Dr. Peikoff’s forthcoming book, The DIM Hypothesis, identifies three different modes of integration, i.e., of interrelating concretes, such as individual percepts, facts, choices, etc. As Dr. Peikoff explains: “My thesis is that the dominant trends in every key area can be defined by their leaders’ policy toward integration. They are against it (Disintegration, D); they are for it, if it conforms to reality (Integration, I); they are for it, if it conforms to a superior reality (Misintegration, M).” The book demonstrates the power of these three modes in shaping Western culture and history.
The book looks to be a bombshell. In his podcast Dr. Peikoff says it explains how religion is “the root of all evil from the beginning.”
I’m sure I’m not the only atheist to have held religion to be the greatest bane to man’s existence, but I’ve never seen a long, well reasoned argument on the idea. I look forward to the book, which will come out in late 2011 if publishing follows schedule.
As a playwright, it occurs to me that if Dr. Peikoff is right about religion, then the story of man’s history is as exciting as any romantic drama. You hear the idea everywhere, from Dostoyevsky to Dennis Prager, that no morality is possible without religion. The opposite is true: religion, with its idea of a supernatural realm, makes morality — a morality for living on this earth — impossible. The greatest evil, the destroyer of man’s aspirations and happiness, is that which most people think is the source of all morality! You can’t get more dramatic than that.
And now with the rise of Objectivism we have a hero in our drama. Objectivism and religion will clash for man’s soul, and the outcome of this contest will be the climax of man’s history since the birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece. It would take a Schiller or a Corneille to write a climax integrated with such a broad, philosophical theme. The struggle of philosophy throughout history is a more exciting story than most dramatists can conjure up with their imagination.
(I don’t mean to imply that the idea of history as drama has anything to do with Dr. Peikoff’s argument; this is my interpretation.)
Christians like to call the history of Jesus the greatest story ever told. The truth about religion is the greatest story never told.
UPDATE: Revision of grammar.