Strangely enough, the true atheist is the religious man. The theocrat convinced that he is talking on behalf of God and acting in his place. That is the dangerous atheism for human freedom.|
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I think it is difficult to find a pure atheist; we can easily find sub-types but we must not mix them up with presumptive skepticism.
Such as the atheism of those who are deluded by representatives of religions and their relative truth, that is not atheism but only regret; or the atheism of those who are afraid of hoping, that is not atheism but only fear of trusting one's own expectations. Often even presumptive atheism is not atheism, but only difficulty in facing a subject which is intangible and uncountable for the reason, such as spirituality or death.
Ignorance, and not skepticism, is often the cement for atheism. Nihilism is not atheism either.
Nietzsche, who said that God is dead, wasn't an atheist himself, because by saying that God has been killed by man, or that the last Christian is the man who died on the crucifix, doesn't show skepticism but downheartedness for the loss of a father, a direction, a belief.
The irreligious man, on the other hand, especially if he's stupid, is not an atheist but a transgressor, perhaps irreverent, who likes to break taboos in order to show his strength. He can be forgiven because he doesn't even know why he's doing it.
The atheist is the materialist or the positivist. But this doesn't have anything to do with the religious debate.
The true atheist is the man who cultivates intellectual arrogance, such as the men who think they can explain God and his things.
Strangely enough, the true atheist is the religious man. The theocrat convinced that he is talking on behalf of God and acting in his place. That is the dangerous atheism for human freedom.
On the subject of atheism Spiritual Alchemy (mystical aspect) says: «… we can admit that the man who doesn't pray doesn't compose his own immortality, and in doing so he misses a precious treasure. In any case, after death we will all find what we have realized and hoped to find during the physical life. The atheist will go towards nothing at all, the Aspirant towards another life. Psychologically, the sense of the divine seems to be a drive originated by our deepest nature, a fundamental activity present both in the primordial and the civilized man. Their differences, in fact, seem to be linked to other attributes, although fundamental as well, such as the sense of morale, the aesthetic sense or the personal will. History shows us how in Countries the loss of the sense of sacred and the sense of morale in man has always led to decadence and their subjection to peoples with stronger Spiritual Traditions. The dispersion of great peoples and civilizations, such as the Greek and Roman ones, are the sad example of this. On the other hand, the excessive sense of the Divine taken to the stage of intolerance, fanaticism or spiritual blindness, has led to the same result. It is in the breaking of the equilibriums, in the excess of absence, the excess of presence of the sense of faith in the sacred, that the stage of crisis in man is reached, and in the whole of humanity as well…»
Freemasonry (mysteriosophic side) expresses on the subject quite clearly: the tension of the initiation to the 3 rd degree, the master mason one, is released by the mystical re-birth of the inner Master. It follows the old precept according to which when the Disciple is ready the Master appears. This is the memory of what is represented in the ceremony of elevation of the master mason. The initiation is meant to chase the memory of the inner resurrection.
In the Constitutions of the Freemasons of 1723, in the chapter regarding God and religion, we read: “a Mason must, because of his condition, obey the moral law; if he intends Art correctly, he will never be a stupid atheist or an irreligious libertine.”
Freemasonry asks the mason to be a “Free and Moral man” and it doesn't oblige the Freemason to follow a particular religion. It indeed invites him to follow his own religious sense, according to the principles of free conviction and to observe extreme tolerance towards the Brothers with different convictions.
Out of wisdom and sense of tolerance towards the diversity of opinions, Masonic rituals state that in the Lodge must not be discussed “neither politics nor religion” . Therefore Freemasonry proposes itself as Center of Union and conciliating instrument of sincere friendship also for people culturally different.
Another story is the atheism that denies every form of existence before and after the physical birth.
It doesn't make any sense, indeed, to introduce an atheist to Gnostic or spiritual precepts. It is better to direct them on concrete ideals of sociality and justice, where they will be able to express their “good intentions” to bring into harmony cultural and social contradictions in the collectivity.
Athos A. Altomonte