File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 68

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 22:27:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Mystify me!


When I used the word conflict I certainly didn't mean to use it in a
hostilel way. I am more than willing to withdraw that term and replace
it with cross-purposes if that seems more neutral.

Let me acknowledge that I have found your postings to be intelligent and
provocative. You have made me reflect more deeply on my own position
with regard to a number of issues and for that I am grateful.

I also think the topic of religion is an important one right now with
the terrible incident that has occurred and that it is useful for us to
sort out our thoughts and feelings about religion here on this site.

I also know that we share far more in common politically than what
divides us and I think right now it is important to build bridges and
not walls.

So, I want to apologize if I seem too bull-headed in my postings with
you. I certainly didn't mean to attack you personally in any way. My
interests were and remain focused on continuing this discussion.

What I find ironic is that Steve and I have had a long running
discussion over religion and I have often taken positions similar to
yours in the past against him.

I still maintain, however, that I see religion playing a problematic
role in what is currently unfolding and I don't see the danger limited
to fundamentalism alone.  That said, I don't mean to castigate any
believer just for believing. I just want the believer to understand the
impact his or her institution has upon the world. I don't think I am
being arrogant about this. I am just looking for a way out of the

You aked me why I wrote the following:

> >On the issue of autonomy, I would disagree with you regarding the role of religion in this.  To take the example of the religion I am most
> > familiar with, Christianity, I do see it as governed by an implicit
> > dualism between spirit deriving from God and the fallen body of man
> > deriving from sin. (through the temptations of the woman!)  The
> > Romantic, modern and postmodern attempts to live autonomously from the body and one's desires have been frustrated in part by Christianity's attempt to frame these as evil.
Here is the paragraph in your post to which I was responding:

"The belief in individual autonomy is one I have always associated with
monotheism, so this turn in your post confused me.  Without favoring
either monotheism OR the idea of individual autonomy, I think finding
them essentially at odds is unempirical.  For better or for worse, one
of these memes seems to have mutated into the other and they now

My point was that where you see these positions optimistically as
co-evolving, I still see a good deal of tension between them and for me
one site of this tension is over the social definition of the body and
the issue of feminism. This example relates to the larger issue of
religious mystification in general. I recognize I may have misread you.
If so, would you clarify what you mean a little more?

I hope this posting eliminates some of the misunderstanding and
confusion. Pesonally, I have found this discussion very interesting. I
am still attempting to sort out the role of religion in the events that
have happened and this exchange has helped. 




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