The Dao of Deity (Deconstructed)

This talk will compare the Judaic and Daoist (or Taoist) myths of creation or emergence of Heaven (Yang) and Earth (Yin). I will then focus on the “Taijitu”, the famous Yin-Yang symbol depicting a black and a white “fish” in a harmonious entanglement.


I will characterize theism as being “located” in the white (heavenly or spiritually-oriented) sector and atheism in the black (earthly or materially-oriented) sector and associate psychological states with each, typically hopefulness and optimism (though also fancifulness) with the white and despair and pessimism (though also realism) with the black.

The opposite dots in each fish will then be the opposite states that arise within each theistic or atheistic orientation: the way theists do struggle with despair and atheists do experience religious ecstasies.

I will be suggesting that we are all, in fact, represented by the totality of the Taijitu or Tao-as-a-whole but that we commit to one position or another so as to develop and clarify that position. I will relate that sense of commitment to the decisive quality of the Judaic act of creation, in contrast to the softer or more emergent or unfolding quality of the Taoist myth. I will suggest that it is always a good thing to keep the totality perspective in the back of one’s mind when discussing or arguing theistic/atheistic positions.

A postmodernist twist will enter with a look at the work of philosopher John D. Caputo, especially his book titled What Would Jesus Deconstruct? from which comes the following quote:

…”two forces within me ebb and flow. … Nothing is out there. No one. Never was. … The other is that sense which seems deeper and stronger: love has you here at all, sustains you, draws you to this Mystery”. The two voices together, the one never giving the other any peace. Doubt as the condition of faith, not its opposite, making faith possible as (the) im/possible.

Caputo: WWJD? (p121)

Printable notes and quotes (will also be used as handout) dropbox copy

Excerpt from WWJD (p118-122) via google books dropbox copy

PhiloSophia meetup page for meeting on 11 April 2013.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s