From Crisis magazine.
From Crisis magazine.
An interesting article. The materialist philosophy can not account for the moral order, nor can it ever hold human beings responsible for their actions. Indeed, even among religious people, the trend is to find ways for humans to avoid responsibility for their actions.
From the article:
“Many of these scientific materialists and social science determinists will balk at the accusation that they are attempting to show free will to be an illusion, or will back away from the logical implications of their investigations should these be pointed out. Nevertheless, the logic is clear: if it can be shown that we are not the authors of our behavior—as all of these efforts are attempting in one way or another to show—then the moral order is abolished.
. . . In the human ant colony that would exist in the absence of free will, people do things, but they can never be held responsible for doing them.”
It seems to me that human beings must be held accountable for their actions, but at the same time, that in no way implies that they always have control over their actions. Humans are very often on autopilot, more or less sleepwalking, and simply reacting in automatic fashion to stimuli in the world. In other words, from a certain perspective humans most certainly aren’t responsible for their actions, and yet at the same time they are responsible, and they must be held responsible for what they do. And yet, humans are sometimes so out of it that they don’t know what the heck they’re doing. It’s a very tricky problem, and a terrifying one as well, because we are accountable for our actions. From my perspective, I see this as a very well stated reason for me to personally avoid alcohol and drugs, both of which I would be highly susceptible to if I let myself fall.
Brilliant article, by the way, Ed. I read it as a clarion call to personally sharpen up, and work to stay ever more vigilant.
Me too. If we are just biological robots responding to outside stimuli then we are no more valuable than flies or worms. Stove hot - must avoid touching burner. Of course, even other animals don’t carry money or credit cards, but what does that matter if the only freedom some want amount to the words of Aleister Crowley: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”?
It takes work, but don’t we already do that to avoid everyday possibilities? “Do no put hands in very hot water.” We’re told to watch what we eat and drink in order to stay healthy. To avoid cigarettes and illegal drugs. The list goes on. And it should also include our behavior.
This has been the position of philosophers since the “enlightenment” – that science is the new religion and scientists are the new high priests.
Auguste Comte wrote extensively about this up to and beyond the point of making all people subservient to an elite who were truly enlightened. He used the infrastructure of the Catholic Church, the hierarchy you might say, as a model of his new form of society. Only he envisioned REAL control from the top, not just moral leadership.
Sadly, this is all too real, like in China, N. Korea and Saudi Arabia where the political leaders are treated as ‘gods.’ These ideas, especially in the forms of Marxism, are very widespread.
The manifestation in the US reveals itself in a great cultural divide, roughly following the divide of political parties.
Comte’s insight was that human knowledge was first based on superstition-religion, which gradually changed into metaphysics, and finally science emerged as the champion to explain “everything” as we hear so often today – the theories of 'everything."
I started another thread with the casual example of this: astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was quoted, in of all places, the AAA travel magazine of California. Tyson says that science can solve all of man’s problems, even if science was the original cause of those problems – see no ‘god’ needed there. And, Tyson is such a large icon to many people in the US.
Comte explicitly said it was his ideal that no man should ever have a thought about God.
Look around you. Look at the Women’s March last week in Washington DC (Jan’17).
“our bodies” “our choice” “our rights” etc.
In the online version of my local paper, readers can leave comments. Comments with foul language are allowed but any references to God and religion are censored.
This matter was evident everywhere when I was growing up and attending Catholic school.
I could never understand why kids were always doing bad things and invariably trying to “get away with it.” They were always threatening some degree of personal violence.
In Michigan, I think it was a Pew research study that showed that 3 out of 4 people are unchurched – no membership or affiliation whatsoever, the same % in my county. There are all kinds of almost unimaginable crimes.
The Flint water crisis it has been said is traceable to some illegal use of public funds, plus a series of blunders, bad decisions, and such – reporting erroneous lead concentration numbers.
There seems to be an attitude of “who’s gonna know?” “who’s gonna tell?” “who’s gonna find out”
In some cases, I’ve run into misconduct by young men who were dishonorably discharged from the military.
Yeah, this topic is in the right forum, all right, the secular media, In the popular media, people are flaunting their sins. It goes back a long way, to people like Mae West, who was paid to say, “if I’m faced with a choice between two evils, I take the one I haven’t tried before.” People don’t look at the moral alternative, that’s too boring.
It started gradually in the 1970s. TV, and especially movies, slowly, gradually began to introduce immoral, and “off color,” “risque” and other “that’s not so bad behaviors.” There was still enough clean programming to watch in the early 1970s, and I shrugged off most of the questionable stuff as “it’s not that bad.” My mistake.
Then, as the years passed, a little worse, a little worse and a little worse. The Women’s Liberation Movement was in full swing. And it was based on classic Marxist Class Warfare:
“Women: The Eternal Victims Class.”
“Men: The Eternal Enemies Class.”
The media gave their ideas a lot of coverage, plus immoral content on TV and in the movies portraying sexual immorality was increasing like a turning up the volume on a radio. And it was gradually getting more and more graphic. We were being very slowly poisoned, but we were building up a tolerance for it. But that was not enough. Women had to have power over men, especially where sex was concerned.
So shack up. Or just start engaging in casual sex. If men were born suspects then they either listened to the woman or got kicked out. Or were there just long enough to have sex.
Civil behavior became less civil on TV to the point where you had people portraying people who were selfish, self-centered, manipulative and not beyond stealing a loaf of bread from an old woman because they “needed” it. They were good examples of people pretending to be civilized people. On the show, they finally end up in jail for being uncivilized, bad, imitation human beings.
When “No-Fault Divorce” appeared, a guy would show up at the local bar, tell his buddies and… no one cared. “Don’t worry. You’ll find someone better.” What was wrong with her looks or behavior before the ceremony?" Divorce was always a good thing. Never mind that the kids who thought mommy and daddy loved each other, now had mommy and daddy living apart. It tore them up. It made marriage seem like a sham. (I’m not referring to cases of abuse.)
And the media kept portraying normal friendship, normal relationships between men and women as useless. Stupid. Just have lots of sex because sex is all that matters. But there was a moral order. Respect yourself and others. Be respectful toward women, build trust, create friendships, meet each others families. These were the building blocks of a good, moral order. Find someone who shared your values. Your beliefs. There was a way that worked. They broke something that worked and gave us sexual immorality or part-time relationships where either party was free to leave at any time. Fidelity? Commitment? Who needs it? Men were called “male chauvenist pigs” who treated women like “sex objects.” Never mind that my contemporaries were taught how to treat the opposite sex. That we both wanted love and devotion, right? No, we were told, you evil men are the problem. And our way is the only way.
A “new” media was created in the 1970s called porn. The pornographers opened Adult Bookstores everywhere. They knew graphic porn would be the next street drug. That addictions would occur.
My brothers and sisters, the Body of Christ in the West was gradually poisoned. The media constantly showed that the correct way for men and women to have families was wrong, or just never mentioned it. The continuing, year after year, portrayals of not only sexual immorality as a good thing, included profanity as good and acceptable, that revenge, even for police officers, was good and portrayed as a thing people did. It wasn’t about right and wrong anymore. I watched a movie where the most calculating, cold-blooded killer won.
Do not despair. The Church is very aware of these things. It is aware of how misguided and poisoned some of us are. By the media, who was once “a welcomed quest” in our homes.
There are too many ‘broken families’ out there. Children being raised without a father.
And now we enter the twilight zone of gender theory, which the Church has condemned but Facebook has not. What Pope Francis is calling a ‘global war’ against the family.
And the media is adding more lesbian and gay characters as if they’ve been there all along.
Up is down. Wrong is right. You can be any gender/sexual mix and match combination you want. Problem is, the family is the building block of society. Years have been spent by the media to destroy that. “I no longer want to feel guilty, ashamed or sinful again.” And so they aren’t. What attractive female celebrity hasn’t been published in a lewd, disrespectful way? Especially by the other media: the internet.