Monday, October 23, 2006

just for a stir...

God knows
Dinesh D'Souza compares Secular vs Religious outlooks, and cheekily offers a Darwinian explanantion to a contemporary conundrum. Why does belief in The Almighty stubbornly persist in an era of science and reason? And why are strongly agnostic countries, like Russia and 'enlightened' European nations, entering their demographic death spirals, while elsewhere Belief & birthrates flourish? D'Souza conjectures that nihilism pervades the Godless outlook. From its random, happenstance view of creation, its lack of clear purpose throughout life, to an ultimately pointless death. Is atheism a creed that has lost faith in life's divinity?

Which is not say that atheists aren't 'religious' - some of them whose missionary zeal to save lost souls and convert unbelievers approaches fanaticism. What's interesting is what replaces God in their spiritual void. For many, the numinous resides in the realm of unreachable abstraction. Perfection exists as ideals, as immutable as God's laws. This lot includes:

1. Socialists who substitute a benevolent father-figure with an all-providing state. Like totalitarian systems everywhwere, they're predicated on blind faith and obeisance to a holy government.

2. Environmentalists are a hippy Mother Earth cult who willfully ignore natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes) that kill thousands indiscriminately. Deluded pacifists forget that in nature, as in all natural ecosystems, everything eats each other - the Great Food Chain is no respecter of Green pieties.

3. Disciples of the free market. Economic rationalists and materialists whose reality is circumscribed by the physical, the tangible. Haunted by the finality of death, their lives spent desperately amassing wealth & physical objects, while the underlying significance of said objects eludes them.

4. Libertarians with their hubristic delusions of freedom. Perpetual adolescents rebelling against authority, oblivious to human savagery barely constrained by laws, rules and conventions which they reject as repressive and unjust.

All of the above, imo, share a sunny innocent psychological worldview which ignores the bloody historical record and seems unbothered by mankind's propensity to cruelty, sadism, anger, criminality, lust & greed. All appear to have edited 'evil' out of their ideologies, or attribute blame to temporary (and correctable) external factors & agents. Professing a god-like belief in humanity, their faith - though naive - is touching.

No comments: