15 abr. 2006

When certain religious authorities talk about their love of "objective truth," I have to laugh. What could be more historically contingent, more relativistic, than religion? What religion you are depends on where and when you were born and who your parents are. Or else it depends on some highly subjective personal search. Either way, it doesn't have anything to do with objective truth. Why don't we argue about the existence of the ancient Norse gods? I cannot disprove that Thor exists, certainly, nor can anyone prove that he does exist. There are no worshipers of Odin and Thor any more, because the social structure that embodied that belief system is no more. It has nothing to do with any truth claims about these deities.

Religion is the best illustration that truth is relative, that what you consider to be true depends on your standpoint, historical and personal. Religion was always already postmodern.

3 comentarios:

James dijo...

Agreed.

You might appreciate Neil Gaiman's _American Gods_, which features Thor and many of the other "forgotten" gods. It seeks to answer, in its way, what happens to the "old" gods.

michael dijo...

there are still Odinists--though i have to wonder what the old believers would think of their PoMo successors...

m.

jpb dijo...

Spending a few days going around trying to interpret everything as though the ancient Norse gods did, in fact, exist can put one in a very strange headspace, highlighting not only the subjectivity of religious practice but the subjectivity of most things we claim to be "objectively" experiencing.