Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The unrighteous post.

And what better way to inaugurate this post most unholy than with secularism, the dead-beat dad of moral relativism?

The most popular objection to religion is that it replaces thinking with sets of unprovable truths — and that the rules flowing out of those truths turn adherents into robots. Those who leave religion behind, we are led to understand, will begin to think for themselves and thereby exercise real freedom as responsible citizens.

This is the theory. But that is not how things have turned out. 

As Western societies have become more secular, they have become even more self-pitying and more likely to blame their travails on amorphous entities. Instead of promoting personal freedom, and the responsibility that comes with it, secularism has given us an expansive vocabulary for saying “It’s not my fault.”

More people are willing to blame their own mistakes and sins —from consumption of pornography, to rampant consumerism, to burdensome debt — on the media, the government, the banks. Or they refashion their choices as a response to an “addiction.”

How true.

One of the most popular memes in modern secularist culture is that religious adherents are incapable or unwilling to think for themselves, preferring to let their respective religious body do that for them. The presumptive secularist doesn't explain how religious adherents live at all if that were the case. Choices in media, family and friendships, profession, even the food one eats are all made by religious adherents each day. How many believers buy into the idea that only a secularist has freedom? Wouldn't that be indicative of conscious thought?

What of thought patterns? Do we not view the world through a particular lens? Does a Canadian not see political matters more differently than, say, an Italian? Does one, therefore, render the Italian's view invalid because of where he lives or his socio-political reality? So why should a Christian's world-view be discounted? He has a brain. One might say he uses it more than a person who thinks a government filled with fallible and corrupt people is the best arbiter for matters political, financial and social. The worst is putting standards of morality or ethics into the hands of those who think they are the pinnacle of humanity. History has taught how that turns out.

Moving onto societal ills- if secularism is meant to free the human mind from the trappings of religious belief and therefore open the way to clearer thought, why blame consumerism or the "diseases" of addiction? Why even say these things are wrong at all? Wouldn't that be putting things in a moral framework?

In a word, yes:

What religion teaches is that the dignity of each person is paramount. It also teaches that with this exalted state comes responsibility. Never go into a Catholic confessional and blame your abusive behaviour toward your own wife and children on a “culture permeated with violence.” God gave you the right to choose right or wrong, a smart priest would say, and you made the wrong choice. Now get help, repent, pray and fix it.

Never tell a Baptist minister that you spend half your evenings in the basement cruising porn sites because “television and advertising is saturated with sexually explicit material.” Even the least clever of clergy might suggest not watching those shows. So simple; so difficult.

Jews fast on Yom Kippur to make-up for the things they have done wrong through the year. It is not a magic solution to making guilt disappear. In fact, being forced to face one’s own sins can produce guilt, as it should. The point is to feel the pain of those wrongs, make it right with God and move on. It is the reason it is called the Day of Atonement and not the Day of Whining.

The Jesuits have a spiritual practice called the “examination of conscience.” It is a daily review of what happened in one’s day — all of it. It assumes a subscription to a set of moral truths that are not up for debate.

In this world view, freedom comes from an obedience to greater truths. It demands attention to the details of life. It asks that life not be a blur of excuses but freely exercised choices. And then it asks you to be an adult and take responsibility for all that you do.

How many sane, rational persons buy the argument that only outside influences directly cause societal harm? Let me rephrase: how many people buy the argument that anything one says or does moves one like a puppet and the person, therefore, cannot be held to account? How many apologists and moral relativists do you have out there who deny moral absolutes or who think an act of terrorism is a perfectly sane response to something offensive? If the hallmark of the secularist age is not only thinking for oneself but taking responsibility for one's actions, where did secularism go wrong? We've abandoned the benchmarks for higher living and thinking and replaced it with some sort of "no-fault" insurance. No one is to blame, really. Injecting some sort of higher belief or greater moral framework will only produce the kind of guilt no one wants in this care-free age. Maybe one should feel guilty for stealing or causing bodily harm. It's civilised, isn't it? Would one prefer living in a society where no one felt bad for doing stupid, even harmful things? Well, we already do, and it stinks.
Man is fallible. To put the moral destiny of humanity in the hands of someone who will not see that  is a disaster in the making.


Continuing with the post most evil, why not throw in something from Satan's Chubby, Little Helper?


Isn't North Korea a secularist state?


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