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In his first published work, Língua e Realidade [Language and Reality] (1963), Vilém Flusser states that: (1) language creates reality; (2) poetry creates language; (3) poetry creates itself out of itself. Poetry is a kind of sufficient cause; therefore, poetry can be compared to God. Flusser was not a religious man, but the concept of God is central to his philosophical fictions.

In the book Natural:Mind (2013), Flusser recalls people’s attempt to prove God’s existence by referring to nature. However, when an uncle took him fishing, he realized that this attempt failed. His uncle xed a worm on a hook, an act which makes the Creator hideous. Either God created the world, and it is a cruel world, so He is therefore cruel because He enjoys seeing both worms and children suffer. Or God is good – and, therefore, He did not create this world. Our Christian mindset admires nature because every bird has its worm and every kitten its mouse. Nevertheless, we ignore the perspectives of worms and of mice. In reality, nature is cruel: all creatures sing, growl, and grunt not to praise the Lord, but to praise hunger.

Vilém Flusser used to say: questions are only meaningful when they cannot be answered. “Does God exist?” is a question which cannot be answered. However, this question still needs to be asked. Flusser believed he lived a life without religion, but at the same time he was always in search of religion; he believed he lived a life without God, but was always in search of a God. He saw this unfulfilled search as the very definition of philosophy.

The switch from religious passion to the profane does not lead to greater rationality, but to the worship of money, the State, the media, chemicals, and drugs. One must go back to João Guimarães Rosa’s fiction in his novel The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (1963). Flusser thanked the God of languages who created Riobaldo, the main character, who said: “God exists even when they say He does not.” (Guimarães Rosa, The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, 1963 p.48)

Original article by Gustavo Bernardo Krause

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god.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by