Wednesday 20 July 2011

Science versus Technology; Religion versus Magic


There is something that unites magic and applied science (technology) while separating both from the "wisdom" of earlier ages.

For the ancients, the cardinal problem of human life had been how to conform the human soul to objective reality; and the means were knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.

For magic and applied science alike the cardinal problem is how to conform reality to the wishes of the soul; and the solution is a technique.

In other words, truth is now a prostitute, bought and sold for the money of power over nature.

Peter Kreeft -


Actually, things are worse than that!

That describes the situation a couple of generations ago; now we have the situation above minus the power over nature.

We now have 'science' that (obviously!) is not even trying to conform the human soul to objective reality; usurped and utterly displaced by a technology or applied science that fails to conform reality to the wishes of the soul.

Instead, the cardinal problem of modern human life is how to use applied science to conform desire to the products of technology.


It is not just that we live in a morally bankrupt age; a hypocritical age; a cowardly age; an age of careerism and self-indulgence - that is normal.

The difference is that we are not even trying - and that is very unusual


And we are not even trying because we are socialized into such deep-dyed nihilists that we cannot even recognize our own nihilism.

We cannot even see that individualism and subjectivism are nihilism; changing standards of morality, truth and beauty is nihilism; fashion and media are nihilism.

We are such nihilists that we accept, we insist upon, careerist expediency as the sole and sufficient basis for technology and applied science (as we do for everything else) and do not notice or unconcerned by the fact that this means that our civilization has given-up the Faustian quest to conquer nature.


But we have not repented and given-up the desire to dominate the world and shape it to our wishes; we have merely lost the ability to do so.

But we will not acknowledge the fact of our failure because we lack Faust's virtues - such as honesty, courage and intellectual rigour. 

So we have embraced the despicably sub-Faustian quest to pretend that we have conquered nature.


This is not applied science nor technology: it is quackery and illusion.

We are not any more wizards, nor even magicians - merely conjourers.

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