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From Bible-Culture To Post-Christian Media Culture

 
 
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 02:13 pm
We have gone from a bible based culture to a post-Christian media culture. Most people today are so saturated with the media culture and all of its crazy freedoms that no one really recognizes what a powerful influence the bible once had over the minds of the country in the fairly recent past.


What is noteworthy of this transformation is that both cultures appealed to the irrational sources of our minds. So, in a sense, the transition was an easy one to make. The bible contains poetry which prescribes the now outdated morality. The media culture of today is also filled with aesthetic values with sex appeal and wild freedom.

The media culture is amoral, wheras the bible culture was full of impossible commandments. Media culture is fun and full of drug, sex-porn and easy going, while the bible culture was about god and salvation, which were oppressive.

Even though I sympathize with conservatives politically, I also realize that I would hate to live in a bible culture. And I don't believe that most conservatives could stand to live up to their ideals, and that's the problem with them, they are outdated. The media culture is the culture of the future, it seems.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this since it is what I have been thinking about for a few days now.

-Thanks
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jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 04:23 pm
@Pythagorean,
Well, I have a renewed respect for traditional value systems, of which biblical morality is an instance. But I also think there is such a thing as biblioatry, worship of the Bible, and taking it as an absolute. This is called 'clinging to views'. I believe that if biblical morality is interpreted intelligently it is a much better basis for values than most of the anti-philosophy and anti-religion that is holding sway in the West.

Consumer culture wants you to be easily led, to have many wants, to borrow and spend freely, and to be materialistic in your outlook. What sort of company would encourage fugality, humility and environmental responsibility? Along with literacy, critical thinking, self-responsibility, compassion and public spirit. Who is pushing out those messages in this day and age?

Have a look at The Empire of Illusion, by Chris Hedges. It is a highly polemical book, and there were many things in it I disagreed with, but the essential message is spot on.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:02 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;119026 wrote:
Well, I have a renewed respect for traditional value systems, of which biblical morality is an instance. But I also think there is such a thing as biblioatry, worship of the Bible, and taking it as an absolute. This is called 'clinging to views'. I believe that if biblical morality is interpreted intelligently it is a much better basis for values than most of the anti-philosophy and anti-religion that is holding sway in the West.


What a great chasm exists between any biblical morality (intelligent or otherwise) and the, as you correctly say, anti-philosophy and anti-religious revolution that I believe is sweeping through our society! In order to become a card-carrying member of 'media society' today one must, it seems, deomonstrate one's contempt for "bourgeois" morality in all of its forms. There is no middle ground available, as far as I can see.

jeeprs;119026 wrote:
Consumer culture wants you to be easily led, to have many wants, to borrow and spend freely, and to be materialistic in your outlook. What sort of company would encourage fugality, humility and environmental responsibility? Along with literacy, critical thinking, self-responsibility, compassion and public spirit. Who is pushing out those messages in this day and age?


They are embarassed to push out those messages, or they don't have the courage. One of the things I was thinking about when it comes to this, what I call "media culture" is that it is a mass movement. And that was the same thing for centuries with protestantism, except of course protestantism was bible based. But they are both iron clad in their enforcement of 'group think' and now, for example, they pressure anyone who violates "media culture" with the more respectable ideas such as ideas of reason and faith. But my larger point was that as far as the majority of people are concerned, the masses or the folk had formerly clinged to their bibles for their fundamental cultural education's. And today the masses of people or the urbanized 'folk' get their basic ideas about life from the amoral, anti-intellectual media culture. The basic migration of the majority of people has been from the bible to "hollywood" or mass media in general.

This is the nature of popular movements. In my opinion "slutty" media culture is in the process of murdering their more respectable adversaries. I think we are in the middle of a great amoral storm involving media. I think the media culture has already permeated the business community and the political community and we're going over the edge now.



Quote:
Have a look at The Empire of Illusion, by Chris Hedges. It is a highly polemical book, and there were many things in it I disagreed with, but the essential message is spot on.


I'll look up The Empire of Illusion. I wonder what the "Illusion" is that he's referring to?

--
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 09:24 pm
@Pythagorean,
Just the one we are talking about - the illusory values of consumer culture and social materialism. That is why celebrities are now the demi-gods, and Hollywood is Valhalla. Those who inhabit these make-believe worlds where they are paid tens of millions of dollars pretending to be imaginary people in imaginary worlds, and meanwhile getting all the sex they want - these have taken the place of gods in todays world. And the popular media just falls for it hook, line and sinker. Laps it up, revels in it.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 10:05 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;119560 wrote:
Just the one we are talking about - the illusory values of consumer culture and social materialism. That is why celebrities are now the demi-gods, and Hollywood is Valhalla. Those who inhabit these make-believe worlds where they are paid tens of millions of dollars pretending to be imaginary people in imaginary worlds, and meanwhile getting all the sex they want - these have taken the place of gods in todays world. And the popular media just falls for it hook, line and sinker. Laps it up, revels in it.


Thaat makes me think about the way when the fans cry and shake whenever they meet a celebrity - that is like a religious experience if I've ever heard of one.

Also, these celebrities today, they promote things, sexual and lifestyle and political, that are so irrational and insane. What, I guess, astonoshes me the most is the way pornography has become part of America's everyday lifestyle. This phenomonon is actually only a few years old. But when I am at the checkout line in the grocery I see the magazines and man! that is some hardcore stuff. I've always been familiar with the hard core stuff, but to see it go mainstream as if it were a normal part of the day is a tragedy. I am surprised the country hasn't devolved into ugly dictatorship yet, things have gotten so low. Of course I am predicting that a tyranny will come as the inevitable result of all this. As I said, all of this ugliness has already seeped into the business community as well as the political culture.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:48 pm
@Pythagorean,
I don't think the problem is government. I think the problem is the economic model. Once democratic liberalism removes all of the restraints suggested by the spiritual culture that originally gave rise to it, then it is all just a matter of exploitation. YOu exploit the populace, the environment, the economy, and whatever else you can, as there is no law and no reason above the self. But it is not government at fault. It is the private sector.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 12:30 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;119026 wrote:
Well, I have a renewed respect for traditional value systems, of which biblical morality is an instance.


You can't be serious? So you support the idea of slavery? You support the idea of bondage of women of your enemy? Take them as your wife if you so chose to once you have conquered them? You support the idea of stoning people to death for saying they do not accept god? You support the idea of killing disobedient children?
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 12:57 am
@Pythagorean,
Come off it sport. I support the idea of individual rights, a decent education system, access to health services for all, and many of the other enormous advantages that the Judeo Christian ethos, despite its many obvious flaws faults and failings have given the world.

I don't go to church, don't preach, don't read the Bible; I support the separation of church and state and value secular freedoms. And I believe that the denigration of traditional morality is indeed the work of very dark forces in society.

I have had enough of anti-religion. There are people who obviously have some deep scars somewhere in their individual or collective past regarding some religious experience which has given rise to such a view. People with this view can never see anything good about anything religious or spiritual. I don't see any point in arguing it further. Nothing will ever be resolved. People choose to believe what they want, and I have stated my outlook.
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:04 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;119569 wrote:
I don't think the problem is government. I think the problem is the economic model. Once democratic liberalism removes all of the restraints suggested by the spiritual culture that originally gave rise to it, then it is all just a matter of exploitation. YOu exploit the populace, the environment, the economy, and whatever else you can, as there is no law and no reason above the self. But it is not government at fault. It is the private sector.


The government of the United States was explicitly founded upon the principle of private property. The so-called "economic model" you refer to is ingrained in the Constitution and vice versa.

In the past in America there was "ONE" historical Anglo culture and the goverenment was for the people, by the people and of the people. The Anglo 'gentlemen' served the Anglo people's self-interest by serving in the government. Of course, this model is now defunct.

Even if you advocate a government tyranny for today, which I am assuming by implication that you are - even then, there is still one historical culture, which is the new slut-driven media culture. Today, the sluts serve the masses of slut-interests by serving in the government. So even if you were to further seperate the government from the "private sector" (by way of a tyranny, as you suggest) you still have a slut based tyranny, if you get my meaning.

I mean to say that while the government is seperate from the people in dictatorships, the dictatorship is never wholly seperate from the national culture: it can never be wholly seperate from the mores, the attitudes, the defining character traits of the nation at large.

I say this because the belief in 'government' which is wide-spread among the media culture will lead to tyranny. I don't think there is any way out of this trap now.

Edit:-Sorry Jeeprs if I presume too much, but I was saying these things largely for the sake of argument. Let's face it America is in a lot of trouble and these are difficult issues to deal with. Any thoughts from you would be appreciated. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:14 am
@Pythagorean,
Of course I am not advocating government tyranny.

I am out of this thread, bye all.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:34 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;119585 wrote:
Of course I am not advocating government tyranny.

I am out of this thread, bye all.


You have misunderstood me jeeprs. I was attempting to be clever. You see, I equate the advocacy for big government as an advocacy for tyranny. I believe that a tyranny is growing now out of Washington DC. And when you seperate the people from the government the way you stated it, then it seems to me that the result will inevitably lead to a type of tyranny. You may call it a soft despotism if you want to be technical but the basic outlines are present.

I would also recommend a book: Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect by Paul Anthony Rahe in which he outlines the long slow drift toward the soft-desposism that we currently find outselves.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:51 am
@Pythagorean,
OK - I wasn't meaning a pro-government rant, although I think I definitely disagree with your political views, so we might as well get that out of the way. I am Australian, but were I a US citizen, I would vote Democrat and I would have voted for Obama. (Here I voted for Rudd, who is also a social democrat type).

I also believe that, in one sense, no matter who is in power, we are all responsible, because that is the kind of world we have created. If it turns out dreadful, that is our responsibility. The alternative is to live in a world where 'they' are always undermining you or threatening you. The only way you can really exercise liberty is to be responsible.

And also it is a fact that corporate power is beyond the law nowadays. They are the people who almost totalled the economy, and I bet it happens again before too long.

We should also bear in mind that there are some real, actual, totalitarian governments in power, one of which is the People's Republic, (I won't say which) where you can be put in jail for trying to practise your faith, or disagreeing with the government, or having the wrong view of history. We're nowhere near that and hopefully won't ever be. But while we're at it, lets just note they are hardly a poster for the benefits of state-sponsored atheism.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:12 pm
@jeeprs,
You can absolutely get harassed by federal agents in America for speaking out against the government. There is a very scary movement developing here. We are in the middle of a social and political upheaval. They are against the (conservative) whites, labeling them as terrorists. I kid you not, my friend. They are attempting to do what South Africa and Zimbabwe are doing - to disposess, harass, oppress and humiliate the white conservatives.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:29 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean, with all due respect, I really do feel your fears in this regard are wildly exagerated. I know there are many tensions in US society between the conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum, but honestly, the US is a long, long way away from Zimbabwe of Communist China or any other one-party state. Although I agree it is very sad that this level of distrust and suspicion exists.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 03:18 am
@jeeprs,
You have misrepresented what I said, jeeprs. I am talking about the hatred of the whites in America. This is precisely the same ideology that was used in South Africa and is being used in Zimbabwe. I am absolutely right about this. I never said the U.S. was like Zimbabwe or China. The U.S. is the U.S. However, the ideology of the anti-white, anti-Western, leftists is identical to the anti-colonialism that is being used as a genocidal weapon in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Perhaps you aren't aware of the killings of whites over there in your neighborhood?

The American leftists despise the West, they despise Christians, they call white conservaties K.K.K. and Nazis and they are calling them terrorists. You should have looked at the link I provided in my previous post. Homeland security is corrupt, they say that right-wing people are the real terrorist threat. And also, in the government schools they teach white children that they are racist because of their white skin colour. It is a crying shame. These leftists are clearly imposing a despotism in America (some of them actually admit to this truth). The whites started protesting and marching and the media is calling them racist. Yet these are the tax payers and without them the government would have no money at all. I am not exagerrating. All of the thousands of whites who are marching will agree with me on all of the points that I am making.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 03:44 am
@Pythagorean,
This is very sad, Pythagorean. However I simply cannot accept that what you are saying is true. I wish you well and don't feel badly towards you in any way, but there is really nothing I can say to you apart from all the best, and stay well.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jan, 2010 08:00 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;119001 wrote:
We have gone from a bible based culture to a post-Christian media culture. Most people today are so saturated with the media culture and all of its crazy freedoms that no one really recognizes what a powerful influence the bible once had over the minds of the country in the fairly recent past.


Yea, I think that's a fair and relevant assessment. I wonder just how few people realize the vast sway being held over them by constant media exposure (the values it inculcates, false needs created to sell products, how it sets standards through association that ultimately subconsciously change us into something we're not, etc.). Yea, I'd agree

Pythagorean;119001 wrote:
What is noteworthy of this transformation is that both cultures appealed to the irrational sources of our minds....


This is significant; both sources of influence - I believe - saturate us with "what to do", "what not to do", "how to think", etc. I'd even add that both were/are 1) heavily enforced by cultural norms, 2) Carried with it not only a system of unsupportable rewards, but crazily-irrational punishments -and- 3) Contain deep written and/or unwritten prohibitions, socially and practically, against offenders.

jeeprs;119026 wrote:
Well, I have a renewed respect for traditional value systems, of which biblical morality is an instance. But I also think there is such a thing as biblioatry, worship of the Bible, and taking it as an absolute. This is called 'clinging to views'. I believe that if biblical morality is interpreted intelligently it is a much better basis for values than most of the anti-philosophy and anti-religion that is holding sway in the West.


I see you've signed off the thread, but I believe this is a relevant point that deserves support. As you suggest, to say that all norms stemming from our religious roots are bad would be inaccurate; and for me personally, much of what I think "needs to happen" for us to be a healthy, rich culture are also contained in same. I do find it ironic that most of the problems of traditional organized religions come from harsh/strict interpretation the solution to this tends to be another "interpret this differently"-proposal.

In other words: Trying to interpret stories and parables is a double-edged sword - it can support great destruction or great compassion. What's more, outright-unethical aspects (such as what Krumple talked about here) are just flat-out dangerous and always have been. No, not all religious influence (and I include all religious sources here) has been bad - much as been good. One shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater...

jeeprs;119026 wrote:
Consumer culture wants you to be easily led, to have many wants, to borrow and spend freely, and to be materialistic in your outlook. What sort of company would encourage fugality, humility and environmental responsibility?


This is spot-on

I believe this entire issue to be the biggest and most-pressing problem we have today. The mass-consumption culture, coupled with deification of money - both shoved down the throats of those saturated with media (subtly and not-so-subtley) destroys far too much. I don't see anyway off this "track" except by derailment and I am far too deep into apathy of my cultures' lack of values and conscience to even see a silver lining.

Good discussion
0 Replies
 
Klingsor phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 07:42 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;119001 wrote:
We have gone from a bible based culture to a post-Christian media culture. Most people today are so saturated with the media culture and all of its crazy freedoms that no one really recognizes what a powerful influence the bible once had over the minds of the country in the fairly recent past.


This will mean "media culture killed the bible-culture". I think this is wrong - in my opinion the rising of media culture is not the CAUSE of the decline of the bible culture, but both are effects of a different cause: the secularization and materialization of society. It's the economy.

In earlier centuries everybody had a fixed place in the economical and social world: He was a farmer or a carpenter, and that was it. He could not make a "career" as a carpenter, there was no developement in this aspect of his life, so he had not to think about this. But this gave him flexibilty for developement in other areas of life, e.g. in religion.

The industrial revolution changed this radically. Some people (not the workers, of cause, but the businessmen) found out that they had no economical limits anymore, that they could make more and more money, and even more ... And in a few decades this way of thinking shaped a new society. Economy became all-dominant. The developement of your life today is your economical career in the first place - all other kinds of developement are seen as private fun, as unessential.

I observe this here in Germany on the basis of education. Some decades ago the schools had the objective to teach the children to be educated in every aspect of culture. Today they teach them in the first place only knowledge that will be usefull for a professional career - and school subjects like art, music or history are regarded as more or less unnecessary.

And this developement is the cause of the media culture as well. I think I don't have to explain this in detail, or does somebody disagree?
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 09:36 am
@Klingsor phil,
Klingsor,

I would not say that "media-culture" killed bible-culture, I would say it replaced it. Media culture is a substittute.

Speaking historically, the cause of the decline in "bible-culture" lies within the early modern revolutionary political philosophy of liberalism which enfranchises "the people". The modern nation-state granted liberty to the masses and democratized the cultures. The "average man" or the "common man" is the secular substitute for "the faithful".

You are quite right to mention economics. Part of the philosophy of modern liberalism was, in the words of Francis Bacon, to "ease man's estate". The politics of liberty and freedom for the masses had also as its goal to spread knowledge, especially practical knowledge, for the advancement of society as a whole. This eventually lead to a rise of wealth among the masses. However, without the abdication of political power on the part of the rulers the masses would not have been capable of such rising standards and luxuries of life.

After the American and French revolutions the revolutionary movement focused upon the poorest elements of society. Revolutionaries, like Karl Marx, taught that Christianity stood in the way of freedom. Then the revolutionary movement eventually changed as it taught that true freedom could be gained only if the morality of the middle classes were destroyed. The revolutionaries equated the middle class Christian morality with political oppression. They called for rebellion.

Many of these revolutionaries were artists who used their art as propaganda against Christian morality. These revolutionary artists were the prototypes of today's "media-culture". So, "media-culture" is still connected with the revolutionary movement to destroy Christian morality.

-
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 09:49 am
@Pythagorean,
Once upon a time, and a very good it was,too, every educated person was assumed to have read the writings central to the tradition of civilisation, and to recognise allusions and quotations from these monuments. The awesome KJV of the Bible, Shakespeare, Homer (to name three) were the common bindings that aided communication of ideas because they were shared by authors and readers.
 

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