The walls of illusion crumble. Truth is but an unhealthy idee fixe, a will-o’-the-wisp we cling to, and the incredible energy invested in its quest only calls attention to the “terrible and questionable character of existence.”Continue reading Nietzsche
Nietzsche & atheism
Nietzsche is often taken as a poster-boy for atheism due to his infamous phrase, “God is dead!” However, that is not a clear endorsement of atheism but rather, theothanatology. In his writings, Nietzsche did refer to atheism and oftentimes in jest. His hermeneutic-psychoanalysis of Christianity led him to be exceedingly critical of atheists, as well as scientists and skeptics. Continue reading Nietzsche & atheism
the Book of Truth
(a classic from my heydays on IIDB, 6 years ago)
One day in heaven, the philosopher was walking with God, waxing philosophical.
God: Everything you ever wanted is here.
Philosopher: Everything? Do you mean the Truth, too?
God: Why, yes. If its true, its in the Book of the Truth.
Philosopher: What’s that?
God: Come follow me.
They walk towards the Official Library of Heaven, where all the books that have ever existed, or will exist, are located. In the center there’s a tall podium with the biggest book ever lying atop of it, and open. The golden letters are printed in type 6 font, new roman times style, on the finest paper.
God: Every single truth is in this book.
Philosopher: Indeed? All true sentences?
God: But of course. I am essentially omniscient and I also know this to be true. That’s also in there!
Philosopher: Au contraire, mon deux.
Philosopher: I can think of at least one true sentence that cannot be in there.
God: Surely thou jest!
Philosopher: Not at all, your eminence.
God: Alright, what is this sentence? I warn you it cannot be meaningless. I am wise to the art of sophistry!
The philosopher takes a piece of a paper and writes “This statement is not in the Book of Truth.” God’s eyes bulge, and He begins to stammer.
Philosopher: Is this sentence in there? If so the book contains a falsehood. If not, then the book does not have all true sentences. Therefore it is not the Book of Truth.
God: Oh, dear. I hadn’t thought of that. I should have never made that Cretean….
While vacationing in Italy, I had the opportunity to flex a couple of neurons. My family is full of devout Catholics, and my youngest aunt Costanza (Costu) has the “gift” of speaking in tongues. That means the hardcore Catholics pray with her, and sometimes that sets her off in a indecipherable tongue-speaking frenzy. My uncle Michael can interpret her, so the message isn’t lost.
Moreover, Costu is also intelligent, having graduated from MST in Rolla. So she wanted to discuss philosophy with me, and she wanted to know what was my “truth.” It was early in the week, and I thought it would be a good idea to get this over with so we all can enjoy our fantastic resort.
As somebody well read in post-modernism, asking the very question “truth” sets off alarms. Such questions like “what is X” are classic questions of philosophy, but after Nietzsche, they no longer have any place in our society – all and any answer has no credibility – but I couldn’t answer like this to my Aunt. So I had to speak in the right language, and speak about the game of philosophy. Continue reading Truth? Pshaw!
Reading philosophy as confession
I agree that devil’s advocacy in no way indicates the position they hold, but this misunderstands the philosophy as autobiography maxim. That one may take positions one doesn’t actually hold does not militate against the confession thesis, for the reasons of their advocacy remains the same as if they were advocating their own beliefs. If one were to be an incorrigible devil’s advocate, he would be an anarchic epistemologist who thinks all positions deserve advocacy, and that would be a position of its own open to the confession charge about his own beliefs regarding positions and ideas. Continue reading Reading philosophy as confession