Divine hiddenness and the feminine

The argument from hiddenness is one version of the argument from evil, sc. if God existed he would be more evident or more eager to set up a relationship with individuals. Briefly, if God exists he would prefer to be an object of knowledge.

Christianity concedes this in one sense but denies it in another. God wants to be an object of knowledge eschatologically or at the end of the life of the human individual and species, but short of this he prefers to be an object of faith, i.e. an object of total commitment or assent in the face of uncertainty. Why?

A strong response is that this is logically necessary. God wants to be known as the culminating event of history, and so knowledge is not a possible road to union before this. If this is so, the argument from hiddenness wants to short-circuit history, and perhaps it should be careful what it wishes for, since the knowledge that drives out all doubt comes in the culminating act for both the saved and anyone else.

We might be able to make out the outlines of an epistemological or anthropological reason as well. Perhaps rational accounts need to begin as cases of faith seeking understanding, i.e. a way of fleshing out and articulating beliefs that we have already given total commitment to in the face of uncertainty. I don’t at all think that this means that reason is a wax nose to irrational prejudice – part of being a rational account is to follow from things that you share both with the alike-committed and the uncommitted. But suppose truth is a woman in the nuptial sense: you can only get to see all of her after you take a vow to all of her as unseen. Under this hermeneutic the argument from hiddenness is a certain failure to understand how to woo women – it’s the effeminacy of the man who figures that if the girl likes him she ought to call.

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3 Comments

  1. Zippy said,

    April 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    If this is so, the argument from hiddenness wants to short-circuit history, and perhaps it should be careful what it wishes for, …

    I’ve long suspected that active assertion of the ‘problem of evil’ is literally asking for annihilation, for nonexistence, not just of onesself but of everyone and everything one loves.

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2006/09/08/the-problem-with-the-problem-of-evil/

  2. April 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Your post reminded me of the Veil of Isis, allegorically interpreted as a the veil that hides Truth: “Authors at the end of the 18th century, foreshadowing the Romantic movement, began using the lifting of Isis’s veil as a metaphor for revealing awe-inspiring truth.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_Isis

  3. Ian said,

    April 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

    But suppose truth is a woman in the nuptial sense: you can only get to see all of her after you take a vow to all of her as unseen.

    This is a great illustration.


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