……and the death of atheism
The ice may be starting to break up. The sun peeks through the clouds. Here and there and once in awhile. But, for the most part, the partisan fogs remain..
This night is never darker than during political “honeymoons”; when, layered onto normal “exceptionalism”, we Americans indulge ourselves in the deliberate “bubble” afforded to “new” administrations. This simply exacerbates our intellectual problems, further prostituting scholarship, journalism and honest criticism.
Until the rush of gush over Obama recedes, it is highly unlikely that there will be any market for independent thinking We must content ourselves now with some subject not corrupted by partisanship; with something less scintillating than the blow by blow descriptions of inanity which currently suffice for dialogue, and seize upon some low key and innocuous concepts among which we may abide while awaiting the resumption of serious discourse.
How about God?
Maybe we can clear out some of the underbrush surrounding that subject, some of the detras du stupidity, and be prepared, like good scouts, to effect real change when, and if, a new millennium actually dawns. First, let’s get rid of those colossal bores, those monuments to the limitations of intelligence, the Mensa masturbators: The atheists.
Lost in a mass of mental machinations, this well meaning, but galactically stunted, group bars the way to understanding by throwing up a polarizing distraction. This chimerical device asks us to decide whether or not God exists, (As if there was any question), sucking us into a debate having no possibility of leading anywhere.
Claiming that God cannot be proven by secular reason or scientific method, the argument then proceeds to ignore all scientific evidence as well as common sense.
Remember, neither history nor anthropology are theological pawns. No excavation, academic or archeological, will uncover evidence of substantial human habitation without also discovering something everyone agrees can be called religion. This evidence extends into pre-history, and continues forward with no breaks until the present day. In short, religion and human history are inseparable.
Second, and much more succinct, is this: Human Beings are the only species in the universe to feel a spirit world beyond nature.
In short, human spirituality is as inseparable from the human condition as romance, art, emotion, or idea.
What may have begun as an attempt to lead lightning, regulate rainfall, bring back buffalo, or any other manipulation of the fickle fingers of fortune, has been filtered through the ages by all the other qualities that distinguish our species. Some of these aren’t very nice.
Among these are our equally essential need to control, brand, centralize, compete, and expand. We are attracted, as to shiny objects and fireworks, to rules and dictum; to what is written in stone. We love to organize. Add to this our equally unique mastery of technology, and the present condition of human spirituality is readily understood. In the same way that chain stores have pushed the independent to oblivion, our natural tendencies have created a narrowed assortment of official religious conduits to choose from. Reduced to five or so brands, “major” religions dominate our God ideas the same way the seven sisters dominated oil production, in the same way that major brands seek to dominate any market. When added to this already potentially violent aspect of our natures, sacredness and piety simple amplify the deadly consequences of competition.
This is what “atheists” really are objecting to; Not God. Because the evidence of our essential and universal spiritual qualities is so simple and obvious to all, its sublimity does not satisfy the desire to over-intellectualize. Where some might build castles, throw the perfect pass, or polish twenty inch chrome wheels, this sort of vanity demonstrates its prowess through the fancy, if ultimately self-serving, process of over-complication. Confident that we are dazzled by such prodigious and athletic mental gymnastics, they dwell comfortably within the notion that nobody will notice that their arguments rest entirely on ignoring the two fundamental truths listed above; truths which even the most average second-grader can understand.
Thus blinded, they then proceed to make their impossible argument. Not realizing that the idea of God represents the evolution of authentic human investigation, no less than art, psychology or science, they reject the universal truths underpinning this search because they have objections to particular contemporary explanations. This is like saying that because we cannot explain its origin, the universe does not exist.