To Be Modern Is To Believe in Nothing

Written by Mark Farnham

On January 10, 2018

To be entirely modern (which very few of us are) is to believe in nothing. This is not to say it is to have no beliefs: the truly modern person may believe in almost anything, or even perhaps in everything, so long as all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing–or better, in nothingness as such.

Modernity’s highest ideal–its special understanding of personal autonomy–requires us to place our trust in an original absence underlying all of reality, a fertile void in which all things are possible, from which arises no impediment to our wills, and before which we may consequently choose to make of ourselves what we choose.

We trust, that is to say, that there is no substantial criterion by which to judge our choices that stands higher than the unquestioned good of free choice itself, and that therefore all judgment, divine no less than human, is in some sense an infringement upon our freedom.

This is our primal ideology. In the most unadorned terms possible, the ethos of modernity is–to be perfectly precise–nihilism.

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (Yale University Press, 2009), 20-21.

You May Also Like…

Roe v. Wade was Rooted in Science Denial

Roe v. Wade was Rooted in Science Denial

In the Netflix documentary, Reversing Roe, at around the 28:00 mark, Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court in 1973, recounts that during the case a justice asked her when she believed a human life begins. She responded,...

Deconstruction Reason #2: Bad Company

Danger skull icon isolated on white background “Do not be deceived; bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). The second reason I have observed for professing Christians to deconstruct their faith is that they expose their hearts and minds to error (for my...

Knowing the Aseity of God through Suffering, Part 2

See Part 1 here. In his book, The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis beautifully describes in a fictional encounter how God will help us make sense of our suffering when we finally see Him. “This is what mortals misunderstand,” says one man to another. “They say of some...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.