Can an atheist love?

Like — romantically love, not love for ideas or love for lovely knitting.

Well, I agree, that question alone is worth some random number of foul words and bad manners … Go ahead, say them, act them — …

Did you? I hope so.

So now that you feel so much better, let me appeal to your higher nature, which in this case is your intellect. Maybe you know some things because you felt love for what it objectively is, a seriously powerful emotional experience. Maybe you never had that experience. Maybe you only thought you did. All these three categories are all encompassing, unfortunately. If you were in love, like really were in love, with a real person, than in no way can I convince you that love is just a spur of hormones. If you only thought you did — which in general translates as I got dumped or I dumped the other one — then you might retaliate in your anguish caused by love and call it a mere emotion or, depending on education, describe it as some psychological mechanism which somebody accurately talks about in some book. But if you never had that experience, simply put you were never in love, what can you say about it?

Is love the answer? Is love making the world go round? Is love the key? Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? Is it fair? Is it pleasurable? Is it painful?

Is it worth it?

Don’t answer any of these, please. They merely illustrate the depth to which just a feeling, a working of hormones and chemicals, can sink a human mind, searching for answers into a place where everything is made up. Yes, its made up, and I don’t mean it in a bad way. If you cannot contain something, measure it or at least accurately describe and predict its behavior, then its made up, just like unicorns. Actually unicorns are less made up than love because everybody knows what a unicorn looks and acts like. With love you always get the notion that you’ll know it when you’ll feel it.

But here is the catch, if you pay attention, why do you want it anyway? Isn’t loving someone just as much of an act of faith as believing and entrusting your eternity into an invisible omnipotent god’s hands? If its not that, then you cannot romantically love. You can only enjoy or despise the sickness in your belly, the efforts to make it work, the pleasure and helpfulness of the physical attraction. But you cannot romantically love, because it makes you a believer into some notion upon which everybody agrees on but you cannot see it, you are never sure you felt it and in who’s name huge atrocities have occurred in history. Just like in God’s name?

Declaring yourself an atheist does not refer only to the existence of God. You see, rejecting so strongly, something so out of the reach of the senses, makes you someone who only trusts what their brain can logically and directly get from intelligence. However love is known for making people stupid. I would think an atheist would actually suffer when in love far more than a believer would, a Gnostic or whatnot would. Its an experience which makes the atheist wonder if the mental sanity should be of concern.

So can an atheist romantically love?

I think an atheist can’t help it around love. I think atheism is not about God, divinity, nature of the universe like such persons, say R. Dawkins, would lead you to think. I think atheism is better served by agnostics than by puritan non believers simply because rejecting rationally a concept such as divinity or deity erases the human interpretation of an enormous part of the experience called life. We can’t explain ourselves when we are in love and act irrationally, but nor can we explain ourselves when we are brilliant and “hear” amazing solutions in our heads. Sure, from the outside others can explain to us our own behavior. But from the subjective point of view I think an universe without a concept of deity or at least some higher concept of existing — just because they sound like mumbo jumbo, like many works of art look or poems sound — kills a chunk of our humanity.

I hope one day atheism redefines itself and all those brilliant people, who are now loosely calling themselves a label, without really thinking about the implications on the quality of life itself, start and really think. Philosophy is dying, art is weirder by the day, our society can only be controlled by programming not common participation … you name it, I can make an infinite list of things that some set of higher order thoughts from amazing people could do to subjectively improve everyone’s life. But instead we fight with our mighty reason to kill a concept.

Please, be anti-religion. I am all for that. Please, help bringing down religion from politics. I am all for that. Lets unite and emancipate the cohorts that fear reasoning just because it contradicts some holy book. Join efforts and tell people that its beautiful to think, wonderful to use your mind and dignifying to have your view of the world, not to eat up some old story.

But stop making the case for the non-existence of divinity in any form or in any way — or worse in any one — just because you’re so “damn sure” about that. Taking out the divine nature of man, takes out the human way of blurring out things and keeping them in some corner in the back and from them suddenly popping out amazing creations “of the spirit”, as they’re called, I remember. And arguing divinity doesn’t exist is plainly stupid especially because we have no idea what we’re talking about.

A philosopher named Tutea — which has a rather weird background, I admit — once said “arguing with God doesn’t make you an atheist, its a metaphysical restlessness which all people that think eventually go about”. Can we skip being annoyed intellectuals and actually make the world some use of our “intellectualness”?