A Dictionary for Believers and Nonbelievers by Progress Publishers

By Progress Publishers

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The openings for atheist education in 47 capitalist society are limited. Only socialism, by undermining the social roots of religion, creates favourable opportunities for the wide-scale de­ velopment of atheist education. In Soviet society overcoming the in­ fluence of religion and fostering mass atheist consciousness is closely bound up with the economic and cultural reforms taking place in the course of socialist development. In socialist society atheist education is called upon not merely to provide each working citizen with the basis on which to build up a scientific world outlook, but also to enable him to withstand religious influen­ ces and develop the necessary skills to carry out atheist propaganda work.

By evaluating religion from the point of view of the interests of the working people, the revolutionary democrats were able to reveal more clearly than their predecessors its social role and they came near to seeing in religion the opium of the people: they demon­ strated that, by consoling the op- 46 ATIIEISM ROOTED IN NATURAL SCIENCES pressed with illusions of b1iss beyond the grave, religion was reconciling them to their lot. Russian atheists made an important contribution to the elaboration of ways in which to overcome religion.

Aesthetic creation helps man develop his abilities and serves to shape his in­ terests and needs, thus filling those channels via which religion might seek to influence men and helping consolidate men's scientific world outlook. ARTEMIS, in classical mythology, the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin-sister of Apollo. She was worshipped as the goddess of fer­ tility, chastity, hunting, the Moon and as the protectress of animals and as the helper of women in la­ bour. The cult of Artemis retained vestigial aspects of primitive relig­ ious concepts (since this goddess was worshipped in the form of a she.

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