Extreme atheism

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Famous atheists, known historically, as "extreme atheists", along with, for some, akin clarifications of "extreme materialists" and or "extreme mechanists"; namely: Jean Meslier, Julien la Mettrie, Baron d’Holbach, Ludwig Feuerbach, in latter years, and Ludwig Buchner.
In terminology, extreme atheism refers to one who has a belief system or belief state “extremely” nullified, devoid, and on the far right hand side of the Dawkins scale, of belief in the existence of god—something closely related to being an extreme materialist (e.g. Ludwig Buchner) and or extreme mechanist (e.g. Henry Carey) in Stark classification — which, in the 19th century terms, would refer to someone who only believes in the existence matter and energy in various states of vacuum, or in 20th century terms, would refer to someone who only believes in the existence of fermions and bosons and the interactions and bound states they produce, or something to this effect, e.g. Henry Adams believed, after deriving his own model of the universe, he was a physico-chemical phase (see: social phase), as defined by the chemical thermodynamics of Willard Gibbs (see: Adams creed).

Historically, there have been only five individuals whose brand of atheism has been labeled in print as extreme, namely: Jean Meslier, Julien la Mettrie, Baron d’Holbach, Ludwig Feuerbach, in latter years, and Ludwig Buchner; Meslier being the most ferocious of the group, Holbach and Buchner being the most forwardly intellectual in thinking. The following is their general ranking stats, respectively:

1. Jean Meslier (1664-1729) (IQ:#|#) (FA:63) (GA:2)
3. Julien la Mettrie (1770-1751) (IQ:#|#) (FA:67) (GA:11)
3. Baron d’Holbach (1723-1789) (IQ:185#|56) (FA:74) (GA:4) [SN:21]
4. Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) (IQ:180|#148) (FA:101) (GA:8)
5. Ludwig Buchner (1824-1899) (IQ:190|#40) (FA:110) (GA:6) [SN:11]

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Meslier
The French Catholic priest Jean Meslier (1664-1729), who was notably discovered, upon his death, to have written a book-length philosophical essay promoting atheism, has been referred to as an “extreme atheist” who, supposedly, was too extreme for Voltaire (Ѻ), and whose Testament against religions written is in a “frenzied anger” that makes Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion look tame (Nick Spencer, 2014). [6]

“Matter and energy moves itself. It has no exterior mover.”
— Jean Meslier (c.1720) (Ѻ)

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La Mettrie
French physician-philosopher Julien la Mettrie (1770-1751), a student of Herman Boerhaave, translator of Seneca’s essay on happiness, who went on to become classified as “extreme materialist” (Minois, 2009) (Carol, 2013), who advocated “open atheism” and variously credited as the “first truly modern materialist” (Leiber, 1994), noted for his The Natural History of the Soul (1745), wherein he argued for a mechanist materialistic position, according to which there was no need of the soul to animate matter, that life was a property of matter, not something breathed into, and Man a Machine (1747), one of the first noted early atheists on the atheism timeline. [7] To quote:

“What is the soul, but an empty word to which no idea corresponds?”

His books were burned in public. [8]

Newton of the atheists | Holbach
See also: Hume-Holbach dinner party
French materialist philosopher Baron d’Holbach (1723-1789), and his The System of Nature: the Laws of Moral and Physical World, itself known as the “Atheist’s Bible”, is widely known as the “Newton of the atheists” (Ѻ) even cited so in history of atheism documentaries. (V|1:45) Thought difficult to find a specific citation of him as an “extreme atheist”, the following is a 2006 summary European historian Nathan Barber: [9]

“d’Holbach took Newton’s ideas about the universe operating as a clock or machine to the extreme, arguing that humans have no free will, and that forces and laws of nature governed the lives of humans, not humans themselves and certainly not god. He aggressively argued against the existence of God and even against the existence of human souls. After all, why would human machines have need for souls?”

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Feuerbach
German anthropologist and philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), noted for his advocacy of liberalism, atheism, and materialism, known as a "legendary atheist" (Ѻ) (Ѻ), whose “extreme atheism” (Ѻ) was sometimes tempered with “divine humanism”, whose work is a forerunner to Marx-based Soviet atheism, who was said to have become more of an extreme atheist in later years, a labeling summarized by philosophy historian Samuel Bergman, as follows: [3]

“Feuerbach replaces theology with anthropology, he also replaces the concept of god with the concept of cooperation between people. He became an extreme atheist in his later years, as can been seen in his works.”

To elaborate, the following is the effect he had on Vladimir Lenin: [4]

“The materialists Helvetius, Diderot, Lammet, then Comte, and especially Feuerbach, drove the idea of god and the notion of immortality of the soul completely out of his brain. The image of a ‘kind and graceful Christ’ disappeared.”

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Ludwig Buchner
(1824-1899)

Libb Thims
(c.1975-)
A comparison of German physician-physicist Ludwig Buchner and American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, both labeled “extreme atheists” and [gross] “materialists” and both theorists of force-matter based morality systems, shows the latter to be MORE extreme than the former, in that he not only denies god, but he also denies life and love as being defunct terms in need of terminology and concept reform.

Buchner
German physician and physicist Ludwig Buchner (1824-1899) has been characterized as a "gross materialist" (Finck, 1877), "extreme materialism" (Britannica, 1911), the "father of German atheistic evangelism"; and self-defined himself as an "atheist", per terminology dialogue with Darwin (Ѻ), philosopher—compare also: Stark classification (1962) on “extreme form” of social mechanism. The following are quotes representative of these epitaphs:

“The universe, that is the all, is made neither of gods nor of men, but ever has been and ever will be an eternal living fire, kindling and extinguishing in destined measure.”
Heraclitus (500BC), opening quote to Buchner’s 1884 Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon

“Where there are three students of nature, there are two atheists.”
— Anon (c.1850), opening quote to Buchner’s 1884 Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon

“Just as man and woman attract one another, so oxygen attracts hydrogen, and, in loving union with it, forms water, that mighty omnipresent element, without which no life nor thought would be possible.”
Ludwig Buchner (c.1870), cited by Henry Finck (1887) as representative of “gross materialism”

Potassium and phosphorous entertain such a violent passion for oxygen that even under water they burn—i.e. unite themselves with the beloved object.”
Ludwig Buchner (c.1870), cited by Henry Finck (1887) as representative of “gross materialism”

Buchner, by the time of the publication of 1884 4th English edition, based on the 15th German edition, of his Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon, opens to quotes of extremes to have come before him, including: Feuerbach, La Mettrie, and Goethe.

American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, to note, similar to Buchner, e.g. in advocating chemical and heat based modeling of human interactions, such as above, and for promoting ideologies said to be "laced with extreme atheism and materialism" (Sekhar, 2011), is in agreement with Buchner, albeit more extreme, in that Thims (a) also denies the existence of life (see: defunct theory of life), namely there is no such thing as "living" fire nor life, in the Francis Crick "we should abandon the word alive" (1966) sense of the matter, and (b) denies the existence of love, i.e. while agreeing, with Buchner, that man and woman attract just as oxygen and hydrogen attract, namely both processes actuating according to the same one nature overarching physicochemical principles, does not believe, in opposition to Buchner, that love nor passion can be attributed to these processes, in the Ninotchka “Love is a romantic designation for a most ordinary biological—or, shall we say, chemical—process … a lot of nonsense is talked and written about it” (1939) sense of the matter (see: It’s a Chemical Reaction, That’s All). They both, in short, are religio-mythology and metaphysical terms, respectively, in need of deanthropomorphized terminology reform, in the Otto Weininger “If iron sulphate and caustic potash are brought together, the SO4 ions leave the iron to unite with the potassium. When in nature an adjustment of such differences of potential is about to take place, he who would approve or disapprove of the process form the moral point of view would appear to most to play a ridiculous part” (1903) sense of the matter. In other words, just as it is "ridiculous" to say that oxygen and hydrogen "love" or have "passion" for each other, or that it is "immoral" for SO4 to leave iron and to unite with potassium, so it is with humans. This is something akin to having, in the past, had to fix the mind into the correct belief that the earth moves, is not flat, and that the sun goes around the earth, not the other way around.
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Ayn Rand s


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Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Libb Thims
(c.1975-)
Russian-born American philosopher Ayn Rand and American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, both labeled as extreme atheists, seem to be aligned on most points, except on the on the question of purpose and societal organization, Rand siding with self-interest and the rights of the individual, Thims siding with reality defined by chemical thermodynamics, according to which freedom and security are governed by the competing tendencies of entropy and enthalpy.

Rand
Russian-born American philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982) has been referred to in a number of places (Ѻ) (Ѻ) (Ѻ) as an extreme atheist and or having an “extreme atheism” (Ѻ) stance; the following is one example quote:

“In 2005, Paul Ryan professed to be a believer in the teachings of Ayn Rand, a Russian-born writer, philosopher, and extreme atheist. He stated: ‘I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people. You know, everybody does their soul searching, and trying to found out who they are and what they believe. You learn about yourself. I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are.”
— Ron Peeples (2012), Crap: the Dirty Dozen of the Republican Party (Ѻ)

Rand’s personal philosophy is what is called objectivism, whose central tenets are: (a) god does not exist, (b) reality exists independent of consciousness, that humans have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, (c) proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and (d) that the role of art in human life is to transform humans' metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.

Thims and Rand are aligned in their extremism, except on point (c) in that whereas Rand's objectivism seems to put more weight on individual rights and one's own happiness, Thims sides with the Rossini chemical thermodynamics real world model, according to which in any system, social or otherwise, there exists a compromise between freedom and security, as quantified by entropy and enthalpy change variables, behind which is the driving force of free energy, which actuates senses of purpose, "some seemingly divine, some not", as Einstein would say, respectively; also "proper moral purpose of one's life" is greatly loaded.

Thims
American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, in 2009 self-classified himself as Dawkins number 10, and since at least 2011, has been classified or characterized in print by others an extreme atheist and or strong atheist:

“Arrogants like Eddington, despite his achievements, are the cause as to why people like Libb Thims fall from one position to another lower position. First Libb argued that life is a defunct theory to justify the application of classical version of the second law of thermodynamics to living systems, ignoring statistical thermodynamics. Then to justify ‘life is a defunct theory’ he argues that his actions and behavior or not ‘self-controlled’ or ‘self-driven’ [see: self-motion] but are governed by external electromagnetic forces. Arrogance leads to ignorance and scientific blindness as we noted from the example of Eddington and Nobel laureate Chandra Sekhar. Libb Thims’ science is laced with extreme atheism and materialism and hence his precarious position. Science needs to be kept at equal distance and away from both atheism and theism. I can’t stop but laugh at myself when I think that I am not alive or I am not moving myself.”
DMR Sekhar (2011), “Eddington’s Psycho-Syndrome” [1]

Libb Thims is a strong atheist, adheres to a physics-based morality, and considers himself a Goethean revolutionist.”
David Bossens (2013), Debates of the Hmolpedians [2]

Quotes
The following are related quotes:

“The amoral nurse might reject that he or she has a moral duty to uphold a patient’s rights. The amoral nurse would also probably claim that it does not make any sense even to speak of things like a patient’s ‘rights’ since moral language itself has no meaning. The amoralist’s position in this respect is analogous to the atheist’s rejection of certain religious terms. The extreme atheist, for example, would argue against uttering the word 'god', since it refers to nothing and therefore has no meaning. Such an atheist might also claim that there is no point in engaging in a religious debate on the existence of god, since there is just nothing there to debate. To try and debate the existence of god would be like trying to debate the existence of a ‘black cat in a darkened room when there isn’t one’ [see: black cat analogy]. The amoralist may argue in a similar way in relation to the issue of morality.”
— Megan-Jan Johnston (2011), Bioethics: a Nursing Perspective [10]

References
1. Sekhar, DMR. (2011). “Eddington’s Psycho-Syndrome” (Ѻ), Sulekhu.com.
2. Bossens, David. (2013). Debates of the Hmolpedians (Ѻ). LuLu.
3. Bergman, Samuel H. (2012). Dialogical Philosophy from Kierkegaard to Buber (pg. 149). SUNY Press.
4. Valentinov, Nikolai. (1969). The Early Years of Lenin (pg. 266). University of Michigan Press.
5. Objectivism (Ayn Rand) – Wikipedia.
6. Spencer, Nick. (2014). “Why Aren’t More Americans Atheists? Turns out it has nothing to do with Science. And everything to do with Politics” (Ѻ), The Big Idea, Aug 05.
7. (a) Minois, Georges. (2009). The Atheist’s Bible: the Most Dangerous Book that Never Existed (translator: Lys Weiss). University of Chicago Press, 2012.
(b) King, Carol. (2013). “The Man-Machine: Julien Offray de La Mettrie: An Extreme Materialist View of Human Beings as Having Only a Body and No Soul”, in: 1001 Ideas That Have Changed the Way We Think (editor: Robert Arp) (pg. 405). Atria Books.
(c) Leiber, Justin. (1994). “Introduction”, in: Man a Machine: and Man a Plant (“open atheism”, pg. 3). Hackett Publishing.
8. King, Carol. (2013). “The Man-Machine: Julien Offray de La Mettrie: An Extreme Materialist View of Human Beings as Having Only a Body and No Soul”, in: 1001 Ideas That Have Changed the Way We Think (editor: Robert Arp) (pg. 405). Atria Books.
9. Durkin, Aubrey. (2006). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History (pg. 199). Alpha.
10. Johnstone, Megan-Jane. (2011). Bioethics: a Nursing Perspective (pg. 103). Elsevier Health Sciences.

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