Friday, December 21, 2007

Atheism vs.Faith

Eric, over at Beyond Assumptions has written a fine essay on his views of aggressive atheists, like Richard Dawkins, from his perspective as a Jew who is thinking deeply about his faith I recommend it highly - it is very thoughtful, and a good read. One point struck me:

What do most atheists turn to once they get rid of all the so-called superstition from their lives? For all the ones that turn to science, there are also those who turn to politics and theorists. They turn to the likes of Foucault and Derrida, proclaiming them as their new gods of reality. They turn to feminism and Marxism. Everything is a social construct don’t you know. My identity is caught up in the stream of society, writing upon me and shaping me. Oh me, oh my; I’m a slave, I’m oppressed, the dominant culture is effacing my real self, the dominant culture is forging me a new real self, I’m nothing but a forgery. Autonomy is a mere illusion.

And what do conservative types who stop believing in God tend to turn to? Neo-Nazism, of course, chalk full of racist ritual that does a white body good. I suppose some of them also become Lefties as they abandon their religious values.

A few might also turn to Libertarianism, of course. Others will turn to whatever other “ism” looks fairly kosher this week. But what becomes quickly apparent is the “isms” still exist without religion. They turn away from God only to worship the secular theology of Racism, Sexism, and Classism, the holy trinity of Progressive politics that offers the real explanation of what is going in the world beyond what we see with our own eyes (because you know its all invisible of course, hard to see unless you have the true faith, sort of like the way God works in the world).

I couldn't have said it better. I find my Christian teachings on morality, life, injustice and suffering far deeper, and far more humane than any of the modern "religions."


Jennifer F. said...

Wow, very interesting. Thanks for linking to this.

rorybowman said...

Ideology and religion are, I think, pretty interchangeable from a psychological point of view. Are you familiar with Eric Hoffer and his 1951 book The True Believer? Subtitled "Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements," my memory of it was that it posits emptiness and a lack of self-worth as critical to the emergence of mass ideology, and can be applied equally well to a variety of such movements. A working-class guy with no clear niche or label, I found his stuff pretty digestible and sensible when I read it years ago in high school.

Ideology can be every bit as fanatical as religion, and it is no accident that so many addicts find their new comfort and community within evangelical churches: both are initially very accepting and uncritical cultures, eager for more recruits.