Basil’s comments to Skrignov invited me to contemplate the idea (and futility?) of proofs, especially the modern/contemporary concept of them. In doing so, I re-ran across a great quotation by Ferdinand Ebner. You can find the quotation below. The ending punch line is “One can prove the existence of a person only through dialogue, not through thought or speculation.”
I believe this fits complexly within Basil's theme of relationships and humans' nature of society. Enjoy.
PS The bold and italics are mine.
“Ebner finds in mathematics and the natural sciences that rely on mathematics an expression of self-isolation. Mathematical thinking in rooted, in his opinion, in the isolation of the self. The view apparently derives from the fact that the exact natural sciences seek to dominate the world and to relate to it as though it were made up of dead matter. Yet this isolation even penetrates metaphysics, philosophy, and theology. According to Ebner (and here he is a faithful follower of Kierkegaard) a proof of the existence of God is impossible. Every proof occurs outside conversation and dialogue and within the solitude of ‘I.’ Moreover, such a proof, removed from the actuality of life, would only demonstrate the existence of some object, and God is by His nature ‘Thou,’ not an object. He is the ‘Thou’ of man. God has a personal existence, and his relationship to man is personal.
“One can prove the existence of a person only through dialogue, not through thought or speculation.”