What Do They Believe? What Do They Want?
9/11 à la Française: Radical Islamists 2.0
by ANDREW LEVINE
The rise of the modern began with a reformation of Xtianity, not with an atheist movement, and it is the case that Nietzsche arrives very late in the game with a take on atheism that may in the end undermine it. Nietzche’s materialism based on the dinosaur materialists like Lange is no longer convincing. And Nietzche’s take on the history of Judaism/Xtianity is not very well-founded.
It remains to be seen what the fate of monotheism will be. But the initiative of the new atheists seems almost destined to make Xtianity revive. We have seen this before: the Bolshevik attack on Xtianity in the end greatly contributed to its passing away.
A future left needs to reconsider the issues. If we examine the Axial Age we see that some macro-historical process seeded theistic and atheistic religions in parallel! That’s a strong hint, but of what is not clear.
Three centuries ago, God died; enlightened materialist philosophers killed Him.
There has not been nearly enough time for the consequences to become apparent to everybody; too much is at stake philosophically, too many institutional interests are threatened, too much human psychology must be overcome, and, for at least the past hundred and fifty years, too many individual and group identity issues have become involved.
Nietzsche identified the phenomenon and named it, but he had little to say about its underlying causes; and, though he did say that it could take ages, he never actually predicted how long it would be before the Divine corpus finally and definitively decomposed.
Now we are starting to figure the time frame out. God has already gone missing in what Donald Rumsfeld called “the old Europe”; in North America and Australasia a similar process is underway, though at a slower pace.