Thursday, December 21, 2006

Government funding for meaning?

Just the other day there was a news item that reported on the Dutch Scientific Commision on Government Policy (Wetenschappelijk Raad voor Regeringsbeleid). The commission has done research into religiosity among the Dutch population. Their findings? The Dutch are still quite religious in spite of the secularization of the past 50 years. The Commission found a group of about 18% that could be characterized as suspicious of and totally unaffiliated to any conviction. Interestingly the Commission recommends goverment funding in order to prevent this 18% to 'slide into lawlessness'.

How about that? Government funding as the answer to lawlessness and meaningfulness. How much would meaning beyond death cost? How much for meaning that would be satisfying in spite of being false? Isn't true meaningfulness priceless? I've always held to the idea that meaning is the result of a quest for truth not a bottle of pills with a price tag.

Also note the fallacy of the irrelevance of a belief system's content. Apparently not the contents of the various belief systems matter, but not having a belief system. What about belief systems that are not coherent? Don't they eventually lead to meaninglessness and lawlessness? Just to mention a few... humanism, postmodernism, materialism. Are not these very belief systems the cause of the loss of meaning in our culture? As Francis Schaeffer has pointed out, it is both the elite and the lower eschelons of society that tend to display early on the consequences of belief systems.

Maybe this is what the Scientific Commision on Government Policy should start thinking about.

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