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On Tuesday February 12, The Institute of World Politics (IWP) welcomed Professor Emeritus Amb. Alberto Martinez Piedra to speak about his new book, No God, No Civilization: The New Atheism and the Fantasy of Perpetual Progress.
IWP Founder and President Dr. John Lenczowski introduced the event and spoke highly of Amb. Piedra’s “extraordinary contributions to the world, country, and school.”
In his remarks, Amb. Piedra noted that in No God, No Civilization, he examines “New Atheism” thinking and the idea of perpetual progress and reveals the tragedy in reasoning that an ungodly world serves humanity better than a godly one. This New Atheism thinking wishes to eliminate any thought about the divine in public life. Secular thinkers believe the scientific revolution created an unambiguous split between science and religion and that to do without the latter is to be desired. They claim that an ungodly world will bring about peace and that any godly presence interrupts the course of humanity and stands in the way of progress. Amb. Piedra argued that secular worldviews have historically led to some of the bloodiest centuries and that the removal of God in the spiritual sense also generates suffering in the physical sense. He promulgated the Judeo-Christian idea that God is the source of morality and his love for mankind is abundant.
Amb. Piedra called for policymakers and modern thinkers to renew civilization as we see it and avoid past mistakes by scrutinizing New Atheism thinking and preserving Judeo-Christian tradition. Amb. Piedra said: “If we want to change things, we have to change the heart.” Today’s age has brought a crisis of confusion and error, and the only solution is not more laws or force, but moral actions. These moral actions are guided by natural law, which appeals to all religions and tells us what is right and wrong. God created Man with reason and will, and this concept is the basis of all civilization. Judeo-Christian principles are declining in the new age, and as Winston Churchill said in 1948, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” We must not repeat it.
Amb. Piedra was born and raised in Cuba and came to the United States in 1959. He has been a professor at many universities around the world, Director of General Exports and Imports of the Cuban Ministry of Commerce (1959), Technical Assistant of the Department of Economic Development of the Cuban National Council (1958-59), and Director of the Latin American Institute (1965-82) and Chairman for the Department of Economics and Business (1967-74) at The Catholic University of America. Amb. Piedra also served as the U.S. Representative to the Economic and Economic and Social Council of the Organization of the American States (1982-84) and as the U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala (1984-87) and as the Senior Area Advisor for Latin America during the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (1987-88). Piedra has three doctoral degrees in Laws, Political Economy, and Economics and has authored two books.