The Theory of Divine Relativity: Nothing Exceeds the Speed of One
The etymology of paradox is para + doxos, i.e., contrary to thinking, or thoughts that seem to run counter to one another. Ortho-paradox borrows from it and from ortho-doxy, meaning "correct opinion."
Therefore, orthoparadox -- which began life as one of those annoying but harmless portmanteaus compulsively tossed out by Petey -- has come to actually mean something in the Raccoon luxicon, something quite important and even central to understanding our cosmic situation. It is a joke no more, or at least a serious guffah HA!
Orthoparadox must be distinguished from mere paradox, which implies a problem in the data or in the thinker, something that can eventually be overcome, e.g. a false assumption or naive expectation or hidden variable.
For example, Einstein spent a lot of time thinking about certain paradoxes of classical physics before he resolved them by vaulting himself to an entirely new plane. However, that plane has now generated paradoxes of its own, most conspicuously, the disjunction between quantum physics and special relativity, or between locality and nonlocality. In short, special relativity insists that nothing can exceed the speed of light, while the cosmos feels otherwise.
And as it so happens, "feel" is more than just a figure of speech. Rather, it is actually central to Whitehead's metaphysic, which in turn forms the basis of process theology. For what is feeling? For our purposes, it is a kind of spontaneous interior knowing, which in turn implies a wavelike connectedness or unity of things.
Let's zoom out for a moment and consider the big picture: the Christian truth alluded to above by Dávila posits -- or embodies -- several irreducible orthoparadoxes of the greatest possible significance, for example, Trinity, Incarnation, and Resurrection. Expressed in the simplest possible way, God is One and Three; Divine and human; and Life in death.
None of these are paradoxes, nor are they mere mysteries that cannot be thought about. Nevertheless, as Dávila says, "In clumsy hands theology becomes the art of making mystery ridiculous." What I would say is that when the typical theologian reaches the threshold of a paradox, he makes a special plea to Mystery, and hopes you won't ask any more questions.
One of the most annoying examples of this is in the attempt to reconcile divine omnipotence with the obvious existence of evil. This is a difficult one to squirm out of, which is why even serious theologians will throw up their hands and say, for example, "God's ways are not our ways." Thanks for the tip!
The first thing I want to say is that perhaps God's ways are more like our ways than some assume. I mean, you and I want to eliminate evil, don't we? I always go back to something our Unknown Friend said, to the effect that God doesn't control history -- after all, he himself was crucified in history. At the very least, he doesn't control history in the way you imagine -- like a tyrannical dictator who eliminates freedom.
Here we are very much in the realm of orthoparadox, i.e., "the Creator of history crucified in history," which is a little like me jumping into this post and allowing myself to be physically pummeled by commenters.
Back to that idea of "feeling." Humans are social beings. Why? Or first, how? Because of "fellow feeling," or sympathy with and for our fellow man. When my son hurts, I hurt even more. Why? Well, Hartshorne writes that while humans love and care, they do not do so "perfectly." Our "social awareness" is mixed with a good deal of selfishness, or narcissism, or social unawareness -- granted, not as much as an Obama, who is so heartbroken that he nearly misses his tee time -- but we clearly have limitations, or we'd go insane.
Not so God, who is "socially aware -- period" (Hartshorne). He is the source and ground of our own soci-ability, which is to say, love. Thus, "We do not 'love' literally, but with qualifications" (ibid.); taken literally, love is God. He is the literal instance of what is for us a category. Likewise "knowing." We can know a little bit about everything, but we cannot know everything about a single thing. But God is knowing -- period.
Now, this knowing is, in my opinion, also the ground of nonlocality; you might say that nonlocality is the shadow of God's omniscience, or in other words, a consequence of the radical unity of things forged by God's knowledge-love. This interior unity is prior to any outward multiplicity. It is not so much "faster" then the speed of light as prior to it, for it is truly One Cosmos, and nothing arrives here more instantaneously than Oneness.
Well, I didn't have time to get nearly as deeply into this as I had wanted, but we'll take another plunge on Monday.