chapter  3
13 Pages

The subject, in theory

Knowledge is properly called knowledge, because it is not immediate, and the satisfaction of desire entails the knowledge or recognition by a desiring subject of a particular object of desire. The dynamics of desire, on the one hand, and the limitations of the intellect, on the other, not only preclude the satisfaction of the desire to know with the attainment of absolute truth, but also preclude the bliss that is said to accompany ignorance. The desire to know is a natural desire in that human beings are naturally free from blind instincts, but, as soon as a subject desires an object that cannot be possessed otherwise than as an object in consciousness-as soon as a subject desires immediate knowledge-the desire to know is also a desire to speak a theological language. How can anyone possibly speak a theological language given the paradoxical nature of the human condition —the nature of its freedom? How can anyone possibly speak a theological language given that these two consequences of human freedom-desire and intellect-negate each other: the former is the condition for the possibility of theological language, while the latter is the condition for the impossibility of justifying theological language? How can anyone speak a theological language, who is given the desire to do so, but never the certainty of having done so?