How to Suck at Your Atheism

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Just so I don’t get called out, there is an accompanying set of footnotes.

-Footnotes-

  1. This panel refers Dawkin’s advocacy of rational dialectic between secular and religious individuals. His speech at the 2012 “REASON” rally betrayed this conviction when he called on atheists to mock and bully religious individuals.
  2. Bill Maher has been one of the highest profile atheists since his 2008 film “Religulous”. His opposition to vaccinations has been well-documented. http://www.salon.com/2015/04/25/bill_mahers_bizarre_anti_vaccine_rant_stop_calling_these_people_kooks_and_liars/
  3. Dawkin’s has mentioned his opposition to fairy-tales at The Cheltenham Science Festival. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/professor-richard-dawkins-claims-fairy-tales-are-harmful-to-children-9489287.html
  4. Tyson has voiced his opposition to philosophy as a discipline several times. https://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-the-value-of-philosophy/
  5. The science-meme revelers are indicative of many of the threads on the Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience
  6. The Atheism Bohr Atom is used by the American Atheists http://www.religioustolerance.org/atheist6.htm
  7. The slavery panel references the well-documented scientific racism of the 19th and early 20th century
  8. There is a general reference to internet fights between left and right-style atheists.
  9. Christopher Hitchens advocated for the Iraq War and was one of the war’s biggest defenders. Subsequently, there were soldiers who did enlist due to his advocacy. One of those soldiers famously perished in 2007 http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/11/hitchens200711. Hitchens transformation from geopolitical commentator to anti-religious firebrand occurred at roughly the same time.
  10. This is a reference to the history of the French Revolution when the idealistic atheist Maximilian Robespierre turned draconian tyrant in an attempt to strip traditional and religious culture from France. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilien_Robespierre
  11. The relative body count between the 20th century communists and the inquisition has been well documented not least by García Cárcel, (inquisition) and Jean-Louis Panné (communism).

2 thoughts on “How to Suck at Your Atheism

  1. Pingback: How to Suck At Your Atheism | The Data Distributist

  2. You make some very interesting points here. Personally, I am a non-religious person who does not identify as a theist or an atheist (and find mockery of religious people condemnable). Why? I think that the trouble with atheism itself is that the atheist still has a belief about ‘belief’ that is precisely also fundamentalist and a sickening devotion to the defence of vulgar science. Moreover, the expression “I do not believe in God” is from within modernity, and today’s atheists think they know that God is dead (an idea derivative from Friedrich Nietzsche’s seminal work Thus Spake Zarathustra), most of the time without even realising what Nietzsche actually meant by this statement. What the atheists fail to realise is that, unconsciously, they continue to believe in God. What characterises modernity is no longer the standard figure of the believer who secretly harbours intimate doubts about his belief and engages in transgressive fantasies. Today, we have, on the contrary, a subject who presents himself as a tolerant hedonist dedicated to the pursuit of happiness and whose Unconscious is the site of prohibitions: what is repressed are not illicit desires or pleasures, but prohibitions themselves. Post-modernity (that is to say the next step after modernity, what one could even call my ‘future prediction’) will be non-theistic in a way. Though I am interested in some religions as a hobby, it is more accurate to say (in Žižekian language) I experience the radical absence of any transcendental guarantee. Neither am I a ‘spiritual’ (in the non-Hegelian sense) person, and I am appropriately critical of organised religion. However, unlike Dawkins, Hitchen, Harris, Maher, Tyson, et al I try to be consistent and unbiased.

    That said, do I believe in God? Well, to quote the titular character from Bertold Brecht’s Stories of Mr. Kreuner, “I advise you to consider whether, depending on the answer, your behaviour would change. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can at least be of help to the extent that I can say, you have already decided: you need a God.” To rework it, the answer to this question does not matter because once one begins to ask the question, one has already decided that there must be a correct answer. In my opinion, it does not matter if I believe. I would go so far as to say it does not matter if there really is or is not a God. My position is to go beyond any Big Other(s) and state that there may or may not be a God in the sense of a supreme Being who is de facto creator of the universe, but He or She (we should be so lucky) is not relevant to my experience. However, as a good Kantian, I will humour the notion from my perspective of absolute moral authority. Is there a God? No, but there will be.

    For me and other people crazy or devoted enough to identify as full-fledged Absolute Idealists (Hegelians), the only logical conclusion is that God—what we fittingly call the Absolute—is literally everything; i.e. the infinite universe and the infinite pure mind. What else could an Absolute God >bethat< consciousness will only immanentise itself at the logical end of history. History is moving towards the Absolute's full self-awareness and self-knowledge, since the Absolute is only Absolute insofar as it self-recognises from the perspective of Hegel's Geist, or Absolute Spirit (humanity as culture which moves through history). Eventually, there will be the Absolute, thought that thinks itself. As we (as Spirit) understand more of the Absolute—through art, religion, and philosophy—the Absolute understands more of itself. This is naturally called the Understanding, and in this way, we realise that only the Absolute exists. Much like writing this excerpt was necessary as a prolegomena to any questions concerning God in my review for the movie "The Passion of the Christ," Kant's categorical imperative is a necessary moment to develop the idea of Hegel's Spirit. The categorical imperative is God, for it exists as a command: unthinkable and non-sensible Being.

    Does all of this mean I am some sort of agnostic atheist in the abstract sense? By today's criteria, perhaps, but Hegel certainly did not think so, and I am inclined to take his side. In the end, am I just a special snowflake who reads too much philosophy and is uncomfortable having any association with science-worshiping imbeciles? Absolutely, inasmuch as to fully embrace this is after all a conceptual move towards the Absolute.

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