Stanley Fish ought to dump the subject of religion. In his last blog entry, he moves the goal posts far away from the Atheist trio of Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris. According to Fish, they argue that textual criticism shows the Bible to be a bunch of made up stuff by people who lived along time ago. So therefore there is no God–at all (so Fish says they say). He writes:
>So there’s the triple-pronged case. Religions are humanly constructed traditions and at their center are corrupted texts that were cobbled together by provincial, ignorant men who knew less about the world than any high-school teenager alive today. Sounds devastating, but when you get right down to it, all it amounts to is the assertion that God didn’t write the books or establish the terms of worship, men did, and that the results are (to put it charitably) less than perfect.
Then Fish goes on to point out how dumb that is, because:
>If divinity, by definition, exceeds human measure, the demand that the existence of God be proven makes no sense because the machinery of proof, whatever it was, could not extend itself far enough to apprehend him.
But that just changes the subject. As Fish says, Hitchens, et al. are talking about religions and their historical and textual basis. To be exact, Hitchens et al. in this particular instance deny that the Bible, with its stories of a man who walked on the earth, healed the sick, and blessed the Greeks (and so on and so on) constitutes reliable evidence for the existence of God. Skepticism regarding the literal historical truth of a foundational religious text, however, is a different matter from denying the possible existence of a Pseudo-Dionysian God beyond being. Denying the existence of such a Being–that is to say, a God, on Fish’s description, beyond existence, proof, knowledge or interaction with the world–is impossible.
*clarity edit 6/28. Thanks Ugo.