Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Why Atheism Will Replace Religion-Nigel Barber, Ph.D

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

The correlation between Atheism and intelligence/knowledge isn't surprising.

What is , is the high percentile he gives for European countries - more than I'd have guessed.

(Another factor could be the general disgust with recent fundamentalist religious activities.)

But with all these new atheists, which is a welcome trend, also comes the bad news:

it's all about security. Statism, social welfare, and the collective have replaced the psychological need for religious safety, and belonging.

Sweden scores highest at 64% atheist, and that figures.

So, the result is an immense number of rationalist, amoral, altruist atheists, who could predominate in Europe, soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is , is the high percentile he gives for European countries - more than I'd have guessed.

I believe he is referring particularly to the more socialized countries (Sweden/Netherlands/etc.) in that one statement, but otherwise he was referring to more developed nations in general. I have been well aware that Agnosticism/Atheism or just plain no theism has been at pretty high levels all things considered in those regions, and that this is starting to slowly become more and more of the case with the rest of Europe (which is starting to hike up its socialized societal efforts).

America is a special case and I don't think this will really hold necessarily true here. While it will still work on the fundamental level, I think the degradation of religion here will be much slower due to our unique colonization process and the like.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But with all these new atheists, which is a welcome trend, also comes the bad news:

it's all about security.

That's what I thought reading that too. Essentially, the message sounds like a good way to describe the two major political factions in this country - religion or statist collectivism, each one is a method of choice for people to pick between as their preferred way to try to cope with a basic lack of self-confidence rather than trying to fix it at root and gain self-confidence. People at large are afraid and will do or delude themselves on whatever to try to assuage their fears of an inability to continually cope with reality on their own merits. The smarter people may have a higher incidence of both not being religious and being for statism because they're just too bright to keep fooling themselves about their being magic basically, but they still have that same lack of confidence they haven't resolved, so they turn to forcing other people to support them no matter what instead. Perhaps placing additional attention on conveying and encouraging the general ability of individual people to deal with the world from as early on in the process as possible might make it easier to both break people of one of these major vices and keep them from falling back onto the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On your latter points Bluecherry, very much so. It is all about education. The schools are the primary force. Ayn Rand knew it, ARI knows it and has acted appropriately to a relatively good deal of success considering our schools basically reinforce the idea of reading being a dull chore which they eventually come to hate. One can only do so many book reports on books that they did not get to choose and do not like before they become reluctant to the idea of reading more books wherein they a required to really think.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that, as religion has been supplanted by Atheism, it has also been substituted for by the state. Remember that the Soviets were, and the Chinese are, Atheists. It's not necessarily a good thing without sound philosophy.

And that, I think, is the important thing to keep in mind.

Religion can't get replaced by nothing in the mind of the rational and productive man.

Ideally Religion gets replaced by philosophy (hopefully a sound and rational philosophy).

You can't just say "Atheism will replace Religion".

Atheism is a lack of belief in deity and lack of something doesn't replace something realistically.

When religion is not replaced by proper logic and philosophy something always festers- something always moves in to fill that hole, whether it be altruism, nihilism, statism something invariably takes residence where religious belief use to be.

For that reason I am wary of those who promote an absence of religion, without stating what they intend to replace it with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that, as religion has been supplanted by Atheism, it has also been substituted for by the state. Remember that the Soviets were, and the Chinese are, Atheists. It's not necessarily a good thing without sound philosophy.

True enough. Look at the May Day parades and see that the church of state has asserted itself sa caretaker on earth with its prophets Marx and Hegel. Locally, they would parade he icons of their state saints Lenin, Stalin, Mao and so on. Replacing one system of beliefs with another does not necessarily make one smarter.

Edited by prescient
Link to comment
Share on other sites

True enough. Look at the May Day parades and see that the church of state has asserted itself sa caretaker on earth with its prophets Marx and Hegel. Locally, they would parade he icons of their state saints Lenin, Stalin, Mao and so on. Replacing one system of beliefs with another does not necessarily make one smarter.

Yes, and it all smells of the same 'fascist-communist dichotomy' that Rand got to the heart of, and refuted.

From the 1920's til now, Europeans cannot break out of this either/or mindset of religion contra socialism. Only Objectivism holds the key.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great post, this point is fundamental. Being against religion is ultimately pointless, you have to be for something.

Agreed 100%.

"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors—between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it."

- John Galt

It is less important that the concept "God" be rejected than for the morality of altruism to be rejected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is less important that the concept "God" be rejected than for the morality of altruism to be rejected.

I do agree that rejecting altruism is more important, but I think rejecting the concept of god is a very essential step, or at least rejection to the extent of seeing god as entirely unimportant. Sure, if altruism and the destructive thinking that underlies it are eliminated, that's when a society will be generally good and ideal, but how exactly is that point going to be reached? At least an increase of atheism indicates at least a step, albeit a step is still quite a ways from root problems that are mostly epistemological problems (or more specifically, problems in one's method of dealing with existence).

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

... but I think rejecting the concept of god is a very essential step, or at least rejection to the extent of seeing god as entirely unimportant.

...At least an increase of atheism indicates at least a step, albeit a step is still quite a ways from root problems that are mostly epistemological problems (or more specifically, problems in one's method of dealing with existence).

The point I was getting at is that atheism is not necessarily a step in the direction of morality. In many cases it takes people in the opposite direction (think hedonism, nihilism).

Rejecting "god" to those who are believers isn't something that I find to be a first priority. I substitute "god" with the idea/concept "unknown" and much falls into place (i.e. In Jesus' times, it was "God" that held the moon up in the sky). :-)

Now, as soon as a messenger of God starts telling me how my life should be, that's when I reject it. Especially when they tell me that I'm noble if I live a selfless life. However, when I hear God used in the context of "the highest order", I let it go because that isn't a threat. That's just lack of specific knowledge filled in by the traditional answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point I was getting at is that atheism is not necessarily a step in the direction of morality. In many cases it takes people in the opposite direction (think hedonism, nihilism).

Maybe instead I should say rejection of the concept god is necessary but not sufficient. By first step I don't mean you have to start there, although it is a step that will have to be taken eventually.

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...