Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What is your functional "god" ? (God and Politics)

So  I saw this discussion about "Taking God out of Politics" and that set me thinking. 

What most people call "God" is really just an ideology loosely based on the idea of a god or religion.  Not to mention the version of God used varies widely.  Are you talking about a Mormon God, an Orthodox Christian God, Protestant God, Catholic God, Hindu God?

There is a problem as this statement is incomplete.  Government must be guided by some ideology. So you can't exactly say take "God" out without saying what ideology it should be replaced with. The thing with most atheists in America (like religious people in America) is that they all assume that their ideology of good/bad, right/wrong is self evident to a rational person.  They automatically assume that if religion is taken out of politics then their version of right and wrong will automagically take it's place as it should be evident to all "reasonable people".  

History has shown that this is not the case. Communist Russia and China are both "godless" but are based on an ideology which Communists believe is self evident to all good and reasonable people as being right.

Of course I always like to say that whatever governs your idea of good/bad is your functional god.  If you believe that pleasure is the ultimate goal of humanity then hedonism is your functional god.  If you believe that the overall survival and glory of the nation is the ultimate goal then nationalism is your functional  god.  If you believe that personal freedom is the highest virtue then individualism is your functional god.

It's extremely evident to me (though not to all) that pretty much everyone has a different version of what the ultimate good is, and as long as that ultimate good is not peace then we will always have arguments, fights and wars over who's ideology should be enforced even in a totally atheistic world.  North Korea and South Korea don't get along and it has nothing at all to do with religion or any sense of a god.

But, back here in luxurious America and also in Western Europe, the atheists seem to think that once free of any religious ideas that everyone's intellect will suddenly wake up and everyone will embrace the same idea of what government should be and how people should act.  I think there is overwhelming empirical evidence in front of us daily that proves that this is unlikely to happen.  Unless of course you could kill everyone who didn't agree.  Whooops!  There's another example of a "god free" government that didn't turn out so well.

What most people mean when they say "take God out" is really "put in my ideology of individualism/hedonism".