Apoptosis (usually pronounced ap-op-tosis) is a biological concept used to describe the self-triggered death of cells in various situations.
One such situation is cancer - e.g. a cell that undergoes the kind of genetic mutation that would lead to cancer might instead kill itself - thereby safeguarding the organism as a whole.
In other words; in this situation apoptosis is the result of a fail-safe mechanism, built-into each cell, and "designed" (e.g. by adaptive natural selection, but not wholly so) to eliminate a potential cause of life-threatening harm.
Most cell are a potential biological unit in their own right, each having its own genome, each reproducing; and therefore each potentially capable of evolving by natural selection to promote its selfish cellular reproductive interests, above the well-being of the multi-cellular organism as a while.
If this was unchecked, every multicellular organism would fall-apart into selfishly competing lineages of replicating cells that have evolved to promote their short-term reproduction, above the long-term functional-coherence of the organism.
Multi-celled organisms are therefore only possible to sustain, when there are surveillance and control mechanisms that enforce the mutual cooperation of cells - these mechanisms include the immune system (to identify and eliminate "rogue" cells) and apoptosis.
It strikes me that apoptosis provides an analogy, which may even be true at the causal level, for the self-destruction of Western Civilization.
Each human being is an organism that is capable of selfishly pursuing its own self-interest at the expense of society; and this innate self-interest therefore requires to be suppressed, re-shaped, and harmonized across human society for the benefit of that society - if that society is to be sustained.
Throughout known human history; the System for the harmonization of human society has always included what might be termed Religion; and it was characteristic of such Religion that it referenced human society to some-thing above-and-beyond human society - a world of spirits, gods or God - for example.
Religion can be regarded as an externally valid source of social regulation, and a justification for social regulation; and I am assuming that (over multiple generations) this biological fact was also internalized by each individual human being - including as a fail-safe mechanism, analogous to apoptosis.
Put bluntly: until the past half-dozen or so generations in The West; all human beings that ever lived were born-into, raised, and functioned adaptively (overall) in Religious societies. This is all that humankind had ever known - so naturally it is the society to which human beings are adapted.
In other words; in traditional society any individual human being who lost his belief-in or capacity for religion, would have experienced a kind of "suicide trigger" - some kind of self-deletion mechanism; by which the integrity of society was preserved against the short-term selfishness of its component individuals.
But now, and for the first-time ever; we have a whole civilization that has deleted religion as the primary principle of social coherence and purpose. Modern Western people are born into an utterly alien social environment. We are biologically adapted to a society that has gone.
If true; this means that religion has been absolutely essential to the formation and maintenance of all human societies - and the larger and more complex the society, the more important has been religion.
Therefore, when Western Civilization deleted externally-valid religion as the primary reality; it deleted its external control mechanism of Religion - which included the external control mechanism which we might call The Church in all its many manifestations.
However, the inner fail-safe mechanism of something like apoptosis was not deleted; and it still remains; because it was built-into all (normal, potentially social) human beings.
What I am saying is that when Western Society deleted religion, it began to fall apart because of the lack of an "immune system". However, a non-religious society also triggered, and left unopposed, a self-destructive instinct in human beings.
Therefore, individuals ceased to desire to reproduce - in order (implicitly, biologically) to eliminate their damaged and non-sustainable lineage from society. And also, in general terms - such people began to behave in ways that tended to eliminate their non-religious society, which was innerly-recognized as not-viable and dangerous.
I am suggesting that - at an innate, inbuilt, instinctive level - Not-Religious human beings may be "biologically programmed" to eliminate themselves, and also any society that has become non-religious.
Over-simplified: the idea is that unconscious human psychology detects "I am Not Religious"; concludes that "I am a threat and need to be eliminated" -- and this triggers innate self-destructive impulses that manifest in multiple ways - such as self-destructive attitudes, desires, ideology, evaluations, preferences, and behaviours.
This would work both passively, e.g. by not-resisting destruction (which is something widely seen in The West); and also more actively, by Not Religious people and groups seeking their own destruction - not just biological destruction, but social destruction: in other words they seek to eliminate their own non-religious and unviable selves, culture and genetics.
Because a non-religious, religion-rejecting culture like The West is a threat to all possible cultures; and needs to be eliminated if human society as such can survive.
Apoptosis is an analogy, no matter how relevant it seems; and I do not believe that it (or any other biological cause) is the whole or even the primary reason for the self-willed self-destruction of The West.
I personally believe the deepest and most profound reason for our situation is spiritual, not biological - as I have stated many hundreds of times on this blog. Nonetheless; taken in this larger spiritual context, biology may still have a role in aiding understanding, and providing a causal-mechanism.
I am not talking morally here - I am not, for instance, saying that social survival is more important than the individual in God's eyes; but I am trying to describe the workings of a putative natural or biological mechanism for social survival.
But I do find apoptosis quite helpful as a way of explaining why so many (apparently a large majority) people in The West exhibit attitudes and behaviours that will (pretty obviously) lead to the annihilation of themselves, and of their culture.
In sum: while there have always been evil leaders (who are sometimes demonically aligned) - and we certainly have these in The West; the currently manifest widespread suicidal desire and willed socially destructive behaviour was not seen among the masses in earlier and religious cultures.
The fact that self-elimination is so evident, endemic, powerful, and increasing in The West; invites explanation.
Note: By the assumptions and terms used here, by historical standards: The Modern West is Not Religious.
Even the minority of self-identified Religious people in The West (such as devout, active church members and leaders) are overwhelmingly Not Religious - not in the way nor to the degree that Men of traditional societies were Religious.
This is clear from their attitudes as well as from behaviour (as was very evident in 2020 when supposed "health" considerations instantly and comprehensively overcame and displaced all inconvenient religious priorities).
The West is this-worldly, and is ultimately dedicated to therapy (e.g. alleviation of here-and-now suffering, promotion of gratification).
Whatever we may believe or assert about ourselves: our inbuilt biological mechanisms recognize the reality of our religion-rejection, and are acting accordingly.
Therefore; if you genuinely desire to escape the instinct-level societal and personal self-destructivity; the real problem is not convincing yourself and/or "other people" that you are genuinely Religious (i.e. that your ultimate and bottom-line perspective is "not of this world" but directed at highest and eternal reality) -- the real problem is convincing that-within-you which recognizes and acts-upon religion-rejection.