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Dankesrede über das Böse

Was hat es zu bedeuten, dass die Dankesrede von Amos Oz zur Verleihung des Goethe-Preises vom 28. August 2005 zwar in der FAZ [1,50 EUR] abgedruckt, aber offensichtlich nicht nur in einer kaum lesbaren Form online veröffentlicht wurde? Immerhin findet sich eine englische Übersetzung in Auszügen – im Guardian [via Perlentaucher]. Der Autor spricht über die Unterscheidung zwischen gut und böse.

[…] the modern age […] has blurred the clear distinction that humanity has made since its early childhood, since the Garden of Eden. Some time in the 19th century, not so long after Goethe died, a new thinking entered western culture that brushed evil aside, indeed denied its very existence. That intellectual innovation was called social science. For the new, self-confident, exquisitely rational, optimistic, thoroughly scientific practitioners of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics – evil was not an issue. Come to think of it, neither was good. To this very day, certain social scientists simply do not talk about good and evil. To them, all human motives and actions derive from circumstances, which are often beyond personal control. „Demons,“ said Freud, „do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man.“ We are controlled by our social background. For about 100 years now, they have been telling us that we are motivated exclusively by economic self-interest, that we are mere products of our ethnic cultures, that we are no more than marionettes of our own subconscious.

In other words, the modern social sciences were the first major attempt to kick both good and evil off the human stage. For the first time in their long history, good and bad were both overruled by the idea that circumstances are always responsible for human decisions, human actions and especially human suffering. Society is to blame. Painful childhood is to blame. The political is to blame. Colonialism. Imperialism. Zionism. Globalisation. What not. So began the great world championship of victimhood.

For the first time since the book of Job, the devil found himself out of a job. He could no longer play his ancient game with human minds. Satan was dismissed. This was the modern age.

Den Hinweis auf diese Rede verdanke ich Petra, die eine Reportage der Zeit erwähnt, in der Sabine Rückert aus ihr zitiert.

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  1. Beim Goethe-Institut gibt es eine deutsche Übersetzung. Leider in einer etwas anstrengend zu lesenden Darstellung.
    Ein Text, den man an jeder Straßenecke, mindestens aber in allen deutschen Universitäten, plakatieren sollte!