The Christian Hangover: Rambling about Hegel, Marx and That Crowd

Over at John C. Wright’s wonderful blog, rambled in a comment about the above, and since having my disorganized thoughts not read in *2* places is way better than having them not read in only one, I link and post here:

Been reading Hegel’s “Science of Logic”, which underlies and illustrates your point. In it, Hegel is (commendably) clear about what he’s doing: he’s substituting ontology for logic. Logic is for the ‘little people’ like natural scientists and mathematicians. Real philosophers have gotten past all that and just get their knowledge directly, somehow.

So, Hegel lays down the rules: logic can’t get you anywhere; you can tell who the enlightened are by simply checking to see if they agree with me. Corollary: trying to use logic is sufficient proof that you are unenlightened and wrong – if you got it, you wouldn’t be trying to reason about it.

This leads to some interesting structures in his writing. In “Phenomenology of Spirit” he begins with several incomprehensible – even by his standards – pages where he lays out his findings in a series of logical contradictions, then gradually backs into some discussion that could be read as illustrating his findings. It’s clear he’s doing this because that “method” – understanding the sum of concrete reality in an alogical flash, then sifting through the details to see how they can be understood within that flash – is what he’s ‘developed’ to supersede and replace logic.

In the hands of Hegel, who, after all, was a happily married man in good standing at his local Lutheran church, there’s a certain, I dunno, harmlessness or good intention? that seems to be almost always on display in his writings – an example of what I’ve long refered to as the ‘Christian Hangover’ – having drunk deeply of Christ for centuries, cultures that have rejected or are in the process of rejecting Christ still tend to produce people who are roughly Christian in their outlooks.

For if you reject logic, you reject THE Logos.

Eventually, people sober up. Marx is almost right: he didn’t set Hegel right side up, but he does represent Hegel sobered up a bit – Marx realizes that Hegel’s rejection of logic is the rejection of God. But Marx hasn’t sobered up enough to see that his Utopia is still Christian insofar as it holds any appeal at all: no male or female, no Jew or Greek, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, they sold their belongings, gave the money to the poor and lived as brothers. And so on.

We now live in a world that is struggling mightily to sober up from their Christian Hangover, and doing a hell of a job. So, Mr. Wright, your attempts at logic are sufficient proof that you are on the wrong side of history. You have demonstrated beyond question that you are a member of the oppressor class. And your opponents not only don’t need to be rational, being rational would be abandoning their principles and joining the Dark Side.

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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