Thursday, March 5, 2015
"God bless atheism"
The second of the two videos inserted below arrived in email this morning and put me in mind of the first. The second is a pretty attractive, atheist/humanist rant about the arrogance of the clergy and the first (because I love him) is comedian George Carlin's sassy take on religion as bullshit.
I suppose others might take these videos with a grim and possibly agreeable satisfaction. Not only does the idol have feet of clay, but that idol is capable of quite a lot of cruelty under the cover of kindness.
Those who disagree may squirm. Those who agree my shiver with delight. Having invested quite a lot of time in spiritual adventures during my life, I can feel the squirm and feel the delight. But whichever emotion (agreement or disagreement) arises, there is an exclamation that comes with it: "Ain't that the truth?!" And, often as not, you bet it is from where I sit: It's bullshit; it's the truth.
But one of the things that interests me about droning critiques and droning encomiums is that pointing out the fraudulence or pointing out the high points always seems to stop short. It stops short in the sense that it does not seem to address the human need or petition. If religion is bullshit, for example, what other approach can provide the peace and satisfaction implicit in religion's false promises ... promises that human beings are likely to admire or long for?
I haven't got the energy to jump through the hoops on this one this morning, but the video made me think again that 1. a bullshitless religion or philosophy simply does not exist and 2. some religions and philosophies are very helpful in that they lay out a panorama of prevarication from which the adherent must then winkle out the truth.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. His existence rests on a fragile-to-non-existent footing whose satisfying truth must be winkled out. Religion is a lie from which adherents need to extract a truth that fills the peaceful bill at last. Critiquing and praising and believing can never provide peace, but the bullshit can grow some lovely flowers.
Were there ever two more dangerous and unfulfilling words than, "I believe?"
Was there ever anything worth accomplishing that didn't enter (sometimes extremely) dangerous realms?