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.