Sunday, 23 March 2014

We are Boll Weevils. Question: How would we know that God is punishing us?


Answer: When we deny that we are being punished.

(And pretend that what we are getting is what we wanted all along.)


(Note: In general, God 'punishes' us simply by not intervening to save us from the consequences of our own deliberate choices.)


A person or a society has not learned its lesson when it denies there is any lesson to learn.


So the pervasive moral inversions characteristic of political correctness flow from this depth of depravity and corruption.

Everything gets turned upside down: we violate reality and bad things happen - but the bad things are not perceived to be the effects of the cause - the bad things are denied to be the effects of the cause - and at the limit the bad things are denied to be bad, and redescribed as good.


This is most evident in respect to the sexual revolution - for example divorce.

At first, divorce was bad - something to be prevented, or at least severely discouraged.

Then it was made easier, to be kind to those who were in a desperately unhappy situation; and as divorce was easier it became more common - much more common.

And this was regarded as good, because more divorce meant fewer unhappy marriages.

And when lots of divorces were regarded as positively good, there were even more of them.

An now divorce is so common, so normal; and solid marriage is so rare, and families so rare; and the scene is such a landscape of destruction, that it is regarded as simply hurtful to those implicated to talk about the subject.

It is too late now, it seems, to admit that divorce is bad and always was bad; to try and set up things to have less divorce instead of ever-more - and of course to speak out in favour of strengthening marriage and families is pretty much to don a black shirt and march to Nuremberg.


In this topsy-turvy world, to destroy the meaning of marriage, to make it a mere piece of paper and legal fiction, is regarded as if this was wanting to spread the benefits of marriage - but by 'no fault divorce' the most solemn of all human contracts (announced weeks in advance, formally reflected upon, the signing typically witnessed by dozens or even hundreds) has been declared not-a-contract-at-all - since it can unilaterally be voided on any grounds or for no reason at all.


But where is the outcry? Where is the sense that we are now far along a road to ruin? 

This is a strange and sinister situation we are in here and now - because the fact of being wounded does not normally or naturally destroy the desire to be healthy.

To have sinned oneself does not usually destroy or invert the belief in virtue - otherwise there would never have been any social concept of virtue.

And yet this is what we are doing.


We are being punished, and the reason we need to be punished is that we deny we are being punished.

We claim to enjoy our punishment - we claim our punishment is actually a reward!

De first time I seen de boll weevil,
He was a-settin' on de square.
An de next time I seen de boll weevil,
He had all of his family dere.
Jes lookin' for home
Gotta find a new home....

So de farmer took de boll weevil,
An' he put him in de ice cold ice;
An de weevil say to de farmer:
Dis is mighty cool and nice,
It'll be my home,
Dis'll be my home...

De farmer take de boll weevil,
An' he stomp him in de mud
An de weevil say to de farmer
Ain't gonna do you no good
Dis'll be my home,
Dis'll be my home...

Note: The boll weevil was an insect parasite that destroyed the cotton in Southern USA - apparently it spread fast and was difficult to eradicate.  The above is my memory of a part of the Boll Weevil song from a Wally Whyton LP.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I agree with you completely on divorce, but the larger point that divorce is supposed to be exemplifying -- your answer to the question in the headline -- is confusing.

People who think that God is not punishing them are, you say, always wrong; their belief that they are not being punished is proof that they are being punished. This implies either (a) that everyone, at all times, without exception, is being punished by God; or (b) that some people are in fact not being punished, but 100% of those people have a delusional belief that they are being punished -- which delusion would itself seem to qualify as a punishment, bringing us back to option (a).

Albrecht said...

Exactly right. This can also be seen in the move to legalize pot here in the US. In the space of about 75 years dope has gone from sin to vice to crime to pathology to naughty to commonplace. Now that it's one of our major industries and millions of "normal" folks are getting stoned on a regular basis we feel we must legalize it. At the same time there is a campaign to promote all of its wonderful but previously unrecognized health benefits.

Soon, when we realize how "unfair" it is that pot is legal and other drugs are not and what a "disparate impact" drug laws continue to have, we will learn about all the ways heroin and crack can improve our lives.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - Necessary but not sufficient.

Adam G. said...

Except for the most obdurate, like Satan and the other rebel angels, recognizing that you are being punished means you are on the cusp of not being punished, because you are starting to repent.

In the afterlife, the Mormon schema of multiple heavens means that most sinners probably continue to not recognize that they are being punished. The limited mental outlook that lets them not recognize that the good that they are given is so much less than the good they could and should have is probably the core of their damnation. In that sense, damnation is a mercy.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Adam - " recognizing that you are being punished means you are on the cusp of not being punished" Yes that's another angle on it, reminiscent of The Great Divorce (again!).

Damnation is a form of self-willed blindness to the nature of reality - another Lewis example is the dwarfs at the end of The Last Battle.

This is the big worry about our culture. As an example outwith 'morals' science is set up (its assumptions are) to exclude all 'supernatural'/ religious phenomena - yet most people/ nearly-all people believe this means that there is 'no such thing' as religion - that it has been falsified because 'science can find no evidence' of it.

Somehow people are blind to this - although it seems very simple and obvious.

David said...

@Bruce - I totally agree that science is blinded by the truth but I worry a lot about this. It seems failure to recognize this could take my family and friends from me as they are blind to the possibility of even being saved. They have no idea what I am talking about and think me a slightly mad wishful-thinker who has lost the plot by embracing face. Do you think God will understand and have mercy on them for the idiosyncratically evil culture in which we live? Perhaps this too is outside of his control if they choose to ignore the alternative explanations for reality. This makes me feel very sad and worried for my family (selfishly, because I dearly wish to be with them in the next life) and beyond that my brothers and sisters in Western society, so many of them seem irretrievably lost to God's existence. I used to be like that. Its hard to know how to best help this with my life (I am a volunteer after all?! I did not volunteer just to save myself). This is no trivial matter. I pray to God for wisdom and guidance. Do you mind if I share your blog/posts with them? Perhaps it could help as it helped me.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - I am not sure about your understanding of how salvation works. The danger (from my perspective) is that if people reject salvation then they will be allowed to have what they want.

But I believe that our love of other people does play a role in their salvation - although I am unsure how this might work.

My notion is that after resurrection people are offered salvation and are given full awareness of all the relevant factors - including love of others for them (and the wishes of those who love them).

Knowing for sure that their son/ brother/ father loves them and yearns for their salvation may make a difference to somebody's choice.

David said...

@Bruce - My previous post is merely a reflection of the sense of separation I am now feeling as a new Christian amidst a family of non-Christian atheists. It is quite an isolating experience I am finding. I feel a lot closer to God but further from my family. As family is central to the Christian world view and personally very important to me it is naturally of concern to me that we may be separated by this divide of faith that has developed within me but not them (so far). It is not something that they share and this is a ongoing 'worry/concern' for me for want of a better way of phrasing it.

As far as salvation is concerned, well, perhaps you are right and I have misunderstood something but:

"My notion is that after resurrection people are offered salvation and are given full awareness of all the relevant factors - including love of others for them (and the wishes of those who love them)."

I did not know this and it is news to me. I am still a 'novice' Christian and learning a lot each day. If this is true as you say it, then perhaps I do not need to worry so much as I have been about this situation and I can trust in God and the goodness/honesty within them to guide them to truth. I pray they will come to see a) that there is an offer of salvation and b) that they choose to take it, and c) since their complete opposition to (a) is based on the modern inability to get past the facade of the 'science' or 'evolutionary' arguements for the origins of humans and all that follows - which in their opinion negates the suernatural or divine explanations of existence/reality - then I hope they too may come to see this as a false line of reasoning as I have come to realise, especially by reading your mini-book "the Christian Evolutionist." The case you make is so clear and fatal. I cannot see how anyone can read it with an open, truth-seeking mind and come away with the same stance of metaphysical denial that they held before reading it and really giving it due consideration as an antidote to the current propagandist perspectives on evolution as 'explaining everything' and eradicating any possibility of divine explanations for the creation of the Universive or any supernatural explanations to the meaning of life.