It’s been now 4 or maybe 5 years since I don’t consider myself an atheist anymore. In fact, I consider being an atheist is accepting to be an empty shell when you could define and embrace deity as you please.
My first position was to be an autotheist: believing that the only gods there are have to be humans and, as individual, we are all our own god. That’s deeply hedonist to say and it is pretty good for the moral.
For instance, I wasn’t having a good Belgian beer anymore, I was offering me some libation, being a bit smuggy is not that bad for your confidence.
But you also have to agree on the idea we are all offering possibilities and limits to each other in a curious balance that everyone lives in but none truly understands.
In fact, society is concrete due to routines and anticipations. We have the power to make decision for ourself between the limits of Reality and Society. That is the actual problem of free will, a question deeply discussed but lacking some content as none truly have the same definition.
This continuity, besides the noise of choices, is routines. And we perform them with a certain frequence: brushing our teeth, going to work, buying food,… They don’t require much of our intellectual power when the routine is well defined and they are recurrent until our death.
I associated it with the Sisyphus myth.
Albert Camus, trying to express the absurd of our world, and well aware of the irrationality of human behavior, tried to illustrate it with this mythological character condemned by Thanatos to push a rock on top of a hill but, everytime the rock was about to reach the top, it simply falls back.
This absurd life (or death?) who Sisyphus have to deal with makes of him, according to Camus, the ultimate absurd Hero.
To solve the absurdity of this situation, Camus ends its reflection by suggesting that we just have to consider Sisyphus happy.
I believe this absurd is in all our life and was, for a long time, considering my religion as “Camusian” as I was also embracing the absurdity of my own life.
But time has past… I still believe that, if you accept the pathos as the foundation, you have always rational reasoning, though you can’t dig in due to arbitrary initial conditions (or axioms).
But I now consider myself a post-camusian.
Indeed, if you dig into this story, you might wonder why is Sisyphus still pushing the rock.
In fact, you might wonder why people can massively be convinced of something, even if it is wrong or absurd, just by contemplating the idea together.
My believe is Sisyphus had no choice but to accept its condition but this situation has been imposed upon him by a mighty God (or something that we can’t fight against; like a determined group, natural elements or death itself).
We have to give a will to this God and, in fact, we have to give him pathos and logos.
According to the story, Thanathos has really been pissed off to be tricked by Sisyphus; that’s because he’s angry he designed this punishment. And that’s because Sisyphus has to endure this punishment he ends up considering himself happy of living it.
At this point, I define “post-camusianism” by the act of recognition that, in some situation, sentiment leads to reason. I consider it to be a Master; its sentiment, he’s fulminant, generates an idea and he imposes his idea upon someone else.
A contrario, Sisyphus have its own rationality but he is imposed a paradigm by Thanathos and living this paradigm led him to believe in what he’s doing and, ultimately, feel happy about it (happy or depressed, whether he embraces or despises its situation). That’s what I consider Slave.
For the justification, I have no definite answer. My intuition is: sentiment is a macro effect (like it could be generated by the fluid a brain area is dipped into) and, as such, it sums up multiple sub-cortical responses. Neurons, as the electro-chemical gradient defines its route, are still intensively exchanging with our brain fluids; having therefore feedback from their neighborhood while not being connected to them. A rush in certain ions could align neurons to a different behavior thus making sentiments fuzzy but powerful.
In the slave case, by forcing neurons to fire certain patterns, you load or unload ionic concentrations in those local areas forcing the sentiment into the individual. But, of course, it has to be interpreted with an axiom very dear to me; the brain shape and topology DO matter. He is not wrinkled due to size but for isolation purpose of certain fluid areas.
But that is a post I’ll made another day.
In a balanced everyday life, I think we are both sometimes slave sometimes master. And maybe some of you might say “well you just bridged an electronic concept to a philosophical one” but I truly invite you to have a look on your own life.
Just check, on a day, how many times your own sentiments push your actions and how many times your actions push your sentiments. You might be surprised.