Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pauline Origins of Social Conservatism

Paul, the founder of modern Christianity, sounds like David Horowitz or Linda Kimball. After all he was the first born social conservative and historical revisionist. Some arguments never change over time. And when you fail to argue philosophy you can always charge your opponents with being a pagan religion.

The passage in Romans is not an appeal to Pagans, but an attack on them for the benefit of a Christian audience, and in it Paul displays considerably less delicacy. He makes no attempt here to find an ally in Pagan philosophy. Rather, he views philosophy as nothing more than a bankrupt attempt at a rational defense of Paganism. Indeed, Paul seems unhappy with anything resembling complex reasoning. Philosophical reason carries the odor of the sophistry of the Pagan professors who control higher education. Paul insists that the truth about God (that he is creator of the world, and presumably that he resembles no creature) is perfectly obvious, and only a contumacious obstinacy, rooted in pride, can explain how Pagans got it wrong. As a result of their deliberate stupidity, God has abandoned them to their sexual passions, homosexuality, and other vices. But despite his hostility to Pagan philosophy, Paul does insist that Christian beliefs are reasonable, and Pagan beliefs unreasonable, and when he says that the more they call themselves philosophers the more corrupted their reasoning is, he certainly does not mean that they were true philosophers. If a true philosopher followed reason, he would no doubt see the truth of Christianity, or at least so a Christian with an interest in philosophy might conclude.

Postmodern Conservatism and Religious Fundamentalism by Geoff Boucher

Contemporary fundamentalism roots itself in a critique of the postmodern condition and must be considered to be an effort towards the dialectical negation of that condition. Taking aim against epistemological uncertainty, ontological multiplicity, consumerist individualism and moral relativism, religious fundamentalism proposes that faith ground knowledge instead of transcendental rationality, a new version of the chain of being, communitarian forms of belonging and moral absolutism. It is anti-postmodern – yet paradoxically, religious fundamentalists in the United States find themselves in alliance with what we are describing as “postmodern conservatives” and some radical Islamists adopt ideological elements of secular nationalism to produce what can only be described as a clerical fascism. I propose that contemporary fundamentalism is a “post-traditional fundamentalism,” to be distinguished from the fundamentalism of the 1920s because of a major shift, from the defence of tradition to its selective reinvention.

Darwinism and the Religion of Scientific Materialism

Linda Kimball

Enrico Ferri (1856-1926), a prominent socialist of his day, was an Italian criminologist who for many years was the editor of Avanti, a socialist daily. Writing in “Socialism and Religious Beliefs,” he spoke of the all-important connection between Darwin’s theory and socialism:
“I add that not only is Darwinism not contrary to socialism, but that it forms one of its fundamental scientific premises. As Virchow justly remarked, socialism is nothing else than the logical and vital outcome partly of Darwinism and partly of Spencerian evolution.”Enrico frankly discussed how and why Darwinian socialism serves as an alternate religion: “socialism is joined to religious evolution and tends to substitute itself for religion because it desires precisely that humanity should have…its own ‘terrestrial paradise’ without having to wait for it in a ‘something beyond’…the socialist movement has numerous characteristics common…to primitive Christianity, notably its ardent faith in the ideal.” (ibid)

To wit: Darwinian socialism (Marx’s dialectical scientific materialism) is a secularized and distorted mirror image of the Christian teaching of divine providence. In as the Biblical model teaches that man and history are moving towards the Kingdom of God, scientific materialism preaches that man and history are evolving toward a terrestrial paradise created by Promethean humanists. The notion that both history and man are evolving upward through successive stages is what British philosopher Mary Midgley termed the “Escalator Myth.”

David Horowitz had this to say about scientific materialism’s theology and creation account: “The victorious radicals had proclaimed a theology of Reason in which equality of condition was the natural and true order of creation. In their Genesis, the loss of equality was the ultimate source of mankind’s’ suffering and evil…The ownership of private property became a secular version of original sin. Redemption…was possible only through the Revolution that would abolish property and open the gates to the Socialist Eden---to paradise regained.”


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