the THEORy

The Theory of the Coordination of Knowledge and Belief:

Unity of the world

Our Society as we know it that champions unbridled materialism, Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen challenges and gives thought insights between the two magisteria of reason and faith. He justifies Stephen Jay Gould's "Nonoverlapping Magisteria (NOMA)" as "coordinate magisteria", as approaches to reality that not only do not conflict with each other but which are referring to each other and complement each other. Both, reason and faith, do not contradict each other as generally acknowledged. Both matters are an expression of the unity of the universe which scientists confirm in a variety of ways such as in the law of multiple proportions (whole numbers as a natural principle: for chemical elements, in music, in mathematics, etc.), in the theory of the origin of the universe in a single event ("Big Bang"), etc.
Hänsel-Hohenhausen capitalises on fundamental research in mathematics, particularly from set theory, in physics and biology, and also the knowledge from language history, from the theory of authority in the high middle ages, from image theory, etc. With every subject matter scrutinised he demonstrates that our world and the forms we experience and explore scientifically possess an amazing unity. This unity is that of the eternal duality of matter and spirit and thus that of the spiritual corporeality of the human. It is ultimately found in the manner, which can indeed be assumed, in the duality of the means of understanding, i.e. in science and religion. Hänsel-Hohenhausen systematically portrayed the coordination of both magisteria in his fundamental work “I think, therefore I believe” (2007) in which he qualifies that scientific thinking has metaphysical foundations and uses metaphysical techniques to attain results which then can be verified in reality.

“A beginning that commences of itself and is not an effect is an origin. It is ‚singular’ because it is underivable, indivisible, and everything, at least as a possibility must be enclosed within it.”
“The point (as the axiom in geometry) is the indivisible, united one that is at the same time not visible. Its extension is, mathematically, null. The effort to find an indivisible distance leads us into the infinite (regressus in infinitum). Although it is, mathematically speaking, a nothing, it is not therefore nothing, because everything springs from out of the infinitesimal distance. It fulfils the criterion of a beginning that is an origin.”
(“The electron and the Holy Trinity as the origins of the material and spiritual world”)

The unity of the phenomenons of the world is caused by a common origin – the origins of matter (axiom) and of spirit (dogma) require paradoxes to be expressed

When one examines the unity of the universe, the question naturally arises regarding its cause, which both in physics and in religion is thought of as a single cause (as a so-called singularity). In a study that was dedicated to the philosopher Kurt Hübner, the author explains that a scientific axiom expressing the origin of matter and a religious dogma expressing the origin of spirit are structured identically ("From the Electron to the Holy Trinity”, 2011). We conceive the origin of spirit in the same paradoxes that bring about verifiably correct results in physics and mathematics. The thought and conceptualising approaches of science and belief are analogous on this point, the Christian idea of the origin of spirit holds steady in analytical thinking. God becomes conceivable, even scientifically and systematically.
The outcome of the logic which formed the basis for mathematics is nothing less than a substantiation of the existence of God, derived from the classic definition of elementary particles (which the author refers to as an appearing quality (in spite of an evidence) of the existence of God. God and the spirit, who is always greater than any measurement and logical deduction, cannot be materialised in human proof (“Gottesbeweis”) and at most "demonstrates himself" to the seeker (“Gotteserweis”).

“The part of humankind in the spirit is like a phenomenon in geometry: the fractal (otherwise than in one dimensional figures) is grounded in self-similarity, and is whole in every one of its part, while in any given part it presents the miniaturized copy of itself. It is undivided in that every division shows it anew. It is itself an origin, since it is never a piece and is never to be deduced from another than its own, recurring arithmetical operation. We are to understand the spirit of God thus: as a whole, he is the origin of individual participation, which is still just as „whole“. In the community of individuals this whole is repeated, because it results from self-repetition, so-called iteration, which the Old Testament names the image of God (Gottebenbildlichkeit). The iteration is the cause of the fractal, which similarly shows the three-fold structure.”
(“The electron and the Holy Trinity as the origins of the material and spiritual world”)

The "metaphysical comma" in the canon of proof techniques

Hänsel-Hohenhausen not only interconnects physics, mathematics and theology but his theory of understanding also engages directly with the canon of scientific proof techniques. The theory of evolution gained popularity due to the analogy with which a common but unknown ancestry was reasoned from the same features in different species. Darwin's theory made science as we know it; the analogy for the first time transposed circumstantial evidence to a status of proof. The radical shift of the analogy into the canon of proof techniques is not an epistemological dilution but rather made the theory of evolution significant, explanatory and successful. This was because inferring an unknown from two knowns is not a scientific reduction but instead, metaphysics; to use a traditional argument, just like how inferring the existence of a watchmaker from a watch is intangible and intellectual. This "metaphysical comma", according to the author, places analogy before proof which only involves the measuring and weighing of erring humans. The analogy inference is thus a proof from thought, an action of the spirit that is tied back to the material. If theoretical mathematics were to remain the protocol for pure thinking and were to do without examination of its results in reality, it would remain metaphysical. Even if it proved to be true logically when applied physically, mathematics would still contain that comma within itself.
Hänsel-Hohenhausen consequently views analogy as the expression of the coordination of the sciences and the humanities, its upgrading in the canon of proof techniques as the expression of knowledge regarding the duality of the world from a single cause.

“If the scientific principle as analogy is true (as it is besides even on the grounds of scientific proof) and if we can find a religious principle analogous to this scientific principle, then in a unified world deriving from one unique origin, whatever is like that which is true cannot be untrue. If analogy counts as proof, which is recognizably the case in evolutionary theory, and one does not want to measure with two measures in science and religion, then, if the model of the electron is analogous to the truth and the electron and the trinity are qualitatively analogous to one another (which is yet to be shown), the axiom of the Holy Trinity as the model of the origin and the principle of the reality of the spirit is true also.”
(“Thesis: If the axiom of the atom (electron) as the principle of the material world is true, then the dogma of the Trinity as the principle of spiritual reality is true”)

The world, which is unified, has a spiritual countenance

These epistemological studies have found their provisional conclusion in two works. In "The Countenance in the World” (2005), Hänsel-Hohenhausen considers the Western spirit; and once again the author comes across that singularity from which everything emanates and which shines forth through the forms of the world and in the person, their comprehension and their countenance. In his most recent book "Schönheit aus Wahrheit, Vom Wunder des Antlitzes im Bildnis" [“Beauty from Truth, On the Wonder of the Countenance in the Portrait, Based on Examples of Photographic Portraits from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”] (2010), he puts his idea of the countenance as the expression of the spirit to the test with 15 biographies. Indeed they bear witness to the coordination of both magisteria. Well-known and forgotten musicians and writers which can be seen in photographs authenticated by themselves, become examples for the fact that the spirit informs matter and therefore for "what the individual is called upon to be" (Professor Dr. Volker Kapp in a review of the book).

“Scientific thought focuses on the perception of the phenomena of a complex, contingent metaphysical system, which mysteriously lends form to nature. Analysis and synthesis, evidence-based thinking and metaphysics, and the process of ‘grasping’ the world and being ‘in the grip of’ reality are all elements that interact with each other within the relationship between science and the world. As the foundations of modern science also lie in contingency (axioms) and as it confirms contingency (via analogy and intuition), knowledge and faith are united: the person who believes knows more, and the person who knows believes. Only with the addition of religious or belief-based knowledge does materialistic, evidence-based knowledge become consummate and complete knowledge. Affirmative thought, which recognises the fullness of reality and the profundity of the human condition, dispenses with the illusory promise of self-sovereignty, giving rise instead to personal liberty.”
(„I think, therefore I believe“)

Meaning of Hänsel-Hohenhausen's theory

The height of civilisation for a society can be defined by the question as to whether life is protected or, not and furthermore, whether this protection is absolute and free from all considerations based on reasoning. We may expect from the really developed civilisation, according to the author that its ultimate good is life.
In an essay that remains unpublished, he outlines how Kant's rational imperative which excludes guidance from a third person, flows into the materialism of the present. The Enlightenment, which established the dominance of the subject, teaches us that whatever serves the individual is rational. Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno alluded to the Marquis de Sade and his early criticism of the Enlightenment. The fictional Juliette commits all crimes that are advantageous to her and gives her pleasure; she is acting rationally. Ethics which are restricting the doctrine of reason are not possible because this would be the guidance of a third party, which Immanuel Kant expressively forbids. Enlightenment is, however, the liberation of the individual from immaturity and not the dependence on somebody else, even an ethical authority. Therefore, and because the idea that man's likeness to God has become invalid, according to Hänsel-Hohenhausen, no one really knows any more how the much cited dignity of humans can be substantiated, where it starts and ends, what it is specifically meant to mean without any belief in God.
The Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th century was more radical than any enlightenment movement ever before. Up until that point in time, enlightenment or spiritual restoration only meant a new emphasis in the relationship between knowledge and belief. The new Enlightenment for the first time completely abolished the magisterium of belief and spirit and obstructed us this access to objectivity that is active in each biography. The unbridled materialism of the present is its concrete expression. In its complete purity it found expression in National Socialism. Hitler spoke uncompromisingly of "human material", of "degenerates" and genetic "parasites". Genetics, which appears to reduce humans to chemistry was a shining confirmation, even the foundation of Nazi racial and social doctrine.

This sheer materialism of the Enlightenment was politically effective. Given that humans with preset characteristics weaken a nation and its chance to survive in history they should be eliminated and killed. On this ideology, it was "rational" to kill. The protection of life ranked lower than rational grounds and is the expression and result of the Enlightenment. The dictatorial aspect of Kant's rational imperative recurs in the dictatorial aspect of the Nazi regime.
According to the author, the fact that today we are not confronting National Socialism but have followed it in the current of materialism, and that our thinking is in its tradition, can be seen in the fact that the German parliament, with the consensus of the population, is passing laws again which allow the killing of humans with certain (medical or social) features for rational grounds (laws about abortion). Reason also knows no absolute grounds which could not be overturned in the next parliamentary session. Reasons are never absolute but rather relative to whatever seems currently rational to the individual or to whatever the person knows and whatever has been assigned to him to be learned forever. The protection of life can only be absolute from an ethic which withdraws control from the human, i.e. which is divine.

“Unlike the personal art of the Old Masters, abstract art consumes itself. If it is a handmade work in which the artist no longer invests his own person, in which he does not communicate his confessions, then it merely becomes an application that is not created but just technically produced. When parents reproduce by fusing their chromosomes, they have the tools, the chemistry configured in the DNA, to produce life. However, they cannot actually create it, neither the tools nor with it, life itself. For this reason, spirit and mind and truth cannot be produced and do not decay, does not derive from a gene for which scientist are allegedly searching. Abstract art that has nothing to say about its producer’s person is devoid of metaphysical truth and quickly bores any viewer who deigns to take a second look. A lightweight commodity has been derived from what was a means of expression for pure, absolute meaning, for or out of embodied truth. It isn’t technical mastery then that makes art masterly, but the master himself with his personality. In consequence, there are criteria for the evaluation of technique, but not for art and beauty, which the viewer appreciates intuitively. The opposite of “Old Masters” is not “New Masters”, but, to be conceptually precise, just “Modern Art”.
(“On the Metaphysics of the Countenance in the artistic portrait”)

Although the Enlightenment promises to the individual freedom through autocracy it in fact has made it unfree. Freedom which lies in the increase of the material (i.e. in success and riches or in the socialist redistribution of goods as a core social task), can never release people from the material. What this means is obvious in the increase of riches: the materialism reigns the individual – even when rationally justified, matter subjugates the person. Indeed, even the longing for ideal justice, which withdraws further the nearer you intend on coming to it, does not make you free. Freedom cannot depend on goods but only on spiritual and thus religious freedom, which alone can liberate us from the materiality of life.

“The celebrated classics of the twentieth century provide examples for the glorification of technique, which is at the same time a glorification of materialism: Roy Lichtenstein’s raster paintings, Mark Rothko’s empty colourfield paintings, and Andy Warhol’s serially subverted photographs, but also Gerhard Richter’s abstract works, whose windows in Cologne Cathedral for example, have brought cultural decay initiated by the Enlightenment into the realm of religion. His 11,500 coloured squares of glass constitute a ‘projection of a digital roaring’, thereby precisely adumbrating the current state of modern art, abstract art: noise without a message, matter as torpid truth, repetition of their empty materialism as an expression of what is experienced as modern life.
Technique, the means of the actual message, has itself become the message. Empty signs admittedly remain vacuous, because although the individual can read a meaning into them, it is an interpretation and therefore a meaning that can be rescinded at any given moment. The attachment to a realm of values to which one is personally responsible, indeed, upon which one can depend, simply cannot arise in this way. The modern individual no longer experiences life in all its profundity, but above all experiences only himself. He is impeded in living a life full with meaning, which alone can prepare him for death. He cannot prepare himself for the final Yes. His termination of this thwarted life has rendered suicide an acceptable option in society. Goethe’s Werther, the prototype of the modern person caught up in his emotions, demonstrates by the example of his life where in truth the relativisation of the world, the negation of human spirituality, and the glorification of pure corporeality will lead: the devaluation of life itself. The materialism of the present day, which holds mankind in a disoriented bustle of activity, is, as Pope John Paul II so aptly put it, a culture of death.”
(“On the Metaphysics of the Countenance in the artistic portrait”)

Knowledge and reason require an authority which is free from the control of the individual and which authoritatively determines what the individual may not do. This authority must not be known (because then it would be under the control of the individual and subject to his expediency) but rather believed. However, true belief is not blind from the author's viewpoint, but instead rational and authentic. The Christian religion is therefore also a science and logical (theo-logy) and alone differs from others, particularly esoteric doctrines which remain non-historic and unauthenticated. Knowledge without belief is not possible, nor is belief without knowledge.
The cold current of materialism with its tendency towards the void, towards nothingness and towards the prevention of life can only be stopped by the upgrading of religion to equal access to reality. The living coordination of magisteria of knowledge and belief, as the sciences show upon closer inspection, is not something which could be thought up. In any case, belief is always the fundament of science but the relation between belief and reason must be redefined. That is a prerequisite for epistemology and, for Hänsel-Hohenhausen, it lies in the interest of truth.

Conclusions: a theory of what can be known

Provocative conclusions result from this: the coordination of both great sources of knowledge of science (which in its reasonings cannot manage without belief) and of Christian faith (which cannot exist without rationality); the falsity of their alleged mutual rejection and thus the falsity of scientism as the pure form of Enlightenment and religious fundamentalism; the truth of Christian dogmas that makes reference to physically reasoned analogy; finally, a "theory of what can be known", which makes known the "catholicity of what can be known".

“That the axioms of science and religion are paradoxes, disclosing to us the structure given to reality, may be coordinate with our nature, which is itself (as is all matter impressed by the spirit) paradoxical in terms of human concepts. Life is a mystery (out of the lat., sacramentum), an effect of reality in which we are born in order to die, a reality, that we cannot understand. We, the we who already do not have our own beginning, circumscribe with the idea of the electron and the Holy Trinity what circumscribes us: the enduring beginning of our bodily and our spiritual world, which is to say, the reality of our lives.”
(“The electron and the Holy Trinity as the origins of the material and spiritual world”)

Hänsel-Hohenhausen enhances further on the foundation that the philosopher Kurt Hübner laid in his standard works which have been translated into many languages (e.g. "Critique of scientific reason", "The truth of myth", "Belief and thought"). With his scientific method and reasoning Hübner established scientifically the mythical and thus belief as a present reality which is accessible to reason and are in no way inferior in certainty and truth. "Hübner is indeed one of the last universalists in philosophy and scientific theory who is able to pass judgement on science and aesthetics, Einstein and Goethe, the Mosaic law and the deciphering of genomes with the same competence." ("Die Zeit", 2001). The philosopher from Kiel pays tribute to Hänsel-Hohenhausen "with great admiration for his philosophical work". Regarding the remark of the younger of the two, who regrets not having been his pupil, Hübner replied that what he wrote he could not have taught him.
The epistemological works by Hänsel-Hohenhausen have also been published in the USA where they are contributing to the lively discussions concerning the relationship between knowledge and belief. Knowledge, i.e. the intellectual and spiritual growth of the human, is not just merely counting on what is already known. It is the expression of the self overbidding that has been put in him. The modern scientific world is spiritually permeated – it has a metaphysical, true countenance.

“Addition is, obviously, the operation that is fundamental to the construction of the material world, while multiplication represents the spirit. Even the latter exhibits the elementary quality of the number one. While the equation 1 + 1 = 2 permits us to see the countability of 1, and its reification, in 1 x 1 = 1 we see the transcendence of the reified for the immaterial, spiritual substance. The former equation is neutral, which is proper to the proliferation of the material. 1 has its material form, which makes it countable and addable. But it also has an essence that does not permit proliferation, just as the spirit is not a proliferating property and allows sharing but not diminution. Addition is proliferation, while multiplication is dissemination. (…)
The 1 is not only pluripotent in its reified state. It also demonstrates the way the spirit is represented in nature, as the latter is represented by the natural numbers. If we multiply three ones with themselves (1 x 1 x 1 = 1), we illuminate the paradox that the individual is whole and yet that this wholeness consists of many wholes. If we designate the individual persons of the trinity with 1, the multiplication show a perfect image of the dogma of the Holy Trinity – from the indivisibility of the origin, it disseminates itself without augmenting, just as the spirituality of Man is completely of the spirit and yet has a share in the one.”
(“The spirit of the world in the number system”)