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  • Postcards to say something: 026 – As Others See Us, Darkly…


    A renowned philosopher, Jason7463, once wrote the immortal words:

    Thats the problem with atheistism,its so damned depressing.Basically says,your fucked so get used to it.

    As is so frequently the case with deeper thinkers of this stamp, the wording, punctuation and homophone-swappage is fully sic. Still, let’s transcend that barrier, and look deeply into the void that is “atheistism as seen by Jason7463”.

    Firstly there is “atheistism” to consider. I am grateful to Jason7463 for the peculiar wording he has employed in his exposition, as it serves to throw a common error into stark highlight. A person may be an atheist, but to consider atheism as an “-ism” in its own right is to overlook the derivation of the word. A- (meaning “not”) -theism (meaning “believing in a god or gods”) is not a belief, but the rejection of one. To imply that a belief must fill that void is to fall into error. This is usually illustrated by showing that baldness is not a hair colour, and that not collecting stamps is not, in and of itself, a hobby.

    Now, is this “absence of belief in a god or gods” as damned depressing as Jason7463 claims? From personal experience and testimonial evidence available, I must say that the opposite applies in the majority of cases. This seems especially true when the subject has experienced belief.

    Relieved from the stress of trying to reframe my entire existence to ensure its relative popularity with the invisible distributor of vengeance, largesse and misfortune, and all the forgive me this, show me the way that, and fitting the bigger picture against prophecy… not to mention the sizable cognitive dissonance between “Jesus said” and “Church does”, I am actually beginning to enjoy life.

    Of course, we can safely dispense with the “damned” bit…

    Basically says,your fucked… I don’t think so. If anything, now that I don’t rely on intangible (and let’s face it, non-manifest) means of support, I tend to plan all details of a project with the most pessimistic outcomes in mind. (The optimum and most likely are also considered: it’s a project management thing.)

    The result is a tendency to be more mindful of circumstances and interdependencies: in short, to be careful. I may eventually wind up “fucked”, but entropy guarantees that for everyone.

    so get used to it. The fatalism implicit in such a statement is more indicative of the “let go and let god” type of person. Any situation has options: acceptance, avoidance, negotiation, or even aggression.

    I’m alive for now. This is all the life I get, and I’ll play the ball as it lies, go to the clubhouse, or picnic on the fairway if I deem it suitable. I don’t have eternity to waste on harp lessons.
    Life is mostly okay, and there’s plenty undone yet. “Used to it”? Only a person who missed a lot of interesting stuff could say that.


    2 responses to to “Postcards to say something: 026 – As Others See Us, Darkly…”

    1. I don’t agree with Jason7463’s comment, but I would like to make a comment on your definition of athiesm. You are right in saying that it consists of an absense of belief, therefore it is a misnomer to call athiesm a ‘belief’, however it surely is not inaccurate to call it a ‘worldview’ for it is a way that some people view the ‘world’ (i.e. reality) The view is that reality does not include God.

      Like any other worldview athiesm affects and even forms the morals and behaviours of its adherents. It should not be considered neutral ground.

      Athiesm is one of the most unusual of the worldviews. Unusual in that it is not usual in the history of humanity. It is not held extremely widely among the people of the world, and before the last few decades it had no presence at all on the stage of worldviews.

      Whatever worldview a person holds i think it is important for that person to know the basis for their holding it. I have carefully considered the evidence available to me and believe that Christianity represents the worldview that closest matches reality. I encourage all people – athiests, Christians, and others – to not just hold their worldview (everyone has one) but to have reasons for it. (and if they find tht their worldview is unreasonable, then they should drop it)

    2. Toby, Atheism is merely lack of belief in a god or gods. I need a macro for that phrase!

      Apart from stripping away the “god” bit from a person’s thought-processes, atheism does nothing of itself.
      It is not a united dogma or a philosophy. You will find moral and amoral atheists. It is not a “worldview”, any more than “lack of rose-coloured glasses” is a visual condition.

      Your “stage of worldviews” and sage advice regarding them is nice, but a personal Weltanschauung is only the beginning. One is constantly informed by discourse and observation, and this, in a thinking being, will change the “worldview”, either radically or gradually.

      Interposing a fictional interlocutor with all possible power (including the power to think for one and the power to willingly forgive any rash or evil act) and a set of writings which can be interpreted (or selectively ignored) to suit one’s whim, can create a form of sociopath.

      No whole man is a filtered island, Toby.

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