left biblioblography: AN END TO TEARS

Saturday, November 04, 2006

AN END TO TEARS

Many, many years ago, a woman I worked with and I were discussing a lady co-worker’s inability to part ways with an abusive boyfriend. She phrased it succinctly, thus: “When you’re with someone, the good should outweigh the bad. But when the bad outweighs the good, it’s time to choose between pluses and minuses.”

And of course, the battered half of the couple is loath to leave. Be it fear of loneliness, the resultant offspring, nostalgia, or other varied reasons, it is always hard to say good-bye, especially living in the shadow of fear.

So now we take the microcosmic example, and apply it to the macrocosmic scheme.

We have lived too long in the shadow of fear. The serpentine tongues of religion have lashed our species’ collective hearts, and reduced many of our people into quivering lumps of frightened flesh: they walk amongst us with benign smiles and promises of an afterlife unproven, but when mocked or challenged, their benign visages contort and revert to the true feral ferocity of fear. Denunciation flows from their foam-speckled lips as they break every rule that suits their purpose; twist words to prove their point, and flail about blindly when logic cruelly dashes their sophistry to the rocks below.

I trust my point here is clear: religion is the abusive spouse, humanity the abused. The club is the threat that non-acceptance will result in flames – submission is rewarded with phantom promises of benificience. Stray from the path, and the whip is applied.

So the question here remains: how much longer must we, as a species, live with this argument from force?

Read me properly: it was once upon a time, that we needed this tool, to keep the masses in sync, to dampen that feral spirit that Man has manifested time and again, far too many to list here.

But civilization has softened Man: we form communities automatically now, without the benefit of some hallowed hall. We have evolved past the need for the supernatural – let us now put the toys that protected us against harmless shadows into the closet, and walk out, into the bright light of day, as adults.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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8 comments:

Lucyp said...

nice post and a question i have asked myself many times.

PastaLaVista said...

KA I pretty much agree whole-heartedly with your post except for the part about at one time man needing religion. Unfortunately it has grown into the monster we see today. Any pluses as a result of it to me are wiped out by all the negatives. I've often wondered what kind of world we would be living in if the concept of religion had never ever entered the picture.

remy said...

I could be optimistic and view these last few years of fundamentalist resurgence as the death throws of a defunct mindset b u t, I cannot. The argument from force (and fear) is alive and kicking (pardon the pun).
But then what do I know. Thirty years ago, when I saw Spock slip a little flat piece of plastic into a slot and retrieve mounds of info I literaly scoffed. Lets hope my powers of prognostication have not improved.

Aviaa said...

remy,
I could be optimistic and view these last few years of fundamentalist resurgence as the death throws of a defunct mindset b u t, I cannot. The argument from force (and fear) is alive and kicking (pardon the pun).

I do think the popularity of Dawkin’s and Harris’s new books as well as the number of 20-somethings leaving the evangelical faith are both terribly positive. I have optimism that the fear mongering is, perhaps, a sign that the fundamentalists are noticing this as well. If we continue to make life without theism a friendly, viable, visible alternative, I think we’ll continue to make ground.

remy said...

aviaa,
I do agree but as you may have noticed it is often beyond the patience of Job to remain freindly to certain theists.

The fact that Dawkins and Harris are on the best seller lists in both our countries is extremely positive.

Anonymous said...

KA:

You’re quite the activist. I see it’s popular to no longer be satisfied with debunking or complaining about theism. Rather, many in your camp view themselves as part of a socio-political movement that will progressively rid the world of this diarrhea of religion. Some of you, though, I am confidant to exclude KA, seem to want to become some form of “thought police” in the campaign for atheism. In this method of ‘decontamination of reason’ things like teaching your children Christianity becomes “child abuse” (as Dawkins says). I am wondering how far some will take it—and if achieving these goals will only result the fear mongering you passionately oppose.

Anyway, since all you did was claim moral abhorrence in your post, it would be nice if sometime you provide your epistemological justification for deriding “religion” (most specifically Christianity) in light of your expressed staunch materialism. Otherwise, your complaints only render insignificant noise in the universe. By reading your post, it’s evident that emotion and sentimentality hold sway over sober reason here. Good luck with the witch hunting ;-)

Aviaa said...

remy,

I do agree but as you may have noticed it is often beyond the patience of Job to remain freindly to certain theists.

(nods) Indeed. I had one on Friday who wouldn’t stop insisting that science was just guessing. Most annoyingly, he wouldn’t let me or the person I was with actually say anything to refute his claim. We’d say two words, he’d (loudly) interject “But science is just guessing.” I have trouble remaining friendly in such cases. However, I try to keep smiling at people until they give me reason to do otherwise and give everyone (theists included) the benefit of the doubt.

The fact that Dawkins and Harris are on the best seller lists in both our countries is extremely positive.

Indeed, again! I actually haven’t read Dawkin’s book yet, but I’m 156th in line at the library to borrow it (I find this number encouraging as well). I should likely just buy it.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
You’re quite the activist. I see it’s popular to no longer be satisfied with debunking or complaining about theism. Rather, many in your camp view themselves as part of a socio-political movement that will progressively rid the world of this diarrhea of religion.
Progressively being the key word here, I think.
Some of you, though, I am confidant to exclude KA, seem to want to become some form of “thought police” in the campaign for atheism.
I can't speak for anyone else, but that's a good call.
In this method of ‘decontamination of reason’ things like teaching your children Christianity becomes “child abuse” (as Dawkins says).
Personally, I don't consider it child abuse any more than telling a kid about Santa.
I am wondering how far some will take it—and if achieving these goals will only result the fear mongering you passionately oppose.
That's a good question, 1 that bothers me.
Anyway, since all you did was claim moral abhorrence in your post, it would be nice if sometime you provide your epistemological justification for deriding “religion” (most specifically Christianity) in light of your expressed staunch materialism.
??? Gee willikers, thought I'd been doing that all along?
Otherwise, your complaints only render insignificant noise in the universe.
Oh my. Am I bruised? Nope. Shrugging.
By reading your post, it’s evident that emotion and sentimentality hold sway over sober reason here. Good luck with the witch hunting ;-)
What, I can't have a moment or 2 of rhetoric? (pouts). Golly, the universe told me it was okay. ;)
1st person who responds w/mobs, pitchforks & torches'll have to go thru me.
Regardless of who is on whose side.