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Carl Jung on Answer to Job.


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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Paul Billeter

Dear Herr Billeter, 3 May 1952

I am returning Buri’s article to you with best thanks.

It has already been sent me by various people.

I shall refrain from taking up a position in public.

I have said all that is necessary in my little book and in my experience it is quite hopeless to argue with people who can’t or won’t see certain simple truths.

Buri imputes false opinions to me and does not understand my epistemological standpoint, although the situation is as simple as could be wished.

When someone talks so long and so emphatically about his 100 thalers this is no proof whatever that he has them in his pocket.

I even do theology the honour of taking its statements perfectly seriously, but I cannot in all conscience know whether they correspond exactly to the metaphysical facts, and anyway it is utterly impossible for us to know these facts.

I do not by any means dispute their existence, but I maintain for good reasons that they are first of all Statements.

Even the Bible was written by human beings.

I cannot possibly suppose that God himself was its author.

Since we cannot know the metaphysical truth, we must be content with statements and at least take them seriously, and this means criticizing them if they contain gross contradictions.

So if I compare the behaviour of the Old Testament God with a Christian conception of God, I must point out that these statements do not agree in many respects and that this can upset a devout heart, which certainly not all theologians possess.

It is a fact that the Jews acknowledged the amorality of Yahweh, as you can see from the Midrashim.

I have cited the relevant passages in Aion ( 1951, pp. 9 3ff).

These things are generally unknown to theologians, however. I once met a professor of theology who hadn’t even read the Book of Enoch.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 62-63.