Posts Tagged ‘Atheism’

Coming Out

March 25, 2009

Spring has sprung and the light of day is entering the Yeti’s cave earlier and earlier. Waking from a stupor of winter dreaming, the world seems brighter and more alive than it ever has before. The light of intelligence has broken out of a chrysalid formation and burst anew within the eyes of a dutiful observer of the natural world.


This Yeti was raised to believe in the gods on top of the mountain, and to be faithful and obedient to the mythology of his ancestors. Living on top of the mountain as a young Yeti, it was easy to see how God was everywhere around him, expressing Himself in every snow-flake and every rock. God was an accepted universal. Anytime intellectual observation of a phenomenon was unable to penetrate the hows and the which-ways of existence, God was called upon to explain the unknown.


The Yeti was never distempered by the revelations of science. Science may have claimed that their revelations were godless, but the Yeti knew better. His sacred traditions held that even scientists received their revelations from God, even though they were Atheistic. The regular arguments against the existence of God never caused the faith of the Yeti to falter, or even to list from side to side. There always seemed to be an explanation, or an apology, or a corrective adjustment in the theory of who and what God must be that would account for the grey areas and the incongruities between what was taken on faith alone, and what could be observed.


God filled the void between the observed and the unexplainable.


Nevertheless, the Yeti had never bothered to abstract his own theory of what it meant to believe in a god. That belief, based on logical fallacy, was much too comforting to let go of all at once. Not to mention the threat of hellfire or outer-darkness for those committed to apostasy. The Yeti may stand on the mountain, apart from all humanity, but he is no iconoclast.


To explain the logical fallacy, let us think of the world as a complex watch, one who’s complexity is so unfathomable, that only a supreme being might be capable of comprehending all the ins and outs of physics, biology, chemistry, and every other discipline of science. Without a supreme being to unify all the disparate observations a nation of Yeti might make, how could anyone cull any meaning from this beautiful world at all? The religious masses claim, “Without God, how can life have any meaning or purpose at all?”


But the postulation of an infinitely complex God does not solve the problem of complexity in our world. It only makes us wonder: Who is this God of our fathers? And thus springs religion, to help a helpless Yeti. Religion would say “Yes, the world is complex, but that is all God’s doing. If you want to know God, follow us, for we are on the same quest.” But you cannot solve a problem of complexity by postulating an even greater complexity. A wristwatch may be a very complex piece of machinery, but the Yeti that put it together must have been even more complex. And so the religious Yeti chase after a god who cannot exist, let alone be understood. The believers wanter about endlessly, lost in a fog of darkness.


The Logical Fallacy of the God postulation has brought into this Yeti’s cave a new light, a new knowledge, and new amazement at the wonder of the universe. Meaning is not handed down from on high, but lifted up by our own minds and limned upon the heavens as a great shadow figure of our own yetiness.


This realization that there is in all probability no god at all on the top of the mountain has shaken this Yeti to the core. Perhaps if he hadn’t been so adamant in his early yetihood, it wouldn’t make such a difference to him now. Nevertheless, the sheer wonder with which he can now observe the universe is the greatest compensation for the cost in bravery that he has had to pay in order to make these realizations. He no longer feels rancor towards the persistently religious faithful, only pity.


And perhaps a little bit of desire to preach to the faithful masses of their infidelity to the tools of observation that their God has given to them in the first place. If one believes that God exists in any form, it is incumbent upon them to use their talents of observation and intellectual acumen that God supposedly gave to them.


Thus, it was no failing of virtue, no transgression of the law, no offense to God, that led me to the realization that there is, in all likelihood, no God at all, but rather a firm moral integrity and righteous judgment that finally left me no choice but to admit to myself and to Yeti everywhere, that to believe in God is to equivocate about the nature of existence in the first place.


I am like Jonah, the reluctant prophet of the Old Testament, swallowed up by the whale of Christianity, just as others have been swallowed by Islam, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism. The whale has finally tossed me back upon the shores of reason where I am left to flounder in both wonder and appreciation at the great expression of life; able to observe and describe, but never to explain.


The long winter of my discontent has come to an end. Will I mourn it’s loss?