HP Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"
This makes me think of Ernest Becker's thought that modern humans have been disinherited by their own intellectual strength. For some nothing less than a transhumanistic utopia or a final solution will do. For others retreating to the illusions of our ancestors is the answer. Could there be a middle way... a path that avoids hubristic utopias and self destruction.
"I should liken Kant to a man at a ball, who all evening has been carrying on a love affair with a masked beauty in the vain hope of making a conquest, when at last she throws off her mask and reveals herself to be his wife." In Schopenhauer's fable the wife masquerading as an unknown beauty was Christianity. Today it is humanism.What Schopenhauer wrote of Kant is no less true today. As commonly practised, philosophy is the attempt to find good reasons for conventional beliefs. In Kant's time the creed of conventional people was Christian, now it is humanist. Nor are these two faiths so different from one another.
Over the past 200 years, philosophy has shaken off Christian faith. It has not given up Christianity's cardinal error – the belief that humans are radically different from all other animals. Our lives are more like fragmentary dreams than the enactments of conscious selves.
We control very little of what we most care about; many of our most fateful decisions are made unbeknownst to ourselves. Yet we insist that mankind can achieve what we cannot: conscious mastery of its existence. This is the creed of those who have given up an irrational belief in God for an irrational faith in mankind.
But what if we give up the empty hopes of Christianity and humanism? Once we switch off the soundtrack – the babble of God and immortality, progress and humanity – what sense can we make of our lives?"