What would that world look like?
Lewis gives us a sobering glimpse in That Hideous Strength. Art withers into a cold, processed fluorescence. Romance decays into anhedonic lab encounters. The hard sciences of physics and chemistry and biology are twisted into grotesque propaganda machines fueled by corrupted versions of sociology and psychology, where science itself dies alongside genuine inquiry and clarity of thought, as man is assimilated into a faceless colony of manageable data points. The four basic human necessities are air, water, food, and shelter. Have we forgotten that this age of secularism and empiricism has resulted in one of the most blood-soaked centuries in human history?
Science as the only begetter of truth would shatter ethics as it did in Nuremberg, Bykivnia, and Shanghai, leaving a justice that reduces human beings to biological cogs in a machine of means. The only answers Scientism can offer to the problem of evil are the desperate optimism of scientific progress, and the rejection and simultaneous embrace of evil through the cynicism of nihilism—good and evil mean whatever you want them to mean because good and evil ultimately mean nothing.
Language herself suffocates, as Science manages her by strangling her. We can already see this newspeak now. Scientism yields fruit that is not only bitter to the body, but poisonous to the soul. We need the garden of the real and the hopeful—metaphysical soil and moral nourishment from the arts, philosophy, and doctrine. Science is a good thing, a pillar of society, but it is not the cornerstone. It cannot fully satisfy our society and intellects any more than it can redeem us into truly social and intellectual beings.
We need an apparatus of resurrection for that transformation. We believe in One God, not merely a pale Galilean, but a towering and splendid figure who will not be managed , a living cataract of power and beauty. We, as poets and scientists alike, are invited to explore and research, experiment and doubt, and question and sing in the laboratory of His Kingdom, moved by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars. He is the fairytale that is true, making all the sad things come untrue—the only begetter of Truth. John Brewer Eberly, Jr.
The Would Begetter
He lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife, Dendy. This essay was the first place winner of the First Things student essay contest. Close Login. Web Exclusives First Thoughts. Intellectual Retreats Erasmus Lectures. Video Podcasts. The problem is to get [people] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Karl Rahner said, Truly we cannot limit reality to something whose existence even the dullest and most superficial person has neither the desire nor the possibility of denying.
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Begetters - definition of begetters by The Free Dictionary
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