This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

The religious view and the humanist view

Humanism generates massive blind spots for its adherents. The foremost of these is the reality of human evil, and the fact that we are all immersed in it.

The humanist tends to imagine man according to the image or Rousseau, who thought that man was most noble in his primitive state (a ‘noble savage’) whose corruption is mostly the work of external pressure and perverse education. Civilization, in this view, is a corrupting and weakening influence. Man is naturally good but has of late become a victim of bad upbringing, etc.

The anthropology of the timeless religious teaching, on the other hand, agrees that man is in some way good, but that at the same time he is subject to a fallenness, and because of this he constantly fails to distinguish between good and evil. He is daily deceiving himself and others and although he desires the good, since it is impossible to desire anything else, he struggles to recognize it and is always choosing evil out of ignorance and blind passion.

For Christianity, this predicament is a result of the human condition and is not something inflicted on people by external pressure or distortion. In fact, the religions diverge from humanism drastically in teaching that the only thing that saves man from his moral/spiritual ignorance is precisely the imposition of an external will (or wills) in the form of community and religious education that saves him from the hell of his own ignorance.

Man desires the good but in terms of realizing this good in his being, via thought and action, it remains a potentiality and not an actuality, and he is always ‘missing the mark’, hence the idea that he is ‘a sinner’. The ‘natural goodness’ of man is but an inkling that he does not understand, it is the primordial desire that underlies all of his specific desires. He needs help to realize (make real) this beloved goodness in himself, for alone he is doomed to confusion. It is for this reason that God provided a revelation, bequeathing to humanity the spiritual truth needed to learn to recognize the good more clearly, and to realize it more fully, hence the ‘salvation’ offered by the religions, and the traditional view of the clergy as official custodians of the revelation.

This anthropology, which is taken for granted by most Christians, explains why they can understand and deal with evil more effectively than our humanists. The humanists, for their part, have inherited a peace and social order that Christendom established and now are in the process of dismantling it.

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