Faith and Determinism

On /r/darkenlightenment, the illustrious Nemester writes:

Fighting leftism is like fighting entropy (scientific concept). To some extent this is basically impossible. You can’t fight entropy. However we are committed to fighting against chaos. Even if only a brief respite is possible, we want to make it reality if only for a short time.

One day, the sun will burn out, the oil wells will run dry, and the antibiotics will lose their efficacy.  As Keynes said, in the long run, we’re all dead.

Applied to the political process, Moldbug is to be thanked and respected for identifying leftism as chaos:

First, we need to define left and right. In my opinion, obviously a controversial one, the explanation for this mysterious asymmetric dimension is easy: it is political entropy. Right represents peace, order and security; left represents war, anarchy and crime.

He was also the one to point out that leftism is just more fit memetically—that democracy leads inexorably to leftism,  and from there on to poverty, racial conflict, and a breakdown of order.

In other words: in the long run, we lose.

I wanted to write something to bolster those who, reading Nemester’s comment, sensibly think, “Well if all of this is doomed to failure, why try?”

The first response is that the long term is not the short term; just because the sun will go out someday doesn’t make it any colder today.  Cthulhu and Moloch are uncaring and unconscious: they will in fact allow a glorious, thriving civilization; “all men glad and wise,” to quote Scott Alexander.  There appears to be a hard limit on velocity at the speed of light; there is no hard limit of which I’m aware on quality of society.

The second response is that this is precisely the question that Christianity answers.  Death is acknowledged, and inescapable: it happens to everyone, and everything, societies included:

Eustace made a step towards him with both hands held out, but then drew back with a somewhat startled expression.

“Look here! I say,” he stammered. “It’s all very well. But aren’t you? – I mean didn’t you – ?”

“Oh, don’t be such an ass,” said Caspian.

“But,” said Eustace, looking at Aslan. “Hasn’t he – er died?”

“Yes,” said the Lion in a very quiet voice, almost (Jill thought) as if he were laughing. “He has died. Most people have, you know. Even I have. There are very few who haven’t.”

The answer is: everything is doomed, but the more interesting question is: “And then what?”  And the surprising answer is, “Well, then they get un-doomed.”   And what’s more: all the work put in before is not for naught:

The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

So: it is good that you’ve noticed a downward slide in society.  But that should not make you despair that it’s unrecoverable, or applies to every individual, and nor should it make you despair from seeing the far ending, because you haven’t looked far enough.


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