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In the Western World it seems Christianity has died.
Many people that call themselves Christians do not abide by the moral tenants of the faith.
The Catholic Church doesn't do enough to speak out against homosexuality or sexual immorality. This is primarily to not risk offending anyone. However, how can a religion survive if it does not teach it's young believers the true tenants and how to be a true believer? Whitewashing the facts essentially undermines a religion.
Many Protestant Churches have become much worse in these respects. Some Protestant Churches will "marry" homosexual couples. They do this to profiteer and abandon the moral tenants of Christianity. The Bible specifically states it is against homosexuality.
Many people in North America, Australia, and Western Europe claim to be Christians but do not follow the major moral tenants or live up to Christianity's true meaning. They support homosexuality, promiscuity, binge drinking, and they don't see a problem with it which means they are secular and not a real believer.
It doesn't help how the schools, government, media, Hollywood, and some organizations that hope to remove religion all target Christianity in many Western countries. It seems like newer religions in America like Mormonism have more of a devout following.
Does Western Civilization need a newer religion that the media hasn't discredited to help reverse the trends?
Last edited by Tsar on January 27th, 2013, 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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It would help for atheists and agnostics to recognize the importance of religion. I'll see what I can find of F.A. Hayek's The Fatal Conceit and post it here. This is a book you should definitely read. It presents a narrative for the creation of civilization that touches upon human nature, linguistics, overpopulation (the myth of), and ends on a reason-based agnostic defense of religion. It's short, but very dense. I live my life by its principles.
If I was religious though I would probably be a Mormon or a Catholic.
Do you know Chastity.com? I really like this article from there:
http://chastity.com/chastity-qa/birth-c ... urch-again
I am also interested in why some people are more prone to becoming religious than others. This has lead me to neurotheology, or the biology of religious belief.
Argument, based on Hayek, that there is an evolutionary (demographic, if you're a creationist) advantage to being religious:
http://www.scilogs.eu/en/blog/biology-o ... eligiosity
When I first read that link about some time last year it felt like a religious experience for me. Like I had gained access to some incredible knowledge.
Would like to see the principles.
Please do post an excerpt or two.
(Sadly, I don't read books anymore.)
Worked for me. Four sons, even in a VERY stormy marriage. And would have been quite a few more children if not for miscarriages and the difficulty of Caesarean births.
Still, personal religious belief alone is not the only factor. A supportive community helps. The Amish have that. FSchmidt, here on HA, is searchng for that. Takes a village.
Hard to be the first pioneer, all alone - like a Noah, or an Abraham.
No argument with any of this.
Yes, something new is needed. Expected. Imminent.
The Devil could easily supply one more false alternative. So many already, ho hum.
But IMO within Christianity we will see new, powerful, youth-friendly movements. Maybe a kind of zealotry akin to dedicated Islamists or "straight-edge" skinhead sobriety. But personally my feeling is that a new take on Christianity will arise in Asia, or elsewhere ouside "The West". Not a different religion, just a fresh reading of Scripture, without centuries of accumulated scholarship and interpretation. Kind of like Torah without Talmud. Or like K-Pop and Gangnam-style music videos, you know, elbowing their way onto MTV.
That's just what I feel.
Could involve... patriarchy.
And will most certainly be a comprehensive way of life, a lifestyle. Because tat's the onl way to insulate yourself from the pervasive, invasive tentacles of Dying Culture.
Okay, I'll try to remember as much as I can.
Its full title is The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. This title is important because it is not about the "Evils" of Socialism in a moral sense, but its logical mistakes. Hayek analyzes tribal societies and concludes that humans have an intrinsic nature towards things such as altruism and group solidarity. These instincts are not conductive to a Capitalist market, which requires competition. Thus they had to be repressed through the adoption of tradition in order for civilization to arise. Socialists fail because they think an optimal civilization can be constructed a priori using reason, but civilization was not created by human reasoning, but through tradition. This is a kind of cultural evolutionary process. Hayek points out that Darwin did not create the idea of evolution, but merely applied it to the biological sciences. Evolution, or the idea of selection already existed in linguistics as linguists prior to Darwin studied the diffusion of language. Hayek also postulates that Darwin may have been inspired by Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, which journal entries reveal he was reading around the time he first wrote about natural selection. The idea of competitors in the Capitalist market may have thus inspired Darwin's competition between species.
Hayek's thesis is that certain tribes adopted traditions which were more conductive to their survival. These traditions, morals, were suppressions of their animal instincts. The tribes that adopted harmful traditions died out and the rest survived to give birth to civilization.
This argument against Socialism also invokes the Economic Calculation Problem, whereby prices act as signals for rational actors in the market. Without these signals trade becomes impossible and devolves into a barter system. There are also distortions of price signals like artificially low interest rates that can harm the market as well. The Socialists attempt an optimal allocation of resources, but this is impossible because there are too many variables in the economy. Only a God could direct the market to produce optimal results. Instead it is best to accept "Spontaneous Order" wherein the best theoretical allocation of resources is not achieved, but the best possible one is. This requires a free market without price distortions.
Thus the Socialists have an "atavistic longing for the noble savage" and long for an age when there were no prices, no trade, no markets. They unknowingly wish for the destruction of civilization and a huge loss in human life and prosperity. Hayek then looks at history and linguistics and human nature. Humans differ from animals because we can have abstract thoughts. Throughout history these abstractions have been met with great fear by the masses, who are less able to think abstractly than the most intelligent among them. In the middle ages this would have meant a blacksmith being persecuted for alchemy because he is able to "magically" transform metals. In the modern age this means economists are feared by the masses who are unable to comprehend their abstract transformations of prices. (The result is Occupy Wall Street).
As mentioned earlier, Hayek argues that humans are intrinsically socialistic and this can be observed in tribal societies. Even if Socialism presents a great danger to civilization, it is our instincts. Someone like Ayn Rand would argue for eliminating these instincts in favor of pure individualism. Hayek instead says our Socialist instincts are better diffused in families, communities, and religions. Though he makes an argument against rationalism in favor of tradition as the creator of civilization, Hayek notes that tradition is often flawed and reason can be used to refine it, but not replace it.
That's the first three quarters of the book and the bulk of Hayek's argument. The final section is three chapters focusing respectively on linguistics, the myth of overpopulation, and religion.
In his chapter on linguistics, Hayek notes that the word "economy" is an inaccurate description for what we typically perceive. Aristotle meant "Economics" to refer to management of the home and actually disdained the market. What we refer to as an "Economy," argues Hayek, is really a large interaction of personal economies best called a "Catallaxy." Catallaxy refers to the science of exchange. The linguistics chapter also remarks that the word "Social" as an adjective has become meaningless. Instead it is used as a form of mind control to shut out any argument against it. Nobody wants to argue against Society. Thus we get Social Democracy, Social Justice, Social Reform, etc. Going back to the idea of abstractions, it is again impossible for humans to think in purely abstract terms. Thus our language is composed of metaphors and words which imply physical action. Distribute, receive, signal, etc. This becomes important later on in the religion chapter.
The next chapter has Hayek arguing against Malthusian doomsday prophecies. Malthus was writing about homogeneous (agrarian) economies where overpopulation was a legitimate concern. With the division of labor fears of overpopulation are unfounded. Hayek cites Adam Smith here and says population growth is a sign of economic prosperity (before you cite China, again, it was a homogenous economy with a lot less division of labor until its recent history). In order to have leisure there must be enough members of a society to perform certain roles. If a virus suddenly wiped out a large number of the human population, it would not matter if the infrastructure remained untouched, because there would be no one to manage the machines. Huge swaths of knowledge would be lost and only remain in books. This would set back humanity to a new dark ages and take centuries to recover the lost population and knowledge necessary to recreate something resembling our present society, both culturally and technologically.
The final chapter focuses on religion. Going back to the linguistics section, humans can only comprehend abstractions metaphorically. This is most obvious in pagan nature Gods representing the sun, the moon, the ocean, etc. Hayek sees the monotheistic God as a metaphor for humanity as a whole and its civilization (perhaps comparable to Dewey's "Art as Experience"). Child is the father of the man. However, this process of creating metaphors for abstractions has taken a dark and dangerous turn: Socialism. The concept of a "Societal Body" is a replacement God that is used to attack individualism (Feminism has a similar concept of Patriarchy acting as a stand in for Satan). Religion has been used as a motivator throughout the centuries for certain traditions such as private property, marriage, and procreation. Historicism and empiricism both suggest a lack of religion leads to a breakdown of these concepts. So the choice remains, do we believe in a God that is the representation of our ancient traditions which lead to the world as we know it, or do we embrace a new God whose promises rest on human failings and is already seen to be destructive of civilization itself? Humans cannot live without religion, but choosing the right religion is vital to our survival.
Last edited by abcdavid01 on January 27th, 2013, 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Yeh, numbers in churches are dropping, but moreso among men.
I believe the evidence for the truth of Christianity is overwhelming, from things like miracles, afterlife experiences, the records of Jesus' life, speaking in tongues, etc. but there are still some things in Christianity that lessen its appeal.
Christianity, as far as I can see:
a) is unattractive in men to women
b) has so many conflicting verses in the Bible that are so hard to reconcile
Christians should read the Bible every day but doing so gets you in trouble. Following verses like "If someone slaps you on the left cheek, offer him your right" and "It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" can get you in major trouble. So you may end up thinking you won't follow the Bible so much, that's what's happened to me.
The worst part for me was when I realised how unattractive Christianity is to western women, even the ones in Church, despite, of course, what Christian women say. They'll say they want a Christian man but in reality they often want a "bad guy", if they're quite devout they may settle for a Church-going man who has quite a rebellious side, like strong alcoholism. I've gleaned this from talking to some Christian ladies, and the book "No more Christian Nice Guy" also points out that when men try to do the right thing this is often found to be very unattractive to a woman. Women love rebels. Western women, anyway.
That's only one reason Christianity is dying. I'm not sure what the answer is. Being hardcore and giving away all your possessions might work. That's similar to what Mother Theresa did; she was not your normal woman - she actually found riches uncomfortable! She gave away almost everything she had I think and found great joy. But the modern Western Christianity seems to have some problems but we should try to have faith in God or surely we are doomed.
I think religion became irrelevant at the turn of the 19th century. The reasons relate to how churches gave away the responsibilities to lesser men in order to focus on "more important thing". Prime example, Harvard and Princeton. Those used to be Christian schools. Now where are they? They are post-modernist. Or another thing, movies. Churches used to rate movies, but they gave it up since "they had Better things to do", like collect offerings . A year after that happened, the first rated X movie came out. So I think Christianity disengaging from the culture was a huge problem. I also think that public schools were another, since they replace religion as the major socialization agent in our world, along with media.
The Daily Agorist, Learn to Live Independent of the System! http://www.theagoristreview.blogspot.com
If we wanna fight feminism then west should adopt Islam,
they have the most effective tools to keep women under control, look at Saudi Arabia, Iran..no gay parades, no womens rights, no equal opportunity BS and men can have multiple wifes, thats hard to bea,t
their women are good houswifes and always horny
Feminists fear Islam the most
I think that Christianity is misunderstood as well. Such things as turn the other cheeks seem to get lost in the shuffle of other thing, like supporting Israel at all cost (even if their regime is not liked by the people of Israel), and Christianity looses it meaning. For me at least, when I see that verse about turning the other cheek, I tend think of it as loosening the bondage the person puts you in when they get inside your head. Basically, Jesus (or Yeshua), is saying to not focus on the small stuff, and focus on things that matter. I came o the realization after I read Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. The more you pay attention to temporal things, the more you get distracted from your goals and from your happiness. So while I think you should turn the other cheek, I don't think he meant you should just shit there as someone slapped you. But then again, I am not a theologian , so just my thoughts.
The Daily Agorist, Learn to Live Independent of the System! http://www.theagoristreview.blogspot.com
As a man who was chrisitan from 16 to 44 and was abused by my christian brothers and sisters in divorce and who renounced his christianity as a result. I can tell you christianity is dead man walking.
I have been involved in a debate on a closed facebook for Seventh Say Adventists. I was invited in by "George". I did a couple of videos as my introduction.
These people are COMMANDED to "love one another as I have loved you" and make much of their LOVE for all people as christians.
And how was I treated by the vast majority? I was hated on again of course! LOL!!
Feel free to check out my blog:Click ME!
That has been the line with Western nihilists, but the reality it that almost all wars are about real estate, money and power.
Religion has been used as a cover, but the real motivations are quite transparent.
The stream of horrors in the 20th century had little to do with religion, unless of course one would classify the atheism of Marx as a religion.
Marx and his Western enablers were and are anything but religious.