Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Strange Phenomenon of the Wise Atheist

Umberto Eco points out the idiocy of the "spiritual" alternatives to the Church- though he himself is not a believer:
The "death of God", or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church -- from strange pagan cults and sects to the silly, sub-Christian superstitions of The Da Vinci Code.

...The so-called occult sciences do not ever reveal any genuine secret: they only promise that there is something secret that explains and justifies everything. The great advantage of this is that it allows each person to fill up the empty secret "container" with his or her own fears and hopes.

...I think I agree with Joyce's lapsed Catholic hero in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: "What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?"
The entire piece is well worth reading. The Faith, thankfully, is not an absurdity, and we are thus spared the difficulty that Eco grapples with.

There really are only a few intellectually respectable beliefs going around: Christianity, Judaism, and Agnosticism are definately there. Atheism used to be so, but is looking increasingly weak. Perhaps Buddhism ought to be in there as well.

Perhaps a topic for another time would be why Islam is not in my list.


Post a Comment

<< Home