09 September 2013

I don't really see the point of arguing about religion anymore

I don't want to be all dramatic and say that I'm going to retire this blog. I'm not. But the dearth of posts lately has been due to an unusually oppressive case of writer's block. It's not that don't want to write – far from it! And things are settling in nicely with my career change and such, and while things are a bit different, I certainly have plenty of time to blog. My problem is more that I'm just having a hard time giving a shit.

Today I hopped over to William Lane Craig's Facebook page. I don't know why, really. Morbid curiosity, I suppose. I saw a post where he had conjured up some point-by-point analysis of his discussions in Australia with Lawrence Krauss, with detailed explanations of why Krauss was, like, totes wrong bro. Several of his fans chimed in to tell him how handsome and charming he is, as they always do.

And it sort of hit me like Wow, they're spending all this energy just to rationalize the idea that their beliefs are actually worth talking about. Just to convince themselves [since the only people impressed by Craig and his ilk are other Christians] that the thing they're constantly talking about, day in and day out, actually exists

Christian apologetics is a massive, time-sucking exercise designed to make believers feel good about themselves. It's played out, man. It's a failed enterprise. Nobody's mind, on either side of the isle, is being changed at William Lane Craig's pathetically theatrical evangelical shows disguised as academic debates, or by lame apologetics books or by intellectual masturbation masquerading as sophisticated philosophy. Personally, I've had one drawn-out discussion after another with Christians on topics ranging from epistemology to Aquinas' comically awful 'Argument from Motion', and they're not interested in seriously considering another side. Every thread is just one Christian dodge after another (my discussion on morality with Randal Rauser is a prime example).

Worse, it annoys me to no end that while these apologist types absolutely pounce on my posts that cover esoteric and occasionally obscure philosophy, it's a veritable dust bowl every time I post about how fucking stupid Christian beliefs actually are. Wait, so God sacrificed himself to himself to save you from what he will do to you if you don't believe these far-out things are real historical events, and if you symbolically consume his flesh and confess your wrongdoings you'll live in paradise with him forever? Man, where do I sign up?

I've gotten burned out before, but this is different. I'm done. It's not just that I'm sick to death of arguing with stubborn Christians over their inane attempts to rationalize such absurd beliefs, but that I think it's just a waste of freaking time. It's over. Religion has lost. Churches are hemorrhaging members throughout the industrialized world. Apologetics are like Seinfeld: in the end, they're about nothing. I read The God Argument recently, and thought... that's it. I mean, what else needs to be said? Grayling is right, on every count. BUT WAIT, some Christian apologist guy surely has some in-depth rebuttal to every one of Grayling's points, and I'm sure it's a real page-turner.

Well, I can't do it anymore. I'm interested in things like morality, cosmology, whether life is designed, etc. etc. Those are interesting questions and they all touch on religious sentiments. But in the end, in every case, we find that religion can't provide substantive answers. It's smoke and mirrors for the deity worshiped by tribesman of ancient Palestine. Everything we objectively know about the world has been illuminated by science, not appeals to supernatural magic. Sam Harris was right on the money when he called religion a failed science. It was an attempt to explain the beautiful, bizarre world around us. But it didn't work.

So, I've gotta move on. Am I retiring? No. But I have no idea what's next. Maybe in time my writer's block will subside and I'll chug away at new and interesting things. Until then...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.