Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Loss of Meaning…

…and its relationship to the loss of liberty.

An interesting conversation between Paul VanderKlay and Christopher Mastropietro.  I have referred to VanderKlay often enough; Mastropietro was a student of John Vervaeke and currently co-authors and otherwise collaborates with Vervaeke on various projects.

Two comments by Mastropietro worth touching on:

Concerns that are political concerns are always downstream from religious concerns.

For any political theory, political action, political policy, or political framework to make any sense these must follow from concerns that flow from a religious fountain.  Politics separate from religion – or the so-called separation of church and state – inherently must build a new religion from which the politics will flow.

Egalitarianism, progressivism, socialism, communism, modern liberalism, even – dare I say – libertarianism: all are replacement religions from which political theory should flow.  Call these politics of immaculate conception, as these are politics without a father.  Instead of separating politics from religion, the politics become the religion.

His second comment:

There is nothing obvious to replace the archetypal image of Christ to the West; there’s no obvious substitution.  Every substitution that we grasp at is a pale image in a different set of vestments.

Mastropietro offers this as one who would not characterize himself as a Christian or believer in God in any sense generally understood.  He is not calling for a new Christian revival, as he does not believe such a thing possible.

Yet we have lived through the substitutes of Christianity – well, some of us have.  We have found no meaning in this; hundreds of millions have found death, many find no meaning in more stuff, some of us understand we have no liberty.


I am not writing of a Christian revival either – it is not the purpose of this blog.  However, there is no chance for a political move toward liberty without the embracing as archetypal the image of Christ.


  1. "You believe in God?" the Atheistic Rights Theist asks.

    "I believe in God."

    "Whose God?"

    Uh-oh. Faith smashed!

    "The same God Who is the Author of Natural Rights," I answer.

    Ha! He thought I was going to ask, "Why do you hate God?"!

    "Rights," the Atheistic Rights Theist solemnly intones, "are logical constructs governing the behavior of moral agents. How those moral agents came into existence is irrelevant."

    Nothing faith-based in that statement!

    "So you believe in Rights?" I ask.

    "Of course."

    "Whose version of Rights?"

    "What are you talking about?" The Atheistic Rights Theist sounds annoyed.

    "I'm making a statement of fact. There are competing versions," I answer.

    "Rights are objective, rational, discoverable."

    "I agree. Whose version of 'objective, rational, discoverable'?"

    "You're a mystic," the Atheistic Rights Theist parries.

    "Meaning what? I believe in God?"

    "Yes. Theism is irrational. It poisons your thinking."

    "That may well be, but atheists subscribe to competing versions of Rights." Again, I'm stating the obvious.

    "They can't all be right."

    "I didn't say they could."

    "Why do you hate Rights?"

  2. "For any political theory, political action, political policy, or political framework to make any sense these must follow from concerns that flow from a religious fountain. Politics separate from religion – or the so-called separation of church and state – inherently must build a new religion from which the politics will flow."

    100% agree

    Egalitarianism, progressivism, socialism, communism, modern liberalism, .... all are replacement religions

    100% agree

    even – dare I say – libertarianism

    This is where I disagree.

    By restricting politics to non-aggression only, libertarianism is restricting it to a domain that is common to all religions and even non-religious ideologies.

    One may need a passionate commitment to Christ in order to be passionately committed to NAP. But, one can also be passionately committed to NAP even as a passionate Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or even a humanist.

    Yes, one needs a religious (or ideological) commitment from which commitment to NAP is downstream.

    But, a commitment to NAP is consistent with a commitment to ANY religion or ideology that does not explicitly negate it.

    1. krash

      "But, one can also be passionately committed to NAP even as a passionate Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or even a humanist."

      I am not concerned about "one." Of course, there are individuals here and there. Show me a society, a culture, a tradition where the idea of the individual (properly understood) has developed such a philosophy.

      All men - not just the king or the elite - are made in the image of God. Of your list, one could consider that Judaism also claims this; yet Judaism does not have the Form of the Good made manifest - they kind of went the other way on this one.

      To the extent non-Christians buy into this, it is because they admittedly or not are building on a Christian foundation - most won't admit it, of course.

      Anything is possible. Where is your evidence? Where is your developed, logical, analysis?

      Here is mine:

  3. Whereas individual liberty found only through the blood-atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Christ can never be stolen from us, national liberty was officially lost in America when the 18th-century Enlightenment and Masonic founding fathers made liberty a goal (almost a god) instead of a corollary of implementing Yahweh's perfect law of liberty (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:44-45, James 2:12) as the supreme law of the land.

    "[B]ecause they have ... trespassed against my law ... they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind...." (Hosea 8:1,7)

    Today's America is reaping the inevitable ever-intensifying whirlwind resulting from the wind sown by the constitutional framers and fanned by hoodwinked Christians and patriots who have been bamboozled into believing that today's whirlwind can be dissipated by appealing to the wind responsible for spawning the whirlwind.

    For more, see online Chapter 3 "The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH" of "Bible Law vs, the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at

    Then, find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

  4. Of course, getting rid of quite so much politics or tying it down to smaller and smaller social units doesn't even enter the picture. What? Limit politics? Connect, instead of coerce and manipulate? Without a god or something to tell us "No-no"? Unheard of. It is not just the atheists who are "religious," and make a religion of politics. The believers blasphemously violate the First Commandment almost without thinking, and worship The State with far more conviction for its necessity than they have for their belief in the existence of God. No, religion must BE. Why? Because the idea that something can exist without beginning or end which is NOT conscious terrifies people who need something big, a substitute eternal parent, to give them a reason to exist, to command them to exist, in fact, and to justify their existence. It's the great, "Because I said so." They don't deal well with the idea that they don't need some other entity to do that for them. No, we must have meaning, and it must come from outside of ourselves. Why? Because we haven't fully embraced the idea that each individual is a standard of value in his own right, and that he needs nothing other than his own existence for his justification to exist, that it is he who imputes and gives value and meaning to existence, and not the other way around.

    Most people also probably haven't considered the radical idea that "nothing" is just an abstract conception, a thing that humans thought up but which has never existed anywhere, doesn't exist, and never will. Perhaps existence spawns universes (and time itself) spontaneously, by nature, and is no more conscious than a rock in your garden. If "nothing" never existed, the Prime Mover argument of First Cause, falls apart. What the whole question boils down to is just the idea that existence itself, is conscious, or that some consciousness "outside" of existence is responsible for existence and intended it. But hey, that idea comforts people, even though it just might be completely a figment of our fears and rationalizations.