Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Slavoj Žižek and the loss of faith

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation to quote Žižek once more:

“[W]ho, in fact, are fundamentalists? To put it simply, a fundamentalist does not believe in something, but rather knows it directly. In other words, both liberal-sceptical cynicism and fundamentalism share a basic underlying feature: the loss of the ability to believe in the proper sense of the term. For both of them, religious statements are quasi-empirical statements of direct knowledge: fundamentalists accept these statements as such, while sceptics mock them. What is unthinkable for both is the ‘absurd’ act of a decision which installs every authentic belief, a decision that cannot be grounded in the chain of ‘reason’, in positive knowledge.”

—Slavoj Žižek, The Universal Exception, ed. Rex Butler and Scott Stephens (2nd ed.; London: Continuum, 2007), pp. 308-309.

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