Sunday, 3 March 2019

On the Theology of the Atheists

In the last 250 years, there has not been a single atheistic movement that has not developed its own theology. In the 18th century, the French Revolutionaries had their “cult of reason” and “cult of supreme being”; in 19th century, Auguste Comte’s Positivists had their “religion of humanity”; in the 20th century, the Soviet Communists had their own Marxist theology and communist gods.

The atheist thinkers know that theological philosophy cannot be obliterated because it is a basic human need—so they operate by replacing religious theology with their own secular theology. The Marxist scholar Harold J. Laski offers a theological view of Soviet communism in his 1944 book Faith, Reason, and Civilization: An Essay in Historical Analysis. He talks about the Russian project for building a godless communist heaven which is better than any religion because it will bring salvation to the masses in this life itself. Here are some excerpts from his book:

"The power of any supernatural religion to build that tradition has gone; the deposit of scientific enquiry since Descartes has been fatal to its authority. It is therefore difficult to see upon what basis the civilised tradition can be rebuilt save that upon which the idea of the Russian Revolution is founded. It corresponds, its supernatural basis apart, pretty exactly to the mental climate in which Christianity became the official religion of the West." (Page 54)

"It is, indeed, true in a sense to argue that the Russian principle cuts deeper than the Christian, since it seeks salvation for the masses by fulfillment in this life, and, thereby, orders anew the actual world we know." (Page 155)

"Lenin was surely right when the end he sought for was to build his heaven upon earth and to write the precepts of its faith into the inner fabric of a universal humanity. He was surely right, too, when he recognised that the prelude to peace is a war, and that it is futile to suppose that the tradition of countless generations can be changed, as it were, overnight." (Page 200)

In the 1930s, Laski visited the Soviet Union and he was allowed by Josef Stalin to visit some model prisons. Laski was not shocked by prisoners having their teeth smashed out with iron bars. He reported back: “Basically, I did not observe much of a difference between the general character of a trial in Russia and in this country.” Laski was a communist theologist, and Stalin was his God—he could not see anything wrong in the actions of his God.

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