C. S. Lewis, Science, Technology, Meaning and Freedom

Nov 22, 2013 by

By Bill Muehlenberg, Culture Watch Fifty years ago (November 22, 1963), three famous men died, but the death of one greatly overshadowed the death of the others. The assassination of President John F Kennedy made world news, so that the deaths of Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis on the same day received almost no coverage in comparison. While the influence of JFK as the leader of the free world has been great, it can be argued that even greater has been the influence of the other two men. Both were thinkers, writers and novelists, and their prescient works of warning still stand with us today. Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World was a very important work, alerting us to where we were heading in the West. But Lewis also wrote some very important works warning us where unbridled technology and amoral science might take us. His works were prophetic in nature and are still so important today – even more so. He rightly foretold a ruling class of technocrats and well-meaning experts who would seek to conquer nature and its ills, only to end up conquering man. As he said in his 1947 volume, The Abolition of Man: “What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.” He continued, “Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. There neither is nor can be any simple increase of power on Man’s side. Each new power won by man is a power over man as well.” Read...

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Just how intelligent are atheists?

Aug 22, 2013 by

By Alexander Boot University of Rochester psychologists have just completed a review of 63 scientific studies about religion and intelligence dating between 1928 and now. In 53 of these there was a “reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity”. In other words, atheists are brighter than believers. They have a higher “ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience”. Now it’s an established fact that IQ, the higher the better, is the single most reliable predictor of practical success in today’s world. And success in today’s world is measured mostly by money, of which people with higher IQ scores tend to have more. Thus if a child has a high IQ, he’s more likely to make a lot of money at an early age. Here’s an example of one such child, or rather a bright young man of 21. His IQ is undoubtedly 130-plus, which is higher than in 95 percent of the population. His hunger for success is commensurately high, for success is something he knows he deserves – his IQ is high. The young German, Moritz Erhardt, is richly endowed with all the fine qualities that add up to intelligence. So he puts them to work. Read...

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Relationships (part one) Whole and Half

Apr 27, 2013 by

From gentlemind “Relationships” is a series of articles looking at the way in which concepts exist in relation to other concepts, and the way in which we exist in relation to those relationships. […]  This is the only way it is mathematically possible that two different objects can combine to create a new object which will – at a ratio of 1:1 – itself be identical to one of the two objects that combined to create it. Half of children are male (one half of Mankind), and half of children are female (one half of Mankind). All children are male OR female, but all children are made from the bodies of male AND female (the whole of Mankind).   This is the beautiful system that allows Mankind to go forth and multiply. God made Mankind a whole of two halves (male and female). God did this by first making the whole of Man a whole of two halves (Y and X), and then making the whole of Woman (X and X) from one half of the whole of Man.  Man is Of God. Woman is From Man. By taking Woman out of Man, God simultaneously made a whole Man a half of Mankind. Man exists in relation to what has been taken from him. Woman exists in relation to what she has been taken from. Both Man and Woman exist in relation to the whole. God has given us the gift of being able to complete ourselves through reuniting the whole of which we are a half. In giving us two sexes – one that we are not, and one that we are – God allows us to know what we are not, and therefore know what we are. Read...

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Personally, I blame Kant for all this

Jan 6, 2013 by

By Alexander Boot The last three centuries have witnessed numerous attempts to replace Judaeo-Christian morality with an equally effective secular code based on rational thought. The same centuries have also witnessed a comprehensive failure of every such attempt. Immanuel Kant was neither the first nor the last thinker who postulated that, as a rational moral agent, man doesn’t need God to come up with a valid moral code. It’s just that he was a more powerful thinker than the others, and so his failure looks even more spectacular. The greater the height from which one tumbles, the more shattering the fall. Kant proved beyond any doubt what all those Greeks had shown before him: that, though philosophy can ponder morality from every possible angle, it can’t create it. There’s so much more than reason that shapes human behaviour that rationalism is inevitably found wanting. Kant and other philosophers dedicated their lives to finding an intellectual justification for their loss of faith. In common with other intelligent men, at some point they began to mistake their ratiocination for reality. They thus convinced themselves, and unfortunately many others, that the Judaeo-Christian code could drop its adjective and thrive as a mere noun. That was akin to believing that an apple tree will continue to bear fruit after it has been sawn off its roots. Kant was willing to admit that the apples would be slightly different, but he was certain that they’d still have a similar taste and texture. Yet all we got was a pile of rotting wood. In a way, Kant and his fellow rationalists could be forgiven their mistake. They lived at a time when the fundamental moral tenets of Judaeo-Christianity looked eternally indestructible. Provided we were deft enough, we could separate morality from religion without any adverse effects – like a conjurer whipping the tablecloth off the table without disturbing the cups and saucers. Christianity was the cloth Kant yanked out, morality the cups, and they all ended up as shards of china on the floor. Resulting modernity has since proved its ability to create widely spread riches beyond those Kant or Smith could even imagine. Yet, with the removal of Christianity as the social and moral focus, material wealth grew in parallel with spiritual poverty. Then, like a snake biting its tail, spiritual and moral poverty turned around and began to destroy material wealth. This, and only this, is the nature of our present economic crisis. Read...

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Humanists outraged over approval of new academy that will teach Creationism

Jul 20, 2012 by

By Stewart Cowan, Real Street Those delicate flowers, the secular humanists, just cannot bear for anyone not to believe like they do. They get really upset that after over a century and a half, millions of us still don’t buy the idea that we evolved from pond slime via apes – goo-to-you-via-the-zoo! Religious ideas produce intolerance, they insist, and so they cannot be tolerated. No, humanists are convinced that they have a better idea of how to create a good society: have everything to do with faith banned. They obviously just forget, or never found out, that every other country humanists have taken over very quickly degenerated into very unpleasant dictatorships.   The Independent explains, The evangelical Everyday Champions Church first proposed a free school that would teach creationism as a valid scientific theory last year.   That application was rejected by the Government on the basis that “the teaching of creationist views as a potentially valid alternative theory [to evolution] is not acceptable in a 21st-century state-funded school”.   Now a new bid submitted by a group of individuals from the Church, but without its formal backing, has been accepted. The backers say Exemplar Academy in Newark, Nottinghamshire, will have a faith ethos but will not be formally designated a faith school, and will only teach creationism in RE.   Richy Thompson, campaigners manager at the British Humanist Association, said that the proposed school was “absolutely still dangerous”.   The Department of Education said that the new school would be banned from teaching creationism in science classes, but it would be allowed in religious education lessons. Let us get this into some sort of perspective.   Read...

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