Monday, May 09, 2016

The Secularist's Philosophy - Children

Inspired by listening to several Peter Kreeft lectures and my own affection for G K Chesterton's analysis of his times (circa 1910), I've decided to take a look at my own formulations for what I've been calling the progressive, post-modern, secular world. In this, I'll use secular as a short hand for that formulation to make it more readable.

My definition of the term is the dominant culture in America and Western Europe. Yes, it's mushy, but life is mushy and if you're going to analyze data points from observing biological systems, you have to accept that.

First off, an admission of failure. I've been wrong to say that secularists have discarded objective morality. If they had, then the Confederate flag would still be flying in South Carolina and Brendan Eich would still be the CEO of Mozilla. They most certainly do have objective morality, but it's not one that I can find accurately described anywhere. In a series of posts, I'll try to define the characteristics of secular philosophy and morality through observation.


Secularists do not value children. In fact, children may rank near the bottom of the secularists priority list, which I will attempt to evolve on a summary page to be constructed later.

Proof. I offer three data points to show that the secular world doesn't care much for children.
  1. Public debt. Children are expected to pay our bills. Debt is future obligation and boy howdy, have we obligated them! The US Federal government alone has them penciled in for $20T of future obligations. States like Illinois and California have buried their children under even more debt and localities like Chicago and Detroit have piled on still more. To the secularists, children are bill payers. There is no way on Earth you would saddle future generations with that kind of burden if they were anywhere near the top or your priority list.
  2. Marriage. Children from traditional families excel. Children from any other family formulation struggle. The data is overwhelming on that score. If we valued children, we would want them to grow up in the most beneficial environment possible. Instead, our culture wars have been all about doing the exact opposite.
  3. Cultural poisons. Animals can be conditioned through exposure to stimuli. I would hope that's a fairly uncontroversial statement. Just taking modern music as a single data point, if you cared for your children, you would not surround them with music encrusted with filth as we do. (This song is #1 on the Billboard Top 40 right now. Marriage? No. Just sex.) We are raising our children in a cultural sewer because it suits us, not them.
For the Europeans, I offer a bonus data point.
  1. Secularists don't want them. The Europeans aren't even having children. 30% of German women are childless, rising to 40% of college graduates - a group presumably among the most secular of all. European fertility rates average a little over 1 child per woman. Looking at this chart and recalling that Germany is DE, only 22% of all German households have any children in them at all. Wowsers.
So that's a start. The secular world is not a big fan of children. More component derivations of their philosophy to come.
You ran up how much debt?


IlĂ­on said...

"First off, an admission of failure. I've been wrong to say that secularists have discarded objective morality ..."

There is *always* a "god of the system" -- either this god will be God, or it an idol. There is always a moral vision (if we may use that word) -- either it will be true and coherent morality, or it will be false and (ultimately) incoherent morality.

Douglas Wilson: Surrender the Good Surrender?

Foxfier said...

So, basically, children are resources-- pay bills, recruit when they're old enough to be interesting, but dang the work ain't worth it?

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

No wonder we rarely see German children. They just don't have them.