Also to be called: Does Art Speak to Us, Or Does it Not?
There is a very interesting post over at Strange Notions titled: Detectives of Despair. I want to quickly (because I want to hit the point and I only have a few minutes to pound this out) cut to the chase by posting the key quote from Matthew McConaughey’s character in the show:
“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware; nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self. A secretion of sensory experience and feeling programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody’s nobody. I think the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction—one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”
When I was in the later part of my atheism, the point where I realized its unavoidable materialism (and it is unavoidable) this was exactly my thought. I am not one to avoid the truly disturbing. This is in contrast to the poster, who is typical of his breed, who said in the comments of that post:
Even if we are — so what ? That fact that my life would be happier if I had $1,000,000 in my bank account doesn’t make $1,000,000 appear in my bank account.
But of course we aren’t. Pass me a beer:
Actually, you are. The person before him made the suggestion that a skeptic may be the farthest thing from a potential convert to Christianity. The assumption here is that a skeptic is the same thing as a materialist. That is an unwarranted assumption. Many a people can believe in a god of some kind, or a higher power. A Christian, to be properly so called, requires more than belief in a god or a higher power. So a skeptic is thus vaguely defined. A skeptic in regards to Christianity is not to be classified as an atheist.
But the person I quoted above confesses the despair in his very response. Now, it is no crime to have a beer. I love beer. I love, even, all the nuances and technique that goes into producing the various beers we know. But when you shrug off the very subject that is being discussed by: let’s have a beer – you give away the whole argument.
For that is the way of the modern world. The art is screaming the despair of the futility of the modern mind, its schema, its zeitgeist, its worldview. There is nothing, best choice is to screw it off and gain today. Tomorrow only matters in so far as what you want to gain tomorrow.
But if you can not devolve into the mentality that shrugs off such questions by a mere suggestion to current pleasure then, the problem of the modern mind you will not escape. And I wish I had the time to catalogue the whole litany of evidence right now, to show that much of modern culture is exactly tuned to distract one from the sheer pointlessness of modern culture and belief.
Does not art talk to us? It is a reflection or it is gibberish. It may be a reflection of a tiny facet. It may be a sweeping generalization that grasps every man in its sway. Obviously the quote from True Detective is only apparent to the person who can withstand seeing what that character sees. And it is there. But for some people they think the answer is:
Pass me a beer
And they concede in full.