hanelyp wrote:To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, Nobody ever went broke underestimating the goodness of the human race.
I like to phrase that as pursuit of self interest being a constant of human nature.
(scope of self varying some with upbringing, and enlightenment to guide the pursuit being anything but constant.)
(for that matter, a constant of the nature of any successful species.)
As for the value of religion, a successful religion embraces memes that promote survival and expansion of the people. Religions embracing memes contrary to survival adapt or die. Protestant Christianity, so influential in the US for many years, is an amazing success judged by the prosperity of the people who followed it. And now that the US is turning away from those values, it and the world that so greatly prospered by indirect blessings are facing a very great spot of "bad luck".
Well not exactly. But it is close. The memes that the US prospered under were:
1. Small limited government
2. Government functions handled as locally as possible
3. Leave people to their own devices
4. Individual morality is an individual concern
5. Harming yourself may be a sin - it is not a government concern
6. Only crime (directly harming others) is a government concern
We now of course have government on the Catholic model.
1. Top down
2. Sin is a government concern
3. The individual must be controlled for the greater good - it takes a village - actually it takes a nation
The Catholic model is socialism. The Protestant model is liberty. In a sense we are all Catholics now.
The youth are rejecting religion for that very reason. The Catholic model is stifling. It is an end to progress. I suppose that is why the Catholic strain calls itself "progressive" these days. NewSpeak.
The thing is that I have friends that are on all sides of the spectrum politically. I am a fairly conservative person. The GOP has caught themselves in a trap of using social issues to bolster their numbers. If Republicans would get out of the social issue morality game, more and more people would align themselves with Republicans. But that seems really difficult for them to do.
College Republicans latest to issue warnings for party's future
BTW that is the reason IMO that Catholics were so distrusted in our early history. The people of those generations knew socialism when they saw it.
All humans have a common morality. That morality is anti-force and anti-fraud. And of course tort law - negligence. But that is about it.
We used to put up with quite a bit of inconvenience for the sake of liberty.
So what have we gotten with all these laws against sin? We have lost considerable liberty. We are well on the way to a police state. And sin is as prevalent as ever. A net loss.