I am an atheist. I make no secret of such things, and if you’ve read my writings for even a short period of time, you already know this. Of course, now that I live in the South, I don’t go out of my way to advertise this personality trait, and to be quite honest, I would outright lie about it if I were in the job market, running for office, or operating a business. Yeah, religion is that serious down here. But that’s neither here nor there. What I’d like to do is invite you into the mind of someone who is indeed an atheist.
Don’t worry. No one will ever know that you’ve read this. I won’t tell on you.
I live in a world that is not populated with spirits, supernatural beings, goblins, demons, or angels. I see the world as a fairly humdrum predictable place. We have electricity because smart folks can predict and manipulate the behaviors of electrons. We can cure disease because some other smart folks figured out the predictability of germs and viruses. There are a lot of things that smart folks haven’t figured out yet, but the future known predictability of such things is, well… predictable.
My lack of superstition is so overarching that I genuinely can’t understand why anyone could believe in supernatural beings. To me, belief in anything supernatural is just silly, and I deeply suspect that most superstitious people… during the quietest time of the night… know that it’s all just silly bullshit. But I do understand why they would keep quiet about those thoughts. Once the cat is out of the bag, their entire social/cultural world will abandon them. They will be lost.
I see no difference between Islam, Christianity, Psychology, Scientology, Judaism, or Hare Krishnas. To me, they are all just different versions of the same silliness. Imagine that.
In the end, religion is about a very worldly power. It’s about control. It’s a way to get the rubes to do what they’re told, and to give up their money in payment for being told what to do and what to think. Yeah, imagine that. But this is what history, sociology, philosophy, priests, and politicians have long understood… spiritual people are rubes… sheep for the shearing.
I don’t believe that reality is a matter of opinion. We don’t get to vote for what we want to be real. If 99% of humans agreed that unicorns lived on the dark side of the moon, the reality that unicorns don’t live on the dark side of the moon would be just as real. Reality is not a democracy.
During the Enlightenment, smart folks figured out that religion was pretty much a cancer on the ass of the universe. That’s why we have a special place in the Constitution that specifies a fierce rule about the federal government not being able to establish a state religion. These weren’t good Christians who made this rule. These were enlightened men of the… well… the Enlightenment…. As opposed to that time when Christianity took control of the western world. You know, the Dark Ages, the Lost Millennium, the Middle Ages (that barbaric time between scientific civilizations). Our American Patriots were educated men… not rubes.
And now we have Donald Trump, who is seriously proposing a religious test to permit entry into the United States. This wouldn’t usually upset me, because I read quite of bit of clap-trap from the marginalized right. This is the usual stuff of conspiracy and fear. Really not to be taken seriously. But according to the newest polls, two-thirds of Republicans agree with Mister Trump. These are the very people who are screaming for “Freedom of Religion”, and the very people who have vowed to protect the Constitution with their very lives.
As an atheist, this scares me. This is insanity. This is a Religious War, and to call it anything else would be the very height of hypocrisy. Both sides are doing their level best to bring about the End of Times so that Jesus will return (really). And now we have Donald Trump (and many of the other Republican politicians) throwing gasoline on that fire.
You doubt this? Okay, let’s play pretend. I’ll be God… Existence Itself… and the first thing that I do is make every human being non-spiritual. You know. No one would believe in God. In fact, the very mention of such a silly idea would make people laugh. Belief in God would be that ridiculous.
How many wars would stop? How many soldiers would stop fighting?
Most, I think. Sure, there would still be fun and profit in war, but getting the rubes to pick up their guns would be nearly impossible. No one would strap on a bomb, and no one would pray before battle. The power of the Priests would be broken.
Again, see this through the eyes of an atheist. I have no dog in this fight. All I can see is religious fanatics trying to destroy my world and my life. I see it as insanity. But this is the real world, and in our real world, we have the Priests, the rubes, and the men who want power. Donald Trump is a man who wants power, and he is whipping the rubes into a frenzy and taking a shit on the Constitution to get that power. Is this what you want, really? Really? If so, good luck with that, because we’ve seen it all before. And once you’ve set the precedent for allowing politicians to legally discriminate against unpopular religions, just hope that your religion doesn’t come into conflict with the religion that controls the ruling politicians.
… I can’t ask you to see the world through my eyes, but I can ask you to not be such a rube.
Have a day.
primum vivere, deinde philosophari