The next edition in the VJMP Reads column is Religion, Property, Violence: A Revolutionary Idea For Society by Horst Niclaus. This book was purchased cheaply from TradeMe. The back cover asks the question “Is the creation of God the reason why equality between human beings has not been achieved yet?”
After a short introduction, in which Niclaus recounts his early upbringing in wartime Germany, the first chapter begins. It is called ‘Does God exist?’
Niclaus mentions here that God was silent during the Holocaust and that “he” has no problems with things like the mass child rapes of the Catholic Church. It’s apparent that Niclaus is arguing against a conception of the Abrahamic God, in particular the Christian one. He lists a number of Biblical contradictions here.
In this chapter Niclaus cites Albert Einstein as saying that the Jewish religion is “an incarnation of the most childish superstition.” He then cites a list of arguments against the Abrahamic God and against religion in general, such as the fact that ignorance and fear underpins much religious belief. These arguments all proceed from a materialist perspective, and should be convincing to someone who has fallen at the second hurdle.
This list of arguments is duplicated from elsewhere, and any materialist ought to find them agreeable. One of the arguments copied here is Epicurus’s one, that makes that claim that if God has the power to end all suffering, but not the Will, then God must be malevolent.
The problem here is that Epicurus makes the assumption that the end of suffering is the highest value. The reality is that God encourages an unpredictable degree of suffering for the purposes of entertainment, on account of that infinite bliss is infinite boredom, and therefore more suffering than a the madcap mix of pleasure and pain that is life on Earth.
Many of the arguments listed here suffer from similar problems. They are attacking a Christian conception of God and therefore attack the characteristics that Christians claim that God has. These arguments do not address (e.g.) Luciferian or Hindu conceptions of divinity. As is true of many Western commentators, Niclaus appears to believe that disproving the Abrahamic conception of God is sufficient to prove the non-existence of God.
Most of the arguments in this chapter proceed on this basis, i.e. they are worthwhile criticisms towards Christianity or Abrahamism, but no more. The quoted section makes one cutting observation of missionaries in particular: while their work is risky, the rewards are to be worshipped by those who accept his guidance.
This chapter ends with the mention of some scientists who advanced the materialist world view, and then some letters to the Christchurch newspaper The Press arguing against Christianity.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.
If you would like to support our work in other ways, please consider subscribing to our SubscribeStar fund.