Joined: Jan. 2006
|As to Flint's point that Materialism is wildly successful, you couldn't be more wrong. There are 5 theists in America for every atheist/agnostic. That's not overwhelming success.|
While we will probably have to agree to disagree on this one, I stand by the point I tried to make. Over the decades (am I really getting old? Dang! I've noticed a polarization in intensity of theistic belief? worldview? degree that supernaturalism informs one's take on life? Whatever I call it, my sense is that while most Americans profess faith in God, most profess it on Sunday and spend their day-to-day lives without their faith really even crossing their minds. Conversely, their material concerns (with income, taxation, technology, convenience, retirement, relationships, etc.) are the stuff that occupies their brains full time.
And there's probably a minority who have reacted against this relentless secularization rather violently, by becoming fanatical in their belief, babbling about gods and magic books all day and fighting to deploy civil force against the unbeliever.
And so, more and more, I see hostility between those who are Sunday morning Christians, and those who consider themselves True Christians and the other variety fakers.
I'd argue that our culture basically forces this kind of polarization. When I was young, I think only a tiny minority of today's movies would have been makeable, or even cross the minds of the moviemakers. The scandalous books of the day would be completely innocuous by today's standards.
But it's much deeper than this. A book written about Jack London's attempt to sail single-handed around the world written when I was born had nearly nothing to say about London's background, or his route, his supplies, his boat, etc. Instead, the book focused entirely on whether London's motivation for doing so was Righteous (to prove himself worthy in God's eyes) or Sinful (to cash in on the publicity). Today, nobody would even think to raise the issue, which wouldn't be relevant anyway.
And this "Jack Londonism" (to coin a phrase) used to permeate the views of every commentator on everything. So over the decades I see a sea change from a default view where God informed our lives, to a default where we are (except for the fanatics) no longer offended all that much by the books we read, the websites we visit, the movies we watch (we certainly watch!, and we are only reminded about, oh yeah, it's Sunday, sure, we believe in God, why ask? Who are the Giants playing today?
Yeah, there are 5 theists for every anti-theist or atheist, but theism ain't what it used to be. The march of technology has sucked the intensity out of most of it, and I see the creationism as a last-gasp, rearguard attempt to recapture a time that will never come again. YMMV.