Philosophy in the Soviet Union

Volume 25 of the series Sovietica pp 61-78

Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism

  • Thomas J. BlakeleyAffiliated withBoston College

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Because there is no God and the concept of God is but a pathological indicator of man’s alienation in an immoral society, contemporary Marxist-Leninist philosophers do not deem it necessary to pay much attention either to the demonstration of this non-existence or to the refutation of proofs to the contrary. Their attitude is a combination of ‘socialist indifference’ (it is destined to disappear, anyway) and ‘revolutionary activism’ (but, the Party requires that one fight it), and their mode of argumentation shows it. There are three principal areas of proof and disproof: the via negativa is made up of a quasi-systematic affirmation of the impossibility of the properties and functions traditionally assigned to the Supreme Being, with a rather off-hand use of pseudo-scientific data; the via positiva is a simplified presentation of the Feuerbach-Marx argument from alienation; the via negationis consists of counter-proofs, each of which is to counter one of the traditional philosophic proofs for the existence of God.