left biblioblography: THE LATEST GOSSIP GOING AROUND - ATHEISM IS PRIMITIVISM

Sunday, November 12, 2006

THE LATEST GOSSIP GOING AROUND - ATHEISM IS PRIMITIVISM

Yes, I blinked too. Yes, I knuckled my eyes and said “What the hell…?”

Thanks to AngloAmerican via the Bacon Eating Atheist Jew, it turns out our dear Gagdad Bob’s latest pseudo-theory is being adopted:


“For that is the key: atheism is a post-civilized primitivism, pure and simple. The comparatively narrow realm of evolution explained by natural selection is embedded in the much grander vision of an evolutionary cosmos that deepens and reveals its own truth to itself through the mysterious vehicle of human consciousness. Even if materialistic scientists imgaine that they have “explained” consciousness, they will never, ever explain how this consciousness may know absolute truth. For as J.B.S. Haldane observed, "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motion of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."

More childish protestations from the theists: “I wanna be special, waah, waah, waah.”

Let’s look at the definition of ‘primitivism’:

  1. The condition or quality of being primitive.
  2. The style characteristic of a primitive artist.

    1. A belief that it is best to live simply and in a natural environment.
    2. A belief that the acquisitions of civilization are evil or that the earliest period of human history was the best.

The ‘good’ doctor’s re-spin is just so askew; it begs to be skewered.

If he meant definition one, then we are simply civilized Flintstones, living in the town of Bedrock (yeah, that irritating jingle’s now in my head too: sorry).

We can skip number two, as the shrink has dismissed us in toto as a bunch of grumbling, cold, unimaginative ‘infrahumans’, probably incapable of the lofty aspirations of the ‘true’ artist inspired by a muse of any sort (won’t HE be surprised how wrong he is).

So we come to ‘sacred’ number three.

Definition three A isn’t so off the mark. Civilization takes it’s toll – it is no revelation that too much civilization (the combination of smog, lack of breathable air, constant bombardment by varying rays electronic and microwave, ingestion of food additives, and the dizzying array of choices) tends to have multiple adverse effects on the individual as well as the collective. In short, when Man’s dreams are composed of smoke, metal and asphalt, madness is not far behind.

Definition three B is…well, ridiculous. It’s the acquisitions of civilization that I am indeed loath to surrender. The warm bed, the Internet, the freedom provided by that odious transport the automobile (if I could do without that one, I would, you betcha). It was the accoutrements of civilization that have helped me in ways too numerous to enumerate here. The ‘noble savage’ syndrome is just nostalgic melodrama, and most atheists will agree: it’s a myth. So compromise is (grudgingly) given – I cannot tailor the world to my own conveniences, much as I’d like to.

The major problem is that religion has taught us to be ‘stewards’ of this planet, rather than inhabitants. And we have adopted, via a twist in evolution, the habit and attitude that nature (reification here) is the opponent we need to battle rather than the ecosphere we need to adjust to.

I rather enjoyed this foolishness:

“I heard one of these proponents of sophisticated Atheism on NPR this week. He suggested morality is merely based on a consensus summation of human thought (essentially, a variation on the "recourse to authority".) He failed to see what was so obvious to any listener. If there is no "appeal to transcendence" then morality is merely opinion. ("The Ten Suggestions" as some wit once remarked.) And isn't that the position of the Moral Relativists who suggest that the only morality is the one you feel enhances your self-esteem? Narcissism, ultimately, is incompatible with civilization; pure individualism in such a universe becomes indistinguishable from the universe of the grandiose infant whose own gratification is primary.”

How daft that truly is. First off, we are not ALL moral relativists. Second off, I’ve never quite heard about ‘enhancing the self-esteem’ mantra before. Third off, our entire government is structured on a form of narcissism, as it is geared primarily towards the individual first and the majority second. Fourth off, Christianity is the ultimate in narcissism. It tells the believer he/she is special, as that amorphous, unprovable deity gives a rat’s fart in a whirlwind what the individual does on a micro-manageable scale. It’s a religion that is specifically geared towards the ego. It is most certainly not targeting the collective, once Hellenism shifted gears from the community to the individual.

Religion is Transcendental Narcissism.

It is no secret that I adopt the refrain, “Everything just is.” Eminently Taoist, to be sure. But our world is jam-packed with wonders myriad, so many that invention of a mythology should be a minor hobby, not a raison detre. From the labyrinthine maze of evolution to the cosmology of the stars, from the beauties of nature to the counter-intuitive capacities of quantum physics, we have more than enough on our collective plates to supplant the phantasmigorical fantasies of our savage forebears long past.

So let us bid a fond adieu to the foolish extremes of our species’ adolescence. Let us then become adults, collectively as well as individually, as we transcend the boogiemen of our ancestors. Angels, devils, demons, gods: infantile distractions, unworthy of our becoming now, worthy only in the past, and that barely so.

It is time to grow. And growth is upwards, not backwards (perhaps not absolute: there are few enough of these in this existence).

“We are all of us in the gutter: but some of us are looking to the stars.”

- Oscar Wilde.

Till the next post, then.

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11 comments:

Mesoforte said...

"...Even if materialistic scientists imgaine that they have “explained” consciousness, they will never, ever explain how this consciousness may know absolute truth. For as J.B.S. Haldane observed, "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motion of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms."

Most scientists I know of know enough about the nature of science not to claim an 'absolute truth.'

"...If there is no "appeal to transcendence" then morality is merely opinion. ("The Ten Suggestions" as some wit once remarked.) And isn't that the position of the Moral Relativists who suggest that the only morality is the one you feel enhances your self-esteem?"

That's when the question 'Do the gods love something because it is holy, or is something holy because the gos love it comes into play?'

Or better said, 'Is something moral in its own right, or is it only moral because god says so?'

If something is moral in its own right, there's no need to listen to an authority tell you about it. Doing so puts the theist in the postition of a moral relativist.

If something is moral because 'god' says so, then the theist's version of morality is merely the dictate of something more powerful, a type of rule by force (or coersion).

Either way, they sound like a moral relativist.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Most scientists I know of know enough about the nature of science not to claim an 'absolute truth.'
Yeah, ain't that the relative truth?;)
If something is moral because 'god' says so, then the theist's version of morality is merely the dictate of something more powerful, a type of rule by force (or coersion).
A sort of reverse Oedipal complex.

karen said...

OW. Too many big words for this poor infrahuman's tired ole brain right now.
I'll check back later, when the caffeine and my neurons are clicking in the same hemisphere.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE KA

In case you are interested, the creationist loonies are back at my blog and attempting to rebut your comments.

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
OW. Too many big words for this poor infrahuman's tired ole brain right now.
Snort. Chuckle. As always, you underestimate yourself, m'love.

BBIM:
In case you are interested, the creationist loonies are back at my blog and attempting to rebut your comments.
-SIGH- Time to start bangin' on heads again...I can see why you're so tired of it.

remy said...

Beep, I have tryed to post on your site but I guess because I'm not a blogger I can't?

Sorry for using you K.

Sorry again. I keep wanting to refer to you as K. Reminds me of The Castle.

Alas, phreed has resurfaced on NGB.

Krystalline Apostate said...

remy:
Sorry for using you K.
Que? I don't know what you refer to.
Sorry again. I keep wanting to refer to you as K. Reminds me of The Castle.
That is so cool. You keep dropping these literary references (I'd completely forgotten about Kafka).
Alas, phreed has resurfaced on NGB.
Sour old man, no hobbies except to torment the 'damned'.
I may or may not bug him. Who knows?

beepbeepitsme said...

RE atheism is primitivism

These sorts of accusations usually rely on a distorted meaning or interpretation.

Ceertainly I would consider religious belief to be based in "primitivism" as it seems historically, that many different religious beliefs and a multitude of gods have flourished throughout ancient history.

Wherever there has been a phenomena which has been inexpicable, mankind has traditionally posited a supernatural explanation. With the advent of the scientific method, we were able to conduct obervations on volcanos and the volcano god seemed silly in hindsight.

The superstitious part of our psychology are the primitive parts. All our primitive and perhaps instinctual survival fears are nestled in those primitive religious beliefs.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE remy: Dunno why you can't post there. Just post as anonymous and sign the post remy.

RE KA

I am becoming very impatient with a couple of the religious posters on my blog, but I feel like I should address their posts, as there is always the chance that some part of the argument might make them think - even if only for a moment.

remy said...

K,
"Que? Don't know what you refer to."
I guess I was apologizing for using your blog to speak to a third party about something off topic.

Re: K. Your new name lends itself to so many allusions and diminutives.

"I may or may not bug him. Who knows?"

I have made it a point not to acknowledge him but it has often been extremely difficult to remain silent. He's such a maroon.

Beep,
I'll try again. I'm a wee bit challenged by these new fangled machines.

Krystalline Apostate said...

beep:
I am becoming very impatient with a couple of the religious posters on my blog, but I feel like I should address their posts, as there is always the chance that some part of the argument might make them think - even if only for a moment.
If they're Young Earthers, chances are slim to none.
Re: K. Your new name lends itself to so many allusions and diminutives.
As long as you're gentle, I shan't mind much. Hehehe.
I guess I was apologizing for using your blog to speak to a third party about something off topic.
De nada, mi amigo.