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By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, June 25, 2021
David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.
Voltaire, we are told, once said, “If God didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.” I don’t know if Voltaire uttered these words, but he might have. For they reflect an opinion he held that went something like this: “It’s all very well for us intellectuals to be atheists if we like. We’re rational enough to realize that morally decent behavior is a personal and social necessity regardless of whether God exists. But atheism will never do for the masses. They’ll only behave decently if they believe that the rules of morality are imposed on them by a Divine Lawmaker and enforced with great rewards and severe punishments by a Divine Judge. If you wish to say a few words on behalf of atheism, please do so only when the servants are out of the room.”
In America today, many people seem to want to say, “If white racism didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.” And so, since it no longer exists in any really serious form, they are inventing it. …