Ellis Washington
C.S. Lewis: when science becomes magic, Part 2
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By Ellis Washington
August 31, 2013

"I dread government in the name of science; that is how tyrannies come in."
~ C. S. Lewis

"Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
~ Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell (1927)


Conventional thinking by the progressive left treats science as something innovative, original and modern, however, for C.S. Lewis science was more closely related to ancient magic. Lewis characterized science and magic as analogous emphasizing 3 different ways that science and magic are similar – (1) Science/magic as the ability to function as religion demanding absolute obedience, devotion and worship; (2) Science/magic as credulity commands Groupthink and ironically promotes a lack of skepticism, and (3) Science/magic as power over the world in order to dominate society and triumph over nature and the universe.

Science as religion

Science has the capacity to induce worship to the same degree as any religion; her prophets are scientists and professors, their decrees infallible! Indeed, doesn't a magical view of the world beguile one with a sense of awe that surely life is more than our humdrum daily lives? This sense grandeur of the universe gives us a sense of meaning and purpose that transcends the physical world entering the realm of the metaphysical world. Even for those people who aren't religious, this magical view of the world can in fact be more compelling, because science-as-religion substitutes God (religion) for scientism (magic, politics). Therefore, in reality since Darwin's "The Origin of Species" (1859), modern science has indeed devolved into a pseudo-religion; a racist, diabolical cult and a servile slave to socialist politics and government funding.

In this essential documentary on the legendary writings of C.S. Lewis titled, "The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism," the narrator puts into historical perspective Lewis's heroic battles upholding truth against the cult of Darwin:
    ...During Lewis's own time, there were people like H. G. Wells, who turned Darwin's theory of evolution into this cosmic theory of life developing in this long struggle in the human universe, and then human life develops in this heroic character fighting against nature, and then, eventually, man evolves, and evolves himself through eugenics into a wave of demigods. This epic cosmic struggle of evolution was really an alternate religion for H. G. Wells, and you see that same thing today, whether it be Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins who says that "Darwin has made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."
Science as credulity (or mandating Groupthink)

A second way science and magic are similar, according to C. S. Lewis, is their encouragement of a lack of skepticism. This may seem paradoxical to many people, however, magical thinking can support a kind of credulous thinking where you just slavishly believe whatever 'the experts' says. Skeptics or dissenting views, for example, are ridiculed as "global warming deniers," "flat-Earthers" and are routinely denied tenure as professors. But, how does science encourage this kind of credulous and slavish Groupthink? Lewis pointed out that in the modern world, people will believe almost anything if it's dressed up in the name of science.

For Lewis, one of the leading examples of science empowering universal ignorance was Freudianism. Lewis had seriously studied the ideas of Sigmund Freud since his undergraduate years at Oxford before and after World War I. Lewis was fascinated by certain theoretical claims of psychoanalysis, but he eventually rejected the efforts by Freud's disciples to explain all human activity – from religion to stealing cars – as a consequence of our subconscious desires. Lewis deduced that if you actually take Freud's philosophy to its ultimate conclusion, that everything is the product of the irrational subconscious, you are essentially undermining even a belief in Freudianism itself.

According to Lewis another example of science inspired Groupthink was Darwinism or evolution atheism – the popular idea that matter could magically transmute itself into complex and conscious living things through a blind and unguided process independent of 'God.' Lewis's skepticism about materialistic evolution questioned the ability of Darwin's theory to explain for complex structures, like the human eye, through a blind, unguided progression like natural selection.

Lewis concluded that both Darwinian and Freudian theories ultimately lacked the critical ingredient of reason: "If my own mind is the product of the irrational," he asked, "how shall I trust my mind when it tells me about evolution?"

Science as power

The third connection concerning science and magic, according to Lewis, is the lust for power. Magic covets power above all things. Magicians, fortunetellers, witches all crave power over the natural world and over the universe. They desire to possess the deeper, mysterious powers of nature in order to control it, to control people. Likewise, Lewis understood that much of modern science was actually derived from power over the world and beginning in the 1860s to use that godlike power was imperative to usher in a new age of scientific utopia, therefore, science is now the new savior to recreate our world independent of 'God.'

Lewis's writings offer an incisive yet provocative comparison between the claims of science and those of magic:
    Modern science tendency to want to control things can bring us the Orwellian state of George Orwell's 1984. And so, Lewis thought that modern science, in fact, was far more dangerous than magic because magic failed. Magic doesn't work at the end of the day. And so, it wasn't so dangerous because people couldn't use it to control the world. Modern science has the potential that you really can control people, if you find the right drugs, or find the right treatments, you can manipulate them. And so, if you don't have some other way of protecting to remedy what you do in the name of science, some ethical basis that isn't dictated by science itself that can control it then you are facing a really bleak future.
Lewis believed that since mankind is in a fallen state of nature, it logically follows that all of their human institutions including science could be corrupted, furthermore he noted in history how fallen human nature often craved power and control over others and how some people could pursue science because they wanted power and control over the world and other people and over what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes called the "marketplace of ideas." This scientism worldview often occurred not in the vocation of real science, but in the perversion of the scientific method whereby science morphs into leftist propaganda to deconstruct God, Christianity, Western civilization, reality, truth and establish a 1,000 year Reich based on Social Darwinism, scientific racism, and Democrat Socialism (progressivism, liberalism).

Besides Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud, one of the greatest heroes of the political and academic left is Karl Marx (1818-1883) the father of communism and socialism who plainly stated: My life's goal is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism. I challenge anyone to demonstrate where nearly 6 years into a President Barack Obama administration that Marx's diabolical intent has not been enforced into every aspect of American life, culture, society and policy.


Book Notice

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Invitation for manuscripts

I am starting a new a program on my blog dedicated to giving young conservatives (ages 14-35) a regular place to display and publish their ideas called Socrates Corner. If you know of any young person who wants to publish their ideas on any subject, have them send their essay manuscripts to my email at ewashington@wnd.com.

© Ellis Washington

 

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Ellis Washington

Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review (1989) and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute (1992). Currently he is an adjunct professor of law at the National Paralegal College and the graduate school, National Jurisprudence University, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, American History, Administrative Law, Criminal Procedure, Contracts, Real Property, and Advanced Legal Writing, among many other subjects... (more)

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