The Arrogance Of Man Verses The Apathetic God

It is time for a treat.

Time for me to once again dig into a topic that at one time, was my whole world. A topic with followers of which initially left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. A topic that I once repeatedly stated to have given my final thoughts on. Yet none the less, a topic that I keep coming back to time and again. Like ideological crack to a frustrated and bored thinker stuck on a treadmill of stupid.

Atheism!

Ah, yes. It’s you again, old friend turned irrational enemy. Time for round 4 . . . 5 . . . oh hell, who’s counting. Just another notch on the bedpost.

My previous interactions with the subject have attempted to showcase it’s status as an ideology, in some circumstances. I’ve taken on many popular atheist mantras such as Babies are Born Atheist!” or Religion is To Atheism as Abstinence is to a sex position. I’ve accused many in the community of behaving like a religion, not unlike their theistic opposition. Some of my older work is not up to my modern day standards, but hey . . . It’s what happens when people grow. Even if my older arguments may not be what they could be, I’m betting they still show more growth than 95% of the outspoken Atheists I’ve ever cited for ANY reason.

And now that I have effectively angered my target cohort into skipping on down to the comments section and typing something incredibly rational, I will get to the point.

Maybe?

Atheists, young and old. Early bloomers and late-stage members (I use the term loosely, lacking a sufficient alternative). While it would seem that I have nothing but contempt for all things atheist, I am on your side. If one peeled back everything short of our collective values, we would likely be in alignment in most areas (well, assuming you are at least somewhat on the left). I’m certainly no defender of the wrongs of religion. And the continued power of religion in the status quo IS bothersome to me.

However, I would draw the line at saying that all evils of humanity stem from religion (a common tenant of mainstream Atheism). I also don’t agree that the single path to the reversal of the theistic domination of society is though Atheism only. In fact, I consider such a stance to be nothing short of intolerant, and caustic to the long term shared l goals of the left in general.

If it is indeed NOT just a brand used to upsell convention’s and t-shirts, why then should someone disbelieving whilst NOT being the openly atheistic matter?

I’m not out to destroy Atheism. Apistevism is another matter . . . But Atheism has a place. Even if many of it’s most vocal defenders tend to be annoying and extremely condescendingly misguided.

Now on that note . . . methods. Idiotic talking points and platitudes aside, there is one trap that we ought to be careful not to step into. That trap being, basing our conclusions more or less off of the endpoint of theistic reasoning. In a nutshell, you would be better served with the justification of your Atheism beyond a single familiar theism.

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

Sam Harris

Ah, Sam Harris.

One of the crusaders behind what became the modern-day nu-atheist movement, and former academic idol (of sorts). That was before the likes of Sam Seeder and Micheal Brooks illuminated the true moronic trust fund baby behind the prestigious reputation, anyway. And that was BEFORE the man embraced debunked pseudoscience based racists and dangerously misogynistic, overtly unbalanced and completely unprosecuted psychologists.

And speaking of annoying things that happen when dealing with ANYTHING Sam Harris related . . . That is not the full quote. Because heaven forbid I get accused of taking it out of context. This, here be the rest of it.

The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion.
Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, ‘this might be all part of God’s plan,’ or ‘there are no accidents in life,’ or ‘everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves’ – these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/358055-either-god-can-do-nothing-to-stop-catastrophes-like-this

Why he didn’t just stick to THAT, I don’t know. But either way, you should get the jist.

This is by no means a new method of argument. Like most people who come to non-belief through any means, I started with the obvious. God. You build on your cultural environment, and thus my initial focus was on the most powerful deity variant in my context. One is not wrong to point out the lack of evidence for God, as per the western interpretation. People of a free mind in the Middle East (or really, anyone growing up in an environment of highlighted Islam) would likely do the same with Allah. Granted, it could be argued that the biggest difference there is linguistic (2 different languages, same concept). Whilst this is amusing to point out to the “Praise Jesus! Do as I say, not as I do!” bigot crowd (“Yeah, you BOTH pray to Allah!”), one can find examples in any culturally religious context.

Though I started with these inclinations as well, I found myself correcting for them years ago. Long before I even begun to get bored of mainstream atheist discourse (let alone my Reichenback Fall from it). Knowing the vastness of the totality of human theism, God seemed a myopic description. Which is why I began substituting the word deity instead.

Though I made this personal correction years ago, I haven’t given it much (well, any) thought since. That is, until an atheist quotes Twitter account fired off the shortened Sam Harris quote above.

First off, I admit to being a bit surprised. I’ve come to consider such methodologies of argument as being, well, juvenile. Something I wouldn’t really question from an up and comer, one who is new to the ambiguity of unbelief. However, given the source, I was a bit taken aback. Though it occurs to me that this is likely a more common occurrence than I realize.

And so, let’s set this straight.

To some, this may seem a silly critique. Targeting an argument on account of a single word (God). A word which is also present in most definitions of Atheism (. . .a god or gods). I’ve pointed out problems I have with the current status quo definition of Atheism previously, so what do you know. . .

I’ve found another one!

Indeed, the word God CAN indeed be used ambiguously. Other contexts can have the terms Gods and Goddesses used without confusion with certain monotheisms. However, given the weight of Christianity in western cultural white noise (AND the lack of differentiation built into most modern definitions of Atheism), I find little recourse but to call for dropping the God.

Oh, the irony.

Another thing . . . lack of Goddesses within the definition of Atheism. Do I detect a wee bit of sexism?

Oh boy . . . let them comments FLY!

But, back down to earth. Whilst the previous was a tad tongue in cheek (since this cohort has gained a recent track record of being, well, snowflake-esk), there was a motive. It tracks back to western monotheism itself. In that there is not one goddess to be found in the whole of it.

Its bloody Blasphemy!

At some point in history, no doubt about it.

Is this about sexism? About a primitive societies lack of (among other things) social awareness? Or about a modern society seemingly unknowingly adopting some of these old biases in the pursuit of rationality?

Not exactly. But, sort of.

To put it bluntly, do not use religion (most commonly, Christianity or Islam) as the start line.

We know that both ideologies contain a motherboard of bad ideas (to quote Mr. Harris). Such a realization is childs play. First grade atheism. As such, we shoud not be giving credence to such beliefs by using them (albeit unknowingly) as a sort of standard, or buttress.

Monotheism is the standard where most of us live. It is also the standard where most of academia lives, and where the large percentage of the nu-atheist movement originated (including the so-called 4 horsemen). As such, it’s not really surprising that this concept more or less evolved with the paradigm. Not unlike viewing the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, the overall cultural context is important.

So, my proposal is thus . . . think outside the box. Think outside the realm of western culture. Plant the starting line deep in the realm of ambiguity, where it belongs. Not right next to the periphery of monotheistic faith, where its proximity seems to offer its own form of credence.

4 thoughts on “The Arrogance Of Man Verses The Apathetic God

  1. So, am I obliged to read the entirety of your work on atheism, before I can hope to make sense of your current post? Without so much as a footnote or links to past writings? Without a clear exposition of whatever point you wish to make in this one? And, what is the relation of the title of the post to its actual content? And, finally, are you ‘punking’ your readers, or is there “method to your [stream-of-consciousness] madness”?

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    1. I have an atheism criticisms category. There is no need to go back in its entirety. It just documented my evolving stance of the past few years.

      A condensed version van be found in this post. In a nutshell, the lacking definition is stupid.,

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  2. Maybe the author is being an actual free thinker. The real ones probably don’t boast of it. I gave religion. I believe truth about something cannot be based on new perspectives, but the latter can give you personal reasons to believe it or come to it in pieces or in whole. I don’t think you can root out life experiences from them, but you can process them more objectively and root out ego defenses that taint your processing of them. Religion, Atheism, “science” or “reason” can be opiates of the people or they can be objectively come to. I think that Atheism isn’t logically come to. Even if you learn something in school that seems to defy what you were taught in Sunday school, or a catechism class, you could see if you got the right understanding from religious instruction based on original intent or behavior of your role models. The still-religious could read opposing ideas to their beliefs and philosophize counter-arguments. If their faith is not a crutch, it will be known before long. I wouldn’t do that first, though. I think you need to have an anchor, first.
    Better yet, have reasons of your own from your own original sources and not rely on talking points and black legends. So-called Atheists do that so much. They are conditioned by their parents or reeducated by academia with praise for “right” answers and punished for challenging the status quo. If they can’t answer challenges to their new beliefs, they get indignant about their ego being under threat and go off about the challenger’s identity group’s offenses against mankind (imagined. embellished or real) and lies about what the latter teaches taught them by their adopted identity group. The Atheists have their Jack Chicks, as well. It screams superficial belief in what you profess.

    Where’s the joy or hope? If you really believe, why so pissed off about others believing otherwise? Spread your enthusiasm! Answer critics like Reagan would do. It seems like religion and irreligion is superficial in those who go off, in mixed company, complain more about the other than praise the virtues of their belief systems and the founder(s). You can complain a bit, but have an answer for the joy/hope in you. I find that, in conversion stories on Catholic radio, the converted is not angrily rolling out grievances, but are just at peace with their decision; those who leave The Church for Protestantism, a non-Christian religion, irreligion, or Atheism seem to be ranting about it at family gatherings, their new identity group and/ or Youtube. An attack belief system is not really a belief system. They really don’t have anything to offer in argument but convenient talking points. They’re probably just getting back at mummy and daddy. Of course, if your bunch truly is in danger if persecution, I think you are allowed to be more defensive, but not nasty. The author us right about myopic “Atheists” and anti-religionists. Not only do they focus on attacking God and ignore Hindus, Buddhists,etc. perceived deities, they seem to ignore Christians persecuted in some lands, but only for believing their way and just quietly living their lives; not annoying the others by being buttholes to them or anything. If anything, they probably are great to their non-Christian neighbors. We don’t have to respect the other’s belief system, philosophically; just be happy with ours and be excellent to each other and not trash their beliefs in their faces, but ask honestly challenging questions at appropriate times.

    Some are searching, also, as long as one us open to the truth–even if it us not all convenient to do so. That’s ok. It’s a topsy-turvy world. Grace is really needed for conversion to God’s truth, but, at least in Catholicism, of which I am not the best at presenting, faith and reason are involved and we are not afraid of answering challenges, unless we become false-Catholics for an agenda alien to it to undermine it or poorly catechized by one who is enthusiastic about it with their reasons for believing added to the grace if believing (which is why I say we should not knock it till we honestly know it and try it–well, not try sorcery any more than hard drugs, both of which entrapping people in imminent danger at first try).

    That’s my opinion. I could be wrong.

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    1. Right or wrong, it’s 100% welcome here. It’s certainly refreshing in the amount of thought poured into it.

      I’m not used to such interactions. As is likely apparent by my approach to this topic.

      As for the negativity of my approach . . . indeed, it can be seen as unhelpful. But it’s a product of reaching a point of acceptance to my lack of ability to change attitudes. And more importantly, how all of this internal nonsense is holding back the potential of the secular movement as a whole.
      As such, i’ce settled on just sitting here outside of the bubble and spouting my voice off into the ether. I don’t get heard much, but it’s also a blessing. Not playing on the ideological hampster wheel (whatever one happens to be at play) gives me time to focus elsewhere. In a sense, me demonstrating what the movement as a whole could be. Instead of concern over nonsense like what labels one is or isn’t arbitrarily affiliated with, leaving that behind opens up . . . aan ever-changing world full of problems no one even knows about yet (let alone how to solve them). Instead, the group can’t even get past the internal conflicts, let alone take on the real world.

      Atheism leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As much potential as I see in the ever-growing non-religious cohorts of the world, ideology within keeps finding ways to stamp down on this potential. An issue that is blatantly obvious. Just not to the people that can actually make a difference.

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