Sunday, January 26, 2014

How To Eat Bullshit

"Bullshit tastes better in small bites," so wrote not only a nonbeliever in the God hypotheses, but a person who is obviously an incredible boor as well.
I was reading the deconversion story of person who left a lifetime of atheism for the Catholic Church. Interesting. As I wrote last time out, I enjoy reading stories about conversions and deconversions. I enjoy trying to understand how the changes take place. 
I well remember how, at the tender of age of 10, I slid out of my pew during a fire and brimstone revival sermon and made official what had been true about me all my life: I "accepted" a particular version of the Jesus story.
Deconverting was a much longer process. It took years, with frequent starts, stalls, regresses, and stops. At last the process was complete - or was it? I can't honestly say. I'm reminded of the words of Francis Bacon:  "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."  
I'm more and more finding myself on the road back. But that's me. 
Bullshit in this matter, I suppose, is a matter of personal taste. To the boor I cited above belief in God is the bullshit. To the believer it is the denial which is bullshit.
For my part I've dined on both and wasn't aware at the time of the meal of a bad taste or troubled digestion with either, which leads me to believe that there's something wrong with the analogy. 
When I was a lad in church we often sang the old Fanny Crosby hymn Rescue the Perishing, with one of it's refrains being: "Rescue the perishing, duty demands it" And I suppose on whichever side of the God question one stands there is in most folks a sense of that duty.
Why else would be believers and unbelievers heckle the dining habits of each other?
Now I'm more inclined to embrace doubt and to observe the trickiness of the workings of the human mind. The boors are those on either side who think it can all be boiled down to so simple a concept as eating bullshit. It goes much deeper than that.
The real bullshit is how easy it is for us to become smug about our own worldview.


  1. The real bullshit is how easy it is for us to become smug about our own worldview.

    And it's so easy to do.

    1. Indeed it is. And when we find ourselves reduced to defending our worldview with cliches alone, we probably have become smug. We probably have stopped listening to counter arguments.

    2. I stopped listening to counter arguments for peace of mind. :-) For me, it doesn't imply that I've got all the answers, it just means I don't think anyone else does either. (Or something like that.)

    3. Zoe, so glad you got a new computer and are back. How do you plan on disposing of the old one? :)

      Personally, I think I understand the major arguments pro and con about the God question. What remains to be seen for me is how poorly they are too often articulated by the devout adherents, especially here on the internet.

      Wouldn't it be great if believers and nonbelievers could learn to get along? I don't think that is even possible if we insist on stating our positions in an overtly polarizing manner.

      Honestly, I probably need to post a sign beside my computer to remind myself to heed my own advice here as I write.

    4. I would agree with Zoe. I don't think anyone else has the answers