Tuesday 28 May 2013

The spineless state of the nation


(Although, to call England 'spineless' is to slander invertebrates.)


Yes, England is spineless - such that we interpret submission as stoicism and insensibility to danger as courage.

But the root of all this is our Godlessness.


It is hard for those of other nations (excepting perhaps France) to understand how pervasively Godless is England - one consequence of which is that we lack good reasons for doing anything.

The ruling elite are, of course, the most Godless - hence most Leftist - of all; and they have over many decades created a society in which the only alternative to submission and insensibility is hatred and self-assertion.


In this Godless society, motivations are fatally weakened - there is only on the one hand the self-loathing suicide of the Left, and on the other hand nothing left-over after the destruction of Christianity that will motivate people except hatred and self-assertion - and neither of these can be the basis for the good society.


In sum: The English people have no good reason to resist forces that destroy good - but are left with only bad reasons to resist the forces that destroy good; and this for the obvious reason that the English have no concept of the good life which goes beyond their own peace, prosperity, pleasure, comfort and diversion. 


There is no way out of this paralysis of the will and despair of the soul except by a recovery of religion - and that is indeed exactly what is happening.

Only a religion can save us from the impossible and evil choice between submission and insensibility or hatred and self-assertion

The only question now to be settled is: which religion?



Bruce Charlton said...

The Anti-Gnostic has left a new comment on your post "The spineless state of the nation":

"The only question now to be settled is: which religion?

"Which religion indeed.

"Modern Britain, in fact the entire Anglosphere, is nothing less than the logical and end result of Protestant Christianity.

"Catholic Europe and the USCCB are no better (...).

"I'd toot my own horn and say Orthodox Christianity, if I didn't also know that outside her Greek and Slavic homelands, the Orthodox Church is still just a diaspora mission.

"I have no answer to your query. Well, actually I do, but I really don't see it happening."

Bruce Charlton said...

tgj has left a new comment on your post "The spineless state of the nation":

(...) "Another way to think about it, the most Christian way, I think, is that one has to be willing to die in order to obtain real freedom. One must lose one's life in order to save it. That is the bar. That is the price. There is no way around it. Not everyone will be a physical martyr, but unless one is willing to go that far, one may not, perhaps will never, make the other sacrifices that will always, for everyone, inevitably be necessary at one point or another. That is really what the cross means, and that is why not everyone chooses to take it up."

"Another way to think about it, with a meaning that is in one sense exactly opposite and in another sense exactly the same, is that another kind of freedom, which is the freedom that most people spend their lives seeking, they will purchase at the price of their spiritual death. That is, the freedom to do as one pleases, freedom from God, autonomy, costs one everything. In fact, it costs one far more than the other kind of death, but it is very easy to distract oneself and lie to oneself about this. That is a kind of freedom also: freedom from knowing. Perhaps it is a kind of freedom from suffering, albeit temporary. Better to understand the price, because you pay it anyway. One way or another, you are going to die. Everything else is meaningless." (...)

Bruce Charlton said...

@A-G - I would be happy to see (and join) any kind of real Christian revival, in any denomination - and in different denominations in different places.

Barnabas said...

You can't be a utopian and a Christian. You'll inevitably compromise the gospel in the effort to create heaven on earth. God is sovereign over human history and all of this was foretold (2 Timothy 4:3). All you can do is try to be faithful.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

The English people no longer believe in their defense as a nation. This is not a problem that will be solved by religious revival if your religion does not tolerate militant nationalism. As I said, secular, multicultural democracy is the perfectly logical outcome of the universalist Protestant and Catholic creeds.

I mention Orthodox Christianity, because in the Orthodox tradition, nations are valid entities, and each one gets (eventually) her own Church. But now the forces of atheism and Islam (and Protestant evangelism) are wiping them out of their homelands, and they are certainly not going to rock the secular boat here.

So again, I have no answer.

Eventually, of course, 'open borders' will degrade into 'no borders' and people will start drawing their own. Whether Christianity gets a place at the table in that process depends on how hard Christians are willing to fight for it.

For most Christians, 'the nation' is a matter of indifference.

Bruce Charlton said...

@A-G I would not want this discussion to be deflected into trying to save the West via religion - I am simply explaining that the reason the West needs to be saved is abandonment of religion.

It was NOT Protestantism that has brought us to the brink of self-destruction, it was *abandoning* Christianity (including Protestantism) that did it.

The Crow said...

And here I was imagining it might have something to do with being 'nice' to everyone, no matter who they were, and following the idea that pacifism was always a good thing, no matter what.
It seems to me that Christianity is responsible for those concepts.

C. said...

I didn't say it at the time, but I think some of the topics that have caused the most controversy on this blog (weightlifting and tattoos come to mind) have caused controversy mainly because of cultural misunderstandings between England and America. With a few exceptions, there is no concept of healthy masculinity left in England, and there is in the US. Americans simply cannot grasp how bad things are in England in this regard.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Crow - Christianity is 2000 years old - being nice is not.

@C - Yes. And the main difference is that the US is a much more Christian country (including that you have the Mormons!)

Adam G. said...

I'm in no position to take the temperature of Britain's soul. But this most recent terror attack and the response thereto certainly isn't an indication of vigorous health.

asdf said...

Isn't Christianity a pacifist religion, if you take the Bible and Jesus seriously. Do you see Jesus fighting rioters? No, he turns the other cheek no matter what people do to him.

The idea that Christianity would "give someone a spine" and make them fight doesn't square with Jesus's example. Jesus offered salvation after death to the holy. He basically stated that the price would be giving up any claim to anything in the physical world if someone else wanted to take it, including your life.

When you say that Christianity gives motivation your talking about some weird mix between Christianity and other philosophical traditions in the west.

Bruce Charlton said...

@asdf - see comment to Crow.