The modern world is like an enclave with glass walls that have as the years passed, found itself broken by the withering pummels that infest its walls and cut through them. The modern world has been ravaged by many philosophies that have been very much consistent in tearing down it walls, yet it’s on the wings of these philosophies that the modern world have decided to fly, erroneously thinking that these wings generate their own wind that would keep them afloat. The world at the moment could obviously be said to be drinking from the well of Protagoras, the pre-Socratic philosopher who laid the foundation of sophistry, and was known for his famous pronouncement that ”man is the measure of all things: of the things that are, that they are, of the things that are not, that they are not.”
By this, Protagoras meant that each individual is the measure of how things are perceived by that individual. Therefore, things are, or are not, true according to how the individual perceives them. This opened the floodgates of radical relativism that denied absolute truth and gave man the carte blanche of determining the truth value of things.
It was not so long before radical relativism took its first breathe evident in the later philosophies that sprung to life among which are; the philosophy of radical freedom postulated by the French existentialist named Jean Paul Satre, who opined that man is condemned to be free, thereby abandoning man in a perpetual swivel; the pugnacious relativism and militant atheism of Friedrich Nietzsche, who in his gay science postulated the death of God and the birth of a superman who will create his own values independently of any god, and so made man the sole determinant of what is to be called truth and the mendacious ethical theory of Joseph Fletcher, who sacrificed the rightness or wrongness of an action on the altar of situation.
If history should suffer a memory loss, it would not fail to be benevolent in remembering the prophetic poem of the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, titled ”the second coming”. The sublime lines of the first stanza of that poem aptly pictures the moral gangrene of the modern world, it read thus “turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer; things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
These lines surmise the gridlock of troubles the modern world faces. Where there is so much noise that deafens the ears of the modern man from hearing an objective truth, where the litter of debris of a world that is falling apart are leaped over rather than parked. The problem of the modern world is that she is scared to look into the mirror to see the scars years had honoured her with, so like an elephant that makes a clean body of water dirty before drinking so as not to see its reflection, so also is the modern man who is afraid of the truth, births in many philosophies so as to deny the existence of an objective truth, so he can walk the bridge with no balustrades. So the modern man commits an error in believing that in denying the existence of truth, of objectivity, that in actual fact there is no truth, and no moral norms. But this is where he got it wrong, for how can so much energy be expended arguing on objectivity or universality of a truth, if actually there is no truth or objectivity?
We find solidarity in our shouts when we shout at a kite that tries to sweep a chick off its feet. The venom of those shouts that knocks fear into the bones of that kite and pummels it back into the sky, is an affirmation. An affirmation that some things are right and some things are wrong. Our rational minds as humans give it a moral tone, because we are humans and moral beings. Though it is in the nature of kites to live off chicks, so “morally” in their own terrain, it is simply normal, the estimative sense explains this better. Still we feel sad at the sight of a mother hen, whose chicks fall victim of the cruel talons of kites, we feel concerned about its plight, we judge the kites act as “wicked” and “inhuman” ( forgetting it is just a bird with no moral law guiding it neither is it human, for the act to be inhuman). This makes us human, that we know some things should be and others shouldn’t.
The error of a modern world is the easy way wrong and right is dismissed so as to suit various whims and caprices, thereby stuffing confusion into both entities. It is just like denying the obvious difference between night and day. The deliberate obliteration of the thin line that separates correction and judgment. The easy way we misapply the biblical verse “do not judge that you may not be judged”. This is the error of the modern world, through which many evils are dismissed. When everybody scuttle into the cocoon of “mind your business, it is my life”. This is the error of the modern world. Where good is labelled evil, where man is but a mere object on the way to be kicked about. This is the error we are stuck in. With these many sailors, we may remain trapped in the middle of the sea and be mercilessly pummelled by every wave that comes around.
This is the error of the modern world -mendacious relativism and anarchical liberalism. When there is no tape outside to measure the length of a clothe, one only needs to cut open the clothe and insert ones head. In this situation, one knows not the difference between a man in the ocean and a fish in the ocean, for the former may actually be drowning and the latter swimming, but since there is no standard outside of man to point this out, man ends up drowning. This leaves man perpetually turning and turning in the widening gyre, because there is no compass to point the way, but this is the error of the modern world, inhabited by a modern man.