Updated: May 15
Global Legal Innovation Advisory
According to a study, positive atheists and agnostics form 7% of the world’s population. To give an idea of what this figure means- the USA’s share of the world population is 4.29%. Atheistic philosophies are old and have traces in many old civilisations, including India. But the modern concept of atheism is more western and an anti-thesis to an Abrahamic society. Atheists or atheistic philosophies adhere to some sets of philosophies/ideas, which means that they have some kind of ‘faith’ attached to a certain notion that they regard to be true or rationally acceptable. Do atheists believe that they have the answer to the question of the Existence of God(s)? That is - there is no god(s)! I believe that this question is fundamentally flawed. The question, in my opinion, should be-
Whether a man is the master of everything he examines and human mind/reason has no limits?
The answer isn’t black and white. So, hypothetically, let's accept it to be true. Also, it is true that human beings can self-govern, make constitutions, understand history and science, and have practical answers for everything. If one considers this and concludes that there are no limits to the human mind. Then, of course, an atheistic conception of the universe is possible. This faith in the human mind replaces faith in God. The modern age has witnessed the rise of a number of new "religions" such as Liberalism, Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, and Nationalism, etc. These creeds do not like to be called religions and refer to themselves as ideologies. But this is just a linguistic exercise. If religion is a system of human norms and values that is founded on a belief in a superhuman order, then Communism in the Soviet Union was no less a religion than Islam or Christianity. So what was once ‘God's domain’ now becomes the ‘domain of the State’.
Faith in human nature also inevitably means faith in law, policy, bureaucracy, imagined identities - in short, a modern nation-state. So what the philosophy of "Enlightenment" has led us to be to develop this faith in human nature - a process that has accelerated over the past 300 years.
The inevitable push of "Enlightenment" is to lessen one's faith in God and increase faith in fellow humans - which inevitably causes centralisation of power.
This faith has also given birth to Leviathans like- Hitler, Stalin, Mao and others, so trusting the human mind is a dicey thing. So, what we have seen in the past is that liberation from religion, more in society with organised religions- Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, has led to the ceding of freedom to fellow men. This is why, I believe, the idea of God, as well as the hold of tradition and culture, remains extremely crucial in the modern world.
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