June 13, 2013

Subjective versus Objective

This just in: it's easier to go to work when it's rainy and ugly, which it was this morning, but you can't keep June down for long.  By 2pm it was sunny and mild. This scenario seems like it could never have happened in, say, October. You get the feeling that the sun, like sex, is really for propagation; that sun is an instrument towards the goal of photosynthesis and plant production. There's more “pressure” on the sun to appear in early June than early October. Or maybe that's the materialist's view instead of the romantic's.

It's St. Anthony's day, always a great one given this wonderworker's works. I liked the first reading from 2 Cor 3 today, St. Paul always being so positive and so encouraging. I read the passage in the NAB, the NJB and the Knox and I really appreciated how Knox went the extra mile in making it clear. His translation definitely feels on the dynamic end of things rather than the literal. It's funny but years ago I wanted a slavishly literal translation since it seemed closer to God and less altered by man. But now I much prefer a clearer translation. Perhaps this is a result of not seeing God as so utterly transcendent but more immanent and that He can work even through translators, i.e. more trusting of humans since we are, after all, part of the Body. Or perhaps I've just seen how I get more out of a translation that I can more easily understand.

Learned of a friend's anger which seems at times almost involuntary. It's a fascinating thing because it involves that gray area between impulse control and free will - at what point, when we lose our temper, is it beyond our control (if ever?).  I thought that the gift of the Holy Spirit always gives one the ability NOT to sin if one chooses, via His helps, but that ignores how the church in recent years seems to have taught that some sin is objective but that our free will has been so compromised either by sin or nature that we "involuntarily" sin.  For example, the early Church Fathers I doubt would ever conclude that denying Christ, even under torture, was not mortally sinful. I wonder whether today one could say the same. Would the Church hold that because our free will was so compromised by the torture that, subjectively speaking, it's a venial sin at worst?

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