Friday, August 17, 2012

The Logic of Hatred

Levi Bryant recently engaged in an uncharitable polemic here and here against Matt Segall to which I am compelled to respond. I strongly recommend that the reader view the comments and Bryant’s post before continuing, else they will not appreciate the severity of the polemic.

In short, Bryant is a contemporary Thrasymachus as found in Plato’s Republic. That is, he subordinates his reason to his desires, and acts aggressively in pursuit of them. Let us be more specific.

In his second post on the matter, he castigates the “logic of transcendence or sovereignty” or “patriarchy” that is exemplified in religion. He proceeds to tell us that the structure, and not the content, of religion and similar institutions leads to oppression. He asks us not to focus on the beliefs of religion, which may be good, but to focus upon how they function, in which case he sees only evil. They always embody the logic of transcendence, sovereignty, patricarchy, etc. Later, he limits his accusations to judeo-christian-islamic religions and exempts “paganism,” Buddhism, etc.

Religion leads to “ineluctable violence” as any “social and intellectual structure premised on sovereignty, exception, or transcendence ineluctably generate violence.”

Prof. Bryant, this argument is not benefitting you. It is demonstrably untrue both deductively and inductively. At best it remains a thesis that supports an ideology of hatred, and in your case you have demonstrated that hatred against various interlocutors, most recently Matt Segal. I recommend that you examine your motivations for argumentation, as you are on the path of Thrasymachus, a path of violent confrontation claiming to be reasonable, but motivated by much less noble sources.