Truth versus the West

At least since Nietzsche, modern European pagans of the more reckless jejune sort have been wont to proclaim that Christianity gutted Europe of her original, chthonic, manly, distinctive culture. The process took millennia, they say, but it has now been pretty much completed. Europe has been unmanned by the pale Galilean who had already sapped Rome and the wider Hellenic world with his flaccid Oriental mysteries, and lies now prone before her Mohammedan conquerors.

It’s a silly conceit. For one thing, the West began her precipitous Modern decline at exactly the moment that her formerly deep and utterly preponderant Christian faith began to weaken and splinter – thanks in no small part to that madman, Nietzsche himself (and to a few other madmen, such as Voltaire). For another, if Christianity really did gut Europe of such a vigorous exuberant cult, then … that cult must have been rather weak after all, mutatis mutandis – and so, by its own lights, deserving of death.

All such critics overlook the fact that conversion to Christianity did not delete European paganism, but rather baptised and corrected it, completing its dire baleful foreknowledge of inevitable, total cosmic disaster and dissolution by a due recognition of an inevitable cosmic resurrection (that had been hinted at anyway in the myth of the aftermath of Ragnarok).

More fundamentally, though: spiritual truth is neither more nor less competent to erase cultural particularity than any other sort of truth – economic, say, or physical. On the contrary: truth *enables* disparate cultures. Only insofar as it is congruent in its forms with the truth of how man ought best to behave can a society perdure from one moment to the next, so that it has then an opportunity of adapting to its circumstances, and so evolving traits that distinguish it from its neighbours. And cultures differ importantly not so much in matters of detail (as costume, folkways, manners, cuisine, and so forth – not by any means to disparage these matters) as in fundamental notions of morality and metaphysics. Some cultures evidently have a better, more accurate and tenacious grasp of moral and philosophical truth than others – and so, beat them.

If we stipulate that there is a body of truths about reality that is variously plumbed and more or less accurately echoed in the various sciences, we do not thereby stipulate that all cultures must in conforming themselves thereto be completely the same. Rather, we stipulate only that if cultures are to survive in competition with other cultures, they would do better to reckon the truths that constrain all cultures. If any science – theology, biology, game theory, or what have you – were to show, e.g., that polygamy is disadvantageous, then it were better for any society to abjure and abhor it, that wants to survive in competition with other cultures.

A culture is doomed by truth only insofar as it contravenes that truth. Insofarforth, it *ought* to die.

Only that of any culture that is in conformity to moral truth ought to survive. The rest of it, however glamorous or curious, is lethal nonsense, or else mere noise (not that noise of any sort is ever unproblematic …).

Take the laws of physics or economics. Are any extant cultures of Earth utterly ruled out by their obvious universal and incontrovertible truth? No. Would any such culture that did controvert them deserve to live? No. Would it manage to live? No.

Take then likewise the Golden Rule and the other moral truths of Christianity. Are any extant cultures of Earth ruled out – essentially ruled out, ruled out in toto – by their obvious universal and incontrovertible truth? No. Would any such culture that did controvert them deserve to live? No. Would it manage to do so? No.

If Christianity is true, and if it rules out the West, then the West is simply unfitted to the truth, and is then lethal, both to its members and to itself. If so, it deserves to die.

As it seems now to be doing, since it began to contravene Christian truth.

But, then, obviously: Christianity does not rule out the West. On the contrary: Christianity brought the West to its fullest flower, and its mightiest florescence of global power, to which all other cultures even now aspire, and which they still envy, and hate – and fear.

No more then ought we to abandon the truths of Christianity than those of physics and economics. That would be foolishness, indeed.

This however, obviously, only if Christianity really is true.

Is it?

By their fruits shall ye know them (Matthew 7:16). Not, NB, that their fruits demonstrate their truth; but rather that their fruits are evidence in favor of their truth, and an index thereto.

23 thoughts on “Truth versus the West

  1. For another, if Christianity really did gut Europe of such a vigorous exuberant cult, then … that cult must have been rather weak after all, mutatis mutandis – and so, by its own lights, deserving of death.

    Never expect logical consistency of God-deniers.

  2. Pingback: Truth versus the West | Reaction Times

  3. I think how Africa and fhe “savage” races turns out due to Christianity will be quite interesting. And perhaps prove a counter point to the notion that only nordics and whites can make best civilization simply due to their superior genetics.

    • You mean like it has worked out in Detriot, Atlanta, Chicago, Birmingham etc. despite the hundred + years of exposure to Christianity and the overwhelming spirituality demonstrated in their early community?

      • The problem with your examples is welfare and gibsmedat. He who will not work shall not eat.

      • Meanwhile you miss out the long-term example of Ethiopia. Which compared to other african countries built a much greater civilization than others among the subsaharan’s

      • Plus how many of them would react with horror if a white person got murdered. And you will see how many are really Christian.

  4. Well put Kristor. You can add Jean-Jacques Rousseau to your list of Deconstructors. Rousseau is much more virulently anti-Christian and anti-everything-normative (i.e., truth-based) than Nietzsche, for whom masculinity was, after all, a virtue. Our SJWs are much more descendants of Rousseau than of Nietzsche, as their fainting-spells and hysteria would suggest.

    The ignoramuses who claim that Christianity is effeminate would do well to read, inter alia, the story of Christianity’s advent in Iceland, as told in Burnt Njal’s Saga.

    • Rousseau – how I loathe that insufferable pansy. The archetypal snowflake. I can’t take up his work without wanting to throw it. Reading him is like eating sausage made with casings poorly washed.

      • Funny about Rousseau.

        Heck, let’s add Spinoza, Locke, Paine and Jefferson.

        Of Course, Sola Scriptura and Private interpretations just the spark of individualism to take off like wild fire.

      • @Philip Augustine
        Don’t pin on Sola Scriptura and Protestantism what could be explained by nominalism and its ultimate impact.

        We can go on an on about this. Because if the root cause is Protestantism then the root cause of that is Catholicism and so on and so forth.

  5. West at its apogee: “hey, Christianity did it!”
    West fall off the cliff: “it’s because they left Christianity behind”

    that sounds far too convenient. the West went on after Christianity has been seriously harmed and maimed by Modernity. do you really think the latter will survive the death of the former?

    • It seems convenient only because it’s a plain historical fact.

      Christianity is not quite yet wholly dead in the West, so Christendom limps on, even now far surpassing all her competitors in might and ingenuity. So then do her depravities, such as Modernism, nominalism, liberalism, and so forth.

      Modernity supervenes upon and presupposes the truth of its Christian antagonist. It will not – it cannot – outlast Christianity by more than a few decades.

      • Modernity is one of the bastard children of Christendom, and can make no sense apart from Christendom’s environing milieu. Ditto for liberalism. When these parasites succeed here and there at killing their host culture, they instantly turn and devour themselves.

      • So complete was the Christian conquest of the planet that Christendom is even now the milieu of other cultures, in rather the way that ancient Rome even in decline was the milieu of pagan Britain, or that the Hellenes were the milieu of the ancient Semitic Levant even down to 1000 AD. Other cultures ape ours; the Chinese elite wear British business suits, and they have adopted our ways of war and trade, aye and of political economy, too, both Left and Right.

  6. I think the ridiculous meme about Christianity causing the decline of the West is partly due to prejudice (mostly based on the short term self interest of Not wanting to give up some aspect of the sexual revolution); but substantially based on ignorance of the fact that the Christian Roman Empire outlasted the fall of Rome by 1000 years (and This ignorance dates back to that truly great but anti Christian historian Gibbon).

    • Yeah; crediting the meme calls for a ton of historical ignorance and misprision, and sins of omission. Pagans moan and groan about Charlemagne’s crusade against the pagan Germans, and their subsequent conversion. He ruined the ancient faith of the Germans, that made them such a vigorous people! Omitted is the fact that he did so as a Christian warrior in company with fellow Christian warriors who – evidently – were just that much tougher than their adversaries.

      One must overlook almost everything in order to believe that medieval Christian civilization was weaker along any dimension than its predecessor.

      So much must one overlook to essay that neo-pagan critique of Christianity, so gigantic is the omission, that it must surely be somewhat willful. It takes *hard work* to get history so wrong. Who would keep at it, that did not (for other such reasons as you adduce) want to do so?

  7. “if Christianity really did gut Europe of such a vigorous exuberant cult, then … that cult must have been rather weak after all, mutatis mutandis – and so, by its own lights, deserving of death.”

    That’s exactly the problem with Callicles’ argument in The Gorgias that Nietzsche appropriates/plagiarizes. By definition, “the strong” cannot be defeated by “the weak.” If the strong need protection from the weak, then they are not the strong after all. Cunning too is part of the Greek warrior ethic celebrated in a figure like Odysseus, so even if the strong are defeated by cunning, they were never the strong in the first place.

  8. Moaning and groaning about a man great enough to actually be called Charlemagne by everybody who has talked about him since his time is a really splendid specimen of what Nietzsche identified as “slave morality”. This aporia is a tell-tale sign that the argument isn’t truly serious. At best, it would be like somebody tasting some rotten moldy bread and concluding that society would have been better off without having discovered agriculture. A serious treatment, instead of bemoaning Christianization, would instead examine how religion was mutated into a loose secular functional equivalent, preserving some elements of Christian themes and teachings along the way while radically rejecting others and transforming others still beyond recognition, within a much more general process of social re-structuring that yielded Modernity as we know it.


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