I’m an atheist who loves religious fanatics. I like being around them. They are passionate about doing good. The religious do-gooder has a bigger battery and more cheer in her doing.
I’d rather be a stupid and passionate fundamentalist than a smart and listless skeptic, but it’s too late for me.
Domesticated primates are fairly flat-footed creatures. It is hard to live in accordance with free-floating abstract principles because principles have no empirical presence, so they cannot really be there to motivate and guide.
Only concrete images are present, so only concrete images will quench the fires of craving and aversion. Images are the fulfillment of presence. Belief and feeling cannot be sustained without concrete presence. Posit anything—as long as it is present as an immediate particular, we feel better.
If humans become happy, motivated, important, dignified, kind, and truly only when they believe in Big Primate, then so be it.
If this is true—that we can feel and want these things only if we posit a concrete Big Primate—then we ought to try to be religious. Posit any Big Primate, believe the appropriate relationship and attendant facts, and then reap all the behavioral rewards.
The standard scenario:
- Big Primate exists, has always existed, will always exist, is self-created, necessarily existent, and ontologically prior to time.
- Anything we want must exist. All existence is derivative of BP. So BP is the source of everything we want. Attributes won: happiness.
- Souls are also created by BP. The highest happiness is being loved by BP. Love only counts when the lover knows the depths of the beloved. BP knows us thoroughly because he created us. Attributes won: dignity.
- BP is the source of all value. Human value is determined by obedience to maxims. Following divine maxims gives ultimate value to the follower. Attributes won: motivation.
- BP commands love and kindness. Attributes won: social happiness, happiness of others.
Big Primate is concrete. People who tie their lives to BP, who see themselves under the loving gaze of BP, are satisfied. Remember—for theists, being alone is hell. When the source of happiness, motivation, importance, value, kindness, and compassion is present (along with the attendant beliefs) these precious abstracta also become present. Therefore, we ought to believe that BP exists, created us, knows us, loves us, evaluates us, and holds certain maxims to be true.
Anyway, I like being in the midst of such groups. Social welfare is a command issuing from the heart of the creator, who is a concrete subject that defines all meaning and value. I feel like a lazy sync in their presence.
I wonder if high amplitude kindness is possible without positing and believing in BP.