Deification

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The entire modern deification of survival per se, survival returning to itself, survival naked and abstract, with the denial of any substantive excellence in what survives, except the capacity for more survival still, is surely the strangest intellectual stopping-place ever proposed by one man to another. ~ William James

Deification, also called divinization or apotheosis, is the elevation of a thing, person or idea to the level of a god.

Quotes[edit]

  • The new religious consciousness rises up against the nihilistic attitude towards the world and mankind. ... We believe in the objective, the cosmic might of the truth of God, in the possibility according to God to guide the earthly destiny of mankind. This will be the victory of the true theocracy, whether over a false democratism, — the apotheosis of the quantitative collectivity of human wills, or so also over the false theocraticism, — all that apotheosis of the human will within Caesaropapism or Papocaesarism.
    • Nikolai Berdyaev, "Nihilism On A Religious Soil" (6 May 1907); it should be noted here that Berdyaev is here defining "theocracy" not in the sense as it is often used, of people ruling over other people, in claims of doing so by the commands of God, but rather defining it in terms of Christian anarchism — as a vigorous assertion of the right of no-one to rule over humans, save God.
  • The entire modern deification of survival per se, survival returning to itself, survival naked and abstract, with the denial of any substantive excellence in what survives, except the capacity for more survival still, is surely the strangest intellectual stopping-place ever proposed by one man to another.
    • William James, review of Clifford's Lectures and Essays, Collected Essays and Reviews (1920), p. 143 (1879)
  • It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself.
  • It is likely … that human society cannot exist without some source of sacredness. Those states which have sought openly to remove it have tended in the end to assume divinity themselves.
  • For modern man, … pride reveals itself in impatience, which is an unwillingness to bear the pain of discipline. … In effect his becomes a deification of his own will; man is not making himself like a god but is taking himself as he is and putting himself in the place of God.

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External links[edit]

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