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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » Atheism » Atheism & human freedom

Atheism & human freedom

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1Atheism & human freedom Empty Atheism & human freedom on Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:22 am

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Atheism & human freedom

http://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2794-atheism-human-freedom

Atheism offers a more liberating philosophy, since its rejection of the existence and authority of God removes an irksome restraint on personal autonomy. 1  As many secular liberals see it, an accidental universe, without any ultimate meaning or purpose, is preferable to a God-centred one, since it seems to allow human beings greater scope for choosing their own values and charting their own course.  That, at any rate, was the view of Aldous Huxley, and it was shared by many other prominent writers of his time and continues to characterise current liberal attitudes. Explaining, on one occasion, what lay behind his atheism and that of so many other 20th century leftist intellectuals, Huxley confessed:

I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning, consequently assumed it had none… For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was … liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.

Countless atheists have affirmed their conviction that religious belief is rooted in fear, insecurity, and the worship of power. 3

In a lecture on ‘Why I am not a Christian’, delivered in 1927 to the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, Russell concluded:
The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings.

These words, spoken over 70 years ago, remain an accurate reflection of contemporary theophobia. For many people, belief in God is associated with irrationality, life-hating asceticism, and intolerant fanaticism. To be a Christian, they think, involves a soul-destroying surrender of one’s whole being to a cosmic tyrant whose chief claim on our obedience is that he is all-powerful and will destroy us if we reject him. Not only is this idea repugnant; it is the evil root of all religious persecution because it denies the legitimacy of freedom of conscience.

The worship of God has been associated with hatred, intolerance and the abuse of power. The horrors of the Inquisition, the witch-hunting crazes of the 16th and 17th centuries, the ‘wars of religion’, anti-semitic pogroms – all are grim examples of the crimes committed in God’s name by those claiming to be His followers.

Without God, there is no limit fixed to the ever renewed and restless deployment of human freedom. A limitless exercise of freedom is the meaning of atheism when one actually lives by the thought that there is no God. Peerless are the writings of Dostoevski in portraying this consequence of the foolish thoughts of men's hearts. He poured scorn upon the parlor atheists of his day, who, under French influence as they believed, were setting about to remake the world more nearly to their hearts' desire. He alone among them, Dostoevski believed, really understood the meaning of a vital atheism, for his hosanna of faith had burst forth from a huge furnace of doubt, doubt lived to the hilt in his passionate thought. The atheists were only not enough alive to the unavoidable meaning of the idea of God's non-existence. 2

Can we be free without God? I leave the word with one of the noblest figures in the history of liberty, the great 19th century Italian liberal, Joseph Mazzini:

If there be not a Supreme Mind reigning over all human minds, who can save us from the tyranny of our fellow men, whenever they find themselves stronger than we? If there be not a holy and inviolable law, not created by men, what rule have we by which to judge whether an act is just or unjust? In the name of whom, in the name of what, shall we protest against oppression and inequality? Without God there is no other sovereign than Fact; Fact before which the materialists ever bow themselves, whether its name be Revolution or [Napoleon] Buonaparte. (The Duties of Man)

If there is no God, there are no objective moral values, since they are prescribed " ought to be's".
If there is no God, then moral values are just a matter of personal opinion, and as such, no objectively or universally valid at all.
If that is the case, unbelievers have no moral standard to judge anything as morally good or bad.
Therefore, in order to criticise God, they need to borrow from the theistic worldview, and as such, their criticism is self-contradicting and invalid.
Even IF they could make a case to criticise Gods choices, that would not refute his existence.

Atheism is an idea that doesn’t matter. It leads to no good, it helps no one and it tends to either universal anarchy and chaos or totalitarian despotism. Atheism is cancer no matter how you try and sugar coat it. The only manifestation of atheism in state power is totalitarianism. No exceptions. For two centuries-- from 1789-- every atheist philosophy that has risen to power has brought hell to earth among the people under its boot. Atheist 'secular humanism' has one salient characteristic-- it never survives the rise of atheism. What begins with an edited Jefferson always ends with a pockmarked Caligula. Atheism in power has always been totalitarian.

1. https://www.bethinking.org/morality/god-and-liberty
2. http://sci-hub.tw/https://www.jstor.org/stable/1199955?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
3. https://www.bethinking.org/atheism/420-can-we-be-free-without-god

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