Alain De Botton says that the new generation has a unique challenge. Older generations believed in God and their lives were designed around the concept. But now, religion is being questioned. God is being questioned. But what do we do with the void? Questioning God is a sign of rising intellect but what about the emotional part of us? Do we have a sophisticated replacement?
When you believe in a God, you feel emotionally secure. You have a sense of direction because you just have to follow the scriptures. But if you are not a believer then you have no book, no road-map, no rules, nothing at all. You don’t know anything for sure. You don’t know how to define yourself. I mean, the way you look at yourself changes when you know something about the universe.
Maybe we were not prepared for such a massive shift in our way of thinking. Maybe, our emotional selves still desire a father or mother like figure.
We are not talking about the ‘correctness’ or ‘truthfulness’ of the idea of God here because that’s secondary. What’s more important is that probably, the concept of God was a response to our emotions (I am not saying that the concept of God is false or true. I neither believe nor disbelieve in God). And that emotional self still wants a solution. The modern mind will not go back to that old religious self but it certainly needs something new.
I guess we should be a little kind while judging the new generation because it’s actually pretty scary to lose everything that was considered sacred by the previous generations.