Contriving My Conscience Away

The heart is deceitful above all things.

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning - the Christian meaning, they insisted - of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever.” - Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

This quote by Huxley has interested me for a long time because it is entirely consistent with my own experience when engaging with assertive atheists. I have found that it is a rare thing to encounter militant atheism without there being a corresponding, pre-existing intent to disbelieve; said intent being an artifact of their desire to do away with any moral prohibition against some appetite or inclination.

We are all very very good at contriving to relieve ourselves of the pangs of conscience.

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