We believe in nothing, Lebowski.

Posted by resonanteye on 06/22/2012

I am an atheist. Well, technically, I am a nihilist.

Atheists tend to believe in the good nature of humanity, or the ability to make the world a better place, or willpower, or some such like. A lot of them enjoy viewing the Universe as a remarkable place full of wonder.

A lot of them want to build community, work together to improve life for everyone. Many are generous and kind, and think that empowerment of others is a good thing. Most atheists are dedicated to making this world, the only world they believe in, a better place in general.

I like atheists. I like them a lot. You can tell that a lot of them are optimistic about humanity’s chance to survive, about our ability as human beings to turn around the destructive forces within us. Forces like hate, religion, patriotism, racism. Most atheists I know want some kind of peace, some way to make it easier for human beings to work together.

They aso are very curious about the way the world functions, about the mechanics and the meaning of it all, in ways that religious people simply are not. Religions answer all the questions, without giving any explanation, and to question is heresy. For atheists, questioning and finding explanations is the purpose.

Did I say I like atheists? Because I really, really like them.

Anyway, I’m a bit more of a nihilist. I think the human race, as a species, is doomed to certain extinction, and sooner rather than later. I think that it’s already far too late to do anything like make vasectomies and abortion mandatory and oil and fossil fuels illegal; I think we have passed the window in which such drastic measures would have saved us. We’ve pretty much shitted this place up beyond repair.

The world will go on. The earth and whatever animals and plants manage to evolve to suit the coming changes. Humanity, on the other hand, I do not think will persevere. We haven’t destroyed the planet, only our own chances of surviving on it. If perhaps we’d been able to overcome our lizard-brains long enough to stop breeding and greeding, we might have staved it off.

But now- with the top tiny number of humans in control of almost all resources, and the rest frothing at the bit to revolt- it is likely too late for turning back.

I may be an old woman when this happens, or I may not live to see it. Or it could begin now, tomorrow, tonight. I have no way of knowing. But I will, as all humans do, live out my life. If that means a grim aeon in a cage or cell, so be it. If it means eating soylent green, ok then. If it means starving or being shot, well that’s what happens to some humans, right?

We’re all doomed to die. It’s a certainty. And we’re doomed to die OUT, as well.

People who are breeding, driving massive SUVs, cutting forests, and the like- well, technically that’s evil. If I believed in such a thing. What was once the highest purpose for most people- hoarding and breeding- is now the worst imaginable modern demon. Greed and narcissistic reproduction have been allowed to flourish until- now- we are all doomed.

All of this is not to say that I do not enjoy my life. My life is all there is, and right now, it’s enjoyable. I will always want to know what happens next, even if my doomsaying nature thinks it can’t possibly be anything good.

Also, it’s fun to watch atheists try. They would give me hope, if I believed in such a thing.

And yes I know- I’m not supposed to talk about what I really think or believe. I’m supposed to be mute, or at the very least neutral, or else nobody will want to buy my art.

I’m sorry- but Picasso was an avowed womanizer and plenty of conventionally-moral women hung his works in their home. Van Gogh publicly adored hookers, and now the middle class has bunches of sunflowers in their front rooms.

I feel that if someone likes my art, they like my art, and will buy it. If they don’t personally like me, it shouldn’t matter- it adds strength to the story behind the piece, actually. (“I got it from this eccentric crazypants”) And if people disagree with me, I suppose I will just starve, as most vocal artists tend to do.

It’s our punishment, you see. Society likes to watch us frustrated, poor, and suffering. They don’t like their artists rich, fat, and happy- they save that for people whose skill is in manipulating others, owning cheap labor. and moving it from place to place.

enough ranting, time to draw.

4 Responses to “We believe in nothing, Lebowski.”

  1. I don’t know that it’s heresy for a religious person to ask questions. I’m religious, and nosy as anything. I want to know what makes things the way they are. If there’s a debate, I want to know what everyone thinks.

    Maybe there’s questions I forget to ask, but I figure that’s a flaw of my own, and not one of religion.

    And yes, you risk that someone will be turned away when you speak, but there’s people who will want to be here because you did.

    Like

    • Thank you for that. I think a lot of times we are mute simply because the pressure to be “nicely eccentric”, “quaint” instead of passionate and ranting-

      as artists people will buy our work often based on their perception of us as people. I feel like I would be lying if I didn’t speak about the things that make me who I am; and you nailed it when you said

      someone will be turned away, but there’s people who will want to be here because I did.

      Like

  2. Tafacory said

    I find Nihilism to be one of the most courageous beliefs one can hold. Wonderful post.

    Like

  3. I like nihilists. Really. I really really like them a lot. I often say to myself that nihilism = realism. Some of them are gloomy, but they are not prone to wasting time trying to be optimistic and thinking that people are good and basically ethical. A lot of atheists waste a lot of time and energy trying to get the world to perform like circus animals in their ideal world dreams. I think too many humans need community and support to get through their days.

    Maybe that is not a bad thing, but I’d just as soon not need to rely on others in order to get my brain through the day.
    In all of the known universe, we know of no place where morality is necessary. It is only subjectively necessary for human apes in order to support their particular brand of cooperation. Even most humans can’t understand this… so the universe? Well, it doesn’t give a damn.

    Life is. Be.

    Like

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