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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, May 07, 2021
Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.
It is one of the most peculiar characteristics of post-modernity that the dominant culture has a love-hate relationship with the concept of “order”. On the one hand, the contemporary mindset seeks to justify every desire that was formerly considered “disordered” through the assumption that the universe is the product of chaos; on the other, this same contemporary mindset insists upon a socially uniform, consistent and orderly stance against challenges to this assumption. In other words, we wish to orchestrate a unified and orderly exclusion of the theory that both the material and moral universes are deliberately and intrinsically ordered toward intelligible ends.
The problem of randomness
We may safely assume that our culture’s commitment to chaos arises from a felt need to justify desires heretofore thought to be morally forbidden. This requires the denial of a moral order. Though it is irrational in itself to attempt to prove that everything arises from chaos, rational beings cannot long escape the process of rationalization for the things they choose to believe or do. In the present case, the bedrock argument or “fact” used to defend our culture’s self-justifying assumption of value-free chaos is what the physical sciences call “randomness”. …