Mythoi […] are often synonymous with the community identity itself, so identifying them is only possible through contrast when that contrast exists at all. Hopefully through understanding of how embedded these narratives can be, it is transparent how influential they are. If not, consider this question: how does one acknowledge harm when that harm is synonymous with being moral?Radical Civility – Deconstruction of Civility – Deconstructing Mythoi
While this is intended to be a tool to atheists and agnostics for countering authoritarian religious dictations, I use this personally since it reflects my actual beliefs when it comes to religion. I find the claim of blindness that is associated with agnosticism and atheism to cause the same harm as “colorblindness” when it comes to race. My opinion is that we actively need to acknowledge our bias and our ignorance to become better. So to me, even thought I know this is a manufactured truth, understanding that is a bit of the point.
I have a proposition: we manufacture a God: Azathoth.
Yes, I know.. “god” is “a bearded guy in the sky passing judgment”. But that’s not what I’m suggesting. Being rational people, I ask that critiques come after consideration.
The intent of the project is not to restrict or limit, but the opposite: to combat dogmatism with practical objectivity To be clear – I request the following: before posting ask “does this critique apply to my understanding of reality?” My ignorant assumption is: this will help our ability to argue with dogmatists (especially Christian Nationalists which I see to be a genuine threat to the virtue of universal liberty) and improve our daily critical thinking.
We all know that the Gods that people come up with are myths, so I submit we create our own. One that reflects the reality that we all depend on and can accurately relay it to others that worship a projection of themselves. It has to have the following properties to align with scientific/critical exploration: declaration that all knowledge can be improved on, describe why we still strive toward knowledge, to ensure it cannot be used to institutionalize power.
The Lovecraftian fiction of Azathoth suits this. Without going too deep, Azathoth is the most supreme of the Outer Gods that is nicknamed The Blind Idiot God because it’s only purpose is to sleep and create a chaos that is reality. If it ever wakes up, we just stop existing. Is this what the manufactured god is that we are referencing here? Who knows, who cares. It gets in the ballpark well enough. And most importantly, we know the name is a fiction so it cannot ever be appealed to as “genuinely known”.
So what does the “belief” actually entail?
“Azathoth” is unknowable and incomprehensible as is the fullness of reality that we exist within, but within (for lack of a better term) true chaos there can be found temporary patterns, “caverns of order.” Life exists in these, and while true chaos is held at bay, it does gradually creep in creating more complex patterns.
Even within these metaphysical “caverns of order” we find more simple patterns still and because we desperately want to understand for the sake of survival, we create myths and construct legacies that surpass us. It is our job – as “believers” – to venture forth and understand the chaos as much as we can. To put our desire for comfort and fear aside to embrace the fullness of reality.
We all acknowledge we won’t succeed, chaos cannot ever be known by a limited entity.
We will likely create our own practical myths that we believe are true. We will desire to engage in cognitive dissonance so the more fringe aspects of the creeping chaos will be ignored. But we will try not to, because that is to choose existential death. For this metaphysical protection (our cave) will one day collapse under the weight of engrossing chaos so we should seek to escape it.
Pros and Cons
So what does Azathoth bring to the table? A few things actually. Let’s break it down into different categories:
- A reminder that all knowledge is incomplete
- A underlying objectivity (even if it can never be known)
- An acknowledgement that all myths – morality religion politics discovery etc – should not stagnate since they are incomplete.
- An ability to reject the authority of any other limitation (be it man or god) since their “objectivity” is a manifestation
- Any “proof” of god is either amplifies Azathoth or Azathoth negates
- My favorite of these is the Ontological Argument (this will be presented at the end as a practical example
- Understanding that we are prone to myth creation, so it demands that others’ understanding of chaos be respected (and combatted)
- Practically Important: A rebuttal against the fear of hell
- Practically important: There is no divine command or “natural state”
- It’s not very convincing to dogmatists.
- The name is a fiction so it could be seen as trolling.
To be fair though, this applies to what currently happens. Dogmatists will dogmatize and all religions are fiction. This does shut people down though as they try to preach their flawed and harmful truths.
So there you have it, the Azathoth Project.
Try it out if you want. Use to counter people in debates (“how can you know truth”, “you must believe in God”, etc) – I have, it works pretty well.
Or don’t. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just think it could be useful.
Thanks for considering it. I ask again that you consider your critiques.
Ontological Argument and Rebuttal
Ontological Arguement: Since everything we can imagine exists to some degree in reality, then a manifestation of it must exist within one of the metaphysical realms. Therefore, we can consider God, so God must exist.
Rebuttal: Oh? I can consider Azathoth as something beyond me. And because of that any other “God of Order” that can be comprehended is lesser than “the Idiot God”.