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-   -   Down With Intelligence (An excerpt from Michael Onfray's Atheist Manifesto) (http://www.wutang-corp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=85049)

DrBold241 10-14-2009 11:35 AM

Down With Intelligence (An excerpt from Michael Onfray's Atheist Manifesto)
Monotheism loathes intelligence, that sublime gift defined as the art of connecting what at first and for most people seems unconnected. Intelligence reveals unexpected but undeniable causalities; it produces rational, convincing explanations based on reasoning; it rejects manufactured fiction. With it's help, we can spurn myths and fairy tales. We need no posthumous paradise, no salvation or redemption of the soul, no all-knowing, all-seeing God. Properly and rationally directed intelligence wards off magical thinking.

The advocates of Mosaic law, Christian tale-spinning, and their Koranic clones share the same fable on the origins of negativity in the world. In Genesis 3:6- common to the Torah and to the Old Testament of the Christian Bible- and in the Koran (2:29) we find the same story of Adam & Eve in a paradise where a God forbids them to approach a tree while a demon urges disobedience. In this monotheistic version of the Greek Pandora fable, a woman (of course) commits the irreparable, and her act spreads evil all over the world.
The story, in normal circumstances just good enough to earn a place n the roster of fairy tales or cautionary fables, has had incalculable consequences for human civilizations! Loathing of women and the flesh, guilt and desire for atonement, the quest for an impossible amends and submission to necessity, fascination with death and passion for suffering- all so many occasions for activating the death instinct.
What do the files on this story tell us? We find a God who orders the primal couple not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Clearly we are in the presence of metaphor. It took the church fathers to sexualize the story, for the text is clear: eating this fruit removes the scales from our eyes and allows us to distinguish between good and evil, and thus resemble God. One verse (Genesis 3:6) mentions "a tree to be desired to make one wise." Defying God's prohibition meant preferring knowledge to obedience, seeking to know rather than submitting. Or in different terms: opting for philosophy against religion.
What does this ban on intelligence mean? You can do anything in this magnificent garden except become intelligent- the tree of knowledge- or immortal- the tree of life. What a fate God has for man: stupidity and mortality! A God who offers such a gift to his creatures must be perverse.... Let us then praise Eve who opted for intelligence at the risk of death, whereas Adam did not realize right away what was at stake. The bliss of ignorance!
What do the poor wretches learn, once the lady tastes the sublime fruit? They see reality. Reality and nothing else. Nudity, their natural state. And with their freshly acquired knowledge, they discover their cultural allotment: the choice of fig leaves (rather than grape leaves) to cover their nakedness was symbolic of a future cultural heritage. Worse: they discover the hardship of daily life, the sorrow in every destiny, the battle between the sexes, the gulf forever separating man and woman, the inevitability of backbreaking toil, the pain of childbirth, and the sovereignty of death. Once liberated from their state of ignorance, they avoid the additional transgression that would have given them eternal life (the tree of life grew next to the tree of knowledge), for the one true God- decidedly gentle, good, loving, generous- spared them that fate by expelling Adam & Eve from paradise. And we have remained outside forever since.

Lesson number 1: if we lose the illusion of faith, the consolation of God, and the fables of religion, if we prefer seeking knowledge and intelligence, then reality appears to us as it is, tragic. But which is better? A truth that removes all hope of immortality yet saves us from losing our life altogether by only living it half alive? or a story that briefly consoles us but makes us waste the only thing we really possess: life here and now?

God was not content with that one prohibition on the forbidden fruit. Ever since, he has revealed himself to us only through taboos. The monotheist religions live exclusively by prescriptions and constraints: things to do and things not to do, say and not to say, think and not to think, perform and not to perform. Forbidden and authorized, licit and illicit, agreed and not agreed: the religious texts abound in existential, dietary, behavioral, ritual, and other codifications.
For obedience can be measured only by proscriptions. The greater their number, the greater our chances of falling into error, the fewer our chances of attaining perfection, the deeper our guilt. And it's a good thing for God- or at least for the clergy who identify with him- to be able to manipulate this powerful psychological tool. Everyone must at all times know that he must always obey, must conform, must do all as he should and as religion demands. Not to behave like Eve but, like Adam, to submit to the will of the only God.

picturebloodbaths 10-14-2009 12:43 PM

its fairly presumptuous of this author to claim to represent the views of atheism as a whole. atheism merely indicates a belief that there is no god, not anything else. I for one, believe that a.) agnosticism/weak atheism is much more rational than atheism, and b.) that atheism does not necessarily indicate a devotion to rationality or reason. i do not believe in a god but that doesn't mean I think that the rationality can reveal the truth about the world. this is really just like a simplistic regurgitation of what nietzsche said, and it ignores about a century of continental philosophy that would support neither God nor rationality as the basis for life/experience.

diggy 10-14-2009 02:20 PM


The author does not understand the Adam & Eve story!!!

It is not a story of knowledge vs. obedience!!!

The author claims this story is the cause of the status of women!!!

This story alone!!!

The author clearly lacks intelligence!!!

Those who are antagonistic towards certain scriptures should not attempt to analyze them when they are blinded by hate and anger.

DrBold241 10-14-2009 11:22 PM

actually he explained it perfectly.
the story IS a metaphor that one should reject seeking greater knowledge but rather submit to the will of "god".

Visionz 10-14-2009 11:53 PM


Monotheism loathes intelligence,
does it really? That assumption alone is completely asinine. I don't have a problem with atheism even if I don't share in the belief that there is no God. Just don't assume that a belief in God someone makes me one who hates rational thought. Broad generalizations certainly won't lift the author above the ideas he's railing against. How rational is it to pigeon hole such a diverse range of people?

diggy 10-15-2009 01:05 AM


Originally Posted by DrBold241 (Post 1713045)
actually he explained it perfectly.
the story IS a metaphor that one should reject seeking greater knowledge but rather submit to the will of "god".

Again, that is NOT the meaning of the story.

BTTR KNG KOOL 10-15-2009 01:06 AM

What is the real meaning of the story then?

diggy 10-15-2009 01:12 AM

A significant portion of the scripture should be read before understanding what it was about. So read and find out.

BTTR KNG KOOL 10-15-2009 01:25 AM

And then what?

Will this somehow make me magically hear your opinion or view on it?

diggy 10-15-2009 01:41 AM


Originally Posted by BTTR KNG KOOL (Post 1713111)
And then what?

Will this somehow make me magically hear your opinion or view on it?

It is NOT about "my opinion or view". It is about reading to find out the truth FOR YOURSELF.

If you read a significant amount of the bible ( the Adam & Eve story and other stories that touch on the same concepts) you should understand (for yourself) what the story is actually about.

^^Was what I typed hard to understand?

BTTR KNG KOOL 10-15-2009 01:53 AM

It is about your opionion because im asking for your opinion. If you dont have an opinion or view on it, it means you just cant answer my question...


diggy 10-15-2009 02:45 AM


Originally Posted by BTTR KNG KOOL (Post 1713126)
It is about your opionion because im asking for your opinion. If you dont have an opinion or view on it, it means you just cant answer my question...


Opinions are not required - only facts. You want an answer to your question? I've already told you where you could find it.

BTTR KNG KOOL 10-15-2009 03:06 AM


Im asking how you see the story.. And if youre not dumb, you understand that when you read it for yourself, you form your own view or opinion concerning the whole thing. Or if you wanna call your view a fact, then so be it. But you should be able to share it, if its in your goddamn head.


Im intresed to find out how you see it. What part of this you dont understand? Cos you obviously must have a view on it since youre capable of saying what its not. Or should i say you must know what it is since youre capable of saying what its not. :frusty:

This is the last response cos i aint gonna play your game anymore. And trust me the game is easy and it sucks. Im off to store, have a good day.

Whatever you have, be it opinions, facts, truths, views.. whatever. This is what im after with my question.

Visionz 10-15-2009 03:18 AM

After silently monitoring these on-going post between yall, I would just like to interject that a real build has to involve the exchanging of ideas. To simply say, "well its out there, go find it" seems counter productive.

What if every question ever brought up here was universally responded to with google.com ? Seems it would be pretty pointless right?

diggy 10-15-2009 04:21 AM




Man could have all of what he wants, with one exception - a certain tree

Man could obey, or disobey - his choice

A test - would they follow the instructions of God and resist the temptations of Satan?

Satan encourages man to disobey God and he does.

He has chosen satan as his master.

He is given another chance.

Live under God's rules and be rewarded.

Live under satan's rule and be punished.

Last chance.

Rejecting intelligence had nothing to do with it.

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