Mechanical Atheist

I did make that up. So what? I am not in the habit of making stuff up but we human apes tend to do that when we need a short cut to describe something. Now who here does not like a good car analogy? Raise your hand. I was going to post about how I think the Abrahamic faiths are caustic to a successful society but there is a couple of things I need to explain first.

Hmm, no hands. I’ll proceed.

Most people think their beliefs or world view is like a finely tuned race car when most of them have a minivan and the rest of us view them as driving a 22 year old car with the fenders falling off. It’s true. Find two people of the same faith and they will both think the other is driving a race car like themselves. When they see someone of another faith, they view that as a minivan. When they see someone of vastly different beliefs they view it as an old jalopy. Some of them will argue that their minivan is different because it’s blue, or has new tires, or has been all around the country… it’s still a minivan, but they perceive it differently. They might argue that they have good seat covers or better mileage per gallon, but it’s still a minivan. Some will argue that there is nothing wrong with a minivan even though they want to drive a race car. This is what I call emotional argument. It feels good, or it looks better, or it’s not as bad as… none of it addresses real issue: how sturdy is the engine? Will it go long distance without failure? How much can it carry? How often does it need repair?

Rather than look at the aesthetics, I look at the mechanics of what there is to understand about the world. Aesthetics are for others to see while I’m driving. I’m worried instead about the mechanical soundness of the car, and in this case of my world view. I’m not driving this world view for anyone else and I don’t care particularly what you think of its aesthetics.

I don’t worry if it feels good or looks good. I want to know that it works, that it makes sense… even if it’s not all that comfortable for me to start with.

Ok, try it without using cars?

My world view is not chosen to suit your aesthetics or anyone else’s. It is to give me solid transport from here to there… where ever there is. I’m not concerned with whether you like it or not, I’m concerned that it will get me from here to a better understanding of the world around me.

I am not interested in a world view that is popular. I’m very interested in one that works. What do I mean by works? There are scientists who are looking for the theory of everything. A single theory that explains the laws of the very large and the very small. I too seek such a thing. I look for a world view that is true for both the best of us and the least of us. The least of us are single cell organisms. What is true must be true for all life at all times in all places… or something like that. Truth, if it is found, will not be based on complex thought patterns, complex reasoning, or even complex emotions. Truth is truth and all else is built upon it. It does not need to make sense in the language of our daily communications. It does not need to be a logical choice for how to select what you will eat for dinner. It simply matters only that it is true.

If we look at life like this, in a mechanical way, things sort of filter down. If the truth of life is true for cats and dogs, then it follows that the truth of life will not be in a church since most faiths do not allow cats and dogs into their church. This is even more true if we replace cats and dogs with pigs.

We can see that evolution and the scientific method meet these criteria for truth. While they may not be the whole truth, they are indeed part of it or indicators of it.

In this way I am a mechanical atheist. I’m looking for what works logically and reasonably, not what feels or looks good/right/real. This position allows me to dismiss all emotional based belief systems. Not because they must be dismissed, but this does allow for it. It takes a special claim to say that your belief system is more than what I can see mechanically from it. If your deity is omnipotent, then all your stories should support that. If your god is omni-benevolent then all your stories should support that. When the mechanics of your explanation of the universe fail, I don’t care what color your car is, it’s broken and I’ll go elsewhere to get a ride. For this reason it is important to explain why inconsistencies in the Christian Bible make the religion a failed world view. For these reasons it is imperative for me to work to ensure that such believers do not run my government or provide all my food etc. While I might be okay with forest green, if next week they decide that red is the right color then I’m screwed. We need to stay focused on the mechanics of belief and world view. Anything else is a beauty contest where the judges are the ones with the most guns. That has never created long term stability or health.

I’m a mechanical anti-theist. If you want to talk with me, remember that I don’t care what color your belief is… I want to know if it will break down in 4 days or not, or if my feet will press through the rotten floorboards of it. Bring me a mechanically sound world view and I won’t care what color it is. That is your challenge, should you choose to accept it.

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    • crucifacts
    • May 20th, 2012

    I was just thinking about a friend who converted to Islam and at first became a more decent person. Until…All of the sudden truth was capitalized and (pbuh) popped up everywhere. He would discuss other religions like Christianity he began to be smug and discuss them like they were a joke…really? haha

    • My grandpa used to say that if one person tells you that you have a tail, you can laugh. If 10 people tell you, you should look to see what is dragging behind you.
      When ‘everyone’ else is wrong, you should examine why they think you are wrong. Religions do not promote this kind of thinking, rather they tend to laugh no matter how many people are telling them they are wrong.

      With regard to any one religion it is not just atheists that tell them they are wrong. It’s everyone not in their religion. Repeat that for all religions and then figure out which one is right. The sane thing to do is to choose no religion. They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

      Happy Sunday

  1. Mal,

    I love the kinship between a person’s strong perspective of the world and the inner mechanics of a vehicle. You know what sucks about this analogy however? How easily I can knock the props out from under it.

    How? How? How? 😉

    You make it too easy, really. People are equal, equal to the plants and bees and fucking trees. As you know, it is just the consciousness level of all living things that gives us that ‘hierarchy of significance’ in the world. Take away the poorly sketched Tetrahedron and you have all life…all equal. With this said

    My world view parallels the mechanics of a good ‘ol 1955 Ford F-100. I could give you a breathtaking ride for years. My manual ride is better than any automatic. Anyone would surmise that my machinery is strong and long-lasting, perhaps I am just an amazing mechanic and appear this way because I am constantly repairing the damn thing every 10 miles. Suppose I have my game face on for You….

    Alas, you take a look under my hood and what do you see? All brand, spanking new parts. The engine of the 1955 Ford resembles that of a 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

    “How? How? How?” You ask.

    Well there are people out there that retain strong mechanics, complex mechanics like mine. They drive around all day and their shit gets them from A – B and is still chugging 30+ years down the damn road. That’s right you asked “How” not “Why”….

    I don’t drive the fucking thing.

    Yes Mal, you heard me right…I have all this perspective and amazing machinery without more than a mile on the odometer. My machinery was manufactured from other material and given to me to use. I use it through You. You all play the game so well…I lay down on the bed of my truck and watch all of you escape in and out and in and out of the city, the woods, off oceans, down steep mountains.

    I just relax here. My perspective has nothing to do with my machinery. You are the one who gives me perspective…it is You, Them, They. You teach me about yourself which in turn gives me truth to help find my own. (This is how we both found the game no?) So sure I guess I could lend you a ride and sure it will last forever. But know that the machinery is not what is getting you there, it is You, indirectly who allows the ride to happen.

    Don’t keep escaping so much, recline the seat, let your hair blow in the breeze for a while, fuck, “ROLL THE DAMN WINDOW DOWN!”

    “Bring me a mechanically sound world view and I won’t care what color it is.” You’ve been in it all along…can you see me waving?

    ~bri

    • Yes… Yes I can. Is there room in the bed of your truck?

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