So, it looks like we can’t talk about the Origin of anything without bringing in Creativity and Creation. Although I will endeavor this morning to create an original post, it won’t originate from nowhere or be made of nothing, rather, with pre-existing materials, e.g., words, ideas, and dreams, even if it leads nowhere. As usual.
As God said to the atheist who claimed he could create a universe without supernatural aid, Get your own dirt. Not to mention information, order, language, meaning, intelligence, math, etc. You and I can be creative, but we couldn't create creativity or speak language into existence. But on a positive note, we can't meaningfully deny meaning, truly claim that truth cannot be known, or maintain absolutely that everything is relative.
There’s a limit to what we can create, and all night long I dreamt about what this means — i.e., the existence of limits. I wish I could remember those dreams. Best I can do is try to redream them from scratch.
Lately we’ve been digging down to the foundations of the cosmos and inspecting its most primordial and irreducible principles and concepts such as Necessity, Possibility, Freedom, Absolute, Relative, Infinite, Origins, Creativity, etc. Each of these, it turns out, represents a kind of Limit to how far our Intelligence can penetrate.
Looking down that list, what is Necessity but a Limit on Possibility? And what is Possibility but a Limit on Necessity? Likewise, what is the Absolute but a limit on Infinitude, and vice versa? But what is "Limit-ness" as such? Does God have any limits?
Which brings to mind that other old gag about whether God can create a stone so heavy he can’t lift it. That he can’t is at once trivial but nevertheless a kind of limit, in that it means God cannot be absurd. So, that's a start.
Therefore, following our pretentious scheme of Capitalization, the Absurd cannot be one of our foundational concepts, even though absurdity will always be with us. Yes, today’s election may deal it a setback, but progressivism is relentlessly regressive.
Limits on God. Here is one of those areas where Luther departed -- to put it mildly, since he was never mild -- from orthodoxy, in that he unilaterally decided that God had no limits of any kind, even to the point of absurdity.
Which implies a link between limitlessness and absurdity, and I want to say that Genesis 3 even speaks to this, what with human beings usurping a right to their own unlimited intelligence, but let’s not rush to judgment.
First of all, let’s not be silly: of course God is limitless.
Yes, but within limits!
For example, could murder be good, or lies be true, or 2+2=5 just because God declares it so? Like Islam, this is what Luther maintains: that it is a grave insult to place any limits on God, including even (or perhaps especially) intelligibility. Rather, it is for us to merely obey, no matter how absurd the command.
I don't parent that way. Why would God?
With a limitless God comes a totally limited humanity, in that we have no free will and no real intelligence, or at least it can never be trusted due to our total depravity: “everything in you is completely blameworthy, damnable sins” (Luther). B-b-but — EVERYTHING!
Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.
Admittedly, this guy… this is not my kind of guy.
But since the devil’s bride, Reason, that pretty whore, comes in and thinks she’s wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit, who can help us, then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because [reason] is the Devil’s greatest whore.
So, no, I’m not a fan, and never have been, nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with Christianity, but because I reject nominalism as the Devil’s own metaphysic, so right back at you, Marty. It literally makes no sense to me, because if it is the case, then there is no sense to be made:
The debate over nominalism and its rival, realism [as represented by Thomas], was an argument about epistemology -- how we know things and how the words we use to express knowledge are related to what we know.
Are we or are we not knowers, and what does it mean to truly know? Well, "Nominalism was the deconstruction of its day. In its various forms, it cast doubt on the old certainties of language.” Which is fine as far as it goes, because nothing is easier than to be seduced by our own stupid or evil ideas [insert generic gag about the left].
But it’s a bridge too far to nowhere to thereby condemn all ideas as idolatry and to insist that God is wholly unintelligible to the very intelligence he -- for wholly opaque reasons -- gave us. For Luther, God
is free to do anything he wants. Human standards of morality or human ideas of what God should or should not do cannot then flow out of God’s essence…. God created human morality as we know it, and if he had wanted to do so, he might have created a different morality altogether.
Thus, no natural law, let alone natural rights, for there is only God’s unlimited will, but no intelligibility or universal ideas accessible to the intellect.
Of course, it can sound vulgar to bluntly say “God has limits,” and leave it at that. Rather, I would say he has limits, and that these limits are limitless -- for example, he is limited by love, but his love is unlimited. Likewise truth or beauty. God is limited by truth, in that there is no falsehood in him, but there are no limits to his truth.
Christ is like us in all things but sin. Does this mean he is limited? Definitely. Only in an unlimited way. Orthoparadox. It makes perfect nonsense to me, but it's not absurd and neither is God.