Friday, April 07, 2006

What are you? Some Kind of Atheist?!

Yes I am some kind of an atheist. I am a skeptic. I simply do not hear the seductive songs of any gods these days. I have become wonderfully deaf to the myriad siren voices of our pop-pantheon: Neo-Marxism, Political Correctitude-ism, Gender Feminism, DSMIV-ism, even Neo-Conservatism. I also no longer hear the grand deep baritone of that big old daddy God: the God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

I am that kind of atheist who found that where ever there is God-talk there are people with power lording that power over others they either pity or disdain. When I hear God-talk I tend to hear more clearly these others, the unloved ones. And there are always the others. They are the outsiders and the uninvited. When I hear God-talk I hear those who just don’t get it -- I hear the other-minded, the other-sided the other-others. I hear the bad people, the demonized people. I hear those who either must be helped with this god, or must be crushed with this god’s blessings. That is the kind of atheist I am. I don’t hear the call of these gods. I really am one of those men who just don’t get it. Anita Hill and N.O.W. I just don’t get it one little bit, but I certainly do understand it.

Atheism is often misrepresented as a faith in the non-existence of God. That is not the sort of atheism I embrace. It is not a faith, and I am not a faithful atheist. Rather, I am an atheist who accepts that, as a human being, I have unavoidable and periodic mystical experiences of the infinitude of the universe and a periodic awesome feeling that I, as a smidgen among smidgens, somehow fit within this awesome infinitude. I am, I know, going to be all right regardless of how it all goes, including my own death and the death of all that I love. I also know and accept that all I love will, in time, be lost.

This is mysticism, yes, but it is not evidence that there is some entity named "God." For my mystical experience is an internal emotion. And there is no evidence that my internal emotion correlates to anything externally real at all. The point is, "God" is a name that only names human desires, human confusion, and human hopefulness. "God" simply does not name anything beyond us humans. But does this mean we know all there is? Of course not. Does this mean our brains, grand as they seem to us, can grasp that which is beyond our grasp? Not at all, that is a contradiction.

Still, God-talk remains people talk. So my atheism simply means God-talk is empty talk, and what is, is, and if what is, is something one might actually name, it is beyond us, and it certainly would not answer to “God”. Nothing about what is can be reasonably said. What does “God” mean? Nothing. Who does God name? No one. That is atheism.

So, when we feel the mystical nudge of spirituality, that feeling gives us no evidence that "God" refers to anything we can say anything about. “God” refers only to our own personal hopefulness and justifies a concomitant desire to claim a divine right over others who call their personal hopefulness by the innumerable names within their own God-talk: Jesus, Mohammed, Zeus, Yahweh, Om, Isis, Zagreus, Agdistus, Heroin, Money, Atheism.

It is important to note, however, that I reject agnosticism. I know that I know God names nothing and no one. No evidence can be produced that might suddenly force me to believe in God. God does not exist, and 2+2 will never equal 27. I am certain I know God is not the name of the ineffable apophatic mystery, nor is it Ayatollah Khomeini, Pat Robertson, Robert Spitzer, L. Ron Hubbard, Freud, Marx, or even Kim Gandy. People invent God; God does not invent people. The rest is unspeakable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with all that. I hope for your sake you are right... and I hope for my sake you are wrong.

12:03 AM  
Blogger katedean said...

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Poorly written storyline that is bearable because it has some interesting concepts. Kathy Hoel

12:01 AM  

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