kowski demonstrates with subtle andnrigorous reasoning that if there is nonGod, there is no truth and everything isnepistemologically permissible. What thisnmeans is that empirical science is notnmerely a faith (“it is vain to hunt for angodless certainty”), but an empty faith atnthat, utterly without philosophical contentn”Science,” Kolakowski proves,n”does not deal with reality at all, itsnmeaning being utilitarian, rather thanncognitive.” Thus “rationality” does notndisprove the existence of a transcendentnGod, as Wilber glibly assumes,nsince it cannot “produce any compellingngrounds for a definition of Rationwithout employing criteria whose validityndepends on the previous acceptancenof this very concept.” After Kolakowskineasily exposes the view that traditionalnreligion emerged Irom “a hypotheticalnarchaic era” and a “pre-logical mentality”nas a “false theory” resting not on empiricalnevidence but on “purely speculativencontrivances,” Wilber is left in the samenunenviable position as the mendaciousnsnake In Genesis: without a leg to standnon.nJVolakowski’s discussion of sciencenand religion, of course, is that of a philosophernrather than a proselytizer, so hisninterest lies simply “in elucidating thenstatus qi4aestionis and in explainingnwhy tliese questions matter,” not in convertingnthe reader. Indeed, he cogentlyndemonstrates that the principle of credonut intelUgam makes both epistemologicalnnihilism and theistic doctrine logicallyncircular and therefore “empiricallyninvincible.” (Wilber claims his “spiritualnknowledge” is “publicly verifiable” in ann”empirical-analytic” sense, but when henspecifies the “public” for whom this verificationnis possible as a “Zen master andnthe community of participant meditators”nonly a real superman can resist thentemptation of a most uncharitable laugh.)nKolakowski does force the reader, however,nto see that the circularity of religionncircumscribes meaning, that thencircularity of atheism bounds only thenvoid of existential absurdity, and thatn16nChronicles of Cultttrenthe choice between the two is absolutenand imperative: “either God or a cognitivennihilism, there is nothing in between.”nThus, though Kolakowski has no logicalnor scientific proof for or against thenResurrection, he can show that the doctrinenof immortality is not merely a childishnresponse to the fear of death, asnWilber facilely posits, but is metaphysicallynrelated to the very possibility ofnmeaning both in time and in eternity.nSimilarly, though his arguments cannotnbe used to prove that Wilber is wrongnabout God’s absence, Kolakowski doesnshow that all supercilious assertion ofnhuman dignity in a godless world is trulynan act of wish-flilfillment for two reasons.nFirst, such an assertion denies the “ontologicalnpermanence” of “human infirmity.”nBecause of his understanding of thenabiding and near-universal sense of man’sninsufficiency, Kolakowski properlynidentifies the act of submissive worshipnas the essential element of religion andnhence defines “the ontological nihilism ofnBuddhist sages” as merely a truncatedn”metaphysical and moral wisdom,” notnthe acme of reli^ous development asnWilber would have it The second in­nSinus Delight & ComputervUlenLIBERAL CULTUREnAlthough we’ve been knowni to gJancenat the screen of our home computer onnoccasion and we do liave a word processornon the premises to massage our manuscripts,nwe, unlike Time magazine, mustnhonestly admit that the workings ofnmicrochips are a mystery to us. Now wenknow why. Says a recent press clipping:n”Kxecutives in California’s highly competitiven.Silicon Valley snort a ton ofncocaine a year, .state narcotics agents said.”nSmall wonder that the lamed crueltj- ofncomputer mistakes, which so oftai plaguenSociiil Security recipients and credit cardnholders, looks so inexplicable to normal,nsober people. •nnnadequacy of Wilber’s atheistic vision ofnhuman dignity is even more damning: aUnnotions of dignity or worth dependnfinally for their content upon the veryntranscendence that the dismissal of Godnnecessarily precludes. Writes Kolakowski:nThe absence of God, when consistentlynupheld and thoroughlynexamined, spells the ruin of man innthe sense that it demolishes or robsnof meaning everything we have beennused to flunk of as the essence ofnbeing human: the quest for truth, thendistinction of good and evil, the claimnto dignity, the claim to creating somethingnthat withstands the indifferentndestructiveness of time.nFor this reason, the aimouncement innthe preface to A Sociable God thatnWilber’s book will help researchers “tonmove the psychology and sociology ofnreligion to a new watershed” is appropriatelynglossed with the words of thenprophet Jeremiah: “For my people havencommitted two evils; they have forsakennme the fountain of living waters, andnhewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns,nthat can hold no water.” Dn