One of the criticisms of the medieval period and the role of the Church is this relationship of science and religion – the Church supposedly placing a higher priority on voodoo than on actual scientific inquiry, blocking discoveries that threatened the established religious dogma, etc.
The most famous example, false as it is, is that of Copernicus and Galileo. This episode is mocked by the moderns, just as other examples – regardless of the facts or lack thereof – are mocked.
“How could such people believe such things?”
“Look at the Church standing in the way of science!”
“Whenever science and religion butt heads, science is always proven right.”
I wonder what people will say in a hundred years or more from now of our generation. Haven’t we thrown away science and replaced it with the religion of a virus, a religion of critical theory, a religion of money growing on trees? Can any of these be thought of as anything other than a religion (in the worst sense of the word)?
We look back with scorn at the book burnings, getting rid of ideas of which the establishment disapproves. But what is it that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are doing that is different? Are these not the modern version of the same thing, today’s book burnings?
What of witch hunts and burning witches at the stake? One looks at the career ending cancel culture and sees that little has changed.
And let’s not start on the issue of child sacrifice. We rightly look on such practices of the ancient world with horror: sacrificing a child in order to bring on a better world for the adult. We have a modern word for the same thing: abortion. It just that today the numbers are infinitely larger.
One of the big criticisms of God is the idea that this world cannot be the product of a good God. Now, it isn’t any of the above modern practices that are at issue – it isn’t abortion, cancel culture, or the hell brought on by lockdowns and money printing that cause us to call into question the existence of God. It is that we don’t live in some version of utopia: no child left behind, no one hungry, no one sick, no one poor, no one dying. That sort of thing.
But I wonder: this world is not good compared to what world? We have water, food, oxygen, natural resources that allow for an ever-improving standard of living in the right circumstances (private property and free markets). Man has been given reason – a rational faculty. We have been given everything necessary to sustain and enhance human life. Have you tried living on Venus or Mars?
All of this leads me to wonder: the more we progress in the way that the left means that term, the more we return to the worst of humanity. If there is one concrete feature of the left, it is that tradition is ignored, even mocked.
In order to progress, one must understand what one is progressing from and toward what one is progressing to. Both the past (cultural tradition) and the future (toward what end) must be clearly understood and defined. Otherwise “progress” means nothing more than “every day is a new day.” One can never go wrong under such circumstances as there is not standard – either from the past or the future. Here again, another concrete feature of the left; they can never be wrong.
Not learning from our past does nothing but bring us back to the same past. Sure, we enhance the past with our modern technology. I think for this we are worse off – we are more easily found, tracked, and traced. We are more efficiently killed. The meaning of life is much more easily taken from us.