Justifying Faith

Justifying Faith is a brief essay from a collection titled The Religion of Disbelief, written by Elmore Kelvin Glib (1989-    ). The Religion of Disbelief is a scathing review of atheism–not for the ideology but rather for the hypocrisy. Within the collection, Glib castigates modern atheists for their attempt to “spread atheism” as though it were a religion. He calls this “evangelical atheism.” Glib describes himself as a novice philosopher; thus, his collection was never intended for publication. The excerpt here is shared with his reluctant permission.

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How We Searched for What Wasn’t Lost

Homo sapiens aenigmatis

Homo sapiens aenigmatis

Postremo,

In my day, there was an awful lot of talk about finding yourself. There were gurus, self-help authors, life coaches. The overall consensus from these types was that you should avoid intimacy with the outside world until your “self” was found. Without having found yourself, there was a good chance you could be a danger to others or, at the very least, a nuisance.

So, what was finding yourself exactly?

Well, as far as I could gather, the first part of finding yourself was understanding yourself. Once you understood yourself, you had to learn to accept yourself. This, it was said, would finally lead to loving yourself.

That was the general process. I mean, I’m sure it was a bit more complicated than that, but it never stuck with me. I looked for myself (I did!)–vehemently for a time–but the only thing I ever found was that it was difficult to pay attention.

You see, there was a world on the outside of the self. I could feel its inertia skimming my toes, pulling beneath my sedentary feet.

I wanted to move with it, but I just couldn’t if I stared in to a mirror, or, worse, stared too extensively, too deeply, too inwardly.

I started doubting whether one could ever truly find him or herself. Weren’t we moving targets after all?

I don’t know. It was the spiritual panacea of the age, and maybe I dropped the ball.


 

To my contemporaries: Can we ever truly find ourselves? Are we useless to others until we do?

 

Were We Special?

When I was very young, and–in fact–throughout most of my childhood, I was told over and over again that I was special. I was told that the light that shone from within me was entirely unique; that my life–that all life–was a miracle. I’ve since learned that most children in the western world were brainwashed with the same silly sentiments.

Each of us grew up to believe his or her life mattered. It was a symptom of living in the age of arrogance.

These aphorisms, I believe, were deeply rooted in both democracy and in capitalism: the notion we were special; that we each had a voice; that we each could achieve our dreams.

Yet, at the time of my writing this, there are well over 7 billion people on Earth. We are being born far faster than we are dying (I know it may be hard for you to believe as you investigate the strata of our wrecked world, but long before the vast wasteland you see before you, we as a people were thriving–all too well, I think).

Therefore, it seems to me that the numbers don’t match the platitudes.

I don’t think we were that special, and certainly our lives didn’t seem to be a miracle. Since death was rarer than life in a sense, why was death not deemed a miracle? Because death was promised? Well, then–so wasn’t life for those who lived?

I wonder what the implications would’ve been if more people had realized this? How might they have lived their lives differently? I think we would’ve tried to make our lives mean more–we would’ve tried to actually be special–if we didn’t assume we already were.

At any rate, as it just so happened to turn out, I actually was special.


The Boy and I Have Magic Powers

|| Homo sapiens superior & Canis lupus superior // Telepathic Child and Dog, 1984 ||


To my ContemporariesPlease feel free to leave a message to Postremo in one of two ways:

  1. Leave a comment based on the questions I’ve asked below.
  2. For a chance to be a featured representative of our age (what I’ll call The Glass Age), speak on a subject of your choosing by completing the form here.

So…let’s give this a try. Here are some questions. I’m sure Postremo would love hearing your answers:

Were we special? Is life a miracle? If we were to believe that life isn’t a miracle, would that make us any less likely to value it? Are “being special” and “being part of miracle” directly linked to morality? Would we cease to be moral without these beliefs?

What Was Art to Us?

|| Panda Screams a Rainbow // Painted on Cinder Block // Pinhook // Durham NC ||

|| Acrylic on Cinder Block // Artist Unknown // @thepinhook // Durham NC ||

I was once told that art was the only thing man ever created strictly for the enjoyment of creating. Art didn’t have to be functional. It didn’t help us wash our clothes, mow our lawns, calculate equations, or microwave our dinners. Art didn’t help us get from point A to point B–though, in respect to “good” art, it often took us on a journey.  Art was the opposite of efficient. Whether we were making art or enjoying it, it removed us from our daily tedium, stole us from our drone lives.

Art often challenged us in some way. It either made us think or spared us from thinking.

Of course, we each had our opinions about art. We didn’t necessarily like the same subjects nor the same mediums. Some of us, for example, looked at graffiti as visual pollution; others, as a defiant to norms–which, for them, bespoke art’s purpose.

In an earlier conversation with you, Postremo, I mentioned it was a bit unfair, my being the sole representative of this era. With my voice alone in the darkness, you’ll get but a single interpretation of what life was like in this paradoxical time. I want you to hear from many of us–mostly so you have a well-rounded perception of what life is like “now.” That’s why I’m inviting my contemporaries to participate in this project.


ContemporariesPlease feel free to leave a message to Postremo in one of two ways:

  1. Leave a comment based on the questions I’ve asked below.
  2. For a chance to be a featured representative of our age (what I’ll call The Peridot Age), speak on a subject of your choosing by completing the form here.

So…let’s give this a try. Here are some questions. I’m sure Postremo would love hearing your answers:

How would you describe art to an anthropologist from the future? Especially our contemporary art? How did it make you feel? DID it make you feel? What purpose, if any, did it serve?