• Fooloso4
    392
    the transcendent or transcendentalPussycat

    Transcendent means to go beyond. Transcendental, following Kant, means the conditions for the possibility of experience, or more generally, the conditions that make something possible. The conditions that make experience possible, according to Kant, are found in the structure of the mind, the a priori categories of the understanding. For Wittgenstein, however, logic as a transcendental condition is not a condition of the mind or understanding. It is the structure of the world and of language, inherent in the simple objects of the world and their names. In what sense ethics is a transcendental condition is more difficult to see. It is clear that, according to Wittgenstein, it transcends the logical limits of the world, and thus the facts of the world. It has nothing to do with the necessity of logic or the accidents of the facts of the world. The transcendental condition of ethics lies in the freedom of the human will and willing in accord with God's will.

    Wittgenstein asks:

    What do I know about God and the purpose of life?

    That my will penetrates the world.
    That my will is good or evil.
    Therefore that good and evil are somehow connected with the meaning of the world.
    The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God. (NB 11.6.16)

    To believe in a God means to understand the question about the meaning of life.
    To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
    To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning. (NB 8.7.16)
  • Pussycat
    158


    From all the above, I understand that Wittgenstein equates or rather links the meaning of life to God (the meaning of life/world, we can call God), and good willing with being in accord with/doing God's will. No judgement intended, but isn't this what theologians have been arguing for centuries?
  • Fooloso4
    392
    No judgement intended, but isn't this what theologians have been arguing for centuries?Pussycat

    Yes, in some form or other.

    Wittgenstein emphasized the will of God. He understands this as something inexplicable. We cannot say why God wills as he does. There is a link here with the contingency of the world and the idea that things could be other than they are.
  • Pussycat
    158
    So in other words, for Wittgenstein, without God, there is no meaning, there cannot be one, the world is meaningless without God. No God = no meaning, there is God = there is meaning, as simple as that.

    And as long as the will cannot be transformed into actions - because these actions would then be facts, which would mean that they could be described by language, something that Wittgenstein deems impossible (for ethical facts to be part of the world) - then we reach the conclusion that God's will cannot ever be shown in the world, one way or another.
  • Fooloso4
    392
    So in other words, for Wittgenstein, without God, there is no meaning, there cannot be one, the world is meaningless without God. No God = no meaning, there is God = there is meaning, as simple as that.Pussycat

    But W. talks about the meaning of the world, only it is not to be found in the world. (6.41) The world and God are not the same.

    And as long as the will cannot be transformed into actions - because these actions would then be factsPussycat

    One can do what one wills, but your are right, he actions would be facts. Wittgenstein says though that it is not a matter of the consequences of the act in the world. He places the value of the action in the act itself. (6.422)

    then we reach the conclusion that God's will cannot ever be shown in the world, one way or another.Pussycat

    Right, because what happens in the world is a matter of accident. God's will is not a matter of what happens in the world. He says:

    God does not reveal himself in the world. (6.432)

    He goes on to say:

    It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. (6.44)
  • Pussycat
    158


    So if God's will is not concerned or connected with happenings in the world, and since whatever happens in the world is just something contingent and accidental that could also be otherwise, what does really concern this will, where is it focused?
  • Fooloso4
    392


    As far as I can see, on the existence of the world. His view is in this sense similar to Deism. But given his silence on such matters and his mysticism I would not go so far as to posit a theory.

    Edit:

    The comparison with Deism was meant with regard to being hands off. For Deism God is a being. I don't think W. would say that.
  • Fooloso4
    392
    God is how all things stand, how it is all related (NB 1.8.16)

    To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter. To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning (NB 8.7.16)
    — NB
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