[FoRK] Re: theism & atheism

Russell Turpin < deafbox at hotmail.com > on > Wed Nov 22 16:39:29 PST 2006

Malcolm Greenshields <greenshields at uleth.ca>:
>I have always thought that two of the most violent and destructive 
>movements of the past century, Nazism and the various Eastern versions of 
>Marxism, were generally considered atheistic if not antireligious;certainly 
>their most enthusiastic members thought of themselves that way. Much of the 
>opposition to them was distinctly religious. While this datum does not 
>necessarily bear on the intrinsic merits of atheist and theist positions, 
>it certainly suggests that religion as a source of so many ills may be 
>overdrawn.

Two comments. "Atheism" indicates a rejection of ideologies that have
supernatural elements. But in part, what you are observing is a battle
against totalizing ideologies, whether or not they have a supernatural
component. Marxism didn't have a traditional god, but as an ideology,
it acted much like a religion, complete with a scripture, a march of
History resulting in a Final End for man, the promise that man would
be transformed along the way, and the opportunity for individuals to
participate in that march. "Sin" became "false consciousness" that
prevented that participation.

Second, your comments are historically inaccurate with regard to
Naziism. There were elements of it that were pagan rather than
Christian, but Naziism viewed religion as essential.

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