Google
 
Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Atheism as liberation theology

Continuing my series on the moral arguments for atheism, I now come to the second-to-last item : the moral superiority of atheism in empowering the destitute.

This may seem at first to be incongruous, as liberation theology is always associated with Lovey-Dovey Christianity. How does atheism help the destitute ? I'm sure many atheists believe that only intelligent or moral people are helped by rejecting religion, and that the masses, by and large, should keep the mental comfort they get from religious belief.

I think this is a very myopic perspective. For one thing, if atheism is moral, then it should be moral for everyone, not just certain people, as all human beings of sound mind are on the same moral footing. For another thing, if religion is exploitative of us, then how can it not be exploitative of others ? Do we not live in the same kinds of power relationships all around the world ? There is a maxim which says that happy people have no need of religion. If this is the case, then what use do unhappy people have for it ?

All collectivist belief systems adapt by being able to exploit the masses better than competing belief systems. Religions exploit human beings by imposing amoral and unnatural value systems on them, by making them believe extremely irrational things, by keeping them child-like, by sapping them of resources and taking over political power, by propping themselves up as authorities, in general, by being parasites upon the intellectual work of the individual.

In the past, religions used to exploit the work of its believers by inspiring them to waste incredible amounts of resources to build towering churches. Religion no longer inspires such zeal in the modern world. Yet it still exploits, as long as it persists.

Is individualistic atheism the real "liberation theology" ? I think so. Atheism tells the individual that he should follow his own individual values and control his own life. Atheism tells the individual that religion is a parasite that saps the masses of its strength. Atheism tells the individual that fulfillment - not utilitarian self-destruction - is the natural state of man. That is the essence of liberation.

Individualism in all realms seeks to free the masses from the yoke put upon them from the beginning of civilization. Atheism (and all forms of enlightened self-interest in general) seeks to end religious coercion and elevate individual cooperation as the basis of knowledge. As a market anarchist, I see this ideology as pursuing the same goal : seeking to end government coercion and elevating individual cooperation as the basis of society. Thus these two ideologies, one ontological and one political, together constitute what I see as the full "liberation theology" that can ensure the freedom of mankind for good.

Post a Comment


4 Comments:

At 5/20/2006 8:27 AM, Blogger Jose declaimed...

I'm an athiest who agrees with just about everything you're saying. But the implication that religion should be gotten rid of I find repugnant. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and their own viewpoint. Just because you think yours is the superior doesn't give you the right to think you should preach or dictate it to others.

Ultimately simply being a good living example of your belief system is all you should do. But that in itself is much more powerful than you might think.

 
At 5/20/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger BlackSun declaimed...

jose,

Atheism is not a 'belief system.' It is the absence of belief. It simply saying: "I need evidence."

But the implication that religion should be gotten rid of I find repugnant.

Religion is essentially entertainment. If adherents were willing to accept that status, and not pretend it's real, there would be no problem. But they don't.

Belief is a personal subjective matter and always will be. It should not be provided with public support, recognition, or tax exemption, and it certainly doesn't belong as any part of government.

Just because you think yours is the superior doesn't give you the right to think you should preach or dictate it to others.

Last time I checked, we had freedom of speech and conscience. Are you arguing against that?

being a good living example of your belief system is all you should do.

Where do you get 'should'? And isn't that a matter of individual choice?

 
At 5/20/2006 2:00 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Jose : I'm sorry that you don't think getting rid of one of the most destructive belief systems in history is a good thing. Perhaps you also root for HIV virus. No ? What is the difference ?

I can preach or dictate anything I damn want. It's called "freedom of speech", bub. But other people may not follow.

 
At 5/20/2006 8:43 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

One must advance the opinion that religion is a tool of control and exploitation if that's the opinion one holds. To do otherwise is to condone the crime by remaining silent.

Jose said:

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and their own viewpoints."

Entitled? Said entitlement bestowed by whom? Presumes one needs permission for one's own thoughts. Hierarchical thinking.

What of the opinions and viewpoints held by rapists and serial killers? If I use force to prevent one of those types from acting on their "opinion", are you going to call me insensitive? What about people who mess with your head for profit? People that crank out paranoids and self-sabotaging masochists and frightened control-freaks? What would you have me do with these mindfuckers? Cut them some slack because they believe their own psychotic and self-contradicting mythology? Should I just feel sorry for them as they shun me?

 

Trackbacks:

Create a Link

<< Home