What is Atheism? A Metaphysical Answer.
Is atheism simply the lack of faith in a deity, or is it more? In reality it is both. For many atheists it is simply a lack of faith in a deity, but for many others it is the foundation of a worldview which shapes the way that they look at the whole of reality. As a worldview it borrows from ideologies and philosophies to form a hodgepodge foundation of the ‘philosophy of non-belief.’
This philosophy of non-belief has as its center the denial and dislike of authority, which in the end can only lead to anarchy of the worst kind. In fact, all anarchists are atheists however all atheists are not anarchists. We could also say of atheism that it is the highest degree of human alienation and rebellion against authority and especially the ultimate authority which is God. We could also say it is the worst distortion of the religious impulse in man, for in the end, it makes the image of God (man) into God, which is the highest form of idolatry. It promotes man as God, or at the least it makes him think he is God; for only a god could know that there is no God in the universe or outside of it.
Some will retort that atheism has nothing to do with religion or God. However, at a metaphysical level it is the anti-image of God whose image it needs for its very existence. It is, therefore, nothing more than a distorted reflection of that which it denies. This is what Nietzsche meant when he said “If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss with gaze back into you”
It’s distorted reflection of religion is seen in that it possesses a number of the attributes of religion[i]. Most religion has as its main attribute, a sin message and a salvation message. And what do we find when we look at the new atheist’s movement, we find a sin message. The sin is religion and your freedom and salvation will come when you accept the good news of the gospel of atheism. Like most religion, the new atheist’s movement also has their evangelists; those who spew out a steady diet of doubt and hatred of religion as they preach to their true believers who are mesmerized by their leaders ability to turn words and flaunt their intellect. You know, kind of like the TV evangelist who promotes their brand of religion every Sunday on the television[ii].
The true source of much, but not all atheism, comes from a hidden rift with authority[iii] which is then easily redirected by clever men towards God. In other words it comes more from one’s disposition than from their intellect. This is why we see atheism increasing when people feel oppressed by poverty, authority and social alienation. I believe that an analysis of the French Revolution and also the Communist Revolution would clearly demonstrate this. Atheism, for those with the right disposition is nothing more than a hidden rebellion against authority which they feel is oppressive[iv]. However, for it to be organized, as it was in the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution, you need a group of sophists and opportunists who can promote and direct its anger. Of course, the new atheists have these opportunists in the three horsemen of their movement; Hutchinson, Harris and Dawkins. All of which have become millionaires selling their books to the herd that follows them.
So we could say that the source of much atheism begins with the seeds of the things that form one’s disposition. These things can range from genetics to early child development[v]. Of course, we cannot totally dismiss the intellect. However, the intellect has much less to do with it than most atheists would like to admit to. In this I am not saying that disposition pre-determines one’s beliefs or behavior. But it does predispose us towards certain behavior and beliefs
[i] In Russia the atheist communist even had a church that they called the church of scientific atheism.
[ii] It is important to notice that the old atheist type lacks these attributes of religion. Making it something different from the new atheist movement.
[iii] The mass man is angry about his place in life and holds the authority responsible.
[iv] This is why so many of them are angry and militant. They fundamentally believe that all authority is oppressive.
[v] Many of the new atheists seem to have a problem with their fathers, which they tend to project on a deity. Though I freely admit that I personally have done no scientific study of this.