So long as the Self is temporal in space and time, nothing preceding birth, nothing beyond the grave, it follows quite necessarily that the perpetuation of the best possible state of being is the only end worthy of pursuit in an otherwise brief and brutish existence. And this ultimate purpose consists, unequivocally, of a fourfold pursuit:
1. To prolong existence
2. To maximize pleasure;
3. To minimize pain; and finally
4. To ensure by any means necessary that nothing may compromise the pursuit.
It is only too easy to see why the pursuit of power is logically inexorable to this purpose. Power is, by definition, the means by which one’s interests are secured, which applies as much to the Self as it does to the State. And if Ultimate Power does not reside in the Kingdom of Heaven, it falls upon the Self to claim it on Earth, which is the very drive of self-deification . . . the first crime in Eden. In God’s absence, the only pursuit worthy of existence is power. In a word; God is power, or power is God…
The conclusion I would like to draw from this thesis [is this]: that without the Law of Heaven, the Law of Earth is but the Law of Power, and that consequently the Secular State will always be characterized by the oppression of its own people and war with every other people.
It would not be amiss to begin by pointing out that the logical ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼outworking of this has been played out time and again in history, culminating only recently in the two most militant and genocidal regimes ever known to the human race… substantiating that long-maintained theory of the theologians; that those who scoff the notion of Hell are usually the first to institute a Hell on Earth.
Utopia, The Secular Delusion
The West is on the verge of collapse created by its own hands. Between good and evil there is an irreconcilable contradiction. One cannot build one’s national life without regard to this distinction. We the oppressed people of Russia watch with anguish the tragic enfeeblement of Europe. We offer you the experience of our own suffering. We would like you to accept it, without paying the monstrous price of debt and slavery that we have paid.
(1918 – 2008)
One principle that today’s intellectuals most passionately disseminate is vulgar relativism. For them it is certain that there is no truth, only opinion: my opinion, your opinion. They abandon the defence of the intellect; those who surrender the domain of the intellect make straight the road to fascism. Totalitarianism is the will-to-power unchecked by any regard for truth. To surrender the claims of truth upon humans is to surrender Earth to thugs. Vulgar relativism is an invisible gas, odorless, deadly, that is now polluting every free society on earth. It is a gas that attacks the central nervous system of moral striving. “There is no such thing as truth,” they teach even the little ones. “Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are many truths as there are (many) individuals. Follow your feelings. Do as you please. Get in touch with yourself.” Those who speak in this way prepare the jail of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants.
I often hear New Atheist leaders like Sam Harris argue that a society governed purely by science and has banned religion would produce a better culture. Yet, every nation that has followed this prescription has been a totalitarian disaster with a body count that is beyond the grasp of the most horrific imagination.
Dear New Atheists,
Would You Like to Live in North Korea?
What I find most mystifying in the arguments of the authors I have mentioned, and of others like them, is the strange presupposition that a truly secular society would of its nature be more tolerant and less prone to violence than any society shaped by any form of faith. Given that the modern age of secular governance has been the most savagely and sublimely violent period in human history, by a factor (or body count) of incalculable magnitude, it is hard to identify the grounds for their confidence.
― David Bentley Hart,
Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution
And Its Fashionable Enemies