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Of Science & Technics, Religion, & Values

William Blake, “Isaac Newton,” 1795

1,527 words

Science is not meant to be a religion or a worldview, although the scientific outlook does influence one’s worldview, which is why so many scientists are atheists. The scientific outlook is empirical, depends on evidence and experiment, and is hostile to the idea of “faith” – thus, it is difficult for the scientific mind to accept the basic tenets of religion. Further, science, being in theory about evidence and not dogmatic faith, should include the ability to change belief based on new data, etc. A true scientist should be willing to abandon any scientific paradigm if sufficient (solid) evidence accumulates demonstrating the falsehood of the paradigm. In contrast, any given religion will not survive an acknowledgment by its adherents of the falsehood of its paradigms. If the Pope were to announce that Jesus was not the son of God, and that the New Testament was the work of men, and men only, essentially invented centuries after the events allegedly depicted within, this could not be viewed as “strengthening” Catholicism. However, debunking previously held theories is in fact key to scientific progress and constitutes reinforcement, not a weakening, of the scientific method. I realize that some would hold up some Jewish scientist or a gentile like Dawkins as an example of someone trying to raise science to the level of an integrated worldview for society. Whether or not the accusation is true, I reiterate my opinion that science is NOT a basis for a worldview. One cannot directly derive values from science, although science can certainly influence the decision as to what values to adopt or reject.

What then is science? Science is a tool, nothing more, nothing less – the scientific method being perhaps one of – if not the – most important tools in human history. But it is a tool, not a worldview, and not a set of values. Science is an approach to understand reality in a manner that allows reality to be practically manipulated, hence showing the close ties between science and technics that Francis Parker Yockey tried to deny. This close relationship between science and technics can be, in my opinion, discussed as follows.

Although some science is purely “knowledge for knowledge’s sake,” usually there is an underlying practical objective for pursuing that knowledge. It is of course possible that, for basic “pure” research, the practical payoff may be far in the future. Nevertheless, the payoff, no matter how far off, is an important motivator. The payoff may be direct or indirect. A direct payoff is a specific practical objective for a given area of research, while an indirect payoff means the idea that “although we currently are not completely sure how these findings can be used, in the future, there will likely be an important application of them.” Thus, technics – the ability to exert power over the environment and manipulate reality for some practical purpose – is almost always a rationale for the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

On the other hand, technics presupposes science; technics require an understanding of why things work. Yockey, who knew much about politics and history but little about science, asserted that technics ultimately only cares about “what works.” As long as it works, the theory is irrelevant. But in reality this is not the case at all. Scientists and “technicians” alike want to know why the technics work. Action alone is insufficient; the mechanism of action is always searched for – always. The reason is obvious – when you know why it works, you can make it work better, fix it when it breaks, or come up with an even superior technics. Ultimately then, science is the tool for using knowledge of reality to derive an understanding how to create technics and understanding how technics work. It’s not religion, not a worldview, and not a value. It’s a tool.

One cannot derive values from facts, committing the “naturalistic fallacy.” Values must be derived elsewhere. For example, science can tell us our genetic kinship, and tell us that genetic interests are real. Science can define “adaptive behavior” and show how the pursuit of genetic interests enhances such behavior. But whether or not someone values adaptive behavior and decides to pursue genetic interests – that cannot be derived from the scientific facts. These values instead derive from human preferences that can be as much irrational as rational. Again, one cannot derive values from a tool.

Having said all that, I will now switch gears (no pun intended) and admit that, yes, science does greatly influence worldviews, even if it does not create them. When one uses the scientific method as a tool to understand reality, then one will tend to reject worldviews, paradigms, and values inconsistent with empiricism and tend to favor those more consistent. One does not have to be an atheist if one is a scientist, it is just more likely. It’s a fine line, but science influencing the choice of values is not the same as actually deriving values from science itself. I may be more likely to value adaptive behavior once I understand the science, and thus am influenced by the science, but I can equally choose to ignore genetic interests and instead pursue non-adaptive personal hedonism. We have free will; we are “free moral agents.”

Perhaps I should say that I am militantly agnostic rather than atheist. After all, maybe a God does exist, and that existence will be one day proven through empiricism rather than faith. The true scientific spirit is open-minded. One cannot blindly reject the possibility of the divine. One commentator mentioned the doctor who “saw Heaven” while in a coma with no observable brain activity. Maybe there is an explanation for that which will not require divinity, but maybe not. One must be careful though to separate the possibility of a “higher power” from established man-made religions whose main purpose throughout human history was, and is, to influence human behavior in a manner agreeable to some sort of elite.

My personal opinion is that (traditional) religious belief is derived from a mixture of fear and a desire for control. There is a universal human fear of death; hence, the need for an afterlife (setting aside the good coma-doctor’s experiences for the moment). Humans have looked up to the night sky and stared at the stars, and became frightened by the silence and the solitude, and the majestic indifference of the universe. Hence, the need for a “Big Daddy Sky Spirit” running the show behind the scenes – there is a meaning for it all, don’t you know. Elites needed a method for controlling mass social behavior without seeming self-interested, so they had priests assert that the rules of conduct were given by the “Big Daddy,” and, playing on the fear of death, Big Daddy would reward the obedient with everlasting life. Etc. Etc. The priests and the religious hate science (as Nietzsche explained well in his Antichrist), because once people become scientific and start asking the right questions, it’s all over for priests and gods – “God is dead.” After all, what’s the story of the apple and the serpent in the Garden of Eden really about? Knowledge and science being forbidden – “thou shalt not know” – eating from the tree of knowledge as the ultimate sin? Empiricism replacing faith – the ultimate sin? Cui bono?

Going a bit off-topic, I also say that I am personally not much interested in Traditionalism, Julius Evola, or Savitri Devi any more than I am interested in Christianity, and I am as flummoxed by those who dabble in runes as I am by those who finger their rosaries. And I think talk of “Hyperborea,” “root races,” “Ultima Thule,” and so forth belongs in a Conan comic book, not in any serious racial nationalist discussion.

However, my understanding of the NANR project is that there is a diversity of opinion as long as the key fundamental of the preservation of the European peoples is accepted. I can work with people who are into those things that I reject, but I draw the line when those things become a “litmus test” or become the only, or major, planned basis for a “future society.” If some people are more comfortable with runes or rosaries, so be it, as long as others can play with their test tubes and rockets.

Finally, having said all of that, I tend to agree more and more that irrational impulses may motivate as much or more than the rational, which is why I support the work of Yockey the Irrational as much as I do Salter the Rational, and why I believe Alex Kurtagić’s emphasis on style has merit.

In summary: science is a tool. It is not the basis of society or values. But in my opinion it can validate or invalidate the worth of values – at least for those mentally inclined to empiricism. Not everyone is. But surely, the Traditionalists out there recognize the need to balance their Irrationality with some Rationality?

Perhaps we should not tip the balance too far in one direction or another?

 

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45 Comments

  1. Dominion
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    One of the criticisms I have always had of the Traditionalist school is the hostility towards science which to one extent or another seems to be present in much of this intellectual stream. Dr. Harry Oldmeadow’s description of evolution as stating that “a stone can turn into Mozart. That algal slime can turn into St. Francis.”, is a skewing of Darwin’s theory that serves as merely one example of a pernicious and unfortunately enduring trend. This attitude that seems to be near-universal among Traditionalist writers imagines that a method based on materialism somehow threatens transcendence, and that learning that we share common ancestors with the great apes will endanger the Supreme Reality itself. The fact is that Tradition teaches that this world is a manifestation of a greater reality. Science allows us to brilliantly discover many facets of this manifestation. It’s quite odd, in my mind, that Traditionalists should consider this anything other than wondrous.

    Your article might be a surefire way to clear up some of these problems. Thanks for your clarifications.

  2. Andrew
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Sir, I am afraid that your understanding of religion is incomplete and immature.

    “My personal opinion is that (traditional) religious belief is derived from a mixture of fear and a desire for control.”

    There is actually a great deal of evidence that there are brain centers dedicated to spirituality. The universalism of religion throughout human history and human societies strongly suggests an important inherited component of religion involving brain structure. Humans are hard-wired for a number of psychological needs, the need for companionship, for example. Put someone on a desert isle and they tend to fall apart/go bananas, because their hard-wired emotional/psychological needs for companionship are not being met (a person needs human touch/interaction, it releases essential neutrotransmitters, natural opiates and other brain chemicals needed for mental health). Religion is one of these human needs. The way the brain interacts is complicated, probably involving fear of death and a desire for control over one’s life are involved, but there is much else.

    “Hence, the need for a “Big Daddy Sky Spirit” running the show behind the scenes – there is a meaning for it all, don’t you know.”

    You can pretend that you don’t have these needs, because you presumably exist in a very safe and wealthy environment, artificially insulated from the natural world, where your security and survival needs are met by Walmart and the cops. If you should be placed in a different environment, where death is all around you, such as the battlefield, we would soon see a very different tone on your part. “There are no atheists in the fox-hole”, and you would undoubtably find religion very quickly.

    Sir, humans are not “Spock” characters from Star Trek, logical, rational beings. The vast majority of our daily activities and decisions we make are based on feelings and instinct. The unconscious mind is king, and the programming that it has received governs most of our behavior, in conjunction with our hard-wired brain processes. Look back over your day, the time you spent in trance going to work and on auto-pilot at work, how you chose what you ate, the habits you followed, etc. You will find that relatively little of that time was spent in thinking posture using your conscious mind’s intellect to solve weighty problems. But the little time that you actually did do that thinking convinced you that you are a rational being, living in a world far above the irrational hoi polloi superstitiously clinging to their fears and bibles.

    You pretend that you have the capacity, by employing a brain smaller than a canteloupe, and the actual cerebral structures being much smaller than that, to comprehend this massive universe and its workings to the degree that you are comfortable dismissing the idea of a greater intelligence. Do you really think that you can understand the bizarre, mysterious world of quantum mechanics, such as the fact that subatomic particles will change their behavior according to the human observer or that a single object can be simultaneously in two places at the exact same time? You pretend that you can actually accept that there is nothing after this life, just the void, and nothingness, though the brain probably is not capable of conceiving of something so opposite to its experience.

    I think that a strong argument can be made that a dismissal of religion is in fact irrational, that it exists within the human mind, and is therefore part of our reality. Further, humans are not “whole” without satisfying all of their basic psychological needs, including religion. Find a man in a state of despair (its common to find them tatooed, pierced and aimless), and you will usually find someone who as a boy did not receive any spiritual sustenance to meet his needs.

    Rationality and the scientific method have their place, but they are of limited utility when it comes to the survival of a species. Were I a leader, I would rather have 1,000 committed religious fanatics with me, with their motivation, valor, willingness to sacrifice, than 50,000 logical, reasonable, scientific atheists, who have no reason to interrupt their wine and merrymaking for a greater cause, much less put themselves in danger when this life is all there is for them. This is the reason that certain talented, atheistic European nations are probably doomed to extinction, while less gifted but pious Arab nations are marked for a long and glorious future (well, as glorious as the Third World gest at least, but they will almost assuredly survive well into the future, after the godless are lost to memory).

  3. Lew
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I also say that I am personally not much interested in Traditionalism, Julius Evola, or Savitri Devi any more than I am interested in Christianity, and I am as flummoxed by those who dabble in runes as I am by those who finger their rosaries.

    I’m not at all sure personal interest is off topic. The traditionalists, Christians, pagans and theists who comment here sometimes seem to confuse personal preferences about how Euro societies should look with that which is necessary for European preservation.

    For example, consider these activities: miscegenation, NFL football and Starbucks. Most people who lean toward traditional perspectives are probably going to see the popularity of football and Starbucks as evidence of degeneracy: bread and circus spectacle for morons, shallow internal narratives and mindless “consumerism.”

    In fact, those are expressions of personal preference (subjective opinion). Another way to look at watching football is that it simply reflects a recreational choice. Like swimming, boxing, chess, meditation or working with runes, watching football is a choice that some people make to meet their rest, leisure and social needs. It is probably not a choice people who see it as bread and circus would make, but, again, that’s an expression of subjective preference. Many cultural practices that might be considered objectionable for one reason or another depending on worldview have nothing to do with Euro preservation whereas miscegenation objectively does.

    White folks are divided enough as it is. Therefore, in the interest of not fomenting further division over matters that are peripheral to preservation, everyone no matter what their worldview ought to keep their subjective preferences out of the core White project. The core project is that which is necessary for preservation (ex: opposing miscegenation).

    Religion is a subjective choice, as are many judgments about activities that reflect degeneracy and which do not (watching football versus prayer, meditation, working with Runes or studying Evola/Devi).

    • guiscard
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      “…seem to confuse personal preferences about how Euro societies should look with that which is necessary for European preservation.”
      Excellent point. J.Bowden speaks somewhat to this in a youtube speech called ‘White Survival. To loosely paraphrase…

      ‘Patriotism appeals to all levels of society because everyone has a place. I believe in Greek civilization, a peasant could kneel before an idol and have a complete literal belief in the religion and you can go right through the culture up to a sophisticated atheist/agnostic, who also believed in the religion. Yes they did!

      Charles Maurras, believed to be an atheist, led a catholic fundamentalist movement in France. Why? Because if you are right wing, you don’t want to tear a civilization down just because YOU privately can’t believe. You understand the discourse of mass social becoming.’

      I agree completely with Bowden and personally suspect the dissolution of the Greco-Roman world along with post-enlightenment Christian world as a result of the plebs sensing that the aristo/elite class, no longer held the ‘traditions’ sacred – and in doing so, took their revenge by emulating their rulers. A quote from Romans speaks perfectly on how the elite should approach their world –
      ‘Now we who are strong, ought to bare the infirmities of the weak; and not just to please ourselves’

      This is not about master/slave morality… it’s just the natural relationship of a society.

      In regards to going forward… it will be men/women of destiny that determine the future and these coffee house quibbles will be put in their place but I’m guessing the Greek concept of ‘Logos’ will play the prominent role.

  4. Nick Dean
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    The scientifically defensible position right now is agosticism, not atheism, because a God who created the universe could quite as easily have created a universe where his existence could not be scientifically proven or disproven.

  5. Stronza
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The scientific outlook is empirical, depends on evidence and experiment, and is hostile to the idea of “faith” – thus, it is difficult for the scientific mind to accept the basic tenets of religion. Further, science, being in theory about evidence and not dogmatic faith, should include the ability to change belief based on new data, etc.

    But the trouble is, the majority ruling group of scientists refuses to change its interpretation of evidence based on new data. And that’s because they have faith, not too far below the surface, pushing them in certain directions.

    How long do we have to wait for that majority ruling group of scientists to openly admit they were wrong in their interpretation of the evidence? Sometimes, of course, they’ll allow their conclusions to just kind of slide away after new “evidence” shows up, but they will never say, “Were we ever wrong! Why were we so blind?” They have their faith, and the low-forehead religionists have theirs, and the rest of us just take sides. Only one example: the “HIV alone causes AIDS” hypothesis VS the soon-to-be-criminalized “AIDS denialism” (previously known as ‘contrarianism’) of Peter Duesberg and his followers. So tell me there’s no politics or personal religiosity in that realm. Think about what would happen to the AIDS industry.

    A true scientist should be willing to abandon any scientific paradigm if sufficient (solid) evidence accumulates demonstrating the falsehood of the paradigm.

    There has never been any “science” independent of government and ruling power’s stamp of approval. If they should disagree, they are not considered scientists anymore, but heretics, and shunted to the side.

  6. Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Ted, as I identify myself as a (very moderate) traditionalist, I do not regard my views as irrational. I do not reject science entirely – however, I also approach it from a critical perspective, given the negative (as well as positive) impact it has had on civilization. Also, when traditionalism is being discussed, I feel obligated to present the viewpoint as the primary traditionalists themselves understood it, and their views tended to be very anti-science (even though I am not necessarily in full agreement with them on that). I hope to eventually write an essay for CC on Wolfgang Smith, who is a traditionalist scholar who has written about the prospects for rapprochement between science and traditionalism, and perhaps also Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who was written on the same thing.

    We do disagree on some fundamental issues, but at the same time I agree that I see no reason why we can’t work together on the important things that are taking place in this world. One’s political activities need not depend on one’s take on esotericism. However, at the same time, I think an appeal to higher values, whether they are secular or transcendental, is important, and I don’t know what can offer that better than spirituality. After all I think most people here would agree that “saving the White race” or whatever is meaningless if we continue with something that is culturally identical to what we have now.

    • Dominion
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      What’s your take on the role of the materialist epistemology employed by science? As I understand it, this is one of the problems many Traditionalists seem to have with it. Considering that science has to do with the nature and realities of our material universe, I have always found it hard to see how this is justified. As I pointed out, the fact that we evolved from less biologically advanced ancestors does not in any way effect transcendence. I’ll be awaiting your articles as well.

      • Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        Dominion, the traditionalist view is that metaphysical knowledge is superior to anything that can be understood through the five senses. Therefore, for them, whenever spiritual knowledge comes into conflict with gross material knowledge, materialist knowledge (science) is always wrong. The fact that something is natural, in itself, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is therefore traditional, since the understanding we may have of the world through physical observation alone is incomplete. (Again, as I said before, I am iterating my understanding of the traditionalist take on these things, not necessarily my own viewpoint.)

  7. Sandy
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    That’s a keeper.

    However, my understanding of the NANR project is that there is a diversity of opinion as long as the key fundamental of the preservation of the European peoples is accepted. I can work with people who are into those things that I reject, but I draw the line when those things become a “litmus test” or become the only, or major, planned basis for a “future society.” If some people are more comfortable with runes or rosaries, so be it, as long as others can play with their test tubes and rockets.

  8. JustAWhiteMom
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I basically agree with most of this article in terms of tolerance. I an earlier thread I posted a comment about explicit Whites being “implicit theists.” Karl Rahner used the term “anonymous Christians” to refer to those souls who are in some way saying Yes! to God’s revelation, but not explicitly Christian and perhaps even explicitly other-than-Christian. Since all explicit Whites are saying Yes! to God by embracing white racial nationalism, all explicit Whites are anonymous Christians, and therefore our spiritual as well as racial kin. On the other hand, a non-white Christian who resents our civilization and Beauty is neither our racial nor our spiritual kin and totally alien. I only say this by way of articulating a way for white Christians to conceptualize their secular brethren, who will of course have to find a way to think about us.

  9. Ted
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Stronza,

    The words, “should” and “theory” clearly indicate that I am talking about what science is, and how it should be ideally practiced. That many scientists have personal, ethnic, and/or ideological agendas, and fall short of the ideal of “disinterested objectivity” in no way invalidates the basic principles. After all, every human meme and endeavor – including religion and traditionalism – is similarly modified from its ideal. Do I need to note that virtually every “Christian” I’ve known, in both the digital and analog worlds, have been canting hypocrites who don’t “practice what they preach?” But, we are told that the ideal is worthy to strive for. So be it. The same for science.

    Andrew,

    The fact that you seem so personally offended by the fact that I do not need religion supports my assertion of an irrational foundation for religious belief. What is it about the religious that makes them so pompously intolerant and so certain? Why must they always try to ram their own beliefs into the minds of others? As I indicate, I myself am (or was?) willing to accept, and work with, those who believe in things I find patently absurd, as long as we are on the “same page” with respect to racialism and other big issues, and as long as they don’t make their own personal preferences a litmus test for what needs to be done.

    Let me be blunt: I do not need religion. I utterly despise it. It literally disgusts me. I can assure you that in times of crisis I do not “turn to religion.” The “there are no atheists in a foxhole” argument is once again the fanatic religionists who project their own needs on others. THEY need the Big Daddy and they can’t stand the fact that others do not, so we must all need him. The fact that certain scientific discoveries, such as Quantum Mechanics (the workings of which are being evaluated by scientists, not priests) boggle their minds, means that we must invoke Big Daddy again.

    It’s part of the Western TRADITION that the burden of proof is on those making an assertion, not those who are skeptical. Where is the evidence for Big Daddy? That some people need Big Daddy is not evidence that Big Daddy exists. The fact that modern physics astounds you is not evidence that Big Daddy exists.

    Further, defending religion by saying that you’d rather have a bunch of fanatic religionists on your side ignores that courage is not only found in believers. I would think that of the many fanatical National Socialists and fanatical communists who fought to the death in WWII were many atheists, may despisers of religion. Much more important, such comments, along with all your statements about all the other alleged advantages of religion, makes me wonder if you are really selling your faith cheaply.

    Basically you are saying to people like me who do NOT believe and are actually nauseated by such belief, that we should in effect force ourselves to “believe,” make a pretense of it, so as to “enjoy the advantages.” You’ll be happier! More dedicated! You won’t get flummoxed by the collapse of the wave function! Is “faith” and “belief” nothing more than a self-help program to feel better? What is it that they want? To manufacture faith through advertising the benefits of religion? Or do they want smirking non-believers sitting in Church inwardly mocking the proceedings? Or do we enforce belief through more Inquisitions?

    Perhaps I should thank Andrew because I now am rethinking my earlier position of tolerance. There is a historical analogy here. The pagan Roman Empire tolerated various religions as long as those religions reciprocated tolerance and put the Empire first. Likewise, I have been willing to tolerate religion as long as everyone is ostensibly on the same page on the major racial and civilizational issues. But it seems that for some, religion IS the major issue. And like the ancient Christians who in their intolerance refused to compromise and eventually won (leading to the humiliation of Galileo and the execution of Bruno and centuries of lost intellectual development), the modern Christian fanatics in the “movement” hope to hijack racialism in order to resurrect a moribund faith that, by itself, is dying out throughout the West. Extending the analogy though, persecution would be a mistake; it didn’t work for the Romans, and it wouldn’t work now. Presenting a viable alternative and letting religion wither on its own is preferable. One big difference between now and the Ancient World is that, back then, Christianity was a new and vital force, and the exhausted cultures of Classical World could not withstand it. Today, however, Christianity itself is exhausted, but through a call to tradition and the stirring “let’s not switch horses in midstream,” coupled with fanatical intolerance among the dwindling numbers of the faithful, they hope to reverse course.

    We should not let them do so. Two thousand years of this nonsense is long enough. No persecution, but no giving in either. A “live and let live” attitude should exist only to the extent that the religionists reciprocate. If they continue insisting their way is the only way, then the rest of us need to learn how to say NO.

    • Stronza
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Ok, thank you, Ted. But whether we are talking about religion or science or any other ideology, this all smacks of the “No true Scotsman…”

      “Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again”. Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing”. The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again; and, this time, finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, “No true Scotsman would do such a thing”.

  10. Daniel
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    You have so many misconceptions about religion (no offense) that I don’t even know where to start to deal with them so I will just quote you and discuss what I think are the most crucial.

    “Perhaps I should say that I am militantly agnostic rather than atheist. After all, maybe a God does exist, and that existence will be one day proven through empiricism rather than faith.”

    No, the divine cannot be proven to exist with science because divinity is above the material world. That’s the whole point. Science can only prove things that are within this world. Why is it that so many people don’t understand that?

    “My personal opinion is that (traditional) religious belief is derived from a mixture of fear and a desire for control. There is a universal human fear of death; hence, the need for an afterlife (setting aside the good coma-doctor’s experiences for the moment). Humans have looked up to the night sky and stared at the stars, and became frightened by the silence and the solitude, and the majestic indifference of the universe. Hence, the need for a “Big Daddy Sky Spirit” running the show behind the scenes – there is a meaning for it all, don’t you know… The priests and the religious hate science (as Nietzsche explained well in his Antichrist), because once people become scientific and start asking the right questions, it’s all over for priests and gods – ‘God is dead.’”

    First of all, you do not seem to understand that many religions are not actually even dogmatic (I say that because that is what your argument here rests on). Most pagan religions for example were indeed not dogmatic and I imagine they could do very well at adapting to whatever scientific discoveries may come along to supposedly contradict them. This is because the basis of paganism is not some dogmatic belief in a “Daddy-in-the-Sky” that sent down some guy to write an infallible book(s), it is rather based on the simple idea that the things we see around us in Nature are manifestations of the divine (theophany) and the “gods” are just representations of various aspects or forces in Nature, and the mythologies are just fables of sorts to learn morals from. At least this is what I have concluded after reading dozens of books on paganism.

    That’s just an example, because I think you are thinking too much in terms of the Abrahamic religions.

    “Going a bit off-topic, I also say that I am personally not much interested in Traditionalism, Julius Evola, or Savitri Devi any more than I am interested in Christianity, and I am as flummoxed by those who dabble in runes as I am by those who finger their rosaries. And I think talk of “Hyperborea,” “root races,” “Ultima Thule,” and so forth belongs in a Conan comic book, not in any serious racial nationalist discussion.”

    The only people I have met who believe in “Hyperborea,” “root races,” “Ultima Thule,” etc. are wild 16-year-olds who have been somehow indoctrinated into National Socialism through the watching of TV shows regarding the supposed connection between “the Nazis and the Occult” (a connection which in reality does not even exist). So why even bring this into the conversation? As for Savitri Devi, it is obvious she is a nut, and the only use she is of is to provide some arguments in defense of Hitler, but hers’ are rather weak. Julius Evola is where you are wrong, because aside from his occultism he provides a very good philosophical worldview regarding politics, race, history, culture, economics, and other important topics.

    “However, my understanding of the NANR project is that there is a diversity of opinion as long as the key fundamental of the preservation of the European peoples is accepted. I can work with people who are into those things that I reject, but I draw the line when those things become a “litmus test” or become the only, or major, planned basis for a “future society.” If some people are more comfortable with runes or rosaries, so be it, as long as others can play with their test tubes and rockets.”

    We are going to need to revive spirituality because people simply cannot survive without it. Nobody’s saying we will get violent or destructive over it, I don’t know where you get that impression, but it needs to happen in order for us to regenerate our societies. As John Morgan said, saving the White race is meaningless if we continue to exist culturally identical to how we are now.

    • Daniel Constantin
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      “Julius Evola is where you are wrong, because aside from his occultism he provides a very good philosophical worldview regarding politics, race, history, culture, economics, and other important topics.”

      Although I wouldn’t call Julius Evola’s religious position occultism, I think only an idiot would completely dismiss him simply because of a disagreement with his religious position. Evola synthesizes philosophical ideas from the works of many other thinkers such as Werner Sombart, Edgar Julius Jung, Othmar Spann, Paul de Lagarde, Oswald Spengler, and so on, integrating them into his own philosophy in a unique way. It’s actually no wonder that even certain religious Christians place a lot of value on Evola’s work despite the fact that Evola is non-Christian himself.

  11. Daniel Constantin
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Concerning the mention of Nietzsche in this article (where it is referenced that Nietzsche wrote in “The Anti-Christ” that priests “hate science”), I should mention that many people here would find it intellectually profitable to read about Ludwig Klages’s Biocentric philosophy, particularly because Klages admired Nietzsche and was inspired by his work. At the same time, Klages believes that science is generally anti-thetical to Life, that it is an attempt to “freeze” the true world of the Living, and is thus a product of “Geist” and Logocentric thought. Read more about Klages here: http://www.revilo-oliver.com/Writers/Klages/Ludwig_Klages.html

  12. rhondda
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care whether or not a scientist believes in God. My big concern is the ethical implications of some of their work and the sneaky way they go about doing it. We want to know about the differences in races, yet the biggest fear is genetic engineering and what does that mean and who gets to decide what path we go down?

  13. Jaego
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Washington said it well: only highly educated men strangely formed can be moral without religion. For the multitude, religion has been and will be their refuge – and its falling away is a sign of corruption. The Founders understood all this – and the skeptics among them were wise enough to be discrete. Nothing is more divisive than angry, carping mockery. Atheists would do well to emulate the jovial Senator in the movie Spartacus, “Publicly I believe in all the Gods, privately none of them.

    The idea that scepticism is superior to belief is bringing the methods of science into Relgion and Philosophy. It isn’t true and they don’t belong there – except as a needed corrective when Religion strays out of its own area into the realm of science. This was common of course in ages past.

  14. Ted
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Briefly,

    No, the divine cannot be proven to exist with science because divinity is above the material world. That’s the whole point. Science can only prove things that are within this world. Why is it that so many people don’t understand that?

    That’s great. If “divinity” is above the material world, then the religious can stop interfering with science and other attempts to understand the material world. They want to have it both ways – control the secular when they can, but then avoid secular attempts at rational criticism by claiming a special, non-material status.

    “No true Scotsman” – can be said about EVERY meme and movement, every application, every worldview. That’s my point. Humans will always interject personal preference and self-interest. That’s a given. But starting from the point of empiricism and debate over evidence is more resistant to distortion that a vague creed that is “above the material world” and can be interpreted any way someone chooses.

    The masses may need their religion. They can have it. I do not. Others do not. I disagree that those who do not should pay lip service to belief. That’s dishonorable and smacks of the USSR: where many knew Marxism to be a fraud, and the state a failure, but had to continue to mouth the platitudes. I’m not going to do that, because religion does NOT, repeat NOT, stay in its own sphere. If the predominant belief in America is a religious-based strict creationism, as polls suggest, then we have a problem. When the religious elect their own into Congress, where they rant about how “evolution and embryology are evil,” we have a problem. Where research into stem cell technology, genetic engineering, eugenics, etc. is repressed by religion, we have a problem. Where “death with dignity” euthanasia is outlawed, and people must suffer terribly under conditions where dogs and cats would be put down, and because of someone else’s religious beliefs, we have a problem. The religious are always pushing, always intolerant, always totalitarian, and when others complain then these others are the ones accused of being “intolerant,” “mocking,” etc.

    There has to be “push back” against religion, at least against the major monotheisms, because they have proven, time and time again, to be intolerant of everything that threatens their meme. If left unchallenged, the “religious right” in America would stifle human progress as much as would the conformist left.

    What about paganism? To my mind, it’s better and if some people find solace in it, that’s fine. But if others find it not needed, and if society can develop without it, why do we continuously have to try and reintroduce dead and dying beliefs from the past? Is it worth the effort? What about Klassen’s “Creativity?” Apart from the “Fruitarian” diet nonsense, that’s not so bad an attempt at a new, racialist religion. Better that than Jesus or Thor I think.

    I understand that people have an innate need for belief and belonging. Fascism and National Socialism, as well as Marxism, could be viewed as secular religions. That’s more likely a fruitful direction to go in. Christianity is dying – at least in Europe – and I find it hard to believe that paganism per se will ever really take off apart from a small group of people. Why not replace the need for belonging with something new?

    And I mention “Hyperborea” and “root races” because you still have some people today who write about “Madame Blavatsky” and all that, and, really, some of the work of Traditionalists like Evola and Devi are only one step removed from that.

    • Daniel
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      “That’s great. If “divinity” is above the material world, then the religious can stop interfering with science and other attempts to understand the material world….etc. etc. etc.”

      You are speaking about Christianity, Islam, and the like when you speak of religion interfering with science. In fact most what you are saying in the next several paragraphs are things which seem to be only relevant in regards to criticising Christianity. As a matter of fact, I might even point out that many Christians even take a pro-science position (I know I’ve met plenty of people who were devout Christians and scientists at the same time), so even there your arguments can be easily disputed.

      “What about paganism? To my mind, it’s better and if some people find solace in it, that’s fine. But if others find it not needed, and if society can develop without it, why do we continuously have to try and reintroduce dead and dying beliefs from the past? Is it worth the effort? What about Klassen’s “Creativity?” Apart from the “Fruitarian” diet nonsense, that’s not so bad an attempt at a new, racialist religion. Better that than Jesus or Thor I think.”

      Paganism is not dead. As I was trying to explain before, the foundation of paganism is simply Nature spirituality, a belief in the supernatural/divine force behind Nature. In other words, belief in paganism does not require belief in figures like Thor which are merely mythological representations of natural forces and not really the basis for the actual spirituality of paganism. Paganism is less about what particular gods with whatever names that you worship and more about your values and the way you look at the world and history. There’s a reason why in ancient Europe you didn’t see people quarreling over the fact that someone worshipped a god named Zeus instead of a god named Thor; it’s because that’s not really the point behind the religion. You actually have the same prejudices about Paganism as many Christians. Perhaps you could start a serious study of it by reading Hans Gunther’s “Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans” (I believe this book is now actually sold by Counter-Currents).

      As for Klassen, his so-called “Creativity” is a very un-intelligent and failed attempt at artificially constructing a “religion” which is not even a religion to begin with. A religion requires a sense of the Sacred, the Divine, not merely the worship of biological heritage (I say this, of course, without trying to depreciate the value of biological race) plus a set of rules. I’ve looked at Klassen’s works, and I found them to be honestly pathetic and poorly thought-out.

      “I understand that people have an innate need for belief and belonging. Fascism and National Socialism, as well as Marxism, could be viewed as secular religions. That’s more likely a fruitful direction to go in. Christianity is dying – at least in Europe – and I find it hard to believe that paganism per se will ever really take off apart from a small group of people. Why not replace the need for belonging with something new?”

      Personally, I am not really a fan of Christianity and I view it as something of Jewish origin, thus negative. However, I’ve seen Europe and I can tell you that it is alive and kicking. Let’s get realistic here, it’s not dying, it only slightly decreased; it has simply decayed in places like England, France, and America (although even in these countries it is still maintining itself), but if you go anywhere else you’ll see it is still pretty alive. If you consider yourself a realistic person, you’ll really need to overcome these biases in your analysis.

      As for whether or not “secular religions” such as Fascism, National Socialism, or Marxism could replace actual spiritual religions, I can assure that they could never do so for long. What these things did was temporarily create doctrines with charismatic leaders and rituals that generated a quasi-mystical feeling, but could never really do away with Christianity or other spiritual religious beliefs (in fact, the only group that even tried to do that was Communism, and unsuccessfully). Even if they could do so, it would be temporary, and humanity would soon enough return to normality.

      “More honestly written: ‘We are going to need to revive spirituality because I simply cannot survive without it.’ I can survive without it. Many others can.”

      What you are saying is basically analogous to someone saying that because he does not care about race and feels that race-mixing is natural, therefore racialism and racial feelings are unecessary and not innate to humans. This is obviously a fallacious proposition. In the same way race-mixing does not disprove the racialist position, people who do not feel or care about spirituality do not prove that human beings do not need spirituality. You’re so one-sided that you have forgotten what most people are like. Furthermore, this is not about you or other individuals. I was speaking culturally; it is culturally necessary to have religion in order to have a healthy culture.

      Although I disagree with Andrew’s scientific materialist background, he really was right when he said your understanding of religion is immature.

  15. Ted
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    We are going to need to revive spirituality because people simply cannot survive without it.

    More honestly written: “We are going to need to revive spirituality because I simply cannot survive without it.”

    I can survive without it. Many others can.

    • Jaego
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      But can you survive without your religion of Atheism – and people of other religions to mock?

  16. Nick Dean
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Jaego, the religious would be straying out of their own area into the realm of science with the idea that belief may be equal or better than scepticism in assessing superiority, an obviously measurable value. In fact the religious would be claiming they were doing science.

    • Jaego
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      No, since God and the Universe are not the same thing. Different realms call for different faculties. A catepillar cannot know the freedom of the air until it grows wings. Until he does, he can either have faith or be a sceptic – an agnostic in other words. That is as far as the intellect qua intellect can go. To go beyond that into atheism is to reveal animus or an agenda – irrational in either case. In extreme cases, it begins to take on the function of a religion for its “believers”.

  17. Andrew
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Ted,
    I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I am not sure that you understand (or accept) the proposition that humans are by nature primarily emotional, feelings-oriented creatures governed in large part by their hard-wiring. Look at your statement about religion, that it “disgusts you”. That is a reflexive reaction, an emotional response. If you were to take some time to truly, objectively analyze your position on religion, you will find that it is primarily based on FEELINGS, in your case these are feelings of aversion and repulsion. This adds credence to my assertion that you, as a human, are also a creature motivated primarily by emotion, just like the rest of us. You have inherited a similar brain structure to the rest of us, with similar hard-wiring.

    Your emotional reaction to religion is the opposite of that experienced by most of the rest of us. This relates to your particular experiences, which involved your brain receiving different programming. But, if you look back at your ancestors, you will find that perhaps 97% of the last 1000 generations of your line were firm believers, and this suggests that your brain also has the hard-wiring for religiosity.

    I personally cannot comprehend the workings of the universe. As you say, I am astounded by the bizarre behavior of Quantum mechanics, I cannot truly digest the size of the universe or the concept of infinity. I am also incapable of truly understanding the concept of my essence ceasing to exist. Perhaps you and others are capable of this, although frankly, I am skeptical – its one thing to say it, but quite another to actually grasp it.

    In any case, I am not really concerned what your beliefs are, they really don’t matter, and I am not offended by them (although as an emotional being I am very prone to offense and many other irrational behaviors). My main concern, and the bottom line of all this, is that atheism and anti-religion is a civilization-killer. Spirituality is an essential human need, religion is just the formal structure that supports this need. Non-religious people do, in fact, have less children, are less willing to sacrifice, and are generally less useful to society than religious people. The finest leaders in Western Civilization have been religious people, people with faith, with George Washington as exhibit number 1. Religion may not be of any value to you personally. But, if you were actually looking at this from an unbiased, completely rational point of view, comparing religious societies with non-religious ones, I am confident that you would agree with me: religion is good, and whether God exists or not is immaterial.

  18. Ted
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    If “spirituality” is necessary for the weak-minded, who are unable to actualize a moral life without “Big Daddy” watching over them, then let’s formulate a less destructive version of it for the Idiocracy masses than what is displayed here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Broun#Fields_of_science_that_are_.22lies_straight_from_the_Pit_of_Hell.22
    Broun – religious fundamentalist, elected by the nice religious people of his district, is on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

    Another example of religion interfering with scientific materialism – and then crying “foul” when the materialists in turn question the validity of religion.

    Anyway, there is a flaw in Andrew’s latest argument – that disgust must always be irrational and emotional. Why can’t disgust be a rational response to my perception of the negative aspects of religion, as well as of the weakness of mind that requires the “crutch” – in that sense, similar to the disgust one would feel toward a drug addict.

    By the way, using Founding Fathers – many of whom were unconventional “deists” and Freemasons – as examples of faith-bearing religious people is a stretch.

    I am confident that you would agree with me: religion is good

    No, actually, the more you write, the more I am convinced of the opposite: religion is evil. It may be a necessary evil, because it is needed by the mentally weak, but it must be held in check, so that the fanatics do not set back the cause of human progress by their hare-brained intolerance toward any memes that conflict with their mental-drug-addiction.

    • Lew
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you believing in a religion is irrational and that it needs to be kept out of the public sphere, but, respectfully, I think you go much too far in calling it evil. Religion, especially Christianity, has inspired much good in the West. Much of the West’s greatest art, architecture, literature and music was religiously inspired. The world would be a profoundly poorer without the Parthenon, High Gothic cathedrals, and the Sistine chapel ceiling.

  19. Stronza
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Ted, while I myself am not religious, more of a half-ass Christian agnostic, I’d like to agree with you that religion is a crutch; but then, there’s nothing wrong with crutches. Ever try to deal with a broken leg without crutches? Anyway, who or what is going to keep religion “in check”? I sure wouldn’t want to see it dealt with Soviet Union-style. Burning gorgeous old churches, torturing and slaughtering monks, nuns and priests, etc.

    FWIW, I admire you sticking to your guns here, whether we agree or not. I know that I’m not so much pro-religion as anti-science, since our level of science is laughable, at least in how it’s used by its official and approved promulgators.

  20. Andrew
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Ted,
    I think that again, the words you choose are telling, describing religion as “evil”, a term usually associated with religion. I think that it would be fair to say that your views form what is in a sense an anti-Religion, you appear to revere rational thought, with scientific progress and technological advancement as the lords of your pantheon. Religion is therefore wicked because it interferes with what is good (and I sense a strong emotional factor involved here as well, not unlike that of other religionists with gut-level hostility to other belief systems).

    The genuine religious faith of the majority of the founding fathers, as well as the vast majority of the men and women who conquered and populated this continent, is really beyond dispute. Read their personal letters, research their daily routines: God was everywhere in their lives, and was in fact an integral part of almost every European’s life from the Middle Ages to the mid-20th century. This includes the fervently spiritual Isaac Newton and most of the greatest pioneers of science.

    I think that your anti-religion blinds you to being able to view the subject objectively. If you truly did wish to evaluate whether religion was good or evil for a nation or society, you would research it in a scientific manner, gaining a representative sample of religious versus non-religious families, and comparing outcomes for factors such as fertility, average happiness, rates of dysfunction, etc. You might also compare nations as well.

    For me, the most important factor is not scientific progress. I am interested in the long-term survival of my European sub-species, with a special interest in understanding what creates a healthy, life-sustaining culture, particularly in regard to fertility, which is the critical element in the survival of a popluation. Anti-religion is not helpful in this regard. For most people, it is destructive, it denies humans’ basic needs, its an empty, nihilistic, demoralizing belief system that offers only despair and hopelessness for its adherents. Its logical conclusion is to pursue materialism and hedonism, for tomorrow we die and there is nothing to pursue but pleasure in this life.

    The irony of it is that anti-religion, being destructive, kills itself over time. Non-religious families have few children, and their societies collapse and fade away, as we see happening in atheistic Europe, with their abysmally low birthrates. The scientific progress that you hold so dear depends on child-rearing Europeans. The rate of scientific progress, according to many astute observers, is slowing as an ocean of older Whites retire, a process that will continue as fewer and fewer working-age, emotionally healthy Europeans are brought into existence (very little innovation comes out of Asia, primarily a genetic phenomenon, and the march of socialism is also an innovation-killer).

    As a footnote, this process is especially pronounced in the Jewish population, with the atheistic Jews killing themselves off through infertility at a rapid clip, and the fertile, religious Orthodox set to transform the Jewish population. Whether Jewish, European or Arab, the future belongs to the religious. Anti-religion is a failed belief system that will be consigned by demographics to the dustbin of history.

  21. Ted
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Again: if the masses need their religion in order to live “moral” lives (relatively speaking…as I’ve stated the religious are among the biggest immoral hypocrites I know – but maybe they’d behave worse without religion?), they can have it – but THEY HAVE TO KEEP OUT OF THE PUBLIC POLICY SPHERE AND STAY AWAY FROM NON-SPIRITUAL ISSUES SUCH AS SCIENCE.

    Sorry about using the “rude” technique of capitals, but some people here just don’t get it. I’ll say it again: people can play with their rosaries and runes if it makes them happy, if it leads to “large families” and private joy, but they cannot use their mental crutch addiction as an excuse to ruin human progress.

    “Survival?” Do you have any idea how incredibly lucky humanity has been that a extinction-level asteroid/comet strike (or some other natural disaster that may be preventable with a sufficiently advanced level of science) has not occurred during human history? We can only hope that your “Big Daddy” holds off hammering us until such time that we develop the technics to deal with such things (in contrast to official scientific pessimism, I also believe that with a sufficiently developed science, even supervolcano eruptions can be avoided. We just need time…). But if we let the likes of Paul Broun (and some here?) have their way, we’d be living in huts, praying to Jesus (or chanting “Odin” in the forest [and I’ve known people who’ve done that)) when the hammer falls. And all your praying, belief, large families, and joy won’t mean a thing to prevent an event that could be prevented by the application of science and technics.

    What about self-extinction of non-believers? Do we need “religion” per se? I think that if NS Germany were victorious, over time, you’d see a secular, high-fertility, expansive regime that substituted National Socialism for Christianity. Interestingly, fertility in Eastern Europe was higher under Marxism than now, when religion is legal and the Orthodox head in Russia is powerful enough that his endorsement of Putin means something. I wonder if the “higher fertility” of the religious (let’s restrict it to Whites here) is independent of other variables, such as IQ and profession. Do they have more children because they are religious, or because religion is correlated to lower-IQ, blue collar families, etc. We need to have the more intelligent to have more children and I’m sorry, these people are not going to buy into fairy tales, and follow nuts like Broun. It isn’t going to happen. Better we meet the “spiritual” needs of people – all the people, the bright as well as the dull – with a movement that is consistent with nature and natural laws. Instead of trying to bring back dead or dying religions, we need to formulate a new approach to meeting the needs of people to belong to a community of organic solidarity.

    Andrew’s attempts to parse my use of words like “disgust” and “evil” are laughable. I’ll put it in more dispassionate language:
    Weighing the pros and cons, I believe the long-term cons of religion in THE MODERN WORLD outweigh the pros. It is a waste of our time and resources to bring back beliefs that are increasingly rejected by our people – by most of [Western] Europe and by the right end of the bell curve in the USA. Further, the idea that people should pretend belief is dishonorable and makes me question the “faith” of those asserting such belief. Equally disturbing is the religious approach of claiming an exemption from materialistic critique, while at the same time constantly interfering with materialist science, etc etc etc.

    Thar’s equal to “disgust” and “evil.”

    since our level of science is laughable, at least in how it’s used by its official and approved promulgators.

    I can say the same thing, and worse, about the racialist “movement.” And yet, the fundamentals of what this “movement” stands for is good. If you cannot separate the fundamental essence of a meme or entity from the manner that it has been distorted, there’s nothing more I can say.

  22. Ted
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    the future belongs to the religious. Anti-religion is a failed belief system that will be consigned by demographics to the dustbin of history.

    If so, humanity (including Whites) is doomed, because the “religious” – the ones being demographically successful today – will not be able to handle the scientific/technical challenges of the future. They’ll fill the Earth with an Idiocracy, which will last until nature balances the books.

    Again, the intelligent and thoughtful in general will not buy into the fairy tales any more. If we need to win a demographic war, we’d better come up with something better. And until then, racial separatism, enforced by a high technics, can keep out the non-White fast breeders until a solution can be reached.

    Whites, even religious ones, cannot win a breeding war with other races. Without “universal nationalism” Whites will be consigned to the dustbin of history anyway.

    And I’m not sure how following universalist religions like Christianity is going to prevent that, and I’m not sanguine that paganism is going to make any mass revival either.

  23. Ted
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The real reason that communism and (monotheistic) religion have always historically been at odds: both belief systems are inherently totalitarian, intolerant of any sign of non-believer dissent, always eager to use coercion to enforce “belief,” hostile to science when science uncovers the unnatural absurdities of the belief system (compare Lysenkoism and Creationism), with strong anti-national and egalitarian underpinnings, promoting hypocrisy and corruption (wealthy nomenklatura vs. wealthy clergy and pedophile priests), and the list can go on. Both belief systems fill the same niche, and the human brain can only realistically contain only one lies-based worldview at the same time.

    Detailed study of the relationship between intelligence and religious belief here:
    http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1197.pdf
    This confirms other studies, which consistently show an inverse relationship between intelligence and religiousness.

    The intelligent and educated are simply no longer going to buy “faith.” And you won’t be able to convince them to adopt an oxymoronic “pseudo-faith” by preaching the benefits of faith. You are going to have to find a more empirical approach to spirituality, which is more consistent with nature and nature’s laws.

  24. JustAWhiteMom
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Mr. Sallis,

    Putting aside your gratuitous contempt and hostility towards religion, do you not think simply as a practical matter religious folks’ point of view is a necessary foil to your unbounded faith in human reason? Do you not think there is a possiblity that manipulation of nature could have unintended consequences, and the caution that religious people urge might avert disaster? I am not saying I am opposed to manipulation of nature. I am only saying that your desire to shut down debate by excluding voices you deem unworthy is not only totalitarian but also potentially disastrous.

  25. Ted
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I am only saying that your desire to shut down debate by excluding voices you deem unworthy is not only totalitarian but also potentially disastrous.

    I express my opinion. I’m not, for example, excluding religious opinion from this comments thread. I am arguing against that opinion. Or, is disagreement to the religious worldview itself totalitarian?

    If you mean my concern that the likes of Paul Broun are on the the House Science Committee, then you may be closer to the truth, but not quite hitting the mark either. The good people of his district have, under the present system, every right to elect him, and he has every right to be on that committee and express his opinion. But, surely, I have the right to express the opinion that Broun and his followers exemplify those characteristics which cause those on the right side of the bell curve to reject religious belief. Further, I see it as completely justified to point out the hypocrisy of religion: on the one hand, they wish to “have the right” to participate in shaping public policy, including policy on scientific materialism. On the other hand, materialistic critiques of religion are rejected (their voices “excluded?”) by the asserting that the “divine” is separate from the material world and cannot be subject to empirical review.

    And what is more totalitarian? My view that, if the masses need religion they can have it, as long as the “divine” is really kept separate from the “material” – or the religionist’s view that everyone must believe, and that non-believers should make a pretense in order to promote “what’s best for society?”

    In my view, it is always the religionists who are the aggressors, they cannot abide dissidence from faith, just like the Marxists could not abide dissidence from their secular faith.

  26. Ted
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    to your unbounded faith in human reason?

    Strawman. What “unbounded faith?” I openly assert that human nature and self-interest distorts science (just look at the antics of Gould), and that the power of the scientific method is an ideal that becomes distorted by the lack of “human reason.” In fact, if “human reason'” was so far advanced so as to justify “unbounded faith,” this essay and comments thread would be completely unnecessary.

    I’m in fact deeply pessimistic about “human reason.” Exhibit A for that: Broun and his ranting.

    • JustAWhiteMom
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Sallis

      By “unbounded faith in reason” I meant your apparent belief that science is an unqualified benefit with no risk of harm. I didn’t mean to set up any straw man. I don’t hate science. I just say that religious points of view ought to be included in debates about science. As far as the idea that Christians are not open to materialist critiques of religion, that may be true for many but not all. Religious people who use nature to argue for God have to be open to the use of empirical observation to argue for atheism as well. I can’t disagree with you there.

      What do you have against fairy tales? I rather like them. The Biblical creation story is one of thhe best in my opinion. Also, God himself put the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden. Christ was not a post hoc Plan B to deal with human sin. God couldn’t create free, curious people with a desire for mastery who would never be alienated from Him. Christ is the solution to this dilemma. Christianity explicitly rejects the mythology of the noble savage. I would think you would appreciate that.

  27. Stronza
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    When science (see Gould’s antics) is less than ideal, well, let’s wait. No such patience for religion, though. Ted, I see that you are subjecting scientists to the same harsh critical scrutiny that you have for religionists, yet you clearly choose one over the other. Religion is hopeless, but we have to just be patient and wait for that halcyon day when science perfects itself. I thought that we were all agreed that man and his ways (science, just for starters) were not perfectible.

    “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

  28. Ted
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    No such patience for religion, though

    Two thousand years is long enough, no?

    Yes, indeed, I clearly choose. It’s OK. You get bit by a rabid animal, go pray to Jesus and wait it out. In my case, I’ll trust in Pasteur and get the vaccine.

    To each his own.

    • Jaego
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      One time on a train in old France a young man was seated next to a neatly dressed older man with rosary beads – a prosperous peasant he supposed. Unable to keep to himself, he began to spout his enthusiasm for science and against superstition and religion. The pious older man seemed distraught but this onslaught. Feeling guilty about leaving him in this state, the younger man suggested that they meet again to continue the talk. The older man assented and gave him his card. The younger man looked at the card – it said Louie Pasteur.

  29. Ted
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that those who trash science won’t live their lives according to their beliefs. Step one: stop using the Internet.

    In my case, I’m not asking religion for anything. I don’t trash religion and then go to a priest for guidance. Don’t like science? Don’ trust ‘dem ‘dere scientists? You have a choice.

    No one forces you to get vaccinated, use computers, use electricity. Go off to the woods and live like St. Francis – or chant “Odin.” Take your pick.

    Science is real horrible…so horrible you use the fruits of its discoveries every waking moment of your life…and, likely, many of the non-awake moments as well.

  30. Ted
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Further, there’s a difference between a worldview based on fact and empiricism, but which is sometimes distorted by those with an agenda, and a worldview which has as its very basis unverifiable fairy tales and fantasies.

    Funny thing is, I’ll denounce Gould. I’ll state that science can’t determine values, and that scientists who try and derive values directly from natural laws are committing a fallacy.

    So far, I haven’t read any of the religionists denouncing Broun, or agreeing that, if materialists shouldn’t evaluate the “divine,” the “spiritualists” shouldn’t evaluate the material.

    If there’s hypocrisy, it’s not from me.

  31. Stronza
    Posted October 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I will not get a vaccine if I am bitten by a rabid animal. In the first place, being bitten by a rabid animal doesn’t necessarily result in rabies any more than stepping on a rusty nail means you have tetanus. As a matter of fact, 26 years ago the state informed me that if my companion animal turned out to have rabies, I would “have” to submit to painful and dangerous needles; at that time I was making arrangements to leave town.

    Religion isn’t just a collection of fairy tales. I’d say that religion usually consists of:

    1. a creation myth. Rather colorful and rather beautiful in all cases and possibly symbolic of something much more boring, such as the usual ultimately unprovable scientific theories. Moi, I don’t know how it all came about and don’t care.

    2. a bunch of rules and regulations for behavior, unique to, and suited to, the nation where the religion evolved. Which is why we should not mindlessly follow the 10 commandments.

    3. later, the presence of powerful priests who ultimately collude with the state one way or another to rule everyone’s life.

    Then some folks get upset by all this and end up throwing the bath baby out with the water. C’est la vie. Not naming names, tho.

  32. Ted
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I will not get a vaccine if I am bitten by a rabid animal.

    That’s a more powerful statement about religion and anti-materialism than anything I have written.

    Thank you for your comment.

    • Stronza
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      There’s alternatives, Ted.

      Further, you mentioned Pasteur. There appears to be some evidence that he recanted his belief that contact with “germs” alone caused illness. Some say he came to understand that a sick and degenerate milieu was the ultimate reason for the proliferation of symptoms and that the “germs” were merely the messengers. However, I don’t care if Pasteur actually did change his mind or not. I go for the latter idea.

      P.S. I’m not religious anymore. I just happen to think that when scientists change their minds and refuse to ever acknowledge or apologize for their mistakes and the pain those mistakes have caused, this is an ominous sign. As a group they are an arrogant bunch of bastards who want us to think that their “findings” are always the terminal Truth, that this Truth needs to be embedded as received wisdom and that dissenters must be sent to the corner to wear the dunce cap.

  33. Ted
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    There’s alternatives, Ted.

    What? Drinking carrot juice?

    dissenters must be sent to the corner to wear the dunce cap.

    The “dissenters” do damage as well. Do they apologize? Do the scam artists who convince cancer patients that “alternative cures” work, until the patient is at Stage IV, and beyond treatment – do they apologize? When the “no vaccine” crowd cause epidemics of diseases that can be prevented, and cause death, do they apologize?

    As a group they are an arrogant bunch of bastards who want us to think that their “findings” are always the terminal Truth..

    Sounds to me more like Traditionalists, and more like knee-jerk critics of science. Actually, I agree that many scientists are close-minded “arrogant bastards.” The same holds for most lawyers, most priests, most of just about every occupation.

    Science is always a work in progress. While there are some things which are so well established that they can be considered “terminal truths” (or is some Counter-Currents traditionalist going to start arguing for a flat Earth – I wouldn’t be surprised) – in general, one has to be open minded.

    But there’s a difference between open-minded and madness. Rabies has the highest fatality rate for any infectious disease of humans. There are very, very few documented cases of untreated rabies being survived, the latest being a girl who had to be put into a medically-induced coma (gasp – more Science!). While it’s true that not every bite will transmit the disease, there’s a good possibility it will – and the fatality rate is as close to 100% as any disease in human history. And it’s a hard, hard, hard, unpleasant death.

    People will come to this site and see a regular commentator say that they wouldn’t take the vaccine if bitten by a rabid animal. Call me an “arrogant bastard,” but I believe that you couldn’t do more to discredit this site if you tried.

    And if I’m the only one here who thinks this way, then I’m truly frightened.

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