So, while I was away from active blogging, I got to miss a whole lot of vitriol about gender politics in gaming, a fact which I am actually kind of relieved about. Unfortunately, it is a subject that will not go away. Last week both wundergeek and Zak S. launched salvos at each other, both in the name of defending themselves from the other.
While gender politics are a hot button issue that repeatedly finds people from all sides being attacked, this situation is by no means unique because attacks against various people and groups are a regular feature on the internet.
I highlight wundergeek and Zak S. because this situation was/is rather high profile in our corner of the internet and because I don’t particularly agree with either of them. I may very well be wrong, but neither seems to think much of Christianity and I have the distinct impression that if push came to shove they would each probably describe themselves as human secularists or even atheists. I say this not as an attack on either of them, but rather out of personal experience.
I sympathize with both of them tremendously. I believe that ideas are important. I hold that human reason has been, is and will be capable of wondrous and amazing things.
They both look and sound like I did when I could proudly claim that I was an atheist and a human secularist.
Therefore, in order to really speak on the situation (and all of the various attacks that so many of us who inhabit the internet have to deal with in some way fashion or form), I need to discuss why I am no longer an atheist and human secularist and why that is so important.
This story begins in Eastern Europe.
Back when Yugoslavia still existed and was embroiled in a civil war, I lived within a stone’s throw away from the border. Thus, I was a peripheral witness to what was going on there. I heard gunshots. I felt shockwaves as bombs were dropped. I saw MiGs violate airspace. I was actively propagandized by the Croatians. I met and befriended Serbian refugees. I saw things I wouldn’t wish on anyone — things that I cannot un-see.
This experience broke me. I found myself reexamining my entire life. Rather than breaking down the logic of theism (as I had spent so many years of my life doing), I look a good, long look at atheism and human secularism. To my horror, I found it lacking.
If there is no God, what is good, ethical, moral or truth? Rather, what is the source of what is good, ethical, moral or truth? While laws, constitutions and/or societal norms might help us define these things, they are not the source. Laws, constitutions and societal norms all come from us — human beings. Therefore, sans God, we are the measure of what is good, ethical, moral and truth. Given this, what makes what I believe to be good, ethical, moral or truth any better than someone else’s? By what justification can I say that Hitler was wrong?
One might be tempted to point to logic, reason and/or science. These are things that Western society has, for some time, agreed are beneficial to help us come to a consensus as to what is good, ethical, moral or truth; however, in a world sans God, logic, reason and science had nothing to do with Hitler being wrong. Although we may try to convince ourselves otherwise, the real reason that Hitler was wrong in a world without God is that the allies were able to marshall enough military strength to force and coerce the Germans into their version of what is good, ethical, moral and truth. Had Hilter won, his version would be the norm.
Without God and with human beings as the source of what is good, ethical, moral and truth, the only criteria that matters when it come to who is correct or not is force. He or she who is the most willing to coerce with force their version of what is good, ethical, moral and truth wins. There is no external, eternal measure by which to justify how Might Makes Right isn’t correct.
Thus, as our society becomes more and more convinced that God is passe, and that human secularism is accepted as normative we can expect the kind of vitriol that has wundergeek and Zak S. at each other’s virtual throats. While wundergeek and Zak S. have diligently defended themselves by pointing to a variety of examples of what they actually have said and actually believe, it doesn’t matter in a world dominated by human secularism. What does matter in a world without God is that whoever is going to win this fight is the one who is willing to use any and all means of coercion in order to force their world view on the rest of us.
In other words, in a world without God, goodness, ethics, morality and truth mean nothing.
2 days ago