ATHEODOC

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Introduction IV.1

Searching for a 
MAGNUS CONSENSUS 
in thought without God

(1) Atheism does not recognize any dogma, any absolute set of beliefs, any ultimate truths specified in directives from some authority or institution.

Atheism therefore means general criticism of static thought systems.  The decisive criterion for reasoning without God is thus a principle of scepticism. Hence, atheism lies in a long tradition of critical Western philosophy, in scepticism. Socrates was the great sceptic with his famous sentence, oida ouk oida – I know that I do not know anything. He did not mean that he knew absolutely nothing. He meant that he did not know anything absolute or ultimate, that he did not recognize any absolute truths. Hence, he questioned everything that was offered to him as truth, in particular everything religious. At the end of his life he said that his whole life he had searched for that which would prove itself to be the absolute truth, the Logos to his reason. But: His quest never came to an end. Like Socrates, an atheist establishes an epistemological requirement that knowledge and understanding of nature and reality, of values, the meaning of life and existence in principle can never be ultimate but rather only relative statements, always the penultimate statements.

(2) Atheism therefore does not generate any dogmas or other ultimate truths.

To speak like an atheist thus means to always reject dogmatic ultimate requirements. With just this approach to thinking, thinking without God differentiates itself in principle from all religious but especially from ecclesiastical/theological belief systems. At the same time it is also contrary to all authoritarian, worldly ideological systems of thought. Thus, it allows each individual to selectively choose for his or herself their greatest possible personal mental framework. Therefore, an atheist is a person who is always responsible for himself. First and foremost, he is a rational individualist. He knows how to be responsible vis-à-vis his own reason and his own conscience.

(3) Nevertheless, as a whole atheism needs naturally systematic structures of thought.

Every combination of thoughts that presents itself is subject to a logical chain of thoughts and a necessary ability to make sense of the thoughts. Not just a single thought for itself, but also multiple thoughts that are connected or in a large, comprehensive theory require comprehensive logic. Thoughts can only be transported in a linked connection; only in this way can they become a piece of the collective consciousness with a sustainable effect.

Lucretius

A good example of this is the great atheistic didactic poem DE RERUM NATURA- ON THE NATURE OF THINGS by the ancient Roman Lucretius from the 1st century. Lucretius summarized the entire secular worldview of Greek antiquity in DE RERUM NATURA and defined the orientation lines of secular reasoning for the subsequent centuries. This didactic poem was hugely significant to the subsequent religious conflicts with the nascent Christian religion, as it became the basis for the reasoning and existence of the non-religious including Hypatia, the great female scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, the first martyr of the brutal Christian heathen persecution in 391.

Pierre Gassendi

Lucretius came into his first decisive victory with his atheistic didactic poem when the heathen secular philosophy appeared to be beaten by Christianity and its  absolute dogmatic doctrines after a long fight: this anti-religious poem was later rediscovered in the Christian Western world by philosopher Pierre Gassendi, who reviewed the poem and translated it into modern times. From there, Lucretius’ thoughts influenced Galileo Galilei and Leibnitz. They then formed an important point of departure for the scientific movement in the Western world. They even influenced the French materialists in the 18th century and absolutely initiated atheism in modern times.

Lucretius’s example shows how socially effective and necessary an approach that forms in itself can be in that it even created a bridge between the ancient world and the Renaissance and into the modern Enlightenment.

In general this means: even in atheistic thinking today sustainability can only be achieved if central thoughts are coherently merged with one another and thus become the expression of greater combinations of thoughts and grow into a MAGNUS CONSENSUS, into the greatest possible accord. In this way, said accord gains significance in terms of how it generally becomes the guideline by which as many non-religious people as possible set a standard and take a social position in a shared consciousness.

(4) The personal arbitrariness of atheistic viewpoints can only be overcome when a growing agreement of the many other thinking individuals develops in central declarations.

This statement would almost be banal if the fact of intellectual discord in the modern scene of the non-religious were not encountered everywhere as a principle. The intellectual position of the non-religious is fragmented into countless individual scraps of thoughts and opinions and thus scattered into total arbitrariness. Not because atheism is fragmented and scattered in its system of thought, but rather because atheists often act in intellectual libertinage.  They misunderstand or misuse reason without God in their implication of a logical MAGNUS CONSENSUS over our world and our autonomous lives. In contrast, they ride the principle of freedom of thought to death.

Let us remain by Lucretius. As early as Lucretius it was avowedly not about any paternalistic authority to which everyone should bow. Not at all. It was about orientation authority, about the ability to use reliable reference points as standards to be able to properly understand the world and oneself and live in a more self-aware fashion. For him, conclusiveness could only be found in reliable questions of substance that logically convinced.

Such a central, objective point of reference from Lucretius’s poem back them is for us today his understanding of scientific knowledge as the basis of an atheistic world view, which means: Atheistic thinking cannot go against nature; rather, it can only go with nature and thus the natural sciences.  A decisive basic principle.

Those who can only engage with this elementary atheistic basic principle in a rudimentary way immediately notice that their entire thought process is thereby challenged and restarted. For the Christians at the time and their religious belief in the afterlife, this was a highly provocative challenge. For their atheistic opponents it was the basic principle of their MAGNUS CONSENSUS with which they led their fight against the Christian religion and jointly defended their non-religious existence.

Could this basic statement also become a MAGNUS CONSENSUS for atheism in our times and thus a fighting principle that once again launches a frontal assault on the old-fashioned Christian worldview and thereby the authoritarian, religious paternalism that is still practiced?

That is precisely the problem with the modern enlightenment. Is modern atheism in its depth at all able to reach consensus, willing to reach consensus? Or does it prefer its individualisation to be such that a MAGNUS CONSENSUS in central questions is not at all possible, should not happen at all?

(5) Those who can be moved toward a MAGNUS CONSENSUS through their own atheistic opinion will completely rediscover atheism.

ATHEODOC creates greater combinations of thoughts that significantly enrich one’s own knowledge and consciousness through a self-forming MAGNUS CONSENSUS. Three large enlightenment areas immediately make sense in the search for a MAGNUS CONSENSUS in reasoning without God:

First: The secular understanding of the world:  in terms of Lucretius’ basic principle, everything that has to do with atheistic reasoning is available in nature and thus is the basis for the natural sciences.  There is no reasoning without God outside of or even against the natural sciences. Rather, said thinking only works with the sciences. With the recognition of the natural sciences and their results, atheistic reasoning has the largest possible secular basis. Furthermore, the openness of thought in scientific research guarantees the atheistic world view the greatest possible openness in the future vis-à-vis all worldly knowledge: This MAGNUS CONSENSUS in the secular understanding of the world is also the sharpest contrast to the Judeo-Christian world and God view, as well as to Islam.

Second: The worldly, humane image of mankind: The overall ethical cultural efforts of the Western world toward secular humanism form the basis of a humane image of mankind and thus atheistic ethics. Wherever thoughts were developed for positive worldly ethics they can be seen as the basis for ethics without God. Only therein is man the guarantor of positive action in the world. Only the individual and mankind itself bear responsibility, are the last instance in all processes in all things great and small. The MAGNUS CONSENSUS in the worldly, humane image of mankind is also the sharpest contrast to the Judeo-Christian God’s ethics on authority, as well as to Islam.

Third: Autonomous consciousness of self: All efforts and advances that have been made with regard to the independence of the individual in political and intellectual freedom since the beginning of the ancient Western world and in all subsequent times are the basis of the atheist’s autonomous consciousness of self and are realised completely in his self-understanding without God. Through detachment from God as the highest religious authority, man sets himself free of the greatest possible heteronomy. Without divine heteronomy, man learns to think while taking responsibility for himself and to live as an independent person. The MAGNUS CONSENSUS in the autonomous consciousness of self is also the sharpest contrast to the Judeo-Christian obedience to God, as well as to Islam.