Something is missing. Something big.

 

Liv Oeian / Shutterstock.com

Judaism and Christianity teach that life is difficult, and that there are reasons more important than ourselves to endure the suffering that we are sure to encounter during our lives.  It’s not surprising that as we move further from religion, abortion and euthanasia become more accepted.  Baby has Downs?  That will be difficult.  Death would better.  Old person with cancer?  That will be difficult.  Death would be better.  Without religion, why should we suffer?

Without religion, why are we living?  Simply to amuse ourselves.  So what happens when life is no longer amusing?  We try to dull the pain with drugs.  We try to escape reality with Netflix and video games.  We try to replace love with porn.  All of them help.  Somewhat.  Temporarily.  Sort of.  But we can’t escape that nagging feeling that something is missing.  Something big.

Nietzsche was an atheist, but he predicted that as we moved away from God, we would destroy ourselves.  Thomas Hobbes said much the same thing.  And as they predicted, Western Civilization is self-destructing.  Because it’s missing something.  Something big.  Things are getting difficult, and Rousseau’s romantic visions of simpler times start to sound tempting.  Is modern society really so great?  No, of course not.  It might be easier to embrace cultural euthanasia than to embrace the something big that we’ve ignored.

President Reagan’s straightforward answer to a question in a press conference led to a rebuttal from the reporter:  “But Mr. President, there are no simple answers!”

President Reagan instantly responded, “Yes, there are simple answers.  There are just no easy answers.”

The self-destruction of Western Civilization may have a simple solution.  But no easy solution.

We’ve been gradually moving away from God for at least 100 years now.  The changes in our society have been gradual as well.  Until recently.  So many things are happening, all over the world, all at the same time.  All of a sudden, things seem to be happening really fast.

Hemmingway would recognize this.  How did Western Civilization collapse?  Gradually.  And then suddenly.

********************

Some are going to say that this brief essay was over-simplified.  Perhaps they’re right.

I hope they are.

Because if they’re wrong, then I don’t see a practical solution to our problem.

I find hope in my belief that God is not an uninterested bystander in the battle between good and evil.

But if Western Civilization becomes an uninterested bystander in the battle between good and evil, then we have a problem.

We seem to have a problem.  A problem with no simple solution.

Well, a problem with no easy solution.  This will be hard to fix.  Because we’re missing something.  Something big.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Time for a new Great Awakening!

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #2
  3. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Percival (View Comment):

    Stolen.

    • #3
  4. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Another good one Dr. B. Especially after the horror show of the 3 Ivy President idiots trying to defend their schools’ clear anti-Western Civilization culture.  Would likely not have reached this stage without the Pro-Hamas idiots getting free campus passes. Just shut down the U.S dept. of Education.  Between loss of tax dollars and outraged Ivy League graduate billionaires wanting to turn off their money spigots, maybe those schools can go back to teaching math and science.  Leave history to the state colleges. 

    • #4
  5. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    I find hope in my belief that God is not an uninterested bystander in the battle between good and evil.  

    Amen. 

    • #5
  6. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    So then let us who are strong in faith remain steadfast, that we might serve as examples.  And we should not despair but rather remain strong in faith.

    • #6
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Bret Weinstein agrees but he does not express it well. However, many atheists and serious leftists are coming to realize this.

    • #7
  8. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    President Reagan and you @drbastiat both echo what G.K.Chesterton said about a simple answer:

    The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried. (from What’s Wrong With the World)

     

    • #8
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    navyjag (View Comment):
    Another good one Dr. B. Especially after the horror show of the 3 Ivy President idiots trying to defend their schools’ clear anti-Western Civilization culture. 

    It was their absolutely incredible testimony (and all the smirking between their absurd answers) that inspired me to write this post.

    • #9
  10. Teeger Coolidge
    Teeger
    @Teeger

    Once again you have clearly expressed what I have wanted to express on Ricochet. Thanks.

    • #10
  11. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    President Reagan and you @ drbastiat both echo what G.K.Chesterton said about a simple answer:

    The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried. (from What’s Wrong With the World)

     

    There is also the more prosaic…

    You can’t fix stupid?   Sure you can…but it’s gonna’ hurt.

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    It’s really about regulation.   If we lack the courage, conviction, and discipline to regulate our own behavior, we will either destroy ourselves or others will regulate our behavior for us.

     

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Strongly worded, too . . .

    • #13
  14. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Clavius (View Comment):

    So then let us who are strong in faith remain steadfast, that we might serve as examples. And we should not despair but rather remain strong in faith.

    How long, O Lord, how long?

    Is the question asked through the ages, as people have faced trials in their faith. This is another of those times.

    • #14
  15. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):
    Another good one Dr. B. Especially after the horror show of the 3 Ivy President idiots trying to defend their schools’ clear anti-Western Civilization culture.

    It was their absolutely incredible testimony (and all the smirking between their absurd answers) that inspired me to write this post.

    They can smirk because they have “tenure.”

    • #15
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    They can smirk because they have “tenure.”

    No. They are presidents, not mere faculty members. They have to face their boards and donors. My wife works at an institution where there was a large blow up due to this Palestain curse. The guy at the top wound up resigning.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Palestain

    I like it!

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Palestain

    I like it!

    It was a typo, but too appropriate not to keep and promote for future use.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Palestain

    I like it!

    It was a typo, but too appropriate not to keep and promote for future use.

     

    • #19
  20. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    They can smirk because they have “tenure.”

    No. They are presidents, not mere faculty members. They have to face their boards and donors. My wife works at an institution where there was a large blow up due to this Palestain curse. The guy at the top wound up resigning.

    And U. of Penn Trustees reportedly meeting today. Would love to be in that room. 

    • #20
  21. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Arahant (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Palestain

    I like it!

    It was a typo, but too appropriate not to keep and promote for future use.

    It’s smarter to be luck than it’s lucky to be smart.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    They can smirk because they have “tenure.”

    No. They are presidents, not mere faculty members. They have to face their boards and donors. My wife works at an institution where there was a large blow up due to this Palestain curse. The guy at the top wound up resigning.

    And U. of Penn Trustees reportedly meeting today. Would love to be in that room.

     

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    They can smirk because they have “tenure.”

    No. They are presidents, not mere faculty members. They have to face their boards and donors. My wife works at an institution where there was a large blow up due to this Palestain curse. The guy at the top wound up resigning.

    And U. of Penn Trustees reportedly meeting today. Would love to be in that room.

     

    I’ll bet being just outside the door would have let you hear most of it. Voices were probably raised.

    • #23
  24. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Bret Weinstein agrees but he does not express it well. However, many atheists and serious leftists are coming to realize this.

    I appreciate the attempt at sounding reasonable about faith and reason, but Catholics have been doing this for a long time — marrying the two. At least since St. Thomas Aquinas and his Summa. If Mr. Weinstein had spoken to any serious Catholics back in the day, he would have known Catholics are not required to believe Genesis literally and are largely accepting of evolutionary biology. But, Mr. Weinstein’s specialty doesn’t preclude the existence of a Creator God. This is the conceit atheists have come to in their insistence that faith and reason are at odds. And it violates the philosophical principles of logic that atheists claim.

    They cannot answer the question “why is there something rather than nothing?,” without jiggering with the meaning of “nothing.” Joe Heschmeyer has a great podcast on the subject.

    • #24
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    And, yes, I’m a broken record on the subject. It’s the secularization of the West that has it in freefall. Not only can we no longer agree on basic morality, we can’t even agree on reality! Tear away at the foundation of our civilization and then wonder why it’s collapsing?? Why the end of a mostly homogenous value system might be a bad thing??

    This is what happens when you overthrow the moral authority of the Church. No one should be surprised.

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    And, yes, I’m a broken record on the subject. It’s the secularization of the West that has it in freefall. Not only can we no longer agree on basic morality, we can’t even agree on reality! Tear away at the foundation of our civilization and then wonder why it’s collapsing?? Why the end of a mostly homogenous value system might be a bad thing??

    This is what happens when you overthrow the moral authority of the Church. No one should be surprised.

    No. You can overthrow the morality and be OK as long as you don’t overthrow the morality of G-d. But Nietzsche was right about how difficult it would be for Western Civilization to overthrow G-d. 

    • #26
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