Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sex and religion

Two unrelated quotations that I feel like bringing to your attention.

The first is from this disappointing essay by Michel Houellebecq. The essay starts off rather promisingly. I particularly liked, but did not really understand, this paragraph on Cartesian dualism:
Designed expressly to quarantine problems without content (God, the human soul, etc.), the category of spirit experienced a tumultuous decline, marked by various attempts to give it a semblance of real existence. Some attempts, like Kantianism, were grandiose; others, like psychology, were miserable.
This has a sort of Wittgensteinian ring to it, but I'm not sure how or whether it could be cashed out.

Less intriguing is the end of the essay:
Only the promise of physical immortality, made possible by technology, could once again make religion possible. What Comte helps us see is that such a religion — a religion for immortals — is still necessary.
Not only do I not see what physical immortality has to do with religion, but I had thought that Houellebecq's own The Possibility of an Island had shown this well.

The second quotation is from Anscombe:
To marry is not to enter into a pact of mutual complicity in no matter what sexual activity upon one another's bodies.
This is not all that marriage is, but I'm not sure that it isn't part of it. I like the idea of "a pact of mutual complicity" anyway.


  1. that sounds like a hella awesome marriage.

  2. I can (just about) imagine it as part of the vows.