Being An Atheist: A Hard Job Because You Have To Believe In Everything
Sounds funny, eh? But you know, if you think about it a little, not believing in one God pretty much means you have to believe ideas about EVERYONE’S gods and all possible realities. This is as close as you can get to having to believe in just one, and it may be more of a burden because you get the privilege of wondering about all of them. Doubt invites everything into play, and atheists often long for answers but just find more reasons to tell a religious person that they are full of shit. I don’t do this on principle, and in little ways I leave open the possibility that some stories may be true-ish. As a skeptic, I have no choice but to even be skeptical about what I believe, because falsity is everywhere and you know you are wrong about something somewhere and that is how you know that you might be wrong even about things you consider to be highly unlikely.
Let’s face facts; nature is behaving in a way that stupid modern humans have not seen in a while. Everything we know is out the door at the moment, save for a few fundamentals. All we really do in reality is watch it happen, and in no way does that mean we know any more about reality than we did the day before.
Who knows? Language has confounded us more than it has freed us as regards contemplation. There is every reason to believe that perhaps what is being said is true even if it sounds stupid. We simply cannot know what the world was like before language and that is that. I can’t even imagine what say, Sumerian society sounded like because I bet it didn’t sound like this one. So, we have two ideas to consider; that we receive myth and what is absurd might be true, or we just say it’s a bunch of shit and move on. However, all languages are related to each other, and this may mean that we are giving some myths short shrift by completely finding them irrelevant. I’m not going to name any, because I would be making shit up. But as a ponderer, I have to wonder how life will be from now on. Which means, I don’t know what tomorrow looks like. That’s an unusual feeling, all of a sudden, to know the days and nights look different and there is no telling how things will proceed.
This means that at least as far as I am concerned, suddenly I am living in the present all of the time, utterly unsure of yesterday’s facts or tomorrow’s certainties. I have never felt so detached from what I know in my life. It is entirely possible that this has happened before in time, where you just had to start naming shit that didn’t make sense just so that your existence made sense. It has brought us to the mess we are in today, this mass acceptance of stupid shit that isn’t true. I have no choice to simply share it with myself and perhaps bounce it off this screen, thus limited to the possibility that I am only messing myself up by thinking this way.
Great, now I am confounding me. This is going great, I don’t even understand my own thinking. This is not something I am accustomed to. There’s something liberating in it, though, something that feels good almost all of the time. It’s like the universe and I have had an intervention and now I am getting all cosmic about the cosmos now, full of magical thinking and not minding so much. My medicine change is done, and everyone says I sound “great!”, that I sound “like myself” and yet here I am wondering about forever and if it is real.
Someone is going to have to decide soon whether or not I am getting better, but if I ask myself, I will say at least that I feel better, and this odd magical thinking is part of what comforts me. And typically, not knowing what is going on is NOT something I enjoy. There’s lots of bullshit out there from people in the self-improvement field or the therapy field that says all kinds of hog-dick about “flowing”, “accepting who you are”, etc. Yet others take up other kinds of established magical thinking, like fortunes and astrologies and visions and heaven knows whatever else that has been conjured up to make stupid people think the world or God actually gives a fuck about your little life, the one you think is so special which is unlikely as well.
My magical thinking, I try to keep at a tolerable level. It is more like a nagging feeling, like me wondering whether I locked the car or left the bathroom light on. It doesn’t press-it pushes. Ordinarily uncertainty can drive a person berserk in a short period of time, especially for someone like me who has never known its opposite and it hurt. Now, suddenly uncertainty is certain and I guess my brain is making the natural connections to ensure that I can do the math to make “up” look like “down” and say that it’s OK.
What are we doing here? What am I doing here? Why am I here? The old questions have returned, although in a form I cannot define anymore.