Re: The Emptiness of Theology
I would say that it is that and more Chris. I think that as humans, we each have a sort of religious disposition in a sense. You refer to it as a nature of curiosity, and it is, but I think that we are more than just curious to understand our experiences. We observe the tides, the celestial bodies, the seasons and we want to know the process whereby these phenomena are governed, but more than that, we want to know our place within them
. We long to see order and meaning in reality, to believe that our lives have purpose. But reality is often absurd and meaningless. People die for no reason at all, to nature, there is nothing so contemtable as blood. In such a world, where our desperate need to know purpose is contradicted in every which way by reality, we are often forced to impose our own sense of order and meaning. I see religion, science, and art as all different ways of responding to the contradictions of reality, with art being the most truthful and most sincere as it is faithful to the human experience, as experienced
, and nothing else.
In the case of religion, that grotesquely mutilated product of anthropocentrism, the notion of God has been constructed not just for the purpose of solving our unknown problems, but also for the purpose of concretely establishing humanity within a sea of meaninglessness: for providing a point of absolute reference, and a means of deriving identity. It is utterly humanistic.
I think that science, in its pursuit of truth for truth's sake
, is also plagued by humanity's religious sense. God has been substituted by almighty Truth, but our motivation remains the same. We're looking for meaning, for a nonsubjective point of reference, for order in absurdity. Science, although in not so many words, promises to reveal the nature of reality and so dispel the myths of existentialistic despair and perspectival subjectivism. Science for so many people is hope. Of course it would be silly to assert that science cannot be done in the absence of humanistic motivations, but throughout modernity, and even from the Enlightenment to arguably the present, many believe that such has not been the case.
I'll leave art for a later time. I think I've sufficiently incriminated myself in the eyes of my detractors for the present. Edited by: Timothy Schoonover at: 4/22/03 11:52:12 pm