Criticism of Cosmicism

Before I go any further, I must confess that what I know about cosmicism is not based on reading H.P. Lovecraft. I simply could not stomach his atrocious writing style, and biting through his supposedly horrifying tales to reach some morale of the story was worse than a chore. Nevertheless, this already gave me some hints as for what to expect.

Not surprisingly, in the Wikipedia entry on cosmicism I found that its essence, as it is widely understood, postulates that, “there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence.” The predominant theme is then “humanity’s fear of their insignificance in the face of an incomprehensibly large universe: a fear of the cosmic void.

As the Wikipedia article explains, “[Lovecraft] embraced a philosophy of cosmic indifferentism. He believed in a meaningless, mechanical, and uncaring universe that human beings, with their naturally limited faculties, could never fully understand. His viewpoint made no allowance for religious beliefs which could not be supported scientifically. The incomprehensible, cosmic forces of his tales have as little regard for humanity as humans have for insects.

Thus, according to a cosmicist, all religions and mythical allegories are just anthropocentric bedtime stories to alleviate said fear, and the true heroes of modern age are the brave, intellectually superior, atheists who regard themselves as humble, because they can withstand the look into the void accepting their human insignificance.

You have probably already spotted the pot calling the kettle black.

Since I’m not here to defend theism (which seems to be the main target of cosmicism), let me make clear that one truly has to throw away one’s senses and all of rational thinking in order to deny that human beings are, so to speak, at the mercy of indifferent, or better said impartial, universe and its natural forces. Universe of which human beings are part and parcel though.

Surely, making human the center of the universe is untenable, even though from a human perspective it definitely appears so. However, what the puffed up cosmicists do not realize, is that they commit a similar, if not the same, error.

Let’s go back to insects.

No doubt, many of these tiny creatures ended their journey as a mess of organic matter on the soles of shoes, but does that make them insignificant? I invite you to research the insignificance of insects by confronting a colony of army ants or a nest of wild wasps or bees. Or better yet, try to remove insects from the food chain and observe the impact of their “insignificance”.

So, it’s clear that only if you consider yourself more important than insects, you can treat them as insignificant. That also implies that that notion of human insignificance stems from a view that there are more significant beings and forces than the human beings themselves.

Not to mention that a notion of “uncaring universe” implies neither human significance nor insignificance. Assuming that it does is just psychological projection at work.

No matter how you look at it, cosmicist view is pure hypocrisy as it is merely a twisted version of anthropocentric worldview rooted in the same biased human hubris as the theistic one — equally untenable, equally shortsighted. But while theists revel in their delusion of utmost self-importance, comicists, ironically operating with a rather limited scientific knowledge, are obviously quite pissed off that science kicked them off of their dominant position at the top of the illusory pyramid constructed by human mind.

Thus, comicists ask why they were manifested into this seemingly hostile, unknowable environment when nobody asked for their consent and their position in their self-professed ignorance (at best) boils down to anger in the face of fear. At worst they go for “honorable” horror or madness.

Truly splendid :D