Douglas Murray on People's Need for Religion


2 years ago



Douglas Murray

3 appearances

Douglas Murray is a political commentator, journalist, and author of numerous books, the most recent of which is "The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason."


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I think we talked about this before in relation to the communist era in Eastern Europe. That sort of part of the point that the humiliation of going along with things you know aren't true ends up having an effect down the road because you just not anything along. Yeah, I have a friend who grew up Mormon and one of the things she said to me once, it was really interesting, she said, because she left the church. And she said, I'm really susceptible to bullshit. It's a real problem. Wow. And so she started like she had gotten mixed up with some like yogi type people and guru type people. Right. People that were running like these weird little sort of like self help things that were very cult like and she goes, I have a real problem. I'm very susceptible. She goes, because I grew up agreeing to things that are nonsensical and because of that, because I had just given all of my, you know, when you just like all of your opinions are decided by a church and the church was written by a 14 year old boy in 1820. It's kind of nuts. Yeah. And that already had a conviction for fraud. Yeah, he was already full of shit at 14. And that was a giveaway. Yeah. That was a definite giveaway. Well, it's I mean, just if you read the tenants of the religion, first of all, they're wonderful people. Mormons are so many. Yeah, I agree. I mean, they're so nice. They're so nice. Because they're so nice. Yeah. Actually, if there were more Mormons, it wouldn't be so bad. If you just take out the crazy, you got a good religion. Yeah. I wow how much crazy anyway. But that's sort of the same principle sort of applies to when people just accept, you know, like with woke ism, when you accept accept these ideological givens that aren't logical. They don't make any sense. I wonder if it's the same with societies. You know, I think that it's a thing like post religious peoples, just because you've lost the religion doesn't mean you've lost the religious instinct, right? You're still looking for it. It seems like that's an inherent part of being a person. I agree. And I, I don't think I don't say it's bad. It's just it is part of what we are. And it seems to me very clear that for instance, you know, you take Christianity out and other things will be put in. And they don't even need to be identifiable religions. I mean, our own age has decided in much of the West that there's this sort of form of watered down spillover of Christianity, which will become the sort of religion, which is the kind of diversity inclusion, equity world, where you constantly struggle for greater justice, all of which is a sort of very watered down version of a little bit of Christianity. There's a clear genesis of that, too. And the woke world, there was a group at a certain point in time. Do you remember when the atheist movement had hit this atheist plus movement? Do you remember atheism plus? It was weird. And it was a bunch of these weird virtue signaling male feminist types that were adding with atheism, adding a group of core values. Oh, wow. About, you know, being anti-discrimination, anti-sexist, anti-racist. Their own 10 commandments. Yes. And so they called it atheism plus. And I remember watching this guy give this speech, this fucking boring speech on this sort of establishing this idea that because you don't have a religion, so we're going to be atheists, but with plus we can establish sort of a moral framework. Well, it's totally understandable and a disaster, of course. Even if the ideas are good, it's like you're putting it in an ideology. You're creating a dogma. You're creating a... All those new atheists who sort of started off in the 2000s, they got a friend of Sam Harris and others. They, in my experience, they all got a little bit nervous about what was on their shoulders. Christopher Hitchens certainly did. He started, I think, latterly in his life to get a little bit nervous about what was happening. I remember once asking him what about... He said people were starting to ask him to officiate at their weddings. Yeah. And that was like, he didn't say anything what he said was wrong. He still obviously believed everything he believed, but that's a slightly troubling place to be in because you start to sense people are wanting you to replace the vicar. The priest. And that's not the point. Then you're in life of Brian territory, aren't you? You should all think for yourselves. Yes, we all think for ourselves. It was always a problem of atheism. It was an invitation to not do one thing, but nothing follows from it as to how you should live your life. It's the start of something. It's not by any means a beginning of a policy. Do you think that's just an inherent thing about being a tribal primate, that we have this desire to have someone wiser, a leader, and then even better if you can have a godlike figure who gives you a set of rules that you have to follow or there are horrendous consequences and it keeps everyone in line? Yeah, absolutely. I always, in the 2000s, I started to think if somebody came along and declared profit hood at the moment, they could do quite well. Think of those hucksters on US television who still take money from people saying that they can only build the church and have their helicopter if you send in your dollars. Those people still exist. There's a guy who's still selling his silver water that he blesses from the River Jordan or something. He comes out some hose in his garden in Texas. There are people who've been busted repeatedly and they're still selling their wares. I always thought, yeah, if somebody actually made the profit claim in our era, I think people would be surprised how many people would go along with it. The late George Steiner described a phrase I love, nostalgia for the absolute. I love that phrase, nostalgia for the absolute. I think a lot of people have it. I have it. We all have it to some extent. The question is whether you can avoid it taking you to places that would demoralize you and lead you to a bad place. Yeah, I think if someone came along and had a really good cult, like a real solid cult, like really well laid out, be rational, think for yourself, be kind, examine all evidence. People would join into that. It always ends up with massive orgy. Yes, it does. It always ends up, you've got to give me all your money to fuck your wife. Exactly. Like Wild Wild Country. It's always all about peace and it's like, nah, you've got a school of women. Wild Wild Country is amazing. That documentary is so good. I love that. That guy, Osho, had some really interesting books. You still see his books in some places. In the Netherlands a little while ago, they had his books still in the bookshop. You could buy them on Apple, on the Apple bookstore. I've read a couple of books. I do like that bit where he says in one of his speeches, he says, the people are retarded. Buy the people for the people of the people. But the problem is the people are retarded. It should be buy the retarded for the retarded. It's like, oh my God, a guru saying that. It is something about the fact that he's dead now. And then he said it decades ago. But we are searching for things at the moment. It seems very obvious to me. I mean, what plenty of people have called them, things like the religion of anti-racism, the religion of social justice, all that stuff. They are all something to do at some very, very deep level. Like you've had your purpose today. Like you've had your five fruit and veg. You've had your meaning. Yeah, you've had your meaning.