Wednesday, September 01, 2010

self-less-ness and the true athiest

The Agnostic Manifesto

selflessness is a lack of concern of oneself in comparison to others. This is a rare and interesting quality in itself but I am interested in sort of a "variant" of it.

I am trying to imagine a true atheist - a person who shall believe in nothing unless there is a proof or enough evidence pointing to that belief. Such a person will reject gods and UFOs in seconds (rightfully so). But does it stop there? What about the sense of self itself? Its obvious (at least to me) that one cannot prove the existence of ones own self any better than prove the existence of ones own god.

Does the presence of consciousness prove the presence of self? Yes! Is our contradiction resolved? No, because neither self nor consciousness can be proved to an external entity and our true atheist is not allowed to have "gut feelings" which cannot be objectively validated. Alas - the root cause of this problem is that some trivial facts in first person cannot be promoted to third person.

So how can one be a non-hypocritical true atheist? Can a person reject the notion of self and lead a truly selfless "life"? No - I don't see life, as we know it, exist in true selflessness.

Our true atheist has to settle for retaining the "unprovable" notion of self even after successfully defeating every other superstition. Although this is as good as any human could do, our self proclaimed true atheist has almost arbitrarily chosen few unprovable personal beliefs over the other.

Lets consider a true god believer who has forgone his personal identity in pursuit of his visionary god (imagine a lonely saint in a forest trying very hard to commune with god with no care about his primitive impulses .. yeah - u get the picture!). At first glance, our true believer is a lot dumber than our true atheist for he is basing all his life on an unverified theory. Even at second glance, our true believer stays dumb since he probably leads a suboptimal life from the materialistic view of the world. Should we stop at that view? Take the true athiest, remove the sense of self, and replace it with a grander illusion of god, you get the true believer. Our two fictional characters can (and will) argue forever, faithfully but fruitlessly, about which is the right assumption "I" or "GOD".

Both the true believer and the true atheist are having "fun" (yet another subjective entity) based on their own choice of superstitions and they are incomparable.