Sunday, March 16, 2008

The atheist delusion.

An appropriate post for Palm Sunday.

Contemporary opponents of religion display a marked lack of interest in the historical record of atheist regimes. In The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason, the American writer Sam Harris argues that religion has been the chief source of violence and oppression in history. He recognises that secular despots such as Stalin and Mao inflicted terror on a grand scale, but maintains the oppression they practised had nothing to do with their ideology of "scientific atheism" - what was wrong with their regimes was that they were tyrannies.

But might there not be a connection between the attempt to eradicate religion and the loss of freedom? It is unlikely that Mao, who launched his assault on the people and culture of Tibet with the slogan "Religion is poison", would have agreed that his atheist world-view had no bearing on his policies. It is true he was worshipped as a semi-divine figure - as Stalin was in the Soviet Union. But in developing these cults, communist Russia and China were not backsliding from atheism. They were demonstrating what happens when atheism becomes a political project. The invariable result is an ersatz religion that can only be maintained by tyrannical means.

4 comments:

admiral burns said...

Much like the fire and brimstone of the Old Testiment God?

Indy Jane said...

Is the Old Testament God not the same God as the New Testament God?

Jim Baxter said...

Consider:
The missing element in every human 'solution' is an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human'determines our view of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and future. Many problems in human experience are the result of false
and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised in man-made religions & humanistic philosophies.

Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe. The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human reason cannot fully function in such a void; thus, the intellect can rise no higher than criteria by which it perceives and measures values.

Humanism makes man his own standard of measure. However, as with all measuring systems, a standard must be greater than the value measured. Based on preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appetites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

Because man, hobbled in an ego- centric predicament, cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or transcendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with fore- sight and vision for progression and survival. Lacking foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and is unwittingly committed to collectivism, mediocrity, averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an unworthy worship.

The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behavior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcendent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philosophies and religions are man-made, humanism, and
thereby lack what only the Bible has:

1.Transcendent Criteria and
2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival equipment for today and the future. Only the Creator, who made us in His own image, is qualified to define us accurately.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique & definitive characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is oriented to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the universe. selah

- from The Season of Generation- Choicemaker

Admiral Burns said...

Looking back at what was originally written here, I think the same could be said of most Theocracies, Christian or otherwise. The failing doesn't come because a government espouses atheisim over religion, it comes because there is a goverment mandate to espouse any philosophy or religion instead of allowing the individual to choose his own beliefs. This is why we have the First Amendment.