Friday, 9 January 2015
Clear Days on the Religious Front

The comedy of modern "atheism" takes a merry twist lately in the jottings of Mr. Phil Zuckerman, professional unbeliever and counselor of those-with-nowhere-else-to-turn. Unwilling to be regarded as an atheist of common stamp, Mr. Zuckerman pedals a warm and fuzzy variety called (ugh!) "aweism." Readers looking for a good laugh are invited to visit online the 'Atheist Nexus' website of September 18, 2009. There will be found the following pair of deliverances:

1.  "Aweism is the belief that existence is ultimately a beautiful mystery, that being alive is a wellspring of wonder and that the deepest questions of life, death, time and space are so powerful as to inspire deep feelings of joy, poignancy and sublime awe. An aweist is someone who admits that existing is wonderfully mysterious and that life is a profound experience."

2.  "Many people have suggested that my orientation of aweism is actually a form of mysticism . . . I don't think it is."

Perhaps a better characterization of "aweism" would be shallow folly and self-deception, coupled with a bizarre inability to recognize self-contradiction. To borrow a trope from Arthur Schopenhauer (The Basis of Morality), the atheistic 'aweist' is like a man who attends a masked ball and spends the evening dancing and courting a disguised beauty who turns out to be his own wife. For the the category of mystery embraced by Mr. Zuckerman is the principal religious tenet of untold numbers of theologians, including perhaps most notably Gabriel Marcel. Thinkers of the 'awest' persuasion would have their cake and eat it too, allowing themselves to enter a sympathetic and affective relation with the nature of things, the ens realissimum, while delicately avoiding the recognition of divinity. Flirting with God is fine, so long as we know what we're doing. Zuckerman doesn't.

Apparently it's ok to be a mystic so long as we remain puzzled. But the moment we encounter a sudden and inexplicable Insight our mystic moment shrivels to a mere mistake. The sin in such muddled thinking lies not so much in its confusion as it does in its publication. No sooner do we latch on to a dubious idea than we find ourselves impelled to share it with those poor masses yearning to babble about things above their heads. Sadly, sophistry and dissembling rarely serve as adequate replacements for candor and forthrightness. It is often said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Mr. Zuckerman would still parade under the brave banner of atheism even as it slowly dawns on him that all the world is one big foxhole.

Posted on 01/09/2015 9:01 AM by David P. Gontar
No comments yet.

Available on Amazon US
and Amazon UK

Available on Amazon
and Amazon UK.

Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile



Adam Selene (1) A.J. Caschetta (6) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (2) Bat Ye'or (6) Brex I Teer (6) Brian of London (32) Christina McIntosh (861) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (416) Daniel Mallock (4) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (74) Dr. Michael Welner (3) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (3) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9303) Fergus Downie (1) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (59) Gary Fouse (113) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (316) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hossein Khorram (2) Hugh Fitzgerald (20777) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (17) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janice Fiamengo (1) Jerry Gordon (2504) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (1) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (119) John Hajjar (5) John M. Joyce (388) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Marc Epstein (7) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mary Jackson (5066) Matthew Hausman (39) Michael Curtis (532) Michael Rechtenwald (2) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2586) New English Review Press (20) Nidra Poller (73) Nonie Darwish (4) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (43) Rebecca Bynum (7162) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (82) Sally Ross (37) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (25) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (821) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (3) Walid Phares (29) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive