The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Positivism is a philosophical system recognising only that which can be scientifically verified or which is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and therefore rejecting metaphysics and theism.
To be more exact - Positivism is itself a metaphysical assumption - and that assumption is as above. This despite that Positivism explicitly denies the meaningfulness and/or validity of metaphysics. In sum, that denial of metaphysics and its 'replacement' by science/ logic/ mathematics, is itself precisely a metaphysical (not scientific, not logical, not mathematical) assumption.
On this clear and deadly contradiction is built modernity.
Positivism is modernity - in essence; it is what underpins and drives the modern way of thinking as it developed from ? the 1600s and which came to dominate by the late 1800s; and Positivism is solidly in place and totalitarian in all 'Western' developed societies.
The dangers of Positivism have been explicitly known since the Romantic era - for example in the works of William Blake and ST Coleridge.They knew, they predicted, exactly where it would lead, exactly the nature of the modern malaise. (Where they, and everyone else, fell short was in imagining the size, pervasiveness, addictiveness and influence of the mass media.)
Why is Positivism so dangerous? Because Positivism is anti-God, it is sin; it is indeed death... Literally - Positivism implies a necessarily dead world.
It is literally death because Positivism is a denial (and indeed ridicule) of the idea of reality as alive, conscious and purposive - thus Positivism is also the assumption that everything is dead; in the sense that there is asserted to be no real or significant difference between what is generally regarded as alive and what is 'known' to be dead.
Fro instance; Cosmology, Physics, Mathematics are abstract and they concern dead (that is un-alive/ non-conscious) phenomena. However, under Positivism; Biology, Psychology, Consciousness all ultimately reduce to Physics: therefore Biology, Psychology and Consciousness are concerned with dead phenomena.
So, what we conventionally regard as Life is actually (by assumption) an arrangement of dead things, and Consciousness is an illusion (just yet another arrangement of dead things). This is standard, mainstream public discourse - and is Positivist.
Positivism is death and Abstraction is death - when abstraction is assumed to be 'true' rather than a model of truth.
Yet our spontaneous (built-in) assumption is of universal life and consciousness. In our childhood origins, and in the belief of the earliest known civilisations, the assumption is that everything-is-alive - we inhabit an animated, conscious reality.
However, these assumptions are not articulated, nor analysed, nor defended - they are simply taken for granted: life is based-on them.
So - over history (and through our personal development) we went from dwelling in an animated-conscious universe to regarding ourselves as dead things inhabiting a dead/ meaningless/ purposeless reality. Our task is to return to animism but with full consciousness.
In sum: God's work of creation is a work of animation - it is a bringing to life and consciousness of the stuff of reality.
We used to experience this, but not know it; we currently deny and do-not-experience it...
Our task is to re-learn the reality of God's creation, to explain how and why reality is animate and conscious; to attain the level of consciousness in-which the consciousness, life, personification of reality becomes apparent.
(To use Owen Barfield's terminology - our task is to understand, choose and experience Final Participation.)