When I read about the 89-year-old woman who chose to kill herself at Dignitas, the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, I thought she had put her finger on a deep ill.
The woman said she had lost the will to live in a world where she felt technology was killing meaningful social interaction. She said:
We are becoming robots. It is this lack of humanity.
Suicide. There are advocates for it now. Why?
A sermon I read some time ago rings true:
We all live with hope, and without it we could not even take a single step. When a person extinguishes all hope they commit suicide, if a person loses hope they do not have the slightest thing to support themselves with.
Howard Gardner says in his book Truth, Beauty and Goodness Reframed that postmodernism and new digital media pose a challenge to truth, beauty and goodness. The former undermines the meaning of such values. The latter uhsers in a chaotic state of affairs:
The postmodern critiques and the digital media … make strong and powerful bedfellows. Either force alone should engender anxiety in those of us who value truth, beauty and goodness; taken together, they should give pause even to the most confident among us.
What is the basis of hope, if we do not or cannot transcend the relativism and uncertainty of the postmodern age?
I think Michael Nazir-Ali is right to say: the Bible’s rejection of a cyclical view of the human condition, its insistence on a linear view of time which makes the future significant and worth fighting for and waiting for offers hope.
Hope that can never be destroyed.