Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Atheism of Fools, or, There is Certainly No God: Now Start Worrying and Change Your Life

Just when you thought Badiou was over-egging the dialectical pudding with all his talk of "democratic materialism" ("there are only bodies and languages"), this: "a reassuring god-free advert". In the midst of economic crisis, imperialist wars, catastrophic inequality, et caetera, the "brights" and "secularists" now see it fit to besmirch the fine tradition of godlessness by pimping for conformity, low-intensity hedonism and a truly unbearable lightness of being.

Faced with this capitulation to a smug petty-bourgeois ethos, any self-respecting atheist would rather keep company with the ravers, enthusiasts and fanatics. Or the more tragic amongst our lot. They might provide us with less "reassuring" words:

Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
- The Book of Job

"I shit on God, if he does not do my bidding."
- Thomas M√ľntzer (as reported by Melanchton)

"If God is dead, everything is permitted." (Dostoyevsky) / "If there is no God, nothing is permitted." (Lacan)

Or perhaps something slightly more poetic and invigorating from Bataille:

"Revolt - its faced distorted by amorous ecstasy - tears from God his naive mask, and this oppression collapses in the crash of time. Catastrophe is that by which a nocturnal horizon is set ablaze, that for which lacerated existence goes into a trance - it is the Revolution - it is time released from all bonds; it is pure change; it is a skeleton that emerges from its cadaver as from a cocoon and that sadistically lives the unreal existence of death" (from 'Sacrifices').

Probably won't fit on the side of a bus, but it has a better chance of proselytising for the persistence of the negative than this finitude-mongering campaign.


Blogger johneffay said...

I love the use of the word 'probably' here: it makes the whole thing reminiscent of a lager advert.

Surely for the sake of consistency, the second clause should read: 'you should probably stop worrying' Or even better: 'perhaps you should stop worrying'.

Whilst always keen to see a suggestion that buses should been adorned with quotes from Bataille, my own suggestion for a poster would be 'If there was a God, this bus would run on time'.

12:12 AM  
Blogger readingmao said...

this brings the question back in quite a strong way. Not with a bang but with a whimper, my friends.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hah! finitude-mongering
great blog

4:30 PM  
Blogger JD said...

It was always the clause that worried me: "probably" no God. Precisely the cause of my anguish. Who's gonna bite that? Who ever enjoys one's life, in any case?

3:46 AM  

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