Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1AC

[“God Recognizing Himself3” brings “the spontaneous order and the creature2” into relation to “the potential inherent in the creature1“.

If a creature realizes itself by self-destruction, the realization of its potential is situated in the spontaneous order.

Both “the self-destruction of the creature and the adaptation in the spontaneous order2” are contextualized by God3.

This simple thought experiment shows the value of the nested formulation.

When a modern presents a rhetorical question, ‘he’ anticipates one answer instead of three.

Does the creature cease to exist?

The answer is No3( Maybe2 and Yes2( Who knows what potentially remains?1)).]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1AB

[Let me conduct a thought experiment:

I choose this scenario as a plain example of self-destruction and a tangible embodiment of the negative character of sin.

A creature realizes itself by committing suicide.

The thought probe wonders: Does the creature cease to exist?

For the creature itself, the answer must be “yes”.

The creature is actual. It obeys the laws of non contradiction.

In the realm of the spontaneous order, the answer is “maybe”, because, even though the creature ceases to exist, the spontaneous order adapts to both the existence and disappearance of the creature. The spontaneous order also belongs to actuality.

In the realm of “God Recognizes Himself (that is, of creation)”, “the manifestation of the creature’s existence at one time in the spontaneous order, plus its fate,” cannot be erased, because it has become embedded in “God Recognizing Himself”.

So the answer must be “no”, the creature’s fate is traced in God’s Own Recognition.

This can be depicted in nested form.

God Recognizing Himself3( spontaneous order & creature2( the potential inherent in the creature1))]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1Z

Summary of text [comment] page 66

[Spontaneous order?

What is that?

A spontaneous order is an anti-entropic process (occurring within an entropic flow of energy). Some spontaneous orders are destructive (example: tornadoes). Some are constructive (example: a living cell).

Every creature cannot help but realize itself.

At the same time, every creature is created and kept in being by God, through a spontaneous order.

God lifts actuality out of the realm of possibility through spontaneous orders.

It appears that spontaneous order generates itself by itself. However, no accounting in the realm of actuality can answer this question:

Why this spontaneous order and not another?

A spontaneous order cannot explain itself. It cannot account for its own uniqueness or its amazing unity.

This question marks the horizon of scientific inquiry.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1Y

Summary of text [comment] pages 65 and 66

[Dispositions and conscience exist in the realm of possibility.

Dispositions are directly situated by human action. They are contextualized by consequences, which I call, lawessential.   Lawessential may be accepted or denied. I label habitual acceptance or denial as lawacceptance and lawdenial.

These labels refer to “the actual and perceived consequences of the single actuality of virtue and sin”. This same actuality is contextualized by thinkdivine and thinkgroup.

The conscience is directly situated by human thoughts. The conscience is contextualized by two exclusive yet interpellating normal contexts, thinkgroup and thinkdivine. These contexts cause the conscience to be more and more distinct as the creature realizes ‘himself’. That is why conscience is specified. The specifications that I use are “lacking” (as in “without freedom”) and “free” (as in, open to responsibility and freedom).

In time, I suspect that better terms than “lacking” and “free” will be found.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1V

Summary of text [comment] pages 65 and 66

[What happens when I make myself into “a slave to my attitude of moral superiority and to my spiritual and material pleasures”?

Freedom turns into “the very opposite of freedom”.

“The very opposite of freedom” is “to enslave oneself to a thinkgroup in order to indulge oneself”.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1U

[In both these cases, Person A sees ‘himself’ as ‘his’ own possession.

Person A is free. Person A is free to sell out ‘his’ own freedom. Person A is willing to become a slave (or perhaps, a master) of a thinkgroup in order to be “holier than thou” with respect to Person B (and others). ‘

And that comes with a bonus: It turns ‘him’ on.

Consciencelacking indirectly unmoors the dispositions.

Consciencelacking indirectly turns responsibility and freedom into words and bondage.

Does this not call to mind the term “self destruction”?

The elegant sophistries and the addicting perversities of sin testify to the fact that each person realizes ‘his’ freedom in individual ways.

Unearned moral superiority carries the pleasures of high status.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.1T

[Let me take this one step further.

If Person A were disposed to other, more kinky options, ‘he’ could see Person B as “a perverted instrument of a higher power”.

In this case, Person B may be portrayed as “a bad one”. This carries the implication is that B’s (apparent) haughtiness is driven by pleasure, in particular, the pleasure of victimizing others.

Is Person A addicted to ‘his’ habituated emotions concerning ‘his’ rightfulness?

Does Person A project ‘his’ own addiction onto Person B?

If so, Person A accuses Person B of precisely “what Person A longs to do” but cannot publicize it. Person A wants to take pleasure in hurting a bad one.

By making an innocent suggestion, Person B has targeted ‘himself’.

Person A has identified Person B as a bad one.]