Saturday, February 03, 2018

Life after God

A couple weeks ago, Z Man put up a post that opened thusly:
Is it possible for humans to have a transcendent moral code if they no longer believe in an afterlife?
It's a question worth pondering, because whites in the US have been losing such a belief for decades, Among Western Europeans, it's already gone.

The GSS queries respondents on their belief in heaven. The survey also asks them whether or not they think "morality is a personal matter".

Not surprisingly, those who believe in heaven are more likely than those who do not to also believe in a transcendent moral code. Transcendence in something subjectively crafted by an individual is tricky (yes, I understand Nietzsche addresses this, but that is not how most people see it).

Among whites who believe in heaven, 35% strongly believe that morality is a personal matter. Among whites who do not believe in heaven, 52% do so (N = 910).

Z Man suggests something else will fill the space that used to be occupied by God. Paleocons like Paul Gottfried see it as multiculturalism (or what more contemporaneously might be referred to as SJW convergence), libertarians see it as the State, traditionalists as the cult of the individual, many on the Alt Right (myself included) as the disappearance of the space itself. When a people are replaced, so are their gods. Z Man in fact hints at the same:
The Christianity that flowered in the middle ages may be on the ropes, but something new will surely spring from its ruins. Perhaps the flood of Islam into the West is part of that process.
Allah laughs at your meek trinity.

The percentages of respondents, by religious affiliation, who strongly agree that morality is a personal matter (N = 7,792):

One thing Islam does not lack is a confidence in the way it perceives the moral order of the universe.

GSS variables used: PERMORAL(1)(2-4), HEAVEN(1-2)(3-4), RACECEN(1), HISPANIC(1), RELIG(1)(2)(3)(4)(9)


mark auld said...

Please elaborate on the space disappearing altogether. What do you envision filling the void?

StanFL said...

Perhaps you would find my blog on this topic interesting:

One of the salient points here is that you can't answer this question unless you understand how an individual develops a moral code, neurologically.

Audacious Epigone said...

Mark Auld,

What somebody else puts in that void. In other words, post-Christian WEIRDOs kill God and the space sits vacant for awhile as post-Christian WEIRDO civilization decays. Allah notices the undefended, open space, and moves in to fill it.


I'm interested in the similarities and contrasts between Stoicism and Buddhism. The major practical difference is the former engages in the world. Have you addressed that by chance?

Jim Bowery said...

Civilization "as we know it" has a profound weakness that must be filled by theocracy. The weakness is the denial of a 600 million year old tradition that caused the Cambrian Explosion: male intrasexual selection aka natural duel. It is not enough to replace forceful individual male competition with fraudulent individual male competition -- which is the default for civilization "as we know it". Duel by fraud ultimately takes the form of dominance hierarchies we know as "gangs", "governments" and "organized religions" -- all leading to a, now, well understood evolutionary dynamic ending in eusocial organization: parasitic castration of the sterile castes by the reproductive caste.

Until Western Civilization stops its puerile treatment of male intrasexual selection and grows the fuck up, it won't understand its essential culture. Without that understanding, it is appealing to believe that "whites have no culture" because the artificial selection regime producing "whites" has been submerged in bullshit.

sykes.1 said...

As a Darwinian and a practical atheist/official agnostic, I have to believe that whatever morality we have is basically the hunter-gatherer ethic. That is wired into our DNA and cannot disappear unless we as a species disappear. Not likely soon. The various Iron Age religions are riffs on the DNA.

That said, it is important to note that the Darwinian selection process fixes any behavior that enhances reproductive success. So morality that enhances group functioning (and hence reproduction) is selected for as well as "immorality" that privileges the individual against the group. There is a sort of balance maintained by the selection process.

Islam is relatively simple in its basics: (1) there is only one God and Muhammed is his prophet; (2) the five daily prayers; (3) charity; (4) fasting for ritual, penance and aestheticism; and (5) pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible. There are elaborations and disputes and schisms, but those five get you to Paradise.

But, it is Gnon who laughs.

Jim Bowery said...

Hunter-gatherer to Iron Age elides elides the >30,000 year period in Europe prior to the Iron Age -- a period that produced "whites". Like I said, it's time for Western Civilization to get real about it's 10's of thousands of years evolution that instaurated the 600 million year old tradition. This is powerful stuff if people will stop and think.

Jim Bowery said...

Read "But Then Greg Cochran's Kind of Dim" for the reason everyone seems to muddle-headed about "kin" and/or "group" selection. It really does boil down to a failure to properly apply the concepts in the book Dawkins rightfully claims is his most important: The Extended Phenotype.

The "mystery" is why Europeans evolved so much more individuality than NE Asians and New World peoples. That mystery is solved by the priority Europeans had in coevolution with wolf packs -- which struck at the root of eusociality in humans: The hunting group.

Audacious Epigone said...


A balance that can get way out of whack when new sub-species are introduced in huge numbers.


How much of a mechanism has outbreeding been in this? Not causal, but complementary?

AB.Prosper said...

It is possible Islam could force itself on Europe but that is conquest and its unnatural and doesn't seem to have widespread appeal.

The natural religion for European derived peoples is something akin to Animism and Nature Worship

Its why those lands are packed with so many sacred sights, stone monoliths, sacred wells and the like.

Its also explains some of the zealotry about global warming, environmentalism and to a degree the population collapse in the sterile urban areas .

European people generally don't seem to like sterile cities very much and don't do well in them, in order to put more people on the land so the elite can use them as consumers, we push urban development and this creates a condition where the natural fertility rate declines.

Once the remaining shards of Christianity fizzle out I suspect that most people will start to believe in spirits of all stripes instead of organized religion .

I tend to see inklings of this on American cable of all things where Destination America which used to be a travel channel has become "all ghost, all the time" with episode after episode of 95% White people having spiritual experiences

That and some nature worship is IMO our natural religion reasserting itself.

It also suggest a possible solution to the breeding problem, well beyond policy changes and that is making cities more organic and life more down to Earth.

Something like moving farms closer to town, more parks and trees in even working class White neighborhoods and jobs/work policies that get people outside might have some beneficial effect

So will population decline by the way, take the UK nearly 60 million in a place the size of a moderate US state is absurd. Historically the population was 5 or 10% of this and peak UK (say mid Victorian era) was half this

The only reason the elite are freaking out over it is that they can't cope with healthy population decline for a lot of bad reasons, mainly they see everyone as something more akin to cattle

Truth is we in the West aren't suffering a population decline but from a pathological elite and invasion. Deal with that, let the population decline and it will stabilize with a healthier stock anyway

Anonymous said...


I see nothing that indicates the "natural religion" of the most technology-obsessed peoples on the planet is "nature worship".

Our urban fertility is noticeably higher than the fertility of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore.

I suppose we are next to hear that matriarchal polygamy is our "natural reproductive pattern".

AB.Prosper said...

Anonymous, being recently tech obsessed or tech addicted is perfectly compatible with a natural tendency to see the sacred in nature and to believe in spirits and the like rather than an organized religion

The tech thing is pretty new anyway and synthetic . Its waning now

In any case go into a national forest in the US sometimes or look at who goes camping or does other "nature" based activities (excluding weed of course) . Its largely Whites and a few Hispanics and others

health food, ecological charities, animal welfare, a mania for pets all that stuff while other have it is quite implicitly White and driven by this impulse .

As for those nations, all Asian and not really germane . That said they are all even more crowded than the West is and not hugely lower than most parts of Eastern Europe, 1/10 of a child per couple doesn't count for much

Germany is a whopping 1/3 child per couple over Singapore as of 2015 anyway.

The only exception is Macau which really is crazy low

Also matriarchal polygamy? Not likely or really relevant since I'm not taking Mariam Gimbutas's approach to things. In any case Christianity isn't natural to Europe , it an import from the Middle East that got modified in Rome and later the rest of Europe

Our "leaders" are hungry for it or something like it as is if you'll forgive a clumsy metaphor, software that helps them control larger numbers of people. Its reduces tribalism and encourages behaviors that benefit a stronger state

It civilizes people and domesticates them basically.

Understandable they'd like it and a muscular Christianity isn't bad. Modern Christianity though is a, over bred lap dog vs a German Shepherd and its toxic heresy leads to the Progressivism and to Soy Boys

Barbarism is coming though in few centuries maybe much much sooner and if you want to hazard a guess as to what it will be it will be either very local religion and customs or whatever the warlords impose.

It won't be Christianity in most places and it won't be our tech/progress obsession either. That's a new thing compared to custom and tradition and while not a flash in the pan , not permanent either

Heck people are already turning of social media, TV and the like and replacing it with a more individualized experience

Functionally as the globe goes deeper into its catabloic collapse or possibly dystopia for a while, the love of tech will end as we won't have as much

Anonymous said...


There are those who claim that Judaism is really an import from the Persians, at least in the monotheistic regard. The name Iran means "land of Aryans". The Trinity concept also has a parallel in Hinduism and the Indo-European three caste structure (farmers/warriors/priest-intellectuals).

I disagree on your vaguely Uncle Ted-ish predictions of barbarism, that prediction is dependent upon peak oil. There are other energy sources coming online. The "YT Ghost Dance" will end the same way it did for the Sioux at Wounded Knee.

A better fit for society is something like Scientology that calls for space exploration and finding other intelligent life. CS Lewis talked about "multiple incarnations" of Jesus on other planets.

Kipling said...

This discussion is frankly weird and, putting on my normie-glasses, offputting. Religions without truth claims (BRING BACK ODIN) aren't going to go anywhere, and going towards individualist experiences is a quick ticket to die-off. My money is still going to rest on Christianity after however many generations it takes to evolve past the Pill (and decent rubbers). If you'd like to autisticly dismiss that bet, though, you can say I'm biased because I actually believe the truth claims of Christianity.

MyName said...

I looked at Druidism in the blog, but not Stoicism. That was during some posts debunking reincarnation.

You don't really want to be a spectator and just say, what religion will evolve to replace the existing ones? Life is not a spectator sport. In that blog referred to above, I am looking at how a designer of a new religion, such as Buddha did, will address the various aspects of it, and what might be the goals he sets for his new religion. I am trying to figure out some theory of religion design, which might then be used to narrow down the possible choices.

Tashkent Lutsow said...

Globally, no world religion is in decline. It's the exact opposite, mostly thanks to the high fertility rate of religious people. The only exception to this is Buddhism, which will have no significant increase or decrease of adherents in this century.

The void won't get filled; it will get smaller. The largely irreligious populations of the West have been irretrievably declining due to the low birth rates.

Human history should be seen as a cycle of ups and downs instead of a straight line. We're currently in a period of strong secularization, with indications that it is running out of steam in Europe mainly because of the reason I mentioned in the second paragraph. A period of resacralization will happen in Europe starting, in my estimate, in the 2050s. The Muslims will be a significant part of the populations, but there will also be a lot of Christians. I don't know how many, but certainly more than today.

I recommend "Global Christianity" by Peter Jenkins, "Shall the Religious inherit the Earth?" by Stuart Kaufmann, and "he Triumph of Faith" by Rodney Stark.

StanFL said...

"My Name" in the previous comment is StanFL, obviously.

StanFL said...

Tashkent Ludlow:

Are you projecting a period of idiocracy? That is self-limiting, but the self-limiting period might be centuries.

AB.Prosper said...

Collapse is not predicated on oil. The US despite being awash in oil is already collapsing , roads eroding, infrastructure falling apart (D+ according to American society of civil engineers) GLOBAL IQ in decline do to low IQ fertility, mass immigration and low fertility among smart people, worse. we can't even maintain the pretense of a functional Republic

You might get a dystopia for some time , a long time or a civil war but collapse is inevitable and while I agree the guys waiting for the Z Poc are as you say Ghost Dancing , the world is a mess and getting worse. It has no recovery option

The free energy Space future isn't 't going to happen. Fusion power is always twenty years away
Hell the brilliant Elon Musk makes a good chunk of his money with hats and gimmicky drip torches pretending to be flamethrowers when he isn't getting government gravy

You are living in start of Idiocracy

And Tashkent Lustow

We have very little evidence that despite higher fertility rates the industrialized world is getting more religious and plenty that its getting less so. Agreed that highly religious people have larger families but they often don't stay that way and gradually over time become more secularized. The LDS is spot on example, Utah has the highest White Christian fertility around is a state that supports religious values , has an OK economy and the Mormon church is heavy into recruiting

They basically are able to hold the line

The lower IQ, High Time preference sorts will get more religious a but they can't sustain complexity.

So yeah, 86 IQ Muslims and African Christians an the like are not going to space and may have trouble maintaining the numbers they have now.

On the whole all human populations even in the MENA regions are having lower fertility. Iran has a TFR a smidgen above Germany and Brazil a smidgen above the US. Both are not secular nations, Iran being an actual Islamic theocracy

This is IMO a natural response to overpopulation. 7 Billion is unsustainable. we probably can't sustain 4 except in uniform poverty. This will change over longer periods of time that none oif us will see.

That said I generally agree that people will be getting more religious . They may not have any organized religion or bother with church though but instead a set of folks and spiritual beliefs . Something more akin to the New Age without the hokum.

This is ample to suit human needs

Audacious Epigone said...

AB Prosper,

It's not fair to expect you to be able to articulate the mechanisms that I get us there, but it's hard to see from here. Like Anon said, we are tech-obsessed. People like the idea of exploring their environs, but almost nobody actually does so. They look at screens from inside climate controlled boxes that jet them all over the world in the blink of an eye. Even the artificial elements of the environs are largely homogenized in the first world. If you've been to one middle class suburb, you've been to them all. Get a Big Mac and a Coke anywhere in the world (that isn't dysfunctional), etc.

Regarding population, absolute numbers aren't the issue, it's the age distribution that is, especially when paired with democratic institutions. How do we avoid the fertility suppression spiral that is large, old generations demanding perpetual transfer payments from younger, smaller generations?

Wrt to fertility, there are many exceptions to outwardly religious countries having much of it--not just Brazil or Iran, but even European countries like Poland.

Sub-Saharan Africa, though, seems to be an entirely different animal.


Wrt Christianity getting past modern contraception, it'll be by shifting from a religious advantage in fornication to a religious advantage in procreation. The two used to be closely linked, but not so much anymore (beyond the one--going to do a post on as much soon). We are probably already well on the way there.


Interesting, thanks.

Tashkent Ludkow,

I've read the last of those and would also include Pat Buchanan's Death of the West in that mix. Religiosity per se isn't his main focus, but it's unavoidable.

The question I have, that I hinted at above in the response to Kipling, is why is it that we are now at least three generations into two putatively opposing trends that are existing in concert: 1) The big fertility advantage the religious have over the irreligious, and 2) The persistent, steady decline in reported irreligiosity. At same point this presumably reverses itself, but I'm not sure when.

Dan said...

OT, all the Democrats voted to block the Nunes memo. They fought it tooth and nail using all the media. Then today all the Republicans voted to release the Democrat memo written by Adam Schiff. Wtf. They play dirty, we are genteel. An NFL player was killed by a twice deported illegal on Superbowl Sunday. Where is the outrage?
I now feel massive anger toward so many elite who have the voice i lack, the F U money I dont have and they say nothing.

Audacious Epigone said...


Yeah, it's cuckety-cuckety-cuck all the time. Just when it seems like they might finally be learning how to win.

Temples and Ashes said...

"something else will fill the space that used to be occupied by God."

Religion and religiosity is a human universal. The natural tendencies that lead us toward religion and religiosity are mostly innate human characteristics. Secular people scratch their innate religious itch with social justice or environmentalism or food fads (or all of these and more).

Christianity is collapsing in the West (in terms of percentage claiming affiliation, attending church, etc.). There are too many scientific, cosmological, and historical problems for many of us who seriously examine its truth claims to take it seriously, unless you are willing to re-interpret it all symbolically (Jordan Peterson seems to be trying to do this); but churches that acknowledge the foundational problems with Christianity and take a symbolical re-interpretation approach to their faith (e.g. Episcopalianism and many other mainline denominations) have tended to wither (how can you reject your foundational truth claims and expect to have a strong, expansive organization?).

Stocism is great, but lacks the ritual and organization to make it work as a religion. If it had that 2,000 years ago, it might have spread and become the official religion of the Empire instead of Christianity.

We as a society need something to fill Christianity's place, and we as individuals without religion need something to fill the hole an areligious life leaves in our souls.

I've been creating a new religion that can stand firm in a modern age with modern standards of truth, but still be a real religion, with traditional morals, rituals, and doctrines. Mostly I've done this by taking putting together the best that the sages of the West have given us. What I'm creating is mostly a combination of Stoicism and Christianity, with a few elements from other great philosophical / religious traditions (Buddhism, Daoism). It's still a work in progress, but the book I'm writing that contains all of this in nearing a good, complete draft form. It's called the Triple Path. You can read the current draft (PDF) of the book here:

Here are two blog posts I've written explaining/introducing/justifying what I've been doing:
Part One
Part Two

Dan said...

"Yeah, it's cuckety-cuckety-cuck all the time."

Right. Take Trey Gowdy for instance. He had really been starting to look like a fighter. He says he has the utmost respect for Mueller who should please carry on.

Geez Gowdy, why did you write that memo with Nunez? Was it to practice your typing skills? Did you read the memo you helped write?

Is there some rule that Republicans have to shoot an equal amount at both sides? If Obama had a rogue special counsel seemly trying to go after everyone associated with the administration, is there a Democrat in Congress who would be urging that special counsel on?

Lauren Southern, the sexiest person who identifies as a man on the planet, is leading the way, exposing the farm murders in South Africa and F'ing up the narrative. (There are so many ways now to F up the narrative of lies, and most of these worthless Recucklicans will go their whole careers without ever saying a single worthwhile thing.)

God protect her. She's just 22 and I'll take her over any Recucklican in Congress. I hereby profess my total love for Lauren Southern. She has the greatest combination of civilization-saving power and physical beauty of all 7 billion people on Earth, I am convinced. Be still my beating, already married heart.

Anonymous said...


Stop white knighting.

Lauren Southern is a feminist.

Her message advocates marriage and children. Yet she is not married.

She's living the Gloria Steinem dream.

DissidentRight said...

Is it possible for humans to have a transcendent moral code if they no longer believe in an afterlife?

There is an objective moral code independent of Jesus, the question is whether people are going to follow it. Truth > lies, courage > cowardice, faithfulness > whoring, work > laziness, non-aggression > aggression, temperance > intemperance, etc.

Unfortunately for the progressive fringe and fortunately for civilization, Jesus is not the source of morality except in the sense that Jesus is the source of reality.

This is why, despite decades of culture war and anti-education, they can’t make men lust after trannies and blue-haired fatties any more than they can make feminist whores happy.

many on the Alt Right (myself included) as the disappearance of the space itself. When a people are replaced, so are their gods.

The issue is that religious is generally believed to be False. In that context, “what happens now” depends very much on the person and their circumstances. As we know, there are broadly two kinds of people: people of rhetoric and people of dialectic. If we lay on this another axis, of people who are successful vs. people who are unsuccessful, some patterns emerge.

First, as you moves from dialectic towards rhetoric, the proportion of people who will feel a “void” rises rapidly. If these people lose Jesus, they turn to socialism, Social Justice, environmentalism, Oprah, motivational speakers, Joel Osteen (et al), mysticism, spiritualism, cults, etc. They need to feel emotional validation from something, anything.

Then as you move from more successful to less successful, you see the same trend. Self-sufficient people aren’t looking for help outside themselves.

So when you’re talking about people who are at least modestly successful (i.e., decent job, middle class, etc.) and at least modestly rational, I don’t think anything in particular has to replace Christianity. They find value and meaning in their work, family, and hobbies. They were simply Christians because they believed it was True. They weren’t (and aren’t) desperate for emotional highs, nor are they, for example, suffering from an alcohol addiction.

As for the rhetorical people, note that personal emotional validation can come from almost anywhere. As a demographic, they get blown all over the place, like leaves in the wind. There’s no particular reason to think they’ll settle on any one “replacement” for monolithic religion.

On the other hand you have people like me, who are on the side of extreme dialectic, and who are still Christian because we believe it’s true.

The natural religion for European derived peoples is something akin to Animism and Nature Worship

That’s like saying the natural lifestyle Europeans is hunting and gathering. Or natural European agricultural is a horse-drawn plow. Were the Roman and Greek pagans “unnatural”?

 I hereby profess my total love for Lauren Southern.

Muh beta…

Audacious Epigone said...

Temples and Ashes,

Sounds interesting. Those elements of syncretism are attractive to me. Putting it in the queue, thanks.


Ann Coulter had a good tweet on it, something to the effect of "maybe NEXT time the Democrats will finally reward your fair play by returning the favor". Stupid is as stupid does.

Because everything has an opportunity cost, I've never spent any time listening to our pretty people on the assumption that I'm not going to come across a single novel idea or insight from them. I heard Southern and Faith Goldy on a Molyneux show awhile back that exactly confirmed my assumptions about not learning anything from them.

But if they're red pilling--and making identity attractive to Gen Z, as someone like Southern surely is--I'm fully supportive of them.

Dissident Right,

Fantastic exposition.

So when you’re talking about people who are at least modestly successful (i.e., decent job, middle class, etc.) and at least modestly rational, I don’t think anything in particular has to replace Christianity. They find value and meaning in their work, family, and hobbies. They were simply Christians because they believed it was True. They weren’t (and aren’t) desperate for emotional highs, nor are they, for example, suffering from an alcohol addiction.

I see myself here. To the extent that I'm able to punch above my cognitive weight it's because I'm psychologically rock solid. It's something I've come to appreciate as I've reached my thirties. Never took any psychotropics, never have had problems with depression or neuroticism or addiction.

DissidentRight said...


I see myself here.

Yep. It’s true of most people. This trend is why the religious stereotypes ring true. It’s also why the Church Growth Movement has devolved into psychological funding-raising tactics. It’s also why all talk about neopaganism is so cringy. Christianity is demographically declining in the West because people think it’s fake. So let’s replace it with something else that everyone thinks is fake. M’kay.

AB.Prosper said...

Dissident Right re: Roman and Greeks

Unnatural ? They were far closer to natural instincts than we are.

Anyway where is there Imperial faith now? Maybe 10,000 people give credence to those Gods and Goddesses when millions once did ? A tiny percentage .

And what do you think happened when people stopped following them and the empire died . A few became Christian and the other went back to family Gods, spirits and sacred places till the Christians became numerous enough through conversion, force and assimilation to replace them

Nothing much stops Christianity from going down that route

Now re: Neopgananism

I share your opinion on that, very few of the Heathens believe in Heathenry. Doesn't mean they won't fake it till they make it but its pretty unlikely . Wiccans actually believe what they preach but its worthless as a faith for most people.

I'll guess we'll get dispersed religion and a myriad of localized beliefs, cults and faiths. maybe one will become the main one (even Christianity could pull it off) The main beliefs will include spirits, some kind of afterlife and for Whites a sense that some parts of nature are sacred

This is my guess and truth is I could be wrong

TWS said...

People say don't bring a knife to a gun fight. But if you're in a knife fight a gun is almost as much a hindrance as an aid. Knife fights are up close, bloody, fast and come down to training, instinct, and guts.

Religion is the knife. We need something visceral and deadly to our enemies. Christianity is the West's knife. We carved the world into our image with it. But we got complacent and ignorant. We tossed it aside for shiny new toys with none of the strength or versatility of our older tool.

We need to pick up our blade again. Deus Volt.