A couple of thoughts for today...
By Karl Ayling, Jul 19 2017 08:23PM
All war is pointless and a recent one, the Vietnam war was completely meaningless (opium anyone) Today the US has around 2 million addicts.
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The world's most powerful nation couldn't subdue tiny Vietnam. And, all subsequent conflicts that have utilised western military capacity have been at best, inconclusive and at worst a sign of western global corruption. Prior to WWII there was a greater societal affinity to faith, family and religion the exponential decline of which has seen an explosion of alternative beliefs such as humanism, spiritism and individualism. Globalisation knew no bounds, until fairly recently, when the Brexit vote, turmoil in southern Europe and the election of a non-politician as President are but some of the indicators that the western electorate may want more change, more quickly than the establishment can cede.
Religious affiliation has been in steep decline in the western world especially western Europe and north America. At the same time there is significant growth in other parts of the world. Islam is expected to become the world's largest religion by 2075, and Christianity is booming in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and China.
In the UK a watershed in national life has been reached. For the first time in recorded history, those declaring themselves to have no religion have exceeded the number of Christians in Britain. Some 44 per cent of the population consider themselves a Christian, 8 per cent follow another religion and 48 per cent follow none. The decline of Christianity is perhaps the biggest single change in Britain over the past century. For some time, it has been a stretch to describe Britain as a Christian country. We can more accurately be described now as a secular nation with fading Christian institutions. Thanks to The Guardian survey.
So what if anything has filled the gap?
I started to have a little dig around as I suspected that Islam has partly filled the void and found that the first Mosque built in the UK was in leafy Woking in Surrey in 1889 – even more surprising is that it was built by a Jew. Here's a link that contains some more detail;
The Shah Jahan Mosque, was built in 1889 by Dr Gottleib Wilhelm Leitner. From my research it was the first mosque to be built in the western world – UK, Northern Europe or North America. The mosque is situated on Oriental Road in Woking, about three quarters of a mile from the railway station and town centre.
Today the mosque has the honour of being listed as a historical Grade 2 listed building.
Another driving force in the general rise of secularisation the embrace of the cult of individualism is the break-up of the traditional family isolating particularly young people and the elderly. For a couple of generations young people have tended not to want to take up their parents religiosity and I believe that it is this that has led to the explosion of humanistic thinking which barely acknowledges anything spiritual. The evidence of the wide spread use of narcotics in the western world seems to me to point towards self-healing of the deep emotional pain that brokenness brings. Therapy costs money and suits only a small part of the population.
Another perhaps more alarming fact that perplexes me is the ever widening gap of wealth distribution across the developed world. In 1800 the average person earned four times less than the highest earner. Today this is more like 15-20 times and growing. Follow the strands of these thoughts for a moment, look at recent riots in France, Germany and Sweden and a revolution could be on the cards within the next hundred years?
I will close with a couple of quotes that are helping me to deepen my thinking;
Socrates' (never) said – 'I can't hope to teach a man anything. All I can do is to hope to make him think.' Bruce Lee said, 'The most dangerous man in the world is the one who listens, observes and thinks.'
Bye for now