We’ve pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves – but at what cost? The influential New York Post op-ed editor makes a compelling case for the modern person to seek the inherited traditions and ideals that give our lives meaning.
As a young father and a self-proclaimed ‘radically assimilated immigrant’ opinion editor Sohrab Ahmari realised that when it comes to morals and principles he’d want his son to inherit, today’s America comes up short. For millennia, the world’s great moral and religious traditions taught that true happiness lies in pursuing virtue – and accepting limits. But now, free from these stubborn traditions, we all exercise some degree of liberty to live the way we think is most optimal – or, more often than not, merely the easiest.
All that remains are the fickle desires that a wealthy, technologically advanced society is equipped to fulfill.
In response to this crisis, Ahmari offers twelve questions for us to grapple with – twelve timeless, fundamental queries that challenge our modern certainties. Among them: Is God reasonable? What is freedom? What do we owe our parents, our bodies, each other? Drawing on historical and contemporary figures from Saint Augustine to Howard Thurman to Abraham Joshua Heschel, he invites us to consider the hidden beliefs that drive our behaviour, and in so doing, recapture a more human way of living in a world that has lost its way.