Winston Churchill once said, “So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.”
Paradox is one of my favorite words. Growing up in a house where different views on doctrine and politics was really not allowed caused me to hate disagreements. Learning that two seemingly opposing truths could be equally true has helped me to rest in a world of uncertainty. It doesn’t mean there are no absolutes. It’s more that our finite minds are sometimes limited.
God is the ultimate paradox. It does not seem possible to be perfectly holy and just, while simultaneously being compassionate and forgiving. Or for God to be completely in control, while giving us freedom to choose. The term both/and makes my mind spin much like ‘no beginning and no end’ – Alpha and Omega.
Our search for truth keeps us debating with each other. It’s tempting to become relativistic in order to find common ground. Accepting that paradox exists – that two seeming apposing concepts can be true at the same time keeps me humble. Maybe our search can bring us closer together rather than farther apart.
Added June 8th 2009 (not in original writing)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A paradox is a statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies intuition; or, it can be an apparentcontradiction that actually expresses a non-dual truth (cf. Koan, Catuskoti). Typically, either the statements in question do not really imply the contradiction, the puzzling result is not really a contradiction, or the premises themselves are not all really true or cannot all be true together. The word paradox is often used interchangeably with contradiction. Often, mistakenly, it is used to describe situations that are ironic.