It seems clear to me that the modern day sickness afflicting the West today, with its moral scepticism, feminism and liberalism, stems from the abandonment of the pre-modern Christian worldview, particularly its emphasis on nature and the natural order. Let me explain.
Nature and the natural order was once seen as immanently ordered, purposed-driven, reasoned, moral, and hierarchical. God was the ruler of all things and all things were, ultimately, dependent upon Him and existing for Him. That applies to mankind, too. We were created with an objective purpose; our bodies and sex were understood to be immanently ordered and structured with reason, pointing to divine wisdom and goodness. On this worldview, reason, order and purpose is seen everywhere within nature and the world, and it is our job, as individuals and society, to conform ourselves to our natural and supernatural ends, for that is what is reasonable and good, sanctioned by none other than God Himself.
But things changed. The modern worldview does not see purpose immanent in nature, taking no spiritual meaning from nature’s orderliness. In fact, that orderliness is largely understood in terms of blind natural law and mechanism, which is without purpose, immanent order, moral order, and reason. The privileged narrative of human creation is evolution, which explains the existence of human life as one that evolved through mechanism and natural selection, without any reference to God. The picture it depicts then, the null curriculum, is that man is an accidental byproduct of natural forces and mechanism, and so his existence and body is without objective purpose and meaning. That’s nature in the modern world—mechanistic and nihilistic. What about its social aspects?
The social sphere of the modern West has been largely secularized: Authority to govern is not granted by God, but by the consent of the people; the insistence of “public reason” has pushed out religious premises and ideas; and natural law, the divine footprint in judicial and moral philosophy, has lost its footing and credence. But why? Well, with consideration to natural law, I propose that natural law has lost its footing and credence because nature and the natural order lost its authority, for they were both gutted of their immanent orderliness, goodness and divine reason, left with just accident and mechanism. Hence, natural law lost its normative force.
That is why it is no historical accident that popular feminism didn’t emerge until after the Newtonian Revolution, the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution and during philosophical modernism. Before that time, the prevalent conception of nature and the natural order wouldn’t allow for it. During that time, it was understood that women belonged in the home and with the children, not because of social oppression, or because men are dicks, but because that was their natural role, which is why they are gifted with the bodies and virtues of mothers. That is to say, it was understood that the bodies and virtues of women are objectively for motherhood, and it is within motherhood that the objective good and proper end for women rests. Likewise, it was also understood that contraception interfered with the natural end of sex, giving illicit autonomy over the body and natural order. Hence, contraception was condemned because there was an recognition that sex is objectively purposed for making babies. Thus, interference with that end was understood to be unnatural, a perversion. But once nature was mechanized, once nature lost its reason and sanctity, all of this went out the window. Under the Baconian spirit, nature, bodies and the natural order were then taken as objects to conquer and control, objects over which we had soverignity. And so it is within this sense that feminism is a rebellion against nature and the natural order, which is ultimately a form of self-idolatry. I do not say so because feminists explicitly see themselves as gods, no. Instead, I say this because, in desiring sovereignty over nature and the natural order, feminists seek to be like God. That’s one red pill for you.
Anyways, this rebellion against nature continues, and it is not isolated to feminism. Polygamy. Homosexual acts. Abortion. Transgenderism. Fat Feminism. Sterilization. Euthanasia. IVF. Transhumanism. In each case, autonomy over nature and the triumph of the will is at the helm. What’s sad is that most westerners, even the defenders of tradition, have lost sense of nature and the natural order, and so they don’t know how to respond to these developments, aside from an intuition that they’re perversions. And they are perversions, no doubt. But without the metaphysics, philosophy of nature and natural law theory, these intuitions exist as branches without their supporting trunk and roots, taking the appearance of cultural bigotry rather than the products of real philosophy. Thus, we are losing the arguments and the cultural war, not because we’re wrong, but because we’re are unprepared – we don’t even know that we need to challenge the undergirding and prevalent concepts of nature and the natural order.
In any case, my point here is that liberals like to think that these social developments (perversions, really) are signs of progress and consequences of greater learning. I don’t think so. I think they’re consequences of a transition in how we think about nature, a transition in thought that has not had its due debate. So rather than continue debate with feminists that presume contrary ideas to our own, it is time we challenge them with the deeper questions about nature itself.
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