In economics, Gresham's Law is the principle that bad money drives out good. This is because, as Prof. Wiki explains, "if there are two forms of commodity money in circulation, which are accepted by law as having similar face value, the more valuable commodity will disappear from circulation." Human nature being what it is, people will hold on to the good stuff and pass along the bad.
Now, the ultimate purpose of religion is simply conformity with the nature of things, both horizontal and vertical. Or in other words, it is not only true, but the ground, substance, and telos of Truth. Obviously, religion speaks to "ultimate truth." But reality is easily displaced by a spectrum of alternatives, all the way down to the lie and beyond, to a hatred of truth itself.
It is one thing for anti-religious ideologies to reject truth. That is their purpose. But when religion does it, that, it seems to me, is taking the name of the Lord in vain.
Okay, Douthat points out that the fundamentalist movement of the early 20th century was in reaction to certain scientific developments:
[T]he challenge of Darwinism and biblical criticism threw this style of faith into crisis. From the 1920s onward, American Evangelicals responded by retreating into the intellectual cul-de-sac of fundamentalism..." In so doing they "gradually embraced interpretations of the Bible that would have been foreign to earlier Christian authorities...
How foreign? Well, it's a bit like a parallel form of Marxism that provides "all the answers to anyone willing to embrace its self-enclosed system of interpretation." You have only to believe one falsehood, and the rest follows.
Marxism is not a philosophy in any meaningful sense of the word, but precisely the opposite, being that it isn't open to the world, but rather, a closed system superimposed upon the world. As such, it is a kind of omniscient methodological stupidity with no cure within its own resources. Still, it has probably been the most successful ideology ever at persecuting and banishing truth.
Every year the university cranks out thousands of young adolts in whom bad ideas have driven out the good.
Yesterday a friend mentioned that his niece recently graduated from one of these neo-Marxist seminaries with the sincere delusion that she is so stained by White Privilege that she is nearly paralyzed with guilt. She is actually considering giving away all her material possessions, which is a refreshing departure from the usual procedure of forcing the rest of us to give up ours in order to assuage their morally superior guilt: the statism of the left is virtue signaling by proxy.
Nor is fundamentalism a philosophy. And proud of it! From its standpoint, it is merely a case of driving out bad -- which is to say, satanic -- ideas. Again, Luther was of the belief that all ideas emanating from man are bad. For him the intellect is depraved along with everything else. He was trained at an institute that had
rejected the rationality of the Thomist tradition, teaching that human ideas have no real relation to things but are mere labels or symbols for what the mind perceives.... He resolved the dilemma by deciding that the crucial element in reconciling an individual to God was a spontaneous act of faith, in return for which God granted justification.
This leads directly to "the modern misconception of faith as an essentially irrational position, a sacrifice of reason to religious duty, as if there were some virtue in the suspension of the proper faculties of the intellect for God's sake" (Rao).
Boom. Bad religion drives out good. Which results in a defective map of the vertical. Meanwhile, the left's triumph over reason leads to a collapse of the horizontal. What is liberation theology but a lame attempt to resuscitate the vertical with a bad map of the horizontal? Conversely, what is Antifa style leftism but a sick attempt to enliven the horizontal with a bad internalized map of the vertical? (In other words, leftism is in the end a sick and deviant religion.)
For different reasons, both camps have forsaken the link to objective reality. No wonder they fight so! Is there a way out of this mess? Well, yeah. It's called Christianity.
In Thoughtful Theism, the author quotes one of his professors, who -- after rolling his eyes -- informed him that "The debate about evolution is not a debate between science and religion, and never has been. It is is a debate between atheists and Protestants." And Muslims, I suppose.
In any event, Boom. Both sides believe the existence of God is at stake, but they are wrong. And they are wrong because they have rejected a traditional metaphysics which easily accommodates evolution.
As per the title of this post, "Popular things aren't usually the best quality things. But they are popular, so they spread like wildfire" (ibid.). But as far as the Raccoon is concerned, no one will ever disprove the existence the Absolute, the disproof being proof of its existence.
Bottom line for today:
It seems to me that the heart of the cultural conflict we face today is not between religions, or between religion and irreligion. It seems that the heart of the conflict we have always faced as human beings is between rationality and irrationality.... rationality and theism go together hand in hand (ibid.).