Monday, March 28, 2011

Why are these People so Different?!

This is a pick-up on one of the things I was talking about last post. This is not about politics per se; this is about the people in this country - why they are the way they are.

In a nutshell - why do they approve of abortion, gay unions, pervasive government control of their lives?

Who are the 'they,' first of all.

They are the at least 30% of Canadians who approve of each one of these above things, not just one or two of them, but all of them. It seems that, for instance, fewer than 50% of Canadians approve of abortion on its own. I bet that fewer than 50% approve of the equation of marriage and homosexual unions. Yet chances are, if you approve of abortion or homosexuality, you approve of the other too.


The answer to this question is what we are after when we ask, "Who are these people, anyway?!"

What combines these topics? It is not irrelevant that both of these are anti-Christian positions. It is important to note this in formulating a description of these people, but it is not sufficient. For not only do they adopt their positions because they are anti-Christian, they do so as well for other additional reasons. We must not miss that anti-Christianism is an important political force in this country, but anti-Christianity and pro-abortionsim, etc., are derived from anterior causes. Nor is it really sufficient to simply refer to it as the 'culture of death,' as if cynicism explains everything...

Now, I'm not about to try and deal with all the causes of modern secularism in a single post. But something of its character can be identified.

1. A belief in the virtue of autonomy that can only be assured against the authority of a received wisdom. Why is this around today? For all of these one can point to numerous proximate and remote causes. I'll not worry too much about distinguishing between them now. People have been taught by Luther and by the Enlightenment to question authority. Unreflecting rejection of wisdom dehumanizes, of course, but these people haven't realized that.

2. As for homosexuality in particular, people have been taught that traditional moral strictures were arbitrary because they were taboo-driven. People accept it as a truism that 'fear' is the exclusive source of the condemnation of sexual aberration.

3. Most people assume abortion is victimless (i.e., the baby feels nothing, and the mother can be suitably prepped not to feel anything). Since this is the case, they see abortion as only one thing: some people (of a type they do not respect: Christians) telling other people not to do something.

4. Economic centralism is based upon the cynical belief that people are selfish, and so must be prevented from taking all the goods of the earth for themselves. That is not purely false. What is false is the idea that the most important factor preventing a just distribution of wealth is that there are a bunch of arch-villains out there (called capitalists) bent on stealing candy from babies.

5. Related to (4) is the fact that people equate wealth with happiness (materialism). Thus, keeping wealth from people is the greatest factor is keeping happiness from people. Equal wealth means equal happiness. This is all patently false. Inhibiting people through excessive economic interference is a great source of unhappiness in the world.

6. They believe that Christianity is irrational, and leads to bigotry and intellectual and cultural stagnation. They believe this because they were so told by the Enlightenment thinkers, who had no good proof. People who maintain this position have no idea of the historical relationship between Western technical advancement and Christianity, which advance did not originate in a non-Christian culture.

7. Treating women and conceiving of women as the same as men is the best thing for women and for society at large. Like (3) this one is of more recent vintage than the others, which generally trace back to either 19th Century Marxism (1, 4, 5) or18th Century Enlightenment (1, 2, 6). In other words, 7 and 3 originate with the 20th century 'woman's movement,' a movement founded on many unfounded assumptions.

8. The myth of efficiency. (The earliest text written in which I encountered such a notion was in Voltaire's biography of Charles XII of Sweden. Efficiency is an error of both the right and the left. I like Michael O'Brien's discussion of the 'social engineers'.) Similar to the materialism discussion in # 5, but broader. It is especially employed by the left as a means to override every freedom, and since freedom, when compared to efficiency, begins to appear like an obscure metaphysical notion, efficiency functions as the true despot in modern states. One is, it is almost absurd to point out, no longer free to be dirty, ignorant and poor. But what joy it is to be dirty, ignorant and poor in the modern technocratic totalitarian state!

There is much more to say, but this is a decent first stab.

In sum, the Enlightenment and Marx created the modern mind (Freud brought to perfection #2).  Yet these philosophies are so poor that it is to be wondered why they continue to exercise such widespread influence? Primarily it is because of our educational system, a self-perpetuating system of philosophical malformation, a series of convenient lies (like man is good and free, yet must not be permitted to exercise any of his freedom by dissenting from the all-pervasive system). True thinkers are beginning, not only to expose these lies, but also to develop ways to reply to them that can be comprehended by the brain-washed. We have been slow to embark upon this second task, alas.

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