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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism (Read 859 times)
Frank1
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Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Jan 10th, 2019 at 7:51pm
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These are decent documentaries and pretty accessible, I think.  Lewis often compared science to magic, calling it "the magicians twin" (which is the name of the longest video of the series). 

This comparison is founded on Lewis's observation that, like magic, science, at least in the modern world, rather than being merely a quest for knowledge has become largely a quest for power.  Science can give us incredible power, and has, power which we often abuse.

Most Christians recognize the abuses of science when scientists attack religion, far fewer recognize its abuses in creating our technological society, which society, by breaking down the traditional agrarian world in which Christianity thrived, has down much to harm the religion.  But too many Christians, like most other people in our time, are still fascinated with technological progress, which in reality, is about as evil as most so-called social progress, and often goes hand in hand with it. 

Want an example of technological progress and so-called social progress going hand in hand?  Birth control, which has helped to completely upend our social order and basically made women into a new species.  Women who use birth control can now be as careless and wanton in the sexual arena as men.  Woman-on-birth-control is practically a different species from woman before birth control....and that's just one example.

The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism



(I will say that a few minutes into this video, one of the commentators gives a garbled description of magic.  He likens magic to believing in fairy's and the worldview of something like Tolkien's LOTR.  But this is not magic.  What Lewis meant by magic was the attempt to control the world through a powerful system of knowledge.  The magician learns spells and such and can use them to manipulate his environment, just as science can give us technologies to manipulate our environment.

Lewis himself wrote fantasy novels, and he certainly didn't think of himself as promoting a "magical worldview" as this commentator calls it.  Also, the commentator mentions Tolkien and Harry Potter as if they were one of a kind, which is like mentioning Shakespeare and Snoop Dogg in the same breath.)   

 
« Last Edit: Jan 11th, 2019 at 2:11am by Frank1 »  


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Frank1
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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #1 - Jan 10th, 2019 at 7:53pm
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C.S. Lewis and Evolution:



C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design:

  


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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #2 - Jan 13th, 2019 at 4:38pm
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Will be watching these.
  

"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #3 - Mar 18th, 2019 at 6:27am
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CS Lewis, and his good friend JRR, were very much a part of my childhood; Lewis's Silent Planet trilogy was part of my Sci-Fi youth.

I still think of both authors with great affection, but I'm fairly sure that neither should be taken as a great thinker, more as voices of bewilderment and sadness at changes they didn't like.


In your OP, Frank, you say .... like magic, science, at least in the modern world, rather than being merely a quest for knowledge has become largely a quest for power.  Science can give us incredible power, and has, power which we often abuse.


Delete 'science', insert 'religion' and you have a description of what organised religion, certainly Islam nowadays and Christianity until very recently, did.


Is it the usurpation of that which informs the lament of Lewis, back decades ago?

Perhaps I am being a little unfair though, as are you; not all religious leaders or political leaders seek or sought power through the distortion of religion, nor is all science a power grab, far from it.

Most scientific endevour is aimed fair and square at making life better.
  

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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #4 - Mar 22nd, 2019 at 11:09pm
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Limey. wrote on Mar 18th, 2019 at 6:27am:
CS Lewis, and his good friend JRR, were very much a part of my childhood; Lewis's Silent Planet trilogy was part of my Sci-Fi youth.

I still think of both authors with great affection, but I'm fairly sure that neither should be taken as a great thinker, more as voices of bewilderment and sadness at changes they didn't like.


Honestly, you never really present any solid criticisms of their thought.

Clearly the reason you dislike them is because they are critics of modernity and you, like most people, are either not willing or not capable of seeing modernity for what it truly is...most people today are blinded by technological progress, "techno-grandiosity" as James Howard Kunstler would say. 

Two good contemporary critics of modernity on this side of the Atlantic are Wendell Berry and James Howard Kunstler (though Berry is definitely superior).  You could read any of their books, or check out Kunstler's blog "Clusterf#*k Nation."  You might at least enjoy the cynical contrarian view Kunstler gives on the marvels of modernity.

Modernity will be a blip in the histories, Limey.  It is unsustainable culturally, politically, spiritually, economically and environmentally.

Time to wake up, open your mind.  Your imagination is as if behind bars.  Free it!  Dare to question your assumptions about the current state of the world and its relation to the past!

It might be scary at first, but in the end you will be better off for it.   Wink

  


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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2019 at 7:08pm
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I just spent £23 on Wendell Berry  Kindle stuff; promise me you will take and read a couple I send you. Angry
« Last Edit: Mar 23rd, 2019 at 7:20pm by Limey. »  

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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #6 - Mar 26th, 2019 at 5:15pm
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Be all the above as it may, there has never been, in the history of the world, a better time for humanity, on the whole, to be alive.  Never.
  

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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #7 - Mar 26th, 2019 at 7:37pm
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EF wrote on Mar 26th, 2019 at 5:15pm:
Be all the above as it may, there has never been, in the history of the world, a better time for humanity, on the whole, to be alive.  Never.


That is a pretty damn big claim. 

Sure, no one can deny we have more material goods. 

But is our society spiritually healthy?  Why are so many people on depression medicine, or drugs?  Why do increasing numbers of men think the way to go out is to kill several dozen people with them in a mass suicide?

Just keep telling yourself that because we have cars and computers things are "better than ever."  Yep, keep telling yourself that....
  


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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #8 - Mar 27th, 2019 at 12:30pm
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Frank1 wrote on Mar 26th, 2019 at 7:37pm:
That is a pretty damn big claim. 

Sure, no one can deny we have more material goods. 

But is our society spiritually healthy?  Why are so many people on depression medicine, or drugs?  Why do increasing numbers of men think the way to go out is to kill several dozen people with them in a mass suicide?

Just keep telling yourself that because we have cars and computers things are "better than ever."  Yep, keep telling yourself that....


I doubt there is a consensus about the definition of "spiritually healthy," and I have read and learned too much about the history of mankind to have any reason to believe other than what I wrote, to which you responded.  It has a lot more to do with computers and cars.

From a secular human standpoint, I don't see how anyone could assert that mankind is not, on the whole, better off now than at any time in the history of mankind.  And no matter how spiritual one may be, one is living in the here and now.  And, overall, the here and now is better than it has ever been before.
  

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Re: Three new documentaries on C.S. Lewis and Scientism
Reply #9 - Mar 28th, 2019 at 10:44am
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EF wrote on Mar 27th, 2019 at 12:30pm:
I doubt there is a consensus about the definition of "spiritually healthy,"


I think you are making this harder than it needs to be, but more on that later.

Quote:
From a secular human standpoint, I don't see how anyone could assert that mankind is not, on the whole, better off now than at any time in the history of mankind.  And no matter how spiritual one may be, one is living in the here and now.  And, overall, the here and now is better than it has ever been before.


Well, clearly the only way things are better is, as you said, in a completely secular sense (leaving aside that man is both animal and spirit).

When you say better in a secular sense you can only mean things are better quantitatively.  We have more of everything, including potentially more years of life (never mind their quality).

If your underlying worldview is secular or quantitative then when you read history you will see "oh, people had less of everything, life is much better now."


But as to determining whether or not a society is spiritually healthy.  This determination is much easier than you make it out to be:

Ask yourself, is contemporary society beautiful?  Is the built environment of suburban housing developments and strip malls beautiful, or is it ugly and purely utilitarian?  Is our popular culture beautiful or is it ugly and trivial?

When you are surrounded by ugliness, triviality and falsehood day in and day out you can easily become numb to it.  Often reading a good book, like those of Wendell Berry, can break one out of this stupor.  But then I think a lot of people want to remain stupefied, like an animal that is happy as long as its belly is full and it is warm. 

The Christian view has always been that ultimately disbelief, or atheism, is of the will.  The atheist simply doesn't want to believe.

I would extend this to how people view the world generally.  A lot of people don't want to notice the ugliness, triviality and overall false brutishness of the modern world (even leaving aside that the "modern life style" is also completely unsustainable by multiple metrics)  Maybe it is a protection from pain for some people, for others it might be a lack of imagination, and some may truly be happy living an animal life where the most important thing is a full belly.

Now it is hard to keep ones head above water in this our times.  I often find myself becoming dull and sinking down, but I try to rise up.  Man is more than an animal.

These words of St. Paul are some excellent ones to keep in mind when fighting against the undertow:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

Philippians 4:8
« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2019 at 1:22pm by Frank1 »  


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