Absolutizing relative values, idolatry becomes
the hub of much human anguish. We feel torn apart when two or
more gods claim us simultaneously. The essential predicament of
man as a valuing being is his propensity to exalt limited values
Only the highest goods and ideals we know are
capable of becoming our gods: family, knowledge, nation, security,
political movements, economic structures. Life is lived under
the illusion that they (creatures) are ultimate meaning-givers.
Time makes relative all our absolutes.
Though temporarily we may succeed, ultimately we fail to secure
our values against the erosion of time. Our crutches become warped
and broken. We mourn the passing away of our gods. The causes
for which we live, die. The best ideals to which we give ourselves
become outmoded. We grieve. "Where are your gods that you
made for yourself?" the Bible realistically asks. "Let
them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble."
(Jeremiah 2:28.) When our causes collapse, absurdity meets us
face to face. We try to guard against awareness of our vulnerability,
but the truth of it is always just beyond the horizon of our awareness.
Reference: TSOA, pp. 236, 238.