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
blogs4God
The Adarwinist reader
Bede's Library: the Alliance of Faith and Reason
A Christian Thinktank
Doxa:Christian theology and apologetics
He Lives
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
one-eighty
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




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"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


Monday, January 24, 2005

utopia is nowhere but its victims are everywhere

 
When science becomes religion: a cautionary tale about utopian folly

Socialism is man’s most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine about how life ought to be lived that claim[s] grounding in science rather than revelation.
Joshua Muravchik Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

Richard Kimball writes:
It is significant that the socialist mentality is usually also an atheistic mentality, where atheism is understood not so much as the disbelief in God as the hatred of God — an attitude as precarious logically as it has been destructive in practice. There is an important sense in which religion as traditionally understood reconciles humanity to imperfection and to failure. Since the socialist sets out to abolish failure, traditional religion is worse than de trop: it is an impediment to perfection. ("Criticism of religion," Marx said, "is the prelude to all criticism.")

It is one of the great ironies of modern history that socialism, which promises a more humane, caring, and equitable society, has consistently delivered a more oppressive and mismanaged one. Socialism’s motto... turns out to be: "If you build it, they will leave."

If, one must add, they are allowed to leave...[E]ncouraging dissent is never high on a socialist’s agenda. The socialist pretends to have glimpsed paradise on earth. Those who decline the invitation to embrace the vision are not just ungrateful: they are traitors to the cause of human perfection. Dissent is therefore not mere disagreement but treachery. Treachery is properly met not with arguments but (as circumstances permit) the guillotine, the concentration camp, the purge.

...[T]he socialist dream... with clocklike regularity becomes a nightmare. If...socialism was the most popular political idea ever invented, it is also undoubtedly the bloodiest. Of course, many who profess socialism are decent and humane people. And it is worth noting that socialism comes in mild as well as tyrannical versions... Nevertheless, "regimes calling themselves socialist have murdered more than one hundred million people since 1917". Why? Why is it that "the more dogged the effort to achieve" the announced goals of socialism, "the more the outcome mocked the human ideals it proclaimed?" And why is it that conservatives, who by and large have agreed with Samuel Johnson that "A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization", have regularly been demonized as uncaring brutes?

A large part of the answer lies in the intellectual dynamics of utopianism. "Utopia" is Greek for "nowhere": a made-up word for a make-believe place. The search for nowhere inevitably deprecates any and every "somewhere." Socialism, which is based on incorrigible optimism about human nature, is a species of utopianism. It experiences the friction of reality as an intolerable brake on its expectations. "Utopians," the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski observed in "The Death of Utopia Reconsidered," "once they attempt to convert their visions into practical proposals, come up with the most malignant project ever devised: they want to institutionalize fraternity, which is the surest way to totalitarian despotism.
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5:44:00 pm