A reply to Bulbasaur

(I would’ve attended to this sooner, but at the time I was quite preoccupied with Life Beyond The Keyboard.)

To begin with I think the former author is conflating some concepts and muddying the waters with a few terms here. To believe in the existence of a doorknob in your hand is quite different than believing in the existence of a supernatural God that sent His Only Begotten Son to die for your sins. The human mind doesn’t regard the abstractness of metaphysics the same way it processes the material “reality” of physical objects.

This is the really interesting bit though:

“People think in terms of the supernatural, humans are fundamentally and inevitably religious creatures.

The return to totem and supernatural worship occurs because to consistently worship yourself above all else is to actively oppose all other concepts and beings in reality, to be incapable of having any real place in a human society.”

Here is where the point of contention truly reveals itself. Bulbasaur claims that humans are intrinsically religious (citation needed) and that one *must choose to worship something. This I believe is a classic false choice dilemma. I do not believe it is necessary for a human being to worship anything, nor do I think simply existing as a non-religious, non-ideological human constitutes “worshiping yourself,” anymore than a cat or animal “worships itself” by simply existing. This essentially a variation on calling a non-ideology a form of ideology. There is quite a leap being made here from absence of external worship to “internal worship.” (A certain existentialist would point out external worship is always inherently selfish in any case.) One can function perfectly fine in society without conceptualizing in terms of religion and while acting largely in the interests of oneself and one’s family/tribe/social group.

I would agree that many, or maybe even most humans tend towards religion or an appeal to religious minded thinking, and most here at TRS already assume this. However, I do NOT agree that the leaders of a society must necessarily be religious themselves nor do I think historically leaders have done much more than play lip service to the Gods they supposedly represent.

I believe the leadership of the future must move beyond religion, secular and spiritual alike, and as Nietzsche said, “transvalue all values.” We must critically examine our premises and determine which ones to keep and which ones to throw away without regard to either a holy book or a liberal’s emotional bias. Make no mistake, Bulbasaur is proposing we return to a system that uncritically accepts certain premises without criticism, and this is exactly what we object to among modern liberals and atheists. Here at TRS we do analyze matters rationally, and we have come to accept the traditional wisdom on certain topics like gender roles, hierarchies and “noble virtues” after rethinking them in great detail. But we did not come to accept the validity of these concepts arbitrarily without first examining their merits and drawbacks. To surrender to an Abrahamic religion would require us to give up our very ability to level criticism itself, to give in to pure irrationality because, well, why exactly?

I understand it is tempting to look at Christianity as the comforting paternal source of authority, but to quote Scripture:

“When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” –I Cor. xiii. 11