Western intellectuals are now thoroughly “embedded” in the Western European form of the Axial Age. As for our universalistic ethical system, it is little more than legally enforced conformity to the ideal of a physically-healthy, serially-monogamous individual, living in a nuclear family with the right to vote and working like a cog in a machine. As “machines” human rights are not based on cultural beliefs and practices but instead are based on superficial materialistic criteria such as age, physical ability, gender and skin colour, (often mistakenly called “race”). The term WEIRD or “Western Educated Industrialised Rich Democrats” has been coined by distraught ecologists to describe the huge and rapidly increasing number of educated people who, convinced of their intellectual and moral superiority, have taken control of the economic, educational and political institutions in the globalised world. This is clearly not a higher state of consciousness than that of the other axial breakthroughs like Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and the Prophets of Israel with their “spin–off”, Islam.
Scientific explanations of the meaning of life together with the Human Rights ideology that accompanies them can provide no solutions to such great ethical dilemmas as even recognising the existence of evil, let alone dealing with it. The anti-religious tyrannies of fascism and communism, the reversion of uncritical Bible-based religions to pre-axial fundamentalism and the catastrophic brutality and environmental stupidity of the materialism of the past century in general has made this a great priority. Instead, the clergy in the traditional churches are tearing their communities apart by engaging in bitter but trivial human rights arguments about ‘gender issues” in the clergy and their ideas of good and evil have been reduced to an obsession with soulless egalitarian materialism or hysterical political correctness where, as little more than social workers, they are competing with the powerful Welfare State.