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2 Tenets of Atheism


Gail

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That's a value judgement on my part, rather than an argument. I have no position on whether atheism is or is not a religion because I simply don't think it's worth worrying about.

(I believe the same about most definitional arguments - "is it art?", for example, leads to similarly dull and circular discussions.)

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(on communism, ...The role of the church in propping up oppressive regimes for milennia is not irrelevant to the attitude of the communist party to religion. My point is that very complex arguments and historical trends are being massively oversimplified in these discussions.)

It's not the fault of the Christian church that it is persecuted by atheistic communism. Communism from the beginning saw religion as the opiate of the people, and as something that would have to be destroyed in order for communism to be realized, and this was not due to what occurred in czarist Russia.

Why do you think everywhere communism exists as the power of the state, the church and other religions are suppressed and controlled? Is this all because of what happened in czarist Russia? You can't blame Czarist Russia for the oppression of the church in Communist North Korea, Cuba, China, etc.

You've alleged that the discussion about communism is "massively oversimplified." Please explain.

I've noticed that whenever there's a discussion where it's atheism, evolution, communism vs. Christianity and the church, you typically take up the argument for those which oppose the church and Christianity. Here you are saying that communism's oppsotion to the church is due to the church's mistakes. But communism has been atheistic since the 1840s, and it has nothing to do with the church's mistakes. It has everything to do with the fact that communism is based on a materialsitic foundation. As such, it should come as no surprise that it would oppose the church and other religions.

It took up the war against the church where the French revolution left off. Both movements are founded on very similar principles and assumptions. One of those major principles is that there is no God.

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[it's pretty simply linguistically. A = No theist = god.

You haven't answered the question. Is theism a religion?

How many times do I have to post this? Just because you can't recognize my definition from a plain statement doesn't mean I haven't given it to you.

Here it is once again.

Atheism - There is no god or gods.

No,no no. Not a definition of atheism, I asked for a definition of (as Bravus previously noted)religion! I think I can figure out what you mean by a---theism.
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Please describe the communism that you're referring to. I'm talking about the "communism" that has been advocated and practiced in history, in such places as the USSR, Cuba, Eastern Block countries, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, etc. Believe me, it is not merely coincidental that all of these nations were or are anti-Christian. You'll notice that one of the first things all of these communist governments did once they gained power was to suppress or control the church and other competing religions. Communism can never recognize a power superior to itself. Communists believe that all rights come from the party and the state, not from God.

Originally Posted By: Cardw
This is guilt by association.

No, cardw, it is guilt by reality. It is what the history of communism consistently shows itself to be. You evidently don't like for communism to be associated with what it really is. Those are the nations where communism has proved itself to be exactly what it is. Perhaps you would rather talk about communism in the abstract or merely as pure theory. I don't blame you.

Originally Posted By: cardw
I gave you the definition and you failed to address those points. There are a number of Christian principles within it's definition. I get tired of putting the evidence out there and then have you ask for it again. Quit being so lazy and address what I have already posted.

Here is the link on Communism and Christian Communism where my previous quotes came from.

Communism

Christian Communism

Here's the part having to do with "Christian communism." But where do those links lead to anything that describes what Christian communism is like? Notice that there are not concrete historical examples of a state or government that was "Christian communist". The article concedes that it's a "theory," not anything that ever actually occurred within history. It is certainly not sufficient basis to say that communism is based on Christianity. It is opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Christian communism

Christian communism is a form of religious communism centred on Christianity. It is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ urge Christians to support communism as the ideal social system. Christian communists trace the origins of their practice to teachings in the New Testament, such as this one from Acts of the Apostles at chapter 2 and verses 42, 44, and 45:

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and in fellowship [...] 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (King James Version)

Christian communism can be seen as a radical form of Christian socialism. Also, because many Christian communists have formed independent stateless communes in the past, there is also a link between Christian communism and Christian anarchism. Christian communists may or may not agree with various parts of Marxism.

Christian communists also share some of the political goals of Marxists, for example replacing capitalism with socialism, which should in turn be followed by communism at a later point in the future. However, Christian communists sometimes disagree with Marxists (and particularly with Leninists) on the way a socialist or communist society should be organized.

So where is the part that proves to you that communism is Christian or that Marx based his view of communism on the Bible? He was certainly influenced by the Bible ideal of Paradise, but Marx twisted those ideals. The Bible never gives any indication that it is right to kill and cause a violent revolution in order to establish a workers Paradise on earth.

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I get tired of putting the evidence out there and then have you ask for it again. Quit being so lazy and address what I have already posted.

A little nap can be a great picker upper,Rich.Come back rested and you'll find that you'll probably have more patience too.
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but Marx changed his allegience from Christ to Lucifer.

He got the ideal of people living together in equality from the Bible. But the difference is that in the road to communism-- in which the state no longer exists-- there is a great deal of force and violence that is necessary. This is completely contrary to Christian values.

Given your dedication to avoiding guilt by association shouldn't you be defending Christianity from the unfair caricaturizations of it's opponents and the inconsistent representations of it's advocates? Do we have to respect the definitions of Christianity put out by Jesus?
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Originally Posted By: John317
Please describe the communism that you're referring to. I'm talking about the "communism" that has been advocated and practiced in history, in such places as the USSR, Cuba, Eastern Block countries, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, etc. Believe me, it is not merely coincidental that all of these nations were or are anti-Christian. You'll notice that one of the first things all of these communist governments did once they gained power was to suppress or control the church and other competing religions. Communism can never recognize a power superior to itself. Communists believe that all rights come from the party and the state, not from God.

Here is the link on Communism and Christian Communism where my previous quotes came from.

Communism

Christian Communism

Is the following what you're talking about? Is this a serious showing of evidence that communism is Christian?

Quote:
At the time when Marxism first emerged on the political scene, the concept of secular or atheistic communism did not yet exist All communism was rooted in religious principles. During the mid-to-late 1840s, the largest organization espousing communist ideas in Europe was the League of the Just, whose motto was "All Men are Brothers" and whose aim was to establish a new society "based on the ideals of love of one's neighbor, equality and justice". Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels joined the League of the Just in 1847. Under their influence, the organization (a) became analytical, scientific, activist, secular, supporting action to implement the doctrines, not merely document and discuss them and (B) changed its name to the Communist League. The League invited Marx and Engels to write a programmatic document that would express communist principles, and they obliged, producing the Communist Manifesto.

The Manifesto has had an enormous influence on the communist movement ever since. It has also been one of the founding documents of the secular communist tradition. Within a few decades, secular communists grew much more numerous than Christian communists had ever been. As a result, Christian communists found themselves in the minority. Most of them joined the much larger, secular communist organizations. Near the end of the 19th century, these groups would in turn be absorbed into the wider socialist political parties and trade unions which placed strong emphasis on unity and cohesion for the purpose of breaking through the electoral monopoly held by liberal and conservative parties. For a time, around the turn of the century, the vast majority of socialists - including moderates and communists, Christians and atheists - were more or less united under the umbrella of the Socialist International. This lasted until World War I, when the International broke up. Communists and the rest of the socialist movement went their separate ways. World events took place in rapid succession for the next few decades - the creation of the Soviet Union, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism and World War II in Europe - giving Christian communists no opportunities to assert their unique character.

The last part of the communist manifesto:

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In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

Workers of the world, unite!

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Have you ever read Engel's Communist Confession of Faith?Note his stated goal to replace established religions with this new system.Apparently he wasn't too impressed by Daniel's track record of predicting the political future."The grass withers, and the flower fades,but..."

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(on communism, ...My point is that very complex arguments and historical trends are being massively oversimplified in these discussions.)

Nobel prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who grew up under the atheistic communism of the Soviet Union, stated the following about the influence of atheism as a central component of communism:

"Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot. To achieve its diabolical ends, Communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood. Communists proclaim both of these objectives openly, and just as openly put them into practice."(Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

Solzhenitsyn, Acceptance Speech, Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, 1983; Russkaia Mysl', no. 3465, 19 May, 1983, p. 6 ®.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

He said:

" Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'

"Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."[28] "

* from Edward E. Ericson, Jr., "Solzhenitsyn - Voice from the Gulag," Eternity, October 1985, pp. 23, 24, quoted in http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism

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Notable professing atheists have had the characteristic of variability and instability when it came to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century. Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism

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(I recognise that my own comment on communism was itself massively oversimplified. Communism is a complete red herring in this thread anyway, since while atheism may be (arguably) fundamental to communism, the reverse is not the case. A discussion of atheism can occur in the absence of communism, and atheism itself can, and most often does, exist in the absence of communism. I'll be taking no further part in discussions of communism.)

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...( while atheism may be (arguably) fundamental to communism, the reverse is not the case. A discussion of atheism can occur in the absence of communism, and atheism itself can, and most often does, exist in the absence of communism.

Of course. I don't know of a single person who would argue against what you say here. Atheism existed long before communism, and there have been atheists who opposed communism, so it goes without saying that one may discuss atheism apart from communism.

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Hey cardw

I just wanted to wish you and your family a happy new year! I have enjoyed all your questions and challenges - even the irritating ones! It's a good chance to learn and grow, so thanks for all your efforts, and I look forward to another year of the same!!

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That's true about the "over-simplification;" but as to whether or not atheism is a religion or not, your post does prove one thing. There is a very noticable effort by atheists to not be seen as a religon. But try as they might, they cannot limit the definition thereof by limiting it to "worshipping some deity." That simply is not true; and it is a matter of truth. That's why I brought it up in the first place on this thread. There are historical as well as current examples, for eg., of people who worship "reason." If your comment was meant to deny that atheism's main value is that "there is no God," and to deny that "reason" is their major object of pursuit and practice in life, then I, for one, would like some evidence to show exactly why that is "wrong." I highly doubt you can come up with "semantics" good enough to do that.
I think you're on to something here, OA. Seems I remember that a certain country, in defiance of religion, once hailed a "goddess of reason"...while the women knitted.Also seems like someone here at CA is insistent on calling on reason to understand the complexities of life and to be our guide to a better life. Atheism,saying it is not a religion, is like 7-Up calling itself "the unsoda".
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No, I haven't read that particular title, at least that I recall. I've read other things by him, but not that one. Is there a link to it?
I just googled Communist Manifesto and checked out this less famous but equally revealing document.
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Originally Posted By: Bravus
...( while atheism may be (arguably) fundamental to communism, the reverse is not the case. A discussion of atheism can occur in the absence of communism, and atheism itself can, and most often does, exist in the absence of communism.

Of course. I don't know of a single person who would argue against what you say here. Atheism existed long before communism, and there have been atheists who opposed communism, so it goes without saying that one may discuss atheism apart from communism.

I guess I'd be that single person.If a tree is known by it's fruit (good tree=good fruit)then any discussion concerning God, or the lack thereof, cannot simply ignore the evidence of it's fruit.Even the Bible argues God's existence from that standpoint.Communism,by it's very nature,violates the very basic principles of Christianity even if it calls itself Christian.Communism is one of the fruits of atheism.If any religion,even if it calls itself Christian, violates the principles laid out by Christ it is practically atheist by Biblical standards.The fruits of basic Christianity have historical fruits that I believe most would consider beneficial to mankind.
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What I like about Jesus, is that He is unwilling that any should be left out, and He will carry those who cannot carry themselves.

Quote:
Isa 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Let us praise the Lord for "His wonderful works towards the children of men."
Amen. You're starting to sound like a theist! (But what happens when you run out of hoar hairs?) The older I get the more meaningful these promises become.
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while atheism may be (arguably) fundamental to communism, the reverse is not the case.

Here's Karl Marx on religion, written in 1844, the year of the Disappointment, the beginning of the proclamation of the First Angels Message and the year the Pre-Advent Judgment began. As it happens, it was also the time when communism began as well as the birth of the father of modern atheism, Fredrick Nietzsche, and when Darwin was writing his book on evolution, Origin of Species.

From...Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

by Karl Marx

Appeared in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbucher, February, 1844

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For Germany, the criticism of religion has been essentially completed, and the criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism. The profane existence of error is compromised as soon as its heavenly oratio pro aris et focis ["speech for the altars and hearths"] has been refuted. Man, who has found only the reflection of himself in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a superman, will no longer feel disposed to find the mere appearance of himself, the non-man ["Unmensch"], where he seeks and must seek his true reality.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man.

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man — state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, it enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.

The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.

It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked.

Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.

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It's hard to blame Marx for having those view in light of religious reputation concerning violence and intolerance. I certainly would not blame him for making such association and conclude that world would be better without it.

Religion should reconnect people with God... instead it makes people slaves to a group of people who claim to know God's will for them. So they end up being a bunch of minions who fight and kill each other in the name of God, who perhaps has nothing to do with such ideologies.

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It's hard to blame Marx for having those view in light of religious reputation concerning violence and intolerance. I certainly would not blame him for making such association and conclude that world would be better without it.

Religion should reconnect people with God... instead it makes people slaves to a group of people who claim to know God's will for them. So they end up being a bunch of minions who fight and kill each other in the name of God, who perhaps has nothing to do with such ideologies.

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