If You Don’t Believe in It, Why do you care about It?

This is one of the more penetrating, omni-directional questions that have come of the Fun Social Nihilist Study Groups (Nods to  bravaroists Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter). For the particular world of atheism, this is of course apropos, and yet the rejoinder to it, or capitulation to its brilliant unmasking of the convoluted nature of the FSN project, starts out simply.

Everyone lives surrounded by their world-generated social reality, and short of death, all humans are affected in deep and also superficial ways by their social reality. We can abjure something, be totally opposed to its excrescences, and still be smacked in the face, cuffed around the ears, or just compellingly annoyed by an on-going mass-marketed illusion that connects believing others in concentric power circles of irrationality. If the secular worldview starts to become the in-group default position of slices of class power, as is the case in Europe and to a much lesser extent in the United States, then the reading of chicken entrails can cease to be a constant daily spectacle. Yes, an atheist has every right to let religion wither away as a concern, since it can be defined as patently absurd, and since there seem to be as yet no neighbors coming over to murder you in the name of their in-group affiliation with some dogmatic belief system, as has been the case so many times throughout the blithering history of humanity.

So there goes any interest in the big books, the minutiae of the apologetic rock stars, the actions of the local chicken entrail reading club. Likewise, the manifest dumbness of spiritualists and mystic novelists can also fade into happy ignorance -what is Jonathan Franzen saying in Purity?  He’s now a consortium, an industrial storyteller of ironic comeuppances for his characters, and we have no questions for him. However, after the fun and generous nihil against the crowdmaddenings, yes, then there must be substitutes – and who wants to give that power of solo superior culture authentication to one protoplasmic stardust server-farm blogger?

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