Saturday 18 July 2020

Most modern people are, in effect, psychopaths

People can believe almost anything, and any number of incompatible things, for their whole lives - when they are 1. dishonest, and 2. have a short attention span. That's most people - including nearly all intellectuals.

But there are deeper factors at work in my opinion. One is that modern people are different (innately) than people in the past. We nearly all start-out with direct personal experience of the spiritual world as young chidlren, but quite soon become detached from it; and must consciously choose whether to believe in the reality God and the spiritual in general, and then perhaps choose further to believe on Jesus Christ.

For us modern adults (and indeed older children and adolescents) theistic belief is not spontaneous, nor unconscious - and cannot (under recent social conditions) be imposed on us.

This fits with the heart of Christianity, which has always been supposed to be a conscious and free choice - but the purity of that teaching became contaminated by its adoption as a state religion and means of societal control (maybe that was necessary in the past, but those days are gone forever).

On top of all this, I am compelled to acknowledge that there seem to be a much higher proportion of unrepentant sinners born now than ever before; I mean the mass of people who do not acknowledge that they are sinners.

Most modern people are, in effect, psychopaths - whose basic set-up is evil.

Clearly that is encouraged from the top-down by the global, national and other leadership; but it could not be so widely and comprehesively be imposed (without any backlash) unless most people were pretty much that way inclined already.

Thus we live in the most sinful times ever known - sin being the state of turned-away-from God; working against God, The Good and Creation. So much so that the reality of God, creation, goodness and sin are all denied - and people are utterly unaware of their denial, and deny this fact - although in principle all-this can be known by anyone.

Christians are - and this is much more obvious now than six months ago - in a tiny and shrinking minority; and have been betrayed by the leadership of all the major churches.

The prospects of any institutional revival of Christianity are worse now than at any time since the day of the crucifixion. 

This is our situation, and it would be good to get used to it; and work from where we actually are.


Gary said...

It is possible that under the extremely adverse odds, a small group of highly motivated men might be able to carry out tremendous change.
It is their stubborn refusal to accept defeat at the hands of those who are already defeated (but whom by inversion present themselves as victors) which will open the path to success.
Success here means effective resistance and spiritual-preservation, creating the kingdom of God.
it does not mean lowering crime rates and climbing GDP (nobody cares about that anymore).
The situation is objectively extremely dire, but I can't shake the feeling that those who choose well now, will be privy to witnessing, learning and doing extraordinary things which nobody before us was fully able to. Precisely, as you have said in this blog many times, because now so much can be done consciously.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back...and sadly, I agree there isn't going to be a "revival" at this point. As persecution becomes more overt, false Christians will fall away and follow the crowd, as they were doing in the first place. Also, I agree that modern culture encourages and rewards psychopathic behavior....That combined with the "monkey see, monkey do" effect making callousness and self-absorption seem normal (and kind, empathetic behavior seen as odd or somehow disingenuous) leaves us with a generation of narcissists.

Ingemar said...

In dissident Right spheres, a lot of ink is spilled over high and low trust cultures.

Until recently, it did not occur to me that a high trust culture could be converted into a low trust one deliberately and that doing so would be to the advantage of whoever induces the change.

Think of the commandments of VirusRegime. This is social engineering at its diabolical finest. On the basis of nothing but fear based mind control, the VirusTyrants declared the whole of humanity ritualistically unclean, making even the most basic interactions with people--even those who share your language and proximity!--effectively impossible. The two approved interactions are avoidance and chastisement for violating the commandments, with the bonus humiliation ritual via social media.

This is indeed pure evil in se, as well as due to its rootedness in unreality. It can only be countered with love, truth, and perfection in the virtues. This is not an era for wimps.

Bruce Charlton said...

@G - If my understanding is correct, we need to be focused in our evangelism; focused upon those we love and also upon those who are capable of benefitting. Which means those who will meet us halfway.

We cannot be passive in evangelism (or anything else) and must use discernment, oor our efforts will be misplaced. I suggest that we should focus on those who approach us; but also be aware that some psychopaths will delight in wasting the finite time and effort of Christian evangelists - and therefore we ought not to engage with such persons.

As a blogger I have come across such individuals; posing as Christian seekers. They love to ask lots of questions, each requiring long answers, and respond to every answer with further questions without at any point actually thining about the answers given.

Face to face evangelists seem to have the same problem. Another trap is those who *consume* Churches and Church services for distraction, human company, to pass the time, or to annoy and torment other people. Meanwhile their hearts are cold and cruel. Some of these psychopaths become pastors, and Bishops.

Bruce Charlton said...

@EDF - Yes indeed. When such behaviour is an expression of a person's nature, we need to avoid such persons I think. This we can only infer - but inference may be a form of direct and intuitive knowledge - which does not require evidence and reasoning, as when we Know (e.g. from looking into his eyes) that a person is evil. Of course we can make mistakes about this, but we need to make and live-by such inferences nonetheless.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ingemar - I've often seen this. The thing is, the situation is not symmetrical. Trust can be strategically destroyed using exactly the kind of policies we are having inflicted, but it cannot be built by policy. Genuine, wise trust is an indirect by product of the prevalence of Good motivations, which arise from theistic beliefs.

And in trust societies (as in a loving family, which s the model) there is always an active process of discernment and the exclusion of those who are Not trusted from the trust-community.

This is why the value of 'inclusion' is pushed by our evil rulers: because it leads to low-trust, Ahrimanic bureaucracy without individual discernment, which is intrinsically totalitarian - hence necessarily evil.

David Earle said...

Bruce, do you have any book recommendations on evangelicalism or apologetics? I'd like to convince at least as much of my family as possible.

David Earle said...

I found the google definition and example of discernment to be quite interesting given our present situation:

(in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. "without providing for a time of healing and discernment, there will be no hope of living through this present moment without a shattering of our common life"

Bruce Charlton said...

@Isl - "do you have any book recommendations on evangelicalism or apologetics"

- No, I don't. And I don't think there are any. Our current situation is unprecedented, and has changed tremedously even since 2020. Also, I don't think that any 'system' of evangelism is appropriate. Ideally, we should be guided by the specific person and situation and respond intuitively.

In another sense, that subject is what most posts on this blog are about - either directly or implicitly.

David Earle said...

"In another sense, that subject is what most posts on this blog are about - either directly or implicitly."

Good point. And you have definitely helped me more than most things I've read.

Ingemar said...

The asymmetry in destroying versus building trust is why so few are willing to rebuild; it takes a self sacrificial love that endures all things.