virus: Berger's theory of religion pt. 2: the human predicament

David McFadzean (
Sat, 3 Apr 1999 12:42:33 -0700

The Human Predicament

Berger argues that human participation in the dialectic of world construction is an 'anthropological necessity'. Unlike other animals, humans are born 'unfinished'. Since our biological programming is deficient, to survive we must complete our natures by learning how to function in our environement. To this end we have created culture

Culture [meme space] is truly the 'natural' world of humans, and it stands protectively between individuals and the forces of nature. The problem is that, as a product of the dialectic, culture is also inherently unstable. It is subject to constant flux and change as the conditions of collective life change. Thus, Berger proposes, we are eternally trapped between a biologically given imperative to secure a stable and hence safe environment through culture and the inherent instability of the cultures we create. This is the human predicament.

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