Wittgenstein (b. 26th April, 1889) on predestination: “a sigh, or a cry”

by Kim on April 26, 2012

Suppose someone were taught: there is a being who, if you do such and such or live thus and thus, will take you to a place of everlasting torment after you die; most people end up there, a few get to a place of everlasting happiness. — This being has selected in advance those who are to go to the good place and, since only those who have lived a certain sort of life go to the place of torment, he has also arranged in advance for the rest to live like that.

What might be the effect of such a doctrine? Well, it does not mention punishment, but rather a sort of natural necessity. And if you were to present things to anyone in this light, he could only react with despair or incredulity to such a doctrine.

Teaching it could not constitute an ethical upbringing. If you wanted to bring someone up ethically while yet teaching him such a doctrine, you would have to teach it to him after having educated him ethically, representing it as a sort of incomprehensible mystery.

(From Culture and Value)

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Ric 05.04.12 at 1:00 am

“A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss,
The gate of love they budged an inch”

Closing Time, Leonard Cohen, 1992.

Think Wittgenstein on Yom Kippur.

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