History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Ambiguous reformations

March 6th, 2015 · No Comments


The idea for a new Protestant church of the communist left is a good one, but there is one general kind of catch-22: if we examine the macro model of WHEE we see that the modern transition of which the Reformation is a part is a multidimensional constellation of effects and innovations. It is suddenly set in a new context, like a corporation in new hands. The Reformation puts Xtianity in a new cosmic context.
Over the course of the Christian era, the religion of Christianity was embedded in its own logic and momentum, but with the rise of modernity, a new dynamic is at work. We can’t say the Reformation is a purely spiritual movement if it is an aspect of the whole modern transition, including science! In fact the same problem exists for the whole earlier Axial Age: the process behind emergent monotheism is also behind atheist buddhism, what to say of the Greek Axial era.

In a way the Reformation has an advantage over the traditional Christianity for just this reason. But as time goes on the tradition weakens and the Protestant effect of the early modern becomes more and more diffuse. I think we can miss the point. It is clear that at the conclusion to the modern transition around the early nineteenth century modern thought was not ready or capable of grasping its own modernity and the result was a confused atheism, scientism, and soon a confused theory of evolution. It is suddenly obvious why the Reformation appears to stage a continuation of ancient legacies. No one can grasp the nature of modernity. It is not required to be either a materialist or spiritual movement.
All the issues are present in Kant’s way of looking at the rise of scientism inside science. In this situation Christian religion stages a comeback, although probably not for long.
You can see how the religious ‘failsafe’ works: scientism simply eliminates the question of the soul, of free will, of psychologies of altered consciousness/enlightenment, and as the drama of revelation suddenly falls over the facts of the Axial Age suddenly repose the question.

We should be clear that there is no reason why science can’t pose a dialectical challenge on many issues such as free will, and this actually forces a useful debate. But overall system seems to stall with scientism. Get smart: find a robust version of the secular equivalent to religion! Actually it already in the minds of many. And there is a considerable effort to undermine modernity because of this scientism. The new age movements attacking modernity are playing themselves out. And they represent something of what is wrong. But the basic transformation of modernity is set, but it isn’t complete in its logic.

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