After the death of God
God is dead. I've been hearing this bold yet obscure proclamation ever since I was a teenager. But every passing day, as I understand modern society better, this three word sentence keeps making more and more sense.
Contrary to popular belief, when Nietszche announced the death of God, he was not triumphant nor happy. He was terrified. Terrified about what would replace God and religion. 140 years later, we see what has happened after we abandoned religion as the central narrative which explained everything around us and gave our lives meaning. Understanding what replaced God is the best way to understand Nietszche's warning.
It is hard not to notice that most post-religious ideologies, both political and philosophical — moral relativism, postmodernism and scientific materialism had an inherent, self-contradictory, evangelical drive disguised within a form of elitist intellectualism. Proponents of these ideologies have a constant itch to deconstruct and tear apart everything which gives human beings meaning — mythology, religion, family structure, nationhood, etc. — by calling them 'social constructs.'
I'm an agnostic but I find immense value in art, literature and religious scripture. And I am ashamed that this has replaced this. They are not 'social constructs' but robust systems which were evolved and selected by an extensively long Darwinian process. They encompass the collective wisdom of our species.
A purely (almost religiously) materialistic worldview is a gross denial of human nature. Today, we have every material comfort in the world. Most people today live a way better life than the richest of the richest kings who ever lived. But spiritually, we are bankrupt. All our grand narratives have collapsed. Never before in history did a culture have NO story explaining why they were here on this planet. All we can look forward to are Amazon deliveries and checking notifications on our phones.
"God is dead: but considering the state the species Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown."
- 24 toasts