Monday, 15 November 2010

Could politically correct atheists only become Christian via paganism?

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I have said that the modern secular intellectual elite are only kept going - in the face of their nihilism - by continual distraction.

And that, due to habituation (the biological process by which repeated identical stimuli lose their effect), these distractions must be continually novel, and/or continually increasing in strength.

This means that the PC secular elite are continually in danger of existential collapse due to a failure of distraction leading to them being confronted by their own nihilism.

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What happens then?

The best thing would be to repent and turn to Christianity; but it seems to be a huge step.

Such a huge step that not many people seem to make it.

Another thing that might happen is a reversion to the default state: paganism.

There are numerous paganisms in the world today: Hinduism probably being the biggest, followed by Buddhism (non-Zen variety) and innumerable others.

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What are the pros and cons of paganism?

One advantage is that it restores normal common sense human nature, as applied to worldly things.

It restores depth and seriousness to life: The soul is acknowledged, so is a super-natural world.

And, looking further ahead, pagans are readily converted to Christianity (as history demonstrates).

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The reason that pagans were so readily converted to Christianity relates to the bleakness of the pagan world view, on reflection.

Once the feasting and festivals are over; the thoughtful pagan recognizes life as (at its best) merely 'a sparrow's flight' through a brightly lit mead hall: coming from darkness then after a moment plunging back into darkness.

Pagan life does not really have any meaning.

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Pagans find implanted within them a natural law, and the best pagans will follow that law; they will be brave and loyal, will support and protect their family and clan, will love and create beauty, will be truthful - but they do not really know why they do so, nor do they expect this to make any difference to themselves or the world in the long term.

The world is headed either for annihilation (Ragnarok) or equally meaningless cycles of repetition (Hinduism).

So paganism is meaningless in the big picture, and purposeless.

And this is why pagans are so readily converted to Christianity: as Pascal saw so clearly, Christianity is much preferable to paganism, we would much prefer it to be true; and since (for pagans) there is very good evidence of the truth of Christianity - many or most pagans will become Christian - given the chance.

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The main problem with paganism is that it does not share the Christian conception of pride as the worst sin - therefore paganism (like materialist secularism) tends to encourage pride.

Pagan religious experience therefore tends to cause a lot more harm than good: to be a source of reinforcing pride rather than virtue. 

The great virtue of paganism is not humility but stoicism, or uncomplaining suffering.

The 'good pagan' practices proper behaviour without cause or reason or hope: and, while noble, is therefore a dry, sad and futile figure:

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Still, on the whole, resurgent paganism might be a 'step in the right direction' for secular modernity. And paganism may indeed be a necessary step - a transitional stage on the road to truth.

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