Monday, February 26, 2024

Why I Yell About Secularism All The Time

I am the youngest of four. I had two brothers and still have one sister. Both of my brothers died as addicts, my oldest brother at 29 and the other, just a few years ago, in his 60s. Both spent a decent number of years of their adult lives as drug dealers. In fact, my oldest brother, we'll call him Jack, was murdered by fellow drug dealers when he injected the cocaine instead of selling it.

I only had a few adult conversations with Jack as he was so much older and died so young, but I had plenty with my other brother, who we'll call Jeff. We were all raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. Jeff had bachelor's degrees in both pharmacy and pharmacology. Jack had gotten a full scholarship to Yale. We were all told how smart we were more than enough times to make us smug and self-assured in our smarteriness. I'm still plenty smug, as you know.

Raised in the Catholic tradition of ethics and morality derived from logic, observation and revealed truth, Jeff and I had many conversations about the ethics and morality of his life. In addition to selling drugs, Jeff also slept with almost any woman who would have him. He once bragged to me that he had slept with his boss, a woman 20 years his senior.

Jeff was thoroughly secular. He sneered at all that religious mumbo-jumbo for the same reasons many today do - if it was true and valuable, how come its practitioners weren't living perfect lives? When we discussed ethics and morality, it was always from the secular point of view because appeals to an external, objective moral authority were a waste of breath.

Jeff sold drugs because someone was going to be selling the drugs and it might as well be him. Jeff slept with the women because they let him. He once told me that four different women had abortions by him. After a moment he added, "Well, it takes two to tango," meaning that they wouldn't have needed an abortion if they hadn't made the choice to have sex with him.

When I write things like this on these blog posts, I suppose that I'm reliving those conversations with Jeff where I simply could not think of an argument to challenge his sociopathy.

My exit questions for the secularists are this: Why was any of this wrong? Derive your answer from first principles. What provides the guardrails to put an end to this? Why pursue the truth? Is there such a thing as the truth?

I'm begging you to tell me what I should have said. I used to tell him that he was hurting other people. That posed a trivially simple moral problem for the secularist to solve. Well, what of it? They wanted to hurt themselves. Someone was going to make a buck off of it, why not him? We were all going to die anyway, what difference did it make? Besides, he never sold to people with really serious drug habits, only to recreational users.

I'm not sure if that last was true, but it hardly mattered. As someone with an addictive streak myself, recreational is just a point farther up the fast-moving river that ends in a waterfall onto rocks. If you're helping the addict get his fix, you don't know where he is on that river, but you've definitely helped him to get closer to the falls.

So, my friends, what answer should I have given? What's the magic, secular turn of logic that stops the sociopath?

If you can't solve that riddle, what's your plan for surviving in a world where people like Jeff are in the majority? How are you going to equip your children to survive in a world with even more Jeffs than there are today? That's clearly what the cultural trend lines are showing.

Now that the secular world has defeated us superstitious Catholics, we might want to find an answer to those questions and pretty soon at that.

Or maybe we could return to the Church.

Nah. That's a stupid idea. Forget I said it.

LOL! Talk about delusional!


Sandy said...

I think we all have friends and family members that pose similar questions. I don’t think there are good answers to be found in secularism. We all follow someone or something. Ourselves, political leaders, celebrities, friends ... but mostly ourselves. Our selfish wants and desires. Following Christ is the best answer.

Ilíon said...

"I'm begging you to tell me what I should have said."

I love you, and it grieves me beyond words that you are destroying your life both now and for eternity. But, understand, when I stand in the presence of God and see that you are eternally dying in the depths of Hell, I shall have no tears. Rather, I shall rejoice, for you will have the reward which you have wanted and have worked so diligently to attain.

Ilíon said...

"Or maybe we could return to the Church."

I pray for the day that you come to understand that The One True Bureaucracy is a big part of the problem(s).