Considering the God Gene

In The God Gene, Dean Hamer argues that we are predisposed to believe in gods or things supernatural because we are genetically programmed to believe in something larger than ourselves. We do appear to be so inclined, but our need to believe in something greater than ourselves does not have to entail religion. The questions Hamer presents often lead to religion of some kind simply because the society in which we live has for so long expected that they must. However, we now live in a more sophisticated and philosophical age. There are other ways to think about “the big questions.”

Colourful strands of DNA

The gene that makes us want to be part of something greater than ourselves does not have to make us religious. (Image: public domain)

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Are Culture Wars a Symptom of Western Decline?

Victory Arch of Emperor Constantine

The victory arch of Roman emperor Constantine. The arch once symbolized spectacular victory — there are many examples in European cities — but its shape does suggest a process of rise and inevitable fall. (Image: public domain.)

When I was a young man, a popular topic for intellectuals was the decline of the West. As liberal ideas spread and moral standards declined, many writers drew parallels with the Roman Empire in its last days. German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler had popularized the notion in the 1920s. By the late 20th century, with the complete triumph of the left, the idea had fallen from favour.

As Winston Churchill said, “history is written by the victors.” Today, we see the left rewriting Western history and those who cause a decline seldom see reason to find fault with their role in it. As it happens, the left does not see a decline at all, only an incomplete change to leftist outlooks, values, and policies.

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