Friday, March 27, 2009

Caricature Atheism

Hey again, I’ll share one more observation my friend George made. Remember, you can read George’s entire review on his blog He felt that David Urbane was a clumsy caricature of an atheist. George seems to have two thoughts on the matter. 1. He sees Urbane as an example of ‘atheism due to pathology’ rather than just a person who does not find the ‘Christian myth’ intellectually credible. 2. George says that you’re not an atheist if you’re mad at God as opposed to not believing in him. In terms of The Pilate Plot, it seems best to me to answer these in reverse order. As the book set out, Urbane was not mad at God – in whom he genuinely did not believe. His grudge was against the historical legacy of Jesus Christ. It does not require belief in God to arrive at the (I feel obviously mistaken) conclusion that the legacy of Jesus Christ is shaping history and society in ways you would rather it did not. Further, said legacy invaded not only Urbane’s comfortable materialistic/humanistic worldview, but his home. When his wife sold out to Jesus, it ticked him off! He did not have to believe in God to experience this anger. Which, leads to the pathology issue. My friends, we are all messed up. Oddly, George agrees with me on this point but is still offended by the pathology (messed upness) angle. Urbane’s personal pathology had to do with the fact that on one level he loathed his own actions in abandoning his wife. This was compounded by the fact that she got sick and died soon afterwards resulting in the complete loss of any opportunity for dealing with the personal guilt. I maintain that this is an entirely accurate human pathology whether or not one is a believer – Urbane was not. That his pathological condition played a part in leading him to become a believer is such a profoundly Biblical concept and such a commonly seen scenario today that it hardly seems like any kind of caricature to me. But George’s perspective is valuable to me and his critique has already helped me in some ways as I work on the next project. I’d be glad for your input.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I didn't think Urbane was a clumsily written character in any way. George's website decrepitoldfool is aptly named. Perhaps George likes to critique others' work to make himself feel superior.