imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Meditations on God, Faith and the Enlightenment

by Heinz Zahrnt and Walter Dietz Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010 at 2:59 PM
mbatko@yahoo.com

Christmas should be a time for the poor, for restructuring the economy so it does not only benefit a few and so public necessities like education, health care and housing are rights and not privileges. We are living in a dark age when financiers deny their responsibility.

THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

By Heinz Zahrnt

[This excerpt is translated from the German on the Internet. Heinz Zahrnt (1915-2003), protestant theologian and journalist, turned against the notion of God’s death. “That a Christian cannot prove his faith in the sense of a worldview rationalism does not free him or her from the duty of making it understandable in critical rationalism. An understandable Yes or No is involved in the encounter with Christianity, not an arbitrary decision. Whoever says No to Christianity should at least understand what he rejects.”

1. The natural science explanation of the world and historical criticism

Before the Enlightenment finally reached us, history was like a window through which one beheld God and nature as a kind of temple forecourt, God’s front garden so to speak. Both together formed the numinous and therefore glorious and terrible marginal zone of God’s holiness. But when an airplane falls at 11:46 today because a screw loosened somewhere in the motor, no rational person dares explain that God caused this disaster through direct intervention or that this was his will from eternity. When people hunger and groan today under the pressure of unjust social conditions, no responsible person dares argue that such injustice was inflicted by God or comforts the afflicted with the prospect for eternal life.

In the same measure as science explains the world in a so-called natural way by penetrating the causal connection, God was driven out of the world and a void appeared in human society and existence. An increasing feasibility of all things corresponded to this increasing repression of God from the world. The person is no longer only a spectator on the stage of the world, guided from the top or outside but is now the director himself. From an actor, he has become a producer. All this entailed a certain loss in experience of God. Weather, massacres, sickness, political systems and social changes are seen today in their natural causes and as a result stripped of their divine character.

2. The change of the authority term

Before the Enlightenment finally reached us, what was handed down from the fathers or what was given by God – God and the fathers usually coincided – was regarded indisputably as authority. Today people are no longer ready to accept a truth as binding only it is guaranteed from outside by God or the fathers. Appeal to an objective outward norm is no longer enough to justify a truth, whether this norm is “It stands written” or “Rome has spoken.” Even the party is not always right. Instead every offered truth is now first subjected to criticism. One accepts it when it proves true from within. Therefore for example the elevated position of the pulpit in our churches has become very suspect. This elevated place is the expression of an authoritarian monologue. Here the truth is proclaimed down from above to the hearing people. Today the truth is found in dialogue in which everyone is on the same ground with each other.

Faith in God has also lost its self-evidence with this change of authority. Faith in God ceases being that sheltering living space in which a child grows by himself. Pious customs and Christian morals which shaped the everyday- or holiday garb of faith up to now and covered the believer like a protective robe dissolve. Experiences with God made by mothers and fathers are no longer adopted.

3. Sociological-economic ideology criticism

Before the Enlightenment finally reached us, an indissoluble connection prevailed between above and below, between heaven and earth and thus a relation of interests between the one Lord in heaven and the many lords on earth. The Lord in heaven bestowed something of his divine power on the earthly lords. The latter returned the favor by worrying about his reverence on earth. Today no one is prepared any more to allow any authoritarian structures to be unquestioned or unexamined and to be satisfied with anything other than rational arguments for their legitimation. As science destroyed everything that was religiously higher by exploring the connection of nature and history and transforming the universe from a monarchy to a republic, Marxist ideology criticism does the same with the help of its penetration of the economic and social connections. The pleasure of fishing over there or on the other side, as Bloch said once, was destroyed since the economic-sociological root of such pleasure was uncovered and religion suspected of being an ideological superstructure or false mirror of society, in a word as “opium” of the people.

All heavenly theocracy was dissolved and all earthly hierarchy stripped of all metaphysical-heteronymous character. The earthly lords also fell with the heavenly supremacy and the earthly fathers with the divine supreme father or All-Powerful. The person began to lift himself and walk upright before God, his sovereign, the heavenly Father and his human father. Not always entirely free from all interest-ideology, social science showed how the picture of God is always marked and influenced by the interests of believers. Since farmers were interested in good weather, God for them was the weather God. Since soldiers desired victory, they appealed to God as the Lord of hosts. Since politicians sought to stabilize their power, they called upon God as the custodian of order. Since owners wanted to maintain their property, they called God the giver of all gifts. Thus everyone unconsciously cooked his own little soup on the divine fire of the altar.

A vacuum arose in that the social sciences covered up this connection between faith in God and human interest ideologues. Since God is no longer the guarantor of their interests, many people no longer know how they should speak with him and why they should still worship God.

4. Shift of consciousness from the world to come to this side

Before the Enlightenment finally reached us, people focused on the world to come and asked about their eternal salvation. They hoped the answer to this question would help them endure their life on this side. Today people look to time, not to eternity and ask how they can withstand their earthly life. If they hope for anything, they hope the answer to this question will hold up even in the hour of their death and guide them to eternal life. The enjoyment of life has turned around a hundred-and-eighty degrees in the modern age.

THE ANSWERS OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

The answer to the challenge of Christian faith in God by modern religion criticism

By Heinz Zahrnt

[This article is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.dober.de/religiouskritik/zahrnt.html. Heinz Zahrnt (1915-2003), protestant theologian and journalist, grappled critically with religion criticism. All speech for God, whether Christian or non-Christian, must grapple with the projection-suspicion raised by Feuerbach and modern religion criticism.]

THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS

1.

There is no possibility of an absolute exclusion of the suspicion of projection.

2.

Given the problem of projection, we are in a dilemma that we cannot solve rationally but can only withstand existentially.

3.

The person is the questioning being in the world that cannot stop asking anew and constantly transcending him or herself.

THE HISTORICAL DIAGNOSIS

4.

Religion belongs to the person from the start and is not secondary to human existence.

5.

Historical development has not done justice to religion criticism. It has refuted more than confirmed religion criticism.

THE BIBLICAL DIAGNOSIS

6.

The same Bible that strictly prohibits making any picture of God is full of human pictures and conceptions of God.

7.

As certainly as God’s revelation is directed to people, human speech for God cannot happen without projections.

8.

The possibility of projections includes and does not exclude annulment of reality.

9.

The reproach of projection requires and makes possible the cleansing of human conceptions of God.

10.

The crucial answer to the challenge from modern religion criticism is that theology strives to confirm faith in God in the reality of the world and in this way to weaken the suspicion of projection through verification.

THE HUMAN-SOCIAL DIAGNOSIS

11.

The credibility or incredulity of speech for God, what supports faith in God for the humanliness of people, is decided in the conflict between faith in God and atheism.

12.

Christians have to change the world socially and not only interpret the world theologically in the sense of Jesus of Nazareth.

From: H. Zahrnt: Stammt Gott von Menschen ab? Zurich 1979



THESES ON THEOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO PSYCHO-ANALYTIC RELIGION-CRITICISM

By Walter Dietz

[These theses are translated from the German on the Internet. Walter Dietz is a professor of protestant theology at the University of Mainz.]

1) The elementary connection of salvation and healing: The Christian gospel is only credible where it goes along with the salvation of the person in the deeper sense. Healing aims at harmony of the person in a concrete body-soul relation, at internal and external balance.

2) On the command of charity: The Christian message to love one’s neighbor as oneself does not negate the ability to accept oneself but presupposes this ability. In Christianity, (socially mediated) self-realization is central, not self-obliteration.



3) Teaching on sin: Exaggerated guilt-fixation is different from genuine concrete guilt. What is neurotic in Christianity is best overcome where one no longer sinks in the feeling of an infinite unpardonable guilt (gnashing of teeth mentality; neurotic expansion of guilt feelings of being responsible for everyone and everything).

4) Doctrine of God: God is not the omnipotent or almighty Father who complies with my desires as conjured (Bonhoeffer: Deus ex machine). God is not omnipotent or almighty in the abstract sense (cf. Scholastic spiritualizing in the monastery cell: Can God create a stone so heavy he could not lift it himself?) Rather God is the God loving in his omnipotence (and therefore only almighty in his love)!



5) Feminist criticism: God is not the absolute super-Father, super-macho, pater familias. God must be described as love in suffering and self-renunciation (Christ in death), as the God looking after us (God’s providence). God is better described with motherly or maternal attributes (tradition-connected objection: In the context of the Trinity, God is only describable as Father, not as mother).

6) Christology (nature and meaning of the person Jesus Christ): The depth psychology criticism of Christology criticizes its dependence on the illusion-rooted ideal of Jesus’ “messianity.” In contrast, what is special in Christ is his not corresponding to that ideal of messianity. In answering Freud’s religion-criticism, christology should not cover up the dimension of Jesus’ suffering and death or whitewash or gloss over this through a new form of theologia gloriae. Rather Christ should be proclaimed as the one whose way of life goes against all human ideals. Christ’s cross represents the end of religious illusion, universally as the unmasking of all religious illusion, and in no way only with view to the messiah hope of Judaism not fulfilled as expected. The illusion is that God could reveal himself immediately and free of pain and suffering as love, in addition that we can religiously develop and live out our omnipotence fantasies as disciples. Here the cross is the decisive turning point, the turning away from an illusion, the fundamental collective disillusioning of people. Christianity could never have existed without this pain of disillusionment. Because Freud was far removed from this central discovery of Christianity, his criticism was also very far from the heart of the matter. Christianity pursues illusion-criticism and sees a “wholesome despair” in disillusionment as the transition to a free self-understanding and world consciousness.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Occult superstitions Fredric L. Rice Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Local News

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

President Trump: Hurricane Relief Should not Pay Puerto Rico Debt N14 8:54PM

94 Of Rick Scott's, Brian Kemp's, the Mississippi GOP's & Other Republican Campaign Crime N13 9:42PM

30 Of Brian Kemp's Felonious Racist Vote Suppression Crimes N13 8:42PM

Help translation of From Islam To Womanism book on IndieGoGo N13 12:04PM

COP 21, 25, 32, de l'écocide organisé N11 11:45PM

fbi & fmj are ' Lord of the Flies ' N11 8:26PM

Parangon d'une grande infestation N11 12:03AM

Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min N10 10:19PM

OBAMA WERE POW'S LEFTBEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:57PM

OBAMA WERE POWS LEFT BEHIND IN AFGAHNISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 7:29PM

DID BARACK OBAMA LEAVE POWS BEHIND IN AFGAHNISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 6:43PM

DID BARACK OBAMA LEAVE POWS BEHIND IN AFGHANISTAN IRAQ AND LIBYA N08 5:50PM

Paraphysique de l'Etat d'urgence N08 4:24AM

Republican Vote Fraud Reached A New Level In Midterms N07 7:50PM

Lobotomisation populationnelle N07 7:28AM

Texas Finally Ousts Culberson! N07 4:43AM

Israel Quit UNESCO, Um-Shmum, Make Ben-Gurion Proud! N06 7:37PM

Mafia City Hack Mod Generator - Generate 15.000 Gold N06 2:04AM

Ronald L. Havner & The Sleazy Corporate Whores @PublicStorage RAPED ME! N05 10:25PM

Trumponomics and Wall Street Rejoices N05 11:36AM

8 GOP Candidates For Governor Want Executions To Continue In Their States N05 10:11AM

Paraphysique de l'hybris pirocratie N05 7:40AM

Pity Yitzhak Rabin Wasn’t Israel’s Trump! N03 11:01PM

Une machine c'est crétin N03 7:45AM

Nuke Plants Cause Excess CancerDeaths When Running, Rates Decline When They Shut Down N01 10:20PM

Right-wing Populism: A Wave of Nostalgia N01 11:02AM

Paraphysique du profit de l'horreur N01 8:11AM

Trump: A Disaster For Animals As Well As People O31 10:25PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy