Thursday, November 8, 2007

"The train to Huxley's dehumanized Brave New World has already left the station."

The above is a line from Leon Kass' talk to the Manhattan Institute on the impact of scientific materialism or as he calls it "soul-less scientism" on efforts to reconstruct life using such technologies as “The Pill. In vitro fertilization. Surrogate wombs. Cloning. Genetic engineering. Organ swapping. Mechanical spare parts. Performance--enhancing drugs. Computer implants into brains. Ritalin for the young, Viagra for the old, Prozac for everyone. Virtually unnoticed, the train to Huxley's dehumanized Brave New World has already left the station."

The inroads by scientific materialism as embodied in Darwinian evolution is washing into every sphere of society, e.g. education, law, politics, science, ethics and, as Kass points out, issues of life and what it means to be human. The problem is materialism brings with it no moral, ethical framework for considering these issues.

I expect a few of these issues to come up in the next Minnesota legislative session -- cloning, surrogate wombs and egg selling.

At it's core it's a worldview conflict. On the materialist side is the belief that we're merely the result of a mindless, purposeless, chance process with no transcendent meaning or purpose. On the other side is the belief there is a God who designed and imbued creation with meaning and purpose. These two worldviews and their local extensions are currently wrestling for the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. The outcome will decide whether we slide into a new barbarism/Dark Ages or a period of human flourishing and hope.

3 comments:

John said...

These are some pretty strong words from Tom, with which I heartily agree. Does anyone who disagrees care to refute what he says?

Anonymous said...

New York is the leading edge centre and ultimate manifestation of the dehumanising anti-culture of scientism.

As is the world dominant anti-culture of capitalism which is an "advanced" form of social darwinism, or the war of all against all and everything.

The Manhattan Institute is an unabashed champion/apologist/booster for both of these pathologies.

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