Sunday, 23 September 2007

Strong Truth

'Truth is fragile', Adorno says in the Negative Dialectics (its temporality makes it so, he thinks). But implicit in the observation is a desire that things were otherwise, a yearning for truth to be strong. Why, though? Why should strength be the criterion? (Why not usefulness? helpfulness? beauty?) What if the strength we wish truth to possess belongs not to warrior who will fight our corner, but a monster who will devour us? Say, for the sake of example, the truth is that our existences are contemptible and irrelevant, that death is the end, that nothing matters, that love does not prevail and goodness counts for nothing--if that truth were strong enough, it would crush us utterly. Be thankful, then, that such a truth is weaker than our capacity to imagine a better state of affairs.

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