05 January 2013

Learning as I go

I started this blog with every intention of posting regularly and with gusto. The funny thing is, the more I thought about what I wanted to write, the more unsure I became.

Even though the consequences of the lifestyle choices most people make today are obviously detrimental to them, they continue to make the same choices time and time again. Then they justify their dubious choices and demand that the rest of us validate their decisions too (using Hollywood and other famous people is an excellent example of this). It's a vicious circle that most don't seem interested in breaking. And those of us who see this, who see the downward spiral of the world, can't seem to rally together in any meaningful way to stop it. I'm beginning to understand the role that religion plays in this equation.

It all started with my new attendance at a church. I never thought that I would willingly attend but I considered that perhaps I was opposed to something that I may not fully understand. And while I still believe that it is unnecessary to rely on religion as the only solution to the world's moral ills, I also see what it has to offer that the secular world does not, namely a unity of purpose that dwarfs anything I've experienced in the secular realm.

These people believe in their purpose in such a profound way and, as a result, are unified in purpose in such a way that they can really make change manifest in people's lives. It's a belief that transcends merely a unity of ideology. I think that when people are viewing each other as souls or as a creation of God, they tend to view each other's actions with greater scrutiny. I've really come to enjoy the moral accountability of the reformed Christians. I also respect their unity of vision and commitment to living in a moral, sane way.

I just wish I knew how to accomplish this in the secular world.


  1. It's true, "we have secularised badly" as Alain de Botton says:

    Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0

    Psychologist Jonathan Haidt says the modern liberal world is built on inadequate moral foundations to be sustainable: "order tends to decay" he says and a more complete/conservative morality is necessary for longevity:

    The moral roots of liberals and conservatives - Jonathan Haidt

    The bottom line is: the Western world is great for individuality but has lost its ability to function as a group. To remedy this, there's three main ingredients needed (1) social cohesion, (2) clarity of values, and (3) fitness.

    1 - Diversity is the enemy of social cohesion, hence we need to return to an ethnic/racial identity (but not so fanatical as to crush individuality and empathy for outgroups).

    2 - We need to clarify exactly where we stand on the whole spectrum of policies that are out of control: economics, immigration, environment, culture, diversity, etc. We have to start from the goal of human needs/flourishing and judge policies according to that standard.

    And as Alain de Botton says, education/community/ritual (quasi religion) is the key to spreading our values.

    3 - Like Francis Pottenger's cat experiments, todays kids are a few generations down the road to sickness due to unnatural diet, and it may take a few generations to return to vitality. It will take a conscious effort for the healthy among us to be our future breeding stock, to eat naturally, and raise big families with lots of healthy kids.

    It's a big job, but it can be done. Just play whatever part you can in making this picture a reality.

  2. I like to think of myself as an adherent of the only religion authorized by the Supreme Court; that is, ceremonial deism. I wish my religion had some pretty buildings like the one above.