Scary stuff, I thought – and not only because I’m a woopsie myself. My status as a homosexual is largely academic: I live a celibate life, and have been for quite a while, but I take an essentialist view on this: to paraphrase Sartre, I am a homo because Qwelane looks at me…
The point of this is that I’ve decided to advocate for a strong secularism. The more I look around me, the more I am struck by the horror unleashed by the pathological projections unleashed on humankind in the name of patriotism, nationalism, ideology, religion, God, and so on and so on ad infinitum. Let us kill our gods. Let us embrace our loneliness in this cosmos as a blessing rather than as something to be covered up by primitive fears and their romanticised constructs.
I’m not pushing for some blind embrace of ignorance dressed up as apathy. One should only do this by knowing the enemy. In that spirit, I’ve thought of a quick reading list for the uninitiated, or the mildly interested. Here are four books:
- Charles Freeman’s “The closing of the Western mind: the rise of faith and the fall of reason”;
- Peter Watson’s “Ideas: a history of thought and invention, from fire to Freud”;
- Peter Watson’s “A terrible beauty: the people and ideas that shaped the modern mind”, and
- Richard Dawkins’s “The God delusion”
I sit back and I reread all of this and I can’t help but wonder whether I’ll burn in hell.