Fick på Facebook just ett tips om en kort artikel i Dagen med rubriken Havel varnar för “ateistisk civilisation”. Den väckte mitt intresse och fick mig att göra lite efterforskningar. Grunden för artikel är uppenbarligen en föreläsning som Vaclav Havel höll vid öppningsceremonin vid en konferens arrangerad av Forum 2000 i Prag kring temat The World We Want To Live In. I detta föredrag är han inte nådig i sin kritik mot det han kallar vår “first truly global civilisation” som han också karakäriserar som “the first atheistic civilisation, in other words, a civilisation that has lost its connection with the infinite and eternity.” Han säger:
However, the most dangerous aspect of this global atheistic civilisation is its pride. The pride of someone who is driven by the very logic of his wealth to stop respecting the contribution of nature and our forebears, to stop respecting it on principle and respect it only as a further potential source of profit. (…)I sense behind all of this not only a globally spreading short-sightedness, but also the swollen self-consciousness of this civilisation, whose basic attributes include the supercilious idea that we know everything and what we don’t yet know we’ll soon find out, because we know how to go about it. We are convinced that this supposed omniscience of ours which proclaims the staggering progress of science and technology and rational knowledge in general, permits us to serve anything that is demonstrably useful, or that is simply a source of measurable profit, anything that induces growth and more growth and still more growth, including the growth of agglomerations.But with the cult of measurable profit, proven progress and visible usefulness there disappears respect for mystery and along with it humble reverence for everything we shall never measure and know, not to mention the vexed question of the infinite and eternal, which were until recently the most important horizons of our actions.We have totally forgotten what all previous civilisations knew: that nothing is self-evident.
In all events, I am certain that our civilisation is heading for catastrophe unless present-day humankind comes to its senses. And it can only come to its senses if it grapples with its short-sightedness, its stupid conviction of its omniscience and its swollen pride, which have been so deeply anchored in its thinking and actions.It is necessary to wonder. And it is necessary to worry about the non-self-evidence of things.