What does atheism mean to me? It’s certainly not, in my view, a thesis about religion. Figures like Dawkins and Hitchens are as bad as the theists I joust with. It’s not even a thesis about the supernatural or the magical or the divine. No, to me atheism is a thesis about masters. It’s a rejection of all masters, whether they be divinities, kings, fathers, mothers, intellectual figures we fawn over; anything raised over the rest. Atheism is the recognition that there is no being, divine or otherwise, that is deserving of the place of master or sovereign. It’s a war against all fathers, and mothers as well, that would occupy the position of sovereign. It’s a commitment to fraternity and sorority and other unheard of ways of relating to humans and nonhumans on a flat plane besides. As a consequence, my Wiccan or Christian brothers, sisters, mammals, and animals might sometimes be a better atheist than my materialist friends. For atheism is a synonym for anarchism, that which is without arche or sovereign, not a synonym for that which rejects myth and magic. Atheism is a synonym for those that would fight any would-be gods, whether they be divinities or fathers or kings or leaders. And the problem with so many “atheists” is that they still remain so patriarchal, heteronormative, and committed to masters, leaders, and kings. They still make ad hominem models of reasoning and argumentation, where “ad him” has the very precise meaning not of “insult”, but of thinking there’s something important about the person who speaks where right, justice, and truth are concerned. We need a better effort from our atheist brothers and sisters, for they remain all too theist, even as they reject the supernatural. In Lacanian terms, we need an effort– the only true anarchist effort –to abolish the discourse of the master and any and all patriarchies (which are synonyms for theisms). Atheism targets not so much an end to divinities– thought perhaps that too –as an end to fathers, kings, mothers, and masters… To that which transcends the leviathan. It is the rejection of your he thesis that anyone and anything is ever a legitimate occupier of a place of authority or knowledge. It wills only an egalitarianism of actors.
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