Saturday, March 6, 2010

philosophical poison

A few days ago, I felt as if I had been poisoned.

Not a physical poison, mind you. A mental one, maybe a soul or spiritual poison, would be the best way to phrase it. I was poisoned by a book, by something I had read. Here it is.

At this point one should clarify what Badiou means by truth. To borrow from Peter Hallward's succinct summary: "what Badiou calls a truth is the process that, sparked by a break with routine, persists as an affirmation whose progressive imposition transforms the very way things appear in the situation". On this account truth does not concern the correspondence between knowledge and its object, as if reality itself had been given in advance and all one had to do was discover it or ensure the right representation thereof. Truth is a process, a dynamic operation; truth does not descrive the world as real, it creates it as real by retroactively transforming the past to give meaningfulness to the present.

...In the case of Paul, the claim "Christ is resurrected" breaks with the existing background of Greek philosophy or Jewish legalism: Christianity introduces something new. Again, what mattes is not whether Christ was actually resurrected but the eventful nature of the declaration itself, unspoiled by any knowledge of the historical Jewsus, standing instead for the subjective possibility of victory over death. In this way Badiou's account recalls the disregard Paul has for Christ in Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ, based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis...Upon challenging Paul with the claim that he (Jesus) did not resurrect, Paul says, "Look at all these people, look at their faces. Do you see how unhappy they are?..Their only hope is the resurrected Jesus...I don't care whether you are Jesus or not, the resurrected Jesus will save the world". In short, what matters is not the literal truth of the resurrection, but the way one is carried through fideltiy to the event that subsequently establishes it as a universal field of truth--universal in the sense that it defines the field itself...
Marcus Pound, Zizek: a (very) critical introduction, pp 76-78

In other words, the importance of the Paul and the Apostles' claims that Jesus is risen is not in if it actually happened, but rather in how people may have reacted to it. To simply it further, it's not about reality, but about propoganda. The sole value of the statement of Christ's resurrection is in it's propoganda value.

And this person Badiou has the unmitigated gall to use the word "truth" to disguise his attempt to make lies into the truth.

This statement is poison, and it poisoned me. I felt it for several hours, as I had a fresh insight into just how far philosophers, those who are supposed to love wisdom, have descended into loving madness and lies. That anyone who may call himself or herself a philosopher should say such a thing, staining the noble name of truth by applying that name to lies, and that others who call themselves philsophers may think that this is a great insight and concept, was enough to bring on something like despair.

Well did Paul warn us against "vain philosophies". Nothing could be more vain than this. That whole book is poisonous, I've only given one example. I plan to deal with the whole book a bit more in a later entry.


Anonymous said...

You don't like it but unfortunately( depending on how you look at it) the writer was being real. The media and politicians have been doing that eons ago. image consultants and celebrities have been guilty of that in the name of fame and fortune.
Why are you shocked?
Look beyond the myths, if you can, and you may touch reality and discover who the real Jesus is.

jazzact13 said...

Hello, Anonymous who isn't trying to sell anything here.

(sorry, but that's been happening a lot later, I'm actually quite glad you're addressing the entry, and your anonymity is your own business)

Yes, I know that it is common practice for people to try to sell lies as truth, to use propoganda. That isn't shocking.

What was shocking was that someone who calls himself a philosopher, one who is suppose to love wisdom, should flat-out say that the "truth" of an event, such as the resurrection of Jesus, is not in whether it really happened or not, but rather in it's propoganda value.