Monday, July 9, 2007

Addendum to "A response to patrickimo's comment"

It occurred to me that quite possibly a great deal of Christianity's supposedly 'great profundity' may simply arise out of its spurning of reason and rationality. Christianity teaches that reason, thought,and intellect are not enough to come to terms with one's existence. Freud, incidentally, had a wonderfully: applicable metaphor: merely telling someone the answers, e.g., giving a patient his diagnosis without psycho-analysis, is like giving a starving man a menu. Reason and intellect are one thing, the experience of transformation and redemption are something else.

Accordingly, Kierkegaard was right to insist rather loudly on the experiential core of Christianity. However, that hardly means that Christianity is the only possible way of experiencing transformation and redemption. Or even that Christianity is integral to the discovery of one's own subjectivity -- to speak bad Kierkegaardian.

As would seem from the examples Christians, especially Evangelical Christians, present, that Christianity's transformation and redemption can be easily twisted into an impediment to redemption and transformation. In spite of all the counter-examples from doctrine and history that can be produced, Christianity's primal emphasis on belief and conviction remains. Believing Christians are told first to believe then to understand. And since very few if any understand, they all look to each other to see what they should do. Nietzsche called it the "herd instinct" and today it is popularly called "conformity."

Principled conformity, also known as Christian conviction and Christian "faith," means that it is Verboten to think and reckon for oneself according to one's own lights and knowledge. Christians have enough historical experience to realize that once one begins evaluating and interpreting Scripture according to what one knows, it is only a matter of time before such a "believer" realizes that Christianity refutes itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

Map of Visitors

Locations of Site Visitors