Can We Build
a Secular Future?
When I think of "positive" atheism, I think of atheism being positive in the sense of being of great benefit to society and humanity. This benefit, however, is mostly now only potential. Ultimately, atheism must form the backbone of all science so we can bond together and build a new and better future. In the mean time, I suggest that we should not underestimate our enemy. In that light, I propose we take a brief look here at "the big picture," and find out just what we are up against. Our defensive posture that "no theists should be able to tell us what to believe" is not adequate. Instead of a passive posture based upon secular humanism, we really need to be united into an aggressive, progressive position.
We once had one, but it was and still is, an embarrassing failure. In the "India" section of this web site, Gora describes a trip to the Soviet Union which he took in 1974. This was before the Soviet's World War II victory euphoria had dissipated and the Cold War strain of keeping up with US militarily had not yet dragged down the system and brought disillusionment. The impression Gora had, and the point intended here, is that the people were living full lives in their atheistic world. Since then, the collapse of the Soviet System has been embarrassing to atheists worldwide -- even though most of us are not Marxists and felt only disdain for the other aspects of the system.
When Bolshevism did collapse, so also did the influence atheism had on the world. For all its terrible faults, Marxism has been the only system that has ever been based on atheism. America's increasingly theistic system is now the undisputed leading force and the one which is attempting to impose itself on the world as the model for the future. The US model has been undergoing religious reaction since Creationism first became an issue in the 1970s. Now, in consort, the old religions all over the world are gaining influence. Since all is relative; the return of the old religions necessarily means a decline of our secular system.
Atheism still survives in the Marxist systems of East Asia, but this has done little to enhance the prestige and influence of atheism. Asiatic "communism" is so blatantly Chinese -- or North Korean -- as to have become only a form of super-nationalism. It is no longer able to spread as an ideology. Its whole philosophical rational is defective. It does not even have a moral system. There is no hope that it can (or should) engulf the world and unite it into a new, one world civilization. It is, indeed, so repulsive as to be backhandedly supporting all those of our secular ideals which most oppose it. Even now, most Chinese do not believe Marxist economic doctrines -- nor do they any longer believe in DM and the system's utopian goals.
One can wonder, however, what would have happened with atheism had a truly scientific system developed around it instead of one blindly built on the social science metaphysics of a 19th century revolutionary? Right now, a much better system could be devised based entirely on the mountain of social science data that has accumulated since Das Kapital. Karl Marx, after all, was no god, and the social-economic knowledge of his time was still primitive.
We only wonder, however, because the data is not being interpreted scientifically, atheistically. Real science cannot give any quarter to a belief in spirits when the existence of spirits cannot and never has been demonstrated. Unfortunately, the social sciences are all so corrupted by efforts to avoid offense to the faithful that their social science world has been crystalized into our secular worldview and way of thinking which they imposed on our educational system. The result is that they made us so confused that we atheists even argue with ourselves about everything. We can agree only on what we do not believe. We are disunited because social science has been made to be confused and controversial by their timorousness and rationalizing. In order to protect their careers, these social science academics turned us all into confused and opinionated cranks who are impotently obsessed only with "rights" and "tolerance." What we need for atheism is a brutally frank, aggressive, real-world science outlook. With it, we would be united and able to move the world. We would have the world's most accurate worldview and way of thinking. We would be visibly "the wave of the future." We could gradually wean the whole world away from its belief in spirits-crutch. Ultimately, we would be able to bond a worldwide society strong enough to build a new civilization -- one able to control our unchecked population growth, protect our globe's environment, and expand out into space, colonize our solar system, and then gradually take over the whole rest of our universe.
Can a real -- rather than a theistic -- social science actually exist? Yes! Social science data has already all been reinterpreted atheistically. However, one should be warned. It is not easy to change one's whole worldview and way of thinking! Even being brutally frank in taking stock of our secular as well as all of the world's old, mainstream religious beliefs cannot make such a transition easy. The task is really only for young people. They are the ones who have most easily learned computer technology and most easily learn new languages. Besides, it is a student's task because there is an immense amount of data to be reinterpreted and the social sciences cover perhaps a dozen different fields. It takes sixteen full chapters to even condense it all. So, this task is not for everyone -- yet.
-- Charles Darso
Gora coined the phrase "Positive Atheism," from which we borrowed our name; there are other identially spelled phrases which mean different things.
When Gora spoke of "Atheism" and "Positive Atheism," he was speaking of the same thing: the two were synonymous; thus it became possible for Gora to accuse someone of "not being a real atheist." To Gora, Atheism was an all-inclusive outlook similar, in this one sense, to Islam, Hinduism, most forms of Judaism, and certain brands of Christianity such as the one described in the book In His Steps.
He took for granted the fact of Atheism "being of great benefit to society and humanity," as you say. In fact, he carried it much further than the concepts around which you appear to gingerly step: Atheism -- Positive Atheism -- "must form the backbone" not only "of all science," as you state, but must also form the backbone of all morality and politics! In Gora's mind, his rehab programs (for example) for prostitutes and drug addicts are effective because atheism -- Positive Atheism -- if the philosophy that replaces whatever outlook the victim (patient? client?) carried with him or her into his or her destructive lifestyle.
The "Positive Atheism" we teach, modernized and Westernized, is not nearly as far-reaching as Gora's, and deliberately so: we wish to take some of the core elements of what Gora thought and introduce those as a catylist, the spark of which might inspire one or another individual atheist to "run with the ball," as they say in the American sport of "Pigskin" Football.