The New Situation
(See also 'Understanding the Times', which is more detailed and takes this from a different direction.)
Why do I believe we are in a new situation, that requires a New View? Briefly, over the past 30 years or so, huge changes have become evident:
- New environmental realities. For the first time in history we are affecting the planet - both because the human population is 6 billion, and because our science, technology and world economic system amplifies the impact that 2 billion of us has (a Swiss has 40 times the impact of a Somali).
- New perception of what is Problem. 300 years ago in the U.K. a major problem was the suppression of the individual ordinary person, and effective denial of access to God. Today the reverse is the case: individualism is itself a problem. The real Problem today is our global problems, such as of planetary pollution and climate change. This has given rise to a new type of fear.
- New struggles needed. Whereas in the past the struggle was to emancipate the individual (if you are a liberal) or to emancipate certain classes (if you were a socialist), today the struggle we need is for responsibility.
- New awareness of our interconnectedness. We are increasingly coming to realise that what we do has repercussions that could extend a long way across the globe and into the future. We are connected with all the rest of Creation.
- New post-Christian culture in the North. People in the Northern hemisphere assume that God is little more than a private belief, and that secular life is the real one. People in Northern hemisphere don't even have a cultural awareness of God any more. And God is irrelevant to our Problem. Yet, on the other hand, the notion that we have a responsibility towards God for the way we treat his Planet seems to chime with people.
- New set of morals perpetrated by the world's opinion formers. The business has replaced the family as the main unit of society, and the type of unit in which nations are modelled (e.g. 'Britian plc'). All government policy is geared to the prosperity of business rather than of family. Additionally, sexual activity is seen as leisure and self-fulfilment, rather than as committed self-giving love. The individual reigns supreme and has some kind of divine right to whatever they want.
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2003.
Created: 8 February 2004.
Last updated: 16 November 2008 times.