Friday, July 25, 2014

Abolition of Man. Is God Dead? Atheism and It's Consequences.

Atheism is assumption  that only what is somehow measurable  and perceivable by senses  or expressed in a mathematical equation really exists. There is nothing of any  different nature. The universe contains only  material changes  in movement and development . All reality therefore must be explained by some sort of material process even if it is very small and  belongs to the level of the subatomic  particles of matter . Atheism does not acknowledge    any mental or spiritual reality. This attitude leads directly to  the reduction of all reality to the level of matter. This is an assumption something dogmatically accepted without any  attempt  to prove the assumption . Atheism does not explain the human personality: the human self,  self-awareness , the human mind  and  the whole phenomenon of man as a conscious, free , evaluating , and searching for truth  human being.
            The central question here  of course is,who or what is man ? Are human beings things or persons. This is a very crucial difference and  any  valid answer to this question  makes  enormous difference in  the whole existential    situation of the human being facing the universe and it’s mysteries.
            In         the modern  technological society of  Europe  or North America human life is pervaded completely by  the products of technological gadgets . In  giant centers of  production, in giant cities and giant country , man are administered and manipulated as if they were things and  the administrators themselves  are transformed into things governed by the laws of things. Man is  manipulated to the degree that he/she  is  schooled what to do every day , what to desire, and what to think. Individual man  has no  personal independent  vision of his/her own. Conformity similar to the behavior  of an inanimate thing is a condition of  survival itself . Man  remains   a manipulated thing  imprisoned  in space-time thrown into an existence for a short time , living  his intrinsic drive towards  empty survival and  carried by time  towards final extinction, because death is an inevitable  end of this absurd thing  defined by Heidegger as  “ being unto death.” Such an existence  on the level of thing-hood  must  in moments of serious reflection appear as tragic absurdity. The language of absurdity is used  by known existential thinkers  like Sartre, Camus , Nietzsche and many of the same bend of mind. Atheism of course is an assumption as  mentioned above and therefore not true.
Why so?.

Because  atheism  has no valid claim that it’s central assumption , that is  the non-existence of God must be true. The only  claim atheists have and  repeat   often is  that God’s existence cannot be  proven beyond any doubt.  This  is so  according to atheists  because it is assumed  again without any valid  reason  that  only  the scientific method  is  the valid way of knowing .  Here lies the contradiction of atheism : It claims  without proving something that is by itself beyond the  scientific method.  When it comes to personal reasons  why some individuals become atheists and sometimes  very belligerent atheists like  Richard Dawkins and his circle, their reasons” are too many  to enumerate here.
            Atheism undermines  the moral values of man . Human beings unlike other  animals have  the awareness  of good and evil  in the area of human choices and actions. The sensitivity   to those values is  conscience. Of course conscience  can exist only in beings endowed  with mind , freedom of choice and ability to evaluate what is  for development of life in all it’s aspects and what is destructive of life. Man  is in this area a kind of contradiction in himself . On one hand he/she is an animal immersed in his/her instinctual and complicated  animality   with  his/her instincts  for  feeding, surviving and procreation. The animal is  essentially a selfish beast and when it comes to  his essential needs  he will attack , kill and destroy in order to satisfy them. This animalistic heritage is fully present in man. It is obvious to any observer  of human behavior that  selfishness , self-adoration and  constant  attempts to subjugate and dominate others  under any pretext is the content of  history of man on this globe.  All exploitation, enslavement , racism  or even mass extermination of thousands of people in the name of some fictitious idol repeats itself   over and over   with deadly  regularity. The picture of our society  deserves  the name  : “A culture of death .” The basis of moral values  and their   supreme importance  comes  from the religious  conviction that  there has been  a revelation of God’s will and  His Holly and  fundamental directions  given to humans  how they should live morally in order to stay on the road to  freely given  eternal life with God.
            An atheist is radically  deprived of   hope  for any kind of   survival after physical death . If man  is nothing more but  a bunch of perceptions, and an accidental byproduct of the forces of matter  then atheism abolishes  human beings. There are no more persons , thinking  and choosing subjects, responsible moral agents  and   searchers for truth.  To some  materialistically  minded  biologists  like Richard Dawkins and others  of the new atheism group,  man is  a small degree  higher ape. The difference is  purely accidental and therefore  it does not matter.
            The prophets of atheism like Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus , all assume that   God is  dead and as Nietzsche mentioned we smell the putrefaction of God. This  is a more and more pervasive smell in most of the Western nations including the United States. The degree of  the change can be  noticed also in the  very language of every day life. Such words which were for centuries the accepted language of philosophers are no more used  in everyday experience . For example words like perfection , forgiveness, soul,  substance, love, innocence  sin, wisdom , authority, novelty, imagination, dignity , friendship , power , spirit , judgment, charity, adultery, obedience, immortality all belong to a language which is dead in our post modernistic existence . The language  is a mirror of how people think, what is  important for them, and what is  accepted in the society. So the language is  denuded of all those values which   represent  the mental , spiritual , moral religious and ultimately rooted in the God orientation, of the whole human existence. But if God is dead  then death is also all  that in any way pointed to Him.  The direct result of  this situation is  complete relativity of all values and  the reduction  of human persons to the level of a thing.  In this life transformed by technology and all kinds of gadgetry man himself/herself becomes an automatic robot. He/she is told by the media  what to think, what is true and what is not true . He/she is  used  by  a great center of production as a tool for bringing through his/her work more  profit for the large companies. He/she does not dare to criticize  the policies of the institution which employs  him/her because the slightest criticism will cost his/her job and perhaps even his/her freedom. The result  of such situation is  an intimidated , unthinking and robot-like society.
The  search for meaning of life is of course  not even mentioned in  such technological way of living. That is why we had the development of the theater of the absurd     pointing out on the stage the all-pervasive  presence  of absurdity. For example Thomas Becket  in his play “Waiting for Godot” depicts two people  waiting for someone who  never appears. Nevertheless  they keep waiting and meantime  do literally nothing  because they don’t see any reason why do this or that.  They are completely passive.
Albert Camus in his play “The Myth of Sisyphus”  shows the repetitious senseless everyday effort leading completely nowhere and therefore  absurd. Sisyphus  is condemned by the gods for some transgression to push   a heavy  boulder  to the top of a mountain . When the  boulder is already up there  it tumbles down and Sisyphus has to push it again to the top. And this  effort  repeated  again and again is the picture of the absurdity of everyday life of the average person . Get up in the morning,  run to work , eight or more hours of work,  back home , dinner, bed and this  tomorrow and tomorrow without end until one gets old, weak, sick and dies.
         In Ionesco’s play “The Chairs,”  an old married  couple is waiting for  a crowd of invited people because the old man  at the end of his life, will deliver  his wisdom of his life to  the public. Many chairs are ready for the guests , the old couple waits. The chairs remain empty, no one  of the invited people appears. They have no time  for such unusual and unknown  word like wisdom . It is a dead word  and it does not belong to the language of the modern  people.
            Atheism is unproved assumption based on the claim that  the existence of God cannot be proved. Why? It is not because there are no valid and cogent arguments for God’s existence but because God  does not belong to the world  of finite material entities which can be somehow  measured,  manipulated and expressed in mathematical formula. God  of course is  a Spirit , Infinite and the Cause of all finite reality. His existence provides intelligibility to the universe, and it’s very existence including man.  In any  valid religion  like Islam, Judaism or Christianity God   reveals His absolute will and His plan for humans, but man remains free to relate to God  positively  or in a negative way and deny the authority of God’s word. Belief in God or  atheism is therefore a choice . The crucial question however is  that a choice may be irrational arbitrary and  deadly to all values and sense of living because it does not have the courage to think toward the absolute Truth.
Suggested Readings:
Flew, Anthony. There is A God, How the World’s most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind,
                                          Harper One, New York: 2007
Polkinghorne, John. Science and  Creation, The Search for Understanding,
New Science   Library,   Shambhala, Boston: (1989)
Strobel, Lee. The Case for A Creator, A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That                         Points Toward God.,Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan ( 1952)

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