Cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker writes that “the idea of death, the fear of it haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is the mainspring of human activity — activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man” Becker also says, “All culture, all man’s creative life-ways are in some basic part of them a fabricated protest against natural reality, a denial of the truth of the human condition, and an attempt to forget the pathetic creature that man is”. Today many philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists agree that humans are desperately afraid of dying. Having children, writing a book, creating a work of art, building a skyscraper, or inventing a cure for cancer or COVID-19 can all serve as symbolic immortality projects. Will these efforts leave humans a legacy for generations?
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Clay Jones about his article, “Symbolic Immortality Projects Can’t Save You” which is in the new issue of the Christian Research Journal (September 2020) and is based on the book Immortal which is our equipping resource this month.
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