Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dose of Cogitatin'

Been down with a cold the past two days, and by "down", I mean forced to do all the usual shit I do, only hacking and wheezing-like, while glaring at people who wisely move away from me.

(Fuck you, lady at Shoprite with the over plastic-surguried face. If you coughed, your lips'd probably fly right off and hit me in the eye.)

But I've been thinking.

Atheism: lacking belief in any gods.

Antitheism: active opposition to religion.

Now that I've gotten over the sudden shock of realizing "I may very well be an atheist", and the fact that there's no bright-shiny afterlife where I'll spend eternity getting hugs from my Gramma--now that I've kinda mellowed, I'm starting to realize some other things about myself.

I've been a raging antitheist since I was ten, or so.

I don't know how deeply rooted my belief in the sky fairy was. Ten was the age I really started to think, and actively break commandments--not all of them, I'd have been a shit adulterer . . . but I was a smashing murderer--waiting to be struck down. Every time I wasn't, I'm sure my belief became less internal, and more cosmetic. A sort of fail-safe "just-in-case".

Just in case there really was some big asshole sitting on a cloud and judging me. Some killer of babies and smiter of women that found me unworthy.

I still believed, I think, but I hated god. The Judeo-Xtian one. The others . . . I knew very little about (though I'd grow, and maintain an inordinant fondness for the Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita). But I've hated that god since I was old enough to understand what it stood for, what atrocities it committed and commissioned. I can remember being seven, and giving god the finger. And being more afraid of my mother catching me, than of god striking me down.

But that carried on to this very day. I've almost always hated religion. Like a very active burning hatred, that you only reserve for people that shoot your Pa, or ex-girlfriends that you can't seem to fall out of love with.

I hate what religion does to people, especially what it's done to me. Attending a fundamentalist Xtian elementary school made the Catholic junior high and high schools seem like a cake-walk. At least no one hit me, there. Though after six years of that crap at my elementary school and a freakish growth spurt, I was large enough to hit back and make it felt.

This hatred of religion--and by extension any god it feeds--is one of the strongest things I've ever felt, and certainly one of the purest. There's no arguing with it or reasoning against it, it just is. It's damn near perfect. It's a part of every atom of me. It's in my RNA.

If I could, I would obliterate every religion on Earth--even those wishy-washy, candyass pagan ones that I used to try to sell my brain to, in desperation to believe in something--though more would certainly spring up to replace it. Though erasing religion from the world is no real substitute for erasing it from my own heart and mind.

I'll never get back the clean slate I was born with.

So, I've been an anti-theist for as long as I can remember, and for almost all that time, I was also miserably theistic. Very self-defeating. Now that I'm embracing atheism--it's a very day-by-day choice, one that needs contant re-affirming, constant deciding, constant exploring--the antitheism doesn't burn as much. It feels . . . more right. Like there're parts of me that are finally at peace with each other.

If I'm a wobbly six on the atheist scale, I'd say I'm a Christopher Hitchens on the antitheistic scale, and have been for most of my life. I'm not as smart, well-traveled, or well-versed, but I've got that passion, and I believe it'll only get stronger and more potent with age and experience.

Is there a god in the sense of any of the Earth religions I've come across? I doubt it. It's certainly possible. A zebra that juggles live hand-grenades is also possible. But it's highly, highly improbable. But still more probable than a god. I've seen both zebras and live hand-grenades with my own eyes. The only thing in question is one's ability to juggle the other, not whether either exists.

There are some that consider the Big Bang "god", but that strikes me as silly. An event, no matter how important, is simply an event. That's all. Size and importance make it neither conscious nor intelligent.

"God is love"? Ugh, even sillier. God is hate, god is ennui, god is schaden fraude, god is the giggles, god is that empty-light feeling you get after taking a massive shit.

"God is each and every person, thing, atom, force in the universe". . . ? If one is willing to give over the idea of god being in any way conscious, intelligent, or solicitous of our comfort or happiness.

(And I must admit, if there has to be a god, I'd prefer it was one that didn't watch me in the shower.)

Still, any "god" begs the question "well, then what created it, and what created the event/thing that created that, and the event/thing that created that?"

It's a mind trap. One I doubt humanity will ever be equipped to answer. Rather, we'll have to answer every other question in the universe, know every other secret before we know that one with any certainty. And I suspect the ultimate answer will be very simple, and very disappointing.

"Plastic, asshole!"

"If wishes was horses, we'd all be eatin' steak." --Jayne Cobb, "Firefly"

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