S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
even one of us is doing something reasonable. The existence of the
behavior does not prove that the behavior has a point. 'Beliefs' may be
irresistible even to 'modern' men, helping them to "appropriate symbols
to establish a sense of identity and a world of meaning and value."
'Beliefs' may still help us get out of bed in the morning, and still help
us keep from killing each other (although there is much opinion to the
contrary on that point). However, as the scientist Mr. Minsky
understands a great deal more clearly than the 'science-borrower' Fr.
Marthaler, although 'belief' may be unavoidable, that does not make it
any less pointless.
If moths had 'beliefs,' would that make their gods real? Indeed,
moths 'believe' -- meaning, they behave as if they 'believe' -- that it is a
good thing to circle light bulbs, when in fact, it probably does them no
good, and may even do them harm. 'Modern' men 'believe' because
their ancestors were people who 'believed.' Their 'belief' got them out
of bed in the morning a little more willingly, influenced them to have
more babies and take care of them a little better, and persuaded them to
kill each other a little less often (and perhaps to kill non-'believers' a
little more often) than their rivals in the evolutionary jungle. 'Modern'
men 'believe' for the same reason that they walk upright and have
bilateral symmetry: it just happened that way.
From a fully modern scientific perspective, then, there need be no
rational content to any 'religion,' past, present, or future, in order to
explain the existence of religions, or their perennial appeal. Indeed, the
point can be put more strongly: since all religions can be completely
explained without any need to propose that any of them have any
rational content, we must logically accept the simplest explanation,
that none of them have any rational content -- that none of them are
This is what "modern science" really says about religion,
Catholicism included. Catholicism has no rational content. It is not
real. Its only meaning is its usefulness, as judged by standards outside
of itself. The individual decides how well it eases the "personal" need
to 'believe.' Society judges its ability to be helpful to societal goals.
Experts quantify these personal and social benefits.
We are Caused to 'believe,' and that was adaptive because it aided
our survival: we got out of bed in the morning. We killed each other a
little less. Chance provides us with some specific content for that
genetically programmed Caused belief. However, that never meant that
what was 'believed' was real. There is no rational content to 'religion.'
The proposed project of New Class Catholicism is to find the
'scientific' 'critical distance' from something that has no scientific
reality to begin with.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.