Friday, 26 June 2009

In defence of lies, in defence of God

This will be a difficult post. I want to defend God.

I am not sure about the sincerity of my motives in his (god is male) defence, that is, whether I am doing it simply because it is now fashionable to be an atheist, but one thing is for sure, my defence is sincere.

My quibbles (what a sweet word) are not with the rejection of the organized religion, as I have been through that phase already. I am to all intents and purposes still a devout atheist, devout in nothing and everything. The issues I have here are with the simplicity of the rejection of God. The notion that God doesn't exist because Science says so, which though is invariably true, strikes me as an inherently improvished line of thought. I feel I'm being an apologetic for my own thoughts as I write this. But I must clarify, that what I mean is simply that after the initial urge that I had to fervently reject God, almost with fundamentalist zeal, after a while that seems to be a rather juvenile a realisation. The 'joy' of intellectual superiority is terribly short lived, while the slow realisation sets in that you indeed
are missing something. That something may not be crucial, but it is something*.

That something, a gap which does not need to be filled in with the semantically loaded word 'god' seems however be best filled by it. As rejection of God, as a notion, is worthy of analysis. As generally it seems that the rejection of God, is accompanied with an enlightened acceptance of the converse, acceptance of the sciences. That is, materialism, determinism, belief in cause and effect, repeatability. The sentence which defies the existence of god, is often punctuated with exclaimed rationality.
That is what I have trouble with.

Though it is easily arguable that Rationality can exist in a Godless universe, which is undoubtedly true - but I would argue that the weight that the term 'God' carries in our society, and the connotations which result in its rejection, are beyond mere 'theist' opinions. So while rationality exists -
certainly - in a God-less universe, I think by the same token we must also examine the slippery nature of the understanding of the term 'rationality'. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking of the term as existing outside of our societal aspirations. That somehow the word is extra-textual, and grounded in 'real' reality, and not 'subjective' reality.

That is definitely not to say that rationality does not exist. I for one am certain that rationality exists and plays a gargantuan role in the role of the human intellectual evolution,
but by the same token it becomes then so easily to forget the role of the symbolic in the role of that same evoltution. That so much of our lives are not goverened by the rational, but by the symbolic, by the imaginary. That is, the human condition is not a result of cause and effect. Again, it is arguable now that the symbolic and the imaginary are mere physical reactions, which are also accountable to physical laws (thoughts are neural connections), and yes, that would be a valid argument in our limited scientific understanding (as it always necessarily will be) at the present time (much like the world was flat a while back).

However, as tempting as that argument is, even the its most ardent defenders would recognize the futility in its adherence. The human condition exists
in spite of the futility and finity of our existence. Our existential realities exist squarely in the face of rationality. A actual acceptance of our insignificance is not only impossible, but also irrational. For significance and insignificance themselves are words devised by our societies, and filled with meanings. So though our lives may still be deterministic, and rationally goverened, our disembodied existence can never be. For it is the existence that exists outside the realm of language. Outside the realm of significance and weight. It is of unbearable lightness, as Kundera would have it. It has no semantic attachments grounded in the values of society. The apperceptive engagement of our senses with rationality is what millenia worth of paper have been wasted on. It is not so easy to explain it away. And if you do, as I have done, sooner or later you will learn to divorce it from rationality.

As I write, I can just sense the criticisms flowing through, but I also understand how
easy it is to defend a crudely atheistic position behind the veil of scientific realism.

To come back to my original line of thought. A rejection of God is easy.but I'm weary of the accompanying rejections. God, the notion, in itself can be semantically reappropriated by the post-atheist individual. The concept need not be held hostage to the lowest troughs of its connotations, but should also be understood for the highest crests of its potential. An endeavour without aim or reason, but that very lack is what makes it precisely so relevant to individual existence. A futile endeavour is perhaps the most important endeavour.

* i'm NOT claiming that theists are privy exclusively to this knowledge of this 'something 'btw. Definitely this 'knowledge' if you can call it that, exists almost always after the rejection of the equally simplistic blind belief in 'God'.


  1. id forgotten how much your english is like a foreign language. which only really makes sense in a face to face conversation.
    but i find glee in this sentence:

    God, the notion, in itself can be semantically reappropriated by the post-atheist individual.

    mostly because i really dont know what you mean by:


  2. ps. i lol at the new look. -compliment.

  3. the 'real' reality and 'subjective' reality. much like baudrillard's arguments on the Real. :D