Atheism and the Divinity of Truth

There’s been some great discussion here about issues related to truth – thanks!

Still, I’m surprised that nobody has yet addressed the claims about atheism and reverence for truth.

The real issue for me is whether or not atheists tend to agree with my last paragraph:

Paul Tillich wrote that “whatever concerns a man ultimately becomes god for him, and conversely, . . . a man can be concerned ultimately only about that which is god for him” (1951: 211).  For many atheists, truth seems to be the ultimate concern.  On Tillich’s definition of god as ultimate concern, it looks like truth is the god of the atheists.  Of course, it would not be the Christian God, nor would it be any theistic deity.  Is this right?  Is truth the god of the atheists?  Do atheists worship the truth?  I doubt it.  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say this: atheists revere the truth, and, for atheists, truth is holy, truth is sacred, truth is divine.

References:

Tillich, P. (1951) Systematic Theology.  Vol. 1.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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