2.18.2009

The Denial that Precedes Understanding

You: "I disagree with that, and repudiate it."

Me: "But, I'm not convinced you understand that."

You: "Stop trying to make me accept it."

Me: "I'm honestly not; I just wish you'd understand it."

You: "I don't trust you. You are trying to make me accept it."

[Inspired by readings of Mxrk's recent post and Wrangler's recent post.]

7 comments:

Mark said...

If by "that" you mean the Deity, then I think I understand it just fine. It's a tool for consolidating political power in the hands of an initiated elite, whose power then justifies itself. They work for the Deity because they say they work for the Deity.

We just have different understandings, that's all. I'm still looking into the matter, but the possibility that these conmen might be telling the truth isn't a road I want to travel down every time someone says "but what about these OTHER guys, they might be telling the truth. They might really be working for the Deity."

Casey said...

I hear ya. And for the record: that's the least ironic I've ever heard you... I don't like it. It's suspicious.

You raise a good point, in fact: it would be a monumental task to spend your whole life investigating ever claim to divinity... we can't just listen to every quack that comes along, can we?

Wait: or can we?

And you make sense about the Deity being "used" by political factions. The only objection I have to that argument is the writing of a few mystics (start with Buddha, who gave up his "right" to be an oppressive prince to become, instead, a wandering ascetic) who seem to speak of the Deity as something that requires much of them on behalf of others. Those few mystics and the perpetual presence of monks in isolated monasteries taking great care not to harm anyone--even if they can be blamed for not actively helping--convince me that, in a small minority of cases, religion can be used either as a neutral or as a positive force (as opposed to being used in the service of political oppression).

But as I said: I dislike how composed you remained through this little exercise... I expected more irony and less consideration. Well done; but I don't know you anymore--

Casey said...

I'll also add: if we use your definition of "the Deity"--It's a tool for consolidating political power in the hands of an initiated elite, whose power then justifies itself--then it seems pretty obvious that you do believe in it. Would it be right to say that you believe in the Deity; but you aren't on it's side?

Remember Ivan Karamazov:

"It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."

Mxrk as Ivan Karamazov!--how has it never occurred to me before!? The chapter before "The Grand Inquisitor," titled "The Rebel." And see also, Camus' The Rebel. Obviously! It all makes sense now...

Or do you reject the association?

Mark said...

I mean, I'll agree that I believe in tools, but not that I believe in deities.

Mark said...

And yes, even if you COULD prove to me that there was a god, I most certainly would not feel obligated to worship it, just because it exists.

I mean, what has it done for me lately?

Casey said...

There's the old Mark I know.

Ina said...

This is fantastic!