Are Atheists Judging a Book By Its Cover?
It’s fucking depressing that the title of this post is spot on, and literal. While most of you seem eager to pick up and read Sam Harris’ new book, Waking Up, there are a handful of you who have blinders on not at all unlike those of a faithful jeebot.
Today, I hope to do you a goddamned (no holy) favour, and rip those ignorant blinders off.
I had comments in response to my review of Sam’s book, like:
“Christians are the ones who need to wake up, not atheists.”
“Nice to see Sam is still living under the veil of illusion.”
You have to keep in mind here, that I posted my review one day before the book was to be released. I was sent a review copy from Simon & Schuster (thank you!), so these comments are being made without the commenter even having read the book.
Is this not the absolute height of ignorance and the polar opposite to what an atheist is: someone who develops their opinion after reviewing the evidence (or lack thereof)?
The one comment that got to me in particular was the first one, about atheists not needing to wake up. As an outspoken atheist, I hear a lot of stupid shit, but most of the time it comes from jeebots and faithbuckets and fairylickers, not atheists. This damn near out-stupids all of them though, as it implies atheists have learned it all and have nothing else to become aware of.
“Well, that’s it guys! We know everything. Shut science down! Cancel Cosmos, send Neil home! ”
What the offside fuck, people? When did we become closed-minded ignoramuses?
I realize you have a problem with the word spirituality, and I know that Mr. Harris anticipated that, because a large portion of the book is spent fending off the arguments he knows are going to come from the skeptic community. As he explained, though, there is no better word to describe what he’s talking about. While on the Joe Rogan Experience recently, he was asked why he didn’t just coin another word, and he said he didn’t do that because it comes off as arrogant to him. Which I understand. Even though I have coined my own. Ahem. Jeebots. I’m not arrogant, Mr. Harris. I swear.
Within the pages of Waking Up, Sam uses the word spirituality to refer to different modes of consciousness that can be attained through certain practices. A perfect example of this, would be the different state of consciousness you enter in sleep. It already happens. All Sam is talking about is exploring more of our consciousness and its abilities, its mysteries and what parts of it may be illusion.
His use of the word spirituality has to do with those experiences humans have had and sought out throughout history that have always been attributed to the spirit world, the supernatural and religious revelation. These experiences, he says, are merely manifestations of our own consciousness, and not only can they be explored and explained by science, but they can be sought after as a means to bring many benefits to a person’s life.
The title ‘Waking Up’ is not meant to make you feel like you’re still missing something. I felt as though it was used to refer to us becoming aware of the true nature of consciousness.
If you say you don’t need that sort of ‘Waking Up’, I invite you, as I would a jeebot with his proof of God, to present all your findings that have enabled you to be the only person who fully understands our consciousness and collect your fucking Nobel prize. Git yourself down in those history books, for fuck’s sake! What are you waiting for?
In the meantime, the less ignorant of you, click here to grab Sam’s new book and judge it for yourself, as a reasonable and rational person.