An Excerpt from Jean-Pierre Dupuy’s The Mark of The Sacred

“…[Guther] Anders recognized that on 6 August 1945, human history entered into a new phase, its last. Or, rather, that the sixth day of August was only a rehearsal for the ninth – what he called the ‘Nagasaki Syndrome.’ The atomic bombing of a civilian population, once it had occurred for the first time, once it had made the unthinkable real, inevitably invited more atrocities, in the same way that an earthquake is inevitably followed by a series of aftershocks. History, Anders said, became obsolete that day.  Now that humanity was capable of destroying itself, nothing could ever cause it to lose this ‘negative all-powerfulness’ not even a general disarmament, not even a total denuclearization of the world’s arsenals. Apocalypse having been inscribed in our future as fate, henceforth the best we can do is to indefinitely postpone the final moment. We are now living under a suspended sentence, as it were, a stay of execution. In August 1945, humanity entered into an era of reprieve (die frist), the ‘second death’ of all that had existed: since the meaning of the past depends of future actions, it follows from the obsolescence of the future, from its programmed end, not that the past no longer has any meaning, but that it never had one.”

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