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20.7.11

Stalin was a non-multi-universist, too


Stalin was a non-multi-universist, too.

It is often argued that the worst crimes against humanity were committed by atheists in the name of atheism. It is my contention that this argument is propagated by people who have either never rigorously examined this ridiculous assertion or have, and yet decided it was better for people to believe the false connection of atheism or deism to morality than to admit, in their opinion, a very dangerous truth. Namely, that all morality, whether one believes in god or not, is nothing more than a personal judgment about what is right and wrong. It is an insult to reason to offer nothing more than ones beliefs about what god has determined right and wrong, or to cite mythological texts, to confirm a certain moral code. Nor is it reasonable for one to assume that if a person does not believe God exists, that they also do not believe morality exists.
That Hitler and Stalin were atheists, though the former's cosmological views are up for debate, says thing of their morality. Both Stalin and Hitler maintained certain beliefs about morality. It is those beliefs that one may shun, and anyone holdings similar views should be seen in the same regard as Hitler or Stalin. However, Stalin, though an Atheist, may not be lumped in with other atheists because of his non-belief in a god, because Atheism is not a morality; it is at most, a cosmological view.
In fact, it shouldn't even be a word. We do not have words to describe people who do not believe in the Multi-verse theory of the origin of the universe. In fact, if we are to accept that Stalin's atheism is in anyway responsible or the foundation for his evil, we might as well lump all non-multi-universists in with him, since he presumably did not believe in the multiverse theory. 
It is never claimed that a person's belief in god is where they derive their morality; it is what they believe about god that is of concern. Just as it should not be claimed that a person's non-belief in god is where they derive their morality. It is not what one believes about the origin of the universe that is of concern, but rather what one believes after that, which matters.
 Still, the tiresome and pathetically simpleminded argument is repeatedly put forward by even the most sophisticated of believers, that if there is no God, one can believe anything they want about morality. This is precisely where the misunderstanding arises, as all beliefs are as apt to begin the slide down that slippery slope to moral relativism.
Where are we to derive our morality if not from god? The same way people who believe they derive their morality from god. No one really believes that the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have done unto you", is a good moral precept because Jesus said it. One should, and most do, believe it to be a good moral precept because of the reason they see in it, in combination with their own innate moral intuition. Just as no one really believes it is a good rule of thumb to not murder, simply because god commanded it. This is true of any humanist, or consequential, or utilitarian or of any other practitioner of any moral system. This is not to say that all systems of morality are on equal footing. Just as all music is not equally beautiful. The dissonance that a kindergartner plays on his toy keyboard cannot be compared to the beautiful melody of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, simply because we cannot objectively put a value on beauty.
It is not that without the belief in god we lose all sense of objective morality, the truth is, we never had it to begin with! Anyone who claims they absolutely know things should, in the words of the very wise Daniel Dennet, "Excuse themselves from the discussion."
We need a ready response to the false connection of Atheism and Deism to morality. When someone like Dinesh D'Souza attempts to lump atheists in with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and all the other murderous evil people of history, simply because they were atheists, we should quickly point out that Stalin was a non-multi-universist, too.




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