We are all fundamentalist now


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Link here. This is a superb essay about the strange similarities between the motives and aims of both fundamental Christians and the modern leftist social justice warriors.

For me the heart of the essay is this quote:

The modern campus culture is a religious culture, but it’s a religion without God, and consequently it is a religion without grace. Many students would probably hear my story about growing up in conservative Evangelicalism and conclude that I have been violently oppressed. What if, though, we have more in common than they think? What if SJWism and religious fundamentalism are both expressions of a dissatisfaction with the decadence of modernity: its mindless consumerism, its divorce of virtue from culture, and its kowtowing to profit and power?

The crucial difference, of course, is that Christians and many other religious conservatives have a coherent theological narrative. Because we retain the language of sin and guilt, we have the categories necessary to confront cultural decadence with more than outrage. The militant, shame-them-out-of-existence character of much social-justice activism is a frustrated attempt to articulate truths that students indoctrinated in secularism feel intuitively but deny intellectually.

To my mind, as a secular humanist, the issue isn’t the lack of God, but the unwillingness of the leftist fundamentals of academia and the leftist social justice movement to admit to the wisdom of religious thought on the subject of right and wrong. Religions worldwide are all attempts to articulate in detail the human framework for good behavior while outlining what behaviors lead to disaster and injustice. Our modern bankrupt intellectual culture that now dominates academia has rejected those attempts, despite their depth and complex, intellectual, and very long-lived research into the subject. Thus we have a shallow fundamentalist culture in modern academia, longing for justice and righteous behavior, with little framework or knowledge to find it.

The result? Fascism, illustrated by a rising string of intolerant and shallow attacks on anyone who disagrees with them.

Hat tip to Robert W. Pratt of Pratt on Texas.

Share

32 comments

  • Cotour

    Without a fundamental philosophy of mutual respect there can only be contention, chaos and ultimately abuse of power when one of the intolerant becomes politically empowered.

  • D. Lawrence

    Bob, curious – so why aren’t you a Christian?

  • D. Lawrence: To be a Christian, one must believe in the story of Jesus. I do not. Plus, I find the rituals associated with all religions quite meaningless and tiresome. There is more to this, but this is too complicated a subject for me to discuss here, in a comment.

    Let’s just say, for now, that I see the Bible, especially the Old Testament, as a really good instructional manual for living one’s life, devised by humans over time in their struggle to figure that out. My next book, due to be out soon, will actually deal with this issue at great length.

  • D. Lawrence

    Bob – thank you for your straightforward response, and I completely understand how this is too complicated a topic to discuss in a comment. I am a Christian, and part of my reason for asking was to better understand some of your thinking. So, thank you.

    I appreciate your work here (I read it regularly), and am glad you are fighting the good fight. And I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on the subject.

  • Jwing

    Never pegged you as a secular humanist, Bob.
    Reading your website, as I have for several years now and agreeing with you 90 percent of the time, I never realized your perspective was from that of secular humanism.
    No insult intended at all…..but…..
    One question please:
    What has secular humanism given us other than a far faster fall from the necessary moral underpinnings of Judeo-Christian Western Civilization.
    I realize there is much evil directly attributable to religion and wars in our history, but has not secular humanism given us the green light to now allow infanticide as currently propose in NY State and by the soon-to-be X-Governor of VA?
    Sincerely….What are the redeeming qualities of being a self declared secular humanist?
    Respectfully,
    Jim

  • mike shupp

    Jwing –

    You should amuse yourself by reading up on parents “overlaying” their infants in bed in Good Olde England up through the 17th century, on the sort of church-run no-questions-asked baby depositories that operated in France up til the Revolution. For extra credit, read up on child abandonment in classical Greek and Roman history.

    Trust me, infanticide has been a part of western culture for a long long while. Blaming it all on secular humanism is just about as reasonable and honest and even praiseworthy as declaring that every pederast running about in America is a Catholic priest.

    Do you understand my point?

  • Cotour

    “Trust me, infanticide has been a part of western culture for a long long while.”

    While Im sure true in some form or other through out history, this formal Democrat government embracing and codifying of third trimester / born baby discussion about what the mother may or may not feel about being a parent and what she and a doctor might agree to do about it being an option is a whole other level of disturbing.

    These people are loosing their minds in their quest for power, and it must cost them dearly.

  • wayne

    “I Act As if God Exists”
    Akira ft. Jordan Peterson
    https://youtu.be/SG7mKcIVvQQ
    6:44

  • Jwing

    Mike Shupp –
    I get your point, and it is well posited.
    That being said, to your argument one can state that murder in general has been a bane of humanity yet we all still implicitly recognize it is immoral.
    Secular humanism fundamentally denied a deity and allows for mankind’s reason and logic to determine what “truth” truly is.
    Qui es veritas?
    And where do you find these angels to best determine what is wrong and what is right?
    The slippery slope of moral relativism easily follows as we see today.
    Think about it; we now have a sitting Governor,who is also a medical doctor, recommending as justifiable the murder of a fully formed, full term human baby as long as the mother and her doctor or mid-wife agree it’s right!
    Secular humanism has given us moral relativism and no amount of scientific consensus or elite intellectual ethical contortion will dispel is fractured logic.

  • pzatchok

    Blame modern medicine more than anything else.

    Modern medicine and science has given us quite a few options we never had before. What used to be normal and the best choice is now seen as immoral and unnecessary. Such as infanticide for deformed babies.

    Classic moral answers have not kept up with modern science.
    If you want your children to grow up with your morals teach them, don’t legislate them.

  • pzatchok

    Ask a secular humanist were most criminal law comes from.

    When they finally realize that they stem from organized religions ask them why the Old and New testaments are too evil or wrong to at least learn from them even if you do not believe in them.

  • pzatchok

    were? where? what? its late.

  • mike shupp

    jwing –

    Secular humanism fundamentally denied a deity and allows for mankind’s reason and logic to determine what “truth” truly is. And what a GLORIOUS thing that is!

    Think about it; we now have a sitting Governor,who is also a medical doctor, recommending as justifiable the murder of a fully formed, full term human baby as long as the mother and her doctor or mid-wife agree it’s right!

    Yes, I know. It’s where you live. You’re surrounded by peoples who kill babies basically for fun. And where ever you go, no matter how long you live, you will see such people on all sides. How terrible!
    Whereas I, a vile secular humanist, have never met such people and don’t ever expect to.

  • wayne

    Dr. Jordan Peterson –
    Can we be Moral Without Religion?
    (excerpted from Biblical Series V: Cain & Abel)
    https://youtu.be/jGPMCwrm99o
    5:26

    Jordan Peterson –
    The Problem With Atheism
    (excerpted from Maps of Meaning #10: Genesis and the Buddha 2017)
    https://youtu.be/wwi9Q9apHGI
    5:43

  • mike shupp wrote: “Whereas I, a vile secular humanist, have never met such people and don’t ever expect to.”

    I, as a fellow secular humanist, say that you must live an awfully sheltered life. Or you have decided to be willfully blind. The problems we face today are largely caused by a decision by our modern secular intellectual community to reject the lessons of the past, rather than embrace them. And it is evident practically everywhere one looks.

  • pzatchok

    With religion, you have a God who watches your every move. Judges your every action. Your moral guide through life.

    Without a God, something MUST replace him. In today’s modern world it will be the surveillance camera.
    We have been limping along just trusting peoples personal morals so far and that has not turned out very well for us. In fact, it’s getting worse.

  • Jwing

    Mike Shupp:
    I am not interested in insulting you for being a secular humanist. Heck, I was once a regular Sunday mass attending Catholic; I now am a church less Christian having been let down by the far left-leaning policies and sex scandals. I do understand the angst and legitimate disdain of organized religions’ failures to “walk the walk”.
    Such is human failure.
    But….as Bob pointed out, there is a kernel of wisdom in the Bible whether one believes it is divinely inspired or not.
    There is something to to said for the successes of Western Civilization compared to all other world cultures, and an undeniable reason for this dominance in science and technology is not due to the “Enlightenment’s” full out rejection of religious dogma. Modern day marvels are not simply the result of logical reasoning but the moral behavior proposed in the Bible.

  • Edward

    The article compares religious philosophies with social justice (SJ) philosophies. I see a couple of problems with the comparison.

    Religions are based upon centuries and millennia of thought-based societal norms, but social justice warriors use the politically-correct thought of the day for their norms, and these change rapidly and without notice, because they have been poorly thought out and untested. The rapid and poorly distributed changes to the SJ norms is why, for example, Rosanne Barr lost her TV show and all those who worked on it had to find new jobs, because Barr did not realize a changed norm and said the wrong thing, one day.

    Most religions try to find a way for everyone to get along, but social justice means that an innocent person must be punished for the evils of someone who can be in any way remotely associated with him. Social Justice Warrior Howard Schultz recently discovered this the hard way; he was heroic until he had to be punished for being wealthy, like some who have been deemed evil.

    Civil rights used to be important in our society, but now that we each can choose to be a protected minority (whether we were born that way or not), special privileges due to civil rights laws (e.g. Title 9) can apply to the undeserving as well as the deserving, just by the simple act of declaring that someone is feeling like a minority that day, hour, or minute.

    pzatchok wrote: “What used to be normal and the best choice is now seen as immoral and unnecessary. Such as infanticide for deformed babies.

    Ancient Romans use to “expose” their deformed infants. This meant that they set them out in the elements to allow the gods to decide whether the infant should survive. These days, we are better able and more willing to live with those who are different (differently abled). It is what “diversity” is supposed to be all about. We are prosperous enough to keep them even if they cannot be productive enough to support themselves. Ain’t prosperity a nice thing?

    We have been on a slippery slope for half a century. Legalizing abortion was supposed to keep abortion safe and rare, but there have been more than a million abortions a year since it was legalized — a rate that is hardly rare — and recently New York legislators literally cheered when they passed a law to allow for non-doctors to perform them — so much for safety.

    The woman is allowed an abortion so that she has control over her body, but where was that control when she was getting knocked up? And why does the baby not have a right to control his own body? I’m pretty sure the baby would not want to die, if he has any say in the matter.

    Now social justice warriors in New Jersey sought to make abortion legal after birth, and the reason that the woman or family could have given for the post-birth abortion does not seem limited. Could she have chosen to kill her baby because she fears he will become a conservative? How long after birth does she have in order to decide? Right now it seems that she would have had until 40 weeks after conception — even if the birth occurred before week 39 — but on this slippery slope will she eventually get more time, such as months, years, or decades? (Don’t piss off mom, she can still have you aborted!)

    Meanwhile, we continue to slip down the slope.

  • “Thus we have a shallow fundamentalist culture in modern academia, longing for justice and righteous behavior, with little framework or knowledge to find it.”

    I’ve made the point that if a society has a few fundamental, generally applicable laws (think Ten Commandments) that the populace agrees on, you don’t need tens of thousands of narrowly construed laws attempting to govern every conceivable aspect of human behavior. One could go on about this, but it’s tiresome: people figured this stuff out a long time ago.

    I’d also point out that Progressivism and fundamental religious zealotry both lack the idea of redemption. They refuse to allow the idea that people learn, and can change. Case in point: the brouhaha with the Governor of Virginia.

  • Cotour

    Blair:

    In other words teaching a philosophy of mutual respect, not love, but respect and flexibility in being able to accept peoples differences.

    I can respect anyone, as long as they respect me, where this all seems to go off the rails is that the Left demands love. And that is something that is designed for failure, but it sounds “moral” and “good”.

    Remember, anyone who goes either to morality or character in their political discussion argument has nothing other than chaos and confusion to sew in the world, and that would be both by design and the general ignorance and emotion on the part of the manipulatable public.

    We must reveal them all for what they are and then we can see, and this is where the media fails us all and are just political players, objective journalism for the most part is over.

  • wayne

    “On the evolutionary origin of values”
    excerpted from
    An evening of Darwinian thought with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
    2015
    https://youtu.be/mFTjPZ7NSPE
    (8:44)

    Gods of the Copybook Headings
    Kipling 1919

    “AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind”

  • Laurie

    The Left demands love? For whom? Such a demand would, by definition, confer grace – of which the violent know nothing at all.

    For centuries the State has held it advantageous to employ the institutes of the religious to lend credibility to its ambitions; now the church simply stands in the way. No, there is no grace in the echo chambers because there is no mercy in the chants, the placards, the various devices of distain we witness daily on the part of Antifa and its benefactors.

    No, it is the gospel that demands love – by first extending the hand of mercy.

    As to the question of the story of Jesus, well, little meaningfully to dispute beyond the divinity of the man. For me, Christ is the unique figure in all of human history who teaches us (how) to be the children of Benevolence. As someone once asked, “Where else would we go?” Back to the rationalizations and vilifications, I suppose.

  • Cotour

    The Left because they understand that to demand love and acceptance is a non starter stay with this argument and because it can never be met they must destroy what is for their “better” model where all are “equal”. It sounds high and mighty and the better moral model that everyone should live by. But it is total BS.

    (Whenever someone tells you how much more moral they are then you, watch out. And that is exactly what the Left attempts to use as their political cudgel)

    The realistic way that people learn to survive in the real world is to learn to respect others, when they deserve respect, even though they are different. Not love them but respect them. One is realistic and the other is never attainable.

    And there is nothing related to grace that the Left intends, the Left is all about and only about control and power I.E. the likes of Saul Alynski, the first community organizer, I.E Jesus model. This is exactly the method that Obama attempted to utilize as he fomented hatred towards the police and riled up the minority population. These were very carefully chosen strategies.

    The Left must somehow some way find a way to fundamentally destroy America as formulated where the individual is primary, has rights that the government must never violate and the government is secondary. The Left despises that model because they are unable to make all “equal”, read they have no path to permanent power and permanent access to the peoples wealth. Everything that is un American is what the Left is all about.

    Our model of operation is by no means perfect, but its the best compromise in governance even with all of the risks come with it.

  • pzatchok

    Its sort of like the left’s misunderstanding of ‘God given right’ and rights granted by government.

    They think that rights a life form has at birth simply because they were born are actually given to them by benevolent people.

  • Cotour

    The confusion is plain, government does not grant human beings rights. Governments grant rights of way, but not an individuals rights.

    A right is something that protects an individual from government, plain and simple. The right exists pre government formation not post government. And when empowered people in government see themselves as the grantors or the dispensers of rights to the people that is the exact opposite of the Founders intent. That is the road to every hell on earth that has ever existed, but the Left is unable to see this because they have nothing other than lies and obfuscation in their quiver of tools to usurp all rights in their quest for power.

    Why? Because they see injustice and they are much more moral than all others in their quest to make all equal and make everything fair.

    Total BS that many on the outside in the public can and will attach themselves to. I would say that at least 1/3rd of the population is confused by themselves related to this question: “What do I really believe and why do I believe it”. They tend to base their political decisions on “Who do I personally like”.

    If I ask you, “Did you personally like the surgeon that saved your life?”. No one cares if they personally like their surgeon who has saved their life. The tendency to remain entirely subjective related to who they personally like as it relates to who leads their country or in politics is again infantile.

    Give me a relatively sane leader who does what he says and tells you why he thinks that and accomplishes it and you agree with his or her interpretation of what is needed and that is my political leader. And whether he or she is an SOB is no concern to me. As a matter of fact being an SOB is probably ultimately an asset. Give me a good, smart, nasty when necessary America oriented SOB to lead America.

    This is Trumps MO and is why I support him. Everyone else is in a beauty contest, “Love me” and empower me. As we can all attest that model is not about leadership it is a Beta model that only causes confusion within the country and without the country. That is not leadership.

    Give a me a good old respectful American Constitution oriented SOB to lead America.

  • Laurie

    “I.E. the likes of Saul Alynski, the first community organizer, I.E Jesus model”

    There is a serious deficit in your comprehension.

  • Cotour

    In my comprehension or yours?

    Please explain, what do you think the now famous “community organizer” is seen to be by those who employ its methods that come directly from Saul Alynski?

    From their point of view Jesus was really the first community organizer, Alynski just codified the methods for all to use.

    And there are probably 10 or more “Jeseus” / Virgin birth / son of God models throughout history, from the Sumerians to the Egyptians to Jesus of Bethlehem himself.

  • wayne

    C–
    I believe it was obama who claimed Jesus was the first communitty organizer.

    The acknowledgement for Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals book however, points to a different entity.

    “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

  • Cotour

    “For me, Christ is the unique figure in all of human history who teaches us (how) to be the children of Benevolence.”

    I found this for you: https://youtu.be/orFKj0coLXA There are many Christ models throughout history.

    History is woven throughout with evidence of the story of the Jesus / Christ model. Human beings must have their symbols and systems that represent what they can not comprehend, death. All religions which are essentially human organized business models to provide explanation for what can not be comprehended as man attempts to make sense of his / her ability to perceive their existence in the universe.

    Call yourself or identify as a Jew, a Christian, a Lutheran, a Buddhist, a Humanist, what have you, they are all attempts at soothing the human need to explain and understand our place in the universe and why we exist. And I am not proposing that you or I not have faith in those models that make sense to us. IMO through my observations and experience there is something more rather than nothing.

    What exactly it is I am not certain but between the physical and the meta physical there in I suspect lies the answer. And I suspect that at some point we will all know that answer.

  • Cotour

    Obama is an adaptable liar, thats par for the course.

    Yes, Alynski dedicated his book to Lucifer, its right there in black and white and the Left seamlessly morphs Luciferian activities in organizing people into a political force into the actions of the son of God.

    Lies upon lies, its their MO, Lucifer bad, Jesus good, so we go with Jesus. Who could argue with such well meaning intentions as what Jesus would want and do?

    PS: The vast majority of the population 1. knows nothing of Saul Alynski, and 2. has no Idea that he dedicated his manual to Lucifer. You and I know, but not many others in the public know. And there is the disconnect between what people think they believe which is usually based on incomplete information which the deficit of information they supply out of their own good intentions. people in general think that the manipulators of the world have the best intentions just like they have.

    That is a false reality, that is politics.

  • Vladislaw

    What does christianaity have to do with Jesus? He was jewish. He only believed in the old testament. Christianity and the new testament is the Pauline doctrine ..

  • pzatchok

    ??????????????

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *