Rainbow over London October 2022
Spoiler alert: I am about to punch light years above my weight!
Let us go.
“Antinomy” is not a word that pops up a lot when we are reading, unless we may be reading about logic, philosophy or theology.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines “antinomy” as:
“Antinomy, in philosophy, contradiction, real or apparent, between two principles or conclusions, both of which seem equally justified; it is nearly synonymous with the term paradox.” See definition
Let us look at some examples of some antinomies. There are apparently plenty of them in the Bible and in Science.
Biblical antinomies are behind “God’s sovereignty vs. free” will debate (compare John 3:16 with Ephesians 1: 11).
In Science, the question is asked: Is light a particle or a wave? Can it be both?
(Take it easy. I warned you that I would punch above my weight!)
So, how are antinomies dealt with?
A humble theologian might say:
“Scriptural antinomies arise out of revealed truth beyond the capability of our finite minds to comprehend. There may be theology above our anthropomorphized understanding of God and His ways that will show that there are not contradictions. I gather this may be the road down which Immanuel Kant may have traveled. To reject Kant’s approach may require Biblical interpretation worthy of a gold medal in verbal gymnastics to resolve Biblical antinomies.”
A humble scientist might say:
“The contradiction between two laws of science may only be apparent. Science may one day come up with an explanation. Perhaps one or both of the laws will be shown to be wrong. Let us keep an open mind,”
An open-minded logician or philosopher might say:
“There may be laws of logic beyond our finite ability to reason which show that there is logic beyond the law of contradiction which states that “contradictory propositions cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time”. The perplexing antinomy may not exist in this higher logic.”
Antinomies are here to stay!
How do you deal with them? Good luck!
Oh yes- Don’t forget my spoiler alert!
Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash