What is damning is defending sin, not committing sin (which is inevitable, and has been paid for by Christ on condition of repentance).
What is damning about the modern world is that it engineers people into defending sin.
What is damning about the sexual revolution is not so much that it encourages people to sin, but that it provides an edifice of defences whereby, instead of the sinner admitting his weakness and inability to resits temptation, he is encouraged - sometimes coerced - into defending the sin: first by trivialising it, then by saying that it is not a sin, finally (and we have reached this stage) by inversion: by stating that the sin is in fact a virtue.
What is damning in modern 'science' is not so much that it compels researchers to lie (deliberately, strategically) in order to get funding and publish their work and obtain jobs and promotions; but that it encourages scientists to deny that they are lying. It absolves scientists of guilt at their lies, it provides a structure of rationalisations for dishonesty, first to excuse then later to insist upon the reality of the lie.
What is damning about modern art and architecture is not is much that it is ugly, nor even that it is deliberately ugly; but that it denies that it is ugly - trivialises ugliness, defends the necessity of ugliness, finally argues the necessity of art and architecture to be ugly.
A measure of the spiritual damage done by the defence of sin is that the advocates of the sexual revolution, the crooked researchers and the modern artists end up loathing, libelling, slandering and suppressing the transcendental Goods of virtue, truthfulness and beauty.
They become filled with hatred and resentment against those Goods which are contradicted by their defended sins.
If we imagine salvation as based upon a choice, and an act of free will; that damnation too is a choice and act of free will; then this may be a model of what happens - a model that may explain why it is that someone might choose Hell when offered Heaven.
Because he has, throughout his life, trained himself to trivialise, defend and justify sin; such that after death, when offered ultimate Good, he rejects Good and prefers sin.
This describes whole chunks of my life: I became sexually active before I was psychologically ready in order to conform to the tenor of my times. As a young man I did a degree in what was to become post modernism but was then called literary theory, structuralism, semiotics etc: every bit of it rubbish that replaced the traditional humanities. As an old man I did a PhD in neuroscience; your paragraph on science exactly described my experience. It was demoralizing to discover the attitude required to do science is only superficially different than the tripe I had imbibed decades before. As a very (battered) old man I have become a boat builder…if I may speak in neuro-jargon; I have come to the conclusion that the truth is likely to be procedural, not declarative.
Whenever I encounter this phenomenon, my mind goes to the scene towards the end of The Silver Chair:
“One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.”
"In moments of doubt I cry,
"Could God Himself create such lovely things as I dreamed?"
"Whence then came thy dream?" answers Hope.
"Out of my dark self, into the light of my consciousness."
"But whence first into thy dark self?" rejoins Hope.
"My brain was its mother, and the fever in my blood its father."
"Say rather," suggests Hope, "thy brain was the violin whence it issued, and the fever in thy blood the bow that drew it forth.—But who made the violin? and who guided the bow across its strings? Say rather, again—who set the song birds each on its bough in the tree of life, and startled each in its order from its perch? Whence came the fantasia? and whence the life that danced thereto? Didst THOU say, in the dark of thy own unconscious self, 'Let beauty be; let truth seem!' and straightway beauty was, and truth but seemed?"
Man dreams and desires; God broods and wills and quickens.
When a man dreams his own dream, he is the sport of his dream; when Another gives it him, that Other is able to fulfil it."
- George MacDonald, Lilith
@Donald - good comment, but I can't publish so explicit a discussion in the current Leftist regulatory climate.
Love the entry and comments.
The sexual revolution is especially tricky because in todays world you practically have to have sex before marraige if you want marraige and family.
Post a Comment