thickening things
July 19, 2010, 3:02 pm
Filed under: brave new world, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Some people are dangerous by their clarity.  For instance, some Kings and Presidents were, and are:  if not benevolent, their certainty would certainly act to destroy lives.  But not just kings.  I have friends who have inherited the divine right:  God told me, they say.  They’re not just saying it either, they believe it.  Here is another way:  to live in the uncertainty of meaning, whether divine or the liberal humanist version.

A quotation from Terry Eagleton’s — he calls it deeply embarrassing — book The Meaning of Life:

Religious fundamentalism is the neurotic anxiety that without a Meaning of meanings, there is not meaning at all.  It is simply the flip side of nihilism.  Underlying this assumption is the house-of-cards view of life:  flick away the one at the bottom, and the whole fragile structure comes fluttering down.  Someone who thinks this way is simply the prisoner of a metaphor.  In fact, a great many believers reject this view.  No sensitive, intelligent religious believer imagines that non-believers are bound to be mired in total absurdity.  Nor are they bound to believe that because there is a God, the meaning of life becomes luminously clear.  On the contrary, some of those with religious faith believe that God’s presence makes the world more mysteriously unfathomable, not less. If he does have a purpose, it is remarkably impenetrable.  God is not in that sense the answer to a problem.  He tends to thicken things rather than render them self-evident.

Terry Eagleton, The Meaning of Life, p77


author / Terry Eagleton

book / The Meaning of Life


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