Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Mind Over Matter, Dec 16, 2011.
Methinks the worm's a Protestant.
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You could say Protestantism is a model of Catholicism, just as the wax apple is modeled after a real apple.
Catholicism is the template. Does that make it true? Not for me. But the wax version can only be less true.
Doesn't this assume one already knows what a "real apple" is? What if you've never come across an apple or an orange before, and you're actually given an orange and a wax orange, and asked to pick the real apple?
You're making the common error of regarding communism as an atheist philosophy. It is in fact an offshoot of Christianity. Karl Marx was a Christian (despite a surname typically borne by Jews, and for all I know he may have been of Jewish ancestry), and his ridiculously naive slogan, "to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability," was an elaboration of a line in the Book of Acts.
When you found an economic system, and then an entire country, on the principle that what a man takes from civilization need not correlate with what he gives back, you've got an economic system, and then an entire country, that is based on an absurdity. Only in the smallest communities do people regard each other as brothers and feel an instinctive desire to care for them. In a country the size of the modern nations all you end up with are various clans and cliques that slack off under the assumption that somebody else is doing all the work. As the Czechs told me when I was in their country in 1973, "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us."
This is bound to affect their entire social order and yield a philosophy that is rotten to the core. No good can come from a country that is founded on an idiotic slogan.
So don't blame atheism for the disasters of communism.
Blame the mythical figure of Jesus.
Besides, atheism was no more widespread in the Soviet bloc than it was anywhere else. Most of those people who were slacking off and leaving the work for others to do were good Christians, just like the ones in Germany who gassed the Jews.
In Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia they were (and still are) predominantly Orthodox. In Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania they were (and still are) predominantly Catholic.
The problem with the USSR wasn't necessarily the principles of communism, since Stalin did not abide by them. Communists themselves you will discover were the biggest critics of Stalinism (not of course openly, in the USSR). Stalin was a thug and a strongman ruler in a country that seems to respect that sort of thing. Religion was a competing ideology, since it contained it's own organizing principles for society. This couldn't be tolerated.
In fact, Jesus was a socialist and the early churchs were communes(Communist). But just try to get a modern conservative to recognize that. I would argue that Communism itself is a religion or at least a religion surrigate.
Atheism has no philosophy, it is simply the lack of certain types of philosophy(the supernatural ones). I am an Atheist, but my philosophy is largely Christian with a smidge of Humanism and Buddism for flavor.
But one of the greatest men I have ever met was Isaac Asimov, an Atheist. I picked him up at the train station(he would not fly)and took him and his daughter to a most memorial dinner and to his lecture at UT. That was over 40 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. He wrote well over 400 science fiction and nonfiction books including a massive anotated commentary on the Bible. His moral philosophy is spread throughout his fiction, he even developed a moral system for robots. I would recomend any of his books, especially the Foundation trilogy for those wondering what a moral Atheist is all about.
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