The False Dialectic between Christians and Atheists

The False Dialectic between Christians and Atheists

The False Dialectic between Christians and Atheists

The False Dialectic between Christians and Atheists

Synopsis

Could it be that atheism and belief in God are both forms of avoidance behavior? It's easier to focus on belief than it is to take up a new practice of living. Perhaps both are ideological distractions that mystify the nature of reality and what knowledge is. What if we admit that we are neither believers nor atheists: Does that mean we're nothing?Philosophy aims to help us understand the world without appealing to something beyond. It's considered to be rooted in the search for eternal truths, and when the truth is unclear, philosophy is expected to embrace modesty and have a willingness to say I don't know. Rejecting the false dialectic of God/atheism will help us recognize that the world is our construction and our responsibility so long as we are here.Drawing on Georg Lukacs and Max Horkheimer, the author argues that belief in God and atheism are both ideological distractions. They are both forms of immaturity that can only be transcended through action. The real good news is that we can do away with belief in the supernatural, but it will take more than non-belief; it will take philosophical action.He takes us on a journey through our philosophical practices to purge ourselves of mystified notions. The journey is long, but at least the path is strewn with the charm of Socrates, Descartes, Marx, and Sartre.In short, Prof. Donovan says, Nothing exists but this world, our world... Nothing is beyond God and atheism. Why not become nothing? Make yourself and those who matter proud.

Excerpt

Why do even stupid jokes about heaven or hell still make us smile, or frighten us, offend us, provoke arguments amongst us, and make us dream, debate, and denounce? Will we ever shake our Judeo-Christian origins? Why hasn’t philosophy replaced religion, and why hasn’t philosophy grown beyond a reactionary atheism? Despite its failure, could it be that philosophy is a cure for religion and even for atheism? the true philosophical urge is an anti-metaphysical urge. Philosophy is against theism and atheism. and it’s definitely against agnosticism. These claims may seem counterintuitive as philosophy is generally considered, in large part, to be a search for metaphysical truth. It’s considered a discipline rooted in the search for eternal truths, and when the truth is unclear, philosophy is expected to embrace modesty and have a willingness to say “I don’t know.”

Philosophy began against religion and against atheism. It began against religion as it tried to understand the world without appealing to gods. Thales is the model here: “The earth rests on water.” It began against atheism because it tried to understand the world without rejecting the gods, without rejecting the transcendent. Again, Thales is the model: “All things are full of gods.” the gods were considered to be around, or perhaps everywhere, so to speak, but for philosophy types they were mainly seen as an epiphenomenon when it came to human things. But, of course, it’s more complicated than that. For the Ancient

1 Aristotle, The Basic Works of Aristotle (Metaphysics 983b18).

2 Ibid. (De Anima 411a7).

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