In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. More and more people are signing up to weird and wacky cults, parapsychology, séances, paganism and witchcraft. There is widespread belief in ludicrous conspiracy theories, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack being an American plot.
The basic cause of all this unreason is a steady loss of faith in God. We tell ourselves that religion and reason are incompatible, but in fact the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible that gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world—the foundations of science and modernity.
The loss of religious belief has meant the West has replaced reason and truth with ideology and prejudice, which it enforces in the manner of a secular inquisition. The result has been a kind of mass derangement, as truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. In medieval-style witch-hunts, scientists who are skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts; Israel is ferociously demonized; and the United States is vilified over the war on terror—all on the basis of falsehoods and propaganda that are believed as truth.
Thus the West is losing both its rationality and its freedoms. It is succumbing to a “soft totalitarianism,” which not only is creating an ugly mood of intolerance but is undermining its ability to defend itself against Islamic aggression. While the Islamists are intent on returning the free world to the seventh century, the West no longer seems willing or able to defend the modernity and rationalism that it brought into being.