an antithesis, and that would be the religion of Paul. And then we would have a synthesis. And maybe that would be Apollos. I don't know. Okay. Now you've got to understand that the documentary hypothesis and the whole of liberal Old Testament scholarship and I'm using quotation marks here is really Hegelian ism gone mad. But now let's go back to page 107. Where did this false interpretation of Mark of Hegel come from? Mueller plays detective and suggests that Karl Marx. Picked it up. And Mueller names the minor league German philosopher who first dreamed it up. I can't even pronounce his name. Heinrich Moritz. Childless. Anybody got a better pronunciation for that? Nobody ever talks about him, but he's the culprit. But it still wouldn't have gone anywhere unless Marx had picked it up. According to them, according to Mueller, the legend. The false interpretation of Hegel's dialectic is Marxism superimposed on Hegel. Once the myth became established, history of philosophy, textbooks kept copying it from earlier books, and professors made it an integral part of their lectures on Hegel.


[00:35:08] It was, as Buehler states, a convenient method of embalming Hegel and keeping the mummy on display for curious visitors of antiquities. That's great stuff. Another specialist in Hegel's thought who also saw the the shallowness of the false interpretation was a guy named Walter Kaufman. He fled Nazi Germany when he was about 14 years old. He came to the United States. He ended up teaching in a rather distinguished career at Princeton University. He became one of this country's leading scholars on Hegel and Kirkwood, Gore and Nietzsche. And then he died at a very early age. He was certainly not sympathetic, even though he was Jewish. He was certainly not sympathetic to any kind of theistic view. Well, you can read the rest of what I say there. I pursue Kaufman a little bit. Well, let me just read a little bit from the next page. Want to wait? Commentators who proceed under the influence of the official doctrine thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Right. As though the dialectic must always proceed. Like the waltz danced by Anna in the King of Siam. In the musical The King and I in three steps Time. Three step time. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. If you've ever seen the King and I. But one criticism of the three step dialectic is that it doesn't really match Hegel's writings. It's too simple. It's to meet, it's too superficial, and it doesn't really match what we find in Hegel's material. For example, the major stages of history for Hegel, when he talks about the development of history, he doesn't have three stages. He's got four stages. And this happens throughout Hegel. What people do is they approach them. When I was in this dumb paradigm, I was saying, how am I going to reduce the four stages of history for Hegel to three? That's what I was doing.


[00:37:16] I gave a whole year of my life trying to do that. Here is the correct interpretation of Hegel. The antithesis is not the opposite of something. It is not the contradiction of something. It is just different in some way. All right. The best way to understand Hegel is that it's a series of zigzags, and that's what I'm drawing on the board here. You get a thesis, then you get a change, and then you go back to another beginning, and then you get another change. And it's not a three step dialectic at all. It is a zigzag. And and actually, it is a zigzag that goes up because each zigzag marks progress to the end of the system, which will be the mind of God. Think of it as a zigzag that keeps moving upward. And at the end, you get to the perfect philosophical system, which I've already identified. And humility.