"Being an “atheist” is not a simple matter. When Derrida says that there are “theological prejudices” imbedded in “metaphysics in its entirety, even when it professes to be atheistic”, he means that when metaphysics poses as the supreme authority that pronounces “there is no God,” it simply reenacts the role of God. It leaves the “center” standing and reoccupies it with other metaphysical pretenders to the throne: Man, History, Science, Reason, any version of Žižek’s “Big Other.” That is nothing more than a palace coup that leaves the palace system standing. Such atheism, which a lot of us would call “modernist,” Watkin says, “imitates” theism and is “parasitic” on the very framework it purports to negate. Atheism, he argues, is “difficult,” a difficulty Nietzsche proposed to meet when he said “God is dead,” where “God” meant not just the Deity but the whole system of “values,” of “truth” and the “good,” from Plato to the present, every attempt to establish a center, a foundation of knowledge and morals, including modern physics, which is also an “interpretation.” Watkin thinks this atheism is exposed to a “difficulty” of its own, which he calls its “ascetic” approach, because it calls upon us to make do with the resulting debris or “residue” of lost foundations (the “death of God”), to live with finitude and imperfection, giving up on a satisfying transcendence and putting up with an unsatisfying immanence … It does not really annul the place of God but merely leaves it empty … like Camus’ “absurd man” shaking his fist at the void. This is an atheism that regrets that it is right."
John Caputo reviewing Christopher Watkin’s new book, Difficult Atheism (via existenti-al)
“God isn’t dead; God is unconscious.”