So how does a guy deeply interested in spirituality end up championing the coming Age of Atheism? Oh, it’s easy, especially when you’re a spoof news “journalist”. But, before we get started, excuse me while a sacrifice this goat on this pentagram. Pokey, you are that goat.
One of my chief GOP complaints remains their rigidity of thought and their all-or-none thinking. Where does this problem stem from? I think some of their dysfunction clearly has its roots in Catholicism. It’s at least part of why republicans think the way they do, badly. Catholicism and Islam are the main two religions on earth with this good people/bad people, hell/heaven dichotomy and it is still shaping ideologies and legislation in the U.S. today.
“U.S. and them, and after all I’m just an ordinary Dem.”
Hey, at least atheists believe in science and they believe that ALL men are created equal. They also believe in public television, NPR, and no whip mocha lattes. More importantly, they believe in math, science and outcome measures. They can interpret new data into an ever-evolving position (with the notable exception of the whole mind/brain thing. Related post soon).
I was not originally opposed to voter ID laws, until I discovered during any given election fraud was estimated to occur only about .004%. That’s when I realized this was more GOP game-rigging (See: Gerrymander 2: A Good Day to Lie Hard) so my position changed. But, if the new data from NC turns out to be accurate, here, I may change my opinion again, especially if it turns out to be even more widespread. But I will reserve judgment as 95% of the stuff covered on Fox News tends to be of the bullshit variety. Yet all along the GOP’s solution to .004% voter fraud was to cover each instance, one at a time…this will explain it:
If 130 million folks voted and there was an estimated .004% fraud, if you cover each of the 5,200 stories separately, it doesn’t change the overall amount.
Evolving positions on the right are almost unheard of. So, minus any evidence, this ID vendetta was designed to disenfranchise our poor voters. Nothing more. Blessed are the…Your paperz, bitte! I believe that ploy was from Josh’nya or was it Dontvoteicus?
If the Foxeteers don’t have any real evidence, they just click on the Breitbart.coms of the world and voilà, instant evidence! It panders, it slanders…and look at that shine! No matter what data emerges the vast majority of republicans are incapable of changing their views. Republicans take their propaganda on faith. There’s at least a five year half-life on any botched issue and by the time they figure it out, who cares? Benghazi! Today’s republicans make Douglas Adam’s Golgafrinchnans seem like the High Elves of Rivendell (who legalized, apparently).
Oh, and how about that recently unearthed 2nd century evidence suggesting Jesus had a wife?
This parchment was coincidentally released right around the same time that Jesus stopped hanging around with all those sinners and prostitutes. This excerpt from the lost Gospel of Huggy Bear:
“Sorry, guys, ahh she kinda funny.”
“Yeah, everybody funny. Now you funny too.”
—George the Apostle
And then Jesus said, “Blessed is the steady booty” and no one saw Jesus for a time.
But don’t worry about Climate Change, God will send another Moses to cool the oceans, or if they get too acidic Jesus will turn it into a nice merlot, or if it starts to rain too much another Noah will gather two of every iPhone app so they can eMate.
But remember, kids, under no circumstance drink and then try to walk on water. It will end up on YouTube.
Also, atheists are a surprisingly ethical bunch, which at first sounds counterintuitive, like conservative wisdom. Take Christopher Hitchens for example; he created a much more sensible 10 commandments before he went to meet his…oh (throat clear). How could his rules be more relevant than God’s? Full Zano story on here. Most of God’s 10 commandments are meaningless in 2014, like our Constitution. I kid the patriots.
You shall not covet thy neighbor’s ox? Really? Well, once during a Google search I saw something pretty horrific, but I think such things go without saying, aka, no coveting that shit. But, really God? Did you have to carve that into a tablet? (Throat clear)…er, what does covet mean again?
Religion’s main affront to humanity is how it invariably turns out-group members into monsters, which is a source of much of the strife in the world today and, coincidentally, a main theme for Fox and Frauds. More “primitive” cultures, who employ hallucinogens in their sacred rights and/or individuals who meditate, tend to move beyond fundamentalism and embrace some form of humanity’s interconnectedness. Atheists are more likely to squat on a mat for the science-backed benefits of meditation than Christians. A form of Unity Psychology is our future…that is, if we have one. Many more tribal cultures believe in the oneness of all things and, by the way, so did the Gnostics, better known as the people who invented Christianity. Unfortunately, their Frankenstein Monastic wandered away from the castle and started terrorizing the planet.
So I appreciate the work of Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris. Atheism and the leading edge of human knowledge seem married at the moment. And, in a world getting dumber by the second, they give me some small hope for mankind. Many of our atheists are our best and our brightest; they are dizzying intellects who I just happen to be smarter than (cough). I agree with them on this much: we must move passed this “we have the ONE true answer” dogma, or:
“The Indians once called a great council (to discuss their origin myths) as they sat around a fire the Dakota people talked about how they rode in from the Black Hills on purple horses before time and when they finished their story, everyone said, ‘Great story! Great story!’ And then when the Cherokee spoke, they told a story of how their people emerged from a cave, everyone said, ‘Great story!’ And when it came time for the priests to tell their story, they told of the Garden of Eden and of Adam and Eve, and everyone said, ‘Great story!’ Then the next tribe started to tell their story and the priests said, ‘No, no. No more stories. Our story is the only story.’ And the Indians were like, ‘Who invited these guys?’”
—Tom Blue Wolf, Mythic Journeys (2009), paraphrased.
That fear of out-group is organized religion’s biggest problem and, coincidentally, republicans and coincidentally the worlds. It stops the move from ethnocentric to more worldcentric thinking. If we don’t start working together as a global community, it’s going to be bye-bye time. Working together will improve our chances of navigating the rough waters ahead. The only thing stopping us right now is religion and capitalism—the GOP’s dynamic duo—mainly because:
A. There’s no money in saving the Earth (an excerpt from the Gospel of Koch), and:
B. Resources, reshmources, why bother? Jesus is returning soon to suck the faithful into heaven with his Holy Hoover.
Thanks to such reasoning, here we are today, so far behind the 8-ball it would take the aid of the Hubble telescope just to see the town the pool hall is in. I believe there’s some hope in parts of the new age movement (check Reality Sandwich and a related Pinchbeck post, here).
As for the Dawkins and Harrises of the world:
“For the most part, I agree with them. Belief in God is not required and it’s the cause of so much suffering around the world via religious extremisms. However, their approach is too fundamentalistic for my taste.”
So Wilber would likely agree with my “Sure beats Huckabee” pro-atheistic last post snark (PALPS). Dawkins’ approach, in particular, annoys me the most. He captures the essence of scientism. Indeed, there’s even fundamentalism in science. He wants to rid the world of all hocus pocus and all mumbo jumbo, even the stuff he hasn’t bothered to look at or study! And, as for Mr. Hitchens, see my Hitch is Not Great: How Rationalists Are Wrong About One Thing. But at least atheism continues to wage an important unholy war on organized religions:
“Today, every one of our great traditions is in profound disorder. What have been taught as their basic truths seems to no longer hold. Cultures move from a deep spiritual impulse, lyric moment that creates the form of a culture, to more pragmatic consideration.”
Campbell assigns no blame for this natural societal shift, or as Forrest Gump once said, “Shift happens.” Enters a true pragmatist, Barack Obama, a man thwarted from the onset by the faithful. Why? Because to them he is the personification of some out-group and he’s in the White House!
“So the new mythology to come must be a global mythology, and it’s got to solve the problem of the in-group by showing that there’s no out-group.”
There is no They…except maybe in that John Carpenter film, but that’s different. So is Them, for that matter, and giant ants aren’t even mentioned in the Bible. An oversight? Blessed are the radioactively enlarged ants? Well, God’s not bugnipotent, that’s for sure.
Atheists are much more open to this worldcentric model and they’re less likely to go to war than those still deluded by fundamental religions. And that’s not to say all religious folks are delusional. Christ-consciousness is Buddha consciousness is the Tao, is the way. It’s just that Christ consciousness has little to do with today’s Catholicism, at least for the vast majority of its members (see: the 700 Club).
The right’s ability to get it wrong, every time, is astounding and only with help from the faithful could they be so blinded. Take the death penalty. Who’s for that? Christian conservatives. But it costs society more in legal fees and appeals than if we just let them rot in prison. So it doesn’t even make sense from a fiscal standpoint. Not to mention those wrongly fried. And what about Thou shalt not kill? Are you going to ignore the only commandment that makes sense? Is there a footnote or an asterisk on the tablet that got chipped off?
And step away from that ox, Pokey!
Such fixed beliefs only become barriers to Wilber’s worldcentric level, to pantheism, to unity psychology and to the perennial philosophy, shaken not stirred. In fact, they become a barrier to solving the greatest challenges of our time.
“Science doesn’t have all the answers but fundamental religions don’t seem to have any.”
The world will be a much better place when we leave religious intolerance behind for a more meaningful spiritually. Embracing atheism, aka reason, may well be an important step:
“Your old road is rapidly agin’, please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the climate is a-changin’.”
—The Gospel of Bob