And Christian morals became also liquid.
In our modern fragmented and individualistic society, Bauman strongly criticizes consumerism and liquidity of our relations. Today everything is made to be used and discarded, from objects to jobs, friendships and conjugal relations. We live in the Age of disposal. I often say (…) Everything goes by marketing, because everything turned product, object of desire.1 Because of the great moral and social transformations, that are at the root of many problems we face at the present time, the modern human existence is a constant pursuit and practice of teleological suspension of morality to the end we want.
Thus the big moral question of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment is also the most people today: whether we can be an “extraordinary man” faithful not the common morality, but to a special morality, with special rights, indifferent to “moral beasts” (flock) he attributes to common men: “I am a louse, like everyone else, or a man? I can overcome or not! I dare lean me and take or not! I am a trembling beast or have the right to … “2 Follow this other crucial questions, what is the limit of the human being? You can free yourself from an evil conscience? Freedom is within reach of the human? What is the role of religion and religiosity in human life?
And Christian morality became liquid based on this principle anthropocentric. Because this is the way we are living, in the context of Epicureanism (of social networking), whose ideal of life is the celebration of what is pseudo, the almost, the opportunist leap to minimize our responsibilities. Well, these attitudes do not help in the transformation of people, just cover their weaknesses, thereby relieving the symptoms of anxiety by making people feel good. Anyway, an ideology that refuses to make judgments and discussing serious issues concerning vicious and virtuous way of life therefore, believe that there is nothing to be debated. This is postmodernism.
The Christianity teaches that God created Adam and Eve, and the first commandment was to develop a culture that allowed the human race to survive and fulfill their other commandments (it’s in the book of Genesis 1.28–30) and after the fall, all cultures were (and are) corrupted by the sinful nature of humanity. So we found in our days people that cannot be characterized, who live in a circle of ambiguities, full of questions, they says: “I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless”.
Well, we humans need something to make us sense. For example, the death must have a meaning for us. I think the oldest feature of the stories is this: understand why things happen to those old questions answer — Because we were born? Why we die? Where we come from? Where are we going? That’s how I see myself: a storyteller. In addition, the amount of information we have around us would be very confusing if we looked at in isolation. We need a structure to assimilate all the information around us and the stories give us the structure we need. Through these stories we see that man becomes man only in social relationships, since their development is influenced by the culture in which it is created. This concept of social solidarity to be seen how the church could be contextualized in their midst and yet not be tied to the society in which it operates. When dealing with men, God’s purpose is to make them free, that is, subject of life itself. In other words, the purpose is to make them able to resist the cultural determination of their social environment. Obviously, this is only possible in the context of a Christian community, but this often is nothing more than a mere possibility. Although Christ order to rid us of human ideologies (Rom. 12.2), this goal is rarely achieved. 3
Social conditions, however, are not static or unchangeable, they are the result of a historical, cultural and social process. Given that the man does not react merely to environmental stimuli, but assigns a meaning to their actions and, thanks to language, is able to communicate perceptions and desires, intentions, expectations and thoughts, so Habermas envisions the possibility that, through dialogue, the man can resume its role of subject. Well, the communications that subjects establish among themselves, mediated speech acts, concern always the three worlds: the objective world of things, the social world of norms and institutions and the subjective world of experiences and feelings. Relations with these three worlds are present, although not to the same extent in all social interactions.
Each of these worlds has different validity claims. The objective world correspond validity claims concerning the truth of the statements made by the participants in the communication process. The social world correspond validity claims regarding the correctness and appropriateness of the rules, and the subjective world — the experiences and feelings — correspond truth claims, which means that the dialogue participants are being sincere in expressing their feelings.4
And one of the marks of the difference between an idea and an emotion or feeling is that you don’t have immediate control over your feelings or your emotions. You can’t snap your fingers and decide to feel something. For example, say you are going camping. You wake up, and there is this gigantic silhouette of a bear outside your tent, a grizzly bear. He seems hungry. You don’t say, “Now, let me think about this. There is a bear. Bears are big. Bears are dangerous. Conclusion: I should feel fear here, so I will now decide to be afraid.” Emotions don’t work like that. Thinking works like that, but feeling doesn’t. It happens to you, everybody, which means that the Bible is filled with commands that we do things that are immediately outside our control to do — commands to rejoice, to fear, to be grateful, to be tender-hearted.
Using Freud’s arguments, the civilized man, is not the happy man, have to give up your instincts to live in society, is a man crossed the anguish, by the feral gaze of the other, by his superego. Civilized man chose to live in security, not free. The solution to this malaise in consciousness would return to nature and break the culture, to civilization? Or would create another kind of culture where God is dead and everything is allowed? 5
One of the reasons I am the kind of Christian I am, with the theology that I have, is that I know the Bible requires of me things that I cannot myself immediately produce by my own power. I am fallen. I am sinful. And yet I know I should be feeling the emotions the Bible expects me to feel. I know myself guilty.6
Because the measure of a man is not outside. The man is not measured the feet, nor cubits, not meters. His ultimate reality, its essence; the indestructible portion of his being, is not matter or property of matter, is no electricity and magnetism or property or manifestation of electricity and magnetism. Man is spirit, reason and freedom. 7
To Lydio (author of text above) the human being, for being totally free and be independent of supernatural forces of heaven or hell, can freely build their spiritual world on Earth, as he had free choice until choose to fall (I disagree). Lydio is well medieval to defend it, understanding by medieval limited sense to say with sincerity and frankness:
If man (limited one, for not being God) had been created perfect (ie unchangeable and definitive), that is, all possible perfections, not being given the perfectibility, for useless: not have free will, it was not, nor would the own effort and by its own right; I would not have moral satisfaction and joy to himself and would not be truly happy. 8
But what makes you … you? Psychologists talk about our traits, or defined characteristics that make us who we are. But, there are moments when we transcend those traits, sometimes because our culture demands it of us, and sometimes because we demand it of ourselves.
Bauman says: “Everything is temporary. That’s why I suggested the metaphor of ‘liquidity’ to characterize the State of modern society, which, as liquids, is characterized by an inability to stay fit. Our institutions, reference frames, lifestyles, beliefs and convictions change before they have time to solidify in customs, habits and ‘self-evident’ truths. It is true that modern life was from the beginning ‘to uproot’ and ‘melt the solids and desecrated the sacred’, as the young Marx and Engels noted. But while in the past it was to be ‘replanted’, now all things, jobs, relationships, know-hows etc., tend to remain in volatile unregulated flow, flexible”.9 It is also easily realized the fact we spend a lot of time of our lives locked in places always with the same people, with the same objects, the same food, the same routine. Always with the same appearance, living in a small room that limits our existence. There comes a day that we become what we eat, the day when everyday objects end up saying more about who we are; more than ourselves. However, the small details of every day are what make us feel alive. When listening to music flew elsewhere, a coffee makes us that we stay awake, the street embraces us and there are times when the only way to see beyond our nose is to see through others. This is our story every day.10 Unfortunately what we hear now says Zygmunt Bauman, as insistent homilies, is that we should seek individual solutions to problems produced socially and collectively suffered.11
Remember today that the “most important thing that you need to develop to learn is the ability to listen. The world too needs people who know how to listen (and they want to hear), and has leftover people who talk, talk, talk, addicts emission. Social networks provide strong evidence of this truth. All talk, and talk to anyone because no one listens. In my life there is only a small handful of people I consider to be able to listen. Listen to this, all not only with ears but with body and soul. And to me, often, all that makes me feel good is simply knowing that these people are in my life, yet so few. Watch out, he said simply know they can hear me makes me feel good. Because most of the time I even want to talk.” 12
In the plot of Crime and Punishment, Sonia, a prostitute with a pure heart, in love with Raskolnikov takes for your loved the Bible and he knees with the holy book in hand, leaves the horizontal torment of many mazes that his reason built, stands If and verticality is the sacred, God or the world? It is up to the reader to answer this. 13
One other Christian truth: the man falling by choice and if you sin, you can also choose not to sin. But no have right to come for yourself in heaven. Need to always divine help. Good that the measure of grace and mercy is based on the need of the most unworthy. This makes the forgiveness much more abounded where offense abounded.
2 Fiódor Dostoiévski, Crime e Castigo, Tradução de Paulo Bezerra, Editora 34, 2002.
3 Richard J. Sturz, Teologia Sistemática, Vida Nova, 2012.
8 Lydio M. Bandeira de Mello, A conquista do Reino de Deus, Belo Horizonte, ed. do autor, 1975, p.213
11 idem ao 9
13 idem ao 2