Pax Christi, everybody!
To begin, this post isn’t some kind of an atheist hit-piece or anything like that. I just have my concerns regarding some forms of secular thought and their implications. Fair warning, this post reads like the poor man’s The Mysterious Stranger, so please tell me if I’m being melodramatic or illogical.
Now I’m sure many of you of all stripes have heard the whole “Murder isn’t wrong without God” spiel before, usually while entertaining the first 5 seconds of yet another brain-dead PragerU ad before skipping and having a good laugh with our atheist buddies, but I’ll admit that I’ve given pause and started to take something akin to this statement more seriously, specifically justifying bad behavior because of good intentions. I’m not saying that people who don’t believe in God are going to go postal. We’d be one to talk, considering that our side had Vlad the Impaler! But I’m just afraid that iconoclastic attitudes in secular communities might spark-or institutionalize- downright antitheistic behavior.
I have no qualms with the atheist. It is the antitheist/New Atheist that I genuinely fear. The frothing, raving polemicist who speaks of religion with the same fire and tactics possessed by The League of the Militant Godless; he is a threat to me and he knows and loves this. I don’t say this because I’m spooked that he might debunk my faith with FACTS and LOGIC or anything like that; God could be a superstition. I fear him because he sees me, as the religious extremist does, as an enemy until conversion, nothing but an unenlightened knuckle-dragging buzzword, as opposed to someone who is wrong. He fights giants that are in fact windmills and attempts to cure cancers the professionals never knew you had, because you could transform, you could metastasize and your tumors could spread like wildfire.
People cannot live without myth. And in the absence of the ultimate myth on which everything is grounded, the slate is swept clean. On one hand, this could be positive; no troublesome passages, no rigid dogma, no obligations! And yet the slate is clean and the distraught and damaged people, who have killed God their father and guide, are intrinsically religious; “we will find another myth,” they say," and if we cannot we shall make one". What is good and what is bad become things of our own design which fluctuate depending on who is in charge. One could still call himself a moral realist, but he must recognize where these morals came from and how little they really mean when they are an emergent property of a quirk of matter that’s convinced itself it knows what’s what. Values become mere things to help further the human species; there is talk about reduced suffering, but that will always ring hollow in the cruel, jeering faces of empty eternities and what constitutes as suffering. Doing good for the sake of good is a wonderful thing, but I believe that explaining why it is good will ultimately cheapen whatever acts of kindness are about to be performed. To me, giving to the poor because it helps the propagation of the species is just as soulless as saying you give to the poor because you want to go to Heaven. And if we are to define things that are evil as things which inhibit the progress of our human race, will the humanitarian suffer the debilitatingly handicapped to live, or at the very least function as they would with all the issues their condition entails? And what about the magical thinkers that refuse our ideas and harbor potentially cancerous ones of their own, running around and convincing people to stop growing and sit there sucking thumbs? What if these parasites spawn? Will these inconvenient people be treated like an illness? This is awful talk I know, but I’m just frightened that we might go down this path if we live the myth of relentless iconoclastic “progress”.
To the total nihilist damaged by a harmful narrative and possessed by a simplistic story of human progress, religion and tradition become wholly regressive and a threat to evolution itself. He thinks to himself "These people, who think it virtuous to incessantly breed and thus consume precious natural resources and selfishly doom us all, who translate their fairytale book of antiquated laws to or to indirectly inspire the abuse and slaughter of the sexually atypical, those who may very well reject science because their supposedly inspired texts know nothing, are a disease. Because their holy writ may potentially inspire wrong doing, they themselves are a threat. Their ancestors, alleged to have completely annihilated the progenitor secular revolution and set back, and continue to hold back human progress, must have their resting places desecrated, so to speak, and their children must participate if they are to truly be a part of the human race. They must repent in this manner because they are wholly complicit, criminals by proxy, and these once powerful mobsters’ time, as it was for the countless failed members of the human species, is over. I believe it was Hitchens who once said that “religion poisons everything”, and I believe that it is myths like this which inspire those like the vile Bolsheviks and Spartacists, not to mention certain fascistic strains and their perversions of Nietzsche, to sacrifice so many on their pyres of perverse Idealism, as the Inquisitors and zealots did before them.
In short, I fear that if the old myths fall away, the narratives that shall replace them will be so dreadfully shallow and ruthless it will make the 20th Century look like a bad joke.
What do you guys make of this?
Addendum, I should probably make it clear that I am not saying that all secular societies will lead to meat-grinder countries. That would be rich coming from my side, because that’s exactly what the deeply religious Russian Empire was, and it isn’t like there aren’t noxious Christians on the right or left trying to implement vile policies and hurt people through government. I’m just worried that the pendulum, instead of coming to a halt at equilibrium, is swinging to the other extreme, which came about in reaction to the religious folks and carries the same aggressive and resentful attitudes.
And I would like to apologize to any atheists who may have felt attacked by my words. I truly do not wish you ill will, and I am sorry if I offended anyone, and should probably delete this post and do some self reflection.