Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gordon Clark on the stability of civilization

I am doing quite a bit of Gordon Clark reading these days in fulfillment of doctoral work in the area of a Reformed philosophical view of the world.  Clark was brilliant, to say the least. I'm not saying I can understand everything he says as I'm not much of a philosopher and my studies thus far have been too light in the area of philosophy (very honestly, I have always thought philosophy is akin to a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that doesn't exist), but reading hundreds of pages recently has been catching me up to speed.

Clark's "A Christian View of Men and Things" is masterful.  Some of it is depressing as Clark argues the West is disappearing because Christianity, on which Western civilization was built, has virtually disappeared.  Keep in mind, Clark wrote this in 1952. YIKES!  His opening statement seems eerily prophetic-

"A stable civilization, so it is plausibly argued, always rests on a substantial unanimity of thought. But when ordinary differences of opinion multiply, widen, and deepen, when educational systems have contradictory aims, when class consciousness divides the people, and when nations support irreconcilable ideals, the results are wars, revolution, brutality, and chaos."

Again, Clark wrote this in 1952 when the U.S. was enjoying a particularly high level of outward unity on the heels of World War II.  Clark was keen to note the growing disunity among Americans that has come to much fuller fruition today.


Woody Woodward said...

Obviously, this man's prophetic philosophy places our current blind president in your proverbial dark closet, thinking he has found that black cat.

Mike said...

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of god? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?"
Thomas Jefferson, 1794.

This is why politics are so contentious now, we have to legislate morality.