Materialist blogger acknowledges the utility of religion
author of the blog OneSTDV
Friday post at OneSTDV: I argue for the utility of traditional religion in opposing the modern leftist church.
It’s a common aphorism that a society not sufficiently conservative will become liberal. Well perhaps I’ll add a corollary:
A society lacking a traditionally religious construct will adopt pseudo-religious ideas inexorably linked to the current liberal zeitgeist.
We’re already seeing mainstream acceptance of Gaiaism, New Age, “spiritual but not religious,” vegetarianism, and animal rights. Read any atheist website if you need convincing that repudiation of traditional religion leads to the modern leftist Church and associated doctrine like the saturated fat myth and global warming.
OneSTDV, whom I once gave a hard time at this site over his material reductionist views which, I said, had led him to deny the existence of my consciousness, has been moving in a good direction. It is far better to see that traditional Christianity is useful and even necessary for our society than to believe that it is a blight to be removed. Now, in the usual manner of non-believers who are pro-religion, he doesn’t say that traditional belief is true, only that it’s necessary. But that raises the question, what kind of universe would it be where a belief that is necessary is false? Is it not more likely that if a belief is necessary, it is true?
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By way of illustration, our body is designed so that it reacts well to good food, and reacts badly to rotten food. So good food is necessary for us, and the desire for good food (the “belief” in good food) is necessary for us. But doesn’t this indicate that the desire for good food is necessary for us, because good food is good? Meaning, it’s not just our opinion that it is good, it really is good.
Throughout human history—and I think OneSTDV is recognizing this—societies have fallen apart when they rejected belief in a transcendent moral authority. Human society thus needs to believe in a transcendent moral authority, in the same way that the human body needs to desire good food. But, I would argue, just as the food which the body needs really is good, the moral authority that society needs really is transcendent.
I can’t say it’s been an “evolution”, but more a coming to realize/accept two ideas:
1) The practical is more important than the philosophical—I always understood the practical benefit of religion, but I considered ultimate truth (IMO: atheistic materialism) more important. I no longer truly believe that, especially in the context of societal stability.
2) I discovered a far more insidious and volatile manifestation of faith: modern leftism. Connected to this and my belief in evolutionary psychology (ironic I guess), I now believe that religion doesn’t cause violence—the inherent nature of man causes violence. Religion is mostly a mere justification for aggressive action (Islam is really a political ideology with religious overtones). If not for religion, man would find another equally faith-based doctrine from which to motivate violence.
Oh and one more thing: there’s an undeniable correlation between religiosity and traditional conservatism. When one goes, the other goes with it—as argued in my post.
Clayton S. writes:
In reading your reply to OneSTDV, I had to add this. Maybe I missed it, but neither of you admitted that a human being cannot exist in this reality without religious belief, belief in something transcendent and outside ourselves, whatever your pleasure is with regards to it.
In a nutshell, that is the disaster we are facing at this moment. A huge segment of the population (not confined to the United States) having divorced themselves from the truth (Jesus Christ), will attempt to replace this built-in reality of human existence with some other object of worship. They are unable to do otherwise. Therefore, all that you write about on your blog, as well as other blogs, is simply the attempt of humans to replace this built-in “ground of human existence” with something that can be shoe-horned into their “life-style (i.e. desires and self-idolatry). For beginnings, I would refer you to the Gospel and follow that with the writings of Eric Voegelin. I do not personally equate the two, but it is a fact of human existence that even men that do not follow Jesus Christ can come upon the truths of reality (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, etc.).
All of the so-called liberalism and progressivism is simply a religion. The god is man himself, his desires and according to them, “We will through our intellect build a utopia here in this material existence,” or, in the words of Voegelin, “immanatize the eschaton.” Into this matrix, one inserts a malignant narcissist such as Obama and his minions, and you have an indescribable disaster. You place such a man in a position of indescribable power, give him the idea that he may be a messiah (small m), and the destruction that he can cause is absolutely unknown. The fact that man without God is a disaster, recalls to mind that God regretted having ever created man.
I will bring this to a close with this. There is no such thing as a “Christian nation.” The Kingdom of God is not of this world. One cannot follow the commandments of Jesus Christ and have a “Christian Nation.” Case in point: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” I respectfully point out that at this moment (whatever you may think) your caesar is Obama. Another point, the Lord did not fight the sentence handed out to him by Pilate (who by-the-way asked, “What is truth”), because he was being totally obedient to the Father. These things have been totally lost, and consequently American “Christianity” is a total disaster.
Brandon F. writes:
Let’s not forget Plato and the noble lie.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Send
The less intelligent people are, the more they need to believe in myths and especially in a god that punishes and rewards based on behavior. This in itself is a civilizing influence without needing any proof that there actually is some real metaphysical benefit as you suggest in your nutrition analogy.