by Nikos Kazantzakis

Religion causes conflict between people, conflict produces anxiety, and inhibition is a defense mechanism for anxiety. Intelligence is usually a measure of how fast or how slow it takes a person to understand a theory, insight, or concept. However, when it comes to religion, people can be inhibited from even understanding certain things. They have what psychoanalysts call blind spots. A stupid atheist is one who has blind spots about religion. Nikos Kazantzakis is an intelligent atheist, like Jean-Paul Sartre. The following quote indicates that Sartre understands what he is talking about:Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion." (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

An example of a stupid atheist is Richard Dawkins because he doesn't understand that the human soul is spiritual, that God exists, and that Jesus rose from the dead.

Kazantzakis spent many years trying to decide whether there is life after death. In his young adulthood, the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson persuaded him that fearing God is "jew-haggling." Faith involves haggling, according to Kazantzakis, because the faithful are bargaining with God about the price of a ticket to Heaven. The author associates haggling with being Jewish, I suppose, because he is anti-Semitic. He also spoke of one of his lovers, a Communist named Itka, as having "thick Jewish lips." He too was a Communist during the reign of Lenin and Stalin. I mention his anti-Semitism and Communism because people who don't believe in God are prone to irrational enthusiasms, such as laissez faire capitalism, socialism, eugenics, imperialism, and racism.

Kazantzakis tells the story of a man who sincerely thinks he is "unique." A friend sends this man a corpse with the request that he bring it to life. The man tries all night to do this, but fails. This story is clearly a reference to the story about Lazarus in the Gospel of John, and the author is telling the story to ridicule people of faith. I went to a Jesuit college in the early 1960s, and one day the head of the theology department, while writing on the blackboard about something or other, turned to the class and said, "Does anyone here seriously believe Lazarus rose from the dead? It is just a story." The author made himself appear ridiculous with his story about Lazarus.