Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more: Mythos versus Logos

The following two videos are worth comparing. The first, which I found on PZ Meyers' atheist blog here, shows a passionate evangelical (?) Christian vehemently praying at a graduate congregation. She starts by repenting of the sin of worshiping the intellectual mind. The passion in her prayer increases until it reaches an orgasmic crescendo; she starts quaking, breaks down and faints. Some of the correspondents on PZ's blog think she shows evidence of nevertheless being in control and thus of consciously manufacturing this display of spiritual exhibitionism.

Here is the video:

The second video was linked to from the Intelligent Design blog “Uncommon Descent” (See here; the comments on UD are also very worthy of note too; one correspondent wonders if it is a spoof!). This video shows a group of people that the voice over tells us are an extremist ecology group called “Earth First”. To the Christians of Uncommon Descent these people are worshiping nature, but the activity of the group shown in this video looks all but indistinguishable from the passionate prayer of the fervent evangelical Charismatic. One of their spokespersons speaks of the debilitating effects of hi-tech industrial society on spiritual life. So here is my second video:

It is amusing to think of the atheist PZ Meyers and the theists on Uncommon Descent both triumphantly finding these examples of “kookiness” respectively caricaturing what they despise most.

No doubt the Ontology of God accepted by the two groups in these videos are very different, but ostensively their relationship with the mystical entities they are praying to bear striking resemblances. Both are fine examples of a “mythos” religious reaction against the hi-tech, hi-cerebral “logos” society; both express great diffidence toward the intellect and its products. It is ironic that PZ Meyers and Uncommon Descent should stand together in relation to these similar hi-mythos, hi-passion expressions. And of course both accuse one another’s communities of harboring these irrationally religious elements!

I have written many times on the mythos/logos tension in our society. See here, here and here for example.

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