In recent years, there has been a concerted attack on many of the precepts of Western civilization relating to the concept of God, truth, Christianity, morality, sex, the family, and even modern science, especially biology. The concern of this volume is to explore these and other attacks through the tools of philosophy, theology, science, and intuition. It seeks to bring clarity to the ongoing struggle of Western civilization to preserve its values and traditions.
The West is crumbling at an accelerated rate. The unfolding erasure of history, objective morality, and truth has paved the way for our current predicament. We are now standing at the precipice of the future of human civilization. The attacks on the human person are unrelenting, malicious, multifaceted, and wide-ranging in their scope and breadth, from the time prior to birth until the moment of death. If you are granted the “right” to live, then you must be prepared for unending assaults on your, mind, body, and soul. Nevertheless, the spirit of man and the greatness of God are infinitely greater than any of these assaults. It is by making sense of nonsense that humanity will be able to navigate out of the West’s current quagmire.
Even though the contributors to this volume hold varied worldviews and conceptions of God, economic policies, COVID-19 outlooks, and political perspectives, they yet share a strong belief in an individual’s right to free expression without fear of reprisal; and they believe in the important role that reason, science, logic, intuition, and lived experience play in navigating through such difficult subjects. They bring an eclectic mixtures of expertise, including philosophy, theology, engineering, economics, psychology, medicine, history, nursing, and education.
Scott D. G. Ventureyra holds a PhD in Philosophical Theology from Carleton University/Dominican University College. He is the author of two books, including the Amazon best-seller, On the Origin of Consciousness: An Exploration through the Lens of the Christian Conception of God and Creation. He has published in academic journals such as Science et Esprit, The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Studies in Religion, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, and Maritain Studies. He has also written for magazines such as Crisis Magazine, Catholic Insight, and Convivium, and newspapers such as The National Post, City Light News, The Ottawa Citizen, and The Times Colonist. He has presented his research at conferences around North America, including the “Science of Consciousness Conference” in 2020. In addition to his two recent titles, COVID-19: A Dystopian Delusion and Making Sense of Nonsense (both being published by True Freedom Press), he is currently working on a book about the Roman Catholic priest, paleontologist, and theologian, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, titled Why Teilhard Matters. To learn more, visit his website.
This excerpt is from Making Sense of Nonsense: Navigating Through The West’s Current Quagmire, the recent book edited by Scott Scott Ventureyra.
While it is true that the Soviet Union dissolved internally from 1988 to 1991, there remains a pernicious philosophy that is infecting human minds across the globe, now more widespread and powerful than it ever was under Soviet rule, and still officially enshrined in totalitarian regimes like the Chinese Communist Party. This evil specter of communism embodies an a-theology that eats away like an acid at the edifice of Western civilization, along with every great and noble idea that it has generated or even fathomed. It is seductive since it gnaws away at the human will, intellect, and sense of morality, building concession through chaos and confusion. If we allow it, it will write out humanity’s epitaph.
What happens when George Orwell’s notion of “big brother” and Jacques Derrida’s “method” of deconstructionism as applied to social issues collide? Something that is very sinister; a collective madness that penetrates Western civilization. But what are these ideas about? And what does their collision entail? The postmodern philosopher Jacques Derrida espoused an approach to textual analysis known as deconstructionism. However, its application has been extended far beyond textual analysis. Derrida made a thought-provoking confession in his work Moscou aller-retour on deconstructionism as it relates to political activism, where he pinpoints, of all things, Marxism:
“Deconstruction never had meaning or interest, at least in my eyes, than as a radicalization, that is to say, also within the tradition of Marxism in a certain spirit of Marxism.” Similarly, Derrida’s fellow postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault uses Marxism as a tool for political activism: “I label political everything that has to do with class struggle, and social everything that derives from and is a consequence of the class struggle, expressed in human relationships and institutions.”
This reveals the true agenda behind postmodernism and deconstructionism. Furthermore, postmodernism is utterly relativist in its morality and epistemology. As philosopher John Searle has observed, it is a world that is turned upside down. It is the ones who were “suppressed” who now act as the suppressors; however, they do not achieve dominance through rational argumentation but rather through decrying oppression and marginalization. Those who claim to be powerless have ironically gained power through their “powerlessness.” These are overt attacks on the very fabric of the West’s Judeo-Christian roots, the basis for the scientific revolution, the foundations of law, and the intrinsic value and dignity of all human persons.
In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the character Big Brother, who heads the totalitarian state of Oceania, subjects his citizens to perpetual surveillance through the scrutiny of the authorities via telescreens. In the West we are experiencing mass surveillance through the state (local and federal governments) and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. It is not enough that mainstream media with its propaganda, or as others would call it “fake news,” is in the business of misinforming and indoctrinating the public.
Moreover, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government has made a commitment to regulate “hate speech” on social media, but of course, a precise definition of ‘hate speech’ is never given. Bill C-36, “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code,” is the most recent legislation to regulate speech online. This is just another excuse to censor people who hold unpopular views. The Liberals have also sought to update the language of section 13 of Bill C-36 with the following statement:
“It is a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by the means of the Internet or other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
The question remains: what is hate speech and who defines it? Government? No thanks. We are never provided a precise definition, but at most something ambiguous and susceptible to manipulation in countless ways. This poses a tremendous threat to our freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience. It is worth noting that the term “hate” is nowhere to be found in Canadian jurisprudence. However, “hatred” is defined in case law. What the Criminal Code does prohibit is “hate propaganda,” defined as “any writing, sign or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide…”
Undoubtedly, free speech is under assault, and Trudeau, sometimes known as postmodernism’s poster-boy, is a leading figure in this assault. An arbitrary definition of “hate speech” can lead to such absurd situations as a “transgender woman” being accused of hate speech claiming via a t-shirt to be still male. Thus, on the one hand, you have a denial of metaphysical and moral truths alternating with attempts to affirm such truths—something which is logically incoherent—and on the other hand, you have massive surveillance and censorship to ensure you do not deny these untruths. It is worse than an Orwellian nightmare; it is a relativistic morass founded on nonsense which is forcefully submerging its citizens in a sea of absurdities. In the aforementioned examples, we can see the ramifications of these two abhorrent ideas, especially when combined.
Politics, culture, science, and philosophy undergird something much deeper than appears on the surface. It will require readers to dig deeply within themselves, since the struggle is ultimately internal although appearing externally; it is a struggle for moral responsibility and human dignity. Au fond, this is a spiritual war, where human civilization is the battleground for a struggle that involves good and evil predating human existence.
We are at a critical juncture in human history; the following questions lie before us: will we be able to overcome the lesser angels of our nature? Will we be able to override the savage and tribalist vestiges of our evolutionary past that stifle genuine and authentic human progress? Will truth, science, reason, logic, love, and justice prevail? To answer those questions in the affirmative it will take individuals who have become aware of this decadence, so that we can properly navigate through this current quagmire.
If we remain deep in slumber and “woke” rather than awakened, we will be forced to face the impending death of our great civilization; we risk descending into the bottomless nether regions inhabited by the likes of Karl Marx, Margaret Sanger, Andrea Dworkin, Judith Butler, Theodor Adorno, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and other sinister characters who commiserate with each other for eternity.
Featured image: “Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman,” by Johannes Vermeer; painted ca. 1662-1665.