Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mere Anarchy

I read this feedback on a website this morning. The specific reference was to Tony Blair's taking the Pope to task for his "archaic" stance on homosexuality.

"This is why the bible should only be considered as an average novel, not literal instructions on how to live your life. What is immoral should be assessed by the values of the day and not be prescribed by an archaic book. To survive, we must modernise."

What's dangerous about this thinking is twofold:
1) all things "modern" become the next generation's "archaic."
2) simply adopting something "modern" is no guarantee that it will be better.

If we go down the road of "whatever, as long as it's new," we fail to grasp the concept of entropy. What is it the poet says?

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

- William Butler Yeats, from The Second Coming

Systems tend toward chaos. Society has persevered simply because some human do cling to "the old ways," and demand moral behavior that is not relative, but absolute. It is in the dynamic tension between the inevitible pull toward chaos, and this human tendency to absolutism (given by God?) that our survival subsists. 

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