Atheism Kills

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Nicholas
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Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

The secular, materialistic hostility toward all forms of spiritual life is growing. This 2017 book is a valuable counterweight.

Have only a pdf of this gem so far. Am dipping into the brilliant analysis by Barak Lurie. His Atheism Kills covers all the destructive effects that ignoring the good, true & beautiful produces.

https://www.atheismkills.com
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Atheism Kills

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From Dennis Prager's Foreword:
What Barak Lurie offers here is, in my opinion, more important than “proofs” of God’s
existence. Instead, he proves something else—the consequences of atheism. And those
consequences are precisely reflected in the title of the book: atheism kills.

...Atheism is the subject of this book. And Lurie is right: Atheism
kills. It kills people, civilizations, beauty, meaning, order, happiness. If something is good,
atheism will eventually kill it.

That’s why this book is important. People need to know both the logically inevitable
consequences of atheism and its historical record, which starkly bears them out. This is not
mere theory.

Atheism Kills is a robust, relentlessly interesting, and intellectually invigorating read.
But it is also—and perhaps most of all—a cri de couer, an impassioned cry from the heart.
Lurie is worried about civilization, and cares deeply about human suffering. Those are the
reasons, I suspect, that he devoted so much time and effort to writing this book. And every
one of us who reads it is the beneficiary of his noble and massive effort.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by DNS »

Interesting. I have been increasingly noticing this too.

Nietzsche famously wrote "God is Dead" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra; meaning that God and religion is having less relevance and significance in modern life.

And I have wondered if this is a good thing or bad; probably a bad thing. Religion provides a good moral code, hope, and provides the best societal order. I know that atheists can have a moral code too and many do, the good of the people, the good of the state, etc. The mind has a way of creating a new religion that they don't call a religion; for example communism in practice was much like a religion and that had devastating effects on people's lives.

Overall, I'd say the push to secularization and atheism is at least a net negative in terms of pros and cons and could be even be much worse in the long-run.
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Have not finished the book, but while Lurie prefers the Judeo-Xtian notion of divinity, his outlook is much broader. A more accurate title (IMO) would be Ignoring Spiritual Life Destroys Virtue.
Atheism offers nothing but its own emptiness. It offers no nourishment for the body
nor the mind. No hope, no laughter, no joy, no beauty, no sense of purpose, and no sense of a
world beyond our own. It has never created a song or innovated new technology. It has never
inspired anyone, nor caused anyone to aspire to anything positive.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Lurie on the gist of his book:
This book is not about proving the existence of God. This book is also not about proving that atheists are wrong. Plenty of books and discussions are available about both of those topics.

While I will touch upon these, the thrust of this book is to show the natural devastating impact of atheism, particularly when a government adopts it as policy. All the same, it’s important to know what the atheist thinks, because it helps reveal the destruction that godlessness brings.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
Brahma Das
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Brahma Das »

Yet Buddha came to preach theology to the atheists, Himself God in disguise, to teach the Principles of Spiritual Love to His followers to create a system of philosophy that extends Perfect Love without, in the modern framework, a clear discussion of the Supreme Lord in it's canon and Scriptures outside of appearing in a veiled or casual form mentioning certain Deities such as Brahma and Narayan. I believe that especially in Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhism has evolved to such a Perfect Place where Spirituality can be molded with the Divine with connections to Deities and Incarnations of powerful Buddhas, and there is the strong understanding of God in modern Buddhism, among people such as Thich Nhat Hanh, and those that aren't crowded by a rigid form of philosophy that adheres to secular Dharma, but more of an open Dharma that brings in what Buddha's original purpose was: to bring everyone to Krishna Consciousness by His method. My primary reason for being a Buddhist is my strong strength and full and complete knowledge that Buddha is Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Beauty of His life as Siddhartha is a reflection of the Beauty of our lives and our own quests for Enlightenment.

On the topic of atheism, here is a page of quotes, and writings of the Vaishnava Acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the topic of atheism. Prabhupada is an Avatar of Krishna, and this makes Him Buddha Himself. Some may find this type of comparison controversial, but Buddha appears in every part of the religious field to guide it's followers, Teaching the principles of Metta to others by the religious framework available and used at the time. If one reads the Lotus Sutra carefully, for example, they will understand that there is no discrepancy in this.

Anyway, here is the page dedicated to the Vaishnava understanding of atheism:
https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Category:Atheism
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Here is an interview with Lurie:

Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by GaryByThePond »

Religious fundamentalism also kills (the crusades, modern terrorists, assorted hate crimes against types of people that religious people despise, etc.).

I think that the healthiest thing for a society is a balance and synergy between religion and science, such as during the Renaissance in Europe or during the Golden Age of Islam.

I don't think that the problem is atheism per se, because Buddhism and Jainism are technically both atheistic religions yet their followers have highly developed senses of ethics. I think that the real problems are a materialistic outlook, a lack of any spiritual outlook (which may or may not involve a creator god), and a lack of communal rituals which would give communities a healthy sense of unity and cooperation.

And many scientists who are atheists/agnostics still view the universe with a great sense of wonder and live ethically.

So I am always very cautious of statements of the type "You know what the real problem with the world is today? People who are in category XYZ!"
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

A longer excerpt:
While the ideology of atheism always existed,
atheism didn’t really gain traction meaningfully as a fashionable philosophical currency
among the intellectuals until the late nineteenth century. It started among European
academicians, where nihilism as an intellectual philosophy took hold. It then expanded
beyond universities to the point that people began to think governments should embrace it.

Communism took hold—a devoutly godless approach to government. Where previous
dictators or leaders themselves had held varying intensities in their devotions to God—some
paid homage to faith only to cynically placate their masses (numerous French kings,
Constantine) and others truly believed (Washington and the other founding fathers,
Abraham Lincoln)—here came a new government, one that rejected God as the anchoring
center of civil life.

In communism, atheism became one of the central tenets of its offering: God was out
of the picture, no longer relevant. In fact, He had now become an impediment to humankind’s
advancement. Man was now finally to assume full responsibility for himself, and leave the
human race’s silly and destructive past once and for all.

Everyone could share in the production and reap benefits from it collectively. And
everyone was to go along with the game plan. In fact, you had better go along, or the
government would find a way to “disappear” you. But it would all be good and necessary
when you think of the Big Picture. After all, when you are about to replace the entire edifice
of humankind, there might be those who complain. And naturally drastic resolutions require
drastic steps.

Atheism had grown from a seed of an idea that people talked about in abstract, armchair
philosopher ways in their living rooms and faculty lounges. It then morphed into the
large tree that was now going to provide nourishing fruit to the masses. Atheism was ready
to take center stage.

Like an adolescent, however, it thought it knew everything. And like an adolescent
whose parents gave him the car keys, the adolescent felt invincible; he was sure nothing
could go wrong.

The communism wave spread, bringing the essential component of atheism with it.
Eventually, communism gobbled up Russia and Eastern Europe then spread into China,
North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba. To ensure that no one would worship any gods before it,
communism banned the practicing of any religion, particularly Judaism and Christianity.
[...]
Does godlessness create monsters? Does atheism kill? It should be clear: wherever
there was godless rule, devastation on a horrific scale followed. There was no one to answer
to, except to the dictators themselves and their own vision of a just order—always with
themselves at the helm of some imaginary ship for which only they knew how to set course.

As the famous Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated in his famous
Templeton Address of 1983: “Men have forgotten God. That’s why all this has happened.”
Last edited by Nicholas on Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Brahma Das wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:18 pm
Anyway, here is the page dedicated to the Vaishnava understanding of atheism:
https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Category:Atheism
The link does not work - I get "Service Unavailable"
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
Brahma Das
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Brahma Das »

Nicholas wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:18 pm
Brahma Das wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:18 pm
Anyway, here is the page dedicated to the Vaishnava understanding of atheism:
https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Category:Atheism
The link does not work - I get "Service Unavailable"
Ah strange, works for me. When it says service unavailable that may have to do with a local internet connection but more likely that there was a temporary issue with the server. Regardless, the way I search Vaniquotes is through Google, so if in Google you type in:

Vaniquotes atheism

You will get the pages of Vaniquotes that are associated with Prabhupada's commentary and talks and speeches on atheism.

Hope that helps.

Ivan.
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Nicholas
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Brahma Das wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:21 pm
Ah strange, works for me. When it says service unavailable that may have to do with a local internet connection but more likely that there was a temporary issue with the server.

Ivan.
You are right - just a temporary issue.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Atheism Kills

Post by Nicholas »

Atheism and the Birth of the Abortion Culture

There is a lot of political charge to the issue of abortion, so I have not included the
unborn in the numbers of atheism’s slaughters. But godlessness indeed resulted in an
explosion of abortions—both voluntary and involuntary. Its impact upon culture echoes even today.
[...]
The Atlantic magazine sees the distinction between America’s approach to abortion and
most of the rest of the world’s approach as follows: America sees abortion as a moral issue,
whereas much of the rest of the world sees it as a matter of the “common good.” That
might be a good assessment of the distinction, but read that again: for the common good—
whatever that might mean. The government would decide the fate of thousands and millions
of lives depending on what it would determine was the “common good”—or more aptly, the
government’s goal—for the moment: like how you might adjust your automatic sprinklers
based on how much rain your lawn has been getting.
[...]
Whatever one might believe about abortion, most Americans will agree: they prefer
living in a country where people at least debate the morality of abortion. For in their hearts,
they must know that a nation that does not have at least some squeamishness about the
taking of pre-birth lives is a nation that might not be so squeamish about the treatment of
post-birth lives.

Why? Because one day the authorities may just not view your life to be part of the common good.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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