Quote note (#139)

Jim:

Progressivism wears the religions it has devoured like a monster that dresses itself in the skins of people it has eaten. It has consumed Judaism, Christianity, and most of Islam, though the worst and most harmful religion, Islam, still lives and is fighting back. The martial Christianity of Charles the Hammer would serve our civilization well. The pragmatic, realistic, and cynical Christianity of restoration Anglicanism would serve our civilization very well, though it proved vulnerable to people whose beliefs were dangerously sincere, being reluctant to martyr them properly for reasons of mere pragmatism. Counter Reformation Catholicism would serve our civilization well. But none of these live, and their revival is unlikely.

(It links right through to one of the most substantial discussions that will be unfolding in 2015.)

ADDED: The Church of Perpetual Life

ADDED: Yuray’s take (and quality comments).

December 29, 2014admin 55 Comments »
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55 Responses to this entry

  • Y.Ilan Says:

    The whole discussion is extremely interesting, yet I think that a broader practical view is important in clarifying this attempt at Western rejuvenation. Who is this attempt to be ultimately aimed at? Europeans as a whole, or a smaller more specific group? I’m saying this as an outsider to the whole attempt at Western rejuvenation, with no personal stake in it. New religious and ideological movements have indeed been succesful in the past, with Zionism a good example, and yet they’ve only succeeded under very specific circumstances. Zionism had a small and well-knit people to work with, and it had to go against the very entrenched paradigm of the Exile. Currently the West has its own powerful paradigm, and Westerners are neither small in number nor united. What are the goals of this approach, beyond creating some sort of truthful philosophy?

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    “What are the goals of this approach, beyond creating some sort of truthful philosophy?”

    Your guess is as good as mine. Having said that, do you think that they interested in creating some sort of truthful philosophy? Or are they more interested in attempting to resurrect what they perceive to be an approximation of truthful spirituality?

    That More Right post ends by glorifying paganism and Asatru, but resurrecting paganism won’t work and can’t work. The energy isn’t there — that vital force has passed from this world. Not one person in ten thousand is interested in reviving a living pagan religion. The number of people who would be sincere about it, devoted to it, and who understand what they’d be trying to achieve is even smaller than that.

    It seems to me that modern Asatru is nothing more than a form of ancestor-worship. To call it ancestor-glorification would be perhaps closer to the truth because there’s not much of “worship” to it, either. It’s more ridiculous, and far less genuine, than the benighted spirituality of backwoods Chinese peasants.

    (…But speaking of energy and vital force, although Christianity may be nearly dead, what are the odds of a South American revival?)

    As for Zionism: As I’m sure you’re aware, this is an ideology which was established in the fertile soil of the 19th century, had its roots in a very live and very ancient religion, and which, moreover, was introduced to address a very pressing social problem many hundreds of years old. I wouldn’t call it a “new” ideology, and it would be exceedingly difficult to create something comparable out of whole cloth in this 21st century.
    …Are you aware of any more recent examples?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Ancestor worship is just a specialization of”Honor thy father and mother” and “we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses”.

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    >That More Right post ends by glorifying paganism and Asatru, but resurrecting paganism won’t work and can’t work.

    Either you misread me or I miswrote, because I agree that necromancy is unworkable. I spent that section (I thought) explaining that necromancy doesn’t real, and asatru is irrelevent anyways, so we’re going to need something new.

    >My major concern with … paleopaganism … is that it seems to be attempting mythological necromancy. I don’t think you actually can study an ancient tradition without a living community and then resurrect anything but a cheap imitation.

    >We also live in a civilized post-industrial society, and the mythology and gods of old-style paganism as I understand it were optimized for a more uncivilized agrarian society. … we should expect a version of our inherent religion optimized for the kind of spiritually enlightened civilization in which we wish to live to be quite a bit different from what our ancestors had before the christians came and civilized us.

    >a modern sort of paganism … relevant to our current technological position and able to carry us up and to the right into the future

    I use paganism as mild structural inspiration, and as an analogy. What I’ve done here is not cladistically related to paganism. It has some similarities discovered after the fact, and a bit of stolen flavor.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    I must have misread you, and for that I apologize. I do however feel that certain passages were ambiguous. When you say “to the extent that germanic paganism currently exists as a living tradition, it seems, from what I know, fully compatible with what I’ve laid out here”, and “I view my experiments here as an attempt toward a modern sort of paganism that carries on the spirit of our ancestral traditions while being relevant to our current technological position and able to carry us up and to the right into the future” — I interpreted this as meaning that your efforts would culminate in a sort of “modern neo-Paganism”; a new synthesis of ancient and modern which would embrace pre-Christian forms of spirituality.

    Two questions:
    -Would not Transhumanism, in itself, be sufficient? I see it as the applied philosophy of our time. It is not for everybody, but it’s real, vital, and to some extent probably inevitable. It gives men something to aspire to, and, under the right circumstances, something to actively work towards. I don’t see why a mythological/spiritual/blut-und-eisen element is necessary at all. As Aeroguy mentions below, “the singularity” itself is already a sort of religious concept. This is also not incompatible with John 10:34 — “you are gods.”

    -Are you sure that you’re not being too swift to disavow existing religions? Is it not possible that they can be reinterpreted and made useful? The talk of Judaism over on Jim’s forum is, I think, fairly ridiculous — but a muscular, pragmatic, virile, neo-medieval Christianity would attract thousands of men to its banner… if it can be made to seem serious and genuine, as opposed to anachronistic and farcical.

    Buddhism can also be made compelling. Unlike most other modern and ancient religions, portions of its message seem objectively true, and much of the rest doesn’t seem far from truth. (Truth and believability, as have been mentioned several times over previous days, are not always desirable traits in a religion for the masses.) Men as worthy as Schopenhauer and Evola obsessed over it.

    …Interestingly, Schopenhauer considered Islam to be the most modern, most optimistic, and worst of all religions. To call it, as he did, “wholly optimistic”, would seem unusual at first glance, and is an observation worth noting.

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    I wrote out some bullshit, but then I realized the answer could be shortened to “I don’t know yet”.

    Jim, Konkvistador, and myself are the prototypes of the target audience for now.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    It just occurred to me to wonder what the problem is with Christianity. On the one hand, I can’t join it because I can’t suspend disbelief in the supernaturalism. But if Larry Iannaccone’s “Sacrifice and Stigma” theory is right, the non-believability would seem to be an advantage. The things the Progs believe are obviously false enough in their own way. So what’s wrong with Christianity?

    Is the problem that there are different populations of customers, and the ones who want a “strict” church, and are willing to put up with the stigma are too small a minority? Is there something fundamentally different about being in a belief system supported by the Cathedral and one that isn’t? Is there really a better story about why Christian theology went out of fashion among the intelligensia than hemlines randomly going up and down? Why do people find it so easy to suspend disbelief about some things but not others?

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    Interesting theoretical questions, but my practical objection to christianity is that christians seem more inclined to racemix, talk about pop-theology, and cower in their churches waiting for the next directive from the Cathedral than to actively seek strength.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @Nyan Sandwich:

    Okay, maybe I’m coming down with early Alzheimer’s. Now that you remind me, I have plowed this ground before. Christians have more trouble plausibly wrapping their moral teachings in the mantle of authority (God or Science) than Progressives do. But being stupid about (1) intermediate levels of organization between the individual and all of humanity and (2) when it is appropriate to turn the other cheek and when it is not are probably bigger problems.

    I have more comments under “Problems with Christianity” in section 7 of “The Baby and the Bathwater”.
    http://home.earthlink.net/~peter.a.taylor/suzuki.htm

    But these problems seem fixable. It isn’t so clear to me now why Christianity couldn’t be resurrected.

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 11:09 am Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    The bigger problem that I see with the post-rationalist religious project is that new religions require a prophet. Do we have a prophet?

    (I should say, do you have a prophet, since I’m quite happily monotheistic, thx.)

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    Kneel before prophet JimNyanKonk.

    In seriousness, no we do not seem to have a prophet. This is a problem. Perhaps we will have to construct one. Prophets are made of atoms; it should be possible.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    I’ve been wondering why no one has decided to spend time leveling up in charisma and create a new, decentralized Protestant sect that can credibly signal both ‘Christian’ and ‘not Christian’ depending on the local situation, with ‘no, this is actually Christian’ being reserved as an esoteric truth revealed to advanced members of what looks like a [most adaptive type of structure] in the environments where signaling ‘not Christian’ is necessary.

    (Christian because tradition; ‘not Christian’ because memetic immunity.)

    Better yet, combine Christianity, mystical stuff, and technical jargon of the sort in the rationality-sphere in such a way that the adherents of each part of the trichotomy assume that the other two parts are just there because they’re instrumentally useful for attracting the right sort of person and end up picking up enough of the jargon to converse with them anyway — like LW with the AI stuff vs. applied rationality.

    But I don’t know if it’s possible to consciously engineer that sort of balance, or to add a third part to it.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    My problem with Christianity is that there is too much leftwing baggage. History is replete with leftism pouring downhill from Christians. Protestantism in particular is explicitly populist, even under strict Catholic hegemony (a hegemony that is very corruptible and disgenic), the threat of a Protestant populist outbreak is ever present like a ticking time bomb. Domotism flows directly out of Protestantism. The leftism in it can be suppressed, but that’s the problem, it’s suppressed, a holier than thou can always pop up and use it to advance leftism. Even for those hard right trad Christians, even they have to admit that Christianity can be all too easily twisted to serve evil ends.

    Christianity has a place in history, like the Romans do. It’s influence will be felt long after it’s passing and the lessons of it’s history will be invaluable. But talk of resurrecting it is pure romanticism. Even if you could, it’s far too easy to turn it ugly. What has been tainted by leftism, can all too easily be returned to leftism in far shorter time than it took the first time.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “I’ve been wondering why no one has decided to spend time leveling up in charisma and create a new, decentralized Protestant sect that can credibly signal both ‘Christian’ and ‘not Christian’ …” — This is the only thing that can happen. The only question concerns the degree of lucidity attending it. (In this respect, by demanding an abnormal level of ideo-religious self-consciousness, NRx is an intriguing and complicating factor.)

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Near as I can tell, I think Kinist Christianity is what you are looking for, Wes. The only trouble is that it suffers from most of the defects of low church (i.e., “left wing”) Christianity. Many of the ideas may be right, but the Structure is wrong. (And the ideas about structure, etc.) It is truly a helluva lot easier to tear down than to build.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Close, but what really needs to happen is a new, non-exclusive religion that is genuinely compatible with both committed Christian belief and non-Christian belief. Which is more or less what progressivism says it is, but the non-exclusivity and compatiblity is a lie.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 12:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Frog Do Says:

    I am strongly disappointed no one is emphasizing the vital role of tradtional liberal arts education in these discussions. If there is a great European Tradition worth saving, it teaches smart young men Greek and Latin, the thousand year synthesis of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian. We don’t need better churches, we just need our own madrassas.

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    I made reference to “the western literary and musical canon” in the list of things to be emphasized and developed, but it wasn’t very central. I agree that it’s important.

    [Reply]

    Frog Do Reply:

    I say this like I contribute more than the occasional blog comment, but I think the important role for NRxers of the modern time will be to serve as more of a priest/prophet/remenant for the future king. So a more systematic education is needed beyond the red pill/conversion, and have been trying to become self-taught in the Western Tradition via classical education. I imagine some scoffing and advocating ignoring the lower IQ people for requiring such education.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 12:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • muhammad chang Says:

    You “traditionalist” NRxers who support tech-comm are truly laughable. You don’t realise as tech-comm gets its way there is no chance “traditional” roles will ever return, the only hope you can have for a “traditional” state of matters is if technology and all those capable of creating it are destroyed.

    You completely miss the point of the artes liberales too — they are hardly like madrasahs. Grammar, the study of languages, only serves as a background for the subsequent stages, not as an end in itself.

    I would definitely rather have kids learn Latin than modern languages, but in itself it is barely more useful if not accompanied by study of logic and rhetoric, which is really what is missing.

    [Reply]

    Frog Do Reply:

    You do not understand NRx thought. Lurk moar.

    [Reply]

    SydneyTrads Editors Reply:

    Sir,

    NRx is not immune to reductionist thinking. Tech-Comm’ists are flawed to the extent they allow their views to be ideological, or as the late Lawrence Auster would put it: when an individual take one aspect of the truth and makes it the whole truth. An inability to appreciate nuance fosters intellectual arthritis. Hence the narrow-mindedness of some of the Tech-comm’ists is no less brainless than your average garden variety hyperlibertarian with a smartphone obsession, who hates traditionalists because “they’re backward looking collectivists”. I know of no medicine for this idiocy. But that does not mean that we should become their mirror image and reject cybernetic ideas and speculations. Tradition is not concerned with worshiping ashes, but preserving the fire. You are correct in your broader criticism, but preserving the fire in changing circumstances can involve (or require) innovative thinking. Having said that, it is of paramount importance that all reflections of the material world (including technology) be subservient to the hierarchical transcendent; but that, of course, is the RadTrad speaking.

    And with that, gentlemen, I bit you good evening.

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    “You “traditionalist” NRxers who support tech-comm are truly laughable. You don’t realise as tech-comm gets its way there is no chance “traditional” roles will ever return, the only hope you can have for a “traditional” state of matters is if technology and all those capable of creating it are destroyed.”

    Without Tech-Comm, you’re just a dirty ape.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    “IRELAND WILL BE FREE ONE DAY -,AND YOU WILL STILL BREAK STONE”- you dirty ape

    [Reply]

    R7 Rocket Reply:

    Be more specific.

    NRx_N00B Reply:

    Methinks someone has been pounding back the pints of Guinness and can look forward to a rough morning.

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 1:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • SydneyTrads Editors Says:

    There are islands of resistance. We work with them, so should Throne & Alter (neo)reactionaries.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    http://youtu.be/72t4GrPXX6U

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 1:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • MLR Says:

    I think both this article:

    https://cjshayward.com/orthodoxy/

    and this chat, with Fr Seraphim:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlHkf4YbZEA

    are both very instructive as it regards some aspects of the Trad take on (N)Rx; I think one also finds here some hope for the future, if one looks to Orthodoxy. I’d love to see our host’s take on these perspectives, not least through a lens he himself may find more to his own liking:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/iain_mcgilchrist_the_divided_brain

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Mm. Anyone who has seen the Death to The World site and magazine has seen a proto-nrx aesthetic.

    [Reply]

    MLR Reply:

    I’m intrigued – thank you for the link.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 1:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#139) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 3:47 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    If you won’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

    Standing of course means you’ll receive blows.

    So …that’s out.

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    Can you elaborate? I don’t understand.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    He’s calling us gutless.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 29th, 2014 at 8:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    The men who built empires didnt sit around thinking about what their empire would mean, they went and filled their bellies their empires meant they might live a little longer. This is the only objective purpose of the universe the strong eat the weak anon the rest is the beginning of the end of the endless cycle you bards are ahead of your time youve no king to flatter the king you seek would cut your head off that he might live another day. you can not stop the world

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    Your writing is pretty incoherent, but what action do you propose would be more productive than dicking around with philosophy? I agree philosophy is not going to get us very far, but what else are we going to do?

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    His is a ridiculous statement, nyan. One can only prepare for the opportunity, should it arise, for such ’empire building’. If so many fell so quickly (check the list of Empires) is because of what he has said: no forethought at all.

    Why do something that will just turn to dust when you stop breathing? It’s silly.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    you missed the forethought its not the philosophy per se its the philosophy that doesn’t recognize the reality. The commies are right there is no point to existence so any synthesized philosophy to justify you empire is susceptible to deconstruction its not that im not just as emotionally attached to the historical myths of western civilization just that i know they wont withstand leftist assault – because they haven’t.they might be temporarily useful to foment a counter revolution or not but long term the same thing will happen, most of what DENRX fantasizes about actually exist a few hundred years ago and it was overrun.its really the same conclusion Theil comes to regarding libertarianism which for most intents and purposes also existed back then. what we like about free markets and evolution is all thats really true but to base a philosophy or a civilization on it is really hard because its a meat grinder. Can Europeans dance upon a meat grinder another thousand years not carrying the white mans burden not while trying to preserve christianity and the rest only by understanding that all there is is the grinder and the dancersure we can take pride in our past but we can not let it drag us down. I really do not see how christianity has any place in a rationalist movement. and thats what we must be its all there is

    Posted on December 30th, 2014 at 2:05 am Reply | Quote
  • Aeroguy Says:

    Since the singularity stuff has already been dismissed as religious, why not accept it and go with it? We have our Gnon influenced views of what may come that don’t involve FAI. It’s just a matter of laying out a timeline with hard to pin down dates and committing to it. Sure there will be competing timelines since there are competing goals however up until a certain point the goals and interests should align around undermining our common enemies. Many here can already be called dark prophets of post-humanism.

    The next step is accepting it as such and formalizing it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 30th, 2014 at 8:53 am Reply | Quote
  • William Newman Says:

    “It isn’t so clear to me now why Christianity couldn’t be resurrected.”

    I can think of two candidate reasons offhand. More precisely: one reason why it can’t be returned to life, and another reason why even if you succeed in returning it to life it can easily turn into one of those cautionary antinecromantic tales instead of having the influence you intend.

    First, religions historically have benefited from a special version of something like the “social proof” that gets chapter-length importance in Cialdini’s _Influence_. Any ideology, religious or secular, can enjoy the ordinary social proof when people worthy of imitating have already converted. But really successful religions tend to take it to a whole other level, with things like everyone really worthy back to the dawn of time being a convert, and like the true answers to obvious empirical questions (where did the universe come from? where did humans come from) being found in stable revelation. Unfortunately for religion, it is significantly harder to make that stick in the modern world (post-Gutenberg post-Newton post-Darwin …) than it used to be in its heyday. Granted if you can still have a sort of unexamined secular mysticism with a surprising amount of influence (e.g., the essential goodness of natural foods) there should still be plenty of room for full-blown religion to have a significant influence. Nonetheless there seems to be significantly less room than there was, quite possibly not enough room for religion to regain its old overwhelming influence except in special cases.

    Second, much of the influence of religions in practice ends up being not the direct influence of pure religion, but the influence of a logical trainwreck between religious doctrine and local conditions and unofficial priorities. Well before 0AD the concept of Asiatic despotism existed, and even today Christianity in the old Asiatic despotism stomping grounds looks rather different in ways that might surprise Socrates less than it would surprise an earnest student of the New Testament ca. 150AD. And various proto-IndustrialRevolution golden-age-ish episodes in other times and places burned out before an enormously important triumph of “religion”: the Calvinists succeeded in holding off burnout using a rather bizarre patchwork theological defense for peacefully productive economic success (predestination and God’s backhanded revelation of who is the select? really?) and managed to make it stick for generations, esp. in the Netherlands and England. Good for “Christianity”, yay … but it really looks like an idiosyncratic collision of the ancient religious documents with Northerner seafaring borderline-cosmopolitan informal values, not very much like an obvious-in-hindsight interpretation of the religious documents and traditions that is likely to convince e.g. a Russian peasant when it is explained to him.

    So it has gotten significantly harder to influence people deeply with religious doctrine, and even when you can influence people, one lesson of history is that even when the influence of religion is strong it may not follow purely from the religion in any natural way, or be easy to anticipate (or, perhaps, even reliably recreate) in any obvious way.

    [Reply]

    Nyan Sandwich Reply:

    Hmmm. These are good strong points that we will have to handle in any case. Mass influence is hard, and you don’t get away from that by being secular.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 30th, 2014 at 3:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alan J. Perrick Says:

    L.O.L.

    This is pretty far from you calling people “cagey” for not going along with “Jim”‘s first signs of anti-Christian wobble. In fact, you called them “defenses of Anglican Christianity” or something along those lines. Turns out you were wrong…

    A.J.P.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “You”? Wrong about what?

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 31st, 2014 at 5:32 am Reply | Quote
  • Baron Ludwig von Nichts Says:

    Why not a real Cthulhu cult? Is there a more plausible philosophy than cosmicism? Now add ritual and mythos, centered on the writings of the Prophet Lovecraft, and you have the abysmal cosmic religion we all crave. I sketched out something like this at cultofxoth.com. Azathoth akbar!

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    How do I get from the Elder Gods to persuading my daughter to follow the Elder Virtues? Some of us are serious here about needing a new religion. We’re searching for Kierkegaard’s “ideas of the shipwrecked”.

    [Reply]

    Baron Ludwig von Nichts Reply:

    How do I get from the Elder Gods to persuading my daughter to follow the Elder Virtues?

    You don’t, obviously, ‘cuz Azathoth doesn’t care about such things. Shipwrecked? Yes we are, on a tiny mote called Earth, adrift on black seas of infinity, and there’s no rescue ship coming. Hahahahahahaha. Azathoth akbar!

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 31st, 2014 at 6:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    I mentioned Transhumanism above. It seems to me that Taoism may be compatible with both NRx and Transhumanist thought.

    “In the Confucian analects, we are told that Confucius, while traveling from state to state, met many men whom he called yin che, “those who obscure themselves,” and described them as persons who had “escaped from the world.” (XIV, 39) These recluses ridiculed Confucius for what they described as his vain efforts to save the world. By one of them he was described as ‘the one who knows he cannot succeed, yet keeps trying to do so.'”
    -History of Chinese Philosophy, by Fung Yu-Lan

    Lao Tzu advocated the rule of sages, effectively Philosopher-Kings, with the understanding that their rule would necessarily be, in practical terms, an extremely liberal one. “The more restrictions and prohibitions there are in the world, the poorer the people will be… the more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there shall be.” (Tao Te Ching. Chapter 57.) “Tao abides in non-action, yet nothing is left undone. If kings and lords observed this, the ten thousand things would develop naturally.” (Chapter 37.)

    He also said: “The world can be conquered by non-action; by action one cannot conquer the world.” (Chapter 48.)

    What Taoists call “the Tao” is exactly what we call Gnon. It is the primordial essence of reality, the arrow of time and the tendency of things towards entropy, a representation of the whole of natural law. Taoists aim to comprehend it and live in harmony with it… inasmuch as possible.

    Also of note is the fact that Taoism’s most popular interpretation stresses that immortality can be attained in this physical world. Therefore, its most devoted adherents have been, by and large, obsessed with becoming immortals. “Taoist Alchemy” was one method. Science may soon devise more certain methods. Taoists and Transhumanists should therefore share many common goals.

    (Ironically, the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, died after ingesting a mercury-based “elixir of immortality.” His far-ranging quest for this sort of elixir may have lead to an influx of Chinese adventurers into Japan around 210BC — which may have either initiated or invigorated the Proto-Japanese Yayoi culture.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    (Just in case my silent assent isn’t obvious, I’ll tack this on.)

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Does anybody here know what John Derbyshire’s beef with Taoism is?

    [Reply]

    R. Reply:

    This?

    http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Reviews/Religion/daodejing.html

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    I’ll have to reread the tao te ching with gnon=tao in mind. However I view immortality the same as equality, a pleasant idea that when applied in reality is anything but. I hate transhumanists motivated by immortality as much as equality pushing liberals. Death is important, death is inescapable, without death there is only lifeless stagnation. There can be no change without death. Yin and yang, life and death, one can’t exist without the other.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    It can be read in that manner. Chapter 40, which seems to confuse everybody anyway, becomes even more incomprehensible than usual — but the rest, by and large, should make just as much sense, if not more intuitive sense than it did before.

    In the Tao Te Ching, and more poignantly in the book of Chuang Tsu, death is portrayed as part of the natural cycle; as part of the Tao itself. However, in the arguably more influential Daozang, death is something that can (and damn well should!) be avoided entirely if you recite enough scripture and drink the right concoctions. For this reason, primarily, Taoist adepts are portrayed in popular Chinese culture not as sages but as sorcerers.

    Chinese folk Taoism (“popular Taoism”) — which is a sort of derivative of a standardized form, with antiquated pop-culture and Confucian influences — places a very high value on life extension. In this respect it parallels Transhumanism. For although the philosophical roots of Transhumanism lie in taking charge of our own evolution and enhancing our physical and intellectual capabilities, we can see how it has developed as a movement… From those lofty and ennobling goals to a cryonics obsession and an almost single-minded focus on life extension.

    Having said that, our future will eventually be a transhuman/posthuman one. And the only established spiritual/religious tradition that’s fully compatible with this future is Taoism. It may be possible for each of those two movements to bring out the best in the other. Spirituality on the one hand, and intellectual and physical ascendancy on the other.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 1st, 2015 at 8:22 am Reply | Quote
  • Vypuero Says:

    I thought the whole point of NRx is that you do NOT need to control the thoughts of the people who live in your realm, hence there is no need for any kind of enforced religion. Replacing the current one with a new one won’t make any difference. If that is the goal, why not just try the whole limited/watchmen government again? It should last at least a century or two, maybe more. An owner of the land/kingdom/etc. that can be managed as a business/corporation seems to me to be a good working concept. No need for a religion, though it could be something specific groups choose to do.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    That idea of the government not having to care about what its citizens think is one of the things we argue about. Most of us here don’t seem to think it’s possible.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 5th, 2015 at 8:48 pm Reply | Quote

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