Questions for James Miller

Robert Peter Burns rburns at scf.usc.edu
Thu Nov 30 10:13:50 MST 1995


Shawgi, <and anyone else with similar points of view>,

Either the Marxist prediction of religion's disappearance is a contingent
causal hypothesis or a logically necessary truth.  It certainly isn't the
latter, so it's the former. That hypothesis will be confirmed if indeed
religion has a purely material basis in class divisions, and those
divisions eventually disappear.  But I don't think it does have such a
basis.  This is a testable matter.  I say, let's wait and see.  But my
prediction is that human beings will still be having experiences of a
transcendent loving reality long after communism has come to pass, and
they will want to share and celebrate those experiences with others.  But
even if I'm right, you, Shawgi, don't have to share them, so don't WORRY
about it.  <Do I detect a note of anxiety here among some atheists?>

Religious impulses existed in primitive communal societies, as the
archaeological/anthropological evidence shows.  This is one minor reason
why I think they don't have a purely material basis in class divisions.
That's all I have to say at this point, because I am way too busy to have
to go on reminding you that if you are so confident about the
disappearance of religious "ideologies", all *you* have to do is work for
the ending of capitalism, and the disappearance of religion will *take
care of itself*.  Unless I am right, of course.  Have a nice December if
that's possible in Buffalo.  Brrrr!

Peter
rburns at scf.usc.edu




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