Any honest person can recognize that the world we live in is backwards. Good is called bad and bad is called good (Isaiah 5:20). The world has been turned upside down. On November 14, 1831, the last great systematizer died, and with him, the West began to die as well. G.W.F. Hegel changed the world, mostly through his famous (or infamous) protege, Karl Marx.
One of the key ways Hegel influenced Marx is with the theory of the “Dialectic.” How do we get to truth? Aristotle, Plato, and nearly all of the ancient philosophers believed that truth was immutable and unmoving. Truth was believed in these categories until the great philosopher of the 19th Century stepped onto the scene. To Hegel, truth evolves like a flower. It buds, blossoms, fruits, and disappears. It then becomes different at a different time.
To explain this phenomenon in simple terms, think of an equilateral triangle. On the bottom left, there is a thesis. On the right side is an antithesis. Hegel argues that when there are competing belief systems, eventually, they will arrive at a unifying concept called a synthesis; sitting at the top of the triangle. This synthesis becomes the new thesis, and its antithesis soon comes along until another synthesis takes place. The goal is to get to the top to where no other contradiction can be made and therefore ending up with truth.
As Christians, we cannot agree wholeheartedly with Hegel’s dialectic. Take for example: Trinitarianism and Unitarianism. Since God has revealed the truth, a synthesis with the devil will not lead to greater truth as Hegel’s dialectic would have us think. According to Hegel, truth would be found in the synthesis of Trinitarianism and Unitarianism. Being faithful and thinking Christians, Trinitarians cannot compromise their beliefs which are founded on Scripture.
For Further Discussion:
The Imaginitive Conservative: Liberalism Means Empire
The Reformed Conservative aims to reunite gentlemanly virtues with scholarly conversation. Standing in the great Reformed and conservative heritage of thinkers like Edmund Burke and Abraham Kuyper, we humbly seek to inject civility into an informed conversation, one article at a time, bringing clarity out of chaos.