File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_2001/heidegger.0105, message 42

Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 17:57:16 +0800


This would also be in agreement with Heidegger on the grounds that such "objective" proofs of the existence of God make Him into an object and therefore, very important in Bultmann's argumentation, ontic and therefore quite literally God becomes merely merely one of the beings in and of the world.
The point being, if you REALLY surrender talking objectively, you surrender talking sensibly.

Bultmann appears to be saying quite the opposite.  In a 1930 essay
entitled simply "Paul," Bultmann writes:

"When Paul makes use of the Stoic theory of a natural knowledge of God (Rom. 1:20 ff.), it does not serve him in order to conclude to God's being _in_ the world and to the divinity of the world and the security of man by reason of divine providence, but rather to conclude to God's being _beyond_ the world, to the world's creatureliness and to God's claim to be honored by man" [in _Existence and Faith_ 1960, pp. 128-129].  

Therefore, far from declaring that Romans 1:20 is in contradiction to the rest of Paul's theology, Bultmann goes on to explain how an existential 'knowledge' of God (which is knowledge by way of experience and history, and not through conceptuality) is based upon "our being known _by_ God" [ibid. p. 120]. 
But if you have surrendered objective talking about God because what is indicated, pointed at literally, by the word God is 'beyond' objectivity, then the statement "being known by God" is either nonsense or is refering to something PURELY subjective! We are getting back to the problem of Gnostic dualism and "Having your cake and getting it too", of saying if it cannot be real here, then all we have to do is slide it into another reality. Bultmann seems, in THEOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, to be half-way honestly trying to deal with this problem, but in EXISTENCE AND FAITH - of which I no longer have a copy and therefore cannot refer to the context of your quote - he seems to have gone completely over to the Gnostic dualism he seemed to be battling in THEOLOGY because there he seemed to see the problem clearly, that there is the world, materially here and now, and that meaningfulness can only be found in the future precisely because the here and now is simply just and only that - it's just there like staring at a wall,that's absolutely all there is to it - and committment to the past is literally death, both ideologically and, in the political situation of Paul's time, literally. And that the future STAYS AND REMAINS FUTURITY which by simple definition can NEVER EVER BE PRESENT IN ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER! In other words, if we are talking about God we are necessarily using objective language since that is all there is to it in itself, though obviously it does point TOWARD BUT NOT AT the future. And quite simply, if we are necessarily using objective language to talk about God in the only meaningful way AVAILABLE AT ALL, then God IS NECESSARILY AS THAT OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE IRRETRIVABLY IN THE WORLD AS AN OBJECT. PERIOD. END OF STORY. There are no logically,linguistically comprehensible alternatives AT ALL! All this talk about only being able to talk about faith only from within faith is clearly delineated by Heidegger in his essay, "Phenomenology and Theology", by clearly delineating theology as an objective science even though he is also saying faith can only be understood from within faith. And since I am NECESSARILY OUTSIDE FAITH by reason of mere objective linguistic logic, this knowledge of faith from within faith, merely seems to be another dualistic ploy WHICH HEIDEGGER IS RENOUNCING TOTALLY! but in a 'nice' way where he once again SEEMS tobe "all things to all men" just as Paul said. I mean,there are already many strange standpoints in Paul occasioned by his dualistic tendancy,TOTALLY ALIEN TO MOST JUDAISM, that seems to be pulling him theologically in an antiSemitic direction because of the life-and-death political situation which, in his own way, he seems to be resolving VERY MUCH like FLAVIUS Josephus! In fact, Eisenman, in JAMES, THE BROTHER OF JESUS, speculates that the "Saul" who INVITED Vespasian to destroy the Jews in Jerusalem WAS PAUL HIMSELF! FLAVIUS Josephus helped Vespasian and his son Titus in any way he could TO DO PRECISELY THAT! That is certainly carrying Jewish sectarian politics to an extreme, but in FLAVIUS Josephus' case, HE SAYS SO BLUNTLY! And it is rationally possible that Paul was clearly aware of FLAVIUS Josephus'political point of view or at least the party of his brand of "Phariseeism". And dear ole' FLAVIUS gave a whole new dimention to the word "bastard." He literally with his own hand cut other people's throats who were a threat to his well being and told the Roman world those crazy people in Jerusalem DESERVED to die because they were vile and blind fanatics. This is Paul's immediate political concern and background which, though meaningless to the gentiles he was preaching to, was certainly not meaningless to him. When Paul talks about the ressurected Christ or the Spirit of Futurity or God himself, AS HE IS TALKING OF THEM< ALL THREE ARE DEFINITELY AND VERY MESSILY IN-THE-WORLD!

This knowingness of God toward human existence is the source of the demand placed upon us to come to 'know' God as an historical being.
But as MacQuarrie says in his EXISTENTIALIST THEOLOGY, Bultmann's WHOLE point of view on theology is WHOLLY the point of view from, by, and totally about - MAN! The objectivity of God he seems to talk about is the subjective RELATIONSHIP between man and God ABSOLUTELY AND ONLY seen from man's point of view! There is no "knowingness of God" OBJECTIVITY OUTSIDE human existence peering in and telling us, as if it were a person standing objectively next to us, what to do, think, and know.

But this being-ness of God is never simply or merely confined to history; rather, it is the very history of humankind in its self-knowledge -- a self-knowledge always seeking to get beyond history, and for that very reason always creating the world and its history, in which humankind remains determined by way of particular existents [p. 129].
Maybe I've been incredibly stupid. This accords perfectly with what I just said. If so, I apologize.

To reduce this to a formula, we may say that the _Sein_ of God is represented historically in the _Da-Sein_ of humanity.  In this sense, God is both within the world and eternally beyond it -- a most Pauline sentiment, I daresay.      

I out-smarted myself, and, once again, apologize.

(concerning the problem of Bultmann's demythologization) If anyone has any specific information with pages references on this, it would be welcome. But Bultmann first makes it very plain that Paul stands and falls one the understanding of a single proposition: That Jesus rose from the dead and eternally lives and in doing so brought ressurection and immortality at least to all believers. Then Bultmann seems to say both ressurection and immortality are myths. Why, then, bother so much with Paul and John?

This is touching upon very subtle theological ground;
Obviously too subtle for me.

and the problem arises because Bultmann attempted to play both philosopher and theologian at once.
He has to if he really is trying to be honest.

Perhaps we can go into this another time.  For now, I will simply say that it is important to note that "myth" for Bultmann does not mean a simple, primitive conception or account of the world and its phenomena.  Like Paul Ricoeur (especially!) Bultmann recognized that myths are the primary symbols upon which a philosophy is later built, or always depends, in some way.  "Demythologization," then, means for Bultmann the act of displaying, philosophically, the inner power and 'truth' of the myths -- without in any way discounting or abandoning them as mere children's tales. That said, I heartily recommend Bultmann's essay on "The Historicity of Man and Faith" (in _Existence and Faith_ 1960).  It contains an excellent rebuttal to Heidegger that I'm sure you will find most interesting.
I'm a bit skeptical. I've been trying to 'rebut' Heidegger for years and years, and the thoroughly duplicitous bastard has always got around behind me with a surprize attack fromthe rear, no pun intended. Rebutting Heidegger would be like rebutting Aristotle or Nietzsche or even Kant. It is hard to believe that Bultmann is really up to it. And EXISTENCE AND FAITH, as far as I can tell is out of print. Is "Historicity of Man and Faith" in one of the other antologies? Anyone?   

However, since this desire, on the part of human beings, only produces various philosophies, none of which can hold claim to  the absolute truth, Marcion concludes that the noetic beings (humans) of this realm are capable of nothing more than a shadow of wisdom.

Again, as a supposed contradiction in Bultmann, he makes it clear that this is not only fundamental to Paul per se but is necessarily true upon its own account!

Indeed, but unlike Marcion, Paul did not split God in half, so to speak. 
"So to speak," yes, that was his intent. But, as I said above, realistic monistic thinking is EXTREMELY difficult and WITHOUT ANY GUARENTEES OF RESOLUTION which everybody on the lists except me seems to be believe is not only possible, but is perfect obvious and that I am a fool to see trivial, comon, everyday knowledge is the real truth of things, and the purpose of philosophy is merely to justify it as we always already know in our 'hearts' that it is true. I don't.
Marcion posited a God who is perfectly Good, and one who is simply Just. For Paul, these two attributes come together in the Father of Jesus Christ.  Granted, this position forced Paul to develop a more complex theology than that of Marcion, with all the difficulties implied; but since Paul was more than capable of meeting the challenge of remaining faithful to Scripture, we must agree with Hans Jonas here and declare Marcion the lesser of the two minds.

"To Marcion, a lesser mind and therefore more addicted to the neatness of
formal consistency, justice and goodness are contradictory and therefore
cannot reside in the same god: the concept of each god, certainly that of
the true God, must be unequivocal - the fallacy of all theological
dualism" [Jonas, _The Gnostic Religion_ 1958, 2001, pp. 141-142].  

In other words, his existence is always an intention  and a quest, and in it he may find himself or lose his grip upon himself, gain his self or fail to do so. Here Bultmann's Heidegger is clearly showing and he does an excellent job of simplification, but - These phenomena indicate that Paul is of this opinion: Man has always already missed the existence that at heart he seeks, his intent is basically perverse, evil. (vol. 1,page 227) Does Bultmann later demythologize this?

I will cautiously say here that I do not believe Bultmann had any reason
to demythologize this notion.  Recall that Bultmann was a "man of faith,"
and so he would have drawn the distinction between the existence of the
"natural" man, and the man of faith, as being precisely the difference
between one whose "intent is basically perverse, evil" (although he
probably would not have used such strong language toward his
contemporaries -- just one of the perks of dealing with ancient ideas:
one can make innuendos), and one who is characterized by the quest for
God.  It is only the latter human being, according to Bultmann, who is
existing authentically: for the "self-hood [of the man of faith] is not,
like God, self-creative but is a thing entrusted to him -- hence, that he
factually lives only by constantly moving on, as it were, from himself,
by projecting himself into a possibility that lies before him" [_Theology
of the New Testament_ vol 1, p. 210].  This is in stark contrast to the
"worldly" man whose life has become stagnant through his insidious
self-identification with the things of this world [cf. _Existence and
Faith_, p. 130].  
hmmmm. . . . 

Edward Moore                               
Area Editor: Late Hellenistic Philosophy        Email.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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