Contemporary Atheism Essay, Research Paper
Contemporary atheism is a positive and new humanism trying to re-found and re-construct the entire human universe of thought and values. It shows the possible abuses of religion and points out all concepts of God are only imperfect means to see him. What they say about God couldn’t possibly be. Atheists are avoiding responsibility. God is not like anything we know so stop talking about him. Everything you’re saying about God is wrong and invalid. The most important problem is the problem of the attributes of God more than his existence. How can we know God? We must be believers in the irrational world where we are presuppositionalless. Contemporary atheism is a new philosophical anthropology. It commands us to guard a more authentic vision of what man is. Man is a contingent, historical, and finite being. Philosophical anthropology is the meaning of contemporary atheism. Contemporary atheists say that people live with a rational structure of consciousness. We approach everything with an idealistic nature. We only know things by their relationships to other things. We only know how x determines y and not what x is by itself. We only know by imposing categories on things, therefore we do not really know God because we cannot impose categories on him. God is unlike anything else so we cannot know him in relationship with something else. The problem of God centers on the idea of alienation and the critique of real or possible abuses in religion. God is looked upon as an illusion and essentially an alienation. If our anthropology is limiting then our theology may be abusive. We are the problem if that is the case. God does not exist in the minds of atheists. They’re saying get rid of all your ideas of God because they are invalid. Alienation can be positive and negative. On the positive side, I am still becoming. I am all that I have yet to become. I am incomplete. I am the result of my past choices. On the negative side, society is going to try to stop me from becoming. We trust our minds to keep us in touch with reality. What we don’t realize is that our minds may be covering up what is really there. Our minds are categorizing everything we see. That is how we come to understand the world. Our categories are limiting reality. The human cognition never coincides with itself. What one wants to say isn’t exactly what one means. To realize itself, the human cognition shows and hides its intentions at the same time.
The structure of consciousness that the atheists have is saying that the subject determines the object, therefore people do not really know. We impose categories to which an object fits into. The atheists are saying all people live in the rational world, the world of science. Physics is determining how one object relates to another. People have a system of etiquette in which they make everything make sense. If they can’t touch, taste, smell, or see something, how can they impose categories on it? Therefore it doesn’t exist. Your system of etiquette is limiting reality. The scientist is dealing in abstractions. An object has to be known in and of itself. The atheists are saying it can’t be done. That is why existence is a presupposition by the rationalists. Existence can’t be known by something else because the opposite of existence is nothing. They are presupposing that the world exists and that the world is ordered. Feuerbach says that God is a projection of man’s imagination. God is projected as an ideal, perfect man. God is an all powerful lord for whom man is a slave to him. That projection fulfills a need in man’s thinking that man is working towards perfection, but that can never be. Marx says that religion and God are used as an opiate to society. People are convinced that the present hell that they are living in is going to be rewarded by a future salvation. They are led to believe that in the future God will come and judge everyone. They think that no matter how bad their present life is, the future will bring salvation. Freud is saying that religion and God are an illusion. You think that you are going to be perfect, but you’re not. To be perfect is to be divine, and you will never be divine.
Writers like Dostoevsky and Nietzsche are attacking the atheists. Dostoevsky and Nietzsche rebel against idealism and morality. Both of them predict the vengeance of the irrational. They want to destroy the artificial but comfortable universe that man has been living in. They want to give man back his sense of tragic destiny. They want us to be open to reality. There is more to the world than just science. Science cannot explain every phenomenon that occurs. Dostoevsky uses characters in his novels in order to strike back at the atheists. All the characters strive to go beyond good and evil. Each of the characters is also one of many masks of the author. Dostoevsky ventured into a world where Nietzsche was soon to go. Nietzsche proposed a new question. What is man capable of? Man could have been so much more that what he is. He could still be more, but he chooses to relax at the prime of his life. Dostoevsky’s novels are abundant with atheists. He introduces Raskolnikov as a man-God. According to him, men are divided into two categories. One is the lower category of ordinary men. They have only one duty and that is to obey. The other category consists of men that have the gift of saying something new in their environment. They have the power that demands the destruction of the present in the name of something better. They are disgraced by their contemporaries but are the masters of the future. Dostoevsky uses the Tower of Babel as a symbol for socialism. The tower is being built without God, not to reach heaven from earth but to bring heaven down to earth. The tower is something that man is powerless to build. Atheism had built itself a palace of glass. The palace was the universe of reason, as science and modern philosophy. Dostoevsky does not attack science or philosophy, he attacks man who has become their slave. He rebels against the truths in which science is said to impose. He wants to escape from the rational world. He wants a wider universe than the restricted walls of the rational.
If there is a reality that corresponds with everything, then God exists. God makes everything possible. Existence has to be known by itself, then I must have the capacity to know something by itself. I am capable of having an absolute experience. To say yes to God means to have the capacity to know something in and of itself. I am saying yes to my own capacities.
There is no rational demonstration of God’s existence. I must be presuppositionalless and irrartional in my structure of consciousness. God is that which cannot not be. God is unlike anything we know. We cannot impose categories on God. It is still possible not to believe in God. Atheism cannot be eliminated by rational thinking. There are no positive arguments for the
impossibility of atheism. It cannot be proven if someone says there is no God. On the other hand, atheism cannot be established by rational thinking. There are no conclusive arguments for the necessity of atheism. It cannot be proven if someone says that God exists. Belief in God is a matter of trust. The fact that God can be assumed is a confidence rooted in reality itself. God is what makes reality possible. If someone denies God, he does not know why he trusts reality. The denial of God implies an unjustified fundamental trust in reality.