"In a technological age," writes the philosopher Roger Scruton, "we acquire an increasing grasp of the means to our goals, and a decreasing grasp of the reasons why we should pursue them."
Of course, confronted with this vacuum of meaning, many new causes have been tried. Most have failed, and all will soon fail. Marxism promised a universal escape from the material bonds of survival through the forces of history. Nazism offered a transcendent purification of the biology of the species. Environmentalism offered a reunion with nature. Humanism offered an atheist brotherhood of good intentions. Liberalism promoted the peaceful co-existence of competing absolutes. The free market offered us submission to the abstract demands of trade, capital and consumption and, most recently, evolutionary theory and genetics have proffered an earthly heaven in which an understanding of our biological inheritance will unify us in an awareness of what we truly, scientifically, are.
The problem with these is that they o