though i have many occasions (and hopefully many future ones) to admire the work and pugnacious pluck of prominent atheist christopher hitchens, it bears declaring that i am not a member of the club. notwithstanding the regrettable bloat atheism's topical popularity has lent to evident quacks like james randi, and 'brights' like daniel dennett and richard dawkins, i'll leave for the moment the often knuckle-dragging complexion of its thinly eloquent membership, hitchens excluded, as a choice bit of irony.
of more pressing concern to me is fostering new and critical appraisals of the whole thesis/antithesis lock-down at work in these rather arid contemporary debates, not to mention the persistent desire of an apparent many to cling to either cartesian machine fantasies or godly puppetry schemes when modeling the human and cosmos.
in fact, the more papa-brain reason and papa-god faith duke it out, the more they begin to resemble their beloved antagonist. thusly i'd suggest that rather than deeper entrenchment of the two old school scenarios we're instead on the cusp of a full explication of the case for abandoning either/or, dualistic tautologies and their reactionary, dialectical politics. true, these formulae have bred old tools of usefulness but now, more often than not they drop a steaming load of impasse, suffering, and frustration continuity. bottom line, if we're to break free from such restrictive concepts and limiting methodologies of the epoch dying in our rearview, new solvents must be applied to old alums.
dull endgame: the autoerotic blank gun of hyperlogic
though in its most recent form, populist atheism emerged from the murderous, papist maw just a few hundred years ago, looking long overdue to forge new freedoms from the religio-centric world and its regressive fist of excesses, its roots are firmly found in antiquity with the birth of reason and the atomistic, materialist philosophies. thusly it fulfilled an important, sequential imperative, for without the developed rigor of logic it would be too easy to be led into complete schizophrenia through inflation and mainline identification with the numinous.
once ejected from the monad of primitive mind and gifted with a serpentine casting in dualities, this very experience of newly dispossessed forces was the alembic of bicameral times, the cauldron in which modern consciousness itself was fired and formed. our first-blush encounter with separative awareness of 'other' and divinity of scale in the world around us certainly needed an interfacing bridle of some kind if human development was to be served. as fate would have it, civilization veered towards the exploitation of religious sentiment and spiritual awe, suborning the weak for the gain of the crafty and powerphilic. no one would deny, with a view to history, that the sine qua non asset of the theocratic malform was and is its part slavish part domineering foot soldiers, self-considered chosen ones masquerading in lambskins of piety, righteousness, and order. instead of charity and love they spread a scrofulous resistance to enlightenment and peace, obstructing in the cinch of archaic fetishes a fuller, more nuanced knowing of human, plant, animal and other possibilities.
conversely, the atheistic codex, like a life-saving tourniquet gone awry, declared the gods dead, matter mute, cosmos an empty machine, and meaningfulness itself, that sense of the sacred in surround, a mere projective fancy of a dominator primate. on a good day, these commandments are used to stifle and disempower blanket injunctions made by the church which further poverty, blind obedience, and ignorance. on a slow day at the office watercooler, they get trotted out to kneecap what the mind can't reduce into digestible sums. but on bad days they become the cornerstone for gleeful consumption schemes, pro-science dictatorships, unreserved endorsement of the rape and witch-hunting of mother earth, and the very investiture of credibility and potency to industry and state that the church was once guilty of.
atheism, as it happens, sports its own untenable propositions. instead of the false equivalencies and disney-esque pap of the church we have churlish clerics of reason who wish to force every inconvenient truth or spiritual quality to the grid of desiccating reductios and unprovable negative spaces, sandwich-boarding for the existence of nothing, the vacuity of all phenomenon and the operant conditioners of mere chance manifestation and fitness determinancy. its the same ultimate hubris as that which claims to know the mind and will of a god.
you cannot champion the rights of women while desecrating the protomother who spawned such multiform creatures and constituents as gives us pleasure and pause. you cannot exalt the appetites and consume with abandon because of false and wishful beliefs that human ingenuity can better match the infinite controls and subtle wisdoms of living ecosystems and macro-organisms. you cannot wield the tool of logic without the nourishing influence of such irrational functions as intuition and sentiment lest you wish to be led into the insanity of unchecked, recursive, orwellian madness. nor can you fancy a solipsistic supremacy for the human that ends with our skin and our perceptions, picturing our kingly selves navigating through abstracted verses, the stage bereft of any intelligence and purpose save those we deign to imagine, sanction and ordain in our single-focused arrogance.
just because we've become the most skilled manipulators of our environ, and to some extent ourselves, doesn't mean the achievement subsumes the knowing of an animal, the discriminating management of plants, the self-regulation of the oceans, the maze-solving cunning of slime, the enchantment of the pollinators, the levitational force of trees, the humming malls of insect colonies, the inutility of decoration and display, the mystery that leads to a kiss or the cockamamie deferment of self-interest that characterizes true love. in short, for the theist to delimit the wilds and the majesty of this earth to the gore of a god that can be known by limited human conjecture is just as foolish as the atheist to say for certain that its all 'nothing but...' and the outgassing of a selfish gene.
we're not pockets of mere survivalist intelligence afloat in a world of things, permanently ensconced in a linguistic and phenomenalistic spacesuit. we're lightbodies, enfolded space more than grit of atom, a shapeshifting, permeable border made of the dust and detruis of stars, stories and histories in resonant interface, in protoplasmic continuum with this soft deck of a living theater in which every movement is meaningfully and completely sown, germinated, shot up in sundialed, enthusiastic firmness, only to brave the denoument of a gorgeous macabre, wilting in decomposition back to the original, never-to-be-repeated couplet.