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January 2004

Modern secularism feeds on agnosticism and a fading sense of the transcendent

Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, once remarked about the struggle of modern people with faith: "We are too late for the gods and too early for Being."

It seems to me that the point Heidegger was making is that fewer and fewer people have faith in the old ways. His thesis was that faith in God is receding for many people in our world because they do not have the same fears that our ancestors once had. Belief in God, Heidegger said, is predicated on fear and astonishment, and when this fear and astonishment wanes, then faith wanes.

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