The Zeitgeist of Modernism:

 

The impact of Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud and Marx


early 19th century mentality:  Confidence remains in the Enlightened belief in progress and the perfectibility of society through reason and science.

late 19th century mentality: New insights into human nature and the physical universe lead to questioning the primacy of reason in the human psyche and faith in progress. This anxiety led to a crisis which tested our faith in liberal political ideals and rejection of the aesthetic forms which had dominated Western culture since the Renaissance.

 

WISDOM

 

ANXIETY

We now offer respect for diverse cultures and alternate systems of belief.

Ambiguity

There is no one way to interpret any moral issue.

We no longer are deceived by the spurious claims of idealogues whose political movements  claim that society can be perfected.

Utopia is Dead

Liberalism failed to create a utopian metropolis. Instead, progress led to urban misery, environmental catastrophe, world war, and the real chance of civilizationís destruction.

We have recovered our respect for the mysteries of the universe and of human nature. We have recognized our own responsibility for preserving the planet.

God is Dead

Moral thought is not easy. There are no revealed truths, no perfect answers. Moral thought requires difficult compromises between irreconcilable ideals.

The human mind has become the new object of religious veneration.

Humanity's Bleak Nature

Mysterious, irrational and bestial, our behavior is determined by forces beyond our complete understanding or control.

The Truth is concrete and material. Legitimate ideas must be verifiable.

Materialism

The Truth is neither abstract nor ideal.

We recognize the mystery of human nature and are open to new methods of innovation and experimentation.

Art

Man is neither a god nor a machine. Man is an animal.