GARY C. MOORE:
would also be in agreement with Heidegger on the grounds that
such "objective" proofs of the existence of God make Him into an
object and therefore, very important in Bultmann's argumentation, ontic
and therefore quite literally God becomes merely merely one of the beings
in and of the world.
being, if you REALLY surrender talking objectively, you surrender talking
appears to be saying quite the opposite. In a 1930 essay
simply "Paul," Bultmann writes:
"When Paul makes use of the Stoic
theory of a natural knowledge of God (Rom. 1:20 ff.), it does not serve him in
order to conclude to God's being _in_ the world and to the divinity of the world
and the security of man by reason of divine providence, but rather to conclude
to God's being _beyond_ the world, to the world's creatureliness and to God's
claim to be honored by man" [in _Existence and Faith_ 1960, pp. 128-129].
Therefore, far from declaring that Romans 1:20 is in contradiction to
the rest of Paul's theology, Bultmann goes on to explain how an existential
'knowledge' of God (which is knowledge by way of experience and history, and not
through conceptuality) is based upon "our being known _by_ God" [ibid. p.
But if you have
surrendered objective talking about God because what is indicated, pointed at
literally, by the word God is 'beyond' objectivity, then the statement "being
known by God" is either nonsense or is refering to something PURELY subjective!
We are getting back to the problem of Gnostic dualism and "Having your cake and
getting it too", of saying if it cannot be real here, then all we have to do is
slide it into another reality. Bultmann seems, in THEOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT,
to be half-way honestly trying to deal with this problem, but in EXISTENCE AND
FAITH - of which I no longer have a copy and therefore cannot refer to the
context of your quote - he seems to have gone completely over to the Gnostic
dualism he seemed to be battling in THEOLOGY because there he seemed to see the
problem clearly, that there is the world, materially here and now, and that
meaningfulness can only be found in the future precisely because the here and
now is simply just and only that - it's just there like staring at a wall,that's
absolutely all there is to it - and committment to the past is literally death,
both ideologically and, in the political situation of Paul's time, literally.
And that the future STAYS AND REMAINS FUTURITY which by simple definition can
NEVER EVER BE PRESENT IN ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER! In other words, if we are talking
about God we are necessarily using objective language since that is all there is
to it in itself, though obviously it does point TOWARD BUT NOT AT the future.
And quite simply, if we are necessarily using objective language to talk about
God in the only meaningful way AVAILABLE AT ALL, then God IS NECESSARILY AS THAT
OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE IRRETRIVABLY IN THE WORLD AS AN OBJECT. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
There are no logically,linguistically comprehensible alternatives AT ALL! All
this talk about only being able to talk about faith only from within faith is
clearly delineated by Heidegger in his essay, "Phenomenology and Theology", by
clearly delineating theology as an objective science even though he is also
saying faith can only be understood from within faith. And since I am
NECESSARILY OUTSIDE FAITH by reason of mere objective linguistic logic, this
knowledge of faith from within faith, merely seems to be another dualistic ploy
WHICH HEIDEGGER IS RENOUNCING TOTALLY! but in a 'nice' way where he once again
SEEMS tobe "all things to all men" just as Paul said. I mean,there are already
many strange standpoints in Paul occasioned by his dualistic tendancy,TOTALLY
ALIEN TO MOST JUDAISM, that seems to be pulling him theologically in an
antiSemitic direction because of the life-and-death political situation which,
in his own way, he seems to be resolving VERY MUCH like FLAVIUS Josephus! In
fact, Eisenman, in JAMES, THE BROTHER OF JESUS, speculates that the "Saul" who
INVITED Vespasian to destroy the Jews in Jerusalem WAS PAUL HIMSELF! FLAVIUS
Josephus helped Vespasian and his son Titus in any way he could TO DO PRECISELY
THAT! That is certainly carrying Jewish sectarian politics to an extreme, but in
FLAVIUS Josephus' case, HE SAYS SO BLUNTLY! And it is rationally possible that
Paul was clearly aware of FLAVIUS Josephus'political point of view or at least
the party of his brand of "Phariseeism". And dear ole' FLAVIUS gave a whole new
dimention to the word "bastard." He literally with his own hand cut other
people's throats who were a threat to his well being and told the Roman world
those crazy people in Jerusalem DESERVED to die because they were vile and blind
fanatics. This is Paul's immediate political concern and background which,
though meaningless to the gentiles he was preaching to, was certainly not
meaningless to him. When Paul talks about the ressurected Christ or the Spirit
of Futurity or God himself, AS HE IS TALKING OF THEM< ALL THREE ARE
DEFINITELY AND VERY MESSILY IN-THE-WORLD!
knowingness of God toward human existence is the source of the demand placed
upon us to come to 'know' God as an historical being.
But as MacQuarrie
says in his EXISTENTIALIST THEOLOGY, Bultmann's WHOLE point of view on theology
is WHOLLY the point of view from, by, and totally about - MAN! The objectivity
of God he seems to talk about is the subjective RELATIONSHIP between man and God
ABSOLUTELY AND ONLY seen from man's point of view! There is no "knowingness of
God" OBJECTIVITY OUTSIDE human existence peering in and telling us, as if it
were a person standing objectively next to us, what to do, think, and
being-ness of God is never simply or merely confined to history; rather, it is
the very history of humankind in its self-knowledge -- a self-knowledge always
seeking to get beyond history, and for that very reason always creating the
world and its history, in which humankind remains determined by way of
particular existents [p. 129].
Maybe I've been
incredibly stupid. This accords perfectly with what I just said. If so, I
this to a formula, we may say that the _Sein_ of God is represented historically
in the _Da-Sein_ of humanity. In this sense, God is both within the world
and eternally beyond it -- a most Pauline sentiment, I
RE:GARY C MOORE:
I out-smarted myself, and, once again, apologize.
(concerning the problem of Bultmann's demythologization) If anyone has
any specific information with pages references on this, it would be welcome. But
Bultmann first makes it very plain that Paul stands and falls one the
understanding of a single proposition: That Jesus rose from the dead and
eternally lives and in doing so brought ressurection and immortality at
least to all believers. Then Bultmann seems to say both ressurection and
immortality are myths. Why, then, bother so much with Paul
This is touching upon very subtle
subtle for me.
problem arises because Bultmann attempted to play both philosopher and
theologian at once.
He has to if he
really is trying to be honest.
can go into this another time. For now, I will simply say that it is
important to note that "myth" for Bultmann does not mean a simple, primitive
conception or account of the world and its phenomena. Like Paul Ricoeur
(especially!) Bultmann recognized that myths are the primary symbols upon which
a philosophy is later built, or always depends, in some way.
"Demythologization," then, means for Bultmann the act of displaying,
philosophically, the inner power and 'truth' of the myths -- without in any way
discounting or abandoning them as mere children's tales. That said, I
heartily recommend Bultmann's essay on "The Historicity of Man and Faith" (in
_Existence and Faith_ 1960). It contains an excellent rebuttal to
Heidegger that I'm sure you will find most interesting.
I'm a bit
skeptical. I've been trying to 'rebut' Heidegger for years and years, and the
thoroughly duplicitous bastard has always got around behind me with a surprize
attack fromthe rear, no pun intended. Rebutting Heidegger would be like
rebutting Aristotle or Nietzsche or even Kant. It is hard to believe that
Bultmann is really up to it. And EXISTENCE AND FAITH, as far as I can tell is
out of print. Is "Historicity of Man and Faith" in one of the other antologies?
However, since this desire, on the part
of human beings, only produces various philosophies, none of which can hold
claim to the absolute truth, Marcion concludes that the noetic
beings (humans) of this realm are capable of nothing more than a shadow
GARY C MOORE:
Again, as a supposed contradiction in
Bultmann, he makes it clear that this is not only fundamental to Paul per
se but is necessarily true upon its own account!
Indeed, but unlike Marcion, Paul did not split God in half, so to
speak," yes, that was his intent. But, as I said above, realistic monistic
thinking is EXTREMELY difficult and WITHOUT ANY GUARENTEES OF RESOLUTION which
everybody on the lists except me seems to be believe is not only possible, but
is perfect obvious and that I am a fool to see trivial, comon, everyday
knowledge is the real truth of things, and the purpose of philosophy is merely
to justify it as we always already know in our 'hearts' that it is true. I
Marcion posited a God who is perfectly Good, and
one who is simply Just. For Paul, these two attributes come together in the
Father of Jesus Christ. Granted, this position forced Paul to develop a
more complex theology than that of Marcion, with all the difficulties implied;
but since Paul was more than capable of meeting the challenge of remaining
faithful to Scripture, we must agree with Hans Jonas here and declare Marcion
the lesser of the two minds.
"To Marcion, a lesser mind and therefore
more addicted to the neatness of
formal consistency, justice and goodness are
contradictory and therefore
cannot reside in the same god: the concept of
each god, certainly that of
the true God, must be unequivocal - the fallacy
of all theological
dualism" [Jonas, _The Gnostic Religion_ 1958, 2001, pp.
GARY C. MOORE:
In other words, his existence is
always an intention and a quest, and in it he may find himself or lose his
grip upon himself, gain his self or fail to do so. Here Bultmann's
Heidegger is clearly showing and he does an excellent job of
simplification, but - These phenomena indicate that Paul is of this
opinion: Man has always already missed the existence that at heart he
seeks, his intent is basically perverse, evil. (vol. 1,page 227) Does
Bultmann later demythologize this?
I will cautiously say here that I do
not believe Bultmann had any reason
to demythologize this notion.
Recall that Bultmann was a "man of faith,"
and so he would have drawn the
distinction between the existence of the
"natural" man, and the man of faith,
as being precisely the difference
between one whose "intent is basically
perverse, evil" (although he
probably would not have used such strong
language toward his
contemporaries -- just one of the perks of dealing with
one can make innuendos), and one who is characterized by the
God. It is only the latter human being, according to
Bultmann, who is
existing authentically: for the "self-hood [of the man of
faith] is not,
like God, self-creative but is a thing entrusted to him --
hence, that he
factually lives only by constantly moving on, as it were, from
by projecting himself into a possibility that lies before him"
of the New Testament_ vol 1, p. 210]. This is in stark
contrast to the
"worldly" man whose life has become stagnant through his
self-identification with the things of this world [cf. _Existence
Faith_, p. 130].