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October 17, 2004

Comments

William S

Is believing you are on a mission from God the same as embracing the absurd? I mean, to be on a mission from God is not the same as to have faith in God, right? It runs the risk of absurdity because one can be delusional about their own importance. It is an absurd belief about oneself, if it is one at all.

Or, is being ridiculous the same thing as being absurd? He has no fundamentally external goal, it seems. Insofar as his failure is as much evience of his elect status as any success, he could be doing anything, Like the Buddhist embracing the dharma sweeping the floor. But this i not really true insofar a the grandeur of the presidency is also required, the potential for glory in the scope of his action. A glory which is his, but also not his. His motivations are not goal oriented in a fundnamental way, I think. But this is not a result of some insight about the problematic nature of goals set in the future which are the basis for a sort of final judgement of one's efforts and ambitions. He is a closed loop. He places himself as the lever of any movement toward the good, and not only in an instrumental sense.

Pascal's wager is not simply a way to bridge the gap between our situation and God' grace through reasosn, since our acceptance of God is only a necessary condition of grace which has meaning as such only with the suffecient condition of grace - which is not God's existence but God's granting of grace, or God's judgement. We are never in a position to judge ourelves and this is what makes the wager necessary: to open our hearts to the knowledge that only it can gain.

If we are, as Adam suggests, in a sort of state of sin, and thus incapable of moving from the present moment to the just situation, then the idea is perhaps similiar in that we do not have confidence that we can reach the goal we seek. But not becase it is impossible, insofar as it is material situation, an institutional ambition. Rather, it is impossible to get there from here. Are these the same sort of impossible? With respect to action they probably are. But with respect to reason they are not, as John has pointed out. I think the issue is really the characterization of the present moment and the continuity and consistency of action and where the moment of judgement is placed.

Is it necessary that each moment of judgemnt be characterized similarly? That what is fudnamental in us, necessary in us, forms the basis of demands as to what the future must be seems to require that he moments are all identical insofar as the judgement is ours, and insofar as we are epected to take ourselves to this future, and something like embracing the absurd is a way of grasping our situation, sort of like acknowledging we live in sin.

Adam makes a point about the Third World, and I think this is good in that what we see in the movements originating from these places is the same sort of anger and disgust and rage that I have seen in movies about the 60's and 70's. (Yes, yes - movies about). The emotional force behind efforts for justice. Even Ghandi was criticized for mobilizing this under the banner of religion and warned of the threat of its unsustainability. Our judgement in its evry strucutre sems to be legtimized in the sense that it leads us toward the good, if it does, but the question is really how it does, if it does, and the doubt engenders the question of whether or not our judgement when the good is achieved is of the same sort as when it is not yet done.

Maybe what conservatives and Zizek share is a sense of the glory of the good and the glory of just action. Deos the highest glory come with an act of transformation? Or with an ending? Does it come with your acceptance of something, your humility, as it were? Or with your participation in the very end itself? Someone who embraces the absurd would choose the former, I think.

AustinDan

It's interesting to hear all this word about Messianic George Bush. It is counter to my impression of the Bushites which is the view that all they care about is money. I don't think they have any convictions except for securing money for friends and family.

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