Monday, October 06, 2008

Rage Rage Against the Dying of The Light

Julian Barnes is my wife's favorite author and has given me several of his books to read, Flaubert's Parrot, et al... I prefer Martin Amis and Simon Sebag Montefiore, whose non-fiction is even more engrossing than Barnes' elegant prosody on the human condition.
Now this atheist turned agnostic has written a book, reviewed by Garrison Keillor, on death. In the review, Keillor notes:
....The brain is a lump of meat and the soul is merely “a story the brain tells itself.” Individuality is an illusion. Scientists find no physical evidence of “self” — it is something we’ve talked ourselves into. We do not produce thoughts, thoughts produce us. “The ‘I’ of which we are so fond properly exists only in grammar.” Stripped of the Christian narrative, we gaze out on a landscape that, while fascinating, offers nothing that one could call Hope. (Barnes refers to “American hopefulness” with particular disdain.)

Yep, that's it. The Nihilists' credo since as far back as the latest version of a wish for suicide, usually projected by an "intellectual" onto the society around him/her. The excuse for despair....why not try suicide by cop if you're not as brave as Virginia Woolf, who put rocks in her pockets before walking into a river until her hat floated?

And those parochial Americans, 85% of whom profess a belief in God! Goodness, another reason to end it all!

I often recall Gandhi's answer to a question about Jesus. "I like your Christ, I just don't like your Christians..." The Mahatma obviously never met our agnostics and atheists, who totally surpass Christians in lack of likability!

1 comment :

al fin said...

Postmodernism takes the nihilist's creed even further than the late 19th century Russian philosophers.

And, "I refute it thus!" (punches the nihilist in the nose)