As modern man, we became more arrogant than enlightened. The rapid expanse of secularism has resulted in a false sense of enlightenment. We have not escaped the questions, cravings or issues of all history. Rather than view prior humans as primitive, we should view ourselves in the same plight as ancestors past.
Created or Evolved:
We’re the pinnacle of life.
Given our language, technology and care (or lack) of the Earth, we stand as truly unique in all life. Regardless of our view on origins, we are more developed than other forms of creation. We care for our own, help those who cannot help themselves, and our communication is vastly complex. Perhaps we’re here to take care of life?
Theism o-?-r Atheism:
We seek our end, our beginning and our meaning of life.
The entirety of human history is filled with pursuing answers, forceful neglect or running away from these questions. While our knowledge of nature is better, the conversations about these questions remain just about the same. We crave knowing, repress that craving, or try as might to ignore it. Have we came any closer to an answer, or do we merely recycle ones of old?
Good or Depraved:
We crave justice and our own rights, while getting frustrated when they are thwarted.
Despite our view of man, whether naturally good, blank or depraved, we act unjustly and get frustrated with injustice. While each person’s view of right and wrong may be different, we have it. Regardless of a person’s birth, we all crave our sense of justice, violate our own sense of justice, and cringe at injustice. From a do nothing approach to tyrannical rule, we cannot escape this struggle. Despite technology, education, culture, time, history we cannot escape this. Have we really improved?
Absolute Truth or No Absolute Truth:
We crave our own pleasure and get confounded at its disruption.
There are three things that we crave: Pleasure, control, and autonomy. In the pursuit of these things we have little tolerance for accountability and authority. Good, blank or depraved, do we not rebel against our authorities, especially as children? A friend of mine stated that “non-absolute truth ends at math.” While another said “absolute truth can be tyrannical.” The discussion on truth seems more rooted in the things we crave. Perhaps the origination of the discussion comes from what makes us most human: we are finite and mortal. In searching for objective, verifiable truth we are still left with our own interpretation and bias. Can any person claim absolute knowledge?
The bottom line:
Biological Machine or Soul
In our modern claims of evolved or enlightened, I think we are we’re just human like those before us. Have we really become more evolved or more enlightened?
The greatest crime of our age is not in becoming secular but ignoring something understood throughout our prior history as humans: We have a soul. For sure religion has been abusive, used for control, domination and an excuse of injustice. But, religion is not a disease, its pursuits not primitive, nor its conclusions trite.
Religion tyrannically ruled over the soul, but secularism tyrannically neglected it. Different, but equally a crime. We still struggle with the same questions, cravings and issues of all history. Secularism leaves humans with more emptiness than a true sense of fulfillment or yearning rather than answers. Claims of progress also have claims of the regression. In ending diseases, we also have the holocaust. In industrial progress, we have environmental destruction. In the development of equality, we have the destruction of the family and loss of identity.
With the current discussions of being spiritual or the re-discovery of human talent, perhaps we are re-discovering our soul. There is significant tension between the soul, reason and justice. One to the detriment of the others is the wrong approach. That approach seems, after all, what we all have in common. We are just as human as those of history. Maybe more knowledgeable, but not more enlightened.