Societies rely on a common value system and for a common value system to be actualised subjective reality has to be rejected. Historically, the UK was based upon Christian values and the fundamental belief which stems from Christianity is that God was incarnate as a human, lived on earth, died on the cross, and was resurrected after three days. From Christianity stemmed the Bible and from the Bible stemmed the basis of our value and legal systems.
The medieval age gave rise to one of the greatest concepts to ever come out of Christendom: chivalry. Chivalry married two opposing paths – the way of the warrior and the way of the monk. Chivalry by its very design should not exist because it asks a man to follow the path of peace and uphold righteousness while utilising violence and force to maintain order and justice – these two concepts should not by nature be conjoined. Where does it come from? Men have always been the individuals who waged war and as a result women, and children, were seen as requiring protection and it was seen as spiritually sound to uphold their honour. For this to be true it must be accepted that women fulfil a social role which allows them to be in need of this protection and thus they are seen in some ways as inferior to men – this does not, however, mean that they are not equal to men. In some ways the code of chivalry believes that women are superior to men but men are the means by which the weaker sex be protected. In fulfilling this code we require Christian values: self-sacrifice, humility, and gentility. However, God rules with two hands: justice and mercy. It must not be thought that to kill is not a Christian value – only murder is wrong by Christian ethics. In order to protect our world of mercy and humility we must uphold values of strength and honour, requiring men to smite evil and safeguard the helpless and weak.
Yet unless we hold to an objective value system then all this progress, true progress, is lost to subjectivity and the assumption that there is no point.
Ask any Christian whether or not with all their heart they believe in the resurrection and life of Christ and they will respond affirmatively. Ask them if they ever have doubt and they would be a liar or a fundamentalist if they answered negatively – faith relies on doubt. Faith requires us to believe in something greater than ourselves, something that we may not necessarily be able to scientifically justify to ourselves and those around us but nonetheless to believe in the idea itself is greater than its rejection. When we live in a world which surrounds us with the idea that nothing is true, maybe except that which we can see, then we have no foundation upon which to base our societies and be vigilant to the potential societal collapse which may yet come. Don’t mistake me for I realise that religious and social institutions have brought this upon themselves through their own complacency and refusal to acknowledge the power of objective perception but it is far more dangerous to be without them to than to be with them. Look at today’s world and you must begin to understand why movements like Puritanism and Fascism arise – because people have lost order and justice which ultimately rely on an objective reality. To believe in justice and order you must believe in a morally absolute reality, whether that is religious or secular, but without these concepts the world degenerates into chaos and the world always walks a fine line between order and chaos, love and hate, light and dark.
Human nature is flawed and we cannot act as if it is our political and moral systems themselves which are alone flawed. As they say: weak men create bad times, bad times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men. It is cyclical but now the time calls out for strong men and strong men must have something to believe in. If there’s no objective reality then there will be no strong men.
Image credit: flickr.com/paukrus