(Adapted from The Monstrosity of Christ.)

To explore Žižek is to explore Hegel. And to explore Hegel is to explore Idealism.

Hegel thinks that the empirical sensing of an object tricks us because we do not question how the object’s appearance becomes an “immediate certainty.” He shows how the empirical view of knowledge traps us because it perceives the object as if it were not mediated through something else.

So rather than thinking about the world as an object, Hegel develops an idealism founded in unity. The basic premise of Idealism is that individuated objects such as a book, a cow, a house, a person, and so forth may not exist without the accompaniment of the idea the mind (consciousness) has about them. So the object is always-already bound up in the complex mediating process of the subject’s thinking it, and conversely, the subject’s thinking the object is bound up in the object’s very existence.

Before there is anything there is relation.

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  3. Ryan March 20, 2013

    What happens when God becomes an “immediate certainty”? – The Crusades, the Inquisition, Salem, burning heretics, the exclusion of people based on gender, race, sexuality, etc., the colonization of cultures, and just about every other awful things that critics rightly hate about religion.

    • Mahq March 25, 2013

      Well, fair enough, terrible things have been done in the name of God – or whatever version of God the perpetrators of such things invented for themselves. This is also the version of God adopted by people who want to criticize religion, when many good things, arguably more numerous than awful ones, have been done by people who believed or believe in God as an “immediate certainty”, such as Mother Theresa, Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Desmond Tutu, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Isaac Newton, William Wilberforce…the list goes on.

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