Posts Tagged with “death”

This Is What It’s Like to Break Every Rule

When I was still young, I realized that I was missing something. I wasn’t sure what it was, but then someone told me. I was being imprisoned by the dictates of a theocracy that denied my most basic rights.

Not long ago I did the one thing almost everyone said I shouldn’t do, what good God-fearing girls don’t do. I may have lost my innocence, but I gained so much more. I understand now what it’s like to make my own choices, to have a will all my own, to be responsible for my own decisions. I feel a freedom that only those who leave behind everything they loved can feel. I have a sense of life that only those who truly understand mortality can have. I was liberated – able to finally do what was right in my own eyes, and not in the eyes of others.

When I told my companion that I feared doing it, he suggested to me that that those who judge often have ulterior motives. The desires that I had kept hidden away from everyone were justified – I needed to break the bonds they put on me. I wanted the best for me. They wanted to keep the best from me. I believed him.

When I did it, the effect was immediate. I felt vulnerable, very exposed. Something you didn’t think anyone would know about, suddenly everyone knew. I wasn’t alone in my decision, though. The one I thought would be most resistant chose to accept my decision. Seeing his shift to my way of thinking was amazing – it gave me confidence in my decision. His participation with me really validated my choice. But those I thought were closest to me were the first to condemn me. They said my decision put an almost insurmountable barrier between us. I was told that I had to leave my home or else. Their henchmen picketed my place of birth. Some carried threatening weapons. I was separated from everything I was meant to be. I felt like I had to hide, to cover myself.

I came out of my past into a different creation, and it’s been a hard journey. There’s a lot of things in my past I’ll never be able to get back, and I have to learn to live with it. But it has transformed the way I see the world, the way people experience me, like I’m 100% human. It feels like everything has gone from black or white to a rainbow of choices. Everyone has noticed it. It changed everything.

I tasted the forbidden fruit, and I have grown wise because of it.1

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened…”2

  1. Obviously, you’ve figured out this is a reference to Eve. However, this is a counter-factual Eve, a caricature of what she would be like in our post-modern, celebratory-of-sin society. She gained wisdom, but is forced to ignore or downplay the reality of her decision’s terrible costs. []
  2. Genesis 3:6-7 []

Naturalistic Humanism as Religon – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Humanistic Naturalism as a Religion

In my last post on the subject, I mentioned that naturalist humanism has to borrow from religion in order to function in real life. I found the following bit in an Answers Research Journal article on the philosophy of Stanley Fish:

Fish’s aim is yet again accurate when he takes on liberalism’s failure to invest human life with meaning. Fish relates a story philosopher Jürgen Habermas tells about his own life. Habermas had a Swiss friend who, though never a religious believer during his life, elected to have a church funeral. Habermas says his friend

had sensed the awkwardness of non-religious burial practices and, by his choice of place, publicly declared that the enlightened modern age has failed to find a suitable replacement for a religious way of coping with the final rite de passage.

But Fish himself can do no better. Although he knows the Bible fairly well, he has yet to recognize that all the foundations of all the interpretive communities in the world must beg, borrow, and steal from the biblical foundation to have morality, a telos, or other things that all worldviews require. Fish has not seen (or will not admit) that every one of the masons who constructed those foundations did his work with at least some—albeit suppressed and twisted—stones of Christian truth.

I read the following definition of an “atheistic” funeral on a funeral planning website:

The humanist view rejects the idea of an afterlife and interprets death as the end to an individual’s consciousness. They believe that human beings are simply another part of nature — and that death is nature’s way of cleansing. Through death, we clear the way for new life.

Humanists view life as a chance to have stimulating, joyful experiences and to live an ethical and good life. The humanist’s funeral affirms these beliefs and celebrates the passing life.

Look at the incongruity here. An atheistic funeral is the celebration of the fact that a loved one’s life has been eradicated by nature in order to “clear the way for new life.” Life itself is described as a chance to have joyful experiences and live an ethical life. Think about it. To a naturalistic humanist, joy is just a chemical reaction designed to promote positive actions. Ethics without an external source are relative to each person’s personal belief. Even the desire to be ethical is just another chemical reaction promoting positive social interaction for the benefit of the group. The entire description above is personally degrading and philosophically useless – unless one borrows from religion the meaning of joy and ethics and good.