Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 4, No. 2/3


Quantum Karma: Semantic Superficiality in the New Age Religions

Damon A. Young


Abstract: New Age philosophies often present themselves as valid alternatives to popular culture or orthodoxy.  On the contrary, however, their practices and beliefs demonstrate both the commodification of life inherent in popular consumer culture, and the stubborn irrationalism inherent in fundamentalist dogma; they discard any sense of narrative continuity over time and replace it with fragmented obscurantism.  This can be demonstrated by an analysis of the New Age appropriation of terminology from other cultures or from specialist speech genres within Western society, where the use of words is often self-contradictory, and at odds with any coherent or rigorous evaluation of the world, religious, philosophical or scientific.  These New Age religions contribute little or nothing to an active reevaluation of contemporary society, let alone aiding in the emergence of a coherent ontology and ethic with which to orient ourselves altruistically within a world dominated by the destructive themes of profit and progress.