Thursday, October 11, 2012

exalting what is abhorred

It's kind of understandable that an atheist might debunk and disdain religion. Lord knows there are enough flaws and fantasies to warrant such treatment.

It's kind of understandable that those who have been marginalized by the Roman Catholic Church -- women, homosexuals, etc. -- should speak up and speak loudly about the implicit depredations and hypocrisies of that church.

It's kind of understandable that those who find war heinous and abhorrent might depict a peace that did not partake in warlike heinousness.

It's kind of understandable that those seeking some inner reprieve might point out to themselves the downside of being "attached" or "mistaken" in one way or another.

How else to know the good without pointing out the bad?

It's kind of understandable.

But I think it is worth noticing -- not criticizing, just noticing -- that by using the bad to define the good amounts to extending or exalting the very 'bad' anyone might seek to eradicate or reform.

No one wants to be accused of enthroning what s/he seeks to unhorse, but how much of whatever goodness is sought is premised on the bad? And if it is premised in this way, how 'good' is it likely to be? In such a scenario, what would happen to 'goodness' if 'bad-ness' were in fact eradicated?

Reformers and activists may buck and whinny in the face of such questions -- seeking ever more refined bolt-holes to support their reforming ways. But I think the question is one that individuals might want to pose to themselves: To what extent does the desire to revise or reform evil rely on an elevation of the evil targeted for reform? And vice versa?

It seems to me, for example, that defining peace as the absence of war is one of the most assured prescriptions for yet another war.

Somehow, we have to make peace with our most fearsome and exalted enemies... even when they are our friends.

Or anyway, that's my take.

1 comment:

  1. I always thought it was unfair to call people who refuse to create God "atheists".

    Why isn't it the reverse? The concept of God has to be taught. Theism is the aberration, the construct, the fantasy, the illusion. "Atheism" is the natural and untouched state of mind.

    Life out of balance.