Monday, December 6, 2010

Are We More Depraved Than Ever?

My take on the answer:

The relatively stable political system of the US supported by expanding affluence and an emphasis on religion has accomplished over the last two centuries a whitewash, an appearance of moral progressiveness, while of course, human depravity remained hidden but active at all levels of society.

We are no more depraved today, I would say. However, in the last fifty years or so, there has been a shift. Large numbers of the upper and middle classes of Western cultures now openly embrace hedonism and various spiritual perspectives that support its flowering as a part of everyday life.

Art imitates life? The "art" of Hollywood in the early Twentieth Century indicated high levels of interest and participation in hedonism. The whitewash mentality demanded a cover-up in the late 1930's I think it was. The hedonists won an open view of lust when the movies began a rating system in the 1960's. Movies could add all manner of reality--man's depravity--as long as movie-goers were warned of content. Advancing technology and distribution to the masses now fuels a life imitates art reality.

The moral under-pinnings of the whitewash were attacked at the intellectual level through the search for "truth" in universities affecting the ruling elite, while the media has thoroughly corrupted the moral practices of the great collective, the wisdom of man has studied at the university the fallen state of man and describes all reality from within the box of human depravity. Money can made by pragmatism, or the view that we need to accept and deal with the reality of the human condition, whether you live on the street, amongst the masses or within the halls of power.

I hold the corruption has always existed; it is the illusion of morality we Boomers have watched be destroyed. People are freed in these days for the ultimate experience materially--self expression. There is a rising tide of overt sexuality, including homosexual and bisexual experience, which is a function of what has always been traditionally rationalized as only a "heterosexual" problem--lust. During the golden years of the whitewash, homosexuality could not speak its name. An irrational divide held that heterosexuality was "normal", and its associated failures of impropriety were scandalous but understandable. The whitewashed ethic rationalized homosexuality as deeply wrong from a psychological and moral stand point. The much more open homosexual experience of today appears to some as evidence of a growing decadence. I think it is simply evidence of a post-modern pragmatism.

The condition of society we now experience is the biblical "lust of the flesh" given free reign by today's openness. Love of self through sexual pleasure has always lurked in the human heart, but today's enhanced electronic media peddles, promotes and glamorizes lust across all sections of society.

It is not surprising that in reducing the meaning of life to individual fulfillment labeled as self-actualization and removing all judgments in the name of tolerance that the dark loves of the human heart are being peddled as entertainment with disturbing pervasiveness. People who are removed from the struggle of life to make the earth give up its sustenance, as in the day when life was simply agrarian, have no reality checks of dependence on the Creator. Rather, now the struggle is completely within the system, defined by the system, and relieved by the entertainments of the system, for life itself is falsely understood as material reliance on the system or the "World" in the text of Truth.

God Himself has ordained the delusion to be lived out by the dark of heart.


C said...

As our American biblical heritage fades into historical shadows, the masters of media now take up the mantle of defining morality. Their agenda is based upon obliterating moral limits, not establishing them.
As a culture, we are screwed.
"Come out of her, my people!" says the Holy Spirit.

ded said...

It is true, my friend C. The only reason it is not sad, is our current state indicates Jesus will return soon!

postmodern redneck said...

This post reminds me of several things I've read over the years, including one from C.S. Lewis. His response to the idea common in his day that sex was a mess because the Victorians had hushed it up, was that it was more likely they had hushed it up because it was a mess.

Maybe some more later, I'm pretty tired tonight.