This question will be the task for future historians and archaeologists to answer. Of course, our civilisation has not yet ended, and most people have no idea that a civilisation as old and as advanced as ours could end.
But this is precisely what people in Italy would have thought about the Roman civilisation. This is what Macedonians in the time of Alexander the Great would have believed of ancient Greece. This too is what Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians and others would have believed.
Almost no one in the age of Cyrus the Great would have believed that the city of Babylon itself would become a desolate wasteland in what is today a relatively poor country, rather than the centre of civilisation as it had been as long as anyone in its peak era could remember. But these civilisations came to an end, and just as surely so too will ours.
So, what ended Western civilisation, from the perspective of our future inquirer? Well, there are many candidates for the answer to this question?
The fact that children are now castrated for gender ideology would be one. The fact that abortion and euthanasia of the old and sick (and sometimes well) have both become in the eyes of many healthcare, would be another strong candidate. The fact that the West decided it was ok to abort their own children and then import people from third world countries to pad up their population figures would also be at the top of this list. But there is another candidate as well.
This is a candidate that 50 years or so ago, most Westerners could not have conceived as even possible to return and be one, but so it has. It is the idea of sacred ground. The theory of modernity was that humanity was rejecting the idea of the sacred and spiritual for the supremacy of the secular and tangible.
The so-called “backward” ideology of Christianity was going to be rejected for the relentless pursuit of secular, atheistic and rationalistic human progress. This was the theory at least. The reality is that this secular utopia is crashing hard and fast and in spectacular fashion all around us.
For instance, this article from The Conversation titled, “Raw materials, or sacred beings? Lithium extraction puts two worldviews into tension” discusses the old pagan concept of rocks, mountains, lakes and the earth being living beings of a kind.
What is remarkable about this article is that it suggests we take this old pagan approach on board and apply it to our modern societies. The article notes,
“Similarly, highland groups recognize mountains not as a set of inert rocks, but as ancestral guardians called “Achachilas” in Aymara and “Apus” in Quechua. Each Andean community praises a nearby mountain whom they believe protects and oversees their lives.
In Uyuni, for example, where one of the two new lithium plants will be constructed, Indigenous communities acknowledge the presence of these sacred beings. To this day, worshipers in nearby Lipez region explain the salt flat’s origin with a traditional legend: It is the mother’s milk of their Apu, a female volcano named Tunupa.
However, religious concepts such as “sacred” or “divine” do not necessarily capture the relationships that Andean Indigenous people have long established with these more-than-human beings, who have been known since pre-colonial times as “huacas.” These entities are not considered “gods,” or thought of as dealing with otherworldly beliefs. Rather, they are treated as integral to people’s earthly everyday life…
…But in addition, perhaps other cultures could learn from Andean relations with nature as more-than-human beings: an inspiration to rethink development and turn our own way of living into something less destructive.”
Mario Orospe Hernandez, 2023, “Raw materials, or sacred beings? Lithium extraction puts two worldviews into tension”
It is incredible that someone would suggest this as a serious proposal in this day and age. But then again, maybe it is not incredible. Such is the state of the modern world; paganism is on the march again.
Christianity was not dethroned to enable a secular utopia, in reality, Christianity has been dethroned to create a vacuum and that vacuum is being filled by the ancient pagan ideas our society once rejected.
This was not what was promised by the advocates of the modern era. But it is what was always inevitable. Christianity made modern scientific progress possible, its abandonment was always going to lead to the return of the old gods and spiritualities.
Imagine what is going to happen to the resource sector if a particular area (x1000 examples) cannot be dug up because of an ancient rock spirit, or river spirit, or mountain spirit. Life-producing minerals will be left in the ground because they are underneath some supposed “sacred being” or “scared entity”. This animism or pantheism, or spiritualism, is rampant in the pagan worldview and will bring progress to a screeching halt.
If you don’t see how the removal of Christianity has caused this, note what the article says,
“The Catholic Church and the Spanish Empire later used this medieval understanding of matter as something passive, without spirit, to justify the extraction of resources during colonial times. The closer things were to prime matter, their argument supposed, the more they needed human imprint and an external purpose to make them valuable.
This notion was also used by Christian colonizers who were intent on destroying traditions that they saw as idolatrous. In their eyes, reverence toward a mountain or the earth itself was worshiping a mere “thing,” a false god. The church and the empire believed it was critical to desacralize these more-than-human beings and treat them as mere resources.”
It was the Christian worldview that made the exploration and use of many of these resources and minerals possible. Without it, they would have remained objects of worship and reverence, or spiritual taboo, and would not have been unlocked to support our modern civilisation and technology.
The writer of this piece frames this in a negative view, but without the extraction of such resources neither you or I would be able to live as we do. All forms of paganism fell under the sway of nature being sacred in some way, rather than nature existing to serve humanity, as the Bible teaches.
You cannot retain the idea that nature exists to serve humanity and reject Christianity at the same time, the two ideas are interlocked, they are based on the concept in Genesis that mankind was created to subject the earth, and that it is sinful to worship creation. The Christian worldview is necessary for both of these beliefs, and both of these beliefs are necessary for the kind of advanced civilisation we live in today.
Nature should be exploited in a sustainable and wise way, this is for sure. But saying it should not be exploited is wrong, and dys-civilisational. Such dys-civilisational policies are becoming increasingly common aren’t they? If they continue to be advanced and then instituted as practice, then they have the potential to make our entire way of life impossible, because whether you like it or not, our modern way of life is not possible without the ability to dig up earth and mountains, this is just a fact.