the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 67/81


People say that this path is so easy,
simply the way things go
without trying.
because it is so simple, so basic, so minimal
it is so great.

created from wants and desires, from miracles and visions,
from conflict between mortal and immortal,
is not normal, not natural.
From its ancient manufacture and people's need of it
you can see its smallness.

I have three commandments
compassion, simplicity, and humility
only with compassion is a person able to be truly brave
only by living simply can one be truly generous
only by humility does one become the leader.

Today your courage is based on the ease of attack and victory, your generosity on your wealth, not poverty, and your humility on being the first, not the last. You will die, and it will all pass.
But compassion cannot fight without winning, or give without gaining, or be nobody without being somebody.

Nature gives a natural defense of lowliness -- like the "death" of the possum, or the bared neck of the wolf, the sea depths of the ancient coelacanth -- to that which it wants to protect.

In 1761 David Hume wrote an essay entitled "Natural religion." To Hume, "natural" religion was the religious knowledge that every child was born with, like the autonomic reflexes of breathing, sucking and crying. For centuries prior to him and centuries after him, people have presumed that human nature inherently assumes the existence of a culture's deities for every infant born within it.
In a moral universe in which things are right or wrong, and presuming theism to be true and natural religion, atheism becomes the false and unnatural religion. In a moral universe in which human beings are drawn towards conforming to their natural (ie, theistic) religious state, atheists become the non-conformists.

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