It is an election year and so I have noticed the discussion topic regarding the porkbarrelling by the ALP in endeavouring to woo the Christian voters with the Chaplaincy funding. We know these truths, PM Ms. Julia Gillard is an atheist, albeit, from a Queensland perspective, a backstabbing usurper Brutus within the ALP caucus. She is a politician afterall and this is a democracy whereby mainstreaming and populism will overwhelm any other marginal views, including the atheist lobby group. Atheism is considered by the mainstream as rabble raising by non-conformists who will be forever consigned to institutional pariahship. That being said the Atheists themselves, paradoxically, must institutionalise themselves for the same reasons as religious institutions would also want to be recognised as manifested institutions throughout society.
Communities recognise the symbols of religious institutions such as the physical presence of churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues, atheists have no such physical presence and no one would ever consider a community without such manifestations of physical presence as being part and parcel of a community institutional presence. A lack of physical institution means that people are unable to congregate, to share thoughts and ideas, influences, albeit, religious influences, with likeminded peers.
This sense of disconnection consigns atheist as fringedwelling Morlocks (HG Welles "Time Machine"). The mainstreaming mechanism of physical presence of institutions means that Atheists will always be considered as social pariahs.
We, as atheists, may be self actualised, according to a Marxian dictum, but, the cost is social dislocation which for many, may be far too risky for most people to take, such as seeking out culturally relevant celebrancy for funerals, marriages, initiation rites of passages, etc, throughout any given community. In the end Atheists are dismissed as temporary rebels who will in the end return to some religious institution albeit to be buried in a church, mosque, or synagogue, or temple, funeral ceremony.
Presently, the atheists may philosophise the existentialism and the ontological metaphysics of existence, however, in a community wide context, these epicurean intellectualism, are merely whimsical indulgences for the intellectual elites. The general laity are content with their delusions of religiosity because it is ready made institutions which is convenient, traditionally established, functional, asserts a notion of certainty and stability for any family and community at large.
Finally, to become an atheist is indeed to be a very brave individual not fearful of being marginalised by the democratic conformity of religious institutions throughout society. It will make for some extreme reactionary behaviour by well established institutions such as the Lords spiritual in the three estates to condemn the intellectualised insurrections from the secularised realm, even if it were the undeniable truism from an ontological and metaphysical perspective.
Politics and electioneering porkbarrelling aside, atheists must consider the essential truths and epistemological rationale for why we came into being and why we exist without any omniscient, and omnipresent being, being responsible for this grand design.
I enjoyed the new experience and meeting new and interesting freethinkers.
I’m looking forward for our next meeting, and this time, at the Pancake Manor, I will not be ordering the ultimate pancakes again, I found it a bit too rich for my taste.