Ad Mortem Festinamus

The problem with an older generation of atheists is that they unconsciously shared many of the conceptual structures of what they imagined they were attacking, and thus fought on the enemy’s chosen ground.

For example, if they encountered the song from the Camino de Santiago where the pilgrims sing how they are “hastening unto death”, we shall hear a lot about death fixations and contempt for the world and so on. These are part of it, to be sure, but why do we assume that the emotional content is the whole story? How does the exhortation to hasten unto death look if we remember how so many medievals willed property to the Church? Behind the exhortation, therefore, were priests waiting to inherit.

This kind of analysis seems to have come easier to the rebels of the nineteenth century or even earlier than the supposed post-Christians of the twentieth. The reason may be the absurd veneration of subjective conviction in the latter period, possibly the only one in history in which people were fool enough to maintain that whatever you believe is in fact “true for you,” there being no objective truth against which to measure it. This makes it hard to say that you are talking arrant nonsense, which is something of which Enlightenment atheists were perfectly capable of accusing you.

Posted on July 25, 2009 at 09:39 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Economic Tech

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