Love So Deep, It’s Six Feet Under

ParadiseLost Milton’s “Paradise Lost” begins the scene of the fall with an image of Satan standing at the sidelines and looking jealously at God’s new creations, Adam and Eve.  Satan is incensed at the love that God shows these creatures, and moreso, the love they have for each other, as they are “emparadised in one another’s arms”.

Milton uses the word “emparadised” to imply that the embrace of the two lovers is paradise; the culmination of the creation story.  Unfortunately, this wording plays into the romantic notion of human love being heavenly.  Anyone who misinterprets Milton and the creation story to say that “Romantic love is next to Godliness”, is making a terrible mistake.

In fact, the fall was precipitated, in part, by Adam and Eve focusing too much on one another and not enough on God.  It’s a telling slip that romantic people talk about “falling” in love.  When we see nothing but romantic love, we are fallen indeed.

I don’t have proof, but I am convinced that Edgar Allen Poe was thinking of Milton, and our fallen tendency to glorify romantic love, when he penned "Annabel Lee’.  Poe’s poem parallels Milton’s, with an angel becoming jealous of the humans’ love, and seeking to punish them.  Instead of separating the lovers from God, however, Poe’s angel separates the lovers from one another by killing Annabel Lee.  Defiantly, Poe’s narrator asserts a love that transcends the grave, and places himself directly in the grave with the dead Annabel:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Yes, they sure “fell” in love.  They fell so deep, they are both in the grave.  Poe’s poem is often cited as a glorification of the power of romantic love to reach beyond the grave, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s anything but.  It is a stark picture of what happens when we go too far with the idea of “emparadised in one another’s arms”.

Jürgen Habermas on the Trinity

Remonstrans recently linked to a nonsensical post about the trinity by “naked pastor”.  Most detailed explanations of the trinity are sophist nonsense, and naked pastor is a real humdinger.

Just last night, I read Jürgen Habermas in “The Dialectics of Secularization”, and came across another whopper of a theory:

Without initially having any theological intention, the reason that becomes aware of its limitations thus transcends itself in the direction of something else.  This can take the form of mystical fusion with a consciousness that embraces the universe; it may be the despairing hope that a redeeming message will occur in history; or it may take the shape of a solidarity with those who are oppressed and insulted, which presses forward in order to hasten on the coming of the messianic salvation.  These anonymous gods of the post-Hegelian metaphysics – the encompassing consciousness, the event from time immemorial, the non-alienated society – are an easy prey for theology.  There is no difficulty in deciphering them as pseudonyms of the Trinity of the personal God who communicates his own self.

Wow, Habermas blithely declares, in passive voice, that “there is no difficulty in deciphering” his putrid nonsense.  As if he is merely stating a common-sense fact, which any intelligent person would know.

It was very difficult to read the entire work, but I persisted.  Contrary to what I had been led to believe, Habermas is maddeningly nonsensical.  Like many of the other German philosophers, he is an expert at embedding unsubstantiated presuppositions within deeply nested clauses.  One particularly annoying habit is his continual uses “post-this” or “post-that” to imply a sense of “progress”; as if anything slapped with a “post” label is now dead and overturned by whatever the chronicler of progress deems to be current.  And what can I say about the use of the phrase “post-Hegelian”?  Hegel was nonsensical enough; anyone who would eagerly build a castle on the foundation of Hegel’s grave is even worse.

Buddha Congratulates Calvin on 500 Years

CalvinRolls We’ve recently wrapped up family visits in Toronto, Port Huron, and Princeton, and now relaxing near the beach in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.  In honor of John Calvin’s 500th birthday, my wife took this picture of a former Presbyterian church we drove past in London, Ontario.  The cement plaque in the side of the wall says that the church was established in 1910, and the large beaming statue of Buddha in the front is Vietnamese.

As my brother observed, this was a Presbyterian church, so nobody can say that the congregation were not warned.  The pastor probably warned the congregation of the imminence of God’s wrath often.  And now their building is a shrine to idolatry and sophistry.

~

One of the only good things to come out of economics recently is the field of “behavioral economics”, which shatters the myth of the “rational consumer”, and provides sound empirical evidence for the concept of the “totally depraved consumer”.  For most people, behavioral economics is redundant, since we already knew that people are not rational or ethical.  But for people who have been brainwashed by scientism, the field provides an invaluable tool to reacquaint them with common sense.  It uses their own tools to dismantle their fantasies.

In that spirit, check out Tyler Cowan’s post in honor of Calvin’s birthday: “John Calvin was a Behavioral Economist”.