Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The success of the demythologizers


From Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, page 202


We know from our experience that the demythologizers have very effectively undermined the faith of vast numbers of young Christians.

...we would estimate that nearly half the students who enter Catholic colleges as believers exit as unbelievers...

...this loss of faith is in some measure surely due to the influence of demythologizing teachers...


Psychological reasons for unbelief 

The most powerful psychological motive for unbelief, as distinct from the most effective argument to undermine belief, is... almost always moral rather than intellectual.

That answer is addiction to sin and selfishness...

1. Addiction to power in this world... [nobody advocates detachment or unworldliness]

2. Addiction to lust, our society's favourite pastime... [sex addicts are not objective]

3. Addiction to greed... [our society relies on greed for its survival]

4. Addiction to worldliness... [acceptance and popularity - whereas the prophets and martyrs were neither]

5. Addiction to freedom...[doing your own thing, accepting yourself as you are, self-assertiveness].



I recognise the power of demythologizing - the kind of 'unmasking' which was pioneered by Nietzsche and has come in waves such as logical positivism, or the other isms; and in science and medicine in the form of applied statistics.

The basic method is to tell stories of how it was that (stupid people) used wrongly to believe x, but we (intelligent people) now perceive and can explain their errors.


Demythologizing is a purely destructive weapon, it will apparently undermine and ultimately destroy whatever it is used against; but it is never used against itself.


(That is power at work. The greatest destructive power is the mass media - which has such reach and operates using such procedures that it can moralistically destroy anything. Secular Western societies are helplessly addicted to the mass media; as addicts they will take, have-to-take, whatever drug the media is pushing. But the media destruction is only used systematically and strategically against perceived enemies of the Left.)


So debunkers feel as if they are superior in rigour and skepticism.

As undergraduates, they sit in judgement over Saints, prophets and martyrs; over the great scientists and authors of the past; over their parents and all previous generations - they look at some evidence, they evaluate for a few minutes or hours, and they pronounce their judgements...


But does this have any validity? They do not know, because metaphysics is taboo - being regarded as useless, dull, a wicked distraction; so it is impossible to discuss the assumptions and rationale and applicability of demythologizing tools. 

Young people are equipped with universally destructive tools, but are not allowed (or able) to discuss what they do, or when to use them.

Young people are intellectually equipped with chisels, saws and sledge hammers; but not with hammer and nails nor screws and screwdrivers - not even with riveting guns. 

They can dissect, slice and smash - approved enemies, or obstacles to their own gratification - but they cannot build.


But what a situation! - that Catholic colleges, private colleges, set-up to promote Catholicism, actually destroy Christian faith by means of the intellectual and social environment they have created.

And they do this among grown-ups - people who have reached an age of 18 plus without losing their faith! - but who have their faith eroded by attending Catholic college!

And everybody seems to accept this - parents choose to keep on paying-out heavy tuition fees and sending their kids away to remote colleges - only to have these pampered institutions destroy their children's faith!


Christians are voluntarily subsidising their own destruction (in this as in many other ways).


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've never understood most mainstream American Christian parents' attitude of college as an unalloyed good.

The idea of sending off your children when they're at their most vulnerable (and they ARE at their most vulnerable, because American children tend to be coddled hopelessly up until college age and then suddenly let loose) into a den of radical leftism and STDs is bad enough... and then you consider that so many of them save up for years to do it!