Covidian Philosophy Hour -Decoding Culture: New Religions. Jonathan Pageau & Jules Evans

Interesting discussion here, despite that it may offer no answers. My take on it is really just furthering the discussion on what people reach for when their traditional institutions and narratives are challenged and collapse. It all leaves people grasping, with a religious fervor, for something that they can have absolute faith in and that’s where we latch onto social and political ideologies that may or may not make complete sense. Shades of gray leave people feeling unsettled and insecure, so to challenge a philosophy or ideology is met with fury. This is when every political and social idea is attached to a moral imperative. There can be no relativism. So are these new religions? In a sense, they are, and so in that respect I agree with the precepts of this discussion. We have reached a point where challenges to any belief are met with accusations of heresy. Communication and meaningful debate have become impossible.

I’m guilty myself of a nearly religious fervor on social justice issues, so… Is it only human to desire absolute truth? To give into a higher power of any sort? We don’t seem to be able to live comfortably in the absence of a central authority that we believe lends meaning to our existence and to the world.

Anyway… Interesting conversation. Can we find a common ground on anything we discuss anymore while we are attached to absolutism? That remains to be seen. COVID-19 didn’t turn out to be the unifying common enemy that might have united us all further. How much more would it take, assuming that a common existential threat is what it would require?

Seed thought: Nobody seems to be able to make sense of why American Evangelical Christians have jumped aboard the Trump Train and put so much faith in his ascendance to power in American politics as a sign from Heaven? Is it merely they have become intoxicated at the idea that they can coattail him to power and dominion? I’ve yet to hear a reasonable explanation or sound rationalization beyond that. Is it evidence of their already existing group delusion? Maybe my understanding of The Bible and Christianity is more tenuous that I would have believed it was, but it makes no sense at all to me. If anything, it’s pushed me further away from Christianity and religion in general than before. They keep saying that their god moves in mysterious ways, so…

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