Philosophical Musings

October 28, 2006

Religion and Ideology

Filed under: history,ideology,postmodernism,religion — Elad Kehat @ 8:32 am

A letter by Mr. Marqués De Tamarón from Madrid, to the editor of The Economist (October 7th, 2006), in response to their review of Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion reads:

“SIR – Your laudatory review of “The God Delusion” seems to accept the tenet that “it was religious faith that ultimately turned [the September 11th terrorists] into killing machines” and that “religious moderates make the world safe for fundamentalists.” However, the historical fact remains that the most murderous sets of beliefs ever adopted were those two great, modern and officially atheist ideologies, communism and National Socialism. So much for scientific hubris.”


Mr. Tamarón’s mistake lies in classifying communism and National Socialism as atheistic. For issue at hand – how blind faith can turn zealot’s morals upside down – extreme ideology and religion (especially monotheistic religion) fall into the same category. Both are often used as a tool by power crazed leaders to drive their brainwashed followers to commit atrocities.

What enables such deeds in both cases is the firm belief in one truth, and in a small cadre having a monopoly on that truth. If extreme ideologies have waned in the west, along with religion, it is because our post-modern society has largely freed itself of mono-verity and adopted pluralism instead.


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