Thursday, July 9, 2020

Realism and Faith

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

June 2020

Observing the events of history and society, we find that humanity has gone through modernism in relation with rationalism, thought, science, progress, etc., and then came postmodernism, which challenged the sturdy foundations, challenged all certainties, objectivity, etc.

In an article of the Daily News, Tasoula Karaiskaki stressed that the seed of doubt and controversy, which characterizes our time, has become "dynamite that divides everything", "it has become a weapon in the hands of conspiracy theorists and populists, pseudo-experts, the superstitious and all kinds of deniers," who question everything such as "climate change, the sphericity of the earth, the effectiveness of vaccines, the existence of the coronavirus".

Then, from the perspective of postmodernism, it refers to two realities, namely "post-truth" and "post-fact".

"Post-truth is the transcendence of and the contempt for truth. It has nothing to do with the classic lie, that is, with the concealment of the truth, which presupposes the exact knowledge of what is falsified and what is real, but with the unscrupulous uncontrollable creation of fabrication, completely careless, without existing data, with the freedom to put forward myths, without caring about the consequences.

Post-fact is not the distorted but the completely constructed event. Both are the fruits of the malicious, adventurous, useful use of the Internet, by those who are only interested in the emotions that will be caused by events, completely indifferent to their content."

I always talked about the so-called postmodern era and I was waiting for what would follow, and what I found out is that we have reached "post-truth" and "post-fact", since everything is questioned, and "everything after became dynamite that shattered rationality into a thousand pieces," even all the data.

We see this strongly in the coronavirus and in the mentality that is cultivated in all circles of people. Especially in the space of the Church, these "posts" are magnified.

I like to see the things of society with realism, and to transcend them, without demonizing them, and without imagining them, but also to transcend them with faith in God and His Providence.

Saint Sophrony the Athonite said: “The life of the world is organized around some human passions and the spiritual life is on the margins. We must reverse this state of affairs, placing the spiritual life at the heart of our lives” (On Spirit and Life, p. 22).

This is a combination of realism and faith.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.