Tenets of faith

Religion

There are many religions in this world: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, just to name the “smaller” ones, but there is one above all. It is taught in public institutions from an early age, has many rites of passage till someone can become a high priest or a true practitioner of it. It is present in all countries in the world, its institutions are everywhere and there is a only small minority who doesn’t believe what it teaches. It is called Science. „What, a religion?!” – Yes, why…? Apart from spiritual practices it does give us a firm world-view, tells us our origin-story, explaining what we are and where we came from — a pivotal question in every traditional religion. (If you take meditation or relaxation — as scientifically proven methods for achieving an altered mental state — you might experience some sort of spirituality as well.)

Progress

This leads us to the ultimate question: why are we doing this? “Because of Progress! We want to bring those poor tribesman living from less than a dollar a day in a middle of a forest into the middle class! Let them have houses, cars, roads and supermarkets! Down with poverty and hunger! Bigger, faster, higher is always better!”

Greed is good

Progress is a mere fig leaf in front of the true driving force: personal greed; called Capitalism on a systemic level. Once you have degraded nature and people into raw materials and consumers it is absolutely logical – and perfectly justified – to treat them as mere sources of profit.

Growth

The logic of capitalism results in unchecked exponential growth: profits get reinvested in additional production capacities or innovation, resulting even higher profits, more re-investment and so on. According to company and government leaders, economists and the media growth is unquestionably good.

Humanism

Since science replaced the Genesis with Evolution and raised humans apart and on top of everything else, we have became the center of our own universe. Humanism is all about us: progress, the economy, just societies — everything revolves around a single species on this planet: Homo sapiens. Never mind the others, technology will replace them. This civilization has became so self-centered and overly self-confident, that it believes it can become a “steward” of this planet, carefully geo-engineering a nice climate, while putting other creatures in nice little (similarly well managed) cubicles of “natural habitat”. Kept under perfect control of course.

Technology will save us

OK, there might be some problems, but “there is no limit to human ingenuity” — goes another core belief of this civilization. “Just look how much we have achieved! No one thought at the time of the first aeroplanes (in the 1910’s) that in a mere 50 years we will send people into space and land on the Moon…” Wow — similarly, no one thought that we would fly the same helicopter and aircraft design of the 1970-s – today, another fifty years later – and travel to space using good old rockets, never leaving low orbit in a manned flight ever since. What has happened to technological progress? Where is my warp drive, anti-gravitational shoes, weekend trip to Mars and the rest? Why are we still building huge water boilers (ahem, nuclear power plants) to rotate steam turbines invented in 1884? Where is fusion…?

Not much has changed in the past 50 years apart from China ramping up its coal use in the early 2000’s. If you look at the global annual per capita energy use, progress is nowhere to be found. Can you spot wind and solar for example without heavily magnifying the image? Even nuclear looks like a statistical error on this image… Data from Our world in data (divided by global population numbers)

No mans land

And here we are: on the shaky grounds of a no mans land between two civilizations. The old is nothing more than a set of dogmas propelled by its incredible momentum: like a fresh corpse whose nails are still seem to be growing.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
B

B

A critic of modern times - offering ideas for honest contemplation.