1010.00 UNIFIED FORMULATION: GENERAL BUTTRESS
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is the inexorable consequence of the creation of potential for good.578 In this environment, man, God, and the cosmos all seek to achieve their potentials.
Light is steadily pitted against the dark, and light will increasingly overcome the dark. In Rabbi Kook’s words [in Orot Hakodesh]: “Nothing remains the same; everything blooms, everything ascends, everything steadily increases in light and truth. The enlightened spirit does not become discouraged even when he discerns that the line of ascendence is circuitous, including both advance and decline, a forward movement but also fierce retreats, for even the retreats abound in the potential of future progress.”
This vision of development “gives us ground optimism in the world” in the face of all discouragernents579
But in order to realize his ultimate quests, man must operate from a base of freedomâ€”the ultimate Divine gift.
But I prefer to live in a world in which man has the right to make choices, albeit wrong choices, rather than a world in which no choice at all is left to him. In other words, I prefer a world in which, on the one hand, a phenomenon such as Adolph Hitler may occur, and, on the other hand, phenomenon such as the many saints who have lived.
God willed man to be free.
Out of distress I called upon the Lord; He answered me in freedom.
However, the free will defense, in isolation from concepts of quest for potential and the motif of Divine contraction, ultimately fails. For the free will defense requires a radical
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578 Note that while our formulation has some common themes with the Irenaean, the two diverge on many fronts. Among other differences: According to the Irenaean, the choice is God’s, not man’s. According to the Irenaean, the purpose is growth, not quest. According to the Irenaean, there is a full-time real-time omniscience, not a contraction. According to the Irenaean, the theodicy is independent of creation, not integral to the cosmic process.
579 As written or cited by Bokser in Abraham Isaac Kook, p. 21.
580 Viktor Frankl, “The Philosophical Foundation of Logotherapy,” in Strauss, Phenomenology: Pure and Applied (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1961), p. 55, as quoted in Tradition 19,no. 4 (Winter 198 1).
581 Soloveitchik, “The Community,” p. 13.
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