The nuts and bolts of atheism: a sagacious scrutiny cum critique into its notoriety, oddity and nihility.
According to the second Vatican council document “church in the modern world” article 19 ”atheismus integer consideratus Non est quid originarium” meaning that atheism taken as a whole is not present in the mind of man from the start. Various things like a critical reaction against religion cause it. This help people of the religion reacted against to sit up; maybe look into their religions moral and social life and see whether it reveals the true nature of God and of their religion.
The modern civilization being so engrossed in the concerns of this world also aggravate atheism whence self – affluence will alienate man from God as Karl Marx said that improvement in economic social life will lead to the death of God. It opens the mind of the religious person who now knows that materialism is opposed to holiness. As a result he will control his quest for material things putting into consideration the ephemerality and evanescence of material things. He will rather give supremacy to the spirit (his soul) than to matter (possessions).
There is theism in an atheist since all humans are hermeholiontic we are all on the way to the rational or existential conviction of God’s existence at least by participating in the enterprise of seeking the rational behind theism. One can say that all talk of God but while some do so positively others negatively, and for this very reason we are by the virtue of rational commitment all are theist. Theism as such posits atheism, as Allan Richardson pointed, “Atheism possesses no independent existence”. As Karl Ralner in this light will always say that the act of denying God’s existence thematically is affirming him unthematically.
According to the church only inculpable atheism is pardonable. And atheism must be countered both by presenting true teaching in a fitting manner and by full complete life of the church. But inasmuch as the church rejects atheism she deplores discrimination between believers and non-believers rather she invites atheists to weigh the merits of the gospel of Christ with an open mind.
The atheists hold that after millennia of trying to provide arguments for the existence of God, all theologians and philosophers have been able to produce are clear logical fallacies. No credible evidence for it is of course impossible to prove conclusively that Gods don’t exist just like in the case of the Easter bunny, invisible pink unicorn don’t exist. However it is irrational to believe in fanciful creatures for which there is no evidence but a question in search of attention is: do they mean that medieval epoch was a failure and do they mean that study of theology has been fruitless? The medieval epoch thinkers talked, studied and thought just God and to this effect it came to be known today as the theocentric era, a period philosopher were sick with God what I call a God-infected period of philosophy and without this period of philosophical enterprise one cannot say there is a complete philosophy.
What is the empirical evidence as they also too look for; to prove that they are atheist? How are we sure they are not in mind theist but in book atheist. David Hume once said he is a philosopher as long as he sits on his reading table. If they are looking for practical evidence they should also provide to prove they are pure atheist. As John Mason will put it, believing is seeing in the case of God and not seeing is believing.
Another argument, which they bring up, is the argument from evil going back to Epicurus that there is God yet evil exists on the earth he created. But an earthly (character with imperfection) paradise with no evil renders man a robot in God’s hands. However can man exercise his freewill and more so there would be no occasion to build our moral character? How do we know that man is of good moral character if not tempted by some occasions? The very issue of the existence of evil presupposes that there will be a being without evils that is all –good. Worthy of note Epicureans most commonly regarded as atheists did not reject the gods as nonexistent, but taught that men should not fear them and that moral standards must be derived from considerations of human welfare and happiness and not from the alleged decrease of divine beings.
Feuerbach holds that the proof for God’s existence is that of man and not God, in response to him, at least there is a higher being and how possible is it for a being to feel he is higher than itself, could this statement be termed non sequitur, I think your guess is as good as mine. He also held that it was man who created God. He denies the existence of a creator (God) in one sense and affirms in another sense following this view there is God but he is below, he is within reach. Is this not a whole bunch of contradictions? Because the law of non-contradiction holds that a thing can either be ‘A’ or ‘B’.
For Karl Marx proof for God’s existence is only explaining man’s quest or belief in higher beings even though such beings don’t exist. But why should this belief be evident in all cultures, there exist different conceptions of God, gods, goddess, demons, spirit etc right from the ancient epoch man has been generally believed to be from a force beyond: the Theos of Plato, the unmoved mover of Aristotle, the Nous, the one of Plotinus. In African traditional religion thunder is seen to be the expression of god’s anger.
The only word for Freud is that he never denied God rather he supported Jesus in saying that, only when we become like children, can we qualify to enter the kingdom of God. For Santayana if he agrees that God is a perfect being then can a perfect being lack the quality of being since perfection is a possession of that which is? The mega million question left unanswered is’ why is the being perfect since there is a lack? Therefore God possess existence as one of the things that makes him a perfect being. I feel so sorry for Santayana in his small world of ignoramus.
Following others who hold that God holds back man’s freedom. Is it not man’s freewill that is responsible for moral evil in the world? For the logical positivist if non-verifiable propositions are meaningless then logical positivism is meaningless because it lacks empirical verifiability, but if its propositions are true then God’s existence is true. But is empirical verification the only way of authenticating knowledge. This is some form of Bishop Berkeley’s to be is to be perceived philosophy.
For Nietzsche the problem of the Hebrew conception is a problem of individual imperfect conception of God which is common in all corners of knowledge the particular person or group hold an idea of a being studied.
A question very vital is that why are the majority of these arguments directed against the Christian concept of God and excludes other possible Gods. Is this not prejudice or bias? In the West is very conspicuous that atheism is the doctrine of the non-existence of Christian God evident in Marx, Feuerbach, and Nietzsche etc. Atheism in the Greco-Roman antiquity was directed against the prevailing civil religions or the popular polytheistic superstitions of the masses. Alongside a proliferation of magical and superstitions creeds and rites, there actually developed among the stoics a purer and more confined notion of a supreme “deity.
Why the attack on a particular God? Atheism as such projects positive disbelief rather than mere suspending of belief. So one may be an atheist to one God and theist to the other, may be thus is the case of our so-called atheists.
Any philosophy echelon will attest to the fact that metaphysics as a facet of philosophy is indispensable. And as a condutio sine qua non (condition we cannot do without) its basic preoccupation as the name denotes is that beyond the physical. This automatically includes God and all that lacks empirical verifiability.
According to B.M. Bonansa in line with the church that, there is not present in the mind of man from the start anything like atheism taken as a whole. He holds that none of these atheists are thorough –going atheist as they claim they are what one may call lip service fans. For instance Nietzsche only fought the God that Western civilization has incarnated and in many area truncated by imperialism, capitalism socio-political chauvinism etc. and to the height of it all Jean-Paul Sartre after his long celebrated atheistic adventure requested for Christian burial at the end of his atheistic life. The collapse of the offspring of dialectical materialism, the Marxian communistic atheism of the USSR and Eastern Europe is another indication of the vacuousness and ineffectuality of a sustainable atheism.
For the materialist atheism matter is responsible for the coming into existence of whatever exists in the universe through its dialectical force. Have they not turned matter into God? Yet there is no God. It then means eating what they have vomited. What they deny in one hand they accepted in another way.
Another argument of the atheists is that since God is a benevolent God who rewards believers and damns non-believers such a God would want everyone to be a believer yet he can’t do it. Also if he is omnipotent he should easily convince the nonbelievers to believe. It then follows that if this atheists version of God exist there would be no non-believer. But since many non-believers exist there is no God. This is partial theism and anything partial exist but in an incomplete form but as it is in our case if God partially exist then he really exist because you must have some awareness for you to talk about the quality of omnipotence and benevolence of this being called God and awareness of knowledge calls for some element of an encounter between the knower and the known.
Another salient question for them is; where is man’s freewill? Is man free or determined? If being an atheist one is free from God’s power as people like Sartre and Marx will say also in acquiring freedom which is in being atheist. God is dead according to Nietzsche, how can this dead God convince a non believe therefore God exist before convincing a non believer it then means God exist only that he cannot convince all to believe. This proves that there is God.
They came up again with the contradictions in the properties ascribed to God by the theist like he is omnipotent and all good yet there is evil in his creation that he cannot reduce or prevent. The problem very noticeable in atheists generally is a misconception of God. According to I.M. Crombie, the concept of God is derived form the spiritual aspect of man’s being. An aspect of man is spiritual. We never form adequate conception of such spiritual beings but based on our limitedness and imperfect nature and a source of this our limited nature has to be unlimited. This logically following, posits the notion of God.
People like Paul Tillich has raised objection to the use of the very term, “existence” in relation to God. He argues that the term cannot be predicated of God because God is beyond the category of existence, hence it will amount to saying that God is one of the existing objects of reality and that will mean a reduction of God to the status of a finite beings, which is another way of denying the reality of God. In fact, both those who say that God exist and those who say that he does not exist are, according to Paul Tillich, atheists.
Thus the question of the existence of God can neither be asked not answered. God is being itself, not a being. The problem here is that of religious language, that is, the problem of the accuracy, meaningfulness, or otherwise the language with which we speak about God.
A study of the non-existence of God or trying to prove there is no god is a metaphysical enterprise because you must study the nature of whatever reality you are to deny. Are atheists not metaphysicians in this case? Yet they claim to deny the reality of metaphysical beings like God.
The atheist has faith in the non-existence of a transcendent God and they proclaim all religion for which God is the subject matter as useless and to be jettisoned, since religion deals with faith in God. Atheists faith in non-existence of God has it not in itself become a “religious phenomenon”, since an indispensable quality of any religion is faith.
Based on the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx and Engel God renders man impotent to do his historical work which is transforming nature and organizing inorganic body that means break out from whatever submits to alienation and in the end, man’s obeisance and prostrate submission to the almighty movement of history is a kind of total surrender of the human soul to the blind God of History.
Religion as they claim has never alienated man because Christianity for instance is concerned for man’s welfare both now and her after. Infact it enjoins the members to realize that future life depends on how well we live on earth. Its agency to better man in life is evident in provision of schools, hospitals etc. in the perspective of the history of ideas. Atheism as a philosophical system has always appeared at moments of crisis and transition from one intellectual, cultural and social epoch to another. Thus depicts that it is a crisis phenomenon, the projection of a question marked as an answer, not the answer of an age that has attained assured certainty.
Hegel bequeathed vision of human history caught in the snares of an impersonal absolute that would subsequently be misapprehended as the living God of Christianity.
In fact atheism arguments presented by the atheists in general is directed against the Christian concept of God and in the long run excludes other possible gods
In the Western World it is very conspicuous that atheism is the doctrine of the non – existence of the Christian God people like Nietzsche, and atheists who only fought the God that western civilization had incarnated and in many areas truncated by imperialism, materialism, individualism, capitalism and like Karl Mark describe religion as the opium of the people. He meant no other religion specifically than Christianity. Atheism proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspending of belief. There are various gods as object of belief so one may be an atheist to one God and theist to the other gods as in the case of Hinduism, Moslem, and Judaism etc.
We shall see why someone who knows for certain that there is a being called God should be postulating arguments to prove the non-existence of this being? Isn’t this involvement, what one may call an intellectual abracadabra? Since one cannot argue for the existence of a non-existent or can one imagine a void.
In contemporary epoch, as Sartre puts it, human freedom entails the denial of God, for the existence of God is a threat to man’s freedom to make his own values via real ethical choice. But where is ethical choice outside God? Because the voice within which compels you to choose between a good and right action is a reflection of the indwelling of a supreme being who is good in essence
Though the existence of God cannot rationally be proven, but from the discussion above and these of other philosophers, there is an ultimate being, a necessary being, infinite, pure act, perfect who is responsible for all realities in the universe.
Neither Feuerbach, Freud, nor Sartre has been able to prove that God does not exist. The explanation of how the idea of God was formed does not prove that God does not exist, that is, it does not show that there is also a corresponding being to such an idea. Sartre’s argument from human freedom is invalid because it is based on assumed in compatibility between God and man’s freedom. It is logically possible for God to exist and allow certain degree of freedom. Sartre’s argument from man’s subjectivity is even less convincing. A look is not necessarily an attack or an invasion on the person looked at. There is no reason why God’s look should be seen as a sword that pierces through man’ subjectivity. In the third argument, though, Sartre is right by saying that the very idea of God is a contradiction but as a term used for describing God, it is inaccurate and that does not mean that God does not exist.
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