Norm Macdonald is probably best known as a comedian, but apparently he's also a deep-thinking philosopher, intent on explaining the decline and fall of Western civilization to the masses. Only Norm Macdonald does it using Twitter.
Thursday morning, he had a message about the Enlightenment that was at once shocking (because it came from Norm Macdonald) and thought-provoking.
The Enlightenment turned us away from truth and toward a darkling weakening horizon, sad and grey to see. The afterglow of Christianity is near gone now, and a stygian silence lurks in wait.— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) November 15, 2018
Macdonald is obviously alluding to the switch in art from the imitation and depiction of the sacred to the human-focused philosophies of the post-modern world. In the parlance of a Macdonald-era Saturday Night Live sketch, those are some deep thoughts.
But, as most deep thoughts go, Norm's effort at eulogizing Christianity confused and befuddled social media. And leftists, ever-vigilant of the possibility that someone in the entertainment may be turning from "group think," were confused. But also incensed.
Particularly the anti-religious ones.
So...you’re against THE ENLIGHTENMENT? Really? The invention of the printing press- ? The scientific method? Knowledge?— Kathy McCarty (@KMTBERRY) November 15, 2018
The dark ages were a blast.— Marino (@MPB_5) November 15, 2018
I too would prefer a world filled with superstition, void of the scientific method and ruled by a monarchy.— Couthy Blatherskite (@CBlatherskite) November 15, 2018
You're right. We should go back to Fuedalism. Things were much better when priests and kings held all the political power and common men were left to die in the same station they were born in. We should do away with the philosophies that led to modern science and medicine.— Jeff (Mr. Ethridge if you're nasty) (@cultfilmfan) November 15, 2018
Of course, most of Norm's critics aren't entirely clear on what the Enlightenment was or who was actually responsible for the advancements they credit to the post-Dark Ages world. Knowledge — and, for that matter, the scientific method — were guarded and developed for centuries by members of religious orders. Modern science and medicine weren't born in France in the mid-1700s.
It got weirder, though.
Where do you go if you have appendicitis, to the hospital or to the church?— Jowan M (@JowanM) November 15, 2018
god is just for pretend.— stuart duke (@stuartduke6) November 15, 2018
And then it got woker.
Tell that to the victims of the inquisition and the various native americans who were subject to genocide for taking christians at their word.— republican=racist (@merlinloveslife) November 15, 2018
By exposing their own ignorance of the pre-Enlightenment, though, these same critics were proving Macdonald's point that the move away from spiritual thought and deeper meaning has had a deleterious effect on humanity.