Thursday 22 November 2018

Take sides, be personally responsible

Gnomic wisdom!...

I probably mentioned before that a dream on the eve of my conversion to Christianity showed the globe being covered by evil, in an incremental creeping way; and I understood that I must (at least) not assist this evil in its work, its plan. I should try to do nothing voluntarily to help it. I realised this meant choosing sides in the 'spiritual war'.

As for responsibility - this is something that everybody knows, it is indeed the great challenge of the modern era.

The trouble is that people half do it. They challenge traditional authority, and will not take religion on trust or say-so. This - I believe - is an inevitable part of the divine plan: the final and necessary stage in moving out-from childhood, into and through spiritual adolescence.

But we will only move through spiritual adolescence to maturity, if we follow-through the necessity for responsibility.

The usual thing in the West is to be infinitely sceptical about Christianity and stubbornly-dishonestly credulous about mainstream modern Leftist culture and its assumptions.

Moderns simply assume the validity of that world view implicit to the entirely of mainstream public discourse - but dishonestly and evasively insist that it makes no assumptions (but is based wholly on 'evidence'). This applies whichever species of modern materialism they embrace (Left or Right or whatever).

What emerges is the anything-but-Christianity metaphysics that possesses so many, so strongly.

(I know... I used to have it bad.)

I am saying that this is not due to a wrong impulse, but a partial impulse; it is due to a wilful half-honesty and selective cynicism that is much worse than innocent credulity.

The Big Task of our time and place, as I read it, is to follow-through all-the-way on the modern instinct to seek personal validation, and to take personal responsibility.

But since no major or powerful group or institution is encouraging us in this essential work - our first act of personal spiritual responsibility is to go-it-alone.


The Social Pathologist said...

I am saying that this is not due to a wrong impulse, but a partial impulse; it is due to a wilful half-honesty and selective cynicism that is much worse than innocent credulity.

Bruce, I don't think that the average person is morally that bad, he's simply a moron. Most people simply can't see the connection with religion and their day to day life. They don't choose sides because they think choosing is irrelevant.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SP - This is a key matter. Do we judge by what we infer of a person's spiritual state or what they 'do'/ don't do? I am in no doubt at all that modern Western people are qualitatively the most spiritually evil that have ever been en masse; the most wedded to their evil and rejecting of good to the point that mainstream public discourse is mostly inverted. If you don't see it, there is no way I can prove it.

William Wildblood said...

It's the old story of faith being a matter of will not intellect. If we don't believe it's mainly because we don't want to and the only conclusion to draw from that is that we are indeed morally corrupt or evil by another name. But because this is a spiritual evil it's not recognised as such as long as the person behaves well according to materialistic canons of good behaviour.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William. Yes, but this is obscured for us by the fact that "faith being a matter of will not intellect" is a somewhat new state of affairs.

In the past faith was passively absorbed from society, and only needed to be confirmed by the intellect.

In our context of materialism (i.e. materialism assumed at a deep, metaphysical, level); the need to 'will faith' is equated with mere wishful thinking.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I think that the key to taking personal responsibility is to focus on your own spiritual development rather than being distracted by your impulse to find fault with others.

Are you personally a moron? Well, do your best to address that problem in yourself.

Is anyone else a moron or just pretending to evade responsibility? What practical difference does that make to you? How is worrying about that question taking personal responsibility for your own spirituality?

It is true that, civilization having reached a historically unprecedented peak of alleviating natural selective pressure, the decline and fall of our global civilization will be without historic precedent in scale and intensity. And in statistical aggregate, we can say that the population is further from the essential goodness of all kinds (moral and cultural as well as genetic) which are required for worthwhile human existence.

But that isn't a statement about any particular person and shouldn't be mistaken for one.