Our society is a decidedly materialistic one. Science, which can often prove a fine tool in many areas of inquiry, is exalted far above its proper place. If science cannot identify something, then for many, the thing does not exist. If science cannot explain something, then for many, there is no decision or judgment that can be made about the matter. When the scientific consensus about a matter changes, the devotees of the science idol don’t allow themselves to be perturbed by this.
Most of the things that are central to the human experience are by their nature extremely difficult, if not impossible, to approach using the scientific method. What that means for our society is that most of the things central to the human experience are simply not approached with any seriousness. Indeed, how could they be? Those who would find meaning in their life are frustrated by the lack of Tradition as such and the disintegration of institutions that were once the bulwark of Tradition. Most churches, where they still exist, are vying for the distinction of doing the most to conform to the modern world and meet the world where it is, rather than call people out of a fallen world and assemble a force to conquer it. Marriage, family life, community, nationhood, the supernatural — even in the hypothetical absence of modern ideological bias, how much could science really tell us about these things?
Nothing in our modern methodology of “science” is capable of providing the grounding people need for truly living. It can, of course, provide for the proliferation of gadgets, some of which may even assist people in bodily survival, but to bring about benefits to the human soul, it is utterly impotent. Science doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the soul.
Increasingly, people fill in the gaps — or should I say, the gasps — with narcotics, both of the conventional and the digital sort. Sometimes I look at the state of human life and think the average person would be better of believing in anything than nothing at all and just going the the motions of the modern rat race. Anything. Believe in a giant space dog if you can’t find anything else. It’s better than “science”. How is that? Because we are built for belief. We are created to relate to our Maker. If you start by believing in a giant space dog, at least you have a chance of eventually arriving at the Truth. On the other hand, so long as a person is hardened in the scientific outlook of a purely material universe, they haven’t any chance.
Recently, I came across Rupert Sheldrake. I know almost nothing about the man and I make no claims regarding the extent of my agreement with him, but I will wholeheartedly say that this: what he says in these following clips with regard to the scientific mindset is so very good, so well presented, and so pertinent to the state of mind in our society, that I wish everybody could hear it.
If you like that, here is a longer one:
“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” (Luke 10)