Under these conditions it is no wonder, that the movement of atheists, which declares religion to be just a deliberate illusion, invented by power-seeking priests, and which has for the pious belief in a higher Power nothing but words of mockery, eagerly makes use of progressive scientific knowledge and in a presumed unity with it, expands in an ever faster pace its disintegrating action on all nations of the earth and on all social levels. I do not need to explain in any more detail that after its victory not only all the most precious treasures of our culture would vanish, but — which is even worse — also any prospects at a better future.-Max Planck
I recently listened to Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard address(1978) where he made the point that civilisation is not complete without spirituality. Humanists might argue that the correct ideology is necessary and sufficient. But, on this matter Solzhenitsyn also has a counterpoint:
Ideology — that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justifications and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.-Solzhenitsyn
I will add that while ideology is certainly a necessary basis for the establishment of any civilisation, the correct ideology for any generation escapes the grasp of mere mortals. Without spirituality that forges a bond between humans and Nature, men believe that they are above Nature, that there is nothing sacred and that their human leaders are the ultimate authorities of the Universe. This inevitably leads to the destruction of Nature for our bond with Nature can’t be measured in a monetary currency.
And without anything to keep their ideology in check, without anything to remind humans that they are fallible, this leads to the destruction of civilisation itself. On this matter, I think that Solzhenitsyn should also have the last word:
Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.-Solzhenitsyn