A chat I had with my brother, relating to my on again, off again epistemological crisis (edited to fix double posts and chronological problems caused by online lag):
Marc: Moses and Elijah and all those old guys apparently had an unfair advantage.
andrew: right. but who says their experience was any different from ours – they just interpreted it as God whereas we may say it’s depression or science or bad digestion…
Marc: stupid post-enlightenment thinking. Everything needs a rational explanation.
Marc: Whereas they would have put a divine spin on things, we explain things away rationally or scientifically. Probably why you hear more about miracles in Africa than in the western countries.
andrew: so no way of knowing which is better
Marc: I suppose.
andrew: all different shades of the same colour
Marc: Is it?
andrew: isn’t it?
Marc: I suppose if God’s behind it all…But if you explain it away scientifically or rationally without giving props to the Almighty, then the Almighty becomes less necessary…
Marc: Well, nobody, I suppose. Except maybe Michael Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.
andrew: blowhard fundamentalists.
Marc: indeed. is it possible to not be a fundamentalist, though? what about fundamentalist anti-fundamentalists? That’s the problem with postmodernism: it can always pick itself apart, leaving nothing much.
andrew: and that’s ok – at its best, postmodernism or deconconstruction is epistemic humility.
Marc: But what are you left with in the end?
andrew: you mean?
Marc: what is left once everything is decontructed, at least in terms of meaning and value?
andrew: love. it’s undeconstructable.
Marc: Wow. That’s a very beautiful answer.
andrew: it’s not an original thought though – Derrida* and Caputo** talk about love as the undeconstructable