Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2K3

[And what about the consequences?

Death (the ultimate consequence, I suppose, found in lawessential) contextualizes transgressions in natural and philosophical terms that are alien to the moral and religious terms of thinkgroup.

Thinkgroup cannot recognize the unintended consequences of its social constructions nor can acknowledge the passions (dispositions) driving them.

Thinkdivine can.  It exists in parallel to thinkgroup. It is not in denial when it comes to recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2K2

[Even more disturbing, while consciencelacking plays games on consciencefree, a similar drama also plays out on an intersubjective scale in the relation between thinkgroup and thinkdivine.

Thinkgroup seems to not be aware (or pretends so) that, by justifying sinful acts, it appeals to one’s dispositions in wanton ways.  Instead of training the dispositions, thinkgroup fires them up.  Thinkgroup justifies and explains seeking pleasure and avoiding pain in moral and religious terms.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2K1

Text (pages 10-12) [comments in square brackets]

[Now I will put the picture in the last blog into words and think about some of the implications.

The Law (thinkdivine) puts virtue into context.  Virtue situates consciencefree.  Virtue also situates (trains) dispositions.

Transgressions situate consciencelacking.  Transgressions also situate natural & philosophical dispositions; or maybe, material and immaterial desires.

This curiously implies that consciencelacking is opportunistic in selecting transgressions that appeal to one’s dispositions.  By “opportunistic”, I mean “a process like natural selection”.  Natural selection is opportunistic.  Both adaptations and exaptations are opportunistic.

In short, consciencelacking is looking for ways to tell one’s dispositions “what they want to hear”.  The dispositions are poised to act.  Both consciencelacking and one’s dispositions are situated by the transgression.

In addition, the exclusive yet interpellating character of consciencelacking and consciencefree may be foundational in the way that consciencelacking packages itself as it potentiates transgression.  Consciencelacking senses the Law in consciencefree’s ordination (like orientation, but including both material and immaterial dimensions).

My guess (which is consistent with Paul’s Letter to the Romans) is that consciencelacking goes against the Law by revolting against consciencefree, the forbidding yet interpellating other, so that the person is less disposed to “the freedom to seek and align oneself with the truth (which is God’s Law)” and more disposed to “the advantages to me of acting out this transgression”.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2G2

[What is going on in the natural philosophical plane?

Consciencefashion shapes its transgression (the beautiful compass) by confounding two natural dispositions: the disposition to know directions and the disposition to own, hold, and manipulate beautiful things. As the compass became more popular, another disposition, the lemming instinct (so popular on American campuses in 2012), comes into play.

The “missing the mark compass” situates dispositionscoordinate+pretty+others_say_its_good.

Lawessential labels the natural and philosophical consequences of this situation.   In the analogy, new constructions are “crooked” with respect to the old constructions.  These consequences cannot be explained within the symbolic order or ‘reality’ of the ever-expanding thinkgroup.  In fact, problems cannot even be articulated because the thinkgroup depends on the transgression.

At the point,when the problems appear to be overwhelming, a detachment ought to take place.  This is precisely what Paul talked about, when he said that the “sin” was responsible for his transgressions, not “Paul himself”.  This detachment must occur, otherwise the person, or here, the city, will self-destruct.

In the story it does.  A person recognizes why the ships are not returning.  They are getting lost because of the compass.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2G1

Text (pages 10-12) [comments in square brackets]

[How would Paul’s ideas in Romans 7:11-13 fit into the intersecting nested form?

Thinkdivine sets the Law.  In the analogy, the Law would be something like the behavior of ferromagnetic needles in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Enter the beautiful compass.  Consciencefashion fixes on the law and works on a way to turn it to advantage. Typical of creations of the fashion world, what comes out is attractive, but dysfunctional.

That does not matter, because a thinkgroup forms saying that one can use this beautiful thing with confidence.

Thinkgroup3(missing the mark2(consciencefashion1)) constitutes a positive feedback loop.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2F

Text (pages 10-12) [comments in square brackets]

[Consider this analogy. Someone invents a “missing the mark” compass.  It cannot align with the magnetic field, but it looks really beautiful.  It becomes so popular that people use it with confidence.  Buildings go up slightly misaligned with other buildings. New streets do not parallel the old streets.  The sewers do not align, spilling sewage into the boulevards.  The entire city looks out of kilter.

Hundreds of experts are hired to straighten out the works.  They conclude that the beautiful compass should be standard and the old city should be abandoned.  But the ship-owners are losing money and cannot pay for evacuation.  Their ships are going out and not returning.  The city verges on bankruptcy.  Chaos threatens.

Then someone at the shipyards discovers that the popular – mandated – beautiful – compass somehow does not point to the true magnetic pole.  That is why the ships are getting lost and not returning.  That person is subjected to persecution.  ‘He’ hates the beautiful.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.2E2

[Let me step back and present Schoonenberg’s comments in a single nested form.

The “law3” puts “transgressions of the law, or sin2” into context.

The “law3” brings “transgressions of the law, or sin2” into relation with “the possibilities inherent in ordination1“.  Among these possibilities are “fixations1” or “sins that precede the transgression of the Law1” or “ways of disordination1“.

For Schoonenberg, following Paul, these “ways of disordination1“, which exist in the realm of possibility in this nested form, may be regarded actual in another nested form.

In these blogs, however, I resist any impulse to reify.  Perhaps, that may come later.

Consequently, these “ways of disordination1” corresponds, to a greater or lesser extent, to consciencelacking1.  “Lacking” here, refers to the “inability to orient (or ordinate) without fixation”.]