The Necessity of Atheism

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THE NECESSITY OF ATHEISM

By

DR. D. M. BROOKS

FREETHOUGHT PRESS ASSOCIATION NEW YORK

_Copyright, 1933_ BY FREETHOUGHT PRESS ASSOCIATION

_Dedicated to_

JOSEPH LEWIS IN AMERICA

AND

CHAPMAN COHEN IN ENGLAND

OF WHOM IT MAY BE SAID:

_"How often it has happened that one man, standing at the right point of view, has descried the truth, and, after having been denounced and persecuted by all others, they have eventually been constrained to adopt his declarations!"_--(DRAPER.)

_For the old Gods came to an end long ago. And verily it was a good and joyful end of Gods!

They did not die lingering in the twilight--although that lie is told! On the contrary, they once upon a time laughed themselves to death!

That came to pass when, by a God himself, the most ungodly word was uttered, the word: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other Gods before me."

An old grim beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself thus.

And then all Gods laughed and shook on their chairs and cried: "Is Godliness not just that there are Gods, but no God?"

Whoever hath ears let him hear._

_"Thus Spake Zarathrustra"_--FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE ix

I. THE EVOLUTION OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS 21

II. THE KORAN, THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 31

III. THE PROPHETS MOHAMMED, JESUS, AND MOSES CHARLATANS OR VICTIMS OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISEASE 65

IV. SOUNDNESS OF A FOUNDATION FOR A BELIEF IN A DEITY 94

V. THE PERSISTENCE OF RELIGION 115

VI. RELIGION AND SCIENCE 120

VII. RELIGION AND MEDICINE 126

VIII. RELIGION AND ASTRONOMY 148

IX. RELIGION AND GEOGRAPHY 151

X. RELIGION AND CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS 154

XI. RELIGION AND GEOLOGY, PHILOLOGY, AND EVOLUTION 157

XII. RELIGION AND WITCHCRAFT 163

XIII. RELIGION AND MORALITY 193

XIV. CHRISTIANITY AND WAR 211

XV. CHRISTIANITY AND SLAVERY 214

XVI. CHRISTIANITY AND LABOR 224

XVII. RELIGION AND WOMAN 242

XVIII. THE PHILOSOPHERS AND THE GREAT ILLUSION 251

XIX. THE DOOM OF RELIGION; THE NECESSITY OF ATHEISM 269

XX. CONTEMPORARY OPINION 309

PREFACE

Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion, for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation, the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox. And all religious beliefs are "crutches" hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity. There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve, and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances.

Havelock Ellis has stated that, "The man who has never wrestled with his early faith, the faith that he was brought up with and that yet is not truly his own--for no faith is our own that we have not arduously won--has missed not only a moral but an intellectual discipline. The absence of that discipline may mark a man for life and render all his work ineffective. He has missed a training in criticism, in analysis, in open-mindedness, in the resolutely impersonal treatment of personal problems, which no other training can compensate. He is, for the most part, condemned to live in a mental jungle where his arm will soon be too feeble to clear away the growths that enclose him, and his eyes too weak to find the light." The man who has allowed his mental capacities to clear his way through the dense underbrush of religious dogma finds that he has emerged into a purer and healthier atmosphere. In the bright light of this mental emancipation a man perceives the falsities of all religions in their historic, scientific, and metaphysical aspects. The healthier mental viewpoint holds up to scorn and discards the reactionary religious philosophy of morals, and the sum total of his conclusions must be that religion is doomed; and doomed in this modern day by its absolute irrelevance to the needs and interests of modern life. And this not only by the steadily increasing army of freethinkers, but by the indifference and neglect of those who still cling to the fast slipping folds of religious creeds--- the future freethinkers.

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