"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Thoughts
August 29, 2007

Theological Nihilism And Intellectual Terrorism

From something I wrote in February 2001, “Of course, the question remains if we will ever truly be ‚Äúfellow strangers‚Äù in a global sense. Cosmopolitanism secures for us the possibility of mutuality in encounter but does not yet contain the mechanics for cross-contextual democratic aims. Perhaps we need an ethic of moral minimalism, like the […]

From something I wrote in February 2001,

“Of course, the question remains if we will ever truly be ‚Äúfellow strangers‚Äù in a global sense. Cosmopolitanism secures for us the possibility of mutuality in encounter but does not yet contain the mechanics for cross-contextual democratic aims.

Perhaps we need an ethic of moral minimalism, like the lightweight belief system Volf suggests, that places persons and alterity at its centre.77 Given glocalisation, the status of the person and the “I” has never been more contested and thus the face of the other never more obscured. De-centered, vectorised and stripped of all essential properties the postmodern self lacks a context outside of encounter. My hope is that the move to an evaluative hermenutic, as opposed to procedural tolerance, will allow is to interpret those spaces between persons in a cosmopolitan moment that move us closer to the I-Thou relational mutuality which Buber envisaged. If so, then our moment in liquid modernity and late capitalism need be neither amoral, dehumanising, nor the by-product of ressentiment.

and from the footnote at 77,

“One radical proposal would be a form of Theological Nihilism, where there is no meaning outside encounter with otherness. By that I suggest the kind of Nihilism which Baudrillard suggests given the disenchantment of modernity, the implosion of meaning through the media, and the cancerous inertia of a hyperstimulated society. The hegemony of the ‚Äòsystem‚Äô produces a melancholia (or angst) which Baudrilliard denotes as ressentiment. Against this there stands only terrorism. ‚ÄúTheoretical violence, not truth, is the only resource left us.‚Äù Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation,161-163. After all, what is left if we cannot reason with the ‚Äúsystem?‚Äù We either complicitly retreat, a la MacIntyre, Milbank or Hauerwas, or we set out to anarchically destroy it.”

Leave a comment

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.