we pseudo-rationalists

this is a continuation of an earlier post about nietzche's "the antichrist."

nietzsche and i have something in common: we both used to think we were rationalists. we were attempting to convince the world of our convictions and conclusions, ignoring that we had both taken up faith positions on the whole. douglas wilson contends that "every position is a faith position," and i think i've come to agree. here's an excerpt from nietzche's the antichrist:

faith is the elephant in nietzche's closet. (flickr: @gudi&cris)
"what is good? everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself."

nietzsche thinks that his observations of the world have led him to believe that "man is an end." neither of us can come to our conclusions using logic - i'll admit that for the both of us. 

while my faith position is on the existence and nature of God, nietzsche's is on the concept that the strength of man is the necessary transcendence of reality. sad day!

we pseudo-rationalists have a lot to explain to freud. his proposition that our conceptions of God have little or nothing to do with objective truth are echoing in my mind right now.

"it would be insolent to let one's own arbitrary will step into the breach, and, according to one's personal estimate, declare this or that part of the religious system to be less or more acceptable," he says with the apparent conviction that what he is doing is science and perhaps is not directly theological at all. freud makes me wonder how much of my experience was interpreted incorrectly due to my emotional needs.

these are enormous implications for anyone who holds a faith position, but especially for those not clinging to the biblical inerrancy raft. we are all subject to our perceptions, personal and collective. some would say they're all we have.

how can we know the truth? what we need is perspective. and we need to have "good" perspective on that perspective. we also need to have perspective on that good perspective on that perspective... catch my drift? we can know things more and less certainly, but it seems to me that to know something for certain we need transcendence.

i drew God trapped in the bible, then jonathan drew God trapped in our brains.

i can't prove it, but it seems to me like love is an entity - real, living, active and found lots of places. if love is truly a force that permeates the world and transcends its trappings, then it must have a source. in that case, perhaps we are wholly dependent on whatever ultimate being may exist. maybe we are right to say in desperation with the singer: "come pull me through."


  1. Nietzscheanism is insanity.
    He was so self contradictory it boggles my mind.

  2. Joel,
    This is entertaining... so interesting.
    I like Douglas Wilson's faith statement.
    "If love is truly a force that permeates the world and transcends its trappings, then it must have a source."
    Hmm.. I guess now you need to define love, because that's a sticky concept very often spoken of and variously interpreted.

  3. @inferno: Good point. I'm actually writing some more about that right now (can you believe it???!!). The man seems to be brilliantly expressing an intrinsically doomed philosophy. He uses some great combinations of words, though.

  4. @mom: Thank you. You should really rent the movie on which I heard that Douglas Wilson quote. It's called "Collision," and is quite fascinating to watch. I bet Micah would like it too : )

  5. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life - - -and the Life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the Word of Life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. - - what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowhsip is with Father, and His
    Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:1-3