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What’s Religion Ever Done for Us?

I’ve come across Sigmund Freud relatively frequently over the last couple of years, and I’ve read and heard just enough to be familiar with the broad outlines of his views on religion. Simply put, he wasn’t very high on it. According to Freud, religion represents the childish illusion of a creature that lacks the intellectual fortitude or the courage to face the world as it really is. It is the projection of all our fears and hopes onto an imaginary cosmic screen in order to provide comfort and security in a world where neither are possible. Freud (along with Schopenhauer, Marx, and Nietzsche) is often presented as a paradigmatic example of the modern atheistic critique of religion. It’s for the weak and the deluded, a “collective neurosis” for those who can’t handle the cold hard realities of the world in which we live.

With this very general understanding of Freud, I was surprised to come across this article this morning if only because it’s the first time I’ve read of him expressing anything other than outright hostility or condescension towards religion. Mark Edmundson has written a book about Freud’s last days in general, but in this article he focuses mainly on Freud’s final book, Moses and Monotheism. Here Edmundson discovers in Freud a recognition—even an appreciation—of the role that religion has played in history. Judaism in particular, according to Freud, opened up new possibilities for human beings which would eventually lead to many of the things we so highly prize in the modern world.

First, Jewish monotheism paved the way for intellectual abstraction:

Freud argues that taking God into the mind enriches the individual immeasurably. The ability to believe in an internal, invisible God vastly improves people’s capacity for abstraction. “The prohibition against making an image of God—the compulsion to worship a God whom one cannot see,” he says, meant that in Judaism “a sensory perception was given second place to what may be called an abstract idea—a triumph of intellectuality over sensuality.”

This ability to think about abstract concepts led to numerous developments which have improved the world we live in immensely:

[T]he mental labor of monotheism prepared the Jews—as it would eventually prepare others in the West—to achieve distinction in law, in mathematics, in science and in literary art. It gave them an advantage in all activities that involved making an abstract model of experience, in words or numbers or lines, and working with the abstraction to achieve control over nature or to bring humane order to life. Freud calls this internalizing process an “advance in intellectuality,” and he credits it directly to religion.

Finally, Freud acknowledged that Jewish monotheism may have prepared the ground for individual introspection, for thinking about and at least partially understanding oneself:

Freud’s argument suggests that belief in an unseen God may prepare the ground not only for science and literature and law but also for intense introspection. Someone who can contemplate an invisible God, Freud implies, is in a strong position to take seriously the invisible, but perhaps determining, dynamics of inner life. He is in a better position to know himself. To live well, the modern individual must learn to understand himself in all his singularity. He must be able to pause and consider his own character, his desires, his inhibitions and values, his inner contradictions. And Judaism, with its commitment to one unseen God, opens the way for doing so. It gives us the gift of inwardness.

This is Freud, we’re talking about? Who knew? Of course acknowledging the role religion has played and continues to play in history is a long way from embracing a religious worldview. Whatever concessions Freud was willing to make regarding the positive historical consequences of monotheism, he apparently remained an “uncompromising atheist” until his death. His place in the atheistic pantheon seems secure.

I wonder how Freud reconciled his views that a) religion represents the illusory projections of a fearful and childish creature, and b) these illusory projections played a formative role in the historical development of so many of the genuinely “humanizing” features of the modern world. Apparently, he was prepared to accept that many of the things which enrich and improve human experience were at least partially rooted in beliefs that were simply false.

Perhaps it represents a lack of imagination or courage on my behalf, but I’m not prepared to accept this. I think there is an inherent connection between truth and goodness; I find it extremely difficult to believe that so many of the things that have proven to benefit, delight, and enhance human experience of the world began in falsehood. At any rate, if Freud is right about both the historical impact of monotheism and the illusory nature of religious belief, it seems to me that this is one of the most fortunate illusions that has ever clouded our fragile, fearful, and finite little brains.

37 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ryan,

    Good work, thanks for the post. I just had my most substantial encounter with Freud to date in a book you listed as one you’d read again in a heartbeat–Susan Nieman’s “Evil in Modern Thought.” It’s a phenomenal book, after I mail this copy back to it’s rightful owner, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up buying a copy at some point. She recasts some familiar faces in roles that I’m not used to seeing them in… it’s wonderful.

    So far as Freud goes, what struck me while reading Neiman (on Freud) was the extent to which Freud’s explanatory dismissal of faith via psychology still leaves ontological questions unanswered. For example, even if God is only the projection of the pappa we all wanted, we are confronted daily with the brute fact of existence, and on some level we have no ultimate explanation for it. “Why is there something rather than nothing” still rings through my mind even after Freud attempts to disabuse my particular “something” of metaphysical projections.

    I’m interested in exploring (someday) what it would mean to talk about God interacting with our psychological projections and our susceptability to social pressures. So much interesting stuff goes on inside our heads. Most often, when it is talked about in conjunction with religion it gets trotted out as reductive explanation of “supposedly spiritual” phenomena. But perhaps there’s no either/or… Or perhaps the disjunction between God’s operations and our mental chemistry is only valid part of the time, but occasionally, God makes use of it… Could be an apologetic nightmare, but I’m interested nonetheless.

    Hope the fall is going well for you. I’d be interested in hearing about that class you are teaching.

    September 9, 2007
  2. Hey Eric, good to hear from you. I obviously agree with your sentiments regarding Nieman’s book. I’ve read it a couple of times now and continue to marvel at her understanding of intellectual history. You could hardly dream up a more ambitious project than recasting the history of modern philosophy, but she does a really remarkable job. I have a feeling I’ll be drawing heavily on that book for my thesis…

    I’ve also wondered about some of the things you express an interest in exploring. I think you’re right – the tendency is to just play the reduction game and assume that once a mental process can be given some materialistic explanation that any other dimensions is thereby disqualified. I don’t think this is necessary or desirable. I sort of operate under the assumption that God works through ordinary human processes (including mental ones), even if I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly how.

    So I gather you’re out in New York now? I hope things go well for you guys out there. Sounds like you’ve both got a lot on your plates. Re: the class I’m teaching – it’s a fairly straightforward Intro to Biblical Studies course at a Bible College out in Abbotsford. My first class was on Thursday and it went pretty well. It still feels pretty odd to be on the other side of the lectern, but I may just be able to get used to it…

    September 9, 2007
  3. “I think there is an inherent connection between truth and goodness; I find it extremely difficult to believe that so many of the things that have proven to benefit, delight, and enhance human experience of the world began in falsehood.”

    What about placebos?

    September 9, 2007
  4. Do you find the placebo explanation to be a more plausible or rationally satisfying account of the historical impact of monotheism?

    September 10, 2007
  5. I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure that a placebo is at least one example of there not being “an inherent connection between truth and goodness”.

    Jerry

    September 10, 2007
  6. If the word “inherent” is what you’re reacting against you can substitute “deeply rooted” if you like.

    September 11, 2007
  7. I’m not interested in a marathon here, Ryan, but I have to ask – how is the goodness of a placebo “deeply rooted” in truth?

    September 11, 2007
  8. I think we’re talking past each other here. My intention in the initial post was to explore a fairly substantial historical phenomenon – the impact of monotheism on the subsequent development of Western culture and whether the best way to understand this was that it was rooted in nothing more illusion or the projection of human fantasies. Your interest seems to be in one specific sentence.

    To answer your question, I would say that whatever goodness may come out of any specific placebo is not deeply rooted in truth. Neither is telling a lie to protect someone from danger. Neither is withholding certain information from your children until they are old enough to handle it. Neither are cases where intentions to deceive unwittingly, through luck or plain happenstance, lead to desirable consequences. Neither are a whole host of other less-than-truthful things that human beings do and say to protect innocent people, preserve peace, and generally make the best of a fallen world. Affirming a strong connection between goodness and truth doesn’t change the fact that the world is not yet as it ought to be, nor is this affirmation invalidated, from my perspective, by specific instances where good results come through less than ideal means or sources.

    September 11, 2007
  9. Ryan,

    You said, “Affirming a strong connection between goodness and truth doesn’t change the fact that the world is not yet as it ought to be, nor is this affirmation invalidated, from my perspective, by specific instances where good results come through less than ideal means or sources.”

    I think it has been a consistent characteristic within the history of humanity to want to know that the trouble in our lives will be resolved in the end and everybody (at least, everybody that ultimately matters) will live happily ever after.

    And when an individual/community cannot find strength and hope in the present goodness of life, false hope (like a placebo of “illusion or the projection of human fantasies”) is a life saver, providing badly needed comfort and security.

    These fantasies of salvation may require a lot of mythical/philosophical abstractions – which can be a great exercise for the mind – as Freud pointed out. Although, ideally, I think people should outgrow the need for a placebo. But until then, trying to reveal the placebo may be detrimental to their overall health. Perhaps, Freud knew this as well.

    A pleasure as always,
    Jerry

    September 14, 2007
  10. “I think it has been a consistent characteristic within the history of humanity to want to know that the trouble in our lives will be resolved in the end.”

    I absolutely agree.

    “And when an individual/community cannot find strength and hope in the present goodness of life, false hope (like a placebo of “illusion or the projection of human fantasies”) is a life saver, providing badly needed comfort and security.”

    Do you know that all hope for a better future is false? How?

    “These fantasies of salvation may require a lot of mythical/philosophical abstractions – which can be a great exercise for the mind – as Freud pointed out. Although, ideally, I think people should outgrow the need for a placebo.”

    How do you know that all hopes for salvation are “fantasies” or “placebos?” On what basis are you arguing that we should “outgrow” them?

    September 14, 2007
  11. “Do you know that all hope for a better future is false? How?”

    You’ve seem to have taken out the operative word “when” in the quote you’re responding to here.

    “On what basis are you arguing that we should “outgrow” them?”

    Honestly, I’m surprised you asked this question. Living a life based on a lie is ultimately impractical, unethical, and contradictory. Even though “ignorance is bliss” for some people some of the time, to grow/mature (which means to live) is, among many things, to develop a greater understanding of reality, living in response to it, and basing our lives on it.

    Ryan, my hopes start with what we can see in front of us. I recognize my desires for what I see to improve. And I consider these desires far more rational in comparison to the exaggerated hopes for an unrealistic myth-like utopia. Therefore, I certainly consider hopes beginning with a Utopian ideology to be irrational. (Just a side note here – “Utopia” literally means “nowhere”.)

    September 14, 2007
  12. You haven’t addressed the question I asked. How do you know that future hope is false? Describing beliefs which contradict your own in more pejorative language and simply asserting that they are irrational doesn’t really settle anything.

    Incidentally, my hopes start with what I can see in front of me as well. They just don’t end there.

    September 14, 2007
  13. Ryan, where is the start of the supernatural world (“in front of you”) you put your hopes in? If you think the supernatural world is reality, then you’re basing your hopes on a false premise. And I know that a future hope is false when it is based on a false premise. And I know this by using the process of deductive reasoning.

    September 14, 2007
  14. Gil #

    Jerry,

    Please confirm if I’ve got this right:

    Premise #1: Ryan thinks a supernatural world exists.

    Premise #2: Supernatural worlds don’t exist because they can’t be seen.

    Conclusion: Ryan’s hope in a supernatural world is false.

    Does that summarize your argument? If not please correct me.

    Incidentally, I think what you’re trying to do here is closer to inductive than deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning begins with observation and experience (I can’t see a supernatural world) and moves toward probable conclusions (supernatural worlds don’t exist). For this to be a deductive argument you would have to start with the principle that anything that cannot be seen doesn’t exist (unless that is your first premise).

    September 14, 2007
  15. Dave Chow #

    Thanks for the lesson in elementary logic!

    September 14, 2007
  16. Yikes! I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote about deductive reasoning in my last comment. And it’s too bad because it takes away any attention from my first sentence.

    September 15, 2007
  17. “Ryan, where is the start of the supernatural world (”in front of you”) you put your hopes in?”

    I don’t quite know what you mean by this Jerry. Are you asking me about my claim that my hopes start with what I see in front of me as well? If so, all I’m referring to is the move from one’s experience of the world to what might account for it. My experience of the observable world leads to me to belief in a world beyond this one. I certainly don’t “begin with a Utopia” and I’m not sure where you would have gotten that idea in the first place. Come to think of it, I don’t even see how it’s possible.

    September 15, 2007
  18. “My experience of the observable world leads to me to belief in a world beyond this one.”

    You wouldn’t be willing to put the time in to telling me how this happens, would ya? (This isn’t just to challenge your reasoning/rationale. I’m sincerely exploring/searching for insight in this area myself.)

    Oh, and the whole “begin with a Utopia” thing was a reference to those who grow up being taught about Heaven before they’ve had a chance to find a belief in it through the observation of the world before them.

    September 16, 2007
  19. “Oh, and the whole “begin with a Utopia” thing was a reference to those who grow up being taught about Heaven before they’ve had a chance to find a belief in it through the observation of the world before them.”

    It sounds like you already think that it’s possible for people to find a belief in the supernatural (heaven) “through observation of the world before them.” Or am I misreading this sentence?

    (Incidentally, your reference to “beginning with a Utopian ideology” came in the context of you telling me that my future hope was “false” and “irrational” so it wasn’t clear to me that you were referring to someone else).

    September 16, 2007
  20. I think I painted some broad strokes with my language without stipulating whether I thought you were included or not. I’m sorry I haven’t been clearer with my comments. (Maybe it’s because I’ve been a pretty tired father the last little while.)

    I’d have to plead “agnostic” on whether I think it’s possible to find a belief in the supernatural (heaven) through observation of the world before them. Though I have called those hopes “false” and “irrational” because that’s how I perceive them at the moment. A mere opinion, I know.

    But I still want to know how your experience of the observable world leads to you to believe in a world beyond this one.

    September 17, 2007
  21. Probably the most obvious way that experience of the world can lead to belief in a world beyond this one is simply considering the bare existence of a world itself. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do creatures who wonder about such things exist? No matter which option we choose in response to this question (i.e., naturalistic or theistic), it will be made in response to our experience and observation of a) the fact that a world exists, and b) creatures prone to ask “why?” exist. My belief in the supernatural is based, at least partly, on my dissatisfaction with naturalistic answers to these questions. I don’t find the positing of millions of hypothetical universes to explain why this one seems to be made for human beings to be a rationally satisfying one.

    Human longing is another observable fact about the universe – the world contains creatures who expect more from the world than it seems capable of delivering. Peter Berger refers to persistent human longing for what things that cannot be satisfied in this world as “signals of transcendence”; Susan Neiman speaks of it in terms of our persistent tendency to expect the “real” and the “rational” to be one and the same thing; Augustine describes it as our hearts being “restless” because they were made for more than the world can offer, and the list goes on. Even Schopenhauer argued that if the world were free from pain and suffering it would never occur to anyone to philosophize or theologize. It’s hard to see why anybody would bother with metaphysics if our experience of the physical world proved perfectly suited to meeting human needs and desires.

    Again, I don’t find naturalistic accounts of this phenomenon – that the things human beings care most about such as ethics, purpose, altruism, truth, beauty, religious longing are “evolutionary misfirings” or cleverly-devised schemes by which our genes are getting us to act in our own self-interest – to be rationally satisfying. My experience of the world leads me to belief in a world beyond this one.

    September 17, 2007
  22. Thanks Ryan. I’d like to try to sum up your words in a question to help me achieve a better understanding of what you said. Please feel free to correct me where needed. Is it that our inability to wholly embrace and explain our natural world leads you (and others) to create a personally plausible method of embracing and explaining this world by creating Other?

    September 17, 2007
  23. I don’t think that I (or anyone else) can “create” Other. I believe that it is something objectively real about the cosmos to which human beings can respond in appropriate or inappropriate ways.

    September 17, 2007
  24. I know it may seem that I’m trivializing that which you hold sentimental value to, but the literary genres of science fiction and fantasy have (in my mind) plenty of believable created worlds unlike (or similar to) our own. Only, no one claims these worlds to be “objectively real”.

    September 17, 2007
  25. If you consider the worlds you have read about in science fiction and fantasy to be more up to the task of adequately explaining the cosmos to you, then by all means – believe in and live according to them.

    September 17, 2007
  26. jc #

    I am a fan of L Ron Hubbard.

    September 17, 2007
  27. “by all means – believe in and live according to them”

    I’ll leave that option to those who use otherworldly methods in satisfying their inability to wholly embrace and explain our natural world.

    Ryan, I’m getting the sense that I am incapable of honestly expressing my opinions (positive or negative) and inquiry of the belief in a world beyond this one (which is said to have been lead from the observable world) without frustrating or upsetting you. I suppose there is a strong chance of this happening because I don’t have a sentimental attachment to the believability of the supernatural world.

    Speaking of sentimental attachments, published novelists and movie directors know that his/her story has to be “believable” to a large market if their story is to sell. Stories just don’t entertain if there is not a sense of reality in them that can overcome its fictional context – especially a psychological sense of tapping into our most basic human desires.

    This believability of the supernatural reminds me of the “A New Hope” Star Wars movie where Ben Kenobi explains “the force” to Luke Skywalker: “the force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”

    …and later (after a disbeliever calls Darth Vader’s belief in the power of the Force a “sad devotion” to an “ancient religion”), Darth Vader says to the disbeliever, while using the unseen force to choke the breath out of the disbeliever, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

    …later (after Han Solo refers to the Force as a “hokey religion”), Skywalker (being trained by Kenobi in the Force) asks if Solo believes in the Force. Doubting Solo says, “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, I’d seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.” Kenobi says to Skywalker, “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. …Stretch out with your feelings.”

    The transcending of one’s mind and heart into a fictional world via movies has been referred to as “escapism” (even though viewers eventually return to the real world). I wonder if this escapism is not much different than the belief in the supernatural. Because, if it isn’t escapism, what is it?

    September 18, 2007
  28. I wouldn’t worry too much about how you’re “upsetting” me or my “sentimental” attachment to Christianity. I think I’ll be okay…

    For those who might hesitate in granting Star Wars the authoritative last word on the possibility of the supernatural, how exactly have you moved beyond the syllogism Gil provided above?

    September 18, 2007
  29. I see that you’re wanting me to direct attention to the possibility of the supernatural. After rereading the above comments, the chance of a supernatural world existing seems to me to be less probable than no supernatural world existing at all.

    September 18, 2007
  30. Good. Then we agree – it’s about probability, not certainty.

    September 18, 2007
  31. I suppose it’s safe to assume that you think a supernatural world has a higher probability of existing (based on your arguments above) than not. Of course, you have every right to believe whatever you want to believe. And I’m sure you know that I don’t find your arguments convincing. So, I take my leave, wondering – what would it take for either of us to change our minds?

    September 18, 2007
  32. It would take more. Much, much more.

    September 19, 2007
  33. Gil #

    It seems to me that a critical step in potentially ‘changing minds’ would be for both arguments to at least be on the table. I hate to point out the obvious but there’s only been one actual argument presented here.

    Jerry, all you’ve really said is that the supernatural worldview is a psychological crutch that people who can’t cope with reality use for solace or sentimental value. Fine. You’re not the first person to advance this idea; it’s a fairly common perspective. What you have not done is offer any actual arguments in favour of this view.

    The fact that you happen to believe this view is not an argument. The fact that a placebo can benefit a person is not an argument. The fact that fictional worlds have been created by novelists is not an argument. The fact that stories can perform explanatory functions is not an argument.

    You claim above that you ‘know’ these things based on deductive reasoning. None of these ‘reasons’ necessitates the conclusion that you arrive at. So how exactly does deductive reasoning lead you to what you currently believe?

    The closest you’ve come to an argument is just above where you say supernaturalism seems less probable to you than than what Ryan has argued. This of course begs the question, ‘Why?’

    This has essentially been the question since the very beginning of this conversation. How do you deal with the basic realities of human existence that Ryan described above (human self consciousness, morality, the problem of evil, the human desire for truth, beauty, purpose…) from within a purely naturalistic worldview? Until you address these issues from within a naturalistic worldview you haven’t made a real case for what you believe.

    In the absence of any real argument it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that all you’re interested in doing is trying to deconstruct one particular view that you don’t like. A real conversation would involve offering an alternative explanation and making a case for why it should be preferred.

    September 19, 2007
  34. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

    I can’t give you what you want, Gil. I refuse to create an argument to correct humanity’s inability to wholly explain (and embrace) the naturalistic world we live in.

    I refuse because you’re asking me to argue under the presupposition that one universal theory can solve ALL the diverse and convoluted ills (both major and minor) that trouble our naturalistic world with imperfection. AND, I’d be arguing under the assumption that someone is capable of doing this!

    Frankly, it’s preposterous to take on such notions of grandeur. You ask ‘Why?’ I argue for the lesser probability in the existence of a supernatural world than no supernatural world existing at all? This is why – a theory that explains everything explains nothing. And deconstructionism, among many functions, helps reveal unrealistic presuppositions. Is that so bad?

    Also, Gil, either you over-looked my retraction above on defining my comment on the premise of the supernatural not being reality as “deductive reasoning” or you’re desperate to focus light on any failures of mine, even if it means using ones already hashed out.

    Not to mention the fact that you deliberately misread me to portray me as believing that ALL my arguments are based on deductive reasoning. You and Ryan both have twisted my comments into generalizations where I’ve clearly been specific.

    September 20, 2007
  35. Gil #

    Jerry,
    I had no intention of upsetting you. It’s obvious that you have a very strong sentimental attachment to deconstruction as a worldview and I didn’t mean to cause offense. Thanks for clarifying that you have no intention of offering alternative arguments, only challenging those made by others. I don’t mean that sarcastically. This is the first time you’ve openly admitted this so I appreciate your honesty.

    As to your anger over my comments on deductive reasoning, I was not intending to rehash anything nor was I trying to drag up what you call failures. I didn’t notice any retraction regarding your confidence in the power of deductive reason to solve the question of the supernatural so forgive me if I misunderstood an earlier comment.

    I have been part of conversations with you in the past and observed conversations like the one above where you are quite persistent in demanding reasons from others for what they believe while refusing to commit to any particular view of your own. I only thought it was fair that you answer the questions that you so insistently put to others. Now that it’s clear that you will not be doing that I think we can leave this alone. In my opinion a true conversation involves two people putting their views (their commitments) on the table. I’m sorry to hear that you don’t share that view.

    As to the ‘twisting’ of comments that you allege Ryan and I have engaged in I can only plead ignorance. I simply don’t know what you mean so it’s difficult to defend myself.

    September 20, 2007
  36. J #

    Jerry:

    “And deconstructionism, among many functions, helps reveal unrealistic presuppositions. Is that so bad?”

    Not really, except when those who deconstruct fail to put their own statements/beliefs/arguments to the same testing and are thus blind to their own assumptions. For example, deconstructionism turns the tools of rational, objective inquiry on themselves. However, it still operates in the same Enlightenment categories it critiques. Ironic, no? Ultimately, deconstructionism operates on the assumption that there is no overarching view of reality that can make sense of the world. An interesting, overarching view of the world in and of itself. Once again, ironic, no?

    When deconstructionism claims for itself epistemological humility and philosophical virtue, and therefore declares itself superior, it becomes just as arrogant and oppressive as the grand theories it claims to dethrone. What is remarkable is that deconstructionism offers nothing in the place of what it has (claimed to have) destroyed.

    Deconstructionism is thus “bad” in 2 ways (and let’s face it: you and I are both operating with notions of “good” and “bad,” otherwise we wouldn’t be deconstructing in the first place). The first is that it begs the question, “What was the point of deconstructing to begin with?” The second is related to the first and indeed more “bad”: deconstruction claims that this “vacuum” is superior! (Which is, once again, a rather oppressive and arrogant claim to make, no? Clearly there are lots of people who DON’T want a vacuum. [This does NOT call into question their intellectual aptitude/fortitude. Here let’s keep in mind Foucault – perhaps THE saint of deconstructionism – who pointed out that definitions of mental health are determined by the reigning “powers,” which in this case happen to be rationalism and objectivity. To suggest that the desire for the supernatural is a crutch is simply an imposition of one’s definitions of mental health. Arrogant, no?])

    So Jerry, before you decry the “preposterous notions of grandeur” of other worldviews, and before you claim to be free of a “universal theory,” and before you imply that others are misled and arrogant by saying, to the effect, “I don’t assume I’m capable of explaining the world,” I would suggest that you play by the rules of your own game and deconstruct your own arguments. Or at least have the fortitude to allow others to do that for you without taking your ball and going home, and accusing others of twisting your comments.

    From one deconstructionist to another…

    September 20, 2007

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