The NHS As Our New Religion
So here we are, 5th May and I think it's the 6th week of lockdown, but I can't be sure as everything is blending into one big blur. The whole country has certainly been through some serious challenges over the past few months which has seen the rise of the NHS to unquestionable heights. Week in, week out we all gather outside on a Thursday evening at 8 o'clock to applaud our heroes and offer our thanks and support the amazing NHS, but do we all know exactly what we are thanking them for?
Throughout this crisis I have often found myself reflecting upon our currently ramped up opinion of the NHS and especially the gallant staff. After all, if we look at it objectively, are they not just simply going about their working day in the same way they have been doing in the months leading up to this COVID-19 pandemic. I totally understand that yes they are confronted with unprecedented challenges, extreme working conditions and yes they are facing terrifying risk every time they go to work. But, again looking at this objectively, is this not what they train for, along with our firefighters, forces personnel, police, deep sea divers and so on. With this being said, why are we placing the NHS on such a pedestal, maybe it's not so much to do about what the NHS are doing but more about what we as a society are currently being confronted with.
"If god did not exist, there would be a need to invent him"
What exactly did Voltaire mean when he said that "If god did not exist, then it would be necessary to invent him"?
Religion has been taking quite a battering over recent times with an estimated 52% of the British public declaring that they belong to no particular faith according to research by Humanists UK. Certainly as the generations progress and we are all becoming more and more sophisticated we are finding it harder and harder to believe in a god as our saviour.
This however, carries with it huge consequences and challenges to overcome. To exist is an incredibly scary proposition and the mind cannot cope with the idea of not existing. Therefore, when we are confronted with an existential crisis we search for comfort, we search for guidance, we search for safety and we search for our saviour.
Nietzsche wrote in the late 1800's that "God Is Dead." This revolutionary statement sent shock waves around the world, to which the ripples are still being felt over 100 years later. If God does not exist then where do we find our sanctuary, where do we find reassurance and how can we possible navigate through the challenges of life safely.
The truth is that our primitive mind of generations ago needed a God, we needed that reassurance that we can get through life and that is exactly what Voltaire was implying. Religion says that God created mankind, How about if mankind created God who achieved it's purpose through time and then ceased to be enough to quench mankind's thirst for reassurance.
This current pandemic has rattled the entire world to it's very core with much of the human race desperately trying to find something, anything that will give them some peace of mind that they are going to navigate through this existential crisis safely. Thanks to the media we now have that in what Nietzsche called our Übermensch, (Superman), the NHS is our new saviour, our new religion, albeit, arguably, to simply quench our thirst for reassurance.