Spock Was An Asshole…

Why I Agree With Nietzsche
When Logic Replaced Beauty

While containing fascinating, mind-expanding theological terms such as “jackassery”, A Breviary Of Sin from Systematics I left me craving more insight into the nature of sin, original sin, and good and evil. Like all good theology students, I figured Neitzsche was the best place to turn (thank you, herr dokTOR C. Fox). What I found in Beyond Good and Evil not only IMPROVED my theology, but it also gave language to a notion I had felt for years, perhaps decades.

“Logic is the tool of the weak-minded.”

From Will To Power:
Logic is an attempt to comprehend the actual world by means of a scheme of being posited by ourselves.

From Drafts:
Logic is merely slavery within the fetters of langugage.

Logic denies what it means to be human, to feel, to perceive, to intuit and deconstructs epistomology to a formula whereby everything can be proved good or bad, valuable or invaluable, right or wrong. In the end, logic becomes a weapon to beat the other into a submissive stance of approval for why one does, thinks, or believes what one did, thought, or believed. It is the ultimate reactive to cover one’s illogical lil ass.

Maybe it started in the Enlightenment, maybe it started with the “Inerrancy of Scripture” movement, or maybe it started with the DaVinci Code. I don’t know and I don’t care. The important thing here is that at some point in our past, we elevated logic to the status of a god – not only A god, but the only way that one can know THE God. Through logic, we have reduced God to a completely knowable and understandable formula – and, in the process, twisted the ontological argument into a “proof” that we know all there is to know about God.

The problem with logic as our primary hermaneutic is that logic is dumb and judgmental. It’s no wonder fundamentalists cling to a judging, damning God – because based on logic, the Flood is one of the few things that makes sense in the Bible. We need to admit that our God is not logical and stop trying to “prove” his illogical actions are in actuality logical if you have the RIGHT logic, or the RIGHT information.

To approach the God of thr Bible and experience is to abandon logic (and the arrogane and pride of logical reasoning). Jesus didn’t love the tax collectors because it was the logical thing to do it – he did it because they needed and they found completion and redemption. Jesus did not die on the cross because the trinity ran all the numbers through the computer and it was the only thing that made sense. He did it because it was part of a plan to reconcile creatures that hadn’t yet been created.

Because my vocabulary sucks, I call this “beauty”. It was the beautiful thing to do, the thing that completed completion and filled out wholeness. The thing that at the end makes you gasp with an “ahhhhhh”, not an “ohhhhh”. The only thing that really “makes sense” because it confounds and destroys “making sense.”

If God is about logic, then we don’t need Him anymore – we can figure him out with the mathematical formula we confuse for purpose and explanation. If God is about beauty, then we need him – to complete the painting and fill in the gaps in our lives that cry out for beauty and completion and wholeness.

PS: the damn blogger spell check doesn’t work on my mac, so back off – correct spelling is a tool of the devil, just like logic and creeds.


Leave a Comment

  1. Ok… Jiimmy Boy… now you have opened a can of proverbial whoop-ass. I am certainly sympathetic (man.. I need a new word… I use ‘sympathetic’ too much…) to your issue – namely that categorical logic (delimiting a field of inquiry vis a vis stating what ‘is’ and conversely what is ‘not’ being spoken about) creates silos of knowing that actually destroys true knowing and a profound level. In short, we end up arguing about ‘forms’ of knowing rather than engaging ‘content’ and lose ‘meaning’ all together. All that said, I dont think ‘logic’ is your enemy…. I think ‘ignorance’ and ‘bigotry’ are. Making sense of things – clarifying what we say and what we mean so we can share this with one another – is not an evil and destructive thing. Engaging in priviledged techne-speak (MWD…come out and play…see the bait…)that creates hierarchy and divides rather than unites humanity with each and with God… that is the problem. Logic qua logic (couldnt resist…) can be ‘beautiful’ and conversely ‘beauty’ qua beauty can be ‘logical’ – i.e. we can ‘know’ it is beautiful and use categories of knowing (i.e. that is a beautiful painting) to build community around beauty. This is at the heart of Nietzsche’s project – certainly “Twilight of the Idols” – and a worthy one.

  2. Dang it, I was all ready to be the first respondant, and I had to leave my computer before I could post, and the Jeff beat me to it!! Argggh!

    Anyway, jimmy…I was all ramped up for something to disagree with and hence embark on some exhilirating back-and-forth banter, but…you’ve shattered all that by not writing a single word with which I can quibble.

    I may agree, though, with our humble sensei that logic isn’t inherently bad, just that its tendency to be carried to the extreme is ludicrous and inherently a failed project. There are certainly worse things than logical thinking, and there are certainly ways to utilize logical analysis that aren’t prima facie evil. But I’m totally down with deconstructing our delusion of post-enlightenment, objective, rational (etc, etc) logic by looking at a divine, cruciform, scriptural logic which by our standards appears to be an utter ill-logic. But the point is not to necessarily chuck “logic” but to somehow re-learn to see God’s ill-logic (in the Beastie Boys sense of the word, maybe) as the only true logic. Something like:

    Human logic = insufficiency posing as perfection.

    God’s Logic = illogic by human logical standards, but Perfect by nature of its insufficiency (which is to say its cruciformity).

    So we need to let God’s Logic expose our’s for what it is – not even as wise as God’s foolishness.

    Let’s take this, though, back into the discussion about art, and beauty in art. Isn’t there something inherently creative in God’s Logic, which looks to us like illogic (i.e. why would a self-sufficient Being need to create? How do humans participate in this? How do human creative endeavors, in imitatio Christi, reveal the imago Dei?

  3. the art post is coming later, and EVERYONE can disagree with me on that one… but, as for logic.

    It’s only through lgic that we determine logic is necessary. Logic may “overlap” with the way we know and express, but there is NO need FOR logic.

    Here I stand, over against logic.

    OK, i don’t even know what that means, but I keep reading “over against” and I thought it ounded cool. Again, why can’t theologians speak like normal people?

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