Let me start this by saying that I don’t want any religious arguments here, this isn’t a religious blog. Discussing things in a civil manner, however, is a good thing. Let me also say that I am an atheist — but I feel that people have the right to believe whatever they want to believe, as long as it does not infringe upon the freedoms of others.
OK, disclaimer done.
I noticed an interesting question today at Yahoo! Answers:
As an Atheist, I’ve always wondered how this might be relevant to our modern society and perhaps attempts to “turn back the clock.” I’ll stat with a quote from Call of Cthulhu:
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
Given the fact that Call of Cthulhu contains enough elements (and was acknowledged as such by Lovecraft, who was an atheist) to serve as a representation of being confronted with the psychological implications of our ultimate importance to the universe in the face of Atheism, I have recently begun to wonder if the current trends toward fundamentalism in religion worldwide is actually a reactionary movement to learning things about our universe that make us feel insignificant, powerless, and ultimately unimportant.
I, too, see a correlation between Lovecraft’s fiction and atheism. Finding out that ancient gods used to rule the Earth, and that someday they will return, drives many characters insane in Lovecraftian fiction. I can see how discovering that there is no god, no heaven, no one up there looking out for you, could do the same in real life.
My hypothesis is that Lovecraftian fiction tends to attract atheists and agnostics — at the very least, people with a very open mind and who tend more to be persuaded by evidence rather than “faith”.
Am I correct? Let’s do an anonymous poll! And, please, comment below with your thoughts.