Saturday, May 16, 2020

Carnival mirror

If atheism is true, then there's no guiding, overarching intelligence to coordinate what happens or how we perceive reality. So for all we know, it's like each of us was born in a coma. The world we perceive is a comatose delirium. Indeed, each of us was born into a separate comatose delirium. 

Or, to vary the metaphor, it's like each of us was born standing in front of a mirror. All we perceive is the world reflected in the mirror. And for all we know, it's a carnival mirror. Indeed, each of us was born standing in front of a different carnival mirror. And the other people we see, the "us", aren't real people but belong to the "world", the distortions, of the carnival mirror. 

Consider the horror of that scenario. Stop and think about that nightmarish scenario. (Indeed, a never-ending nightmare is yet another illustration.) Let the horror of that scenario seize you. 

Most atheists (in the West) don't think that way because they operate as if atheism's false and there is a guiding, overarching intelligence to coordinate what happens and how we perceive reality. Buddhism is a prominent exception. Certain strains of Hinduism share the same skepticism because, even though they aren't atheistic, the kind of God they believe in isn't the ultimate reality.

1 comment:

  1. Buddhism is indeed like an attempt to take atheistic, or non-theistic worldview more seriously than modern Western fedora-infidels are able to do:

    "However, it was to the Mahāyāna trend that Nāgārjuna belonged (he lived at a time around the beginning of the Christian era). His followers, the Mādhyamikas, are sometimes called nihilists.

    Nāgārjuna proceeds on the assumption that that which is not understandable is not real. He then proves that the following are neither understandable nor explicable: motion and rest, time, causality, the notion of the part and the whole, the soul, the "I," Buddha, God and the universe. "There is no God apart from the universe, and there is no universe apart from God, and they both are equally appearances." (159: p. 655) "There is no death, no birth, no distinction, no persistence, no oneness, no manyness, no coming in, no going forth." (159: p. 655) "All things have the character of emptiness, they have no beginning, no end, they are faultless and not faultless, they are not imperfect and not perfect, therefore, O Sariputta, here in this emptiness there is no form, no perception, no name, no concept, no knowledge." (159: p. 656)"