Home > Uncategorized > Being An Atheist XXVI: Indifference

Being An Atheist XXVI: Indifference

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write my captivating atheist writings but let me tell you this: Modal Logic is no joke. Eh, it’s kind of a joke, I mean I don’t understand why I needed to understand it but such “letter math” is not my idea of philosophy. Then again, there is a lot of crap out there that isn’t my idea of philosophy. The problem I had with the class is that the entire course was designed around being able to understand our conception of “modality.” Which to my mind (and if I’m wrong an angry email will suffice to correct me), means that an entire sub-discipline, of the subsection of Philosophy known as “Symbolic Logic” is in an incestuous circle in that they created this concept and now they need to create new concepts to understand the first concept. Look, if it’s Western Philosophy and some Greek didn’t write about it, pick a different discipline. Rant number 1 over.

On to atheism. I have a lot of catching up to do on various topics that I have written down in my journal. I’ve been keeping abreast of things I just haven’t had time, and when I have had time rest was a necessity. So we will come back to some of my various topics that I have started. I want to begin exploring the idea of whether or not Jesus existed. I don’t mean whether he existed as some supernatural figure, I obviously don’t believe that, but whether or not he existed at all. I came across an interview with an author on the podcast “Atheist Nomads” who was claiming that the entire thing is made up. I’ll delve into that in the coming months. I also recognize that people will not read something that isn’t regularly updated, and as my semester has ended I’m going to figure out some kind of normal schedule. I’m hoping two days a week, but definitely, one consistent day. Perhaps I’ll even join this twitter thing.

I am awed at how little atheism takes up my thoughts. By this I mean that unlike the stereotype of atheists that exits, we don’t go around singing to ourselves about how glad we are that there is nothing. It’s not like that at all, I really don’t think about it unless some news event happens which forces me to consider it, or I am reading something pertinent to the subject it’s not an occurrence. I don’t have any thought during the day where I am relieved or disappointed that actions do not have metaphysical or spiritual repercussions. My actions are for this world not for some next world that I really hope for or dread. In this respect actions are done for their own sake and not the promise of reward, the fear of punishment, or done in service to some god for whom minor things somehow matter. If I eat meat on a Friday during an arbitrary and ever shifting period of forty days, shellfish, pork, cow, insects, or whatever I do not think that my life will be affected in any manner other than the dietary effect that it certainly will have. This is the kind of superstition that I am free from.

I use the term “Free” because it is the most accurate term to describe the condition. I am not the victim of a self-imposed diet whose only real purpose is to delineate one tribe from another. I’m free to wear garments of mixed fabric without fear of a god who cares about things like that for a reason I’ll never understand, or to trim my beard, and I can certainly sow crops of two different kinds in the same field—not that I am going to but the option is on the table for me. What I think a lot of atheists forget is that for religious people these are not mere superstitions, but actions they believe have actual consequences. Everyday as I look out my window I see young bearded men with curly side burns and tassels hanging from their waists walking across the street and down the sidewalk. Their entire manner of dress is about not offending a god that is petty enough to care about such things. I suppose that we, as a people, tend to think that the universe cares about such things that are place in the near infinite void somehow matters. This would be a nice comforting idea if we went about it in any other way than creating a bunch of rules that inconvenience our lives to such a great deal that we then have to gather together and create a different system of bending those rules. It’s much nicer to be free from such arbitrary rules and restrictions.

There will always be some that will accuse atheists by claiming that freedom is the whole point isn’t it? We don’t like going to church so we deny that there is a god in order to sleep in on Sunday. I don’t feel like worrying about what my pants are made of so I deny that the restriction means anything at all. That might be the case, if everyone didn’t do that as well. When I say everyone, I mean it. Denying that there are no gods is no different than denying in any particular god. When I get on a boat, I don’t sacrifice a goat to Poseidon either, but then again, neither does anyone reading this. What makes the old gods ridiculous when the new gods are different only in the method of practice? The real thing we have to watch is weather and sea conditions; the sea simply does not care whether or not we give it thanks for not sinking our triremes.

If this means I have to sacrifice the special attention of the universe…then so be it. Because I would rather live a life free from the worry that I’ve angered some all powerful deity for forgetting to not speak to my wife one week out of the year than not to speak to her. That’s one the biggest draws of religion, the egotism of it, the idea that every individual is special and deserving of some unique praise. This ignores the fact that the world is governed not by the petty whims of a schizophrenic father figure but by law. Physics, biology, chemistry, these are what rule the natural world.

Unchangeable, permanent, law. Gravity means that everything flows toward the object with more mass, this isn’t going to change—now, our understand of it might change, and our estimation of the constants which are measurements of gravity might change, but the natural phenomenon doesn’t change. Velociraptors always had feathers, and dinosaurs always evolved into birds (except for that period of time when that hadn’t happened yet) it’s just that we didn’t know it. Our knowledge doesn’t change the fact of the matter now matter how much we want it to be.

People ask me what would it take to for me to be convinced that there was a god. Well, that’s the evidence right there. Have one of these laws break for one thing and I’ll accept it. Let an atom go completely out of existence, with no energy conversion, just simply obliviate and then reconstitute. Have some item fall away from the denser object with no magnetic field, and then have it fall back. In short, have something break the normal causal chain that we are used to, but only do it once so that we know that a rule was broken and not that we misunderstood the rule.

These laws are immutable and irreversible, which is why it ought to be a miracle if they suddenly reversed course. But they won’t, because above them is set no master which can change its mind. Our individual accomplishments or piety matter no more or no less than our sufferings and transgressions. Anyone claiming otherwise probably wants something from you, and should be scoffed at until they can deliver results they are claiming. Otherwise what’s stopping me from claiming that all of those abstainments and taboos are really just angering the other one true god? Nothing. No god=no special attention=the universe regards all things in it with one feeling; that of indifference, because it has to since it is not alive.

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