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Comment Dated Jan 1, 2008
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . .
In adopting mechanistic materialism as its religion, our culture abandoned the gods that inspired vision and a greater sense of purpose as the essence of living. The medieval cathedrals represented a far greater proportion of the economic GNPs of the the time than the Apollo program--which even in its peak year cost only 1/14th what the U.S. spent on alcohol, entertainment, and cosmetics. I believe that we are living in a spiritual Dark Age. The interesting question is to ask what will play the same kind of role that Reason and Enlightenment did in the Renaissance to get us out of it. Ironically, I suspect it might be what the world's real religions--as opposed to institutions of social control that have sold out to the political power structure--have been trying to say all along, namely control of passions and understanding that the fulfillment of life requires seeking deeper than material gratification and comfort. In the scientific context this would mean cultivating genuine objectivity and
impartiality--the ability to overcome emotional and other investment in what the answers might turn out to be, and simply follow wherever the facts seem to lead. Much of what's promoted as science today seems to have taken on more the trappings of intolerant religion defending dogma and putting down heresy to secure political patronage and protection--ironically moving into precisely the role of the corrupt medieval Church from whose institutionalized thinking science was supposed to be the salvation.