My utter disgust and disregard for fundamentalist is well documented on this blog. I make no apologies for it, though I would argue that I am no zealot in this regard, and I am not on a campaign against them as a mission. My mind is far too eclectic in its selection of “things of interest” for that to be so.
I write of politics and my utter disgust and disregard for much of the GOP as well. It is not a mission with me either.
I believe totally in evolution as the means by which life has changed over eons of time. I believe that climate change is real and we are a major causative factor. Similarly I believe that today is Thursday and that the sun will set in the West. These are all factually provable items, available to be tested by a variety of reality-based mechanisms.
None of these things so I obsess about, for as I said, much else in the world interests me, such as who is the killer in the new show The Bridge, who will get kicked off Big Brother tonight, and what restaurant shall we eat lunch at today. I am a liberal or progressive, and I heave mightily to the left side of those spectrums, but sometimes extreme liberals/progressives piss me off with their short-sightedness from my point of view. I don’t obsess about that either.
As I said, I’m not a zealot, but a jack-of-all-trades. I likes what I likes and don’t likes what I don’t likes and I’ll tell you about most of them, and defend them until I get bored and move onto something else. I figure I’m fairly sane, fairly smart, and fairly normal and average.
But some folks ( religious fundamentalists for sure, and atheists of the newer type) are zealous. They are on a mission. And I’m here to tell you, that when viewed from the psychological lens, then are very hard to tell apart. I have almost always referred to fundamentalists as religious in nature. But that is not correct. Fundamentalism is a mental disorder or at least is thought so by some. It relates to a type of mind that is fearful of the world and thus creates a reality that is comfortable. It gathers “facts” to support its desired outcome, and is largely impervious to new facts that might contradict the contrived reality. It takes comfort in being a “minority”, being special, in the know, and therefore “better” than others. It regularly trashes non-believers as hell-bound, or not intelligent. It is a cultish worship of a world that works for it.
And folks it applies to the “New” atheist as much as the religious fundamentalist. Having spoken to a few dozen of these new atheists, I think I can safely speak about them. Almost universally they were either once fundamentalist believers, or were raised atheistic to begin with. But in each case, a traumatic occurrence happened and they became crusaders out to crush religion as some evil creation and one that is responsible for literally every bad thing that has ever happened in the world.
But let’s examine the patient. Atheists are fond of turning the tables in any discussion with them by asserting that the “one who asserts God exists must prove that existence.” And then they go about demanding that God be proven by a methodology that is designed to work in a physical universe. This would be fine if of course God was discernible by test tubes and spectroscopes.
If science tells us anything, it tells us that at the truly small end of things, the laws don’t operate quite the same as they do on our sensory levels. A thing can be at two places at the same time, and observing a thing can alter its behavior. There are posits of more planes of existence, some eleven I’m told, and that each may have its own laws, utterly alien to our own. But they continue to demand that God be proven to their satisfaction by human scientific standards.
They refuse (a no-information zone) to accept that they cannot prove to anyone’s satisfaction that God does not exist. All they can point to is a lack of scientifically generated evidence that he does.
Let me ask it another way.
Prove that the universe is a meaningless existence. Prove that it has no purpose whatsoever. Prove that it just came into being somehow, and is going through this process of evolution and that it all will end somehow and maybe or maybe not start again, in the same unendingly mindless way.
For you posit such a universe.
We are here by a series of accidents, we live for a short period, and we dissolve into nothingness, which billions of others perhaps on billions of other “earths” do the same, all for no purpose whatsoever. This is the world of Albert Camus, life is absurd.
If it is absurd then what is the point? What has ever been the point? Why have we crawled from the cave to get into our Prius’s and drive to work creating balance sheet profits for companies who will fight to avoid giving us a pension all to sit in the sun watching the balance of our lives fade with the sun? How have we found the guts and fortitude to deny ourselves, to be honest, to help others, if only to die inevitably?
Leave a legacy? Give my kids a better life? You have no ability to feel the satisfaction after you die. You have no legacy to watch mature and give birth to your great-great-great grandchildren. You can claim the satisfaction now, but is that but a joke you play on yourself? If you find life to be hard, filled with obstacles, potholes and down-right evil meanness at least some of the time, why not save your progeny that suffering by not bringing them into the world?
Seeing it from your perspective, why feed the homeless man? You but prolong his misery? The end remains the same. Oblivious death?
Or is it as Camus suggests to you? That accepting all of the above is the final freedom–the freedom to not give a damn? But of course you claim that not to be true, for you claim a morality that is as good, nay better than the religious believers you call names and make such fun of. Your freedom cannot be of the Camus variety.
Yes, you are moral people. Morality is I believe a genetic trait that we have found conducive to life. But you have no corner on intelligence my new atheist friends. You like to think you do, but you don’t.
You hold onto this religion of yours, for indeed it is that, because it makes you feel superior. You smugly look down upon others who believe in God as some sort of child who doesn’t have the presence of mind to know a fact from a fairy tale. Yet you who proclaim the scientific method and profess to understand the rigors of research inquiry, utterly refuse to even consider that the bible you ridicule can be read ANY OTHER WAY THAN THE SAME WAY THE FUNDAMENTALISTS YOU HATE READ IT.
That is rich indeed, for you give them the license to dictate the terms of the debate. And the truth is, you can’t allow that there are other, scholarly ways to interpret scripture, for then your fun would be over. You don’t see it that way of course, because you are on a mission, a mission to destroy religion.
And I’m not utterly opposed to that. Religion is an institution, and institutions need people to run them. And people who are beholden to institutions for their livelihood, are inclined to want the institution to grow bigger and richer, for that makes them more powerful and richer. Lots of nasty things happen as a result.
But faith is another thing entirely. You understand only one perverted facet of it and then extrapolate it to the rest because it works for you that way. That is not reality, but you are information proof.
But don’t get me wrong here. I don’t want to convert you. You are fine in your atheism as far as I’m concerned. No God that I understand wishes to punish you for your lack of progress. Humanity is a work in progress. Not all are as enlightened, and that doesn’t mean I’m somehow better than you because I see the world differently. It will all go as it is supposed to, for evolution is always upward. If we don’t blow ourselves to smithereens with our constant bickering.
I don’t seek to convert you but you seek to convert me. And that is a problem. I don’t seek to convert religious fundamentalists either, but I do seek to prevent them from homeschooling their children into their disease. And I do seek to prevent them from making me live in a society of their making. Minding one’s own business is the key, if you get my drift.
And that is the sad thing.
You are not stupid. But you are willfully ignorant. You cannot make it go away by refusing to examine it. Isn’t that kinda basic to a science-based belief system?
- Before You Sympathize with Reza Aslan, Remember What He Said About the ‘New Atheists’ (patheos.com)
- Atheists: Who Are They? (musicalhumanist.wordpress.com)
- Is Moderate, Rational Atheism a Fallacy? (hebrewhutong.wordpress.com)
- Why Atheists & Theists are Stuck in the Same Ethical Boat (appliedsentience.com)