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The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God Paperback – February 28, 2006
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
"Sheds light on the history of the twentieth century for everyone."
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Weigel's argument goes a little further in that he looks at why the upper-class supports policies that impoverish and decimate the middle class. Starting with Nietzsche's 'God is Dead', he argues that the the World Wars and current demographic suicide are the result of the Atheistic Humanism and that the span of destruction from the beginning of WWI in 1914 to the fall of the Soviet’s in 1989 merely is the most flamboyant part of a suicide that is sweeping across the continent today, with birth rates so far below replacement levels that the economic and political collapse of those counties is inevitable.
So is the West collapsing because of the Anti-Human Faith of the elites, or is it collapsing due to their greed and incompetence?
I think to truly answer the question, one would have to try to correlate economic growth with the beliefs of the upper class and somehow separate that from their greed and incompetence: That might be a truly impossible project.
Somehow the West grew out of the poverty and tyranny that has characterized most of the human experience, and somehow it has gotten to the point where the number of peasants in Europe is currently falling at a rate not seen since the arrival of the Black Death, but is it because of dependence and lack of opportunity? Or is it merely a larger example of what the mismanagement that English upper class inflicted on the Irish in the 1840s and 50s, or that the rulers of Europe did to Germany in the 30 years war?
I do know from having a nephew that is a card carrying member of Atheistic faith, that he really objects to considering it a faith, which is a sign of the parochialism and intolerance of that faith. An intolerance that claimed 100 million lives in its incarnation as Marxism, and intends to exterminate 90% of the people on the planet now, in its incarnation as 'Sustainability'. With an elite infected with such a faith, I expect the future for most people to be bad.
The book is well reasoned...but I recall the saying: "The heart has reasons that reason doesn't know."....and, could not help but think, that neither does Mr. Weigel really know, or have the credentials to make such sweeping moral assertions concerning our traditional friends.
It seems, at the moment, that the Roman Catholic Church, through both Paul and Benedict, is even more concerned about the moral direction of the leadership on our side of the pond, than in Europe's. Pre-emptive war is not exactly the example of elightened moral behavior that fits any ethical prescricption necessary to fix the middle east.
I do question, in the long view, whether science will one day lead humanity to the same locus of moral and ethical wisdom found in our traditional religions. The planet is now busily...and quite understandably....working to remove some of the ancient material limitations to the good life. To this end, modern culture with the aid of science, is one of the tools that drives us to act hopefully, more wisely and charitably, and first and foremost, more prudently, in that direction. To be sure this is an imperfect process...filled with not insignificant pitfalls, both real and potential....material and spiritual. There clearly are very serious challenges before all of humanity.
Taking this into account, Weigel's screed is not very realistic or helpful in its propositions. His bogus-realist "j'accuse", I believe, is, at its root, incompletely reasoned, intellectually arrogant, unfounded, isolationist, shallow......and could lead our friends to the doorstep of greater suspicion, division, fear, and hostility.
Cardinal Bernadin used to speak of the "seamless garment" of foundational modern ethics. Some might recall that in this conception, it was War, the Death Penalty, and Abortion, that were seen to be part of the spiritual sickness of our times....that "Culture of Death", Weigel so studiously ascribes to Europe, could very well be ascribed...and IS tragically being ascribed....to the leadership of the United States.....if not to the entire nation, by our friends and enemies alike.
I could not help but think, as I was reading this cold book, whether it was WE who were behaving like "the pot that called the kettle black". Just perhaps it is we, all of us, who need to have a bit more charity and faith; perseverance and fortitude; prudence and temperance, before proposing such large and sweeping moral judgments upon our neighbors.
However, if you believe that multiculturalism is in the common Good, that the 'modern world' has consigned military power politics to the bin, that the promotion of family values and morality grounded in the Torah/Bible is backward thinking, then this is most certainly not for you. If you cherish these fantasies, do not buy this book. It will unseat them.
Weigel is a Roman Catholic theologian, but the thrust of his book can be assimilated without necessarily agreeing with all of his remedies - though many of them are very sensible.
This is a depressing book in many ways. It reveals just how far Europe has to repair itself if it is to survive another hundred years as the Europe of the Enlightment.
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For readers of this review I must tell that I am a protestant, an European and leaning to the liberal side of politics at...Read more