Sketches on Atheism

Take me home, home where I belong

Theism’s most potent, pervasive, irresistibly enchanting gift to frightened but otherwise sane individuals is a belief—a promise—that upon their death they will go home.

Home: It is the most universal of things longed for. In a world so daringly deficient of equity, it penetrates every aspect of even the most primitive animal mind. It is safety and plenty. It is sanctuary. It is protection. It is, in a word, immunity from the often defiled business of survival. Home is where you can be yourself, your very best self, living life as you have always dreamed you could live it were it not for life itself getting in the way.

Theism’s most insidious, treacherous act is in convincing frightened but otherwise sane individuals that this planet, here and now, is not their home.

planet-earth

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124 thoughts on “Take me home, home where I belong

  1. A great perspective John!

    Homeless is degenerative indeed. Belief-systems that teach a mentality, a life of homelessness are insidious as you indicate, but also because it steals the validity, or “equity” as you put it, of ownership! Ownership right now, in this PRESENT life! Accepting NON-ownership (Satan and/or Saviour) for one’s actions past, present, and future, i.e. passing it off onto ‘someone else’ or something else, nurtures a plethora of insidious degenerative behaviours. Example, and perhaps the worst is lifelong disempowerment…that one CANNOT modify or change one’s situations! Codependency to the max! Another insidious poisonous pill. 😦

    This things are difficult to see and grasp though when one leads an unexamined life deeply entrenched in quicksand. You keep telling your brain that “you can’t, you NEVER can”…you eventually believe it and live it. :/

    As usual, enjoy your posts Sir.

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  2. I know belief in the “here after” comforts one in dying. Dying is scary- I know it is inevitable- but not knowing for certain what “here after” is, could be, etc- I cling to this life like a lion on its prey. Bill Maher recently talked about a study that people who believe/have faith in something live longer. He’s an atheist as you know- so he chuckled at this but didn’t deny it could give one a positive approach and solace with this confusing existence we are in- especially for those like me who have existential crises frequently lol.

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  3. I’m seriously considering taking up a religion. I am currently in consultation with the local Priest if there is any way to organize lots of (female) virgins.
    I had to be gender specific as when I simply mentioned virgins he became all wistful. I’ll be honest, I’m now a tad concerned that he may calling in a few favours from Yahweh.

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      • Has to be what we know, with a dash of the always popular metaphysics. If its something we don’t know then it would actually be the world’s first real religion 🙂

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      • Such as Jesus’ better looking but hitherto unknown well-hung with nice hair Arabic half-brother, Ismale,(sic) who penned the Amalgamated Text ( Bible Qur’an from which the Qur’an was drawn.
        ( you have heard of the recent discovery of an ancient Qur’anic text found within the covers of a Qur’an found in Birmingham, said to possibly (wait for it) … pre-date Mohammed?

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      • I am keeping my ear to the ground on this one.

        So now we have evidence that the Pentateuch is fiction, three gospels are plagiarized from Mark, whose author is unknown, Acts is fiction, the Epistles are mostly pseudoepigraphic and Saul of Tarsus is likely a fictional character as well. There never was a John of Patmos for Revelations … and Mohammed was a farking lying SOB who, incidentally, may well also be a work of fiction.

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    • Ark—you want female virgins? Good heavens — all ya gotta do is pop along to your local mollusc and sign up.

      And then of course, die … I think once you’re crossed over the base allowance is 72 of ’em, and all the booze you can guzzle. Forever and ever … now get thee hence (and put in a good word for me, will you? Ta~!)

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    • Why not. If L Ron Hubbard could invent a religion which is tin foil hat crazy and have it endure and become institutionalized then it shows people will believe anything.

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  4. My first reply left in this place. One that admires not just the core truth of the post but also the wise and thoughtful replies from others. If only we strived to live in the present as our wise dogs do so well. For I sincerely believe that making every present moment the best that one can guarantees a beautiful future. Let’s go home, to a home we love, and looks after us, every single day and then eventually die in peace. I am, of course, referring to our planetary home.

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  5. Can you spell “DOMINION” boys and girls? Interesting that conservatives point out that god has told us we can do anything we want to the world to justify strip mining, dumping toxic waste on the ground, clear cutting forests, etc., then turn around and deny that man has had any effect on the climate. Talk about shitting where you sleep.

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  6. Version 1: Theism’s most potent, pervasive, irresistibly enchanting gift to frightened but otherwise sane individuals is a belief—a promise—that upon their death they will go home.

    Version 2. Theism’s most potent, pervasive, irresistibly enchanting gift to frightened but otherwise sane individuals is a belief—a promise—that they are possessors of an everlasting, transmigratable soul.

    Same thing, I suppose; yet ever since childhood I’ve been surprised at how readily some credulous types will take the word ‘soul’ and attach to it some presumed and vaguely imagined objective referent, albeit an immaterial one – and then proceed to base their entire lives on such a slipshod premise.

    Thank you for your clarity as always John.

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      • Well, that fear of dying thing is innate, but fear of hellfire, sin, meaninglessness without a hereafter, impossibility of feeling at home without religion, those are manufactured. If all they did was play on the real fears, they wouldn’t be able to keep it up for very long.

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      • I understand why people are afraid of death, dying, and being dead.

        For myself it’s the uncertainty of the transition that gives me the shi-vers sometimes; as to the fact itself I hold that you are just as dead for all eternity (that’s a lot of trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of years, according to Time magazine) in the future as you were in the past.

        Rephrase that:
        you are just as dead before you were born as after you ‘die’. No? (Bugger, I might just repost on that thought …) oops, my point: so, what’s different?

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      • I tend to agree, but even if something akin to Scott Adam’s idea is real, then any and all proceeding “phases” of the reassembly are done without knowledge of (or sentiment to) this particular consciousness.

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      • I have a feeling that energy is itself sentient in a way beyond our feeble abilities of comprehension; especially that stage of energy animating living things. I think that the Life experiences of all living things, while not remaining predominant, are never really “forgotten“. They make up the corporeal experiential aspects of a living cosmos of energy. To what end? Ask the cosmos.

        Never mind. Just some deranged mumbling.

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      • Not at all. If the last thirty years (and the stunning observation equipment we’ve built in that time) has taught us anything its that we are part of a gaian. Conscious? Perhaps in ways we don’t understand.

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  7. Great post John. Reminded me of the sermons I heard a lot — told to be in this world but not of it, and as you noted, that this is not our home. The more fundamental the theism is, the more they actually encourage their followers to have disdain and apathy for this planet.

    Another group who tend to believe Earth is not their home are the New Agers. I can tell you, John, they are quite abundant in America, and based on the accent of the lady in the video embedded in the article, I suspect they’ve made their presence known in Australia as well.

    http://www.spiritual-awakening.net/2014/06/do-you-feel-like-earth-is-not-your-home.html

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  8. When a culture, a “civilisation“, is built upon a fantastic lie, which states that the universe and all it’s resources were created for man (and I use that word advisedly) to rule, to exploit and do with whatsoever he pleases, then that culture has declared all-out war upon Nature.

    When you have made Nature your mortal enemy it becomes needful to make sure your subjects see the Natural world, which is in reality their True Home and Mother, as something else altogether.

    They must become convinced it is a hostile place that exists solely to be exploited by them and that any idea of living “naturally” as a part of that world would be utterly abhorrent, degrading, fraught with peril at all times, filthy and a constant, terrifying, hopeless struggle just to stay alive another moment.

    This is the “civilisation” that “God” built in order to normalise life under pathocracy and the attendant ecocide that must be its battle plan.

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    • Terrifyingly real. Generals realised very early on that you cannot have your soldiers have any interaction with the enemy. They must dehumanise them to the point of loathing them, for only then could they be relied upon to kill without thinking.

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      • I read in some places that the famous Christmas ‘football match’ never really happened at all, just a cute wee myth.

        And then in others that it did and here’s the snaps to prove it …

        Oh Gods, it’s tough being a wishful atheist sometimes—so many ‘credible’ claims both ways. In the end we rely on our own judgements. Me? I’m gonna have a good scratch behind the ears, guzzle from my waterbowl and then go bite someone—that’s reality; and as my favourite poet says—

        Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise
        To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
        One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies ;
        The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

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      • That would certainly be “normal” procedure within such a pathological culture. This is the myth we’ve been enacting for the last ten thousand years.

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  9. For those who never made the connection: the infamous WW1 footballs match, in no-man’s-land between the trenches. All good clean fun and business as usual right after (never did find out who won the game …)

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  10. Oh, I was scrolling down for the next 20 paragraphs and they weren’t there! That was unusually short. But great. Seriously, a great point. They don’t feel as invested in this place as they naturally should (although I’ve noticed an odd, more materialistic trend amongst them as a direct result – can’t figure out why).

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  11. I did not read the entire list of comments, so if this has been addressed I apologize. It bothers me that this promise of “going home,” as you so aptly put it allows for a pretty shitty mortal existence for the faithful. Put up with horrible conditions in this life to be blessed in the next. Don’t worry that you are homeless and starving Jimmy! Salvation is right around the corner! It is sad really.

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      • This is how I put it in the book:

        From the wicked architect’s great perspective, when religious belief is not inspiring turmoil, it is numbing man and making him insensitive to the world with alternative—sweeter smelling— explanations for the degenerate shape of things. It is shiny, sometimes dazzling, and to most, it is irresistible. It is a syrupy whitewash, a candied, ready-made and flexible excuse waiting to explain away all manner of irritating ills and furious injustices. It is an amusement, an interruption, a beguiling ringmaster that curious minds find impossible to not stare at, and if their attention is misdirected, then their searching eyes will never quite settle on that point in space where the magician is actually performing the trick. If their attention is misdirected, then their unsettled minds will never quite fall on that spot where the thief is in fact stealing the diamonds. If their attention is misdirected, their questions will never quite ever be fully directed onto that pocket of quiet forest where the clever general is, in all actuality, positioning his resources for the real assault.

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    • That’s exactly it, Chris. Justice, the theist says, will be had in the “next” life. Well, no, bugger off… Let’s have justice in this world, let’s sort our problems out here and now. Let’s start taking this living business seriously.

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  12. LONG REPLY WARNING! 😉

    If I wasn’t up to my neck in editing my manuscript, I would have much more time to read your posts, John, and the wonderful comments you attract.

    But I can’t resist the following observation. Namely, Jean and I last night watched a BBC Horizon programme on multiple universes. Details here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0695t56 where you can read:

    “Imagine a world where dinosaurs still walk the earth. A world where the Germans won World War II and you are president of the United States. Imagine a world where the laws of physics no longer apply and where infinite copies of you are playing out every storyline of your life.

    It sounds like a plot stolen straight from Hollywood, but far from it. This is the multiverse.

    Until very recently the whole idea of the multiverse was dismissed as a fantasy, but now this strangest of ideas is at the cutting edge of science.

    And for a growing number of scientists, the multiverse is the only way we will ever truly make sense of the world we are in.

    Horizon asks the question: Do multiple universes exist? And if so, which one are we actually in?”

    —-

    Granted that me and Jean are non-believers but, nevertheless, upon coming to the end of that most amazing programme, the concept of God struck me as the most restrictive and narrow-minded interpretation of the awesome, majestic reality of nature!

    (Sorry, I’m going back to my manuscript!)

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  13. John, Matt’s book now completed and I was enthralled (I think). I have just posted a review on Amazon. My review is titled: Reading this book didn’t make sense, but it made wonderful sense to read it!

    Thank you so much for the recommendation.

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  14. Here and now, is not our home…has been my recent quest and a very fulfilling one. Energy, human life will transform to mud in a house, a leaf on a tree, chicken in a poultry farm…I don’t need a permanent home, the idea of returning to home, a permanent one, ‘the base’ is flawed. Poets can’t afford to buy one on earth anyway. Ha ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: I am what I learn! | Learning from Dogs

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