ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2020 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The evil of Reason

Charles Oman writes about the spiritual aspect of the War on the Peninsula, particularly as it affected Wellington's British Army:
I think that even if the Wesleys had never lived, there would yet have been a strong reaction in favour of godly living and the open profession of Christianity, in consequence of the blasphemous antics of the French Revolution. Nothing in that movement so disgusted Englishmen (even those of them who were not much given to practical religion) as the story of the "Goddess of Reason," enthroned on the high-altar of Notre Dame, at the time when an orgy of bloodshed was making odious the flatulent talk about humanitarianism and liberty which was the staple of Revolutionary oratory. The peculiar combination of insult to Christianity, open evil living, and wholesale judicial murder, which distinguished the time of the Terror, had an effect on observers comparable to nothing else that has been seen in modern times.

Even men who had not hitherto taken their religion very seriously, began to think that a hell was logically necessary in the scheme of creation for beings like Chaumette or Hebert, Fouquier Tinville or Carrier of the Noyades. And, we may add, a personal devil was surely required, to account for the promptings of insane wickedness which led to the actions of such people. A tightening up of religious observances, such as the use of family prayer and regular attendance at Church, was a marked feature of the time. It required some time for the movement to spread, but its effect was soon observable. It naturally took shape in adhesion to Evangelical societies within the Church of England, or Methodist societies without it; since these were the already existing nuclei round which those whose souls had been stirred by the horrors in France and the imminent peril of Great Britain would group themselves.

Very soon the day was over in which "enthusiasm" was the dread of all normal easy-going men. Something more than the eighteenth century religious sentimentalism, and vague spiritual philosophy, was needed for a nation which had to fight for life and empire against the French Republic and all its works. Those methods of thought were sufficiently discredited by the fact that there was a touch of Rousseau in them : it was easy to look over the Channel, and see to what a belief in some nebulous Supreme Being, and in the perfectibility and essential righteousness of mankind at large, might lead. The God of the Old Testament was a much more satisfactory object of worship to the men who had to face the Jacobin, and Calvinism has always proved a good fighting creed. If ever there was a justification for a belief that the enemy were in a condition of complete reprobation, and that to smite them was the duty of every Christian man, it was surely at this time. The conviction of the universahty of sin and the natural wickedness of the human heart was the exact opposite and antidote to the optimistic philosophy of the eighteenth century, and to its belief that man is essentially a benevolent being, and that if he sometimes breaks out into deplorable violence "tout comprendre est tout pardonner.''
We've reached the point that the men of the West are beginning to grasp the limits of reason again. But they have not yet really begun to realize the ease with which it is naturally turned to evil in the absence of Jesus Christ.

Labels: , ,

53 Comments:

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 28, 2019 6:58 PM  

DEUS VULT

Blogger Yordan Yordanov April 28, 2019 7:01 PM  

Something I like pointing out - just because you've managed to convince yourself of something or rationalize it, doesn't make it true. Considering how complex creation is, the human mind cannot through reason construct a frame for it (especially a moral one).

Blogger Silent Draco April 28, 2019 7:13 PM  

Reason: "I reached the conclusion. I am right. You must understand."

Vox: "I may be wrong, being humble and God-fearing. Check the premise and conclusion."

Reason: "BAD!"

Vox: "Minions, fetch! 'GAME PLAY'"

VFM: (Rawr, nom, nom, nom ...)

Blogger Welleran April 28, 2019 7:20 PM  

Curiously the last ten to twenty years of abject moral degradation in western society have coincided with a revival of Reformed/Calvinistic sentiment, particularly among Baptists but also the broader Evangelical sphere. I for one welcome our new Puritan overlords.

Blogger pdwalker April 28, 2019 7:23 PM  

Huh. More rhyming history.

Blogger Daniel Babylon April 28, 2019 7:45 PM  

Have you seen a BBC show called The Last Kingdom? It portrays Medieval Christianity in almost a nostalgic sense as if the writers yearn for it. It's an inspiring direction if I'm not overthinking it

Blogger John April 28, 2019 8:41 PM  

Incredible. That could be written today. Heck it IS being written today. Tell me more about the cycles of history.

Blogger Father Vinnie April 28, 2019 8:52 PM  

Vox, it is interesting that you chose to post this material today. Coincidentally, William S. Lind published (two days ago) an article at his website traditionalRIGHT entitled "Getting It." I think it's one of the best articles he has ever written, and somehow it seems to fit right in with the selection from Charles Oman. Highly recommended.

Blogger Nate April 28, 2019 9:07 PM  

The RCC and the orthodox have much fruit to prove their worth. but it was the Wesleyians what saved Ireland and England. and America. that is not an exaggeration nor does it excuse the issues we still fight today. but never question the fruit. there is fruit aplenty

Blogger Up from the pond April 28, 2019 9:10 PM  

Argumentum ad diabolis. The most powerful argument for God's existence. Forget sunsets and children. Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan--step one. Step two is realizing that if a Devil exists, then one cannot rule out the existence of a God. You keep following this line of thought logically and you will end up in the arms of Christ.

Argumentum ad diabolis has brought more souls into the fold than all the singing and dancing, whooping, hollering, and ass-shaking in all the churches of man put together.

Blogger Jack (LJCSOGHMOMAS) April 28, 2019 9:24 PM  

There is no real reason apart from Christ. Christ is Logos, and one of the meanings of that word is reason. Without Christ there is only a simulacrum of reason, an ape of reason, and sooner or later it chimps out.

Blogger MichaelJMaier April 28, 2019 9:27 PM  

Up from the pond wrote:Argumentum ad diabolis. The most powerful argument for God's existence. Forget sunsets and children. Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan--step one. Step two is realizing that if a Devil exists, then one cannot rule out the existence of a God. You keep following this line of thought logically and you will end up in the arms of Christ.

Argumentum ad diabolis has brought more souls into the fold than all the singing and dancing, whooping, hollering, and ass-shaking in all the churches of man put together.


I think you should look at children... and realize that creatures like Hillary would and likely have eaten them alive to further their own ambition.

Blogger Shakey April 28, 2019 9:31 PM  

That's exactly how I came to God. While working as a therapist I worked with a young girl that had been subjected to such vile acts that I had no choice to accept that there was evil in this world. Not just people operating in a morally grey way, but actual true evil. If such evil exists, then clearly something to counter it must exist.

Thus began a greater and more fulfilling journey than I had ever embarked upon. There is much work to be done still.

Blogger Crunchy Cachalot April 28, 2019 9:32 PM  

Surely an excessive belief in the preeminence of reason goes hand in hand with most people's wild overestimation of their own intelligence and rationality.

Blogger Roman Daoist April 28, 2019 10:16 PM  

Aren't you being reasonable wrt your belief in Christ? Isn't it logical to suppose that given (the presumed fact that) there is an omniscient creator, one who has set the example through Christ, (and who may make judgement) that you should not only do good but be perceptive to the bad?

Reason, as such, isn't the enemy of good. Naive, self-referential reason is. Otherwise known as rationalisation. A bit of humility, some hard knocks, helps fix things. But unfortunately we've succeeded in making everything cosy.

'Those who lack a sense of awe will have something aweful happen to them.' (-Lao Tzu)

Blogger Roman Daoist April 28, 2019 10:25 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Ford Prefect April 28, 2019 10:28 PM  

Like many good things, reason is from God. If you take God out of the equation, reason will not merely fail, it will lead you to places no sane person would want to go.

Blogger Roddie Piper April 28, 2019 10:37 PM  

Let us compare the modern urban liberal to the Medieval Catholic. Adherents of both religions must work long hours, pay high taxes, and share cramped living quarters with rats and bedbugs. Everywhere they walk, they step over piles of rotting garbage, human feces, and filthy, diseased beggars.

Then the Medieval Catholic dies to go to Heaven, while the liberal just dies and ceases to exist.

Blogger The Depolrable Podunk Ken Ramsey April 28, 2019 10:44 PM  

I once read "Considerations on France" by Joseph de Maistre who was a leading monarchist and defender of the ancien regime, and also a fervent Catholic.

Much to my surprise de Maistre claimed that the French Revolution (which he hated to his core) was obviously led or at least sanctioned by none other than God (whom he loved to his core). Conundrum! Paradox! De Maistre famously claimed that the French Revolution never had a leader. Rather, it had a series of men whom it led. Furthermore, it could not be stopped anymore than an oak tree could be stopped from growing.

The upshot was the lesson to keep fighting for truth, keep fighting for God. Salvation is a hope, fight for it. If your nation is going up in flames, well best of luck with that but really at this point everybody is a pawn.

Take care of yourself and your family. Prepare.

Blogger David Ray Milton April 28, 2019 10:45 PM  

Over the past few weeks I have felt like these Englishmen. I left the church and Christianity years ago because I couldn’t find meaning or purpose there (at the converged churches I was attending).

Several years later, I look at this terrible world and realize there is so much less meaning in the secular narrative that the “intellectuals” are selling us. I think I am finding that reason has its limits and empirical observation leads me to believe that Christ is the way. I have been dragging my feet on going back to church.

For my son and future wife, I need to get back on the path.

Blogger SidVic April 28, 2019 10:55 PM  

Saint Earnest has superseded our babblings. May a thousand flowers bloom.

Blogger Birdman April 28, 2019 11:04 PM  

Gonna check it out, thanks

Blogger Rhys April 28, 2019 11:15 PM  

I think it's possible - otherwise religion would indeed be rational, and I think it's more rational than anything else. Acknowledging and using faith is especially rational because it recognizes that belief in reason itself is faith.

Blogger Didas Kalos April 28, 2019 11:18 PM  

More people should read John Wesley's biography and journal. Also George Whitefield. And we can't underestimate the Monrovian prayer meeting. God answers prayer.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 28, 2019 11:19 PM  

Daniel Babylon,

My wife and I are watching that show now. It is really good stuff. I like to tell her she is like the Saxon chick in the show. Really makes her mad!

Blogger Daniel Babylon April 28, 2019 11:40 PM  

Stg58/Animal Mother wrote:I like to tell her she is like the Saxon chick in the show. Really makes her mad!

Besides looking like a neanderthal, what's wrong with Brida?

Blogger Robert What? April 29, 2019 12:41 AM  

Where ever (((they))) go, they bring their father with them.

Blogger Kaku Kumar April 29, 2019 2:33 AM  

Nice info

IF any body want to earn 40-50k Monthly
Please Visit: https://www.investingguide.in

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2019 2:44 AM  

Nate wrote:The RCC and the orthodox have much fruit to prove their worth. but it was the Wesleyians what saved Ireland and England. and America. that is not an exaggeration nor does it excuse the issues we still fight today. but never question the fruit. there is fruit aplenty
How exactly did Methodism save a country that was 95% Catholic?

Blogger Harris April 29, 2019 4:16 AM  

Vox,

Can you enlighten me with the name of the from which you are quoting Charles Oman? Thanks.

Blogger Harris April 29, 2019 4:18 AM  

name of the book.

Blogger BalancedTryteOperators April 29, 2019 4:18 AM  

Well, Christians may have invented logic and beauty... but atheists invented homosexuality! Hah, take that theist!

Blogger Nate April 29, 2019 4:24 AM  

"How exactly did Methodism save a country that was 95% Catholic?"

read up on the history of Ireland brother. Pay attention to the Guiness family.

Blogger Peter April 29, 2019 6:09 AM  

"Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan" ... where, in our collective mirrors? We dont have to look to Satan for someone to blame, there is enough blame to go around even amoung the so called righteous and humble to explain all the evil we see. Maybe it makes it easier to think theres is some power out there driving man to evil and some other power that will protect man from that evil but irregardless of the existance of such powers, its all in man's hands.

Blogger VD April 29, 2019 6:18 AM  

Wellington's Army, 1809-1814 by Charles Oman.

It's on Gutenberg.

Blogger The Cooler April 29, 2019 7:00 AM  

The Devil has learned to smile. He has a visage of innocence. His handshake is warm, and polite.

He will not -- he cannot -- hold this pose forever, because he is nothing if not reasonable.

Blogger Uncle John's Band April 29, 2019 7:13 AM  

"its all in man's hands."

The persistence of this fallacy is a point of the post.

Blogger John Regan April 29, 2019 7:21 AM  

Some people think a restoration is already underway. And even in France.

Blogger Pierre April 29, 2019 7:23 AM  

> Those methods of thought were sufficiently discredited by the fact that there was a touch of Rousseau in them

Summary of Rousseau:

1) Abandons his 5 children to the Paris Foundling Hospital immediately upon birth. He never knew or even saw them.

2) Writes "Emile", one of the more influential books on the nature of the child and education.

Ta-da! In his case, I must say I'm firmly on the side of my hereditary enemies, the perfidious Brits. His views on morals are those of a narcissist:

(a) “All the morality of our acts is in the judgment that we ourselves pass on them”

(b) The “judgment” in question is a matter of feeling, not reason or cognition.

(c) Our moral feelings are the product of an innate faculty called conscience. It is the inner voice of right and wrong. It not only allows us to recognize the good, it motivates us to love and pursue it. It is to the soul what passions and instincts are to the body (1975, 258–9).

(d) Conscience is infallible (1975, 264). (e) The judgments of conscience are universal; that is, essentially the same across persons and cultures (1975, 261–2).

(f) Although infallible, conscience can be misled by false information or sophistical reasoning.

(g) The voice of conscience can be ignored or denied (1975, 264).

(h) A person whose conscience is misled is not morally culpable. It is not a moral requirement that one be wise or smart. But it is morally wrong to deny or ignore one’s conscience. Moral goodness consists in listening to and following the voice of one’s conscience.

Blogger Pierre April 29, 2019 7:37 AM  

Wow, the link I posted above is a goldmine of evil, I really recommended reading it!

As the author says "No one could make that stuff up, or would want to, who wasn’t really of that character (...) Rousseau’s theory of conscience is a poor source of moral guidance, but it is a rich source of excuses for moral failings."

Quote:

To return at last to les enfants, what does Rousseau say about his actions in this regard? He insists that at the time of the decision, he was morally untroubled (1953, 322). The only reason he did not boast openly of his actions was to save the feelings of his mistress (the mother), who did not agree with the decision (1953, 333). He claims he got the idea that abandoning one’s children at the Foundling Hospital was “the custom of the country” (1953, 322) from the ribald stories told by the “fundamentally decent” men at the dining establishment he frequented. He regarded children as a considerable inconvenience, abandoning them was a socially acceptable way to relieve oneself of it, problem solved. So like Mamma, his heart was good but he was misled. He asks himself whether he might have been callous or lacking in humanity in abandoning his children, and answers: “No, I feel, and boldly declare—it is impossible. Never for a moment in his life could Jean-Jacques have been a man without feelings or compassion, an unnatural father. I may be been mistaken, but I could never be callous” (1953, 333). He then alludes, in all seriousness, to reasons that persuaded him to abandon his children that were so powerful that they cannot be revealed, lest they corrupt other young men! Some other reasons he does give in this passage include imagining himself as a guardian in Plato’s Republic who must turn over his children to the state and never know their identities, and the reflection that it would be better for them to be brought up “as honest people” (at the hands of an 18th century state orphanage) than with money, as would have happened if one of Rousseau’s aristocratic patrons had taken them in, as some offered to do.

Blogger HoosierHillbilly April 29, 2019 9:08 AM  

The point on Calvinism holds historical truth. Put aside all of the theological debates. Calvinism prospers when small meets large in the worldly sphere. Netherlands vs Spain. Scotland vs. England. South Africa vs. The continent. Lacking an external focus, it flounders much more rapidly under the weight of ease and affluence.

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2019 10:23 AM  

> Some people think a restoration is already underway.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Neon calls the QAnon movement the "Great Awakening".

Interestingly, I just bought No Gods, Only Daimons Saturday and I'm reading it now. It seems appropriate.

Blogger KG April 29, 2019 11:56 AM  

Concordat of 1801. Majority of France remained Catholic post-revolution, and Napoleon was a lapsed Catholic himself that later reconciled after his excommunication. The Concordat returned Catholicism as the majority state religion of France, and “resolved” the fierce anti-revolutionary sentiment and actions of the majority populace that had atheism and deism forced upon them. Even revolutionary era France and Napoleonic France was primarily Catholic, not atheist.

Blogger Jason April 29, 2019 12:21 PM  

There are times I get very discouraged that the current evil tide can be turned back. Where are the faithful? They seem few and far between. Then I remember we have never had the numbers. We have just had the truth of the living God.

"How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore." Psalm 92: 5-7

Blogger Balam April 29, 2019 12:38 PM  

Peter wrote:"Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan" ... where, in our collective mirrors? We dont have to look to Satan for someone to blame, there is enough blame to go around even amoung the so called righteous and humble to explain all the evil we see. Maybe it makes it easier to think theres is some power out there driving man to evil and some other power that will protect man from that evil but irregardless of the existance of such powers, its all in man's hands.

Look at the unity of evil to attack the good. You have all sorts of groups with their individual evils such as abortion, transexuality, idolotry, pedophilic rape, homosexuality, usury, gang shootings, cartel beheadings, bribery, poisoning for profit. They may even squabble amongst themselves for a while, but they all remarkably come together to attack anything that is obedient to God. Christ, the nation, the family, the man who doesn't budge to the sjw narrative. A single man simply refuses to bake a cake dedicated to buttsex, the act of ramming the penis into a shithole, and the worldly powers go wild. All the pillars of evil come together and it is apparent that they are the pillars of a single house.

Have you not noticed this?

Blogger Mr Darcy April 29, 2019 2:15 PM  

@43:

I'd simply remind (or inform) everybody that France alone took to the streets to reject same-sex "marriage" with their huge "Manif pour tous" which was their answer to the "mariage pour tous" sloganeering that preceded the "loi Taubira" (the Taubira Law). Taubira was the black African Justice minster under President Hollande. She simply proclaimed the "right" to same-sex "marriage" that included the right to adopt children.

These "manifestations" (we'd call them "demonstrations") took place in all major French cities and were participated in by millions. Literally millions. Manifs took place in the overseas departments as well, like New Caledonia and St-Pierre & Miquelon.

Nobody else has risen up against same-sex "marriage" except the French. It turns out that--regardless of everything else--there is a conservative streak a mile wide in them.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=manif+pour+tous&FORM=HDRSC3

Blogger Mr Darcy April 29, 2019 2:17 PM  

@45:

"[A]ll who hate me love death."

Proverbs 8:36

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2019 2:57 PM  

Peter wrote:"Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan" ... where, in our collective mirrors? We dont have to look to Satan for someone to blame, there is enough blame to go around even amoung the so called righteous and humble to explain all the evil we see.
So Man is perfectable? That's news to any Christian.

Blogger eclecticme April 29, 2019 4:39 PM  

As someone raised liberal my belief in reason for everything was hard to shake. I realized that culture was important and may include the wisdom of the ages, along with superstitions.

After reading Hayek I reasoned my way out of requiring reason for all things. What if the 10 Commandments were not the word of God but the ramblings of a crazy man? What if people following these rules survived over others for centuries? Similar to genes.

Liberals believe in random DNA mutations conferring benefits on descendants even if the mechanism of action is not known. How about customs conferring a benefit? Hw are those new customs learned in the 60's working out?

Ann Coulter gave one example when talking about restricting marriage to one man one woman. "Is this wall a load bearing wall? Let's knock it down and find out."

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 29, 2019 4:43 PM  

"Have you not noticed this?"

Pay no attention to Peter. His argument is immediately self-refuting. He tries to imply that evil is a result of our own flawed perception or twisted desires, failing to realize that such distortions, where they exist, are themselves repugnantly evil.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 29, 2019 4:46 PM  

Peter's argument boils down to "evil doesn't exist, because people who think they see evil are evil."

Satanic much?

Blogger eclecticme April 29, 2019 4:55 PM  

Others have questioned reliance on reason coming from a different, rational angle. None of these depend on the existence of God and might get through to some people.

NN Taleb questions the use of models for systems that are much too complex to model. He supports using ancient wisdom instead as I recall.

Thomas Sowell (A Conflict of Visions) says that people with a constrained (conservative) vision give some weight to tradition and believe that the world is more complex than can be understood. If you push in one place the world pokes out in a different place expectantly.

Vox writes about free trade not working. I interpret that as the world being more complex than Ricardo's simple model. Free trade works, if you ignore history, empirical reality, destroyed towns, ruined marriages, male suicides, increased crime, increased single moms, opioid use, lost men.

Blogger PJW Gent April 30, 2019 7:11 AM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Peter wrote:"Look at the stinking evil that exists: that's proof of Satan" ... where, in our collective mirrors? We dont have to look to Satan for someone to blame, there is enough blame to go around even amoung the so called righteous and humble to explain all the evil we see.

So Man is perfectable? That's news to any Christian.

And to any cop in any police force ever. Most people never have to deal with the dregs of the human race. But on the other side, even the best of us have their low moments when the "dark side" pulls us down (reflect on Romans 7 as Paul deals with the "old man" that drags even on those in Christ).

Marxism and all other utopian efforts Achilles heel is their denial that we are broken, that sin is real and personal (not structural and external), and there is only one path to redemption, the one who claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life: Jesus Christ, God the Son.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts