In his article, "Leftism a Radical Faith," Bruce Riggs notes that much of the political history of the extended twentieth century is that of massive extinctions of citizenries by their dictatorial governments,
"Take the engineered mass starvations, torture chambers, firing squads, and gulags of Lenin and Stalin; Nazi gas chambers; Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge killing fields; the genocides of Mao's "Great Leap Forward"; and the tyrannical North Korean Sung dynasty, and one will find that over one hundred million people have been slaughtered." (American Thinker, Jan. 1, 2014)
In one way or another, these dictatorial governments systematically murdered millions to create an imagined earthly Eden, said Riggs, and this is clearly irrational. In this sense, leftist ideology is an atheist religion with the look of a religious inquisition. Klaus Fischer puts it this way:
“[T]otalitarianism represents the twentieth-century version of traditional religiosity; it is in many ways the secular equivalent of the religious life. Unless this crucial point is captured, the quintessential nature of totalitarianism will elude us.” (ibid)
This "totalitarian religiosity" continues as a “scientific,” secular, politico-centric faith,
“....disdainful of theistic beliefs and contemptuous of those who subscribe to them. It is a faith that, in its historical manifestations, has birthed the murderous tyrannies of the extended twentieth century -- tyrannies that have marched under left-wing banners of Marxism, Communism, and National Socialism, or, more generally and descriptively, Coercive Collectivism.” (ibid, Riggs)
The common denominators of both the Westernized 'modern' atheistic religion and those of Eastern orientation are the denial of the supernatural One God in three Persons, the fall (original sin), man as God's spiritual image-bearer, Moral Law, immutable Truth, heaven, hell, angels and demons as well as the embrace of the idea of either pre-existing or spontaneously generated matter in tandem with evolutionary thinking and mankind collectively reduced to parts of the universe of matter. In this way of thinking, human beings are not God’s spiritual image bearers endowed with unalienable rights but property of the state (Big Brother), a large form taken by matter with earth (Gaia) an even larger form and the universe the largest.
The idea that matter is eternal or spontaneously generated is a pattern of thought stretching back to the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks in the West and in the East to Buddha and the Upanishads.
Matter is not personal. It cannot produce life and more importantly, conscious life, nor can it think, speak, or move. It is not human. Nor is it either male or female.
Whether matter is held to be eternally existing or spontaneously generated (Cosmic Egg/Big Bang) matters not since the common denominator of all materialist cosmogonies is metaphysical nihilism,
"... This position has been held by philosophers such as Parmenides, Buddha, Advaita Vedantins, and perhaps Kant (according to some interpretations of his transcendental idealism). Blob theory can also be considered very closely aligned with mereological nihilism (there are no parts and wholes). Obviously if metaphysical nihilism is correct, empirical reality is an illusion." (What is Metaphysical Nihilism? OpenTopia.com)
With respect to the Westernized version, the idea that everything in the universe reduces to matter is found for example, in the thinking of Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Teilhard de Chardin, the evolutionary ‘Christian’ Michael Dowd, and William James, the man known as the father of American psychology.
James was a radical empiricist, a Darwinist who held that since life evolved from matter (nature) then the human mind had evolved out of matter as well.
William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Dewey comprised a group of scholars who founded an entire school of philosophy (pragmatism) on Darwinian materialism.
Their goal was to expand Darwinian materialism (naturalism) into a complete worldview to rival the supernatural Biblical worldview." (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, Nancy Pearce, pp. 228-229)
Pragmatists utterly rejected the unenlightened "non-scientific and anti-evolutionary" view of man created in the spiritual image of God, thereby rejecting the view that mind transcends matter in favor of the Darwinian view that mind is produced by matter.
Naturalism (materialism) is a modern form of monism and refers to the view that nature (or matter) is the Ultimate Substance of which the universe and all life collectively consist, thus "all is one." C. S. Lewis describes naturalism as a box with its top sealed tightly closed in order to keep out God and the supernatural realm.
There are two basic kinds of modern naturalism: physical materialism (i.e., Atomism) and occult pantheism (i.e., Eastern Advaita Vedanta and New Age spirituality).
The two kinds differ chiefly about whether the First Cause or Absolute Substance is physical matter or psychic matter (energy): an unknowing, unknowable, amoral mind (i.e., Brahman, Void).
However, both kinds are united by their rejection of the transcendent, personal God and the supernatural realm and by their acceptance of some form of evolution, which serves as an impersonal, mechanical process of development.
In the West, modern naturalism of the physical materialist kind originated in the metaphysics of the ancient Ionians and Stoics during the sixth century BC. However, it was the Atomists (Leucippus/Democritus, 460-357 BC; Epicurus, 342-270 BC; and Lucretius, 96-55 BC) who methodically developed philosophical materialism.
Atomism set all things in ceaseless, purposeless motion by reducing everything---including man, his soul, and even his thoughts---to mindless atoms perpetually colliding with each other in a void. Man was reduced to a soulless, mindless machine that could only ‘see' a tree because the tree emitted atoms which entered machine-man's eyes and implanted themselves onto his brain. This view has changed very little:
"We are descended from robots, and composed of robots..." --Daniel C. Dennett, Kinds of Minds
Plato and Aristotle were the most forceful and compelling critics of Atomism. In Book X of Laws, Plato indicts the Atomists for reversing the natural order by placing brute matter before Nous (mind/soul), and for the reductionism that sets everything in motion and reduces man to a machine. Plato foresees only misery, social disintegration and ultimately, "the ruin of both states and families" should Atomism become the accepted view.
Though supernatural Christianity reared a mighty barrier against Atomism, it would be resurrected--- along with its occult pantheist counterpart--during the Renaissance, thence by stages to rationalism, empiricism, idealism, progressivism, socialism, communism, Darwinism and finally to America's pragmatists who in one fell stroke, not only reversed the natural order but because Darwinism posits an inverted exegesis, inverted it as well.
With respect to Satan, what this means is that since there was no fall from God's good creation, then Lucifer is not the Devil but like man, an upward evolving conscious product of nature. This is why Enlightenment-era modernists laughed at the idea of Lucifer as the devil since they knew he was really the Mind of the Universe.
In 1872 Fyodor Dostoevsky published his book, Demons. Dostoevsky had thoroughly analyzed ‘modern’ ideas such as empiricism and concluded that they were of the Devil. Thus the theme of Demons is the arrival in Russia of supposedly rational, scientific ideas from Western Europe that turn out to be demons. The demons cannot be seen since they are ideas that 'eat' (possess) men who willingly receive them into their minds.
The common nature of the "ideas" is demonic because all are types of naturalism which on one hand deny the existence of the supernatural dimension hence the living, personal God while on the other posit either eternally existing or spontaneously generated matter. So rather than the devil’s original pre-flood question, "did God really mean...?" we now have "does He really even exist?"
Hegel's dialectic, Karl Marx's dialectical materialism, Darwin's materialist theory, and James radical empiricism for example, reduce everything to matter. All are types of naturalism.
Here is what Hans Jonas has to say about 'matter' in "The Gnostic Religion," his full-scale study of the heretical world of Gnosticism. From the time of the ancients the structure of the universe has been viewed as watery chaos (primordial matter), thus with Gnostics:
"Sea or waters is a standing gnostic symbol for the world of matter or of darkness into which the divine has sunk. Thus the Nassenes interpreted Ps. 29: 3 and 10, about God's inhabiting the abyss and His voice ringing out over the waters as follows: 'The many waters is the multifarious world of mortal generation into which the god Man has sunk and out of whose depth he cries up to the supreme God, the Primal Man, his unfallen original.." (p. 117)
Jonas compares ancient Christian-era Gnosticism to its' 'modern scientific' counterpart. With the former,
"Gnostic man is thrown into an antagonistic, anti-divine, and therefore anti-human nature..."
Yet the hostile, demonic world of physical matter is still anthropomorphic (humanized), familiar even in its foreignness, and the contrast provides some direction, negative direction to be sure, but one,
"...that has behind it the sanction of the negative transcendence to which the...world is the qualitative counterpart." (pp. 338-339)
Modern Gnostic man however, is thrown into a completely indifferent world of matter. This case represents,
"...the absolute vacuum, the really bottomless pit."
Unlike the former case, modern scientific conceptions such as radical empiricism and methodological naturalism strip matter of even the tiniest bit of anthropomorphism so that not even this antagonistic quality is granted,
"....to the indifferent nature of modern science, and from that nature no direction at all can be elicited." (ibid)
For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America had followed St. Augustine (AD 354-430) in affirming that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent One God in three Persons then it logically follows that each human being is a person, a trinity of being — of soul, spirit, and body.
But for over two hundred years, ancient anti-human evolutionary materialist cosmogonies, philosophies, natural science, materialist psychology, and dogmas have been working their way through our culture, embedding themselves, often unconsciously, within our psyches, causing us to believe that we are less than nothing (chimp-pig hybrids, robots, apes) and unleashing a rising tide of despair, rage, madness, murder and mayhem.