“Baudrillard, Cioran, and the Postmodern Gods” – Jon K. LOESSIN

“The eclipse of God left us up against reality.
Where will the eclipse of reality leave us?”
― Jean Baudrillard, The Lucidity Pact

“Man can breathe only in the shadow of eroded divinities.”
― Emile Cioran, The New Gods

Upon the death of French postmodern sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard in 2007, the London Telegraph highlighted his biographical obituary by stating that he believed that ―…God‘s place was taken by the mass media… (and)…[W]e live in a Disneyesque world in which our understanding is shaped by media-driven signs, and the tools of historical intelligibility have disappeared…[so]…how can we tell what is real—if there is indeed any such thing as reality? He came to conclude (actually self-adapting a Biblical verse from Ecclesiastes 1:17-18) that reality does exist but it has only one element: ―The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none…The simulacrum is true.

While Baudrillard asserted that he was certain God existed, he also stated that he did not not believe in Him. This postmodern paradox illustrates the simulacrum that has deconstructed the godhead that created the heavens and the earth and gave it structure and order and applied to it the human and earthly attributes of a being unrecognizable when compared to reality—if indeed any realities exist at all. In fact, God‘s place in the postmodern world has been assumed by an avalanche of mass media images that obliterate tradition and reality and produce infinite numbers of alternative interpretations of every situation or object, casting any fragment of historical certainty into a wasteland where all truth is banished forever.

What has come to be called ―the postmodern condition is nothing more than an evolution of answers stemming from a problematic singularity dating back to the dawn of human existence. According to the profound Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, the necessity to create structure and order from chaos—in essence, the necessity of attempting to answer the ―Why are we here?‖ question of life and existence itself—results in the creation of an artificial ordering (or structuring) of an otherwise random and unexplainable existence… [PDF]