Which Way? #writing101

Movie poster for Civilization

Movie poster for Civilization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My first installment into the WordPress Writing 101 workshop is supposted to be twenty minutes of random thoughts, so here it goes.

Which way does the world turn? Seriously. Now I don’t mean in the astronomical context. I mean what parts of what we do enhance, advance, improve and grow our civilization and which parts detract, delay, roll-back, and reduce it. The lump sum of civilization does not seem to go anywhere. The degree of civilized behavior at the high-end seems to advance…or does it. As we isolate and remove things that some folks think hold our culture back, we might be ditching some of the things that brought us this far. Yes, Secular Humanists, I’m talking to you.


There are folks who think that any new societies that we establish on Mars and other places should be free and open and devoid of religion.

How’s that?

First of all, you can’t put the words “free and open” and “devoid of religion” together in the same sentence. You contradict yourself.

I also don’t think it would be healthy to try, or even possible to accomplish, a religion-free culture. Religion in its purest form occurs in the heart and many say that it often guides us without us even knowing. No new culture can eliminate it without becoming the very usurpers of thought that have been the enemies of science since Plato.

Further, which patterns  of civilized behavior will these new cultures eliminate along with religion? I don’t see anything in science that teaches folks how to protect the family unit, or that inspires most folks to help the poor and disadvantaged. Yes, lots of folks think that is important, but lots of folks don’t, and religion is still the loudest, and practically the only, organized cheerleader of those concepts without which the apocalyptic science fiction that we enjoy today would be right at our heals.

Without religion to teach large groups of people toward civilized behavior, civilization would fall to dust and take the infrastructure that supports our scientific advancements with it and doom future generations to running around naked, stabbing rabbits with sharp sticks in order to eat. On a planet such as Mars, that technological infrastructure would keep everyone alive and then the bones of that colony would join all the other failed colonies through the history of our culture.

My twenty minutes are up, so I’m just going to hit “Publish” now and head off to work. Ok, first I’ll let Zemantha pop in a picture of Aristotle. No, I’ll delete that. I think this “Civilization” movie poster would work better.

What do you think? Offer comments. Some of the most interesting content on this blog has come from long message threads. I know you have something to say. Come on. Let’s hear it.

~ by Bill Housley on April 6, 2015.

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