Charles Krauthammer has signed onto Carl Sagan’s pessimistic conclusion that there is no intelligent life in the universe (other than Earth Humans) because advanced civilizations destroy themselves. It seems to be the ultimate Cosmic Joke. As Worf’s son Alexander opined at a Star Trek wedding, “the higher, the fewer.” Krauthammer – of course – has no time for the theological implications. He concludes: “Politics – in all its grubby, grasping, corrupt, contemptible manifestations – is sovereign in human affairs . . . Fairly or not, politics . . . will determine whether we live long enough to be heard one day. Out there. By them, the few – the only – who got it right.”
I would argue that politics is not sovereign in human affairs. What is sovereign is the values that sustain our unique life-form on this (so far) unique planet. Notice that I am not using the term “religion” or “spirituality” or any of the other squishy and suspect right-brain concepts that propel us into behaviors that lead to the survival of the tribe. If Lloyd Geering and other theological speculators such as Karen Armstrong are correct, humanity stands on the edge of a second “Axial Age” – sort of like the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” The second Axial Age might possibly bring the death of religious belief (which arose during the first Axial Age), and the resurrection of a secular cosmology, grounded in the knowledge of good and evil.
I would agree with Krauthammer (if he were willing to take the metaphor this far) that politics got us expelled from the Garden:
[God: Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge?
Adam: The woman gave it to me
God: Woman, is this true?
Eve: The serpent beguiled me . . .]
Politics will never get us back in . . . assuming that’s what we want. Politics is only one means, and the end is under advisement.