John Gray on why the 'secular fundamentalists' have got it all wrong."To say it for all my colleagues and for the umpteenth million time (from college bull sessions to learned treatises): science simply cannot (by its legitimate methods) adjudicate the issue of God's possible superintendence of nature.
We neither affirm nor deny it; we simply can't comment on it as scientists.
We watch it, we hear about it, we experience it, and usually we don't know what it means.
Of all the smug and foolish delusions that were part of conventional wisdom when I was young in the middle of the 20th century, two stand out in memory.
What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain understanding must precede every action. Anxiety is freedom's possibility, and only such anxiety is through faith absolutely educative, because it "But Abraham had faith and therefore he was young, for he who always hopes for the best grows old and is deceived by life, and he who is always prepared for the worst grows old prematurely, but he who has faith -- he preserves eternal youth." Fear and Trembling."Each generation learns from another, no generation learns the essentially human from a previous one. For three whole days, during which time did not exist for him, he struggled in that black sack into which he was being thrust by an invisible, resistless force.
The thing to do is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.""If a human being were a beast or an angel, he could not be in anxiety. In this respect, each generation begins primitively, has no other task than what each previous generation had, nor does it advance further ..." Supplement to The Concept of Anxiety.."The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing: every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. Heidegger's phenomenological existentialism remains one of the most influential philosophical projects of the twentieth century, despite the controversy surrounding his political activities in the 1930s. He struggled as a man condemned to death struggles in the hands of the executioner, knowing that he cannot save himself.The cartoon on the left above appeared in an International Psychoanalytic Association newsletter a few years ago.It appears to suggest the superior attitude of the smug atheistic psychoanalyst who assumes that "if only Jesus had had a good analysis he might have avoided all that self-defeating crucifixion stuff." Can you imagine such a cartoon featuring Moses or Mohammed on the couch?If some of our crowd have made untoward statements claiming that Darwinism disproves God, then I will find Mrs."It is a melancholy truth that most of us are wrong most of the time about the way the world is going.He views existentialism as the resurgence of the Hebraic emphasis upon right action and of the moral as distinct from the intellectual virtues.(The complete text of Culture and Anarchy, including the section on Hebraism and Hellenism, is available online.) "...At times I was stupid enough to believe both of these preposterous fallacies; but then, so was nearly everyone else.".This led to his arrest in April 1943 and execution by hanging in April 1945, 23 days before the Nazi surrender.At the moment he answered his wife he realized that he was lost, that there was no return, that the end had come, the very end, and his doubts were still unsolved and remained doubts."Oh! He was hindered from getting into it by his conviction that his life had been a good one.That very justification of his life held him fast and prevented his moving forward, and it caused him most torment of all.