Saturday, April 27, 2013
Can the church and the state work more in harmony than they now do?
The religious error of the separation between the spiritual and the material seems to have eventually led to depriving the state and society of religious significance---the desacralizing of politics, in religion as well as in modern liberalism. Religion in the West has affirmed the separation of politics and religion, but religious thinkers and scientists can still help guide society, whether there is a separation of church and state or not. This does not single out any particular political philosophy, although some may be better adapted to our successful survival and evolution than others. I prefer, given historical reality, the Republican form of government and the federalism of the American Constitution with its separation of church and state. But religion can, if the people desire it, be formally part of any state. Separated or joined religion and politics are grounded in material evolution and ultimately in our sacred evolution to Godhood.
For example, group-selection has in reality set ethics and morals since the dawn of mankind. This does not mean that individuals do not matter, it means that our individual survival depends on the survival of our group---altruism in human behavior, later codified in religion, grew from this source. Demanding that all individual life, no matter how damaging, no matter how it hurts the group, is always sacred can be seen as immoral when that selfishness damages the overall evolution and survival of a people. Such controversial things as abortion and genetic engineering can this way be seen as grounded in these considerations of group survival, and even deeper in our sacred evolution toward Godhood. This is how the state can be considered eschatologically significant, if the evolution of life to Godhood is understood as both natural and sacred, since political life and social order relate directly to our evolution. This suggests some of the conditions for a civilizational shift to where the church and the state could work more in harmony than they now do.