jottings from tertius
views of the world from my worldview window
"If there was no God, there would be no atheists." G.K. Chesterton
SITES OF NOTE
Tektonics Apologetics Ministry
The Adarwinist reader
Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
Mike Gene Teleologic
Errant Skeptics Research Institute
Stephen Jones' CreationEvolutionDesign
Touchstone: a journal of mere Christianity: mere comments
The Secularist Critique: Deconstructing secularism
Ex-atheist.com: I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday
imago veritatis by Alan Myatt
Solid Rock Ministries
The Internet Monk: a webjournal by Michael Spencer
The Sydney Line: the website of Keith Windschuttle
Miranda Devine's writings in the Sydney Morning Herald
David Horowitz frontpage magazine
Thoughts of a 21st century Christian Philosopher
Steven Lovell's philosophical themes from C.S.Lewis
Peter S. Williams Christian philosophy and apologetics
Shandon L. Guthrie
Clayton Cramer's Blog
Andrew Bolt columns
Ann Coulter columns
"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton
"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton
"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis
"I blog, therefore I am." Anon
Sunday, October 12, 2003
"a boot stomping upon a human face... forever."
The myth that Communism is only an economic/political ideology that has nothing to do with atheism
In the atheist weltanschauung Christianity is the fount of all the world's evil; oppression, repression, genocide, brutality, hate, poverty, bad hair days are all God's fault, or at least religion's fault. This cock-eyed view of history has the status of "fact"with most militant atheists, a dogma that is accepted without question. As with all dogmas, anyone who dissents from this party line is immediately cast in to outer darkness, vilified, abused, insulted, persecuted - and categorised as a "non-person". The non-person's destiny is the Gulag, or, if he's not so "lucky", the oven. Christianity has its hell as the final destination of "the wicked" - a spiritual destination. The dogmatic atheist, when he wields power, creates hell on earth, here and now, for those "too wicked or to stupid" to accept the atheist utopia.
The creation [or is that evolution?] of history's greatest hell on earth can be laid at the feet of one particular ideology - Marxism. Whether the killing fields have been in Kampuchea, the former Soviet Union or China, this ideology has been nourished by human suffering and fertilised by the blood and bones of millions of human beings. This is saying a lot, in a world that has witnessed in one bloody century - the twentieth - more carnage, more destruction, more upheaval than in the rest of history combined at the hands of brutally efficient, technologically advanced but morally deficient totalitarian killing machines.
[As an aside let it be stated that Islamic terrorists learnt their skills both from the Nazis and more particularly the Communists and other Marxist revolutionary groups. Their religion gave them zeal, but Marxist gave them the means, just as foolish Western governments gave them the technology to wreak havoc and destruction.]
And yet in spite of all this, most atheists adamantly assert that, and I quote, "Communism is an economic/ political ideology that has nothing to do with atheism".
This is a myth.
Communism is indeed an economic/political ideology, but it has everything to do with both atheism and materialism, the two key doctrines of all secular Western deniers of God.
I would still be tempted to give the atheist who makes this statement the benefit of the doubt were it not for one important and unavoidable fact: the historical self-proclaimed and official creed of the Soviet Union was scientific materialism. This is exactly how the regime categorised itself. This term was used in conjunction with another popular Soviet term scientific atheism and indeed they can be regarded as synonymous. A check of any relevant historical sources will confirm this. I can agree with the atheist ideologue that Soviet communism was a form of "politically motivated atheism" - (in contrast to "pure" atheism?) but let's not lose sight of Marxism's own worldview boasts.
Marxist-Leninist theory rejected religion and bourgeois morality as the basis for its new social order, which was to be constructed on principles of - guess what - "scientific materialism." This view of scientific materialism is a cornerstone of Marxist thought and the basis of all Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Communist ideology. Thus it also applies to Communist China, Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba and all other socialist utopias. By all means complain of the abuse or misapplication of science for political and ideological ends - I do, and that is why I criticise Darwinian thinking - but one shouldn't advertise one's ignorance of historical facts by denying that Communist regimes have consistently appealed to science to validate their ideological hold on people. And yes, of course, regimes have also never been lax to invoke God, religion and fatherland to win the hearts and minds of the people. In that much we can all agree.
In response to the claim that Soviet atheism was only "politically motivated" (of course it was politically motivated!) consider these words of Lenin himself:
The founders of historical and dialectical Marxism... in their works... formulated the fundamental principles of proletarian atheism as an inseparable part of the scientifical world outlook of the party of the working-class.
And this from an official Communist publication:
The study of scientific atheism proves that it is an undetachable aspect of Marxist world outlook.
A key feature of Marxist/Leninist polemic is antipathy towards theism in general and Christianity in particular. Soviet ideology was always atheistic and always considered the two systems as rivals.
Some atheist apologists, in their desire to distance themselves from totalitarianism, go so far as to suggest that the term "scientific atheism" is a "nonsense phrase", somehow abusive to both science and atheism. Yet it is a term that has a long provenance dating back to the nineteenth century. Its use in the former Soviet Union was ubiquitous, and as such the term can be found in numerous Soviet documents and publications. One may not like the use of it but there can be no denying its existence. There are even scholarly books about the topic that includes this "nonsense phrase" in their titles e.g. "Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism and the Study of Religion and Atheism in the USSR" by James Thrower (Mouton de Gruyter, 1983).
Lenin stated, in words most atheists would endorse, that "every idea of God is unutterable vileness". Marx himself was a militant atheist long before he proposed his Communist manifesto. Subsequent Soviet Marxist-Leninism did not deviate from its founders' attitude toward God or religion.
The officially published "Atheist's Handbook" declared:
The Communist Party has always taken and continues to take a position of militant atheism and of an implacable aggressive ideological struggle against religious befuddlement.
This was done through a number of State organisations such as the Council of Religious Affairs, the Central House of Scientific Atheism, the Institute for Scientific Atheism and in official publications such as "Science and Religion". No honest investigator can seriously deny that the doctrine of atheism played a central role in Communist ideology. Only with the advent of glasnost and perestroika did the Soviet Union taken a less aggressive stance toward religion, and only with the downfall of Communism in 1991 did some real measure of religious freedom appear. Until that time all university students in the Soviet Union had to take a compulsory course on - guess what? - "scientific atheism". "Scientific atheism" classes were also routinely given in schools.
Even today there is an organisation, known as the Moscow Atheistic Society (ATOM) consisting of "numerous academicians of the Russian Science Academy (R.A.N.), professors and doctors of sciences" that operates a website called - Scientific Atheism. It just will not do to pretend that there is no necessary link between science, atheism and materialism in Marxist thought.
The following sentences are from the book "The Scientifical Atheism" by the Institute of Scientifical Atheism of the Academy of Social Sciences of the USSR, adjoint to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR. It was used for years as a handbook for the Marxist formation of University students. Its Czech translation became a textbook for the Marxist formation of the members of the Czech Communist Party:
Atheism and struggle against religion are considered a constitutive element of the formation and activity of a good communist" (p. 7). "Marxist atheism is a combative atheism it is a consequent doctrine of party"(p. 16). "The Central Committee of the CPSU approved in the latest years several resolutions in which there were shown practical measures for the improvement of the system of atheist education (p. 23).
Reconsider the opening paragraph of the chapter entitled "Conclusions," in this official Communist handbook: "The study of scientific atheism proves that it is an undetachable aspect of Marxist world outlook".
In An Atheist History of Religions by A. Kryvelev, from the same publishers, we find:
Marxism-Leninism [is] opposed to religion, and particularly to Christianism, a harmonious and consequent system of scientific- materialistic opinions, totally atheist and without shady compromises with religion ( p. 125).
On page 54 of Program of the Communist International, we read:
One of the most important tasks of the cultural revolution, which affects the masses, is the way to combat systematically and implacably religion, the opium of people.... While the proletarian estate grants the liberty of cults, abolishes the privileged position of the formerly commanding religion,continues the antirreligious propaganda with all means, and rebuilds the whole of its educational enterprise on the basis of a scientifical
To sum up, hear the words of L. W. Mitrokhin, writing in Free Inquiry , Winter 1990/91:
"At the time (by 1939) the official postulate was proclaimed: `The USSR is a country of mass atheism,' and harassment of believers was encouraged. A popular slogan was `The struggle against religion is the struggle for socialism.'"
I understand that most contemporary atheists wish to distance themselves from the scientific atheism and scientific materialism of Marxist dictatorships, that many of them do indeed cherish democracy and freedom, and reject totalitarianism. But there still remain many spokesmen for both atheism and Darwinianism who evoke visions of a dystopian nightmare of totalitarian thought control and social engineering a la 1984 or Brave New World with their diatribes against the "meme" and the "virus" of religion that must be eradicated from among humankind at all cost.
Ideas have consequences. Ideology does not exist in a vacuum. Many atheists see themselves as (and are) "good" and "decent", "humane" and "ethical" individuals yet, ironically, the ideology they espouse with such militant and dogmatic enthusiasm is, at bottom, inhumane, unethical and evil. An anti-human ideology.
The Christian religion has been abused and misused to boslter and justify all kinds of immoral, corrupt and evil causes. That something so essentially good can so often produce such bad fruit is a profound tragedy. The tragedy of materialism and atheism is that they are rotten at the core, and no amount of good intentions or noble gestures can save them from being always and in all places ultimately anti-human. In the atheist tragedy there can never be any hope of justice or a happy ending, only the Orwellian vision of "a boot stomping upon a human face... forever."