Christian complaints against Atheists abound: they are filthy, untrustworthy, morally corrupt, tools of the devil, fools and more. Theists charge Atheists with blind arrogance saying that they feel everything can be explained by science. Theist feel Atheist too easily dismiss uncertainty and mystery. But the the opposite is true and this all-too-common claim shows how poorly many theists understand science and knowledge. Instead many theists use their “God” idea to run from mystery — using their god to blandly homogenize their world.
Our lives are full of a great variety of inexpressible, unexplainable, mysterious, and puzzling experiences. Actually, words inevitably reduce the richness of our perceptions. And to top it off, our perceptions are only a sliver of what is out there. Our very foundation in life is ignorance — and I am alright with that. This sort of uncertainty leads me, and many atheists, to wonder, awe and curiosity.
On the other hand, many theists are very uncomfortable with uncertainty, variety and ignorance. To comfort themselves, those theists blend the world’s colorful variety of experiences with their “God Blender” creating an abstract homogenized, bland, safe mono-color reality. Their “God” somehow takes away their anxiety while dishonoring our real lives.
For instance, take the following positive emotions: awe, wonder, inspiration, joy, love, elation, unity. All of these can be different, but a theist may label them all as “experiencing god” while a naturalist (a nontheist) is happy just using a word for the feeling and admitting even the word is incomplete. Or take negative feelings: horror, sadness, depression, loneliness, boredom, pain. A theist is tempted to explain these as separation from God, being tested by God, the influence of Satan (anti-God). But like the positive emotions, naturalists feel no need to group all these experiences into convenient god-talk, blend them all into one simple cause.
Naturalists are OK with uncertainty: “Shit happens” and “Wonder happens” — no need to create gods, demons, spirits and such to make that all that supposedly understandable, less uncertain, safer and sanitary.
Finally, the ugliest variety of Theist homogenization destroying the color of people, and simply classifying them as damned or heaven-bound. And most of Christianity and Islam do this with believers vs. non-believer — all the rest doesn’t matter. For those Theists, the color in the world is destroyed and what remains is only black and white.
Monotheism is a form of “Monism” where “homogenization” has its roots too. Monism is a habit of mind that reduces the amazingness of diversity to One thing. Monism prefers to sum up and abstract specifics out of reality and to fantasize a homogenous unitary entity or experience. Monism comes from many different motivations: fear, frustration, delusion, dullness, deception and more.
- For a post on “Monism”, see David Chapman here.
- HTs for pics I used to create this image: jar of marbles & blender