President Of British Science Association Casually Strolls Towards Fascism
I am pretty sure Lord May has absolutely no idea of the most obvious consequence of his religion-without-faith approach towards solving the “climate change” issue. And that consequence is…fascism.
In fact, in the past, over and over again, well-meaning atheists have proposed to use religion for social engineering purposes. Invariably, all those doctrines have converged towards authoritarian nightmares. Worse: the whole catalogue of XX century horrors can be traced back to idealists-atheists thinking hard on how to improve societies by using religion.
For a reference, see Mark Lilla’s review of Michael Burleigh’s “Earthly Powers”, published in the New York Times on April 2, 2006:
[…] the Jacobins (in revolutionary France) […] were convinced that a strong republic would need some sort of civil religion to establish a spirit of self-sacrifice and belonging, and so they tried to create one, organizing public festivals modeled on pagan cults and remaking the calendar. Burleigh, like so many historians today, sees in these Promethean efforts a premonition of the theatrical mass meetings of the 20th-century Bolsheviks, Fascists and Nazis.
[…] liberal Protestant theologian […] Friedrich Schleiermacher [had the dream of a ] rationally purified biblical faith [that] would jettison old beliefs in miracles and the Bible’s literal truth, allowing it to become the civil faith of the bourgeois German state. This proved to be a powerful myth that turned many a Protestant minister into a blinkered German nationalist, contributing in no small measure to the catastrophe of World War I.
[Joseph de Maistre’s] fundamental insights — that political life rests on a religious foundation, that human relations are shaped by ritual, that individualism is a disease — first found their echo among leftist French utopians like Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier and then Auguste Comte. The utopians did not believe in God but they very much believed in religion […] or a surrogate one, a system of symbols and ceremonies bringing individuals together without reference to a revealing, transcendent God
[…] their daydreams about using religion instrumentally to foster social identification took a nightmarish turn at the end of the century when they fell into the hands of rabid nationalists like the French writer Charles Maurras and the German scholar Paul de Lagarde […]
Now let’s see what happened to them.
- Saint-Simon and Fourier strongly influenced Karl Marx
- Maurras went on to become the inspirer and supporter of plenty of fascist regimes in Europe and South America
- Finally, de Lagarde built the basis of nazism
All of that, because otherwise intelligent thinkers had the stupid idea of using religion without taking care of its Faith component.
Please Lord May would you stop inviting us to repeat that mistake.