Hardwired for Faith

Over the past several years, as I progressed from being an atheist since my late teens to regaining my early faith in my mid 40's – regaining and then some, and to nobody’s greater surprise than my own – I came to realize what I believe is a Truth: people are hardwired to believe in something larger than themselves.  It seems I’m not alone – and in what I consider yet another example of something “in the air” I am seeing this same concept in multiple places.  For example; The Legacy of the West (bolding added):

Humans are wired to desire a higher purpose and meaning to their lives. Maybe it’s just instinct, just genetics making us seek out something that doesn’t exist because, somehow, this is advantageous from an evolutionary perspective. Maybe God-seekers are more likely to, in the grand scheme of things, survive and pass on their genes. From the amount of fucking the golden calf worshipers do, though, I doubt this. At best, you are looking at an r/K selection bias.
Or maybe this is all real. Maybe God does exist. And when you attempt to replace the divine with some human creation, it leads to a soul-sucking barrenness, something that you have to medicate away with drugs, booze, and hedonism. And you keep throwing things into that great hole in your life, and nothing ever fills it. Nothing makes the emptiness go away but God.


A DEARTH OF FAITH

“We live in an empty culture. We have fled from God, from meaning, from purpose, and the suicide epidemic is a direct result. People are wallowing in despair, believing that there is no transcendent truth or beauty to be found in life.”Matt Walsh
Recent surveys have confirmed a long-identified trend.  America is seeing a decline in organized Christian belief:

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages.
More: Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion

Also in the West in general – e.g., in Germany; Christianity is dying in Germany while Islam rises:
In a study commissioned by the Bishops' Conference, researchers at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg are even more pessimistic than Ratzinger: the total of Christian denominations - adding up the Catholic and Protestant ones - will fall from the current 45 million to 34 million in 2035 and will halve to 22 million within 40 years. The number of Protestants in the next generation will fall from the current 21.5 million to 10.5 million, while that of Catholics from 23 million to 12.3 million.
This is due to demographic decline and dropouts. In the north and east of the country, Christians will be only a small minority with 3.8 and 1.5 million, respectively. The main Protestant churches already saw their percentage halved from 59 to 29 per cent. And today, as Erik Flügge explains in a new book, “90 percent of church members do not participate in community life”.
Indeed, in virtually every western country, religion is faltering; another example, Canada.

I see this in my own Synagogue, so it's not just Christians; Shabbat services are sparsely attended in comparison with the overflowing attendance at Yom Kippur... and compare poorly to my memories of crowded Shabbat services when I was growing up.  Also, in every day life; for example, a former fellow Tribe-member coworker keeps kosher… at home.  “For the children”.  Outside of the home, he flat-out ignores the kashrut (I make what I call a spirited attempt at least, but he didn’t even do that).

I certainly will not claim to be perfect.  But my faith, and my teaching it to my children, is not for show.  And I was so proud of my oldest who, when watching a cartoon video of the David and Goliath story, was very perceptive.  They asked “Why was everyone afraid of Goliath?”
I replied.  “He was a giant, and clearly so much bigger and stronger than everyone.  Why do you think David wasn’t afraid?”

The answer came without even a moment of hesitation, “Because David knew G-d was bigger than Goliath”.

(HT Gorges)

Smart kid.  A little too smart (and smartassy) sometimes, but that's preferable to the other way around.


FILLING THE VOID… WITH THEMSELVES
From an article I was reading on its own merits, unrelated to working on this essay, I found a stunning quote; Kurt Schlichter Tells Tucker What Liberals Are About To Ban Next:

To the Townhall columnist and retired Army colonel, leftists don’t like religion “because they hate blasphemy,” because “their religion is themselves.”
And that’s precisely it.  It answers so much.  For example, Liberals will turn on their own on a dime – lifelong friends, close family, in The Shunning of heretics - i.e., anyone to the Right of Stalin.  Leftists literally cannot handle any questioning of the Borgleft Groupthink; Civility Is Heresy When Leftism is a Religion (links in original, bolding added):

The root of the Left’s dalliance with political violence stems from the fact that politics occupies a different place in their mental and spiritual landscape. For the Left, it holds the same place that religion does for most people.
What is religion? For most, it’s a grand unifying scheme that ties the present to the past and the future, including the afterlife. It defines a person and his earthly life in light of the transcendent; it provides moral rules and ideals; it imposes deeper meaning on what would otherwise be mundane; it provides structure and spiritual sustenance during difficult times.
[T]he Left, rather, is a religious movement, and all those who are not of the Left, are, in their eyes, the heretics.
This explains why they’re going so batsh*t crazy as people push back.  We’re not seen as contesting their ideas so much as attacking their faith.  More importantly, we’re seen as attacking their view of themselves as more noble, educated, and moral beings who need to be admired and put on a pedestal.  As I pointed out in an early essay, The Leftist Sense of Self (TLSoS) (bolding in original, underlining added):


[F]or the average Leftist, their sense of self is fundamentally tied to their belief they are a good person because they believe certain things. That belief system is constantly reinforced by their peers and their enemedia intake. Force them to confront a belief founded on flawed information, their very personalities are threatened as you are undermining their view of themselves as “good people”.
We have people who have come to worship themselves, whether consciously or not; consider the speed with which selfies – approaching the very definition of narcissistic admiration – have taken root in popular culture (and feeding off the sin of VANITY).  We also have vanity fed by how many likes and comments we get on social media posts.




(Image source: Of Selfies & Narcissism)

If we change "inflated sense of self" into "belief in their own divinity" and "likes-and-shares metrics by others" into "prayers and supplications from worshippers" - easy substitutions IMHO - we see that they've indeed lifted themselves to demi-god status - even if not consciously-recognized.

Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
(Aside: In an essay that is slowly ripening I am outlining my thoughts on why we Jews are so hated, and have been for millennia.  One of the reasons, IMHO of course, is that Judaism was the first religion – insofar as I am aware – that knocked Kings and Pharaohs off their divine throne.  Pharaohs were considered gods-in-human-form, naturally they took offense to being told “No, sorry, you're just human and there is One above you”.)


FILLING THE VOID… WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
As I’ve said, I work in a STEM field.  I’ve attempted to argue with Warmists; the amount of ignorance about the scientific process and the – and I use the word intentionally – rape thereof, is staggering.  Just one example (link in original):

I was talking about (cue dramatic music) climate change.  I got the “Well, 97% of climate scientists…”  OK.  “What’s the provenance of that statistic?”  Baffled look.  “Where did that statistic come from?  Baffled and somewhat panicked look.  “Who did the study?  How was it conducted?  Has it been reproduced?  What criticisms has it received?”  Disengagement, and cue crickets.
They cite these things, and more, like soundbites.  It's meaningless cant, almost like ritualistic prayers in a language they don't understand... (speaking of, need to do another Duolingo Hebrew lesson).  But while I'm making progress in learning Hebrew so as to actually understand what I'm saying, they have zero interest in grasping the actual science of what's being discussed, or why skeptics are skeptics.  Contrary to actual intellectuals, they scorn grasping the argumentation of the other side - thus proving themselves uneducated in fact:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

For me the single biggest thing in changing my mind from being an alarmist to being a skeptic was the concealing of data and methods.  No scientist who wants the truth, or at least as close to truth as is humanly possible, is afraid of outside examination of what they do; it’s ideologues/propagandists that don’t want scrutiny.  The fact that Warmist scientists have set up an omerta wall around how they conclude what they conclude is de facto proof for me they are frauds.


But regardless of the objections I bring up, they always return to the Holy Writ: "CO2 bad".  It’s a faith.  I’ve had people who have had no answers, no answers at all, to anything I’ve stated… who even acknowledge the points I make, but still, “CO2 bad”.
And consider this video and how disgusting, even if only in a video, the idea is – killing those who disbelieve:

[EPIC GREEN FAIL!!!! ‌‌ - Lee Doren / 3:58]

Killing disbelievers.  Where do we hear that elsewhere?  (No wonder there’s such an alliance between the Left and Islam!)
Look, I don’t like pollution.  I see images like this and my heart breaks.  I desperately want things like this… to not be.  Cleaning up rivers, forests, and oceans is a certified good thing.

(Image source)

But this faith and drive to “do something” about so-called climate change, again, fills the void of needing to believe in something bigger than oneself: saving the world from eeeeevil CO2 fits the bill.  E.g., I ask Warmists a question: "Earth is a complex system, yes?  Within both the biosphere and just the non-living physical world there are feedback loops within feedback loops... all sorts of interactions and reactions to changing conditions, yes?  So why does everything in this incredibly complex system coincidentally boil down to the one thing that mankind is doing: emitting CO2?"

No answer, of course.  Because to answer honestly - that there are things we don't know, and significant factors outside mankind's control, would undermine their belief in their faith that they are making a difference.  (Consider the outright denial I've experienced when I bring up the whole cosmic ray-cloud-temperature relation; similarly a fascinating paper I read about that seems to indicate planet surface temperature is almost purely a function of atmospheric pressure plus solar irradiance - and thus, if confirmed, CO2 becomes a non-issue.)

Read the embedded quotes from here, We’ve Created A Civilization Hell Bent On Destroying Itself From Hotcoldwetdry Or Something; you can just feel the stark terror this quoted person feels.  And consider the fact that, for the most part, even when presented with clear evidence of fraud, political ideology, etc., Warmists reject it outright - because to reject proof what they believe isn't so would mean The Cause of saving the world... isn't a thing any more.  

(Warmists are having the CO2 level of their birth year tattooed on.)


FILLING THE VOID… WITH SOCIALISM
I firmly maintain that Socialists see themselves as working to create the great Socialist Utopia and have said so many times.  They believe, with Marxianic Zeal, that they can create a world without hunger, without poverty or privation, without wars, hatred, discrimination… this is why they have a LONG GAME.  They started this effort a century-plus ago convinced they can save the world:

They’ve taken decades to infiltrate all aspects of government.  They’ve taken decades to worm their way into education.  Same for the enemedia.  To indoctrinate the next generation.  To control the information flow and thus influence what the population thinks.
You do not, cannot, maintain this effort so single-mindedly across generations without it being a faith in something you cannot see.  It cannot be maintained despite failure after failure after failure, in country after country after country, without faith.  As just one example of multigenerational faith, it was only by faith in the future and a mission to glorify G-d that the cathedral of Notre Dame was built; it took almost two centuries.  The same applies to creating a Socialist world.  And just like Warmists who cannot - will not - let their belief be dented by any of the problems with the predicted CO2 catastrophe, Socialists will state "but that's not real Socialism" when confronted by any of the failures.


Since Socialism explicitly rejects G-d, the desire to create heaven on earth replaces Him - again, fulfilling a higher purpose - something bigger than themselves.  We all know what’s happened since then: millions upon millions dead.


A thinking and introspective person, confronted with this blood-soaked history, would recoil.  That so many can deny / dismiss it, and still maintain faith in the end goal of a glorious Utopia, is a profound signal this faith in Socialism is not rational at all.


FILLING THE VOID… WITH ISLAM
Islam is growing rapidly in the West; Two Scandinavian journalists expose the West's demise from 'weak Christianity' (links in original, bolding added):

Disturbing statistics validate this latter point.  "Thousands of Norwegians are rushing to Islam" every year, says Herland.  "A flood of ethnic Scandinavians are becoming Muslim," precisely because Christianity has "evaporated."
It's especially refreshing to see that both women understand that whatever issues the West is having with Islam, these are almost entirely brought on by the West itself — a point I often make (here and here for example).  As Thranholm, who refers to the current "anti-Christian ideology" in the West as "the second coming of Marxism," says, "a weak Christianity means a strong Islam."
Islam is aggressive.  Islam has strength.  As Osama Bin Ladin said “People back the strong horse”; When You Believe In Nothing, Islam Becomes Something.  It appeals to human sins like LUST (up to four wives who cannot refuse sex if you want it or you can beat them - plus all the slave girls you can rape), GREED (sanctioned plunder), WRATH (killing kaffirs sadistically for fun), and so on - unlike Christianity and Judaism that aspire to the Cardinal Virtues.

There’s more to it than just that – Islam, as I have come to understand it, is not like the other Abrahamic faiths: it is a complete system, offering total surrender of responsibility to Allah.  Choice is irrelevant; everything in life is defined and prescribed down to details.  This relieves one of the greatest fears of modern man – having to take responsibility for one’s own self.  


“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
-- George Bernard Shaw

Such a system, rather understandably, has appeal to people who – because they have no other faith – don’t see a working and shared framework to make a way in the world.  This relief is then found by believing in something bigger than oneself by joining the structure of a hugely-popular system that appeals to the worst, not best, of us.


ABHORING A VACUUM
So the crisis in our society, in our civilization and its opening the doors to the invaders, is one of lacking faith in something greater.  We have a dearth of confidence of spirit and reverence for the truly Divine and its drive to aspire to become better.  And, of course, we have the slowly-slowly pressure against our culture from the enemedia, from academia, and in the popular culture to move us towards this lack of faith and openly attacking it; this pressure is also attacking our history – regionally, nationally, and against Western Civilization itself.  (Why this pressure?  Societal collapse leading to the great Socialist Utopia being formed from the ruins... something they have faith will - must inevitably - happen.)

How to fix this?  A few thoughts:
1. If you are even remotely serious about religion, become more serious in whatever rites, rituals, and practices are part of your religion.  If you're already somewhat practicing slowly try to ramp it upwards.  (I tell my kids: marry a Jew who is more religious than you.)

2. Supplement your and your kids’ education with history that praises American and Western Civilization’s culture and accomplishments.  Participate in that education.  Also, if you have your kids in public school, find out what they’re teaching and participate in groups that work to counter the indoctrination.
3. Art – as booooooring as it sounds – is a great way to appreciate them.  In small doses, bring kids and ask question about how much effort, time, and skill it took to make such things.  Seeing the transcendent spoken by art gives amazement and respect to civilization and culture.

4. Be grateful.  To others.  To G-d.  And teach gratitude to others.
5. Help yourself, and your children, understand the span and scope of human poverty and misery through history and even today.  Only when people see how amazingly fortunate they are will they start to be grateful for those who came before – i.e., their own culture and history.

6. Do things - however you choose - to get people to appreciate the things they have: electricity, running water, heat/cooling, internet.  Try doing without them for a week.  Even a day.


7. Foster, through regular actions, patriotism and love of country.  As soon as I have the discretionary income we're getting a flagpole - and only room for one flag: Old Glory.


8. Activities that teach patience and delaying gratification, and which require time to complete.  When your perspective is longer than gratification now-now-now you start to understand the eternity of the Divine.  (My youngest one has a big tangled mess of yarn; I'm trying to get them to untangle it themselves.)


9. Directly tie effort to reward.  A child wants muffins?  Have them help make them, not just make them yourself and hand them over.  They want to buy something?  Don't buy it for them immediately, have them save up for it.  Then point out that their reward stems directly from their sacrifice and work.


Anything else?  (I'm sure there is... please share your thoughts in the comments!)






---
I do not coexist with cancer.  I do not find common ground with gangrene.  The Left, the globalists, and Islam must all be destroyed… or America, Israel, and Western Civilization itself will die.
---

© 2019, NITZAKHON

Comments

  1. Good grief, RPJ - you sure give a ton of stuff to contemplate. It's why your posts linger in my tabs for days until I find the appropriate amount of time to read - and then re-read.

    My commie brother thinks he's a Baha'i. But, of course. It's a total unicorn rainbow "religion" where all you have to do is be a "nice" person. Thing is - he's the un-nicest person I've ever known.

    This whole anti-Christian thing going on was planned. The commie libtards always play the long game. They trashed the family and now they're going full bore against Christians. And they're not too happy with you Jews either.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Nitzakhon - thank you for inviting me to your blog. I, too, am a conservative Jewish person (of the female gender). I am going to bookmark it and read it when I have time and a quiet mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be most curious to know what you think of this... and anything else of mine that you read.

      Shabbat shalom!

      Delete

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