Isn’t it odd that the enormous volume of highly artistic works—from movies, drama, literature, poetry to music—are invariably bleak but give us immense joy? (This is especially evident in the yesteryear world of popular music, but I’ll come to that later.) One wonders are we better off living in a fallen world after all, as a perfect one without strife would lack in artistic excellence. But does a world with immense suffering justify moments of optimism through the transient pleasures of the arts, despite their dark themes? After all, one can’t have Shakespeare’s work without its tragedy, or W.B. Yeats without a terrible beauty being born.
In his book A Secular Age, the philosopher Charles Taylor wrote that some people long for ultimate meaning, and that longing may end with God. God is always breaking in, stepping through the immanent frame of secularism, according to Taylor. But when ‘secular’ God makes his appearance, Taylor finds, he sounds just like Peggy Lee, singing Is That All There Is? The song, arguably the most depressing song ever written, was inspired by the 1896 story ‘Disillusionment’ (Enttäuschung) by Thomas Mann. It sums up precisely the real meaning of secularism.It tells the story of a young girl and the disappointments she experiences throughout her life. Everything seems empty and tinged with the melancholy of all things done. Finally, left with a broken heart when her lover leaves her, her last words confront a way out by suicide. But she finally says she’s in no hurry for that ultimate disappointment, uttering in her last breath: “Is that all there is?” More.
Well, yes, according to naturalist culture, that is all there is. It is an article of faith with them. You believe it or you don’t.
See also: Nature, as defined today, cannot be all there is. Science demonstrates that.
What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness
How naturalism morphed into a state religion