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1.God – an idea that people kill and die for, a metaphor that inspires reverence and sanctity, and often a compelling motivation to benevolent and charitable deeds for much of humanity. Imagine if that idea, that metaphor and that motivation was not God, but the world and everything in it.
2.In the hands of theism, belief and faith is dogma. In the hands of atheism, belief and faith is credulity. To those not of this ilk, belief and faith is acceptance and trust. But if no one accepts and trusts the world, how could they possibly love it?
3.This isn't an argument about God or any sort of deity, as all of these types of arguments are superfluous in the face of a fast-approaching brick wall, and our intellect should not waste time believing or not believing in such clumsy metaphors. No; forget fantastical beings that do not exist, but never forget the attention, the love, the power, and the divinity that is attributed to them. This is about ecology, and the various relationships that require our direst attention. Exactly here is where we need to bestow our attributes of the holy, and adorn our ecology, ourselves, our world in our undying love.
4.In his "The God Delusion", Dawkins calls pantheism a "sexed-up atheism". Of course, with a minor inversion of his statement, atheism is an unsexy, unpoetic, and sometimes ugly pantheism. With the way atheism recoils at the notion of faith or belief, perhaps because faith and belief have for so long been tied to the superstitious, the subsequent backlash against such notions of divination and holiness continues, leaving us to reduce everything to our basest descriptions, to some average mean, to be ever defined as mere groupings of the smallest and deadest constituent parts, and thus deserving of our basest consideration.
5.I never understood theism or atheism. I always understood art first and foremost, and to me, theism was always mediocre art. Aesthetically, it was difficult to stand in front of it and admire it. In the way it conceived of the world and the cosmos, which includes myself and all I hold dear, and the way it falsified sex, the world, sensuality, the flesh, and other prerequisites to life as evil, I felt it revealed an incapability of the authors of theistic literature to grasp the beauty in life, but instead to fill in every hole with the unreal and the superstitious, which seems necessary for a species that confines itself to the safety of its dark and mouldy monasteries, never to go outside. Men who rarely looked at the stars, and who rarely strayed from their churches and tomes, were to tell me how to love, or rather hate, the world.
6.The scientific endeavour to describe the physical world is a duty of the highest order. But the listing of facts, and the reduction of things to their mathematical descriptions, their category, or their universal, has only a practical function. It is useful.
7.The spiritual man must indemnify all matter, the body, the animals—by God, everything—for the thousands of years of torture and slander spat against them, and should get down on one knee and beg for forgiveness. They must sanctify all ground instead of only the most symbolic. Everyday must be holy instead of a few days a year. Learn about that which you have always hated. The spiritual man must become materialistic.
8.The greatest evidence against both is the state of the world. If the state of the world is any sort of indication, the holy, the sacred, and the divine – the very same reverence we bestow upon God and the prophets – need to be brought back from outside of the universe and retrieved from our depraved imaginations so as to be placed back where it is needed most, namely, where we delineate and portray the environments and relationships we find ourselves within on a day-to-day basis. On the world. On everything.
But if no one accepts and trusts the world, how could they possibly love it?
No; forget fantastical beings that do not exist, but never forget the attention, the love, the power, and the divinity that is attributed to them.
To the extent that theism speaks poetically and with reverence against this world, and atheism refuses to speak poetically about anything at all, Theism, and his little brother Atheism, are simply bad poets.
So why even get boggered down in ideas? If you want a positive world, you must POSIT an ontological cooridinate to connect with. However you wish to define that is up to you, God, or an abstract combination of words that mean something to you (as the following) in both cases you simply simplified the metaphor from a singular word to a sentence of words. In both cases, you depend on objects, via language, to moor your ideas.
To me, there just two base existential facts which human beings need to internalize.
1) Being human is being vulnerable. We are exposed in the most fundamental ways. When were born, our too big and altricial head forces us into experiencing complete dependence on the others outside us. Very really, we enact our own metaphysical play early on in life, with the primary care-giver (along with lesser others) being the "other", which the baby develops emotional meanings towards.
2) When ones vulnerability and the nature of suffering is properly explored, one is moved to feel that radical acceptance and compassion towards WHAT IS, perhaps represents the most honest and authentic reflection a human being can make upon its earthly existence.
Even in denying the value of compassionate awareness deserves its own psychoanalytic explanation. Why? Is there something about the affect - feeling - of yourself as experiencing love, for what the living subject, another human like yourself or another suffering creature, is forced to experience?
I agree that the object never changes, and it is our nomenclature that does. But the object or character of God is missing from many ontologies. Because it is never where we search, it is posited outside of the universe. No coordinates in its regard are available, yet vast amounts of metabolism are spent in the formation and defence of its discourse. I believe attention and concern might be better spent on the immediate.
You feel something, yes, but I am unsure why one would leave room in an ontology for a celestial being unless it was born out of habit, or desire, for I can find no other reason to stir such an idea into an ontology. We once felt the Earth stood still, or was flat, but I wager not many people feel that way any longer. Over a sufficient amount of time, and with a sufficient amount of discourse, old habits will change.
I agree with your existential facts. Vulnerability is needed most of all. But I would say one should embody these principles rather than internalize them.
Well, its sort of like the "self". Can we find a self? I can't. You cant 'pin-point' a self. Hume took this too far by saying there is no self simply because you couldn't find a specific ideational coordinate to it. The philosopher Even Thompson, along with many others, rightly understands the 'emergent' property of the self as the 'sum-total' of our cognitive, affective and relational activities. It is in process that 'self' is recognized and 'pin-pointed'; but you have to be satisfied with the paradoxical nature of it: self is not something to be pinned down. One wonders if the whole idea of a noun - of something fundamentally separated from its surrounding context, is even a real thing.
The fact that an ontological cooridinate is necessary for POSITIVE living is exactly why I reject strains in postmodern and Lacanian thinking (such as Slavoj Zizek or Adrian Johnston): they just fail, again and again to POSIT, to put something good in the negative in which they have such fun expanding upon. They fail to appreciate that it is human nature - quo human beings - to believe in something. You take away our power to believe - you leave us anxious, depressed, and struggling in anomie.
I do not agree with Thompson that the self is the sum-total of our abilities. Abilities require an agent of some sort to perform them. If the self is the sum-total of our abilities, then the self needs to be performed by some agent other than itself. I don’t understand how it is so difficult for philosophers of mind to believe they are the agent, in this case a human organism, and not what it performs. So I am unsatisfied with the paradoxical, and somewhat fallacious idea that the self is anything other than the body.
I also do not agree with any emergence theory of mind or consciousness. I have yet to witness any such properties emerge.
This is my view, and though I realize it is very reductionist, I think positing anything more than what is there is an error.
Assuming there is nothing inherently negative or positive about what is
. I believe that a destruction of these ideas such as God is necessary, at least to show that they can be destroyed and created.
I agree humans need to believe in things, otherwise there is groundlessness. But believing in propositions and ideas is not good enough, and a quick look at history can prove this. I think we need to step beyond believing in propositions, posits, and fiction, and start believing in more substantial, more immediate things.
I agree with everything you say about others. In my extensive travels, I’ve learned the variation in human behaviour amounts to very little. Laughter, dance, smiling, hospitality, generosity – for the most part these are universal, and I’ve felt comfortable in nearly every culture I’ve been too. In my view, the “otherness” of others is of prime importance. This is why I’ve repudiated any idea in regards to solipsism, dualism or monism, that would say they are anything other than what I am interacting with. I need to see them as unique, as original, who occupy their own place in space and time, for me to value them the way I do. I do not want to feel the need to posit anything.
Every single speck of dust should be given thanks for simply being there, and for giving us something upon which light may shine, upon which to fix our gaze. Without that speck of dust, there is nothing.