Friday, 20 September 2013

How to cure an addicted society


Modern society is addicted to distraction - to the mass media: to sex, drugs, news, soaps, fashion and celebrity.

Withdrawal from these makes people feel bad, makes them feel (sometimes) that life is not worth living, that they are lonely, that people are bored by and disrespect them.


So is there any incentive to give-up the addictions, and go through an unpleasant withdrawal?

Only if what awaits you on the other side of withdrawal is better than being an addict.


To give-up addiction to distractions entails believing that if you were not distracted from reality, and became aware of reality; then reality would be better than the distractions. 

But if a person believes that reality is dull or horrible - if they believe that reality actually is one or another life of distraction - then they will not attempt to give-up their addictions.


So, to give up addiction to distraction, a person must believe that real reality is better than the virtual realities of a life of distraction.

What is real reality? Christianity.

Is it better than a life of distraction? Yes it is. And not by a little.  


Reality is not a bitter pill (nor is it a 'red pill'!) - reality is a deep joy.

It is not that there is 'nothing to be afraid of' from reality - there is plenty to be afraid of.

But it is, despite all, a deep joy - the deep joy: reality is the deep joy which makes-real all other joys (and without-which all other joys are subverted into virtual realities).



deconstructingleftism said...

Modern liberal Christianity is so co-opted by leftism as to be indistinguishable from it- except for silly stuff like miracles. You aren't going to hear anything at most Christian churches you don't already hear in the leftist media, so why bother to go?

Bruce Charlton said...

@dl - Yes, of course. I was talking about Christianity, not what goes on in most modern churches. Indeed, this is one way you can tell them apart.

The Crow said...

Jesus talked of Reality. That was his Big Message.
Then people decided to make this thing called Christianity, based upon what Jesus had reputedly said.
This Christianity was at least at one remove from Reality itself.
Christianity is not Reality. Although, ideally, it may point to indications of what Reality is.

Alex said...

You aren't going to hear anything at most Christian churches you don't already hear in the leftist media, so why bother to go?

Quite so. After a daily barrage of leftist sentiment heard at work, in the media, and even in the pub, who wants to augment his woes by going to church on Sunday and listening to more politically correct mischief ?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alex - That was why I wrote this

to emphasize that people ought to be strong Christians 'even if' they are not church members or attenders - indeed for some people in some circumstances NOT going to church may be an indicator of genuine faith.

(They shouldn't *like* not going to church, it should grieve them, they should hope to be able to do so - but the reality is that sometimes it is necessary or at least best NOT to go to church.)