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On Corruption of Meaning
Meaning without center
One of the greatest tricks the modern world plays on us is misnaming terms.
For example, God has become the man in the sky (as some movies represent him as such). God is immaterial, in the highest of heavens. This is an immense shift of meaning. It is valid to symbolise God as a man, but know that He is way more than this. It is on this description that new atheist attack God and christianity. They attack it on the outer layers (which are only pointers to the essence of God).
Beauty has become a description for chaos. Before it used to be a description of unity. Beauty is supposed to lift higher, but now it means only vague contemplation.
Even the concept of mathematical infinite is false. Infinity (meaning without end), should encompass everything. But the mathematical quantitative infinite does not encompass everything (it is limited exactly to a natural number).
Love also has been subverted. You used to do things, in love for God. Now you do things, in love for the thing. The thing in itself becomes the point of worship. It is a small difference, but with huge consequences.
Words convey meaning. This is why we use language. There must be a general consensus behind the meaning of some words, otherwise it would be impossible to talk with other people (as our words don’t signify the same thing).
A small example: say I’ve come across only modern churches, and another person only knows beautiful cathedrals. The first person then tells the second that he does not find them beautiful (as he has only seen ugly ones). The second finds churches in general beautiful. Are they in fact talking about the same thing? Can there be consensus? I would beg to say no, because although they use the same word, the meaning behind those words is not the same.
This is in essence one of the great problems of the modern world, a non-unified language. If we cannot even talk and convey the same meaning with the words, then it’s obvious why miscommunication happens. It not only causes miscommunication between persons (at the same moment), but also miscommunication across time (we cannot read the books of old). The soul is immaterial, yet scientists keep searching for a material soul. If you do not know what you are searching for, it does not make sense to even start the quest.
On top of that, you have the issues of mistranslation. Each word is a single point, or symbol, which points to several immaterial truths. It is a semantic (or meaning) web.
Day means 24 hours. But it also means the light part of those 24 hours. These are called homonyms and are one of the most important parts lost when translating a text. The concept of day would mean little if going out in space. It even means different things for people close to the north pole, where there can be light for 24 hours.
Another example of meaning perversion. Take the word happiness. Happiness for some people means absence of suffering (which essentially amounts to hedonism). In the christian sense of the word, it means acceptance of Gods Will, which then creates a center of rest in the unmoved mover. This entails acceptance of all suffering, of your cross. Happiness in this case means two opposite things.
The previous paragraph explained how meaning behind words changes. The same principle applies with naming things. Naming is creating a word for something that is signified. Misnaming is when the meaning of the word does not match completely with the thing signified.
All words exist in a semantic web, and as such relate to each other. Compound words signify this. A compound word consists of multiple parts which already have meaning attached to it. Take the word afterlife. After and life both signify things in our system. Combined, they intuitively mean the part after a life. This makes intuitive sense. But paradoxically, it also signifies the part after the death of person.
The afterlife is also the moment when one stops with breathing, so why not call it afterbreath? Because this can cause confusion, each moment after a breath is an afterbreath. It would create confusion between those two events.
Confusion is when words do not fit in their semantic network. The fitting is important, because it shows that if a person changes the meaning of one words, it can have rippling effects across the whole network of meaning.
There has to be a point of stability on which all of the words are based. All words systems and language systems are essentially based upon a philosophical system and ultimately on a theological system. This point of origin creates stability in the semantic network.
In this article, I have pointed out two common problems of our modern day: misnaming and changing of the meaning of words.
Words exist in a semantic network. Change the meaning of one words and many others will as well. This is why a center, or point of stability is needed, from which all meaning emanates (and of course the recognition of this).