Tuesday, November 08, 2011

In The Heart

I was reading the reviews of Spengler's new book How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) and came across this interesting bit:

David Goldman's book is hard to summarize, perhaps because it is so thought-provoking. It is also full of data which you have probably never seen before.

The most startling data describe what might be the impending collapse of the Iranian theocracy. It has been a complete failure in every direction, and even the mad, evil Ahmadinejad can see the handwriting on the wall. After thirty years of religious tyranny, it turns out that a mere two percent of Iranians attend mosque on Fridays. The birthrate has plummeted --- the steepest drop in fertility known to recorded history. Prostitution is pandemic, with a huge number of prostitutes being women who passed the university entrance exam, or who are actually studying at the university. They sell themselves not out of desperation but out of greed. Drug addiction now has hit 5 million men, among the work-force which is 35 million strong. Rumor has it that the Big Turbans on top of this seething volcano are now grabbing everything they can before their number is up, with billions of dollars disappearing from Iranian banks.

Gee, maybe Grandpa was right: "Religion is in the heart. It cannot be forced upon the people. You find the love within God, and with that love, you cherish life."

What is even more startling is that this is only the worst case in the Muslim world --- all of the oil-importing Muslim countries are facing disaster, with Egypt as a prime example: 80 million very backward people who need to buy half their bread from abroad. Well, tourism in Egypt is dead, for some STRANGE reason, and that foreign exchange has disappeared, and the price of wheat is going up up up as the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese buy more and more. We may well be looking at a desperate famine situation within twelve months.
I think that is exactly right. People have to find their faith. It can't be forced on them.

I didn't find my faith until I was in my late 20s. A big part of the reason is that I had a very difficult childhood due to the alcoholism of my father. But it was quite understandable in retrospect. His mother beat him. Badly. He often recounted an incident where she threw a meat axe at him. Very lucky for me - he ducked.

I'm not much of a believer in religion (in case you hadn't noticed). I think its effects are generally pernicious because religion is about power and power structures. Besides, I don't need faith. Why should I? I have experience. The Maker talks to me. And what has he been telling me?

He told me to start having children (I was 38 at the time and my mate was 34) not quite in Abraham/Sarah territory but still. We have 4 children.

1. An artist
2. UChicago graduate (with honors) in the Russian language
3. An Electrical Engineer
4. A Chemical Engineer

Not a lot of children to be sure. But way more than the average high tech geek. I couldn’t be happier about the advice. Especially since I was sure at age 30 that I would never have a family.

Every man (and woman) has to find his own way. It would be more than helpful in that respect if government would get out of the way. We will never have a moral nation with government forcing morality down people's throats. The example of Iran is very instructive in that regard. Forcing is counter to the best of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It must come from the heart. And heart is something government is not well known for. I'd like to see more Christian compassion and a lot less (Pharisee like) "the law is the law." Maybe for murder and theft. But extending that to what people eat, drink, and smoke - very unwise.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


RavingDave said...

You posted:

"Drug addiction now has hit 5 million men, among the work-force which is 35 million strong. "

This sentence implies that it is increasing. Why would it increase when you always tell me it stays at 2% of the population? :)

M. Simon said...

Because under a theocracy people lose hope.

It is that loss of hope that drives addiction rates up. I thought that was obvious.

You go about punishing kids because of what they hope and they lose faith in the system. They start thinking that maybe the socialists have a point.

None of my kids use illegal drugs (as far as I know). They are right leaning mostly. But prohibition makes them give socialists a second look. Now expand that to 20 million or more and you will figure out why the right loses elections it should win.

The right could run the table if it wasn't so intent on telling people how to live their lives and punishing them severely when they don't conform.

You don't herd sheep by punishing them. You herd them by gentle compassionate correction.

The ancients knew this. It seems that those supposedly most in contact with the ancient wisdom have managed to avoid that lesson.

Well they will be taught it the hard way. Evolution in action.

M. Simon said...

Correction: You go about punishing kids because of how they live....

RavingDave said...

It is that loss of hope that drives addiction rates up. I thought that was obvious.

I thought it was the momentary pleasure that others see from the Drug users face, that drove addiction.

That and availability.