The Two Atheists

Posted on December 28, 2012 by

Disclaimer: Many thanks for blogger VFR for his explanations.

Which is the most virulent form of atheism? The most lethal? Which has shaped our modern worldview? Is Anglo atheism the most dangerous? Or Jewish atheism? It seems that both groups have the most aggressive atheists. What is it in particular about Anglo or Jewish people, or present in Anglo or Jewish history, which makes them succumb to such deadness?

The British are famous for their utilitarianism, their non-philosophical or anti-philosophical bent. And then came Darwin, whose thought was most influential in his own country. In the post-1960s period the materialist atheism from Darwin became the culturally dominant belief in Britain.
With the Jews, it’s a different genesis. They are a highly rational people. They were the people to whom the transcendent God was first revealed. But the revelation of the transcendent God was not  just “spiritual,” it was highly rational compared to the beliefs that had preceded it. Prior to the Israelite revelation, all civilizations that had  existed believed in a “cosmos full of gods,” they believed that everything  was divine or the expression of a local divinity. This is what Eric Voegelin calls the “primary experience” of humankind. It’s natural for people to see  the world this way, but it’s like the childhood of the human race. The Israelite revelation divided the cosmos into the immanent and the transcendent, and said that God was transcendent and divine, and that the immanent world is created by God, and, though created by God, is not divine  itself. Because the world was created by God, and God’s purposes were good, but the world was not actually divine itself, this made it possible to look at the objects in the world objectively and understand them scientifically.    
The Jewish view of the world, in which the divine is transcendent rather than immediately present in the things of the world, is highly rational compared to the “cosmos full of gods” belief that preceded it. But in the modern period, the same rationality that led the  Jews to differentiate the world into the transcendent and the imminent became pure and extreme rationality and denied God himself. So, the great  irony, the people who first brought God into the world became the biggest atheists! Secular Jews are hyper rational and questioning, they refuse to accept anything which is not justified by a hyper rationality. For example, Ayn Rand was Jewish. Jewish atheists are amazingly forward and aggressive in their atheism; they wear their atheism on their sleeve, they  HAVE to tell you about it. It’s VERY important to them. Atheism is their  religion, about which they are as zealous as their religious forefathers were zealous about their religion.
So, Jewish atheism comes from an inverted religious zealotry. Anglo atheism comes from the coldness and deadness of  soul that Darwin planted in the British people.
Perhaps lack of belief in God is born from reductionism, a part which is focused to such an extent that other parts and the whole is ignored. It seems that the Jews are too intellectual and passionate and the Anglos are too practical and cold. This signifies a lack of balance.
Posted in: Religion