4 July 2012

Imagining gods

Alan Saunders: This is curious...the common sense assumption would be that hubris, the sin of overwhelming pride, is committed when humans believe that they are or they act like gods, not when they invent or create gods, but [Cornelius] Castoriadis wants to say that to imagine gods presiding over the universe is itself one of the most extraordinary acts of human creation.
Stathis Gourgouris: Yes, it’s a glorious act. I mean, that it is an act of extraordinary imagination, that human beings find immensely complex ways to create systems of ordering of their universe, to account for the way their universe is in fact created and the way it operates and so on and so forth. This comment, of course, pertains specifically to the fact that the hubris is not so much in the act of the imagination because there is something sublime about the capacity to imagine divinity. In all human societies in the history of the world have some form of that, but the hubris exists in or resides in the fact that this act of creative imagination is actually shielded, it’s occluded, and not acknowledged as such, and what is presented is the object of this act, the imagined thing, as if that is the agent of creation, and that’s what he identifies as hubris.
-- from Thinking Out Loud, The Philospher's Zone.

(Image: Nawarla Gabarnmang)

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