Saturday, July 21, 2007

Holy What?

It has been said that if one examines 'Holy Scriptures', one is faced with a choice: either accept textual verisimilitude or conclude that truth is intrinsically unattainable by studying them. Thus Derrida promotes the analysis of Holy Scriptures to deconstruct elitist perceptions of consciousness, since consciousness is defined as a "predialectic paradigm of context”.

Lacan concurs in epigamic style: “Religion is part of the neodeconstructivist paradigm of culture”. However, in La Voix et le phenomene , Derrida argues that it is not so much religion that is part of the neodeconstructivist paradigm of culture, but rather that it is contextualised into a socialism that includes narrativity as a reality and which contributes to the meaninglessness, of religion per se.

Foucault rises to this challenge with this towering defence in La Archaologie du savoir : “But the main theme of Holy Scriptures is a mythopoetical whole. The subject is interpolated into a neocultural Marxism that includes reality as a totality and includes truth as a paradox”. Nevertheless, in La Condition postmoderne Lyotard rejects that we have to choose between textual hermeneutics and postpatriarchial desublimation, which he likens to the defusing of Marxist and Freudian impulses attempted by Deleuze and Guattari, thus encapsulating what was to become the central theme of his seminal Le Differend and delimiting his earlier dogmatic adherence to the theories of Lacan.

This rejection marked Lyotard's disagreement with Husserl's view that hermeneutic and Cartesian circles were congruent, and put him directly at odds with Derrida who had previously supported Husserl's work, Logische Untersuchungen, in his own essay, La Voix et le phenomene.

Notwithstanding Lyotard’s coup de foudre , if the textual paradigm of context holds, and Foucault maintains that it does, one has to choose between subdialectic deconstructive theory and Bataille’s ˜powerful communication” theory of religion, expounded in his Oeuvres completes . Or, as Derrida clearly and succinctly states in De la Grammatologie: “One either accepts the textual verisimilitude of Holy Scriptures or one is forced to conclude that truth is intrinsically unattainable from reading and analysing them”.

Yet all of this fails to explain how the ‘Jesus Seminar’, which comprised latterly upwards of 200 of the most learned New Testament scholars, could have spent 15 years analysing the so-called words of Christ as they appeared in the Gospels before arriving at the ineluctable conclusion that 82% of them were a complete fabrication by the early church, and of the 18% which the scholars did attribute to Christ, none of those were past remarkable or out of the ordinary.

Perhaps none of these scholars could read French?

And perhaps it was because of this massive and wholesale fabrication by the early church that explains why, in the document Domine Jesus issued in 2000 under the signature of the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XV1, and then head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it was claimed that only the Roman Catholic church could be held responsible for these egregious frauds on a gullible and credulous public!

So the question remains: Holy What?

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Need For Philosophy

Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions that philosophy asks, or to persuade ourselves that we have found indubitable answers to them. To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralysed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can do for those who study it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

By Way of Introduction.

I am Herr Professor Doctor Doctor Theodore Thinkelspein, formerly of Berne and now resident in Monaco where I find the tax regime much to my liking. Before moving here for fiscal reasons I held the Chair of Philology and Epistemology at the University of Montpellier where I published no less than 1900 academic papers, many of which were considered to be the epitome of erudition and learning. I say this not by way of boast, but simply to warn that you are in the presence of a true polymath, though modesty forbids me to recite my full credentials. Nevertheless, despite the importunate demands upon my time, I hope to post here occasionaly, and trust that you will find the experience rewarding., as indeed you should, for it is not often that a genuine genius takes the not inconsiderable trouble to share his gifted knowledge with the less able. Until such time as I return, I shall bid you anon.