What’s the Problem?

The problem child of the Enlightenment is worshipped like the golden calf. Instead of a calf, though, the idol of Modernity is a great big golden problem.

With great power comes great responsibility. And with great problem-solving capacities comes a whole lot of problems. The experimental cosmologist Brian Keating said that the greatness of science is that it makes puzzles out of mysteries. He also said (gleefully) that whenever a scientist solves a problem, she is just setting herself up to face an even bigger problem.

Scientists feed on problems. So do journalists and politicians. So do activists of all stripes. Even religious leaders bow to the graven image of the Golden Problem.

What is it that has filled the God-shaped hole in our hearts once filled with beauty and mystery?

Science. Politics. Economics. Social issues. Environmental issues. Health issues. Gender. Race. Class.