Monday 8 January 2018

Honesty is why Christians have become unemployable

It is clear that Christians have become unemployable in positions of high status and responsibility; and this exclusion is being incrementally extended to lower and lower employment positions.

The main reason is probably the fear that Christians may be honest in the workplace - which, in the modern workplace, with its endemic corruption covered by pervasive dishonesty, could be 'disastrous'.

Of course, most people - including many/ most Christians, have no problem about being dishonest; indeed, they don't even notice it. Dishonesty is the air they breathe: they are dishonest in almost every sentence, and certainly dishonest in every paragraph. So much dishonesty - everywhere, all of the time - becomes specifically undetectable. It is just 'how things are done'.

Indeed, in my experience, the most pervasively-dishonest people - those whose every communication is an act of calculated manipulation - may become genuinely outraged and angry if their dishonesty is noticed, or pointed-out. For them honesty just is expediency, and expediency just is how they communicate and act. It seems grossly unjust for them, personally, to be singled-out for doing what is general, approved and indeed compulsory within the organisation.

For someone to threaten to expose any specific dishonesty (even in private) is to disrupt the system of inter-dependent lies - this is called 'hypocritical'.

Modern people are, in general, not hypocritical in this sense - because modern people are complicit.

For example, the extreme instances of sexual abuse in Hollywood (eg those involving rape of chidlren) are sustained by the fact that essentially-everybody is complicit in the sexual revolution in one or another of its many aspects, to a greater or (mostly) lesser extent.

And Hollywood is an excellent place to pursue sexual promiscuity of all kinds - so many/ most of the people there will be exploiting the sexual opportunities as much as they can.

Complicit employees are usually acceptable, because they are Not honest. They are kept in line because because, in a system of corruption, everyone is complicit; but it is the low level employees that get busted for corruption.

So modern employers want people who are complicit with corruption, especially the corruptions of the sexual revolution - becuase such people will not be honest.

Modernity entails the exclusion of honesty. 

However, quite a few non-Christian ethnic groups are also not complicit with sexual corruption; yet these are regarded as acceptable - even desirable, because 'virtue-signalling' - employees.

Closer examination will show that this is although such ethnicities are not complicit in many forms of corruption (indeed they may rigorously oppose the sexual revolution, they may reject drugs and alcohol, they may reject self-mutilation etc.); but neither do such ethnicities regard honesty as a duty. Thus they are safe to employ. 

Genralised and principled honesty is a Christian virtue - a specifically-Christian virtue.

It is, in fact, only Christians - and only some minority of the self-identified Christians - who are not complicit in the system of lies; and who know they have a duty to speak-out honestly in general and to everybody, at all times and about all things.

These are what the modern mainstream calls 'fundamentalist' Christians - and it is the type of fundamentalist Christians that are not-complicit and also honest, who are now unemployable.

(Quite obviously, and rationally, when you are running a corrupt system, and are happy with the state of corruption, and personally benefit from it; then it would be dangerous to employ people who are not-complicit and who are also honest. That is just asking-for-trouble.)

And this is why 'fundamentalist' Christians - and only Christians - are excluded from employment, and responsibility.

Serious Christians already unemployable in high level elite positions, and we are increasingly unemployable at almost any level in modern institutions, organisations and corporations.

And the prospect is one of (de facto and aimed-at) total exclusion of serious Christians from all mainstream social organisations at every level.

Dis-honesty is the best policy! You know it makes sense...

Just to clarify: serious Christians are the only class of persons who are systematically being excluded from institutions and employment at present - but there are also individuals who are honest and non-complicit that are also being excluded. David Icke is a current, in the news, example - relevant because he is anti-Christian (or anti-Christian-priests & -churches at any rate).


Michael Dyer said...

I have noticed exactly what you're talking about and I've thought a lot of modern life is like a more comfortable version of the Soviet system, where it was nearly impossible to be an honest man.
The weird thing is that I see so much of it in the corporate world in ways that I don't even expect, basically at times when honesty would actually serve the company better. What I'm saying is that I've been lied to when I knew the truth and the truth wasn't even offensive to me, they weren't even "covering up" something bad. Unpleasant maybe but not immoral.

Even now part of me is a little apprehensive about replying to this post and saying as mild a thing as I'm saying for fear some future employer will use it to blacklist me. The odd thing is nothing I wrote is a mystery to anyone in the corporate world from the executive to the lowest level. Yet I've had enough experience to know how one "wrong" (honest) turn of phrase about something small can upend your whole situation if you're not careful. I also know that they will lie about the dangers of honesty in hopes of catching someone out.

Bruce Charlton said...

" I also know that they will lie about the dangers of honesty in hopes of catching someone out."

Yes, this has become almost reflexive to Leftists, following Mao's example:

Another example is when Obama said the US needed a 'coversation' about race - i.e. a 'conversation' in which only one set of opinions was acceptable.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Buddhism also regards honesty as an absolute duty (one of the Five Precepts), and I've known several Buddhists who have taken that extremely seriously. Of course most Buddhists don't, but the same goes for most Christians. Zoroastrians also took honesty very seriously ("to ride, to draw the bow, and to speak the truth"). I don't think it can really be considered a specifically Christian virtue.

Bruce Charlton said...

WmJas - Do either/ both of these regard honesty as universal, applying outside The Tribe? To The Other? That is the distinction I was making.

Seijio Arakawa said...

Ironically, it is because I've had perennial problems with dishonesty on a personal level that I've always been baffled by institutional dishonesty. Having experience of dishonesty as something that was fear/cowardice driven, inexpedient, and produced great suffering for both myself and people around me, it simply didn't compute how something like that could be elevated to a matter of deliberate (implicitly praised) policy, rather than a constantly-regretted character flaw.

I suppose the crucial difference is that whenever I was 'caught out', I simply had no option but to admit and atone, rather than having the ability to mobilize a howling mob to neutralize whoever caught me out.

As my personal dishonesty lessened after long and bitter experience, and my habits tilted more towards honesty-by-default in more instances (i.e. reflexively tell the truth first, calculate consequences later), I also began to experience the pressure that more honest people have experienced all along. In general, people who draw attention to a Big Lie (even by refusing to go along) are commonly treated as having some particular grudge / are inordinately obsessed with the subject of the lie / are otherwise unbalanced or 'confrontational' in their attitude. It helps to see the big picture and realize that a particular instance of dishonesty you are dealing with is simply the result of the other person's passive compliance with a Big Lie handed down from elsewhere. But ultimately, the only solutions are either to fight a war or to carefully withdraw your energy and enthusiasm and find other employment.

Bruce Charlton said...


We live in a deeply cowardly society, because of apostasy (i.e. there is not ultimate reason *not* to lie) - or such things would not be possible.

In the past, many people were far, far bolder than now. It is easier to be courageous when other people around you are courageous - and when a reasonable number of people are courageous for truth, systematic lying cannot get the grip it now has.

But that is how things are.

Most people simply don't have the ability to stand against this degree of social pressure. They can only recognise what has happened, and try their best to say nothing at all - certainly nothing dishonest; and to do nothing to go-along with lies.

But this opt-out is exactly what current trends are preventing; anything else than outspoken and active support for lies is regarded as an outrage...

My only suggestion, realistically, is that when someone has said something dishonest, gone along with deception, actively abetted in lies... they absolutely need specifically and explicitly to repent it - repent to themselves, I mean.

By doing so, regularly and as often as it happens, they could keep themselves clear about what is right; and what is not. Luckily that is all that is absolutely required for salvation - although it may well block spiritual progress.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I think it's quite interesting how Christians have adopted a generalized ethic of honesty as compared with the narrowly legalistic honesty of Judaism.

But I wonder if that development is really so much to do with religious history and not more to do with environmental conditions of the northern European ethnic cultures. Most human cultures that have become significant in continental and global scale human history have arisen in areas where the main danger to a social group would be competition from other groups of humans. But the northern Europeans, who had a profound influence on the development of Europe as a whole and thus on the entire world, existed in an environment where the main danger to survival came from nature, especially the harsh winters, but also wildlife year round. When faced primarily with competition with other groups of humans, deception is a practical necessity of survival and successful domination of other groups. When faced primarily with natural hazards, 'deception' in human terms is of little value, while being able to rely on scrupulous honesty in all things is paramount.

I personally face a different difficulty, which may or may not have general application. For me, the difficulty of making myself understood at all is so great that intentionally causing misunderstanding is of extremely limited value. It may be that this also plays some role, given the extraordinary factual claims of Christianity. It's hard for me to tell because I don't find those factual claims any more extraordinary than any other factual claims.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

The Buddhist prohibition against lying is indeed absolute and extends to all "sentient beings," not only the in-group. I know a Buddhist who lost her job for refusing to go along with routine dishonesty. You know that my opinion of Buddhism is not a high one, but honesty is one thing they do right.

Unknown said...

In the C'han / Zen Mahayana Buddhist tradition I am familiar with, the Precepts have universal scope, including all sentient beings. Exceptions tend to involve balancing conflicts between the Precepts, for example lying to a murderer by misleading them as to the location of their intended victim, thus preventing the killing of a sentient being, would be acceptable.

"To our elders be respectful.
To our juniors be kind.
With all humanity be harmonious.
In all endeavors be true." -- Four Tenets of Chung Tai

There is considerable interoperability between Christianity and Buddhism:

-- Robert Brockman

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas and RB - I'm not talking about the rules, but about the culture - an honest culture. But either way, I am talking about The West, because I consider the East to be a different case, in terms of divine destiny. So, I suppose I am not sufficiently interested in whether or not Buddhism created an Eastern society of honesty, to check this out.

The major point is that it was Christianity that was necessary for the honesty of The West - and when that went, there was/ is no ultimate reason to be honest: expediency (especially utilitarian hedonism) is the bottom line.

Without Christianity there is no chance of restoring honesty, and no point in trying - because all possible arguments for greater honesty will be based on expediency; and expediency will always in practice erode honesty (i.e. expediency-motivated people will be as dishonest as benefits them and they can get away with).

Bruce Charlton said...

Somewhat aside of the main point of the post, but illustrative, is the question of hierarchy; and whether it trumps honesty.

In Western science (when it was real science) there was a system that aspired to be, and in practice generally was, non-hierarchical. Conversely, corruption made science much less efficient.

I think that the problems of hierarchy-enforced dishonesty and corruption-caused inefficiency were something that were implicitly noticed among other nations by British scientists in the golden age.

When Japan began to rise as a scientific power (1980s), Western science was already declining, but it was clear that the science was on the whole less honest and less dependable.

When China began its meteoric (much too rapid to be real) rise to being quantitatively the number two science producer, it was obious that the mass of work was not honest and could not be trsuted... however, by that time (the eary 2000s) science was, on the whole - in the vast majority, dead; so the difference from Western research was merely quantitative, the dishonesty merely more brazen.

The thing is, science that cannot be trusted is worse than worthless: it is actively misleading, resource wasting, destructive - and I think this principle goes beyond science.

An untristworthy person is not just untrustworthy, but someone that *should not* be trusted. Indeed, what he asserts should not even be attended to. The same applies to social systems.