Will-ful Ignorance

Will Wilkinson thinks he's got the religious dead to rights:

"It’s happening in all wealthy, liberal-democratic countries. The needs served by religious belief and participation seem to weaken as people become more prosperous and oriented toward individual self-realization."

Religion is just something poor, backward people need: once people start devoting themselves to relentlessly pursuing material wealth and fulfilling their own egos, religion drops by the wayside. Who could have imagined? Well, except...

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."


  1. As Rodney Stark has noted the tendency is actually for elites to adopt religion most strenuously. Or those that are near elites in the social structure.

    If you think of the current multiculturalism as the post-Christian religion, as Paul Gottfried shows in his book on multiculturalism, this becomes quite obvious. What is being noticed now is that as new religion is taking over in the elite and that the rest retain some of the old religion while adopting the new one, albeit slowly. So elites get to hector the rest for not being sufficiently devout. Only big difference is that this is a secular religion.

    John McWhorter noticed this as well:


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