3 Comments on How the West Became Atheist

  1. Not being a philosopher or theologian, I don’t easily grasp analyzing Infinity as though it is finite? Infinity, God or Divine Providence if you will, encapsulates finite existence and non-existence for that matter, but can never itself be finite as a totality. Can it? Thomism and other logical constructs seem to claim God is Infinite; then offer finite (limited) anthropomorphic arguments as proof; paradoxically it would seem, defending the irrational with the rational. If God is Infinite; nothing exists outside God, including ourselves, our universe(s) and everything in our universe(s), seen or unseen, understood or not. Is it possible for a physical, finite, intelligent energy form (human life) to comprehend its own intrinsic connection to Infinite Energy (God)? Is this spiritual awareness; discernment? Trans-humanists want to build machines and merge them with humanity to grope for the Infinite; when it appears their time would be better spent understanding their own human nature, already an intimate, inseparable expression of Infinite Energy (God). I don’t pretend to understand this. Just sayin’.

    • There comes a point when the dialectic of ‘infinite’ versus ‘finite’ separates into a crossroads. This crossroads goes not in the bifurcated directions of infinity (transcendence) on the right and finitude (immanence) on the left. It goes, rather, in the directions of two mutually exclusive syntheses of the infinite and the finite. The one road proceeds via a kind of mystical ‘folding’/’unfolding’ monism that conceives of a blank Infinity so perfectly infinite that it transcends its own specified limits of infinity, thereby morphing into, and as, finitude. Pick your pole, Sephirothic or Qlipphothic, ancient or hypermodern, Iamblichean or Deleuzean: depending on your proclivity, the path of ‘folded’/’folding’ monism means either Apollo wearing a Dionysus mask, or vice versa. In either case, it means tyranny and chaos braided together.

      The other road, which has worked well for me* in terms of both doctrine and practice–and arguably it is present at the core of the Seven Councils’ dogmas–proceeds by a conceiving of infinity as a real trait or attribute of definite realities. In Orthodox Christian theology, the three Divine Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are absolutely distinct from each other. In that sense, each Divine Person is definite, absolutely individual. At the same time, each Divine Person is infinite, and not just by virtue of the fact that each of Them has the same infinite Essence or ‘Whatness’ as the others: the Son’s ‘whoness’–His personhood, His very individuality, His ‘definitude’–is itself inexhaustible and permanent. It is infinite. The same likewise applies to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and to the Divine Essence, and to the Divine Energies. The Divine Persons, the Divine Energies, and the Divine Essence: each of these constitutes a definite infinity.

      And the same likewise applies to God’s creation–to us, to our personhoods, to our human and animal and angelic essences, and to our respective essential energies–made as we are in God’s Image and likeness. Only sin and death compromise the infinities God gifted to us at our individual creations, and Christ already knocked that shit out for us when He resurrected.

      *(I say that this has ‘worked well’ for me; ultimately I mean that the vast majority of theoretical work I’ve thus far encountered now neither intrigues nor threatens me: since most of it opts for the synthesizing path of the mystical ‘folding’/’unfolding’ monism, it’s all as captivating as a man with broken limbs attempting the ballet.)

  2. Thank you redoves. Quite helpful. I persistently (and with stubborn ignorance) think of infinity as encompassing everything, when in actuality it simply means “without limit”, which is not the same thing. For example, if infinite creative energy, that is God, is without limitation, then certainly God can choose to inhabit finite forms. Not sure why I habitually and incorrectly suggest otherwise?

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