Fr Krzysztof Pawlina
Contemporary man wants to live without conflicts. Some environments repeat the phrase, ‘You are not OK, I’m not OK, but that’s OK.’
What kind of confusion one can talk about in the world in which everything is OK? We deal with confusion first of all on the deepest levels of human life, i.e. on the axiological layer. Since in our civilisation people more and more abandon absolute values. Pragmatism dominates, i.e. something becomes a value only when it serves to achieve individually defined aims. What is beneficial to an individual becomes a value. My value. This choice, which at the same time has a temporal character, creates an absolute value. Everything else is relative towards ‘my’ value. Nobody can usurp the right to influence the freedom of my choice. Consequently, answering to the objection that relationships with people must be connected with obligations people say, ‘live and let live.’ In other words, the choice made by some individual becomes his/her absolute value. This philosophy of life, which tries to avoid conflicts, creates confusion on the axiological layer, in particular in the field of fundamental values. Since it occurs that in the society in which everyone defines what his/her values are and the choices of particular individuals are equally authorised, one cannot speak about the existence of fundamental values that would constitute the subject of common consent and thus could fulfil the role of binders of societies.
Another face of confusion in question is connected with the cult of novelty and change, which is proper to our civilisation. ‘Nothing is happening. It’s boring’, young Americans keep saying. Boredom is regarded as a sin worse than a lie. Contemporary man is not interested in what is true; the most important thing is what is new, fresh.
‘Why not to try?’ Today we can see the conviction that stagnation should be avoided. A desirable situation is a continuous sequence of quick events. At the same time, their contents and importance do not matter. If there is not something new one cannot bear the reality because it is boring. That’s why one must experience new things all the time. Such an attitude also causes confusion. Since one does not recognise stable values, which our past generations proved and passed on to us. The experience of novelty and the very process of seeking become values.