Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are "mysteries" the crutch of the intellectually lazy?

No, or, not necessarily.

Calling something a theological mystery and not having a solution is not a lack of inquisitiveness or a sign of sloth.  All mysteries are mysteries before they're solved; are detectives and private investigators, then, merely lazy?  Of course not.  A mystery is simply something we can't explain with the facts and logic at hand.

When we speak of transcendental ones, we do generally mean they're unsolvable by temporal means.  It's good to accept they're beyond us, in the sense of cultivating trust and patience, but it's not a sign reading "think this far and no further."  Mysteries are not devoid of meaning; they are recognized as possessing more meaning than we can apprehend.

It's a race we know we probably can't finish.  It does not mean we should not or will not make the effort.  Some people may be more or less disposed to apprehending some part of the whole, but some people also may be more or less disposed to apprehending parts or all of complex cobordism, either, and there's no shame or conviction in that, either.

It may be expanded to the subject of religion as a whole.  How often do you hear things like "The Catholic Church tells you what to think?" (more on that another time)  Sure, there are professional theologians and philosophers, but most of the people you meet on the street are amateur theists, so to speak; they--we--can't answer a lot of the tough questions, or recognize some of the stupid ones, so we end up trusting what the Church tells us.

How is this a moral failing?  I'm sorry, but I'm too busy to figure out why the difference between homoousios and homoiousios is important; I will take it on faith, ponder it when I have the means as well as opportunity to do so, and allow the experts in their fields to do their job.  They keep me from falling into heresy, and I'll keep their planes from falling out of the sky.  Is that not a fair deal?

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