Monday, November 30, 2015
Oh, These Freaking Stupid Atheist Memes!
First of all, that's a picture of Epicurus, not Lucretius. Secondly, Lucretius never said anything so ridiculous. (And neither did Epicurus.)
All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant? No, unfortunately, not always. On the contrary, there have been many religious wars waged by people convinced that their own religion is either the best one, or the only true one.
And everybody knows that. Politicians using all religions? No, they very often pick just one, or two, and inflame the hatred of the ignorant for other ones. Everybody knows that too.
And as far as philosophers are concerned, as ridiculous as it may sound to the ridiculous person who made that ridiculous meme, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard and most of the rest of the most famous philosophers in the Western world have been religious, and most of the rest have been able to see the major differences between different religions. And one of the most ridiculous of the world-famous Western philosophers, Seneca, who actually did say something which was altered to be more ridiculous and become the text of the meme above -- was an atheist.
The atheist Nietzsche -- yes, he was an atheist. Theologians who try to tell you differently just haven't read his work very carefully at all -- wrote at great length about the differences between various religions. He was strongly opposed to Christianity. Although he didn't recommend another religion in its place, he did describe other religions as being at the very least significantly less bad than Christianity. A great deal of the book Der Antichrist consists of Nietzsche comparing Christianity to other religions. All of his books contain praise of the ancient Graeco-Roman world, which was for the most part not atheist, but pagan.
Nietzsche was thoroughly capable of seeing worth in various aspects and by-products of religions, plural, without ever becoming a theist, mono- or poly-. The person who made that meme at the beginning of this post, and the lunkhead atheists who are so eagerly spreading it and similar memes and busily misrepresenting Lucretius' work and making up inauthentic quotes, are obviously not at that level yet.
Yesterday I saw a meme with the caption "Atheist Church" and a picture of a library. (Not even a particularly large library.) I replied that what should have been there was a picture of a comic book store. No, not all atheists are comic book fanboys. I myself have not read any comic books since before I was full-grown, and even then I tended to prefer grownup books. Not all atheists are comic book fanatics, but the ones who post memes with inauthentic quotes, the ones who say that all religions are the same, the ones who say "Hey look, the Pope's wearin a dress! Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck." and "Believers are stupid, and we atheists are smart, hyuck hyuck hyuck!" do seem, for the most part, to have spent more time in comic book stores than in libraries.
And if they had spent more time exploring actual churches, besides the store-front snake-handling places their inbred parents dragged them to when they were kids, and mosques and synagogues and other places of worship, then they'd know that many of those places of worship are among the most beautiful things yet created by humans. If they knew that, well, probably some of them would re-convert. But maybe a few others would begin to see that things aren't always so black-and-white and cut-and-dried as their favorite memes with inauthentic quotes and pictures of the wrong guy would have it. If they left their parents' basements more often and walked around outside in a city or two now and then with their eyes open, they might learn more than by staying in their stupid online atheist bubbles with their heads up their asses.