Two sources of discontent

Modernity and its unhelpfully named sequel postmodernism regard humans as being above and beyond both nature and transcendence. Beginning in the eighteenth century, the two traditional lodestars of God and human nature were rejected, with consequences we are still trying to deal with now. These are the major sources of Western discontent today.

Rejecting the idea that we share a constant and irreducible core which makes us human has not only produced massive confusion and incoherence in morals, but helped undermine the concept of human dignity; that each individual possesses an innate dignity which must not be violated. In other words, attacks on marriage and family life produce whirlwinds of discontent across the generations.

This rejection of human nature is at the heart of radical versions of autonomy, individualism and secularism. The propaganda is all about freedom to choose our own values, and make and remake ourselves as we please. The reality is a moral relativism that makes evil a question of one’s particular perspective or feelings, and a world where human beings become means to others’ ends.