Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ramifications of paradox

The freedom paradox from which springs all things possible (and all beliefs possible) bears a family resemblance to Howard Nemerov's "Creation Myth on a Moebius Band":
This world's just mad enough to have been made
By the Being his beings into Being Prayed
and to Martin Heideggar's metaphysical question:
Why is there something rather than nothing?
["There isn't nothing." ≡ "There's something."]
on which David Lodge embroidered in his tragicomic novel How Far Can You Go? [Souls and Bodies in the U.S.]:
Our friends had started life with too many beliefs—the penalty of a Catholic upbringing. They were weighed down with beliefs, useless answers to non-questions. To work their way back to the fundamental ones—what can we know? why is there anything at all? why not nothing? what may we hope? why are we here? what is it all about?—they had to dismantle all that apparatus of superfluous belief and discard it piece by piece....[p. 143]
And all such paradoxes are akin to miracles, whose paradox is to seem to shatter science by contravening natural law.

These paradoxes are family, but is one of them the Grandaddy? Or, as the paradox has been put colloquially for generations:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?