An attempt to understand why language cannot describe God

Language as such breaks down before the unknowing and infinite of God; such a breaking down is, in essence, analogous to the constant desire to divide the infinite into the finite, to conceptualize parts (various finite things) as making up the whole (infinite), when in actuality the whole is it self the only knowably complete part—the infinite being a minima (in other words, there are no divisible parts to the infinite): in order to grasp at such an all-encompassing indivisibility (i.e., the infinite), of which humanity is included, the notion of “the finite” is employed as a principle of organization through which the general notion of “infinite” can arise. But note: just because the concept of the finite allows one to gesture towards the infinite, such gesturing should not be mistaken for a certain grasp of the infinite by means of the finite. Imagine, for instance, the notion of the “finite” as a tool and the “infinite” as the social imaginary, or situated-ness in which the tool makes sense or serves a purpose: on the one hand, the tool can never be used to explain the why-ness or what-ness of its situation, only the that-ness of something greater; but on the other hand, the situation involves the indescribably complex dynamics that provide room for understanding the tool in the first instance. But in the last instance, the attempt to abstract the tool from its situation—or, finitude from infinitude—strips the tool of its “tool-ness” and understands the tool only for the sake of the tool. The problem is not the act of abstraction itself (indeed, such abstraction is what gives people the opportunity to fine-tune and improve the quality of the tool); instead, the problem is mistaking an abstraction for a confirmation of the concrete. That is, mistaking the “finite” as discrete from the “infinite,” and thereby assuming that finitude bears an independent weight against which the infinite can be assessed. In the same way, language cannot describe God—it was never meant to.


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