This is one of the most pressing debates on the right to have IMO:
“Leo Strauss rejects secularization theories in explaining the modern world. He traces the origins of modernity to the “anti-theological ire” of Machiavelli, Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes—meaning, their anger against Christianity for its denigration of the world and its terrible religious wars; in reaction they asserted man’s complete autonomy from all transcendent standards, the sovereignty of man in the cosmos, and a worldly vision of material success that deliberately estranges man from eternity… Is it possible, then, that modern democracy is mainly a product of the scientific Enlightenment which is wholly atheistic at bottom? One could argue that the underlying premise of modern democracy, the theory of natural rights derived from a “state of nature” in which men are born free and equal and create their own government by a social contract, cannot be derived from secular Christianity. It is too radical. It implies human autonomy, or man’s complete mastery of nature and control of his destiny, which is an implicit denial of divine providence. This view is closer to atheistic humanism than to secular religion. But if the idea of autonomy and mastery is not compatible with Christianity, then the origins of modern democracy should be traced to other sources, the predominant ones stemming from nonreligious or antireligious philosophies. The appearance of “transformation” would then be illusory; it would be due to a historical irony in which Christian believers naively appropriated ideas from modern philosophy (like the state of nature or the scientific conquest of nature) and then incorporated them into their theology by mistakenly equating them with Gospel imperatives to “love one another.””
Robert P. Kraynak, “Nietzsche, Tocqueville, and Maritain: On the Secularization of Religion as the Source of Modern Democracy”
Some of the only serious people on the right I know are eccentric Christians. I can’t help scrutinizing their foundation–their behavior, their belief in objective truths, on the other hand, I can’t help emulating as a non-christian theist. All my talk of “foundations in nothingness” isn’t conducive to unshakable epistemologies (duh) so there’s balance needed theonomically speaking- “permanent revolution” is an expression of the same problem in political language. Anyway, NRx seems to firmly be on the side of the narrative that Christianity is the root of the problem and as you can see above there’s some reason to doubt this. The debate could be framed as so- Is Christianity the problem or is the departure from the true essence of Christianity the problem?
Anecdotally, the last time I read the New Testament I emerged more sympathetic to globalism. Maybe instead of a philosophy book I’ll go through that next, that would be a fun exercise on a site with such a name as this yes? The study of law is so boring, someone’s gotta do it though, and I see that as a necessary bridge to get to posthumanism. Lots of necessary bridges, incidentally- I’m not pessimistic enough anymore to think that the first aphorism of BGE’s “The Religious Mood” is .. correct.
Well, what would you say is the true essence of Christianity if you were put on the spot? And then what would you say the true essence of the enlightenment is?
Not saying my instinctive response so as not to bias anyone. It would be pretty sweet if Jim was right and we can just go back to Christianity, that solves the foundations in nothingness problem, well… As Grand Inquisitor he’d probably burn anyone with that thought at the stake. So maybe I am sympathetic with the enlightenment in a certain sense, it’s just in dire need of Theological-esque grounding. Yes once again I’m scientific-religion posting. I don’t see any alternative to the atomization, ennui, hedonism, etc. problems.