File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0107, message 13

Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001 20:15:48 +0100
Subject: Re: comments on religion and the sublime


The key points in the current struggles against globalisation are precisely the
theories and appraoches intellectually justified by marxism and post-modernism.
On a high theoretical plain - Negri and Hardt's Empire is exemplary in this
respect, on the base of the theorisation that this and related texts produce the
following resistances stand. Pragmatically - post the british general election
as Blair's government begins to move to the next stage in its privitisation of
the state run health service and the publically owned london underground
services - which were announced by Blair during the election -  post the
election Trade Unionists, Doctors, Educationalists standing on the
anti-globalisation ground have made significant moves towards resisting the
privitisation of the services...

I like what you say about the everyday self below "The theory of selves is, in
part, a theory of the stories we have lived, and the stories we have told each
other." The small narratives that constitute such an important part of our
everyday intersubjective selfhood seem ill regarded most of the time... Who
brought up Lefebrve recently?



hbone wrote:

> Eric and All,
> My efforts to formulate a comprehensive response to Eric's posts on religion
> have not succeeded, but I feel obliged to submit a few comments.
> 1) Theories of the Universe -
> We wander betwixt concepts of the infiinitely large, and the infimitely
> small.  Spatially, nothing so great we cannot imagine it doubled; nothing so
> small we cannot imagine it halved. Same for time.
> Recent observations favor the concept of  an expansionary Universe and
> indicate what Einstein called "the greatest mistake of my life" may not have
> been an error after all.
> The bio-revolution gives us 3 1/2 billion years of evolutionary history as
> scientists' study the human genome.  Molecular biologists want to know
> how Nature makes the thousands of proteins that populate a single human
> cell.  How do cellular substances communicate etc.?  Life is enormously more
> complex than anyone dreamed at the beginning of the 20th century.
>  2) Theories of the Self -
> Consciousness, memory, life-histories, the petit-narratives:  On a TV show,
> an MD-trained doctor (doomed by an incurable disease) who works with
> similarly doomed victims of cancer, tells the story of three stonecutters,
> When asked about their work, the first replies, "why do you ask, isn't it
> obvious?, I'm simply cutting stone.  The second stoncutter replies: "I:'m
> earning a living which makes my family comfortable."  The third replies:
> "I'm building a cathedral"  The MD concludes that many of the patients she
> works with seem to 0need stories as much as they need medication. The theory
> of selves is, in part, a theory of the stories we have lived, and the
> storeies
> we have told each other.
> 3) Theories of Religion -
> Re-checking the definition of Theodicy, I find it is an attempt to reconcile
> the omnipotent, all powerful beneficence of God with the persistence of
> Evil  The term is also used in dicussions of the inevitability of death and
> loss
> of loved ones.
> I recall an instance of a person losing her mother, son, and husband at
> approximately six-month intervals, yet, apparently, because of her
> fundamental Christian faith, she soon recovered and was able to help and
> inspire relatives and friends for decades thereafter.
> 4) Theories of Abundance and Sublimity -
> Epicurus, Kant, Burke, Nietzsche, and Pater ("Marius the Epicurean" -
> published 100 years ago) spoke of exhalted states of mind, and/or the
> abundant joys of everyday life of the the ancient Greeks.  And recently,
> Lyotard and Feyerabend did the same.
> This attitude  is not religion per se, but these ideas encompass a great
> part of our human experience which is subjective, deals with the Unknown,
> and cannot be ignored.  Perhaps a non-theistic approximation of religion can
> be achieved. Scientists, at least some of them, apparently enjoy a reverence
> for Nature, and sometimes realize a sort of sublimity in penetrating and
> explaining
> Nature's puzzles.
> It's unlikely such religious impulses will have any effect on the political
> scene.  Rampant Greed and Globalization are our destiny for a while.
> Marxism and whatever Postmodernism may have been, are now History, and
> apparently beyond resucitation,   Didn't Nietzsche say: "History is the
> process by which the Dead bury the Living?
> Regards,
> Hugh


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