If we pay attention to the evolution of the recent history of the world, we will find that the goal of these changes was not just for power or economics. It was originally for philosophical settlement. Economics or science has acted as an external controller in that settlement. Besides, an alternative idea of God imagined by the human called ‘modernity’ has done such a thing.
We will have to remember that the whole world was largely influenced by religious impact in early modern period. And this influence spread from religious place to royal place and social life to the door of individual education. There were three main directives in these religious based education systems; First, the idea of God. There was a difference of opinion regardless of region, and religion, but God was in all societies and in everyone’s life. Second, the idea of the soul which contain in the human being, and the idea worked in a very valuable way. Third, the idea of death of the afterlife. These thoughts and beliefs have been prevailing in all the societies of the world for thousands of years and have stirred social thoughts and actions of people very closely.
Europe in the middle ages, especially Europe facing extreme misery in states influenced by Christian church and popes, faced two severe obstacles. Two alternative sections originated from that two obstacles that changed the picture of the future world. One section directly reduced the influence of Christianity on the state and the population, and the other got engaged in politics and economy. The first section was later identified as Protestant doctrine. The second genre originated the so-called European Renaissance and secularism, which was thought by many as the beginning of the French Revolution.
Even after passing several hundred years, we can think that the thinkers, philosophers, and scientists of the early modern period, who have put forth their doctrine in medieval Europe, originally wanted to counter or give a counter-philosophy against original philosophy of religion-state centric thought; actually, contrary to prophetic philosophy.
The artisans of early modern philosophy explained to the human being, ‘we are tired of listening to God but how much the Church has made injustice and oppression to us for long. They put all the responsibility of religious traders on God in a simple equation. They said “so, instead of thinking of God, we need to look at this visible material world and improve our way of life by improving it. We should turn our attention to the universe or the natural world instead of God. And finally, people turn their eyes to the material world. Naturally, many beneficial aspects of the material come to the fore due to hard work. This beneficial branch of the material world is named science, which subsequently made the life of people easier. However, human civilization has been forced to pay a terrific value for this easiness. That can be discussed a little later.
The science which had always received the status of a servant in the world of knowledge started suddenly getting status. The backbone of today’s so-called science-based civilization developed at that time. New things started inventing. The new innovations of science were moving around the human being, which deceived the sense of people’s belief for long days. Science based new classical branches developed as well more works.
Secularism has been taken as a philosophy against science and religion-based state in the early modern period. The secular doctrine, which kept gun on the shoulders of science, preached that “what have those, who have practiced religion for so long, invented?” But today, this science has discovered many things and new innovations. It was enough to give the people the basis of their religious beliefs, and it established in the society that ‘all the talent, energy and money should be spent behind the invention of this science without spending time to understand us about God’. God Think was declared dead.
Now, let us talk about the second thing, the soul. All the nations and religions of the world believed in the soul, obeyed it and believed in various processes. Philosophers of early modern period began to talk with suspicion, “Where is the soul? What can we see the soul? We cannot see the soul, but the human body. Therefore, we should engage in all the activities of the human body and manage to treat its diseases, where science was applied. The most time and talents in human history in the last few centuries have been spent in revealing the mystery of the human body, passing or ignoring the human soul.
In the same way, people are told about the afterlife, “Do we know what will be happened after death? Has anyone seen that? We will never believe anything which we do not see and has no proof. Let us go ahead and we use all the branches of human knowledge to improve our worldly life. New theories and philosophies began to be invented in all the fields beginning from economics to sociology. They showed logic that man can improve the governance policy of the state. New and smoother ways of living could be created after emerging alternative institutions against religious institutions.
And these studies immediately brought some positive changes in Europe. For example, new cities were built, wide roads were constructed, new structured buildings were set up, trade was expanded, and industries were redesigned to meet the spiritual deficit of people. Science was harnessed with its all powers to develop trade and economy, and before the rise of America, Europe started intervening all the countries of the world as a new superpower after World War II.
New patterns of social status were seen in society while philosophy was almost thrown away. The philosophy of materialism began to run like wild horses. The status of materialistic thinking scholars has gradually outgrown than that of religious scholars. It was given this idea in the society that architects, scientists, and materialists were the most educated persons. In these few centuries, only people were made forgotten about the certain death and the next thought after death.
Europe did not confine its such idea or philosophy into itself. They spread their doctrines all over the world for the sake of their own interests and occupied most of the countries and regions of the world in the fastest time by using the inventions of science. Europe not only plundered wealth and stole property from the occupied countries, but also brought cultural change there and began to show that change in a positive way in the name of ‘modernity’.
But even in these attempts, when the emptiness of the faith raised among people in the form of questions in different times, another attempt was made to cover the emptiness of the human mind with different information. It was said, ‘There is no existence of God’, ‘There is nothing called religion’, ‘Religion is a creation of man’, ‘Afterlife’ is a miraculous idea. Then some people began to be baptized in atheism.
Interestingly, all philosophers of the pre-Renaissance in Europe were ‘atheism-centered’ ones and never practiced materialistic philosophy. But the inflated capitalism, which took the most advantages of science, had been able to make the most publicity to atheist philosophers as they had got the real benefit to them. If we draw the attention of western countries nowadays, it can be seen that the churches of those days are still very much guarded, although they do not go there. Keeping these churches is a preservation of the history of modernity but not the love of history. They preserved those as proof that they were deviations from religion. The history of that day is still unknown to modern people like the dead language.
It will have to be remembered that the religious and economic problems in the middle ages raised due to the western and the west as they resolved the problems as they thought. This is not a problem developed by the Oriental, but the problems continued almost all parts of the world. Because almost all over the world was ruled by imperialists of Europe, the country had no mineral but adverse weather. Most of the world’s education systems are still under the influence of the ‘secular education system’ created by Europe at that time. In the last few centuries, the education system around the world educated some such people who are oriental or indigenous to the blood but blind followers to the Western in mind and thought.
They did work in the guise of modernity that they did not remove religion due to their so-called liberal democratic principles and kept it in a place of neglect. It was said it does not make a matter that you believe in God and believe in the Spirit or believe in the afterlife as they are not real. The real is science and modern medical system, which is showing people dreams of immortality, and the reality is politics and the modern ideas of economics. Besides, more strange strategies were taken at that time. The economic structure of the world was created in the interest of the development of capitalism in such a way where survival of this structure would be uncertain if it did not acquire the so-called papers or certificates of this modern education system. This message was taught in colonial countries.
Their effect appeared in all religions, including Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Islam, and Jew, and they tried to release that religious education is ‘unproductive,’ not useful in society. The teachings and practices of religion have formed the basis of the principles and morality of human society for thousands of years, but the constitution in the modern state began to perform the duty of scripture as an alternative of the teachings and practices of religion. That means that human interest, thoughts, and faith will be made through the constitution. The spiritual soul of the modern constitution of these modern states remains hidden in the midst of ‘the turmoil of middle age in Europe.
But after all, there was some rhetoric, such as secularism, and capitalism cannot remove God think from the human despite many efforts. So the thinking of God, similarity of God, and desire of God were turned. The main reason for the origins of the Christian subsection Protestant was that Catholics believed that ordinary Christians are not fit for reading the Bible, like Hindu Brahmins. The Catholic Church preached in the society that the Bible is for only Pope and those who are devout to the Pope.
God sent people to the world with punishment. Man will once again return to heaven, where he will receive eternal happiness, and the days of the world will be very bad for them. A miserable life will have to be passed in the world. The Catholic Church produced an adverse idea amid people, keeping people out of the Bible and oppressing them socially. No one had a better life, except those are royal officials in charge of the government and associated with the churches in Europe, in the Middle Ages.
The Protestant doctrine had been able to convince the Christian people through secularism that it is not an offense to possess wealth and life by improving the material in the world. Rather, it is more praiseworthy because ‘God will give more wealth to the world whom he loves more.’
Although there are massive philosophical disagreements between Protestants and Catholics, this propaganda is spread by the Church in other Christian major regions of the world, including the United States, that the material success of human beings in the world is God’s success, and people should focus on the material success. Christian missionaries expanded materialistic philosophy by fiercely using religion. That means modern, culture and doctrine turned into a medium for promoting materialism.
The ‘spirituality’ has turned into the chapter of psychology and we do not try to understand it today with faith, but try to realize it on the basis of materialist argument and theory. But the discovery of materialistic science was fulfilled through some equipment in the solution of the ‘invisible men’ in the name of human spirituality, resulting in the appearance of advanced countries of the world. Suicide rates of the developed countries are shining testimony to us.
Modern psychology wants to look into medical science by engaging in philosophical or cosmic problems, which come from the educational framework of secularism. For example, humans have the ability to understand both good and bad. When a person commits a crime, he or she suffers from a pang of guilt, even if no one tells him or her. In an earlier period, people used to repent or confess to religious leaders or popes. But when you will approach at a psychiatrist in the modern period, he will first tell you, ‘This is a negative thing for you to suffer from this guilt.’ You will have to get out of here and have to feel happy.
If we find out the reason behind this, we will find that suffering from a mood disorder after carrying out a crime is called a step of repentance of sins or forgiveness of sins in ancient Semitic scripture and modern Islam. God, Allah gives it to people as a warning, and all the ancient religions that believe in the idea of an afterlife, consider the suffering from guilt as very positive. This was considered as a burning proof of the idea of the afterlife. So, naturally, modern psychology does not consider this as a positive. No psychologist will tell you that you will have to keep your mind pure like the protection of the body, and there is also the disease of the soul like the body. If you accept the soul, the body comes to the fore after death.
“This time is the most important of human history. It is not only for the Coronavirus, but this situation will help us to understand the mistakes of the world. The situation will provide an opportunity to look deeper into the ineffective socioeconomic system, which change is very essential, if we want a livable world.” Noam Chomsky
What is the virus called Coronavirus (COVID 19)? Is it just a microorganism? Is it merely a symbol of death? Or isn’t it a metaphor for the environment of hate, jealousy, and murder, which has been developed for hundreds of years in the name of propagating idealism, preserving wealth, and spreading imperialism behind the materialistic civilization?
The state will establish an oppressive system for people of all ages. This is the character of the state in a constructive way. Although all the world’s great philosophers or political scientists did not accept the system named ‘state,’ they pointed out some ways to save general people from oppression. All the philosophers — from Chanakya, Confucius to Noam Chomsky — for thousands of years, called for the states to be humane in the same way.
But has the state heard it? The state has understood the contrary thing. The modern state has gradually turned every person into a slave. According to the state, citizens, who disagree with the state, are the virus. The state is a kind of virus for working people and unemployed persons. Believers in religious ideology consider people of the opposite ideology as a virus. The people are viruses for their competitors in the world. Our isolation and self-indulgence are the virus. Before coming to Corona, was this death fear not the dormant condition in everyone’s mind?
In the name of globalization, imperialism and free market economy, usury business is going in the world where there is no meaning of life for human beings. It is not worth living for human beings. There is no question of the position or identity of a person without becoming a unit of production.
A modern nation made the interests and structures of human beings in such a way that they would forget about free thinking and expression. Each loves to live separately like an isolated island. There is no anything as independent human thought. In one of the articles, Chomsky wrote” Modern academic education and professional training are like a filter. All people can think freely. Those who have their own ideas are thrown by catching with that filter.
After the Coronavirus breakout, I saw the most “fear of death” in the eyes of the upper-class people in the society, who still don’t want to believe that there is something called death, which is stronger than their wealth. They are rapidly suffering from depression in the days of quarantine as their opportunities to show the happiness of their rich lives and to make hate and insolence for some people have gradually stopped. Shopping malls, restaurants, party centers, disco clubs, and casinos have also become closure. Where will they go now? There is nothing left for them in the house. They are not comfortable in the house. So, their working, shopping, drinking and the celebration of their ambition in the dazzling parties have vanished. The showcase of showing their pursuing wealth, which they developed with hardworking, has suddenly disappeared.
Where did the materialist philosophy of the materialistic world bring human civilization finally? We saw that huge industrial factories were developed in the world soon after the materialistic revolution in Europe. All around Europe was filled up with large glittering cities, shopping malls, luxury markets with luxury goods and everything, which could be bought with money. “Conception Manufacturing” continued to establish unnecessary things, which are excessive for human life, as necessary in human life. People were enticed by various advertisements and propaganda before their eyes. The billions of dollars were spent behind it. People were meant that “survival means being well to own self.”
Materialism had given the world to enjoy luxury everything. As religious bindings broke out, it didn’t take more time to end up celebrations of sexuality in the world. Normal sex began to get boring and perverted sex started. As a result, we have seen the outbreak of various diseases at different times. The news was appearing in various newspapers that an orangutan was raped by discipline in French throughout the year. Besides, there are reports of sexual activities of the human being with animal-like pendulum.
A dilemma of reality and unreality was created for universal people. There is nothing good for them in this world that has been known for so long. People became isolated from society, family and even themselves. There is nothing different thing here for people about God. The desire to get capital and capital-generated things have become God to him. It has been a personal matter for the desire of expensive cars and home, living well and eating well. Modern people are alone, isolated and abandoned.
A life of monotonous reluctance stands before people. Modern people are alone, isolated and abandoned. Everyone is blind in the midst of personal security. In these days of the Coronavirus pandemic, people are feeling hostage to stay home constantly. Many are suffering from depression. Many reports of suicidal incidents are being found in Europe and America. Such as the finance minister of German committed suicide a few days ago. Modern people are always isolated. But isolation appeared with distinct characteristics in the definition of modernity. Modern people had no shelter and don’t get shelter as his faith and love are in the vested object.
Materialism has given the world the best disparity of wealth in the world. All the resources of the world went in the hands of five percent of people in the world. A war occurred in the world among the superpowers over the share of those assets. Two world wars happened in the world and billions of people died. Even after the world war ended, there were festivals of killing people indiscriminately under different names all over the world. The superpowers, who are the only dealership of democracy and humanity all over the world in the name of science, materialism, and secularism, continue to do this works.
The superpowers have failed to think that the lives of them and people of their counties are not safer or more valuable than that of all people in the world. Not only in the country but also the walls of isolation have built-in every person. The human civilization created unitedly by the human being has been made people forgotten in the name of productivity and development. People were meant that having their self-absorbed is the most productive thing. The people were told that they are free. Later, they were captured in the simple chain of desire and lust by spreading the covetousness of various luxuries to them.
Quarantine “Coronavirus epidemic is not only unveiling the limitation of market-centric globalization but also largely uncovering the burning wounds of populist nationalism policy that emphasized so-called sovereignty (According to America). America also is not able to save without international cooperation and coordination to deal with the situation.” Slavoj Zizek.
The concept of ‘modernity’, which was developed in the world, informed people that modernity would give a better state to stabilize people’s lives. It said about some interesting words including humanity, individual, development, and progress. The modernity dreamed that it would give people the gift of heaven, which was described in the scriptures, in the world.
The modernity promised that it will make people forget the existence of God through the practice of science. But today we see the cries of the presidents of all countries having at the top of excellence in science. They say “All solutions to the world are gone, the solution is now just to the sky.”
We saw that modernity inspired human beings to pay attention to their body making them forget from their soul. But today it has been proven that all ideas of material philosophy, science and medical science of the last four hundred years have failed to a virus in the twenty-first century when the so-called improvement of medical science is at the highest boundary.
The Infrastructure, which was improved all over the world to make people forget about the afterlife, seems inadequate to save lives now. We can see that the fear of death has made people enter the house like animals. In recent years, all superpowers, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, carried out aggression ruthlessly on many Independent-sovereign countries in the world not obeying rules and regulations and killed millions of people. But other countries were silent in fear of their own security. Everyone thought about their own wealth and their own security. Today, the bells of death ring at the doorsteps of every country in the world.
Many people have forgotten the truth that the human species is one specie, the human body and soul are absorbed with everything in nature, the safety and right to the lives of all the people in the world are the same and everyone’s life is equal.
Human being has destroyed nature, air, water, and ozone layer to create the so-called modern civilization. The ice of the two poles is constantly melting. The level of sea water is rising. The areas of forest are declining gradually. Numerous species of animals and plants are losing from the earth. Modern people dream of living in a flat just a few hundred square feet in a very big city like insects and animals.
What is the future of man, where is his destination, where he has come from, where is he going? Materialistic philosophy and advancement of science beyond all these basic ideas and philosophies have provided security, faith, and motivation to people for long. But when the science is defeated in the hand of an invisible micro microbe, the cover of human civilization, which was developed in the world, collapsed.
Like all other epidemics, this coronavirus epidemic may go away one day. But will the human being ever find any vaccine to eradicate the virus of self-indulgence, isolation and desire, which people cherish in their mind?
The author is thankful to Hasan Ali for translating the original Bangla article into English.