Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Secular Death Wish
Life is so much better without God.
GODS. Religion is much in the news at present. Liberals who know better than to believe in any god are no doubt gnashing their teeth at Obama's current fix. He just had to drag religion into the campaign, as if we all didn't know already that this is a horrifyingly irrational sphere in which there is no real upside and the downside rapidly corrodes every participant into a screaming. vengeful terrorist. To the enlightened rationalists among us, Pat Robertson is Jeremiah Wright is Osama bin Laden, all as wicked and obviously deranged as they are embarrassing to the human race in general.
It's that worldview which has emboldened Richard Dawkins to initiate an aggressively nonscientific extension of his evolutionary theories into an atheistic philosophy which derides 99 percent of the human history that produced his own self-satisfied genius. And it's the worldview that has persuaded Christopher Hitchens to use atheism as the figleaf for the vanishing distinction between the leftism of his youth and the Churchillian Toryism of his post-9/11 politics.
My lifelong point about atheism and existentialism and all its materialistic variants has always been that they simply don't work as a basis for a social contract. That was the great tragic failure of Marxism. Intellectual concepts unhooked from common sense about people and their failings are invitations to disaster. Somehow, the errors of religion are never quite as catastrophic as the errors of the self-anointed gods of rationalism. Yes, I am offended by the wrong-headed passions of Jeremiah Wright and his neanderthal misinterpretation of Christianity; however, I am actively repelled by the passionless postulation by Hitchens that the three most overrated experiences in life are "Lobster, Champagne, and anal sex." How like an atheist to issue edicts about matters of individual taste. But the soulless know-it-alls are at least consistent in believing -- as irrationally as any other fundamentalist -- that science can objectively determine truth even in areas where it clearly has no place.
You can completely discount the following because it comes to us courtesy of The National Review.
Why Europeans Refuse to
With just a single exception, the non-Muslim population of every country in Europe now has a birth rate at [or] below replacement levels. (The exception is Malta, and God bless it.) Why, I ask Bruce Thornton today on Uncommon Knowledge, do Europeans so steadfastly refuse to reproduce?
Because, replies the author of Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow-Motion Suicide, “children are expensive. They require you to sacrifice your time and your interests and your own comfort. If your highest good is pleasure, if your highest good is a sophisticated life, then children get in the way. Why would you spend so much money and so much energy on children if your highest good is simply material well-being? That's sort of the spiritual dimension of the problem."
“The spiritual dimension of the problem.” There are so few children in Europe, in other words, because there are so few believers.
Only a supreme rationalist who has effectively replaced his natural vitality with a dead-end post-modern alienation from his own life experience could seek the evident high academic intellectuals feel at the prospect of human extinction. But this is exactly the grail contemporary education channels have been pursuing for many months. We get thrilling promos for shows about mega-tsunamis, mega-earthquakes, mega-floods, mega-storms, and -- Orgasm Alert! -- total planet death via asteroid collision and random Black Hole-i-ness in our backwater galaxy.
Just how much in love with death are these folks? It's not sufficient to hypothesize climate and cosmic catastrophe. Not nearly enough. What they want and need and feel obsessively required to act out in excruciating graphic detail is the revenge of Earth upon the remnants of mankind that would be left after our total extinction. They can't be satisfied by anything less than total erasure.
Have you seen Life After People? Or Aftermath? These are the last remaining scenarios that give the smartest people among our pitiful population a hard-on. These shows are the new post-sexual intellectual porn. Can you detect how tickled they are with themselves for having invented this post-erotic thanatotic fantasy?
They actually think they can convert us to their side with such ecstatic nightmares. In the case of Europe they have unquestionably succeeded. But America is not Europe. Thank God.
And there's a problem with their whole presentation. What they love about themselves is their own privileged niche in the deeply flawed story of civilization. But what if religion is not the second oldest rotten profession generated by the leisure time made possible by community organization? What if the irrational evil that religion is inspired human organization in the first place? What if religion represented the first ever human cooperation in an activity beyond killing a prey animal? Just how dispensable would religion be if it wasn't the first corruption of human civilization but the first cause of it?
You tell me. Here's the oldest known piece of architecture in human history.
It dates to 11,500 BC. The people who built it were hunter-gatherers. Uh, cavemen. Here's what archaeologists are saying about it:
This is not a place where people lived. It's as far away from water as you can get in this region. Instead, it's a place of ceremony. And, according to Schmidt, it's "the first manmade holy place."
To find such a large ceremonial center at such an early time period suggests that it was the need for communal rituals that first brought people together. Agriculture, pottery, domesticated animals and cities all came later.
Perhaps it was religion and not technology that fomented the Neolithic Revolution and led to the rise of civilization.
Archaeologist Steven Mithen, in his book After the Ice, writes that it was at Gobekli Tepe "that the history of the world had turned."There's more here at Wiki. We'll leave you with a few photos of art and architecture that date back to the "impossible" antiquity Plato ascribed to Atlantis.
Cavemen. Not even clever enough to be farmers. But we were all fools until Dawkins (Ecoutez, s'il vous plait) and Hitchens came along. Right?
Maybe. Except that the builders of this most ancient of sites fought to live. Not to die by being too enervated even to have kids. I give up. You figure it out. When you do, let me know.