Atheist Manifesto

Sunday Sacrilege: So alone – Pharyngula

We have killed our heavenly father, demolished that cozy personal (but imaginary!) relationship with a great and caring being. We are alone, orphans in an indifferent universe.

That is a touching characterization of atheism, evidently evoking Nietzsche.

Reality doesn’t just destroy the patriarchal model, it gives us new and better ways to visualize our relationship with the universe. Father and child is inadequate; we have to think in terms of populations and species interacting (not dominating), of being part of an environment. There is more to life than the father and child bond. I am the outcome of a trillion coalescing possibilities, with a vast population of brothers and sisters acting out our brief lives on a background of gas and stone, water and light, grasses and fishes, and my responsibilities are far greater than obedience to a father figure.

Hierarchy disappears with a wave of the skeptical wand by the Reason Fairy. Not just theological hierarchy as a metaphor for social hierarchy, but actually all hierarchy is destroyed, in a sort of grand apocalyptic vision of existential millenarianism. Nothing dominates anything else, and there are still “responsibilities”, in an odd Kantian sense.

If you’re a well-adjusted person, once you’ve discarded the unhealthy fictitious relationship with a phantasm, you can look around and notice all those other people who are likewise alone, and you’ll realize that we’re all alone together. And that means you aren’t alone at all — you’re among friends. That’s the next step in human progress, is getting away from the notion of minions living under a trail boss, and onwards to working as a cooperative community, with no gods and no masters, only autonomous agents free to think and act.

Cue the John Lennon music, and segue into a loving assertion of a pan-being categorical imperative [sniff!].

This piece actually endears The Squidlike One to me. It is much more honest and less frothy than most of what I’ve read from him. It is no more convincing, but it is more revealing.

Elsewhere, we have seen Squid attacking evolutionary psychology and the evolution of complexity by natural selection.

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