Meanwhile, this past Sunday the New York Times ran a blog piece on God as only the Times can--by having Duke professor Stanley Fish review a new book on the subject by British critic Terry Eagleton. While my own intelligence as viewed from a biased, self-important mental cocoon will on some days seem a mile high, most days I'm reminded that to an ant, I'm a mile high. So I had to read and re-read a few times to get it.
And if I got it correctly it's pretty much an essay on how really smart people wrestle with the things that 'dumb' people seem to accept or reject without as much extended thought, such as the meaning of life as judged by the material versus the spiritual world.
At least Eagleton, who delights in describing the vacuousness of torture-loving suburbanites also has the sense to destroy the Utopian fantasy of "progress", taking up the classical "nothing new under the sun" approach (or paraphrasing Einstein, there are only new ways to kill each other). Technology progresses, man's nature not so much:
And, conversely, the fact that religion and theology cannot provide a technology for explaining how the material world works should not be held against them, either, for that is not what they do. When Christopher Hitchens declares that given the emergence of “the telescope and the microscope” religion “no longer offers an explanation of anything important,” Eagleton replies, “But Christianity was never meant to be an explanation of anything in the first place. It’s rather like saying that thanks to the electric toaster we can forget about Chekhov.”Or in practical terms, an old country preacher might point to the beer commercial where the guys say "it just doesn't get any better than this" as a load of hooey--we certainly HOPE it gets better than this. Faith fills the gaps that science can't or won't, and people need that. Which brings me back to demographics.
The video seems to point out that while secular white western culture circles the drain the future will likely square off between Islam and Latino Catholicism, at least here in America. The patriarchal peoples grounded in faith survive (unless somebody creates an army of robots).
But as we know, Islam is more than just a religion, it's a way of life. Sharia law and finance essentially represent government itself, and when combined with the Mosque it makes up the whole of Islamic society. It's a society based not on the philosophy of Plato, Aquinas, St. Paul, Da Vinci or Einstein, but a man whose image cannot be depicted in cartoons without causing a riot. And it's a culture that demands complete submission and doesn't co-exist well in a polytheistic environment if there's a choice. If Europe is heading towards that future they are heading for another dark age even as their dwindling liberal masses whistle past the graveyard.
And if America is heading towards a chicken race between the Latino Catholics and 50 million Muslims by mid century there's simply no way these two converging trains won't end up in a general pileup at some point without considerable track maintenance along the way. The nature of that "maintenance" eludes me at the moment but hopefully it will rely on the continued teachings of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin and Monroe and those they took solace in. As Mustang said, most of us won't be around to see the outcome but our kids and grandkids certainly will. The least we can do now is speak out, for what it's worth.