Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Monday, November 15, 2010

Post-theism and non-theism: Refreshing alternatives

The excerpt from Wikipedia below is a succinct summation of why I refuse to identify as an atheist even though lots of my peers with whom I share worldviews do identify that way—or at least seem to.

This has been partially inspired because I've recently joined a certain social network with the explicit goal of connecting with other queer and transgendered folks. Many of them are sharp-witted kids who can wax some sweet poetics on gender studies, queer theory, and postmodernism in general. You'd think they'd be accepting of other people's beliefs, right? But actually, lately I've seen a lot of really hurtful, anti-Christian stuff posted. And some of it is even kind of triggering. I guess I've been feeling disappointed - and distanced from a group that I have found such deep, personal solidarity with. I guess it's my problem for assuming queers are socially liberal. Eh.. you live, you learn. I digress.

Anyhow, I disagree that the logical conclusion of the juxtaposition of "our" liberal, pro-queer culture with conservative, religious fundamentalist culture is that liberals should choose to "be atheist". To do so, IMO is to use "atheism" as an aegis for political (and also interpersonal/emotional) motives. The atheist-theist binary sucks, and that's an understatement. (It's non-binary identities all the way down, folks!) Modern “explicit atheism” —stoked by showcasing "neo-atheists" like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet in pop-culture science mags— is steadily sucking young, intelligent people into its ranks. Dawkins, Dennet, Pinker et al. are scientists, and reductionist ones at that. I actually really like Dawkins and appreciate his work in the realm of evolutionary biology. But they're not scholars of religious studies or theologians (and FYI, theologians can be agnostic or non-theist!) —and the fact that most of the neo-atheists think that the field of religious studies is "dead in the water" is a pretty good indicator to me that I'm going to have to ignore the stuff they say about religion.

Post-theism is a variant of nontheism that proposes to have not so much rejected theism as rendered it obsolete, that God belongs to a stage of human development now past. Within nontheism, post-theism can be contrasted with antitheism. The term appears in Christian liberal theology and Postchristianity.

Frank Hugh Foster in a 1918 lecture announced that modern culture had arrived at a "post-theistic stage" in which humanity has taken possession of the powers of agency and creativity that had formerly been projected upon God.[1] Post-theism thus recognizes the point made by criticism of atheism that atheism may lead to moral defect, but at the same time asserts that the only reason for theism is the prevention of such defects, and that once nontheistic morality has reached maturity, theism has fulfilled its function and may be discarded.

Denys Turner argues that Karl Marx did not choose atheism over theism, but rejected the binary "Feuerbachian" choice altogether, a position which by being post-theistic is at the same time necessarily post-atheistic.[2]

Related ideas include Friedrich Nietzsche's pronouncement that "God is dead", and less pessimistically, the transtheism of Paul Tillich or Pema Chödrön.



FPP LLC said...

I deeply appreciate the intelligence and sensitivity you bring to your readers. It is, I believe, a sign of individuation when we realize that human beings are all prone to thoughtless hate speech at times. As you found, even those with whom you find much in common have let you down with their anti-christian talk. I have a personal aversion and intolerance for the intolerant, and realizing the irony makes me a more cautious fellow.
As for my personal spirituality, I am known as a Wiccan to those who have earned my trust, but I am usually in favor of publicly separating religion from spirituality, and I insist that ALL religions are human inventions. Even my own. My religion is the expression of my sub-conscious mind as it interacts with the Divine. I can't put the ocean into a cup, and I cannot put the Divine into words. As Black Elk said, "Some Things Are Not For Words." There are clearly active and passive energies in the universe, so I call them god AND goddess. Male AND female. To place so much importance in the single word "God" forces a dualistic argument to arise. I believe in what I have investigated and experienced. Dogama is just a brochure along the journey... Let's see what's around the bend!

the faun said...

Hi there! Thank you for the heartfelt comment. What you've said resonates with me. Although I have not been writing much about my personal theological journey lately, I share a position similar to you: To me it seems that religions are the "edifices" that have been constructed, by many people over many generations, around moments, droplets, of magic, communion and transcendental unity. The magic is quite often hidden: cloaked under many layers of construction and renovation. And how are we, who are alive and *becoming* today, supposed to find our way to that magic? It is near impossible for many—There is little guidance in that respect, in our society. There are no vision quests. I kind of consider myself a postmodern-mystic/process theologian, but from what I have observed of Wiccan thinking is that it similarly embraces an open-ended reverence for mystery.

I love Black Elk. Yes, I agree. What we call God or the Divine, I believe, is beyond dichotomies, binaries,and being and non-being.

Thanks again for the input... hope you'll stick around! :)