The early Romans needed to upgrade their religion. They had gods, but little imagination or philosophy. They were a powerful, hollow empire, with no compelling stories to keep the collective heart beating. Thus, they incorporated and Latinized the religion of the Greeks.
Also drawing from the Greeks was Russian Czar Vladimir, who recognized that his nation needed a modern, international religion in order to civilize and build connections across Europe. The Orthodox faith easily won over Islam, which prohibited drinking.
The old Norse beliefs were essential for the people of those cold, overpopulated regions. They needed to expand, and a warlike philosophy to encourage their violence. They could only dine with the gods by being slain in battle, and the end of the world and domination of evil giants was coming anyway, so out they went and did what they needed to do.
In time, the Vikings has expanded as far as they could, assimilated, and needed a new religion to help build a modern civilization. Hence, Christianity took over.
In India, Hinduism served the purpose of separating the Northern settlers from the indigenous population through the caste system. In East Asia, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and other faiths helped to generate the social order necessary for widespread rice cultivation, trade, and development. In prehistoric Australia, local beliefs and song lines helped to preserve traditional knowledge essential for survival in an illiterate culture.
Today, Christianity has become less popular in the West due to increased technology and development. We no longer need spiritual succor to cope with the loss of a third of our offspring. We can reproduce in non-traditional ways without immediately causing social collapse, such is the surplus wealth available.
Yet Christian values remain with us. Once helping to tame wild, Germanic and Celtic passions, these values now lay us open and vulnerable to outside cultures that do not share our gentle and universal beliefs. We need to recognize that some Western principles have outlived their usefulness, and need to be reformed.
But we cannot revert to the brutish, pagan gods of our ancestors. Once thoroughly abandoned, a religion can never be revived. Once we have stopped worshiping a god and fail to be struck down, we can no longer truly believe in that god. Those who claim to be neopagans are larping. In any case where a religion was reborn, such as the French return to Catholicism after the Revolution, the faith never really went away.
Today, both the Eastern and Western civilizations are floundering, and our problem is spiritual. We can’t think of good reasons to marry and raise children anymore. Whatever beliefs we have left are not fit for purpose.
If we are to revive Christianity, this time we must set aside the most hippie parts of the Gospels to ensure our framework is muscular enough to survive. In the West, we are no longer barbarians who need to be tamed – we are over-civilized Eloi and we need a rocket up our collective arse to get society back into rude good health.
Either we must resurrect our recently discarded Christianity, if we find it still has a pulse, or we must invent new beliefs – and convince people to believe in them. Otherwise, we shall perish.
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