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philosophy, theology

postmodern arguments

“the only arguments i can offer are not those that are traditionally recognized as such by those who police the rules of logic. my argument is not traditional, but one of transmission, of language, and of the culture in which we live together.

for instance, when i say that i am certain that god created me, i recognize that if i were to strip myself of the biblical world of meaning and reference, i would strip myself of meaning altogether. so to take away the bible is to take away meaning. it would be like taking dante away from the history of italian literature. dante, like shakespeare, is written in such a way that, if you did not read the bible, you would not understand anything. but you can read the bible without reading dante or shakespeare. this means that to profess faith in christianity is first of all to profess faith in the inevitability of a certain textual tradition that has been passed down to me. take away the bible and i would not be what i am. perhaps i would be something or someone else, but it would be useless for me to think that i could just as easily be a native of the amazon. it is true that i could be, but how does that help me to understand who i actually am? if i reflect on my existence, i must realize that without the text of the bible i would be bereft of the very instruments i have in order to think and to talk.”

|| gianni vattimo, “toward a nonreligious christianity” in after the death of god


About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science


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