Saturday, February 20, 2010

Worldview Class #2 – Part 5 – Marxist/Leninist Philosophy

While teaching a Sunday morning class at church on the topic of various worldviews, I plan to share some of the more significant findings which our class is learning. The main text for the study is The Battle for Truth by David Noebel. A good deal of this class is also based on personal research.

We have defined philosophy as the “rational investigation of the principles of knowledge.” Put more clearly – How do we know what we know?

Frederick Engels, a founder of Marxist thought, said, “The real unity of the world consists in its materiality, and this is proved…by a long and protracted development of philosophy and natural science…But if the…question is raised: what then are thought and consciousness, and whence they come, it becomes apparent that they are products of the human brain and that man himself is a product of nature, which has been developed in and along with its environment.” To the Marxist, everything is reduced to the material.

Marxists view matter as the thing that is indestructible and eternal, the same classification that Christians would give to God. In essence, this puts matter in the place of God for a Marxist. Marxism has been called a “godless theology” for this very reason. But this explanation of materialism is not quite enough to fully satisfy the proponents of this philosophy, and so they add one more element to the mix.

Marxists believe that matter is meant to be pitted constantly against other matter – with the result that things are ultimately and progressively improved (their scientists seem to overlook that this violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics). This philosophical approach is called dialectical materialism. A dialectical conversation can be thought of as two people arguing opposite sides of an issue with the intent of ultimately establishing a higher truth. The same thought applies to dialectical materialism, with matter taking the place of conversation.

In dialectical materialism, a thesis is proposed (such as “all mankind should be treated justly”). An opposite anti-thesis is then offered (“all mankind is unequal and should be treated with various levels of justice”). The experiment is put into play, and the two sides oppose each other, using history as a lab, and involving real people and real occurrences. Ultimately, the result is a new synthesis (“some new form of justice is invented”). Then, the new synthesis is proposed as a thesis, and the process begins again. Marxists believe that this process repeats over and over throughout history, with the result being an increasingly improved society. This is precisely why they have invited the proletariat uprising against the bourgeoisie for so long. And should the proletariat classes eventually win this battle, they will just have to be pitted against the next “better” thing.

Marxists use this philosophy to create theories which support their beliefs. Evolution’s punctuated equilibrium is a good example of this – where evolution supposedly takes a huge leap over intermediary evolutionary steps and new species just “happen”. Just as they have written the possibility of God out of any of their thinking, they can create theories such as this to overcome facts – such as the lack of evidence of intermediate species in the fossil record.

Above all, Marxist thought absolutely rejects the existence of God as a possibility. All of their theories must be crafted and adjusted around this belief. And, like Secular Humanism, such a philosophy leaves little hope for those who long for something more after this life. After all, to a Marxist, we are just “matter”.

Next: Worldview #2 - Part 6 – Cosmic Humanist Philosophy
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