Author: Scott Brian
Ghosts have been the subjects of primetime television shows, documentaries, and the occasional
passing news article—all of which have superficially focused on the more spine tingling, carnival thrill ride elements. Much overlooked is the pink elephant that ghosts and their existence ushers into the public consensus that there is an afterlife and that what we do in this life affects us in the next. This assumption or belief is found in all cultures throughout time, yet in our time many seem to avoid this serious examination of the possibility. Some may not even make it to this sentence in fear of its religious overtones. I guess it is universal: humans don’t like to be told or even hinted that their actions, lives and thoughts may be wrong, bad, out of tune—insert your favorite pious reproach here. And yet imagine how the world would change if science, group or individual, did find absolute proof of ghosts? The concrete concept of an afterlife would change the way many people behave and interact with one another. Unfortunately, the current trend is the opposite.
Rieke Havertz of The Christian Science Monitor reported that Atheism was on the rise not only in the United States but around the world as a whole. Atheism is far different from simply being non-religious because it stresses a fanatic belief in science and evolution over curiosity of the unknown. Most Atheists stress a reliance on the scientific method as the path for true knowledge, which as an anthropologist I find amusing because much of the recent postmodern anthropological theory (and other sciences) is a critique of the scientific method; or in other words, science reconsidering the scientific method. It has also been my experience that Atheism and its proponents also stress a belief in sarcasm and superiority. Atheism is a belief in intellectual supremacy and at times radical egocentricity.
Tampa, Florida, August 2012 will hold the Republican National Convention. The group American Atheists Incorporated (AAI) attempted to purchase billboard space near the convention for anti-Christian and anti-Mormon campaigns but was unable to find willing billboard owners to rent space due to the toxic nature of the message. The AAI later found billboard space to rent in Charlotte, NC, where the Democratic National Convention is to be held. David Silverman president of AAI told FoxNew.com “We are very happy that we found a company that allowed us to express our freedom of speech, our opinions [in Charlotte]… We are also very dismayed at the bigotry that we received in Tampa when we weren’t allowed to post our views.” In other words: how dare inferior and bigoted hominids who still believe stuff outside science (or our view of science, cuz postmodernism sucks, and no you can’t prove love but what is that anyway?) interfere with our hatemongering and visual assault on the beliefs of millions of peoples in an attempt to show rationally and without doubt that we are right and know what’s best and that the rest of you MOFOs are Neanderthals? So please stop the bigotry against us and let us handle the bigotry cuz we’re smarter and better looking… Oh and my dad can beat up your dad.
Atheist organizations are even sponsoring summer camps. At one near Seattle, Washington, Linsey Davis and Elizabeth Stuart of ABC News interviewed 9-year-old Atheist Elle who said, “It’s amazing. I love it here. With certain people, you have to limit yourself or feel socially obligated. This feels nice to be here and not have to limit yourself and know you won’t be bullied or hurt.” Elle, whose parents are Atheists, has of course at such a young age come to an understanding, independently, of the great burden she must bear for being intellectually smarter than the majority, not unlike the Hitler Youth of the past since both are based on the basic evolutionary principals. Elle has taught us all through plain and unloaded speech that “certain people” (the Jews perhaps?) are limiting and socially obligating (I just told my wife the other day that that I am constantly feeling limited and socially obligated, now I know I just need to go to Atheist camp).
And if I were blessed (in a non-God like way) to go to Atheist camp I would tell the most bestest, scariest campfire stories. So Elle this is for you: Once there was an individual who randomly and biologically was a female named Sue. While driving on a deserted road, she ran out of gas (because she was not reasonable to get sufficient for her needs, not because this was fate or bad luck which doesn’t exist) and had to walk to an old farm house that was supposedly HAUNTED by an old woman, but that would be limiting so it was just a structure like any other structure. As she entered she heard the squeak of the floor echo through the dark, decrepit house. She lit a match that gave a faint glow illuminating the cobweb covered banisters and dust filled room. Suddenly a breeze quenched the match flame (a very reasonable thing to happen). In the darkness an electric glow pulsed and quivered, and there on the stairs formed the figure of and old woman. With glowing eyes and a blood curdling laugh the old woman said, “Who dares to enter my home? You my young friend will meet your doom!” Sue turned to run, but then stopped and turned. Laughing Sue spoke out loud, “By the power Darwin, you’re not real at all old lady. See before I drove out here I ate a candy bar without nuts, but in the same factory they make candy bars with nuts and I am allergic to nuts. One of the workers touched a nut candy bar and then touched my nut free candy bar. I am having a reaction to nuts”. Sue continued, “Even though I am a free thinker, the superstitions of an ignorant world have infected my brain’s lobe parts and have induced a conscious, culturally dependent hallucination”. Sue was so relieved that she wasn’t stupid like so many others who had seen the old woman and even felt blessed (in a non-God like way) that she could experience the ignorance called religion. She felt so close to her fellow humans in their undeveloped and naïve beliefs, but ecstatic that her free thinking had triumphed again.
I do not hate Atheists, but I take issue with simple answers that appeal to the egos of a select few. Truth should be universally free of prodding, peer pressure and sarcasm. I have always felt I was a good listener and understand that there are many points of view and shades of gray. Atheism is black and white. I won’t be categorized as delusional or strong armed into effortless explanations of my experiences. I know as an anthropologist that the human experience is far from routine and pedestrian. The paranormal happens to so many all over the world every day; how can some dismiss these experiences with such ease and carelessness and say the rest are crazy or delusional? This is not about religion, but universal experience; this is not about picking a side, but understanding; and this is not about being superior or being right, but uniting the masses from today and back through time through encounters with the unknown. Finally, this is not about proof or scientific methods but about discovering what is real with the understanding that we may not be able to understand it fully. Atheists are limited in how they experience life because they already have all the answers. I live because I seek for more answers.