Wednesday 7 June 2017

Is it true that Man is a primarily religious being?

The literal insanity of mainstream public discourse, and the lack of insight of this fact, suggests that Man without religion is non-viable.

To put matters another way - religion is the most important thing in the human world

Of course, a few individuals, in the short term, can survive atheism mentally intact; but there is no evidence at all that this is a possibility for human societies over more than a few decades - then the signs of insanity (incoherence, exitinction) become more-and-more obvious... or they would do so if loss of insight was not itself a prime sign of insanity.

So insanity shields us from knowledge of our own insanity, because insanity destroys insight as much as it destroys judgement - it affects the whole mode of thinking.

How, then, do we know we, as a society, are insane?

1. By applying older judgements, from the time before Men became insane - reading old books, talking to non-modern people...

2. By looking at the basic biological viability of atheist societies in terms of reproduction, demographics, response to direct and immediate threats, scale of priorities ... Compare societies and groups that are biologically viable, with the modern atheist societies that are not...

3. By reflecting on how we feel about Life. Insane people are almost always miserable - dysphoric, despairing, desperate... almost all of the time. Even the euphoric frenzy of mania is brittle, and crashes into suicidal self-destruction with a high frequency. Is there hope?

In conclusion - religion is the most important thing.

Religion is necessary for long term motivation, for social coherence, for purpose, and to enable the individual to be a part of the whole.

Since religion is necessary, if or when humans either dispense with religion or else place it anything lower than first in priority; then they as individuals and their societies will begin to fall apart and spiral towards alienation, purposelessness, inability to perceive or reason what is important, cowardice (i.e. short-term selfishness), desperation and all the rest of it.

Modernity is the experiment of Man living without Religion. The experiment has been running for several generations.

But the experiment of modernity has deprived modern people of the motivation, honesty and ability to evaluate the results of the experiment - by the always changing criteria of modernity, modernity sees no alternative to itself...

Conclusion: Religion is objectively necessary; and, by one kind of reasoning, therefore true. If you are not religious you are living in error. If you are not religious then you need to become religious. The question you must settle is not whether you should be religious, but which religion you will adopt.


David Balfour said...

And yet God continues to maintain and allow a modern to grow and develop and into which countless new souls are born everyday! I presume he must have a reason for this? A post-religious world where (especially in the west) there are few or no genuine options to be embedded or belong to a religious group and actually most people are (presumably according to your accepted metaphysics) *placed* precisely within families or what passes as loosely resembling a family, whom are actively hostile and suspicious towards religious or non-material/spiritual ideas. Why? It seems alienation is *inevitable* and entirely unavoidable to most, perhaps even deliberately applied?

And what chance do the new souls possibly have in such a hostile environment? Can someone truely be blamed for turning out as they invariably do in such an environmemt when they are told what to think and made to conform to the whole package of metaphysics, beliefs, values and behavioural rituals as everyone else in the modern world? If I was raised a cannibal by cannibals could you hold it against me for not knowing any better? And if I refused to eat human flesh one day what then? Would the others eat me?

Worse still, if your theories about this mouse utopia hold true we are presumably deeply damaged physically and psychologically from the outset. Hardly a fair start is it this modern world? I have great difficulty reconciling your presumably evolutionary biology based ideas about this concept with your religious/spiritual ideas about Christianity? Could you explain it to me because it frankly has me totally baffled that on the one hand we are supposedly undergoing a mutation meltdown but then we are also *personally* responsible for the inevitable consequences on society en masse and at a smaller scale eg deviant or maladaptive behaviours?

It seems as though one might as well blame someone for becoming disinhibited and derranged following the progression of a neurological disorder such as dementia? A material or physical cause is asserted and then swept away by the superimposition of non-physical agency being misused ie the sinfulness of the age is the fault of the diseased. As I describe it, it almost sounds like an account of an abusive parter claiming that it is really his spouses fault that he hits her! So clearly there is something wrong here either with my reasoning or with your interlocking theories of the physical mouse utopia (ie the modern world) and the overarching spiritual or metaphysical theories. How does heavenly father get to remain the loving father in the face of all this. Presumably he must and I would not wish to have it any other way either.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - Well, we are gods too, albeit partially; and we chose our lives, for the possibility of learning. We have direct inner knowedge of Good, and we also have the gift of Christ and the possibility of communication with deity, and other helpful spirits - if we choose to accept and ask.

Furthermore, it is not over until it is over - and 'over' comes after biological death.

Nonetheless, we only have one mortal life (there may have been a few exceptions, eg among the Biblical prophets; but one life does seem to be by far the norm).

(On the other hand, these are the End Times/ Latter Days, and at some point this creation will be ended - presumably because it is doing more harm than good - but that isn't yet.)

Taking everything into consideration (which we can't yet do, due to our imcomplete and distorted persepctive); In The End we will know that we have only ourselves to blame, we are each personally responsible.

Kristor said...

I wonder whether the crash in fertility of Augustan Rome - that was reversed by robust fertility among Christians and Jews - was due at root to a pervasive collapse over the preceding few centuries in pagan piety.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Kristor - It may be. Although my understanding is that the Romans were very religious. At any rate; not all religions sustain fertility, that is clear; religion is necessary but not sufficient.