"Not only was a sense of the sacredness of human life put into question, because the word sacred doesn't mean anything in the context of modern science, it just pure sentimentality, but what happened was that human beings lost their home. That is, we became homeless in the cosmos. Every tradition of humanity felt at a position in the universe. . . . At least Dante knew where he was. For better or for worse, he knew where he was. And the Mesoamericans who Solomon studies in the Amazon feel they know where they are.
We don't know where we are. We do not have a home in the cosmos. There is a very profound sense of alienation. And that is what has brought into the English language the word alien, in the new sense. Not only has it brought psychological alienation, which is one of the maladies of the modern world, from which traditional societies suffered much less, much less. Alienation is one of our aids, a really modern ailment. Not that no one was ever alienated before but this strong sense of alienation to a large extent comes from the fact that if you think this through, and accept this reductionist worldview that came in the 17th century, cutting off consciousness from the world in which we live. We are very lonely here, we are alienated in this cosmos." - Seyyed Hossein Nasr. [26:35 - 28:12].
From the YouTube video description: "This lecture was given on May 1, 2003, in the Sperry Room, Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School."