May 31st, 2016
In life I have found that the only person worth knowing, speaking in a philosophical sense, is one who is passionate about something. And as it so happens, almost everybody, at some point in their lives, indeed were passionate and excited about something and during those times they were interesting individuals indeed. Life, however, is a stern master which beats all passion out of her servants and leaves them hollow, pointless, and lifeless. Almost everybody succumbs to her mighty headwinds and the very few who survive are the only ones from whom something novel, something worthwhile could be learned. In this restricted sense I have also found that the dullest, most pointless people that I have ever met have been those with whom I have had the misfortune of sharing many deep beliefs. That there does not exist a God (or the chance is vanishingly small) is a foundational belief of mine from which spring the other parts of my personality. From it spring my utter contempt for authority and the meekness that it demands, my deep belief in the ultimate pointless of everything, and the most destructive facets of my personality which are inflamed far too easily in a society which I find essentially self-delusionary in an infinitude of ways. However the real issue is that by professing a non-belief in a God, I automatically get placed in the rather contemptible group of atheists. I get packed with the idiots who read the God delusion and think that they have gained a deep understanding of life, that they have become privy to its great truths. I get bundled in with the herd-followers whose prophets are Dawkins, Krauss, and other third rate 'thinkers.' These atheists like to think of themselves as rational people but they are anything but. They are just as close-minded and just as invested in their own creed as the religious people they are so quick to decry. In addition to that, I find such atheists to be dullards of the highest order. They worship not a God but money and status instead and what could be more boring and infuriating than that? I have found many religious people from whom I have learned a lot and with whom I have had great conversations with. I think that in all of those instances, the facilitating characteristic was their passion for their religion and my own automatic respect of that passion. I have, with very few exceptions, rarely ever met an atheist from whom I learned anything. They were all well functioning members of a civilized law abiding society who knew the cost of everything but the value of nothing. They were robots to me - dead already. Of course atheists are not the only such culprits here. The point is that religion has the potential to provide an exhilarating, all consuming meaning to one's life and I can and do see a lot of value in that. I respect it. However, religion can also just be another thing that one does and I think this is how it is practiced in much of the world. In this form religion is useless both internally and externally. In this form it neither provides any enduring meaning nor any lasting consolation. It becomes anodyne and passionless and with its passing the individual becomes utterly pointless - a mere cog in the wheel waiting to be replaced by the next generation of cogs.