A Scientifically Socialist and Marxist Approach to Atheist Politics and Tactics
I would like to start out by saying that many of the positions that the “New Atheists” hold are rational ones; these being summarized shortly as defending Secularism, propounding scientific and humanistic ethics, and finally conclusions based on evidence and reason against the cultural and biological compulsion of faith whether extremist or moderate. Asides from the first however they have failed in being exemplary models of their own ideals and statements, because – though they hold rational views and are intelligent men – they have a childishly simple idealistic narrative and mindset of the world that is both non-material and laughably reductionist.
The New Atheists and Liberals (who are “Liberal” and nothing more; I don’t intend this to be a refutation of Progressives, that is, those who have Socially Liberal ideals but believe in a non-ideological or idealistic framework for curing social ills or running society) are essentially today’s Young Hegelians. They are progressive, typically either atheist or religiously moderate to the point that they believe in “belief” or “faith” more-so than the actual religion itself, and have incorporated an idealistic view of the world almost entirely into their psychology – though of course to believe that this is fundamentally something they have done consciously or willingly would be to betray my very premise. Of course these people’s mindsets are a result of the makeup of their brains which result from a complex synthesis of genetics and environment. They are essentially the Reactionaries to the Reactionary Religious element of society and in some ways are politically Reactionary – or right-wing – themselves. Just as Bill Maher is essentially nothing more-than a Liberal puppet of the Corporate News system, mindlessly parroting the same topics that Fox News and the rest discuss but from a Liberal perspective. Which in some ways is even worse than living in a society of one state-run newspaper let’s say, because like Parliamentary Democracy where all candidates are far more alike than not, it gives the illusion of freedom, diversity, choice and critical, intelligent thought when in actuality its designed to restrict the four. Much like Nietzsche criticizes many Atheists and the Romantic movement for being fundamentally nothing more than a reaction against Christianity (or religion and Enlightenment ideals in-regards to the Romantics) and not fundamentally breaking free of the paradigm of the “religion is everything” mindset. Both Nietzsche and Lenin strangely enough, though they differ drastically on some fundamental issues (whether you view Nietzsche as a proto Fascist or not) both argued against “New Atheism” roughly a century before its assurgency (rise).
Lenin contends that Atheism – at-least in his Attitude of the Workers’ Party to Religion, he has what seems to be a contradictory opinion in another small essay; though I’ll later argue that it’s a paradox which shows a nuanced view – needs to be argued in a materialist fashion, unlike those who simply spend all of their time arguing against Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. I’ll provide the quote to contrast with another later:
We must combat religion—that is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism. But Marxism is not a materialism which has stopped at the ABC. Marxism goes further. It says: We must know how to combat religion, and in order to do so we must explain the source of faith and religion among the masses in a materialist way.
The New Atheists at-times do explain Atheism through either biological/psychological (it’s intrinsically within human nature to some extent to have an impulse which religion satisfies) or behavioral (people believe in God or a certain religion either because of the mild social influence of Atheists/ideological outsiders being socially ostracized; parents essentially trying to remove any option of being anything other than the faith they are by forcing their children to attend church and disapproving of all other points of view; Theocratic Governments mandating religious believe or observance of some kind; and the horrid conditions of much of the world whether directly influenced in-part by religious ignorance and malice which create people who are desperate, unintelligent and uneducated and therefore more likely to be religious) but then they always criticize the religion itself for essentially all evil present in a situation where typically religion is in-part culprit. In the chicken-or-the-egg quandary, material evil most certainly came forth – that is lack of proper establishments and stimuli to make people civilized, intelligent and crave a scientific explanation of the world, rather than a mystical one; but I’ve already elaborated on this being Man’s main source of ignorance, suffering and overall plight.
But the New Atheists across the board either ignore this unpleasant reality or fail to comprehend it. Which is a shame because one of the things that they (particularly Hitchens) mentions that I agree is a psychologically strong and beneficial trait amongst Atheists is that we’re willing to accept facts and unpleasant realities; or rather, we don’t attempt to delude ourselves just because we wish things to be other than they are. However this description wouldn’t apply to them in the sense that they still maintain an idealistic and frankly childish view that the best way they could be spending their time for social change is by arguing with people about the existence or ethical validity of God, a particular religion, or religion and faith in general. Though Hitchens is of the opinion that religion will never be completely abolished, but he can fight back the worst of it by arguing; and that he wouldn’t want religion to reach oblivion in absolute because he, “always wants the argument to continue,” even though it’s obvious that God doesn’t exist and his Commandments aren’t ethical. I am not the first to speculate that Hitchens seems to enjoy being a intellectual giant amongst midgets, and this is why he argues against fundamentalists, those who believe in virgin births (or rather a virgin birth through miraculous means) and others who cannot be taken seriously at-least on the arguments they present for preposterous contentions about the Universe’s creation.
We Atheists must be those who focus on quality of life and education, on the standards of living of every man, woman and child apart from ideology. This is what makes Atheism, that which is not an ideology but both is deemed as such by some religious and has been attempted in-a-sense to be made as such by New Atheists, unique among expressions of ethics. When an Atheist performs an ethical action, he doesn’t do so because of being instructed to by a Divine Commander who either (or rather both) offers him rewards or threatens him with punishment, or the threat of being socially condemned because in-much of the world we already are. Atheism is unique because it realizes implicitly, that is without being stated in the lack-of-belief itself, that ethics either spring from human solidarity and instinct, or from well-reasoned argument and evidence for being a decent and virtuous person.
That would be my main contention against the New Atheists; that while as I’ve stated they have their place and value, they’re limited by trying to argue with beings who believe what they do due to the material conditions and the human condition’s response to them. Just as the Christian Missionary doesn’t understand that what they do is on-the-whole futile, that charity is not a long-term or reliable relief of poverty, and certainly not of ignorance, the New Atheist doesn’t comprehend that they will have a very limited range and scope of power being pamphleteers and propagandists.
Speaking of charity, there is a similarity between Capitalists and the Religious that I feel must be spoken on – if you’d like to tie it in to the rest of the essay: New Atheists don’t realize this. So this all ties in and isn’t a spontaneous divergence onto a completely unrelated topic. I promise. – namely that they both create massive amounts of suffering and wretchedness in the world, not only this but they rely on suffering and wretchedness either for huge yet cheap profits and to create a surplus of credulous people who will believe in incredible and horrible things, while using the small amounts of charity they do which doesn’t come near to account or reconcile for the damages they’ve caused and continue to cause as propaganda for their overall goodness or commitment in the local or global community. Both are of course used by followers of Reagan as a justification for less Government money helping the poor and needy (which has been shown to be far more effective) and to maintain the system of poverty and tax loopholes that sustains itself both factually (in the financial sense of simply keeping the poor as-such and the rich which undeserved wealth) and consequentially (in that these systems and views of the world produced ignorant, stupid and psychologically stunted people that accept both religion, Conservatism and a belief in hierarchy and Nationalism). These evils persist only due-to the lack of comprehension and action among the world’s supposed intelligentsia.
Now that’s quite a bit different than Ayn Rand’s discouragement of charity for example, who believed that it was pushed or forced as a moral obligation on the rich, and that it was evil because it made the poor dependent and entitled. I mention her not unsurprisingly because she is such a large figure on the Libertarian Right and perhaps is one of America’s most famous (though I would say laughable and infamous – a hard balance to attain) Atheists. But one must remember that while she argued against Christianity, ultimately she worked with the Religious Right rather closely, and thought that they were not the real problem, but instead America’s true problematic elements consisted of Kantian college intellectuals and their hippy pot-smoking students. She also had a laughable notion and cause of human evil that is approaching the absurdity of Satan and Original Sin – no small feat. All one has to do is imagine Eve trying to sway Adam into sharing his apple with a starving woodland creature, and the birth of humanities problems in-full would be right underway in Objectivist ethics. She also lacks a materialist perception of the cosmos and human nature, and is one of the most absurd and complete Rationalists (in that she explains human psychology not in a way of parts of a brain designed a certain way due-to a genetic code; but being essentially a Radical Behaviorist who believes that all human errors and weaknesses can be explained in a narrative nonmaterial way, never having anything to do with chemicals or anything at all scientific though she claimed to be one of the few if only scientific philosophers) that there’s been since Descartes. And all you need to do is glance over him to see the type of garbage absolutist Rationalism gets you.
Stefan Molyneux is another Libertarian (technically an Anarcho-Capitalist, but I feel they are far more Right-wing Libertarian than Anarchist due-to their love of business and absurdity of their vision. They are essentially Utopian Objectivists who don’t agree with Rand that we need a Government that will only ensure that property laws and contracts are not infringed upon – cops and courts essentially.) who seems to fall under a form of idealism and rationalism far-worse than even the New Atheists. I haven’t watched much of his shows, but what he does prattle on seems to be rambles about vague notions of virtue and making blunt statements about any form of Government being evil, Socialism of course in particular.
I feel that Atheists, Marxists and other forms of Socialists can work with Libertarians, but this type of opaque thinking and fanaticism we must always guard and argue against. However it needs to always be understood both explicitly and intuitively that it is far more important in philosophy, political philosophy be a form of such, that we argue against and be wary of forms of thinking rather than particular ideas; as long-as we are rational and keep our brains active and faculties astute, then the actual quality of ideas and theories our brains produce will be automatic. One piece of evidence for this, is that a new study showed that poverty for numerous reasons, stress being the main one, actually shrinks the brain and has detrimental effects on not only intelligence but overall functioning - making the poor not only at an economic disadvantage, but a fundamental impairment of who they will almost inevitably become due-to their economic happenstance; something that we Socialists have been saying for centuries. This is an example of how the correct form of thinking, critical inquiry and analysis, rather than propaganda and cheap and quick ploys to attain the truth or at-least the opinion of the majority or powerful that you have it, is the only functional tool – asides from the senses and scientific instruments of course – that not only is a crucial component of the Scientific Method, but is what has been employed to create the predictions and theories that predate it. Democritus’ and Epicurus’ (am I the only one who would wonder how this would work grammatically if Epicurus cloned himself?) Atomism is a fine example, as well-as numerous other philosophers who gave ingenious (not only because they were correct because they were brilliantly thought out) accounts of something particular or the Universe in-general which predates the discovery formally in the realm of science and academia. Edgar Allen Poe’s description that predates the Big Bang Theory which came about in the 1920’s one could attempt as an example, and perhaps it would be despite the numerous errors being reported in it – I haven’t read it so am not familiar with the specifics of its content or how the latter is argued let-alone presented. And I am one who feels that style is an imperative for healthy brain functioning. Then why are you such a lousy writer inquires the juvenile critic? Because I was fisting your mother for so long I have carpel tunnel which prevents me from concentrating on raping your juvenile idols and others, I reply.
And of course the belief that how one thinks is infinitely more superior than the otherwise random or hodgepodge opinions and convictions one may have is an example of Materialism, which I’ll know return to the importance of with Lenin and then Nietzsche. Lenin’s On the Significance of Militant Materialism is a fine essay aside from being in-piece eliciting propagandism. And here I quote:
The most important thing — and it is this that is most frequently overlooked by those of our Communists who are supposedly Marxists, but who in fact mutilate Marxism — is to know how to awaken in the still undeveloped masses an intelligent attitude towards religious questions and an intelligent criticism of religions.
Here the New Atheists in-part do a fine job and their value to human development both intellectually and sociologically is shown, that is of course when they don’t blame the religion on-whole in an example where either the horrid variables of the environment or human nature itself is in-part a culprit. But there is a distinction between this and what Ayn Rand is guilty of, namely working with those who she considers to be proponents of evil. In the above quote, Lenin merely suggests working with non-Communists to raise intellectual awareness and understanding of the viewpoints of Atheism and Materialism (the Materialism bit isn’t explicitly stated but it could be derived from the statement and Lenin mentions it elsewhere in the essay) and doesn’t for example advise working with those who he has considered his absolute enemies such as in the quote below from his What is to be Done?:
If democracy, in essence, means the abolition of class domination, then why should not a socialist minister charm the whole bourgeois world by orations on class collaboration?
Here Lenin makes no qualms about stating who the enemy is, and that he has no desire to collaborate with him. Actually, Lenin was too willing to make an enemy out of fellow Socialists and those with common interests in my view, and perhaps in some way he’s similar to Rand in her demonizing Conservatives (on paper, in reality she worked with them and effectively was one in numerous ways) and Libertarians of all people. Also, though she herself felt she possessed more attributes of the masculine than the feminine (she was glad when a friend and colleague identified her as “he.”) she considered homosexuality to be immoral and disgusting, showing how little empathy and compassion she had for those even very-much similar to her at-least in one respect; her strong belief in gender roles while she herself wanted to break free from them shows that she was in-effect a conservative who makes exception for herself and discriminates others based on ignorance and hatred based either solely on primitive psychology, ideology, or some sickly synthesis. But the essential division between the two is Lenin wishes to work with non-Communists and potentially political foes to a mild degree (at-least that would be completely acceptable to me) in the guise of materialism and material improvement, not idealism and ideological propaganda against the Soviet Union and using it absurdly as a argument against all Socialism and social welfare, taxes, or the ethics of altruism and compassion that Rand argues strongly against. We as Atheists must take the former approach and work with Theists and those who disagree with us politically or philosophically when it will improve the material and intellectual standings of any given region; not the latter which not only is petty and simple-minded but is corrupt of ethics and works only in-terms of smear campaigns and forcing forms of Group Think, existent only in the most backward and closed-minded of ideologies and countries I’m quite certain Ms. Rand was unaware of.
Now, if we are to take a Dialectically Materialist look at religion, a thorough analysis of its inception and functioning in both a naturalistic (once again I mean genetic, what is intrinsic in the human makeup) and a behavioral (developmental and societal) terms, we will see it is the only valid way to witness the phenomena of religion, and not only in its creation but in its development throughout the world and how it is a factor of change in the world and humanity to no small extent. And once again, both New Atheists, Libertarians and of course the religious are utterly unfit of giving a scientific and critical analysis of such affairs; seen in the episode of Real Time with Bill Maher when he and Dawkins are arguing that Islam is the “pure” source of religious evil and is fundamentally worse than Christianity. While Hitchens is better to spew this type of nonsense – I’m unaware of Dennett’s point of view on this, at-least as a fully and explicitly stated opinion, in the two hour discussion of the “Four Horsemen” he says that you have to go back “quite a ways” to reach a period of passive, non-violent, Liberal Islam that was secular-esque and didn’t think that insulting the Prophet was incitement of death – Dawkins, Harris and potentially Maher both feel that Islam is fundamentally hands-down the worst religion. Not the worst religion in relation to number and extent of extremism today, which is an entirely different question, but bar none or rather in its very essence Islam had a form or degree of evil and inclination of violence that Christianity or other religions lacks. Which is A fundamentally untrue; and B even if it were true it wouldn’t make a difference because what’s more important is the material conditions and conditions of education, psychology, and overall variables of the society at-large.
Islam like Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and all religions is evil, but Hitchens seems to acknowledge that they can be easily altered at moments noticed (much like the warring factions and various other elements in 1984) depending on any groups or individuals needs. You’re an overall nice guy who just wants to spread peace love and understanding? Then you can be an edited or revisionist (which all religious people are due-to the contradictory elements of their religions, both in statement and in-tone or essence) Christian preaching the hippy-dippy Communist philosophy of Jesus and Islam is a religion of Peace. Sure. As an Existentialist I believe in-part that all things are what you make of them. Just as bigoted right-wingers who hate gays and people who have sex too often and before marriage can find divine commandments of stoning in the holy books. Even peaceful Lotus Blossom Buddhism can be used for extreme savagery and evil, as it was during the Second World War by Hirohito. Religion being both a almost infinite source of ignorance, and coming from Man’s early ultimate cosmic ignorance can be manipulated and molded to be almost anything asides from an ultimate source of truth and ethics – because one cannot receive the most reliable account of virtue or morality from an inaccurate account of the cosmos which religions almost by definition are. Moral statements can be preached (like Jesus’ Golden Rule which was preached by Epicurus and Confucius long before) but not a descriptive and thorough account can be given due-to the lack of Materialism, Consequentialism, and the evil implicit in the form and stage of humanity that religions have intrinsic in their makeup from being formed in that stage of Man’s development among other reasons.
I’d like to reference another very short piece of writing by Lenin, which has a subject matter that has nothing to do with the matter at-hand (at-least the first matter doesn’t directly), but I think the perfect metaphor for the failings of New Atheism and Liberalism. Also the second paragraph is a near perfect expression of where we should be as Atheists in my view. The following is from the 1918 Congress of Working Women:
For the first time in history, our law has removed everything that denied women rights. But the important thing is not the law. In the cities and industrial areas this law on complete freedom of marriage is doing all right, but in the countryside it all too frequently remains a dead letter. There the religious marriage still predominates. This is due to the influence of the priests, an evil that is harder to combat than the old legislation.
We must be extremely careful in fighting religious prejudices; some people cause a lot of harm in this struggle by offending religious feelings. We must use propaganda and education. By lending too sharp an edge to the struggle we may only arouse popular resentment; such methods of struggle tend to perpetuate the division of the people along religious lines, whereas our strength lies in unity. The deepest source of religious prejudice is poverty and ignorance; and that is the evil we have to combat.
The first paragraph – because you need it spoon-fed for you, incidentally the bib is in the wash so try extra hard to not spit-up any of this will you? – of course states that though the letter-of-the-law insists on equality and secular rule to give rights and freedom to both genders, the religious fail, or rather outright refuse, to comply with said instruction lacking said values. It doesn’t matter what the law is when either the one’s enforcing the law or paying off the lawmakers (as common with Capitalist society, particular in contemporary America with the business class being able to break the laws which are already allowing them to steal and swindle the poor and defenseless) or those who have no respect for laws that conflict with “divine instruction” or are merely moral Nihilists – speaking of course for just and rational laws; there are of course brave and wise people who have fought the prosecution of those who could not be honestly charged with a proper crime – and therefore the law-of-the-land and the state of the country can be two completely different and conflicting things. This is why we must utilize Materialism and Determinism not in some abstract academic fashion but in day-to-day political struggles for increased progress and prosperity regionally and globally. It should go without saying – as it would be a reiteration from above – that New Atheists and Liberals (among others) have much to learn from the above paragraphs.
Now there is another element apart from my criticism of New Atheism and other political viewpoints and ways of thinking that I would like to move on to. I would make the argument that there is something intrinsic in the human condition, several things actually, that cannot be easily – especially without genetic engineering, and though I support such wholeheartedly, I do think that there are potentially evil or detrimental aspects to the human condition that are also great sources of creativity or good at least potentially; but these are the things we could explore and would have explored far wider and deeper than we have it weren’t for religions and Capitalism – removed or nullified that are satiated and stimulated by religion. Now please keep in mind that there is a distinction between what I just typed-out and uttering that “religion” is innate in man. Firstly, there are several different components of religions that feed-off of or are created by various biological and sociological factors and exist in humans in varying degrees for various reasons. The need to have an absolute authority in and observing one’s affairs whether one is a king or a serf for example, is one impulse or psychological trait that religions are clearly very happy to accommodate. The need to be told what is right or wrong as well-as what is permissible and unallowable is another impulse that those who don’t have the mental drive or capacity to create their own interpretation and understanding of ethics (which everyone on the planet does anyhow, it’s just that some say otherwise and typically and in-part consequently do a poor job of doing so) have religion to please them. And there is another aspect of life that I would argue is not innate in the human mind itself but the psyche that has been perturbed and has suffered immensely, and this is what Lenin mentions as a, if not the, main reason of religions survival in modern society of a century back.
Perhaps this is a bad time to place it, but the beginning of the quote of course puts the Materialist perception of Atheist tactics that I’ve mentioned earlier, and the latter half speaks directly of what I speak of:
“Down with religion and long live atheism; the dissemination of atheist views is our chief task!” The Marxist says that this is not true, that it is a superficial view, the view of narrow bourgeois uplifters. It does not explain the roots of religion profoundly enough; it explains them, not in a materialist but in an idealist way. In modern capitalist countries these roots are mainly social. The deepest root of religion today is the socially downtrodden condition of the working masses and their apparently complete helplessness in face of the blind forces of capitalism, which every day and every hour inflicts upon ordinary working people the most horrible suffering and the most savage torment, a thousand times more severe than those inflicted by extra-ordinary events, such as wars, earthquakes, etc. “Fear made the gods.” Fear of the blind force of capital—blind because it cannot be foreseen by the masses of the people—a force which at every step in the life of the proletarian and small proprietor threatens to inflict, and does inflict “sudden”, “unexpected”, “accidental” ruin, destruction, pauperism, prostitution, death from starvation—such is the root of modern religion which the materialist must bear in mind first and foremost, if he does not want to remain an infant-school materialist.
Though I have some minor quarrels with it, I think this is overall an accurate depiction of one of the main reasons why religions still persist though being thoroughly disproven. However, Lenin of course due-to his Bolshevism focuses on the horrors inflicted by free-market Capitalism instead of the numerous awful and wicked aspects of life that some like Schopenhauer argue is the very nature and essence of life itself.
On a separate note, I find it slightly humorous that most invent and follow supposedly loving Gods to cope with life, while Schopenhauer constructed (though his is far-more accurate) a roughly pantheistic unconscious malevolent one. But as he said in his first essay of Essays on Pessimism, when one is suffering sometimes the greatest respite one can have psychologically is focusing on those who are suffering as-well and more so; to systemize this and depict the whole of humanity as something suffering and macabre could be argued as a logical extension of this, though I would argue that Schopenhauer held his view(s) for other reasons as-well and many of them were well-held if a slight hyperbolic.
This, the sufferings and horrors of life being a reason why religions persist, is something that the New Atheists seem to schizophrenically both accept and denounce. They accept that religions bring suffering and force the respective religions upon their children and populous depending upon the region – and some of the New Atheists would argue depending on the religion itself, though I’ve already argued that these are temporal instances and have little to do with the religion itself – while usually ignoring suffering itself as a form of religiosity though Hitchens seems more amicable to the idea. They have stated that the idea that those who are suffering shouldn’t be handled with kid gloves just because they’ve had a shitty life and a rough time, because they state that would be insulting them which I agree with. There are of course social reasons as well as psychological and existential reasons why religions still persist as well. This is something that I feel that Marx gives an excellent contribution to an understanding of religion, but in no way the definitive one – Thomas Paine, Nietzsche and Freud and much to contribute as well.
But going back to an earlier point, simply because religions satisfy what is innate in Man, doesn’t mean that they are the only way of doing so, or religiosity is inevitable in those whom it forms in – unless of course you give the most literal and wide form of Determinism where everything that occurs is a matter of fate based on the laws of physics, but using this definition potentially makes questions of social influence and change seem rather cryptic in a unnecessary way. Instead, it seems clear that there are those who have the same impulses religions neutralize or nourish that have found other methods of doing so, or while genetically having a predisposition towards one or many aspects of religion feel none of the effects due-to their environment. We Atheists must encourage a culturally rich and diverse life of the mind that will satisfy all necessary and grand attributes of humanity; and in this regard – not related to economics – the New Atheists have within a somewhat narrow-scope succeeded. It would be better if they would ask more intellectual and philosophical questions rather than focusing predominantly on Atheism in a somewhat particular and obvious way, but I suppose to be expecting that would be to hope for something that simply isn’t in their nature. Though Hitchens denounces the argument that religion is good or necessary solely because it comes naturally, as I’ve already stated he fails and makes himself look foolish when he believes and wishes for it to be eternal. Without religion, he would have been free to discuss literary genius and political philosophy for decades, but he seemed at-times more content with feuding with Man’s intellectual infancy that dwells in the domain of myth rather than analogy and imagination.
It must also be stated that the New Atheists lack at its core not only a lack of Materialism but of Psychoanalysis as well. All of the Atheists apart from Dennett who correctly sees it primarily (at-least often) as a naturalistic and evolutionary phenomenon criticize religion on almost strictly intellectual terms, wasting their time on the intellectually insignificant. Hitchens once said that, “That which is held without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” but then wastes his time with that he claims he can dismiss, making the same arguments, speeches and jokes dozens of times over; analyzing religion on the surface level rather than delving deeper into it in a intellectual manner – rather than looking it at as a mere intellectual or conscious phenomena – as his idols (though he would use a different word since he stated that Atheists and Marxists aspire to not have idols, which overall is right at-least if they were genuine in these descriptions) Freud and Marx did. Recently I saw a video of him at Hay Festival and thought he was hysterical, clever and full of knowledge he seldom if ever repeated during his debates with moderate Catholic X or reformist Muslim Y. I know I’m repeating myself, but I feel that this is the perfect contrast of what an intellectual could do (though of course being more serious at-times) and what he has confined himself to.
Now of course, Marx himself was fairly ignorant of Psychology, living before (or rather during) Nietzsche and Freud; though his intelligence in thinking and perception of human needs and nature does make its way into Psychology in numerous of ways. The most obvious of which are Carl Roger’s Unconditional Positive Regard, which substitutes Marx’s posit of Man’s material nature and his need for proper material variables rather he “deserves” them or not to be a properly functioning individual with support in a psychological regard, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which states that human nature consists of beings who on-the-whole (there are exception to the rule of course) who will spend their mental energy (or Libido to use the Freudian term) and efforts to establish food and shelter and then create certain models of architecture, certain religions, and the superstructure of society based on the material variables present and Man’s (both on a personal, societal and international level once Man has reached the international stage of Capitalist production, though clearly there are examples where the events in Egypt affected change in-say Greece before said economic development) relation to them.
The nature of the true Intellectual and Atheist is the nature of the Materialist and Determinist. While all others are Materialists by nature of being passive and apathetic ideologues of Consumerism, or demagogues of Rationalism and Idealism, we as Atheism must be more than Atheists but forces for social change in the world wherever it must be put into motion. Embodying this and the ideals of Participatory Democracy and communitarian demands must be our first and foremost priority. If we fail in doing so, all desirable progress that happens in our causes will be seldom, slow, random and feel like a tireless roll up a hill like Sisyphus’ eternal punishment for his perpetual deceit. In a way, the New Atheists commit a deceit of purpose in what it means to be an Atheist, just as the Existentialist Camus commits a somewhat false picture of Man’s purpose (self-assigned purpose despite it lacking diversity in the analogy, which is another reason why it lacks effectiveness) and fate in accepting the perpetual sufferings of monotony, accepting and somehow doing the impossible in rejoicing in being a “Existentialist Rebel” while still continuing the fruitless labors mind-numbing toil which we Materialists which to alleviate to whatever extent possible.
If we are to be truly Atheists we must also be Empiricists and Skeptics in approaches of life, for as I already stated mindset is far more important than individual opinion. At-times it seems that Hitchens concurs with me on this, and he even comes close to agreeing with me in his Letters to a Young Contrarian saying: “For the dissenter, the skeptical mentality is at least as important as any armor or principle.” No “true Atheist” who follows the rationale that brought him to his conclusion that no gods exist could be in favor of the massive numbers of those in incarceration for example. Any idealist or rationalist can argue for essentially anything when given a certain list of principles and values received through culture, psychology, personal interest, etc., but only a Materialist and Empiricist can view the human condition and create a comprehensive Ethic and Political Philosophy. This is why I would posit that fundamentally we Atheists should band together, but not consider ourselves fundamentally Atheists but Materialists and Scientific Socialists who express our values effectively and accurately by increasing the intelligence, opportunity, freedom and prosperity of all citizens (of all countries if possible) rather than arguing with fools whether or not God exists.
I’ll end this paper by quoting Lenin, who seems to share my opinion on this, especially if while reading you substitute the word “worker” with “Atheist.” This is from what is to be done?
Since there can be no talk of an independent ideology formulated by the working masses themselves in the process of their movement, the only choice is – either bourgeois or socialist ideology. There is no middle course (for mankind has not created a “third” ideology).
(This does not mean, of course, that the workers have no part in creating such an ideology. They take part, however, not as workers, but as socialist theoreticians, as Proudhons and Weitlings, to the extent that they are able to acquire the knowledge of their age and develop that knowledge.)
(This does not mean, of course, that the workers have no part in creating such an ideology. They take part, however, not as workers, but as socialist theoreticians, as Proudhons and Weitlings, to the extent that they are able to acquire the knowledge of their age and develop that knowledge.)