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Paradoxes about the Divinity
|by R. D. Ashby|
There are several paradoxes about the divinity. Chief of these is the concept itself of God. It is put down to the extrapolation of the desire for a unified perception of the world, an imposition by the mind of such a unifying principle, ultimately creative, since then it could be understood that everything that exists has its origin in something beyond existence - a paradox. Equal to the case of belief in God is that of disbelief in God on the very same grounds, but with a different conclusion: that the source is imaginary, a wishful projection.
Given that one believes in God, the paradox is how anything else can exist, for where it exists there should be God. This is resolved by claiming the infinite existence of God, which somehow admits the existence of creation where God is reduced to non-finitude while still present. Which contains a further paradox: how does God, an infinite spirit, create matter, and to what end? As it so turns out, our concept of matter generalises what is in all definition of it a realisation of identity: identity is acknowledged, but cannot be analysed: it is virtually an immaterial concept, giving a clue as to its immaterial creative origin. It still leaves unanswered the why and the how of creation by God. To moot creation is to say God has a mind, a mind for things other than God, which is a contradiction in terms, a paradox, since God being infinite perfection has, can have, no mind for anything other, less than God.
All these paradoxes are resolvable by the mere fact of the functionality of what appears to be the case: I say all, except those concerning God. Thus evolution is a science of the observed facts, even dynamism of events. To say God exists is considered unrelated to what exists - for given there is a link, what is it? Evolution makes a genuine case for the absence of God in nature. Where, outside faith, does the finger of God touch existence – show us, the evolutionist implies, and we will believe, just as we believe in evolution, where the how of the process is neatly made redundant by the fact of it: no need for determination of teleology, either – it just happens.
Theists have their accounts of creation, ultimately, as a manifestation of the love of God for man. Surely, the only proper object of God’s love is God? Partially resolving the paradox, God sees in creation, in man, a manifestation of who God is – that would explain its coming to be and where it is moving towards and of its final resolution of purpose, in man, as a manifestation of God. Still, the question remains, how and why manifest in man the creature what is fully known in God? This would indicate some identification in man, or man’s destiny, for creation to be necessary – a paradox, since God knows no necessity.
Paradoxically, God cannot be said to exist, vindicating it would seem the claims of atheists, because it implies God exists in some context, which by definition would be greater than God. For example, the sun is said to exist; but this takes for granted the context that makes the sun’s existence possible, and which, in a sense, precedes the sun’s existence and sustains it. So to say the sun exists is to imply the pre-existence of the context of its existence. To say God exists, likewise, would be to imply the pre-existent context of God’s existence – only, that is impossible: there can be no other possibility but that God is the context of God’s existence. This paradox is resolved by sustaining the context of God’s existence not as something separate to but integral to the phenomenon of God – that God is God’s act of existence, indeed, the prototype to all created existence, where the existing form is realised within a context, and is of the spirit of that context – three elements composing one act of existence. Created existence itself is the demonstration of the form of the Divine Existence that created it.
As author of the created process of existence, any personal status accorded to God is uniquely, in the form of God’s One Existence, accorded to all three elements: Context (Father) begets Form (Son) from all eternity in the Spirit (Holy Ghost), where each is necessarily a Divine Person, and the One Existence of God is a Divine Procession. Created existence is possible in the infinite comprehension of God, occasioning nothingness in the distinction, from which nothingness God creates in the very same form of context, form and spirit in process. Created existence, as a process, is thus by the power of God, but is distinct from the Divine Procession that is the Divinity. However, the end of created existence can only be the manifestation of God, since God can be motivated, if we can adopt such a term, by nothing less.
The question as to why God creates would appear to be on the face of it the manifestation of God to creatures, the creative process bringing to formative realisation such a creature as can achieve this in man. The evidence of this is man as emerging from the creative process, endowed with a capacity to realise the principle of rightness, which is the basis of identification, implicitly in affection for realisation of rightness, which is at once the affection for life, in non-human life forms as well as in humans; but in the former, undistinguished as to principle, as it is distinguished in the latter. Ultimately, if the creative process leads to the realisation of the principle of rightness in man, identified with life, it indicates the elevation to a conceptual plane the creative process becomes, where the virtually immaterial concepts of rightness and life are formed in man’s realisation.
It would be tempting to conclude that the life of man is an image of the life in God, and so is brought about in the creative process. In God as Life, God is eternally in affection of Rightness as the divine identity in the Trinity of persons. The difficulty would be the opposite to what is implicit to Rightness – a corresponding anti-rightness, which is not God, which occasions the Divine procession of realisation of the Divine Rightness. In fact, the case of man manifests that the affection for life, to identify, implies a corresponding possibility of wrongness and death in the default. The Divine Life in manifesting Divine Rightness implies, it would seem, something that contradicts it – which is impossible, since God’s existence is infinite. Unless, as in the case of the creation, there is eternally that comprehension of God’s Life within God, that occasions the nothingness which creation manifests as the distinction between rightness and its counterpart, of identity and non-identity.
As to how God creates from nothingness, we can, for the time being, adopt the method of science and point to the fact of the created existence, juxtaposed to the infinite existence of God, and infer there is evidence of a divine means, a how, of creating, which, of course, has to be demonstrated – if one has not the faith based on the evidence.
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