The Energy Of Religion

The other day, I caught a little of Jim Goad on Luke Ford’s podcast. I did not stick around long, as Goad went into a childish rant about religion. It was a bit embarrassing to see a middle-aged man carry on like a toddler demanding his binky. Then again, the sum total of atheism is a childish rant, demanding someone else explain the mysteries of religion to the satisfaction of an atheist. “Tell me how a loving God would let bad things happen to good people” is the typical rant. It is a question that can never be answered to their satisfaction.

Atheism is a good example of a negative identity. If Christianity did not exists. atheists would have to invent it so they could rail against it. You’ll never hear an atheists talk about the majesty or beauty of atheism. In fact, they never talk about it at all. Instead, it is endless complaining about religion, especially Christianity. The atheist defines himself entirely by his opposition to religion. It’s why they almost always inform you they are an atheist within five minutes of meeting them. They are like vegans in that way.

Atheism is nutty on two fronts. One is the core irrationality of it. The existence of God, gods or some supernatural force that animates the universe is unknowable. The big religions get that, which is why it is at the core of those faiths. For that matter, what we understand to be the universe could just be a kid’s science experiment in another dimension. Our world exists in a terrarium on the desk of some kid in the lizard people dimension. These are things we cannot know. That is the nature of faith.

This is where a “bible believing Christian” tells me I’m wrong. They know God exists because of something they read somewhere in their bible. Well, you don’t know that and saying you do puts you outside Christianity. The Catholic Church had a word for people who went around saying they knew things about God. They called them heretics and burned them at the stake. You can believe in God, you can believe he plays a hand in man’s affairs. You can believe anything, but you can only know what is knowable.

Belief is one of modern man’s oldest traits. It is assumed it co-evolved with language, for the simple reason both involve abstract thinking. The future condition tense, for example is about something that might happen in the future. This is not something that is real, that you see and touch. it is something you imagine. To express that, to even think it, you need language that can contain the idea. That is what language is, after all. It is a container to hold ideas and concepts that you can transmit to other humans, across time and place.

Belief works the same way, even simple beliefs that existed with primitive early man. To imagine a spirit force that animates the wind or the tides requires the ability to imagine that which cannot be seen or touched. Conjuring a spirit force as the explanation for the tides requires the ability to infer things from observation. This belief becomes a container to hold this idea. The stories that came to surround the existence of the spirit force are also containers, to make it easy to transmit this abstract idea to others over time and place.

As humans settled, their observations about nature mixed with their own ability to alter nature. The first breeding of dogs, for example, surely changed how people thought of animals and their fundamental nature. Throw in the complexity of human relations that arises from settled life and it is no surprise that belief became more complex. Those containers had to hold more complex abstract ideas, so simple beliefs based in nature were replaced with complex religious systems that could encompass complex ideas.

Put another way, just as our complex communications systems are part of what defines us as modern humans, our complex belief structures define us as modern humans. Belief, especially in the form of mature religious systems like Catholicism and its offshoots, is an incredibly efficient way of preserving and transmitting human experience and inferred knowledge. The Christian Bible contains vast stores of knowledge about human relations, just about everything one would ever need to know about human society.

A good way to think of this is to consider the gas tank in your car. It is for holding gasoline, which is the most amazing energy containing system we possess. Vast amounts of energy are contained in small quantities. That energy is so easily released, it requires only a small spark, yet it is so stable and safe, we lug vast amounts of it around at high speed on our highways. To top it off, it is relatively cheap. A thousand generations of human technological advance resides in that gas tank, powering your car down the road.

That’s why it has proven impossible to replace. By now, the West has probably invested close to a trillion dollars trying to come up with a replacement for gasoline and the equally amazing internal combustion engine. International huckster Elon Musk has driven himself to madness trying to build electric cars. Yet, we are no more closer to replacing the internal combustion engine than fifty years ago. Like solar power and renewable energy, the world of the electric cars remains an avatar that is always over the next hill.

Religion, and for the West that means some iteration of Christianity, is the gasoline and internal combustion engine of our culture. The long war on religion is not much different than the war on oil. The one difference is that unlike with cars, we did not wait for a replacement before junking the old technology. Instead, the West abandoned what worked for the fantasy of something better. We keep trying to make civic religion the replacement, but like Elon Musk, we are being driven mad trying to make it work.

153 thoughts on “The Energy Of Religion

  1. Actually, until it became unfashionable among the pluralistic set, the majority Christian view was that God is knowable through revelation, including miracles, many of which we have considerable material evidence for.

    And that’s not even getting into the Lourdes Medical Bureau.

  2. ‘God’ is the glue the binds the accumulated knowledge together into something resembling a social system. It’s the invisible authority that provides the ‘because’ to the ‘why’. It’s a convenient shortcut, which seems to work with most average people, that prevents endless loops of ‘why’ questioning of the accumulated knowledge and the system that it has created. Get rid of the glue and sure enough the system slowly begins to fall apart. People then slowly begin to question ‘why’ and because no-one can any longer give them a legit answer they begin to do whatever they want.

    That being said I don’t know if religion is complex enough going forward. The kind of complexity the internet and modern society in general has created may require entirely new systems of belief to solve the kinds of complex problems we’re going to have (or perhaps already having). Systems that we can only now begin to imagine. Religion itself may just v1.x and has reached its limitations.

  3. “The existence of God, gods or some supernatural force that animates the universe is unknowable.” True by definition, since we cannot know something which we cannot define or place limits on. However, we can infer the existence of a higher source of order from the oft-observed fact that systems tend to go to a state of disorder over time unless some sort of intelligent ordering force is applied. In other words, entropy in a closed system can never decrease. If you assume no higher source of order from outside the system – which means that the universe is not a closed system – then a system which begins at randomness – maximum disorder – stays that way. Order does not spontaneously arise from disorder in a closed system – thus the system is not closed and a higher source of order exists.

  4. “Tell me how a loving God would let bad things happen to good people” – that’s easy. You don’t know how your ethical principles will stand up unless they are tested by adversity. I’m assuming, of course, that what we mean by “good people” are people who live by a code of ethics which makes life in community with others at least possible, and at best a source of joy. If there were no God, ethics would consist of what benefits only the individual and includes no hardship – in other words, “if it serves my purposes and pleases me, it is good, otherwise it is evil and to be resisted.” That’s what two year olds are all about, and that’s what parents are for… This is a microcosm which reflects a greater reality. Adversity simply lets you know whether you are a two-year-old or an adult.

  5. “This is where a “bible believing Christian” tells me I’m wrong. They know God exists because of something they read somewhere in their bible.”

    Not true. Some may tell you are wrong for the reason you make up, but that’s simply clownish. There is much that tells us there is a God, so much so that David said “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” What we see around us did not happen through some random accident of nothing producing everything. Anyone who seriously claims there is no God is either a huckster or insane.

    The Roman Catholic Church called anyone that disagreed with them a heretic.

  6. There are “churchies” in contrast to those that attempt to pursue the Truth and “Blessings from the Beginning” so eloquently REVEALED and . . . RE-established by JC, by simply availing Oneself to the needs of those other REPENTANTS in GREATER “need” than One’s existing/current physical situation. The “Remnants” are gathering as the “Quickening” accelerates in this relative time construct. Truly an exciting time to [still] be “alive”, but cognizant of being “a little closer to Home” each day when considering the unbelievable calamity coming – especially to the UNproductive/parasitic “coasters/citYzens,urbies”, subsidized/trusters/entitleds, financial investors/traders, SJWs/academic cry-bullies, gov-agent regulators/SELECTIVE enforcement thugs.

  7. Apologies for a weak plea

    What got me interested in the role of emotion in speech was observing my own gut reactions to religious statements, mirrored by the same reactions in others.

    Some statements are neutral:
    “Connect the red wire to post A”
    Others elicit an immediate response in all caps!

  8. This is a long discussion to not have used the word “epistemology.” How do we know what we know? I’m a Christian who works to separate justified belief from untenable opinion, but sadly, very few Christians bother with the arduous work of thoughtful apologetics. “Just believe!” they say. Herein lies the weakness of American Christianity. The Church has done a horrible job over the last 200 years in defending (and expounding upon) the knowledge of God. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” This is why I hold the Church responsible for our deteriorating culture; now everyone is their own (blind & ignorant) shepherd … they damn the wolves as the wolves rip them to shreds.

    • “The Church has done a horrible job over the last 200 years…” Whenever someone says something like that, on any topic, you can be pretty sure that the product or idea was never that great to begin with. “If only we had better salesmen!”

      • That’s funny, Frip. But it’s pretty obvious that some people who have problems accepting Christianity do not have a correct understanding of its tenets. Their knowledge is just assumed. You have to wonder how much of that is swimming in misconceptions and how much is willful ignorance.

  9. “Atheists” are the perfect foil for Churchians, as the very term defines them as something they are not (believers in a God), and in turn reifies to some extent the beliefs of the adherents of religions. Churchians, which are a form of self-defined “Christians” given to identification with a set of strictures and dogma, have been the cannon fodder of the ruling cabals for centuries. Did Hitler’s Churchians go to hell while Roosevelt’s and Stalin’s danced in “heaven?” How about the U.S. Civil War? Did singing “Glory Hallelujah” give the North a righteous, God-is-with-us, victory over the equally Churchian South? Who benefited, and continues to benefit from religions writ large? No, people in wars are whipped up like a malevolent religious froth and then abdicate their individual sovereignty in service to states and those that own them.
    Why was the Holy Roman Empire founded and what is the history of their Church? (Begin here: control and power over the masses.) We lose our individual identities as part of groups, or, rather, we trade that birthright for the benefits of “belonging to a club.” Understanding how one is molded in their early years into a “believer” in things that other men have instituted to control them is the first step an individual must take toward becoming free in their own minds. The game is tilted even more heavily when one is born into a family of “believers,” but that’s life.
    Some things are just unknowable, unprovable. A reasoning man must come to terms with all sorts of mysteries in the world. How we came to be here, why we live and die, and what may become of us and our posterity are things each should work out for themselves. One can bring to this research some good things from sources such as the Christian Gospels, the Bhagavad Gita, even the Torah and Koran, along with the literature of thinking men of the ages. But aligning oneself with one packaged dogma or other is a sell-out, and no ticket to heaven, or banner of righteousness. And it is likely to lead to ruination of self, nation, and posterity.
    It’s true that the West evolved hand-in-hand with governments and religion, but the manifest experience of the deists who lived under a state religion and “divine king” provided them with all the example they needed to separate church and state as clearly as possible when constituting this new republic. Religion was a “bug, not a feature.” Pity we’ve lost our way so badly and allowed our independence to be subverted and turned into state slavery. But reviving Churchianity won’t save this ship.

  10. Something people tend to forget is the positive benefits to the community the church has brought. The Christian church and its faith have been a unifying and galvanising force in much of the West. A commitment to kindness, charity and family can’t be a bad thing. The church has also educated millions of children, cared for the sick and fed the hungry. Look at the temples of the LDS church around the world, incredibly beautiful structures and there aren’t too many homeless Mormons sleeping in the gutter. I’m not a church goer myself because I never took to the spiritual side of things but I miss out on being part of a community of the congregation.

  11. Been an atheist most of my life. I used to be defensive about it when the Christians had the upper hand and tried to make you feel like a freak for being athiest. Now that I see Belief could be helpful…even essential, to the Dissident Right’s cause…for the resurrection of the West, I’m willing to shut up about it. Though I could never be a believer again.

    I should be offended by Z’s post. But he’s a big picture guy, and he frames things for The Cause. I’m ok with that. We all should be. Like when we were kids on the football team, the saying was, “big team, little me.”

    • The greater number of atheist who are on my side in the culture wars have no respect for the culture of atheists. It’s a bit like the great looking Finnish chick with a voice like bearing failure who appears with RamzPaul. She’s listened to many arguments making the case that good women resupply a good democratic culture but women voting destroys it. She bought that. Things are what they are. You don’t have to be it to see it. Although, the Christians say some things must be believed to be seen.

  12. I think that this is what (the oft maligned) Jordan Petersen is getting at in his discussions of religion in general and The Bible in particular — a repository of knowledge and handbook on how to live a life in our culture. Listening to him, I don’t get the sense that he’s devout, or even a traditional believer. But he recognizes the power and importance of Christianity, its traditions, conceptual schemes and guidance, to our cultural functioning and survival.

  13. Let me join the party as the only person yet to identify as a Deist. (not a theist, big difference).

    IMHO, Atheists and Theists are effectively two sides of the same coin. Atheism is religion by any other name and a rather radical one at that. A large number of its adherents are militant fanatics much as you’d see with an ISIS or Fundy Xtian Sect.

    Both are absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that God does not exist or does exist based, more or less, on faith. That is religion.

    The deist is the middle road above agnostic but not so far as embracing one particular ideology as the “right” one. I’m always VERY skeptical of anyone telling me the 100% universal right way to do anything. Especially something that sits out at the margins of the knowable in all ways one can use that definition.

    Here is where I break ranks with most non-Christians however. It is 100% irrefutable fact that the modern world was built on the back of Christianity. And for that reason, it is ‘good enough’ for me. I will never be a true believer but I see its usefulness to a society, and to enshrining a code of ethics to a group of people who can follow such a code.

    The thing I find perplexing are there are some fairly high horse powered intellects who are deep into the mythos of Christianity. Vox Day comes to mind immediately, Z-man, some others. These are people who easily see objective reality better than your average normy or mid-wit in society. But they have this tremendous blind spot on this one thing only.

    This is a mythos about (and I find this humorous because I’ve heard it quoted) a jewish desert / space zombie who came to earth and did things no one has ever seen done before of since. I’m sure everything in that book is 100% accurate. It beggars belief that people on the upper end of the IQ scale absorb this myth as universal truth.

    You can easily square belief in God w/o ascribing to a particular religion. In fact, to do otherwise seems bizarre to me. The creator is purposefully unknowable and oblique. So why make up human stories about something you likely could not even fathom in your wildest imagination? It would be like a microbe attempting to explain away a human being but several orders of magnitude of scale apart from that. It is comical to even consider to me.

    tl;dr Atheists have religion whether they like it or not. Christianity is useful. But how so many smart people follow desert manuscripts written to keep the useful idiots more or less in line, is the bigger mystery to me.

  14. Yeah, that’s the central problem the Dissident Right has. It doesn’t believe any more than the globohomos do, really. But the West is Europe, and Europe is the Church and eliminating belief has cut the tendons of the West and left it crippled.

    People who complain about the loss of belief sometimes act like we could choose to believe again. Not sure that’s true, but if it’s not, then the idea of the West simply cannot be recovered.

  15. Gotta love Goad, but yeah, his views and conversations seem bound by an overwhelming need to impress himself with his self. He’s sort of a macho version of Milo that way. Milo needs to remind you who he’s sucking. Goad needs to remind you he’s an ex-con. Though Milo actually knows stuff and can take interviews to interesting places, they both stunt convo by always bringing subject back to themselves.

  16. “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
    From “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine, published in 1794.

    • Are you sure that’s Thomas Paine or did you paste it from some angry 8th grader’s Facebook page?

  17. Imagine two rivals societies: One believes in a diety, one does not. One is willing to die to expand, one is not. One has a moral imperative to have babies, the other thinks merely of whether having children would be enjoyable or not.

    Which of the two will take territory and which will surrender it?

    • I think society needs religion but to play Devil’s advocate: Imagine two societies. One believes in every human life as an equal and blessed shard of the Divine. The other that man is a biological entity prone to the same imperatives to reproduce and gain territory as every other animal and that each human society is a product of it’s own unique evolutionary history. Which will address the population crisis in Africa and the flooding of the West with Third World migrants?

    • Scotty,
      About a moral imperative to have babies: there is a quote of Oswald Spengler’s I enjoy.

      “When the ordinary thought of a cultivated people begins to regard having childen as a question of ‘pros and cons’ the great turning point has come. For nature knows nothing of ‘pro and con’.”

      I was raised Catholic. I’m now an atheist. I think science has opened the bottle of skepticism for good. After reading of the big bang and evolution I just can’t believe in the stories of the sky god or the bible. Yet I want my country and civilization to thrive, and it certainly seems to me that a society devoid of religion does lose the engine propelling it forward. I think it does indeed become infested with ennui and apathy. It’s very troubling to me.

    • Its depends on the leaders and the technology

      I’ll note that many of the religious states are starting to not value children nearly as much and also realizing they are way over carrying capacity anyway .Iran is already there and its a literal theocracy

      Modernity is actually doing pretty well at declining the human growth rate everywhere

      Also with ruthless leaders who place no value on human life but on preserving society or animal life or whatever and have good tech, it doesn’t really matter

      Send in the gas drones and flesh eating robots, the nukes and tailored germs and kill all the moralists off

      The non deity people won’t expand but they don’t need too.

      Also it may well be that the non deity people discover a bit more knowledge of genetics and use gene driven kill-squitos to simply remove the impulse to religiosity and high aggression at the genetic level.

      The real world isn’t quite there and may never get there but we just might. That old remark about 10cc of atheism from House Season 4, episode 12: “Don’t Ever Change”

      “Look, she’s nuts but we can’t just give her 10 cc of Atheism and send her home.” Dr. Taub

      may become reality.

      quoth Napoleon God lives those with the best artillery (or best tech)

      In fact I’d argue that a ruthless state focused around tech over money would have an insurmountable advantage and if China as money focused as they are wanted to do this, in a couple of decades no one could gainsay them certainly not the US who will no longer have functioning nukes

  18. I’ve never understood why pig people should worship gods invented by goat people.

    • Well if the goat peoples God is real and the pig peoples gods aren’t, that seems like a good reason.

      • Sure but both Gods could be real too in which case you back the stronger horse or more accurately do as you are told or be killed and or ostracized as sometimes happens.

        Or an entirely different one could real or one that does not care or the afterlife may be a product of physics and complexity or a hundred other things.

        There is sketchy evidence for reincarnation and Gods plural but its not proof and this doesn’t prove Gods who may exists aren’t Star Trek style Higher Beings .

        No one knows and no can know save in their own head.

  19. Atheists may be “militant” because of the “militancy” of certain religious people and because some religious people get in their faces and vice versa. Thus, we have a spiral of mutual verbal aggression.

    “Atheism is a good example of a negative identity. If Christianity did not exists. atheists would have to invent it so they could rail against it. ”

    Yes just means without belief in God or gods. It is not supposed to be anything more than that. It is exactly the same as someone who does not believe in magic, faeries and voodoo. Now, people like Dawkins are liberal humanists (whatever) and have beliefs that are descended from Protestant Christianity. This also helps explain why they get in people’s faces.

    “The existence of God, gods or some supernatural force that animates the universe is unknowable.”

    Depending on what you mean by “knowable” then this is not so. Atheists will typically say that such belief is not “reasonable” or “rationally supportable”. Assuming that having knowledge does not mean absolute certainty, then some atheists might say that they know that gods do not exist in the same way they will claim to know that voodoo does not exist.

    • This strikes me as complaining about the backlash, while applying the front lash. That and the “Christian getting in your face” is like Big Foot. Lots of atheists swear it exists, but no one has ever seen it. The fact is, no one cares about atheists, but the war on Christians has been real for a long time.

      • One area where I think it’s fair is if you’re raised in an aggressive semi-abusive church environment and you rebel against it. Those do exist and I sympathize, it teaches the young to associate God with pain and Jesus had some serious words about that as I recall. It really shouldn’t hold you as an adult though.

        That being said, I take your point. We’d all be better off if we read The Devils Delusion by Dave Berlinski. Watching a secular Jew knock the wind out of the New Atheism is something to see.

      • There certainly is a war on Christians (in more ways than one) and atheists have far less reason to complain today than in the past. Thinking about this more, maybe it is partly a generational thing. If you look at the background of Dawkins and Hitchens they are/were members of England’s educational and cultural elite and they are partly rebelling against what they see as (bla bla). And Dawkins and co are right about the fact that atheists have been treated like shit – historically. However, it is only in the last two or three decades that atheists have been able to express themselves without fear, violence and economically debilitating social opprobrium.

        One writer suggested that after 9/11, the gloves game off (so to speak). However, the author ( I forget who) also suggested that partly new atheism was a product of frustration (that religion was still here and causing wars again). In addition, it could also have a fear element – with the rise of Islam and the persistence of Christian evangelicalism – that atheists could end up be silenced or killed again.

        What really grates on atheists (I think) is when basically every single Christian accuses them in ways subtle and not so subtle of being sociopaths, zombies, morons, blind, deaf and dumb.

        • A good bit longer than two or three decades, George Bernard Shaw wasn’t missing many meals and neither was Bertrand Russell.

          And is the problem just religion? Just general religion? Islam, Mennonite, Unitarians, just general religion that “starts wars”?

          You’re afraid of being silenced, Christians have actually been silenced in Canada, the U.K., many Western countries no less, for speaking about homosexuality. You’re afraid of being killed? Take it down a notch, we don’t even want to kill actual terrorists living in our countries. Never mind that in the past few years there’s been genocides directed at Christians in the Middle East. And elsewhere.

          I can think of prominent atheists accusing the religious of what you say, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris is a bit more polite. I’m trying to think of prominent Christians doing so and I’m coming up empty.

          • I agree with you. I’m just giving a possible perspective. It might be wrong, maybe they have other motives. Listening to Dawkins and Hitchens and reflecting on what they have said, I get the view (and Peter Hitchens also thinks this) that they were saying things they have always wanted to say and what some have wanted to be said for a long time but lack the kind of eloquence.

            At the moment, atheists do not have much of a problem coming from Christians, though you still cannot have a career in politics without paying some sort of lib service to Christianity.

            Sadly, it really does come down to who/whom and for the moment many atheists (read secular progs or whatever) are riding on the coattails of the political left.

            The solution, I think, is having a system of where individuals and groups are secure, in life, liberty and property and who are not forced to battle in a democracy.

  20. Wherever what you say conflicts with a universally-accepted teaching of the Church, I am compelled to accept the Church’s teaching. However, having said that, you have an uncommonly high number of brilliant insights; and the comparison of religion to gasoline, and the vast amounts of energy wasted trying to come up with a substitute civilizational fuel, is one of them.

    • A very thought provoking element of the post, about energy as well as about religion. I have long held the view that our culture broadly underestimates the importance and value of a gallon of gasoline.

  21. “Tell me how a loving God would let bad things happen to good people” is a typical atheist rant…..
    Because Earth was not intended to be a petting zoo. It was intended to be a test…Why did you ever think otherwise?

    • Ah yes, a test. This is why any good parent purposefully exposes their children to horrible conditions. For if they were to do all in their power to give their child the best life possible, how would they know the kid’s love is sincere? What fun is it to make sentient beings and give them good lives when you can purposefully make flawed ones you know will go astray and then torment them in enternity for being exactly as you designed them?

      • “…make flawed ones…” Nope. Adam and Eve were NOT flawed–until they chose to become so. And as you recall, that choice was ‘to become like unto God.’

        “…know will go astray,..,” Yes, many choose to go astray. Christ also provided forgiveness–if one asks for it. Oh, yes, there will be penance, just as when you wrecked Dad’s car.

        Kinda looks like common sense to me.

        • If the purpose of man is to follow God’s Word and from the very outset Adam chose not to, would that not be flawed? Given that God is omnipotent and knows the fate of every being before it is even put on earth, when He creates the sinner is He not purposefully creating something flawed? Where is our choice and free will if our fates are already known? Isn’t it but an illusion? Wouldn’t it be better for God not to make flawed people given that he knows from the outset that if he makes such a soul it will go to Hell? Or will harm the good that will follow him? The promise of forgiveness and the necessity of penance kinda seems a bit audacious to me when the whole setup is cruel.

          • God (and the parents, still male/female!!) creates human beings with Free Will. What God knows does not affect what you–or anyone else–does with that Free Will.

            Your logic is flawed, not God’s design, friend….

          • Let me put it this way, if God is real and God is omnipotent, God knew what the 9/11 hijackers would do when he chose to make them and put them on the earth. From the point of view of men who cannot see the future the hijackers had “free will”. But from the point of view of a being who knows their fates, they do not. I bring up the free will question not because I don’t think people are culpable for their actions within society. I bring it up because the culpability of a being for their actions is contingent on its foreknowledge of what said action would do. God supposedly knew as a deterministic fact what the hijackers would do. And he chose to put them here anyway. I do not consider that to be the action of a loving God (the only God worthy of believing in). Therefore, I don’t believe.

          • God is not subject to any law. That’s why He’s God and we’re not.
            “First, you cannot properly understand the problem of evil without understanding the nature of God’s causal relationship to the world. Second, you cannot properly understand the problem of evil if you conceive of God in anthropomorphic terms—as something like a human agent, only bigger and stronger. If the world is like a story, God is not a character in the story alongside other characters; he is like the author of the story. And just as it makes no sense to think of an author as being unjust to his characters, neither does it make sense to think of God as being unjust to his creatures. While God is perfectly good, it is a deep mistake to think that this entails that he is a kind of cosmic Boy Scout, and that the problem of evil is a question about whether he deserves all his merit badges.”
            “…theistic personalism typically rests on a very different sort of metaphysics, and conceives of God in far more anthropomorphic terms. In particular, the theistic personalist tends not to think of God as Pure Actuality, Being Itself, Goodness Itself, or the like, but rather as ‘a person without a body,’ like us but without our limitations, who might intelligibly be said to be morally virtuous and to have duties he lives up to…Theistic personalism is also often associated with a conception of God’s relationship to the world on which it is at least in principle possible that the world might have existed apart from God, so that the question of whether God is the cause of the world becomes an ‘evidential’ or ‘probabilistic’ matter, rather than a matter of strict metaphysical demonstrations of the sort classical theists typically attempt to provide. Hence it becomes a real question for the theistic personalist whether the balance of probabilities really supports belief in a supremely powerful disembodied person who lives up to all his moral obligations, etc. – a way of framing the issue that is, from a classical theistic point of view, totally wrongheaded from the start. ”
            Sorry I can’t come up with anything original. Fortunately, it’s all been thought out before.

          • Thanks for the well thought out and eloquent response (and even if they aren’t your words, you took the time to find them). Of course I cannot fault an author for killing a character in a story. The characters are not real. But I and you and other people are. If God is simply the unknowable, then why does he demand love? And not just love, love beyond all other things we love. Love as I understand it is rooted in understanding. A deep and profound joy derived from something’s very nature and knowing that nature. And yet God endows us with minds incapable of understanding him? If God is Good personified, why would “Good” mean anything other than what man is capable of conceiving as good? If God’s “good” means something else other than “cosmic boyscout” good, why bother calling him good at all? Reason is the tool by which man understands the universe. If God wants us to know him, why handicap and render impotent that tool when it come to loving and knowing His nature, theoretically one of the most important truths there is? I am willing to have the epistemological humility to say that I cannot know if God does not exist. But if I just say ok he does, I cannot love an unknowable, incomprehensible void.

          • And Christ does at least give an anthropomorphic focal point to latch on to. But the unlovable void is more than God not being a man. It’s in being incomprehensible to the human mind.

        • So why did God put the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden? He could have put it somewhere else. The idea is that he purposefully put temptation in the path of innocents, then decided to torture them eternally because they succumbed. What a sick God. And no…I am not an atheist.

      • Parents routinely let their kids struggle and make them do things they don’t enjoy. I’m not sure whether parents designed their kids to be the way they are.

    • What amazes me are the types of atheists who think that Christianity has been around for 2000 years and in all that time nobody associated with it ever thought of that question.

      • Plenty of Christians have thought of the question — they’ve just never come up with a convincing (or even plausible) answer.

        • Really? Which ones have you read, and why do you find them inadequate? There are whole libraries’ worth of books on the problem of theodicy. *None* of them strikes you as plausible?

          • Well gee, no, I haven’t actually read whole libraries of books on the subject. But this question has been coming up my entire life, and I’ve always assumed that the (unconvincing) answers I kept hearing were the best answers you guys had available. Was I wrong to assume this? Are you telling me that hidden within those libraries are answers that are better than the ones that have been presented to the public, and that it’s my responsibility to go hunting for those answers? Golly, why didn’t you just give us the good answers to begin with?

            You know, Muslims also have whole libraries of books demonstrating the truth of their own teachings. I assume you’ve been working your way through those libraries? Let me know when you are finished, and we can have an informed discussion about Islam! 🙂

          • So: what *are* these (unconvincing) answers you keep hearing, and what’s so unsatisfactory about them? Use as many words as you need to dodge a straightforward question. 🙂

          • Not sure about him but here’s mine:

            Q: Why did God create evil?

            A: Because good cannot exist without evil. Life would be hollow without strife.

            My problem with A: An all powerful being could do anything, including making good without evil. Life would be hollow without strife because that is precisely how God designed things. Had God wanted to make creatures content without strife and only put the people on earth that would freely choose his path, he could have. He didn’t.

            Q: How can we have free will and God know our fates?

            A: We do have free will. Stop shirking responsibility and blaming God for your sins. Repent.

            My problem with A: I don’t view the culpability of man for his actions and God’s responsibility for putting them there as mutually exclusive. God made a choice when he knowingly put bad men here.

            Q: Why does etc etc etc action of God seem cruel?

            A: God’s ways are not out ways. We are not meant to know such things. Have faith.

            My problem with A: The basis of love is understanding. How does God expect us to love him and not understand his actions? If you asked a politician about a certain problem you had with one of his policies and he waved it away with “have faith” would you trust him?

          • Why is a God so far above us constantly “angry” and hell bent on vengeance? The Creator of the Universe is so pissed off about Adam and Eve that he unloads on the rest of humanity for the duration of time???? Does this sound like a God…or more like an earthly Jew? It seems to me that someone has been sold a bill of goods.

          • Your answers are not what the Church teaches. For example, the Church teaches evil is the privation of good, not something created but an absence. Omniscience is not incompatible with free will. See Why do you think love is based on understanding? I love my husband and children, but I do not understand even them perfectly.

          • God did NOT “create evil.” Satan, too, had free will–and wanted to become ‘like God,’ which by no co-incidence is what he used to tempt Adam and Eve.

            Evil is the absence of good; free will gives us humans the option to choose “absence of good.” But that is NOT–logically–identical to “God creates evil.”

          • Severian —

            Well I seem to have won the arguments about libraries — you have at least backed off from your unreasonable demand that I read “whole libraries” of books on theodicy before I can have an opinion. But now you are demanding that I start a book of my own on the subject, here in the comments section, in order to prove to your satisfaction that yes, I have indeed been exposed to the standard arguments that Christians always use to defend the behavior of their God.

            Sorry, under other circumstances I might have a go at it, but right now I have neither the time nor the interest. My original comment in this thread was in response to AntiDem, who was somehow under the impression that atheists were unaware of the efforts Christians have made to resolve the difficulties of their faith. I’ve responded to that to my own satisfaction, so for now at least I’m going to let this drop.

    • “Because Earth was not intended to be a petting zoo. It was intended to be a test…”. If Earth was a petting zoo, we could get rid of most storytelling and literature, starting with Homer. We could get rid of personal striving and accomplishment. Get rid of all sports, because they have winners and losers. Eliminate all tests, and give credit for showing up and participation. Give freely to those who need or want something, so life is not a “test”. Elections have winners and losers too, as do battles and wars. Borders separate winners from losers. As does history, so it all goes. Heck, just burn all the books. “No heaven or hell below us, it’s easy if you try”. That’s what the Left has wanted for us all along, to be a “petting zoo”! (Shouted in the style of “It’s a cookbook”! at the end of the Twilight Zone episode).

  22. No few of the great men of the 18th and 19th century were uncertain of the exact nature of God, but they were not uncertain in what happens under disbelief. Tocqueville may as well have been speaking for Burke and many others. “Equality of conditions persuades men to conceive an instinctive disbelief in the supernatural and a very lofty, often very exaggerated, conception of human reason. Human opinions form only a sort of intellectual dust which swirls in every direction, unable to settle or find stability.

    When authority in religious matters no longer exists any more than in political matters, men soon take fright at the sight of this boundless independence. This constant upheaval in everything brings disquiet and exhaustion.

    It is doubtful whether Socrates and his school had very definite opinions upon what was to happen to man in the afterlife, but the one belief of which they were convinced, namely, that the soul has nothing in common with the body and would survive it, has been enough to give to Platonic philosophy this sort of sublime impetus which is its distinctive feature.
    On reading Plato, we see that many writers before and during his lifetime anticipated the doctrine of materialism These writers have not survived to our day or have only partially survived. The same is true for almost all other centuries; most great literary reputations have been linked to spirituality.”

  23. I had more fun reading this essay than watching the Yankees walk off the field after losing game five at Fenway in 2004.

  24. So I’ll say at the forefront that I think religion is a good thing and a very natural thing. All you say about religion as a convenient container for belief I completely agree with you on. As well as the fact that the question of whether God exists or not is ultimately unknowable. If there is no God there would be great need to invent him. That’s why people like Dawkins and other “New Atheists” annoy the shit out of me.

    That all said, I don’t think athiesm is at it’s face childish. Why God allows bad things to happen is not a stupid question when Christianity is premised on the idea that God is love. Yes, you can say the question of whether God is real or not is unknowable but if you really want to go down that epistemological rabbit hole nothing can be known. All I know about astronomy may be a lie and the sun may rise in the west tomorrow but I wouldn’t bet on it. If any mortal man were to go about making claims about how I should live my life and demand that I depend on mere faith in him as justification for his words rather than logically consistent reason or facts I would laugh in his face. Does the uncertainty of Truth in the universe prevent you from judging the claims of say, a politician saying affirmative action works? I wouldn’t think so. So yeah, the morality of a being that goes out of it’s way to create hookworms and genocide I think is a fair question. I certainly wouldn’t think it just to deprive a man of his faith like some jackass telling a little kid Santa Claus isn’t real. But just because atheism as a militant proggie “religion” is stupid and mean doesn’t mean that questioning the claims behind a religion are childish.

  25. Goad says he doesn’t believe in right and wrong but only in true and false. He is blind to the need for ethical first principles.

    Like Goad, one of my best friends is an atheist who believes that if we outgrow our need for a father in the sky then most of our problems will solve themselves because science supplies an ethical system. I’ve tried to demonstrate to him that science only answers question about “is” and not “ought.”

    I submit that our unquestioned first principle ought to be the flourishing of the white race.

  26. While I’m an atheist, I really don’t bring it up. I’ve been berated by the religious all my life for my lack of belief in their god. I’ve patiently explained over and over to people that I’m fine with whatever brings them comfort, just don’t force it on me. Usually I’m next confronted with “You don’t think their is something greater than you?” My answer is always the same, I’m sure there are many things greater, I just don’t worship them, nor force others too. It’s like talking to a wall usually.

  27. I think this would have to qualify as a childish rant about atheism. Aren’t you at least interested in whether the factual claims of religion (religion in general, or particular religions) are in fact true? That would seem to be a matter of some importance!

    I was raised a Catholic, but I abandoned my belief in my teens, because I didn’t want to believe, and because once I started looking it was easy to see that there was no good evidence supporting the things I had been taught to believe. For a while I was sort of a “militant” atheist, but I quickly lost interest in that. I’m pretty mellow now. I get along fine with believers. I feel no need to “announce” my atheism to anyone. I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge the possibility that there are social positives associated with religion. I just happen to believe — in my fallible human way — that none of the supernatural stuff is actually true.

    And the thing is, it does matter! If I really believed that there was a God who was going to wrap up the whole universe at some point in the relatively near future, and that we were all going to end up in Heaven or Hell, then why on Earth would I care if the West was flooded with low IQ Sub-Saharan migrants? If God doesn’t have a problem with that, who am I to argue? In the long run, how would it even matter? The only reason I care is that I believe that this world is all we’ve got, and I don’t want it to turn into a pile of crap. But if this world is going to disappear, and we are all headed for another world, an eternal world, then sure, why not be charitable and let them all come?

    Serious question — why not? Maybe you’ll tell me that God wants me to fight to preserve the West and the white race. OK, maybe. But now you are arguing doctrine! So why should I believe what you are telling me to believe, as opposed to those who tell me that God wants me to sell everything I own and give it to the poor? Quite honestly, based at least on traditional Christian scriptures, I think they have the better case!

    • “Sell all you own….(etc.)” was a counsel of Christ to the young man who sought perfection. There is no REQUIREMENT to do so; lots of people earn Heaven while owning stuff.

      The question to ask is not “whether or not to own stuff,” but rather, “how much stuff do I really need?” (by all means, include your family here!!)

      50,000 square-foot house for 2 geezers? Well, yes, if their 8 children and 20 g-children also live there.

      While we’re at it, why do you hint that ‘God’ will turn the world into a pile of crap b/c sub-Saharans will over-run it? God gave them free will, too. They can use their energy for good or evil.

      Perhaps you will return to the Church. We’ll pray that you do.

    • Christians don’t teach all outcomes are positive because god made them that way. By that logic nothing matters and there is no purpose to ever act. It seems to me if atheism is true than the timeline of things you should care about is very short, not the other way.

    • >”I was raised a Catholic, but I abandoned my belief in my teens, because I didn’t want to believe”

      Yeah I think I see the issue right there. People always find good reasons to believe what they want to believe and to not believe what they don’t want to believe.

      • And it is well understood that teenagers are the world’s experts on absolutely everything.

        • Yep. Read Julian the Apostate’s _Against the Galileans_, for pete’s sake. He made all the juvenile “Christians are teh suxxor” arguments the neckbearded fedora crowd thinks are so clever 1700 years ago (plus some interesting ones).

  28. Huh. I’ve been thinking about the nature of the gods and the role of the embodied lately.

    This is why I must disagree that these things are unknowable. Therein lies the hope.

    True answers, things that can be measured and somewhat verified, should be a bridge between the two positions. This also brings us knowledge of semantic constructs- why do we speak, why do we feel, why do we think, why do we sense. Why are we here? Why do we suffer?

    Both sides can receive answers that satisfy.
    Let us end this wasteful war between us.

    It must be, because we are in the fight for our lives, and much, much more.

    (The nice thing is, not only the Mysteries, but even the differences between us- can be understood.

    They aren’t complicated. Even an ignoramus dunce like me can easily grasp the concepts of what they are, how they work, and why.)

    • Simply put, synthesis of faith and observation is more possible than our frustrated selves realize.

      Throwing the baby out with the bathwater doesn’t work. Neither does trying to harness the power of what we sense without a clear model of the mechanisms.

      Hold fast! Keep hope! We are meant to do this, to know. To Know, and to use this for the highest Good.

      • I either read the quote somewhere earlier in the discussion (and I can’t find it now to give credit to the author), or perhaps I deduced it from the conversation, and, Alzaebo, your comments here touch on it. Science, experience, and the elements of shared culture that are handed down to us teach us the “what” and the “how”. They do a poor job of telling us the “why”. Some will pretend the “why” is somehow self-evident or irrelevant. Religion, and specifically Christianity, attempt to construct a “why”, that just so happens to also be a good guide as to how to live one’s life, strive for better, shrug off disappointment, and do all of this in concert with others. Without religion, the “why” of our lives is ever more out of reach. Reminds me of the old joke where the scientists ask the new computers ”why?” and they blow up.

        • Very kind, thanks, true class always shows.

          I’m hopeful because the “why”- the Purpose- is simple to see with an accurate mechanical model.

          Religion itself is a mechanism, not something to be proven or disproven as “all true or all false”.

          Atheists and believers are stuck on emotional posturing, using absurdities to “prove” each other wrong. Neither condescends to ask the most basic questions (science- what, how, why).

          Frustrating. It’s like listening to second-graders argue about comic books.
          I, a low-born dunce, find the ‘great minds’ laughable. We can and must do better than squabbling. A house divided…

    • This is a famous quip by Gandhi, but it is false. Christianity has been tried. The ones who tried with more success are called “saints” (at least in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions).

      Of course, Christianity is based on the fact that everybody is a sinner (this is why we need Christ to be our Saviour, instead of saving ourselves). As a result, as long as you do your best, you are doing well and being a Christian, even if your stumble. Christianity does not demand perfection or completely fulfilling the rules.

      • I’m;
        Agreed: Best answer I’ve heard lately to the canard, “I couldn’t join a church. They’re all full of hypocrites .” is, “Well, there’s always room for a few more, so come on over.”.

        • Ha! I like that one, I do. It’s like complaining that a hospital is full of sick people.

    • This sort of vacuous quip illustrates what we’re up against as we watch our civilization slide into oblivion.

      It also shows why you can’t discuss religion with strangers. Imagine a Pascal or Bonhoeffer trying to discuss Christian doctrine with anyone here. They’d hardly be over-matched – they’d just abandon the effort, the way earnest young math majors are known to go Africa to teach algebra and geometry in remote villages, only to discover that the locals don’t understand what a number is, beyond the ‘number’ of chickens available for dinner. You may as well expect success from a trained cellist plunging into deepest Africa to teach playing stringed instruments, to a town whose notion of music is pounding logs with sticks.

      And yet…

      Christian evangelists often succeed where the math teachers fail – they bring some element of westernism to those remote places (at any rate, if they aren’t roasted and eaten, a risk they’ve been up to historically).

      Can it be that they know something of the human heart, that these ‘belief’ precedes organized knowledge?

      Anyway, here in my parish – or rather parish ‘cluster’ – we’ve had two priests in recent years from Ghana, and they preach the Word, and hard; our liberal co-celebrants twitch in the pews as they hear black men railing against abortion and homosexuality; they can’t just walk out – that would be racist – and they have to take it, the way we normal Catholics have to take the homilies of the 60s and 70s-era deacons and local priests as they turn them into stump speeches for the Democrats.

      Both have been re-assigned, and I miss them. Great guys, all in on the fundaments of Christ and his mission.

  29. My mom cries as she yells in tongues on her knees looking up at the ceiling with arms raised. When I was kid I heard one of the house painters run up the stairs and knock on her bedroom door asking if everything was alright.

  30. Not to disagree at all, but I do have a quibble. I’ve never had an atheist inform me of their “faith” early in our acquaintance but I have had Christians inform me as almost our first interaction when it was totally irrelevant to our conversation. For example, my dentist and a new boss back in the day.

    I’m the complete agnostic, by the way.

    • I’ve had both happen with some regularity (growing up in the South, then spending lots of time in academia). Neither is much fun, and both are almost always grotesque hypocrites. For sheer brass-balledeness, though, atheists take the cake. Reason’s self-proclaimed BFFs demand, as proof of God’s existence, something that is so overwhelming that it would result in immediate conversion… AND that this proof be recorded by an atheist.

      • Sev;

        Agreed: Those demanding overwhelming evidence of God’s existence are just foolishly showing off. If the evidence is overwhelming then there is no commendation due anyone who accepts it. That is, their free will has been nullified.

        The answer I’ve come to after considerable thought and study is: If God is who He says He is and He has given man free will as He says He has, and He intends to do what He says He will do about ending the world in judgement, then He will give *enough* revelation to every human so that they can be justly judged. Otherwise He is not just in condemning anyone.

        Some will accept God’s offer based on incomplete evidence and therefore be accepted in turn. Some will insolently demand complete evidence that will never be provided, since they have already rejected God by rejecting the evidence they have already been provided.

        This is a terrible and awesome (in the ancient sense of the word) truth to apprehend.

        • Do people in Heaven have free will? Just asking…

          If they do, then free will is not incompatible with overwhelming evidence of the existence of God. If they do not, then having one’s free will “nullified” is not such a terrible thing. After all, they are in Heaven!


          • Ha! Read a wonderful story where the angel at the table quite cleverly got around that ‘no free will’ bit (after apologising- “Sorry. No free will.” He had to answer in a certain way.)

      • OK, Sev, both sides can be assholes, but I’ve no problem with Reason types laying out their “demand”, as long as they’re as POLITE about it as are their Believer opponents.
        I’ll grant that the Academic types can often be real assholes, but they’re often that way on everything else anyway, so their snooty manners often hurt their darling causes.
        The Believers often have better ideas on the stuff most important to us here, so, when they get pushy on religion, it hurts our cause, since this conduct drives away (from our cause) those people who’d probably be open to our cause.

    • “I’m the complete agnostic, by the way.”

      You’ve just illustrated Z-man’s point, and contradicted your own, all in thirty seconds of anecdotal ‘rebuttal’ from incidents ‘back in the day’.

  31. “The existence of God, gods or some supernatural force that animates the universe is unknowable.”

    Since coming to that conclusion, I have put that idea forward to atheists and religious people. Neither side likes it, but the atheists are usually the angriest. Religious people, who i generally respect, engage in a more thoughtful way.

    • Perhaps the atheists you’ve talked to are the nuttiest of the bunch. The ones I know would find your view completely reasonable. Their fire is directed at the true blue believers who insist that they DO know, usually in crucial detail, what this force is, and what this force DEMANDS of us.

  32. It’s not my job to explain the inconsistent parts of the bible or the hypocrisy of many adherents. If you are an adult work it out privately either way, don’t get in my face like Goad did with Grace. It’s become an internet act with him and he will unburden himself of his resentment to any who will listen. A wasted life from a man who has some gifts. Resentment is a soul destroyer.

    The Alt-right has quite a few that are suggesting that Christianity is good for structuring society even if it isn’t true. Why would I want that? If that was the case I would just quietly be a disbeliever and muddle through life the best I could.

    • The West cannot be restored without Christianity, because the West has always been essentially Christian. Without it, you could create something new that wasn’t really the West, just as the Byzantine and medieval Christians created something new that wasn’t really the Ancient pagan civilization.

      If that suits you, fine – but it won’t be the West.

      • The West lost much of its old Roman heartlands to Islam, North Africa was St. Augustine’s homeland. Egypt, the Levant, Asia Minor are no longer part of the civilization. Only Spain was taken back with great cost. Now a Muslim satrap sits in the Anglo capital, and a Muslim King is not out of the question by 2100.

      • That’s fine with me. The West started to die with the enlightenment and democracy anyway and counting a religious revival that may not happen or help to save it seems like folly to me.

        What is killing it off faster is urbanization ,mobility and information combined with a heretical elite . Yes heretical “Cathedralism” is Judeo Chrtianism with an Enlightenment filter

        The later we can deal with but baring a catastrophe we aren’t going back to a less connected world. The core technology for toxic level so connection is as simple as a radio and a train

        And again when everyone lives in a throughly connected modern city as in all developed nations you are simply going to have a less functionally religious populace

        As far as i can tell there is no action you can take to change fertility rates since they tied to jobs and housing. The former is simply too fluid and too much as risk of automation or other forms of manpower replacement and the later is more expensive on a per square foot basis

        Expecting city people to pop out tons kids is going against every benefit the city offers for people with money, self control and intelligence and against their own best interest .

        Its inherently contradictory to city living, benefits only the elite and as such will almost certainly fail

        If we were able to have a government that could operate long term and we could manage it. You’d make sure immigration was near zero and even reversed , work hours and such were regulated to compensate for regulation , cities were orderly marriage was fixed (this will have huge social benefits and might even slightly increase fertility) and you’d wait and wait.

        In time natural population attrition will lower the cost of housing and stabilize the population

        These policy choices however cannot be done under any Democratic or Republican system as such systems are inevitably short term oriented and end up property of some deep state or corporation .

        It would require an ultra nationalist dictatorship for twenty to forty years and maybe beyond that . Nat Soc or Fascism to taste either will work as well.

        • National Socialism failed disastrously and left the country it was supposed to save a smoking ruin. If that’s your “better plan”, then we should all just ignore you (and the rest of the Nazi LARPer wackjobs out there).

          • The EU has some undemocratic features, it wouldn’t be so bad if our people were in control of it. The energy has gone out of the eurosceptics, the botched job in the Brexit negotiations has increased sympathy for the EU.

          • if true this his was probably the plan that May’s handlers had. Sabotage and subterfuge is the centralizers way

            That aside, things like the EU are exactly what is not needed. These organizations allow the political class to run the lives of people who aren’t there own and to dodge responsibility

            We need the exact opposite. local governance, decentralization and as much of a requirement for each political party to be fully responsible for their choices as can be managed

            This dodging of responsibilities whether by EU or QUANGO or some agency is exactly what has lead to the mess.

            If you won’t be responsible for policy choices you made than you should not be allowed any power

          • I’m not a Nazi lower but it was a combination of hubris, genocide, totalitarianism and expansionism that weakened Germany enough that the other Socialist powers could finish it off

            The USA and allies , Socially Democratic and the USSR , Communist did the job far more than economic policy

            This is what happens when you allow a childless nutter in charge

            Quoting Kaiser Wilhelm here

            “There is a man alone, without family, without children, without God….He builds legions but he doesn’t build a nation. A nation is created by families, a religion, tradition: it is made up out of the hearts of mothers, the wisdom of fathers, the joy and the exuberance of children. [Of Germany under Hitler he says]….an all-swallowing State, disdainful of human dignities and the ancient structure of our race, sets itself up in place of everything else. And the man who, alone, incorporates in himself this whole State, has neither a God to honour nor a dynasty to conserve, nor a past to consult….
            For a few months I was inclined to believe in National Socialism. I thought of it as a necessary fever. And I was gratified to see that there were, associated with it for a time, some of the wisest and most outstanding Germans. But these, one by one, he has got rid of or even killed….He has left nothing but a bunch of shirted gangsters….
            This man could bring home victories to our people each year without bringing them…glory….But of our Germany, which was a nation of poets and musicians and artists and soldiers, he has made a nation of hysterics and hermits, engulfed in a mob and led by a thousand liars or fanatics….”

            Hitler did everything wrong except wealth redistribution and controlling industry for the good of the nation.

            That said talking about LARPING , the Deus Volt types are also guilty of doing it.

            You guys have can have many children but have terrible retention and trying to being back a dead ideology from a time before the reformation is stupid.

            Christendom is almost certainly dead in European Diaspora Modernity .

            Now if I am wrong? Great. I’m fine with that but I’m not counting on it or planning for it.

            Adapt to new circumstances or face the consequences.

            Oh yeah and in case you ask my policy choice is mass repatriation combined with a mix of economic nationalism and Distributism , other options National Socialism sans totalitarian murder (Bernie Bros shit I guess) , Fascism and Ultra Nationalism might work but they come at a high human toll.

            This is not an achievable policy as once money for money sakes takes precedence over the common good, there is no way back and pushing back too much quickly gets you Venezuela

            The end game ends up Socialism and than a delayed collapse or just a collapse anyway .

          • Nazi Germany was an economic miracle. It was left a smoking ruin because international ZOG declared war on it, leading to the 3 largest superpowers all ganging up on 1 small nation. There are no other superpowers to gang up on us if that is the direction we go.

          • I was wondering how long it would take for you and your ilk to show up.
            Of course, silly me….why didn’t I think of that?

          • NatSoc, like Scandinavian socialism, worked quite well until they were attacked by a tribal religion.

        • What I saw living in Europe thirty years ago was a society that had no hope for the future, merely the hope for a roof over their heads and food on the table, provided by some sort of public-private arrangement that didn’t work very well. I think that is what dropped the birth rate so much. In Africa, it is the same deal, but the hope lies in migration and capturing some of the bounty that lies over the horizon, so the birth rate remains very high. The West doesn’t have that option any more. The crushing of Christianity in Western Europe accelerated the trend, as it stripped away social ties and a long term, multigenerational outlook.

          • With the absolute carnage of WW1 and WW2 , probably most of the population had some PTSD. Raise a couple of generations with that than throw in the destruction of stability and tradition and you have the recipe for a broken people.

            at that point just being comfortable is about all anyone can hope for/

            Even so they Europeans have more chance of making it than the US does. Anti Immigrant parties are taking power and this at a much smaller level of immigration

            The US people allowed the US to be taken over mostly by Latin America with help from its treasonous elite and despite being the most heavily armed nation in human history did nothing.

            We are so individualistic that we do not deserve to exist as a nation for the most part and probably will not though of course some States will do fine

            Europe OTOH will end up kicking out a lot of foreigners and even Germany where the AFD may well end up in charge despite being highly dysfunctional may make it

            Only France is in immense trouble and I’ll note the outright socialist in charge there is immigration skeptical to degree.

          • “The crushing of Christianity in Western Europe accelerated the trend, as it stripped away social ties and a long term, multigenerational outlook.”

            Best answer yet, most pertinent.
            Plus, angry atheists are such dreadful evangelists.

  33. A simple question to ask all the edgy fedoras of the secular right: Has the West gotten better as Christianity has started to recede, or has it gotten worse? No, don’t tell me what your pet social theory predicts, tell me what has actually happened here in the real world.

    I’m tired of arrogant lectures from people who suck at basic pattern recognition.

    • The problem isn’t that atheism makes a society worse. It does, atheist societies are decrepit. The problem is that belief in God is an untenable position. Right now christianity finds itself in the same place paganism found itself at the death of the western Roman empire.

      What comes next must incorporate christianity as christianity did neo-platonism.

      • The overwhelming majority of humans are willing to embrace the supernatural. The real issue is the ruling elites. The Roman elite during the Republic were every bit as skeptical about their gods as modern elites are about the Christian go. They understood the importance of maintaining appearances, so they made the required sacrifices and performed various acts of piety.

        It’s not important for a ruling elite to be spiritual. They have to be religious and their religion has to be the hidden law that binds society together vertically, as well as horizontally. Today, our rulers believe in things that are divisive and bizarre. It’s an anti-religion, just as multiculturalism is the nullification of culture.

        • Christ will continue to make himself plain for millions in the future, but the religion cannot form the essential moral and spiritual foundation of our civilization for it contains dogmas that neither the elites and intellectuals can bother to pay lip service to, let alone subscribe to.

          Natural science describes reality in that sin and death existed long before Man made an appearance (animals have moral sense, too); and Adam and Eve is a marvelous story but it’s not a real truth about human development. Thus, the concept of original sin fails and we don’t need redemption from it.

          Death exists because it is part of the way God makes souls. Without death, life could not evolve from single cell organisms to sentient beings.

          Another fact is that God does not write books. People write books. Saying some are more inspired doesn’t help, although the books may be exceptionally edifying and helpful to the cause of human wisdom. Faith is a revelation. A necessity for belief along with prayer.

In the absence of those things, we are lost and our rulers are monsters.

      • There is nothing that “comes next”. Without Christianity, the West cannot be restored, and no atheist society has ever succeeded at being anything other than a dismal shithole. Maybe 20 years ago a counterexample of a place like Sweden might have seemed plausible, but we all know what “came next” there. Sorry, but Star Trek lied to you. Without faith, there is only death, on every level, from the personal to the civilizational.

        • Christianity probably, but not necessarily, leads to the end of the white race. After all, if you are going to share the same heaven with Tyrone, then why not let Tyrone impregnate your daughter? Tyrone is your brother in Christ! (I’m aware of the Tower of Babel story but that is easily superseded by “we are all one in Christ.”)

          The white race needs a religion other than Christianity to survive. Why not the explicit flourishing of the white race?

          Universalism is white suicide.

          • Christianity MADE the white race. I believe in honoring your ancestors probably a bit more than the next fellow, but before Christ they were horrifying. They told a few good stories and built some nice boats but largely they were just awful. Casual murder, more interested in looting than building, unpredictable, and just generally chaotic. If you brought them out of the past and dumped them in my neighborhood you’d see real diversity plus proximity equaling war.

            We must not be genetic calvinists, primarily because it’s not true. A man of slightly below average IQ can have great moral conviction and be trusted, while a man with a genius IQ can be a complete fiend. Character and loyalty matter more.

          • Jesus, a Jew, preached and touched all people. It’s important to realize that’s one reason the Jews did not consider him the Messiah. Christianity by definition and scripture is not colored, racist, or tribal. Jesus preached to all people and especially embraced untouchables, outcaststs, and sinners. It’s covenant is with all people who accept Him.
            Although we may need to embrace identarian politics to save us now the common thread of a culture must come from religion and it’s morals.
            Christianity must emerge out of this battle we currently face or else the world will be set back in an Asminov Foundation like darkness.
            Christianity has not failed, men have…

          • Ancient Greece wasn’t Christian. Rome became great before it was Christian.

            I am not an IQ fetishist and I agree with your comments about character.

            My message is that in so far as Christianity is universal it is potentially hostile to white survival. This is crucial as we enter times where whites as a group are under threat.

          • Yeah, and China was great with Confucianism, not Christianity, partly because Confucius cared so much about the impact of (“ordinary”, every-day) CIVIL habits upon character.
            He urged refinement of etiquette, and VENERATION of one’s ancestors, rather than the “DWM” vilification of them (e.g. the Founding Fathers) currently in vogue among the “educated”.

            One need not be a IQ fetishist, to assert that genetics are relevant to the prognosis for character.

    • Some people just want the liberal society of 50 years ago. Sadly for them, time machines don’t exist yet.

      On a geopolitical basis, the rise in African populations will lead in to Africans controlling the levers of clerical power. That could lead to outright excommunications for not allowing the invasion. Francis’ decision to recognize the CPC controlled fake church in China bodes ill.

      • Bergoglio the AntiPope hopefully will go out in a whimper, but some fear he will bring Rome to the Devil. This is an apocalyptic vision that I hope does not transpire but seems to be a possible course.

    • I’m about as far from a fedora atheist as you can get but I think your question needs to be reconsidered,

      The US is the most Christian nation in the developed world , huge numbers of Whites, most Hispanics and Blacks are Christian as are fair numbers of other races. Other religions abound as well from Animism to Zoroastrianism (I met one the other day) and there isn’t an ethnic group in the US that isn’t made up strongly of religious people.

      Church going is common too. According to a Pew Poll as many as 2/3 of the US population goes to church at least once a month which is twice the European average!

      Yet we are no better off than more religious societies with higher US levels of opiate abuse , high homicide rates (White homicide is around European levels though) and high amounts of suicide

      We also have far more immigrants than almost any European nations and are also are awash in broken families, porn and all the social decay involved.

      The big tell, fertility, on a broad social scale, we are on the high end of European with a few highly fertile people (LDS,Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews and Amish mostly) and everyone at or around 2

      Europe is slightly different though I’ll note that the TFR in the more religious states (Poland, Hungary, etc) is lower than the US and they are as or more religious, Its much lower than the White Swedish TFR and on par with Germany

      Hungary is lower than Germany (Hungary is at last look 1.2) ! and its 85% religious and has less atheists than the US

      This suggests that religion is quite irrelevant to the health of a nation

      • First off our elites and intellectual class are utterly hostile to Christianity and traditional values and have in effect declared war on them for the last 50 years.

        Secondly, we’re not that religious or Christian compared to what we were in the 70’s and 80’s. Back then businesses were closed on Sundays and Blue laws were still effect even here in CA. In December the city would put up wreaths and lights on main street. Schools celebrated it, etc. None of that exists today.

        Our opioid and suicide epidemic is a direct result of free trade that gutted our industrial base and destroyed decent job opportunities for millions of men and ruined families and communities in the process. This destroyed hope in a lot people. They saw no future for themselves. When the system crushes you economically it often does shatter a person spiritually as well.

        On opioid epidemic. That can be fixed by shutting down the Sackler family’s drug racket and going after China for dumping vast amounts of fentynl via e-packets and cross border shipments.

        Our birthrate has fallen because everything is so damn expensive and financialized Unless hubby is making six figures and not living in a city, having stay at home mom and kids ain’t happening. Very few make six figures in our society. Feminism also played a role by poisoning women’s minds on children and motherhood as something to be avoided has not helped.

        College has delayed women having children by almost a decade now. This makes sure the new mom will have at best two kids because she’s so late in having them.

        • Plus you can’t measure religion like that, it’s frustrating for social scientists, but measuring things like character and conviction is a bear. Self reporting is a nightmare for this type of thing in particular.

          You can only really see it when you see it in action. How many great men are produced, what’s the crime rate really like, the illegitimacy rate, the divorce rate, etc. Mafiosos have been known to attend church if the wife wants them to, attendance means not quite nothing, but not as much as you’d hope, and saying you believe in God is basically like saying “I’m not radically different from the overwhelming mass of all humans in the entirety of history”, it doesn’t really mean much.

        • Not wrong especially on the opioid racket and financeilzation

          I’ll also note that 50 million immigrants tends to run up housing prices too.

          While I seldom agree with Reason magazine on anything, a long ago article made a rather salient point. maybe people aren’t having children because they don’t want as many of them.

          Kids after all come at a high opportunity cost beyond the material cost .

          Lets talk material for example a months supply of diapers for a baby is around 50 bucks and yes you an go cheaper with cloth there is a time and nuisance cost there.

          Children especially babies are also unpleasant for some people, smell, noisy , disruptive and so on.

          What happened is that our cultural fabric couldn’t handle the cultural shift from mostly rural married sex life means babies to what we have now.

          And note too that ignoring the Great Depressions low low TFR the fertility rate bricked by the early 70’s well before no fault divorce was common

          Heck the first USA law was in 1969.

          That suggests a weak system to me. A lack of adaptability means a system becomes brittle and will fail.

          As for blue laws, if you needed them than clearly people wanted to do business on Sunday. Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby aren’t open then and the State of California at least doesn’t given them any trouble for it

          Maybe people want to do other things by choice and that includes commerce

          Lastly the current social order was dying by the 70’s and it took little real effort to kill it . I think the social order was weak and that people see less and less value and connection to the old religious ways as time goes own.

          Despite what believers think, faiths have a time limit in some cultures and its possible than technology and the enlightenment means that for most all the people living under them, the old ways no longer have resonance ore meaning

          Now long term this is not an issue, after all at current rates (and yes I know stats don’t work that way) in a couple of centuries nearly everyone will be Amish , LDS or Evangelical anyway

          Lastly the economy, this might have an effect but making the economy stable so people can rely on having work for a child’s growing up period , eighteen years at the least and that young person has jobs would require despotic controls on technological implementation

          A dictator can buy time with mass repatriation and trade control (yes that is what it will lake to get this policy choice in place) but tech marches on and every time someone puts a kiosk in place of a cashier or automates a factory that’s less babies

          Stable jobs at good wages or no babies. Its pretty clear what the west had chosen and so what happens to it is well deserved, None of us voted for it but no one, me included did a damned thing either

          Sow, Reap.

          • Yes to Rod, Hoyos, and Posper’s most recent. … The culture began dying in the 1970s because its enemies targeted the young – who were the vast Baby Boomer generation. It was this generation that abandoned many things for a long time, but many have since “come home”,

            ” 50 million immigrants tends to run up housing prices too. “. Clinton’s “Taxpayer Relief Act” holds primary blame for turning American residential housing into a tax free investment for the whole world. American families who just want a place to live have to compete with wealthy investors from China, Mexico, the Middle East, Silicon Valley etc, who buy many properties, and whose deep pockets are unlimited and who abet the American elites in generating the kind of rented serfdom on our continent that has kept the culture on those nations backward, landless, and brutal for centuries. A serfdom we fought more than one revolution to erase from the North American continent.

    • Atheism is a better example of a negative identity that American blacks. American blacks can affirm their culture of music and athletics. Atheists have little but decades old fury that Mom made them go to church.

    • Kevin has no values outside the catechism and Goad has none outside of individualism. Neither likes the white protestant plurality of North America. I’m hard pressed to say which was more frustrating to hear. Neither one learns a single thing from interacting with anther in discourse.

      • Your comment is fatuous. The Catechism does not express “values”; it defines universal truths. As for my values, if you listen to Luke Ford’s stream, you can hear me express many of them. Catholicism is a not a cult, like Randianism or Scientology.

        • You start out as a cult. Then your cult becomes popular and it becomes a movement. After it gains power, it becomes a religion. Then it splinters into cults (think “Mormons”), then the cults gain enough adherents to be considered part of the religion. Rinse and repeat.

        • Oh yes, how fatuous of me not to explicitly accept your truth claims about my people’s G-d.

  34. Most people dwell somewhere between the pompous militant atheism that so often masks serious issues with self-confidence and the true blue believer in some form of organized religion. They know instinctively that there is some unsee-able, unexplainable creative force but they are not certain what it is. Even the Bible acknowledges this in a way (see Romans 1:18-20). The rise in the category of “spiritual but not religious” is only going to get stronger as the main driver of institutional religion, money, starts to dry up. What is needed now is a way to retain the linkage with the Western “Christian” civilization in a world where people no longer listen to the pope.

    • Indeed, most folks tire quickly when lectured by true blue believers, or by militant atheists. But these two groups get most of the press, thereby giving us the impression that they are representative of believers or atheists.

      My guess is that many of those believing in unsee-able, unexplainable creative force are waiting for some leader, to present some combo of the best of Christianity, Judaism, Greco-Roman paganism, and Confucianism.
      Camille Paglia strikes me as having a rather good feel for this sort of thing.

    • What is needed is a spiritual revival. There’s no halfway to truth, and trying to come up with some makeshift semi-Christian identity to try and hold the west together will only end in failure.

      The Universal Church is today, it seems to me, more definitely set against the World than at any time since Pagan Rome. I do not mean that our times are particularly corrupt; all times are corrupt. I mean that Christianity, in spite of certain local appearances, is not, and cannot be within measurable time, ‘official.’ The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide. —T.S. Eliot, “Thoughts after Lambeth” (1931)

  35. Frankly, no.

    Christians can and do know God and Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox all talk about coming to the knowledge of God. The bit about the heretics is especially wrong, the concern with heretics wasn’t that they claimed to know something about God. It’s that they were either lying about God or were deceived or mistaken about Him in some serious way.

    We can know God is there we just can’t fully comprehend Him, which isn’t the same thing. God is knowable when He reveals Himself, hence revelation as the term used. If you’re going to throw Evangelicals under the bus, you’ve got to throw Catholics and Orthodox in there with them, because no one is disagreeing on this point.

    If you’re looking for a solipsistic certainty, that completely cuts out the intuitive sense, then no you can’t have that. You couldn’t have it about much of anything if that’s the case, including knowing whether or not your own children love you or that you’re not hallucinating all this from a hospital bed somewhere.

    • For me, I know and walk with Jesus. Hes was a man. I am in led by the Holy Spirit. Sort of like an intermediary. I don’t think, however that I have the capacity to know God. It’s quite possible God is far greater and more complex than my humble existence can compare or know truly. After all God made everything including me. I don’t even know quantum physics. But that’s just me.

      • This is why liberals hate us so much. They really believe that if we are the root cause of society’s (perhaps the entire planet’s) problems.

        It’s why liberals won’t simply partition us off into our own country, any more than a Pope would appoint a Calvinist bishop in 1605.

    • Yes, that is the orthodox Christian position. The existence of God can be inferred from observation of the created universe, and His nature can be understood to some extent by analogy with it, but ultimately He is unknowable except by revelation. As Aquinas says, “we can demonstrate the existence of God from His effects; though from them we cannot perfectly know God as He is in His essence.” (Summa Theologiae, I, 2, Art. 2).

    • As well as I might have said or better. Thanks. And yes, I do know God and not because of something I read in the bible, at least not at first. I don’t know everything about Him and don’t know why He won’t reveal Himself to another but I do know that if they never ask, the chances are much much lower of Him letting somebody know that he’s there. The LORD is a perfect gentleman. He will not force you to believe and He doesn’t have insecurities requiring your forced attention. Of course there the 60 million dead babies so, um, that won’t end well at all but wrath is not insecurity and I digress.

  36. There is no known civilization which survived without a strong religious component, whether ancient Greek, Chinese, Aztec, or Medieval European. It is the driving force of humanity, the glue that holds societies together. As I recall, scientists have recently isolated the genes that control religious fervor. I don’t think I possess it, by the way.

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