Ed Morrisey on the faith of the atheists April 6, 2007Posted by Administrator in atheism, Cultural Pessimism, Smart People.
In the short period of time of human history when atheistic systems that force an end to religious activity have been allowed to rule, the results have been horrific and immensely bloody. And yet the neo-atheists insist that religion is the primary cause of human suffering. Hmmm.
This doesn’t mean that atheists are genocidists, any more than ugly examples like the Spanish Inquisition mean that Catholics are torturers. The fundamental flaw of the neo-atheist argument is that faith inherently creates Inquisitions, which is ridiculous. It is the accumulation of unrestrained power — and the fear of its loss — that creates both the Inquisition and the Cambodian killing fields. Power corrupts, and it corrupts the secular and the religious alike.
That is why the best forms of government keep power in the hands of the governed and set checks and balances against the abuse of power. They also allow for the free expression of religion for two reasons. First, faith is a personal choice, and any government that forbids or significantly restricts that choice will not stop its thought police at just religious choices for long. Second, societies with free access to religious faith do not create the impulse for religious totalitarianism.
The plan that neo-atheists want would impose a new belief system on people in an oppressive way that rivals any that they claim religions cause. Dionne chooses in his column to struggle through his own questions and doubts to continue to believe in God and retain his faith. As I would keep my freedom, so do I.