[The previous series, 110, can be found [url=http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=449&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a]here. This series, 111, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here.]
[Entry 1 for “Contra Contradictions”]
It doesn’t take much imagination to see that if for some reason the ‘feeling’ that accompanies not-entirely comprehensible phenomena (whether contradictory, paradoxical or even just ‘too much detail’ for our minds to take in) should become valued in itself, or as a pointer toward something else; and if rational inquiry into these aspects should for some reason (irony intended!) be disparaged; then people who value this feeling and disparage rational inquiry will begin to treat contradictions as having real value, too, to be fostered and defended as ‘true contradictions’ (again, irony intended.)
Although this process is certainly not limited to religious philosophies, I think something like this has happened in many religions–including, I’m sorry to say, in Christianity.
I am “sorry to say” this, because unlike other mental operations which naturally result in feelings of awe, contradictions deny reality. A theist who turns to contradictions to generate feelings of awe about God, or (worse) proposes that God and contradictions must necessarily go hand in hand (perhaps because he is working with the requirement of a faith/reason disparity), implicitly denies God’s reality.
Sceptics just love this! Who can blame them? It plays right into their hands!
More importantly, some sceptics have become unbelievers precisely because they perceived this problem, and were subsequently told (by otherwise well-meaning theists) that this was the way it had to be. These particular sceptics (in another vicious irony, and no fault to them) learned their lesson quite well: these theists testify against the reality of the very Person they want people to believe exists and operates in our lives and world!