It’s really tough being a secular conservative in the modern world, you are always on the outside. It’s virtually impossible to find a place to fit in when the only people who tend to hold your fiscal and social views are the ardent religious and the only people who tend to reject belief in gods are far-left liberals. It gets even worse when you have an interest in sci-fi and fantasy popular arts like television, movies, books, comics, etc., where some large percentage of the audience skews young and therefore, liberal. It means that, pretty much without fail, I spend a huge amount of my online time biting my tongue in some fashion or another. You don’t dare stray outside of the very narrowly defined confines of shared interest or you get attacked.
Yes, I said attacked.
Now I’m not going to regale anyone with stories of these attacks, I’ve done so in the past and it’s largely not productive. It really just means that someone like me can never have a true home online with any of these groups. Even those few other people who self-identify as conservative atheists, as I’ve said before, have taken to focusing purely on one side of the coin, to the point that they really don’t want to talk about the other. They’re either atheists first and refuse to talk politics, or they’re political bloggers exclusively and refuse to talk religion. Finding a way to marry the two has proven to be an extreme challenge and, honestly, it’s one that I’ve failed pretty much across the board to do. Finding any significant audience that shares both sides of my personal worldview (and yes, I hate that word but it seems to apply here) is virtually impossible. When I write about atheism, I draw the ire of religious conservatives. When I talk about conservatism, I draw the ire of liberal atheists. I just can’t win. But whereas this might otherwise drive one to despair or depression or disillusionment, it’s done something else for me.
It’s pissed me off.
And it’s because I’m pissed off at a world that is being poisoned by both religion and rampant liberalism, that I write. It’s kept me going for 8 years and I’m not going to be stopping any time soon. It’s actually pretty easy to chalk the planet’s problems up to a single, overarching problem: irrationality and unbridled emotionalism. There are far, far, far too many people out there who drift through their lives just “feeling” things or reacting emotionally to things, they never bother to sit down and actually think or reason or justify their positions rationally. I get the appeal, emotions are easy, they take no effort and, at the end of the day, they just feel good. At some deep, primitive level in our brains, we’re “programmed” to be emotional beings, it’s how we evolved, but that doesn’t mean it remains a good thing today. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should eliminate all emotion and be stiff automatons, certainly our emotions have a lot of valid and important uses, but we also evolved this wonderful, sentient, intelligent part of our brains and if we don’t use it as well, what’s the point?
Our future rests on intelligence. It relies on it. It requires it. Nobody invented anything useful because they “felt” their way through it. They didn’t come up with the Internet because “it felt good”, but because it was a potentially useful tool and it took serious brain power and technical know-how to accomplish the task. We live in an increasingly technological society that is being absolutely hamstrung by uncontrolled emotionalism. It’s what drives religion and it’s what drives liberalism. It’s wishful thinking because it feels good, not realistic thinking that can actually lead us down a productive and healthy path.
I defy anyone to produce evidence that either religion or liberalism produces rationally superior results to either logical atheism or actual conservatism. Anyone? Just one person will do. Don’t give me emotional diatribes, show, via objective evidence and critically evaluation, that either of these things can get us from point A to an intellectually superior point B.
I don’t think anyone can do it.
So I guess I’ll just continue to write and say the same thing I’ve said for 8 years and weather the slings and arrows of the irrational left and the insane religious because they’re just not on the same page as rational people. I care about the future. I care about where we’re going. Does anyone else really care at all?