History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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New ages, and modernity

November 7th, 2014 · No Comments

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_6.htm: New Ages

One of the persistent confusions of religious and/or New Age thinkers/groups is the fallacy of ‘new aging’: modernity is somehow inadequate or ‘evil’, the ‘end times’ of history, to be followed by a religious restoration or a new era of man.
But the historical model of the ‘macro effect‘ gives a strong suggestion these strategies are wrong: the rise of the modern is precisely that: a new age or era or epoch. It is hard to really prove this, but it hardly the end times: the world is taking a new turn. This confuses people because the era of religion seems to be passing: that’s misleading. It may prove the end of particular religions but ‘religion’ in general will probably remain in some form. The term ‘secular’ is thus hard to define and has been expropriated by secular humanists, students of Nietzsche (who was actually anti-modern), etc…

The point here is that legacy religious views are under constant attack. Next to this are attempts to wish to replace modernity with a new spiritual era. It won’t happen anytime soon: the option of creating religious or spiritual formations in civil society is all you get, and that’s quite a lot, actually better than some humoungous theocratic conspiracy.
This is why marxism was both a premonition of a real secular future, and antagonistic toward religion. The marxist critique of religion is limited, but its basic thrust is correct. However the issues of religions as inherited from antiquity are flooding into modernity. The paradox is merely that our ‘macro’ historical effect doesn’t repeat itself, so the religions of antiquity will try to perpetuate inside modernity. What else is new? But the confused debates over religion and atheism would give the impression there is some complicated mystery here. The confusion is the attept to go theocratic or atheocratic with atheism using the authority of science. It won’t work. Still another religious formation condemned to civil society. Not a terribly bad ‘condemnation’.

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