Sunday, 5 June 2011

God is ignorance

Ludwig Wittgenstein, a Catholic, and undoubtedly the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century, once wrote in once of his notebooks:

To believe in a God means to understand the question about the meaning of life.
To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning.

To Wittgenstein, "God" appears to have been the conceptualization of his ignorance, the fundamental meaning of his philosophical genius. He would perhaps admit an objective belief in an individually conceived God to be contradictory, as in his Tractatus. As any of us admirers would like to, I would ask him particularly, how and why does the God you choose to have faith in define and direct the meaning of your existence? Wittgenstein could say that a greater knowledge is relative to our understanding of God, but this is merely self-fulfilling. We distinguish empirical reason and subjective conviction according to realization defined by evidence. It could ultimately amount to the justification of the belief and faith in any concept, no matter how absurd, as logic defines absurdity. In this sense, the only God I can even be agnostic towards is an entirely absurd one. 

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