[lit-ideas] Re: Disbelief

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 20:33:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

I never understood why, if God doesn't have a penis, we think of him as a man.  
 I wonder too, how we know God doesn't have a penis.  And if he doesn't have a 
penis, how could man be created in his image?  And why is he the father and the 
son, if he doesn't have a penis?  Doesn't compute for the faithless.

Andy Amago

-----Original Message-----
From: John Wager <johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Dec 20, 2004 7:53 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Disbelief

Back in my Freshman year of college, my English teacher taught me an
excellent Aristotelian principle of writing: Everything is both like and
unlike other things, and to explain something, you should describe how
that thing is like other things in some respects, and unlike those
things in other aspects. Negative theology is just describing how God is
NOT like other things.  God is NOT a "gaseous vertebrate" (despite
Huxley's statement), and God does NOT have a penis (no matter how much
we might conceive of him as a "man.")  It's bad enough to try to
describe something finite; to describe God would mean many more negative
comparisons; indeed, "infinite" is negative mathematics; an infinite
number is "not finite."  The danger for some religious believers is to
see God as TOO CLOSE to some other kind of thing, and "negative
theology" reminds them that the gap between the infinite and the finite
is, well, infinite.

Andy Amago wrote:

>Many thanks for this site.  Negative theology appears to be knowledge of God 
>obtained by way of negation.  This seems a contradiction in terms.  If God or 
>fairies or angels or Santa Claus don't exist for me, how can I gain knowledge 
>of these non-entities?  For purposes of negative theology, since I'm an 
>atheist, wouldn't I have negated the concept already?  Am I not practicing 
>negative theology already?  
>Andy Amago
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