Sunday, November 21, 2010
I recently read a small note someone wrote. He called his feeling towards religion and especially Christianity an “apatheism”. He also claimed to have coined the word, unfortunately he did not give his proper name otherwise I would have gladly given him al due credit for this word. I will admit though that at the time of being confronted with this word I did not in any way relate to it. Or even give it the time of day in recognizing the blokes moment of brilliance. For all I know he might be someone that has an amazingly brilliant mind. But given the nature of blogs you rarely know who the person on the other side of the screen name is. And for the love of me I cannot find it again.
However after brewing on and contemplating this word it has started to slowly grow on me over the last two weeks. Reason being:
In our general day to day lives we seem to be confronted with a lot of emotional matters, things where we have to decide one way or the other what we make of it. Whether it being from a moral stance, cultural or religious we have to decide what our feelings are about a wide variety of things daily. That is if you have the freedom to decide on your own, when you are not influenced by religion.
However that maybe it is not the point or topic of discussion I am contemplating at the moment and sure enough I can write pages and page full about that in a discussion all on its own.
When we are confronted by something like religion and in my case the realization of a lifetime wasted in terms of how I used to pray, go to church when I felt bad enough about myself, or just the time and effort that went into Sunday school. We tend to get angry, not only about the waste but also because we know that millions of people are still caught up in it, we lash out. We make sense of our own newfound non belief and the absolute sense of clarity that it brings to your mind when you can stand outside for the first time looking in and see the chaos and anarchy inside. We explore things along the line regarding the source of human morality, our sense of what is right or wrong. The misconceptions about atheism that ranges from us being people that “eats drinks and sleeps and murders kills and maims” (courtesy of a blogger on facebook) without looking back because there is no consequence.
We declare our atheism with a sense of trepidation when we come out publicly. Because we know what the reactions to atheists can be in the predominant Christian society we love in. But at the same time we want to share this freedom and knowledge with everyone we know. I regard this as a basic human condition, the sharing of good stuff. I mean imagine if the dude that discovered fire could have patented it and kept it for himself and his own little tribe! What a global catharsis that would have been.
Instead of keeping quiet though and being human we start to accept that reactions might not be as bad as we had anticipated and over tie get more tame and start opening up, and by default we acquire friends that share our views and some opinions and soon we realize that “hey I am out” it wasn’t that bad and it did not kill me. We get more open and start being more open in our criticism of religion to a point where we realize that we scrutinize all religion, we do not see Christianity or Islam anymore we see religion. And face it we all get the people who then believe that they have a personal relationship with their god and will be the one to convert us back.
I have become rather open about my criticism of Christianity specifically, especially because of being confronted by the immorality of it in the society which I live in. And for being critical about that I will never apologize, it is a situation that Christians and the Christian faith has brought onto itself. It is a situation where the left hand says, its ok to use condoms if you are a male prostitute…. And the right hand says that sex before marriage and living together while being unwed is wrong. The stupidity of all of it is just mind boggling. Especially seen in the light of who pays for the male prostitutes and who the majority of adulterers are in modern society.
Our anger and resentment towards religion eventually seems to take on a default setting of public criticism. Then one day you wake up realizing that perhaps it is all a dead loss. That people will believe what they want, and clearly most is happy in their delusions. That by being honest and open about who you are, the only thing that you achieve is to be the attraction of animosity. The center of people’s anger towards anything they perceive to be directly from the Satan they so vehemently want to get away from. And you come to realize that for some people you are their Satan.
And I think that this is the point we get where we reach an attitude of apathy and in the atheist a certain apatheism is born. A general state of who gives a fuck, when it comes to religion.
Because by directing anger and frustration at something is acknowledging its “worth” or giving it a certain credibility. But when you get to a point of being apathetic about something, I reason that you just could no longer give a flying shit about what it is, who or what it represents and the only place you have to acknowledge it is where it has an influence on your life.
I am not so sure that I have reached a point of apatheism yet, but I do know, that I now recognize what it is and that someday I will more than likely reach that point where I too can say that I am apathetic towards theists and what their religions represent. But for now, they just seem to be too much of an easy target still. And one that I have decided is more than worthy a cause to do some focusing on.