martes, 3 de abril de 2012

Faith, Order and Reason

The order of things in the world, and in particular, social order, the most appreciated form of order in which man lives, urges conservative men to thank God, the Source of this order, for creating and maintaining it. 

The progressive man, who think that the current social order is an obstacle for a more perfect future, tend to adore the principles that, he belive, has the promise of a better New Order.

Faith Order and Reason are intermingled in any attemp of man to find a meaning for his life.  Whatever it may be, there is no meaning without Reason, but there is no ultimate meaning without ultimate Truth and ultimate Truth needs Faith. We look for ultimate meaning because we needed it for long term planning, even beyond our own lifespan. We know that  biologically, our bodies are the vehicles for producing a wealthy  next generation, and spiritually, we discover in ourselves impulses that go farther that our individual interests and even our time. These wide, long term goals are meaningles in the first place without the presupposition of a certain order in our society that must be achived and/or maintained for generations. Such order, as I said before can  not be maintained without a certains faith. 

Order in society brings the phisical means for men to attain our material goals. This is not possible, by definition, without  some rules.  For daily life in society, men need to share a set of negative rules, a set of 'not to': not to kill, not to steal etc. But life in society is not a playground where rules are enforced by supernatural beings, where each individual pursue its own happiness. A society is not a kindergarten of any kind. The survival of the society against internal or external degrading pressures demand certain positive sacrifices from their men.  Obviously a society who does not maintain its own homeostasis will dissappear, and with this society, dissapear the long term plans for which the individuals worked  for and all that they constructed for them. The edifices fall in ruins, its knowledge dissapears, their organizations, under which they were far more resourceful than without, fade away. Agression, starvation and death follows.

Since the goals and rules should be administered by the men themselves rather than by supernatural beings, there is no way to maintain a society without the committed loyality of their individuals. To do so, they must internalize the social goals and rules. But first, the man must accept them according with its own reason and its own faith. Thus, this emotional loyality is not possible without sharing, in the frist place, some ultimate meaning that is maintained by a shared faith of one type or another. 

Along the History, the societies knew that their neighbours had a different organizational principles, and these principles were given by gods.  A god was greater than another if the city that he protected was wealtier and powerful. Such is the close relation between faith and order.

One can reverse the causality flow and say that, because shared belief in ultimate principles are critical for social order, men have an emotional attachment to ultimate Truth called Faith. The societies have organized religion,  that exalt, actualizes and put in common the beliefs necessary for social order.  But the search for ultimate Truth and the zealous keeping of It once he believes he found It, is an impulse inherent of any acting, intelligent being thrown into existence, simply, because without it he can not act.

Without faith, we are like amnesic patients found in an hospital in ruins where the doctors are equally amnesic. We must discover first who we are, and Who thrown us here and why, before we can organize our lifes beyond daily survival.

The modern secular, political faiths add nothing new to the picture. The contractual model of social order, comon in the Modern Age from authors like Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes etc either are too cold and deduce only negative principles, insuficient for social stability so they must be complemented by supplementary, traditional supernatural faith, or...

Or, instead of God an traditions, these organizational principles are hypostasizwed and idealized: The People, the Democracy,  the Nation or the Market,  Freedom or Rule of Law , the Proletariat, the Nature.  These hypostatizations are internalized not only rationally but emotionally, as a matter of faith and are adorned with supernatural powers, such are; "The People can´t go wrong",  "Democracy is the best organization anywhere", "The Nation is eternal". "Nature is good. Ever". At the same time these abstract but emotional principles have been complemented by the deification of their ideologues and rulers. This is part of the nature of Man´s faith. There is no faith that has no human like deities or prophets, because we are the way we are.

So modernity is a faith in wathever magic, supernatural principles masked as Reason, administered by divinized men.  That is the nature of modern secular society, ruled by beliefs disguised as reason, but devoid of Reason. So is  the weak order that it supports.  The cult of personality in socialist counties is the extreme example of this kind of modern faith, but this is only an example.

Faith as such, is not an option. A man without faith that has ceased in its search for Truth is in a paralyzed state that announces its inexorable death. A society without a shared faith will vanish.  But a faith is a necessary condition, not sufficient. A faith that depart from reason and reality, or, worst of all, a faith that claims that it is pure reason itself in order to avoid the critic of True Reason, is not a source of order, but the guarantee for social destruction.

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