Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Body of Science Without The Body of Science

Atheists irk me, and any sort of allegiance I feel with them is really just a mutuality of our omnipresent enemy -- Christianity. Many atheists think that their "aspiritual" nature, as they might term it, is a justification for their lack of belief in anything transcendent, but most don't realize the naturalness of their inability to believe in something like a god is more an expression of a zeitgeist; they cannot believe because they are so comfortably enmeshed in a post-capitalist ideology.

Though there are some more creative types, maybe more deceptive types, that use various analytic explanations for why the belief in god is absurd, illogical, untenable or ignorant of anthropology, of a science, there is the curious position: which came first, the argument against a god or the feeling that there is nothing of the sort? And so ensues the creative sophistry to undermine those that leave space for the transcendent and the feeling; the style is so sickening sometimes -- what a bunch of politicians that would be content to make a god stillborn on the smallest trivality of logic.

But logic! is the cry as if atheists were self-flaggelating monks depriving themselves of so much by the confines of a logic. What thoughts are unacceptable? What is acceptable? Can logic not take on the role of an ethics of what is allowed to be thought, to be said? If I say no to your logic, am I excommunicated and no longer available for legitimate conversation?

But the earth, the eyes -- all that is seen! The postivism bleeds out of their scientific stigmata as if Francis Bacon were meant to be a saint. This relationship to the world becomes one of use. The world exists and has meaning by the essence of my faculties; the relationship between the human and the Earth continues to be one of use and exploitation just as the earliest myths of the Bible justify. How sickeningly clean and orthodox that world view is and how useful it is for bashing the heterogenous thinker against stones. Bacon needs to be made radical, and science needs to be stripped of its purple robes to reveal the red human body.

The scientific method has become as bloated, decadent and useless for the individual body as the Catholic church. We laugh when the Church talks about sexuality because it is ultimately an expression of the cobweb doctrine of two thousand years of impacted failure. (Apparently male prostitutes can wear condoms now?) The scientific councils and bodies that laud the scientific method developed by Bacon emerged from the Modern period in a professionalized, organized collection of efficent, rarefied social machines. Suddenly the experimentation with our own beliefs and bodies became foolish, dangerous and amateur; only definitive truths could come from the exacting methodologies of one of these scientific organizations. But how ironic is it that the tools, such as the scientific method, scientific bodies use come from or are inspired by Enlightenment thinkers, who developed their fields of knowledge in a much more individualistic way, not to mention in a holistic fashion pre-dating the professionalization of subjects of knowledge. In spite of these groups, of these limiting judges of knowledge, inspired individuals continue their work engaging their own perceptions, bodies and life revealing far greater truths born of creativity.

It is nauseating to me how many atheists are comfortable with their relationship to science. They attack loudly churches and the religious as if these organizations and people were in some sort of exploitative control. Though true, religious groups do have much power, they still in most developed Western nations remain on the outskirts for the structuring of our societies. The state now turns to the professionals and their high councils for the most accepted and rigorous studies on given subjects. Atheists think that science and scientist are benign, outside of social influences, outside of power relations, and always deeply invested in the absolute truth overall. Though this investment in the absolute truth, an irrefutable truth was the position of most religious organizations. The Catholic Church, being the supposed possessors of Christ on Earth, engaged in exacting, brutal political and military campaigns at various points in their history. What they did was justified with the semblance that they were beyond the simple, petty needs of earthly desires, they were serving the ultimate truth of Christ. Do our scientific councils ever participate in petty earthly desires while claiming to be working in the grand cause of scientific interest?

Yet how lucrative is their position in our society now? Nothing true can be said without the presence of a given professional or expert. Even judges cannot judge without the presence of a psychologist to determine the true essential being of somebody's mind -- criminal or insane? Nothing can be done until we consult the interests of a given scientific council. Who is our ultimate judge now? I would rather be labelled a petty criminal than be considered a potential schizophrenic; the judgements of the state are passing and many regard them with a scathing impiety (that man was innocent, the court is corrupt!), but there is absolutely no space to question the authority of a doctor, unless by another doctor of the same vein. Pyschologist are the vicious arbiters of the contemprorary man's soul.

And their ideologies and beliefs become impacted, though they claim a plasticity to their organizations because they are founded on the scientific method; if the evidence speaks against what they believe, they have an obligation to alter their ideology. But when an organization is large, impacted and spread throughout society in an advantagous position, it becomes increasingly efficient at slowing its plasticity and adaptibility. Nobody acknowledges that homosexaulity was only taken out of the DSM in 1973 -- only a couple of decades ago quite sane people were put in the psychologist's "Bible" next to people with severe mental disorders. It wasn't the scientific method, or the self-analysis of scientific councils within psychology, but rather, the political work and actions of gay activists.

Atheism for me has to have an idiosyncratic definition if I am to group myself into it. It has never been about the opposition of the Church and the laboratory, the implausiblity of a god or a metaphysics, or ignorance and enlightenment. Atheism, a good atheism that captures the essence of its dissidence, is an extension of a more primary goal; the goal of anarchism, which is to make clear power relations, see how one is exploited and to act accordingly to stop it. One needs to understand such a goal on many levels, not on a literal one that envisions cliche political action. Every act, every notion of self, every real and virtual structure reflects an ideology, a mode of existence that exerts force; one's body, one's consciousness is either in accordance with such an overarching force or power, and it is made healthier for it; or, one's being is degraded by such a power and one must act to destroy or undermine such a power. This is my atheism, which is the purest form of atheism that says little about god or metaphysics. It is the nebulous atheism attributed to Socrates by the Athenian government for his social agitation. It cannot allow itself to become complicit with the new religioisity, new power structures that limit creativity, undermine our own truths and degrade the individuality and health of each person.


I put advertisements on my blog to see if some of the traffic I get from image search losers would maybe turn into a couple of dollars a month. Most likely it won't since it seems that I need to have hundres of daily viewers to make anything. But now the advertisements have a new quality to them. I'm kind of obsessed with the insanity and hilarity of reading a post about the endless destruction of factory farming while at the very end there's a giant picture of a cheeseburger -- "Get awesome discounts on local restaurants!" Yeah, I think I'm going to turn off these adds... it's just a little too depressing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Now Featuring More Pictures

Must history cruelly repeat itself? As Socrates, the progenitor of Western philosophy, was condemned to drink the Hemlock for his "atheism" and corruption of Athenian youth, so too shall I be dealt a similar fate for my transgressions against my society.

Watermelon(?) Four Loko!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Fair Blog

Not all of my posts need to be so serious, yeah? Though as I find myself updating this blog on fewer and fewer occasions, I suppose I want to make my small contribution as mentally lucrative as possible; that is why I stick with the pregnant weightiness of philosophy. There was a time when this blog, now going on its 2.5 year mark, was a broader project -- or maybe aimless is more appropriate. I wanted to do something as a midway point between philosophy, social commentary, creative writing and comedy; basically a cathartic melting pot of ideas at a time when the semblance of indefinite school had finally shattered. This blog was born out of a minor crisis in my life; I had been trained towards scholarship, but with only a BA, I am stillborn with a society that offers zero opportunities to continue an academic life without going on to a graduate school. I needed to do something, and with no money and the networking skills slightly below the great apes, I was isolated. Hmm, the internet and its midwife: desperation.

Why not take a moment to take stock of what exactly all this nonsense is about? As things go, the blog evolved on its own more to the pressures of my own life and interest in this endeavor than to any real evolutions that took place on the blog. Mimicking aspects of my real life, it too is stillborn in many ways. Any goal or plan, any hope for even the smallest audience, was long ago abandoned and not too far from when it started. It took on more of the role of intellectual dumping ground rather than anything that could be considered a whole or a piece moving towards some goal or serving some function. And to be completely honest, I'm not sure I even ever envisioned a blog like that.

Much of my traffic is from google image search because I "borrowed" some pictures of famous buildings for a post about Brutalist architecture. They come and go as anybody does using an image search. I often wonder what their initial response is to my blog in the context of what they're looking for. I suspect a mixture of fatigue and horror when they hit the walls of white text that are observable from space.

This blog in all honesty really is just one of the archetypal guilty pleasures of our generation. It's a bit of journal keeping, letter writing and the nasty shit you spew against your enemies that typically, before the internet and the widespread use of personal media, wouldn't have left the bedroom, basement or cave. Everybody who writes, whether privately or publicly, writes with the secret desire that it will be read by somebody other than yourself. Technology has taken the virtual reality of desire and turned it into something that can be reflexive; now the imagination feeds into the machine that orchestrates an experience that can be felt by our senses. Why is so much of the internet pornography? With a click the desire is fulfilled, brought into reality before you. With the blog post, so too goes the same process, with the secret desire for your writing to be read being fed immediately. And with such decadence and hedonism, what kind of disease might grow? I often think about what kind of posthumous material will be uncovered for our generation while I read letters scrawled by the insane Nietzsche kept by his friends in the late 19th century. What simple technologies to immortalize what maybe we would have wanted dashed from our personhood. I am nauseated to think about what prolific writers might have their facebook at the age of 18 dug up, brought into their legacy.