Saturday, June 13, 2009

Intellectual Superiority

I wish to note that I am not concerned in this essay with the vulgar and illiterate atheism professed and propagated in the most ugly fashion by a natural-political community which denies the unique transcendental worth of the human personality
- The Lonely Man of Faith, Rav Soloveitchik, Page 86-87

So, you started to doubt G-d, and now you are smugly watching your former co-religionists abide by a silly set of rules because they can't see the truth. Because by some dint of personality and circumstance and intelligence you escaped the horrible brainwashing, baby-mutilating cult you were born into.

Well, to us, it doesn't quite look that way. We see you as missing out on the spiritual experience. You deny the ontological loneliness. You do not partake of the communion of attempting to relate to the Infinite. You are missing out.

We don't stay in for the Shabbat dinners or the structure for our lives. Those are nice perks. We stay because there is emet here.

Now, this is as good a time as ever to say it, but there is no proof of G-d. I actually have a proof that there is not proof of G-d.

If there were a proof of G-d, then people would read it and go "Oh."

And we would all be theists.

But that is not the case. There is neither a proof of G-d nor a proof that G-d does not exist.

Like a bride in the embrace of her beloved, we do not need proof of our Beloved's existence.

Furthermore, at least according to Rambam, G-d doesn't exist.

G-d doesn't exist? What's that, you might say?

G-d doesn't exist in the same way that we do. That's the conclusion of Rambam's negative theology. There is no comparison. The true knowledge of the nature of the Unified G-d is beyond human understanding. G-d is strongly related to the thing-in-itself of Kantian thought.

We can never know the thing-in-itself, we can only perceive it, necessarily imperfectly. Our perception reveals an aspect, but the true nature of the thing-in-itself is beyond us. That's true for a chair, and that's true for G-d.

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