Schwarzfahren

Schwarzfahren is somewhat of a sport in certain parts of Europe. Young individuals ride public transportation without paying their proper dues, and attempt to avoid being caught by various security officers. They do it for the “adrenaline rush.”

Connecting this with the Divine might start with asking a question like this: What does this “game” reveal about “human nature?” This question seems to be more properly answered by some psychologist somewhere, but today, I’ll have to settle with speculation from my computer armchair. From this answer, we might ask about what kind of God would create the kind of people that exhibit this nature.

Schwarzefahren is a game that is created out conditions that are not inherently designed for a game. This is an interesting occurrence. Russian roulette is another game of this type. In some sense, all games are exhibit this quality: they alter conditions of non-game-like circumstances to ones that allow for the playing of a game. There is no a priori connection between physics and all the games that the physics of our universe makes possible.

How is it that something that is “designed” for another purpose can be converted to another purpose by just the intent of the user. In other words, how can it be that a gun, a weapon that is designed for the death of enemies, be turned into an essential tool for a dangerous game.

Its times like these that I feel like an alien. The conversion of “neutral” objects and conditions into game objects and conditions is something that happens so naturally and so seamlessly that it is hardly something that anyone stops and asks about.

The same odd transformation occurs when objects become symbols. How is it that an object can be imbued with emotional meaning via some abstract association?

Is there any inference that can be drawn about God from all of this nonsense? It seems clear that nothing can be drawn for the aforementioned thoughts alone, but perhaps something can be said if these observations are coupled with some more ancient ones.

In the 2nd creation myth found in Genesis, Adam named the animals. “…and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” This is the same sort of thing we see with games and symbols whatever man calls that object is what it is. Man may not be “the measure of all things”, but he is at least the measure of some things.

What’s interesting about the naming of the animals in this story is that it occurs in between the following statements:

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

and

“But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

 23 The man said,

   “This is now bone of my bones
   and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
   for she was taken out of man.”

Naming (or appropriating or the aforementioned conversion of neutral objects to objects with an extra added meaning) seems to play an essential role in the realization that “no suitable helper existed” for Adam. In this instance, the sequence is as follows: naming -> realization.

With Eve’s creation, however, the sequence is switched: realization -> naming.

All of this seems to lead to nothing other than the subjective-objective distinction. That which is objective may be said to be that which is the result of God’s creation. Subjectivity is a reaction to and communication with that which is objective (or what the Divine has delt us). In this subjectivity lies the ability for us to be either in tune with what the Divine has delt or out of tune with it.

Games and symbols, then, are just another instance of this divine gift we have been given: subjectivity. It is a gift that allows the transformation of objectivity, and the transformation of the subject that beholds this altered object.

It is a gift that reflects the creative nature of the Divine. Subjectivity allows the creation of new associations and intentions, which, in turn, allows for the creation of real objects. Perhaps our subjectivity is another consequence of the fact that we are image-bearers.

This is probably all wrong. Enough of my absurd philocosphico-theological rambling.

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