The Great Myths of Modern Man

The Great Myths of Modern Man

The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders, and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world, he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow. The Apostle Paul

Before we can have a rational discussion on the subject of modern myths, we need to understand the terms and concepts we are using.  When I use the word myth, I am not referring to something that is false, but rather to a large explanatory story or narrative that gives us some insight into what stands behind the way we view the world.  In science they are called models or paradigms.  In religion they are called shadows, types, or parables.  In essence, myths are large metaphors that we use to talk about the things that we cannot see and yet believe they are there.  They are believed to be the truths that point to the truth that stands outside of man’s grasp.  All true myths in some fashion and to some degree, depict reality.  If this were not the case, they never would have been elevated to the place of myth.  With this in mind, we are ready to talk about the great myths of modern man.

In order to understand the making of the great myths of modern times, we have to understand the time of the Enlightenment in Europe which gave rise to the great myths of Western civilization.  The Enlightenment was a time of great upheaval and change in the thinking of man.  The old authorities in every area of life were being challenged and being replaced.  Feudalism was being replaced with democracy, magic with science, capitalism with socialism, and faith with atheism.

During this Enlightenment period there was a tremendous effort by the skeptics of religion to move the masses away from religion.  To do this, they would have to convince the masses that heaven could be created on earth by man and a transcendent God and a heaven up there was no longer needed.  If you recall, mankind had once tried to build a tower to heaven, which ended in Babel[1].  If man could not storm the gates of heaven, he would simply build his own on earth, while shaking his fist in defiance at the God of the true heaven.

However, to storm the gates of heaven and bring heaven down to the earth, mankind would need a huge amount of power; he would need a machine that could replace God.  He found his machine in the creation of the modern state.[2]  The state would be God walking on the earth creating heaven on earth, a heaven in which the God of heaven was no longer welcomed.  In the new myth of the state, it would be God who is banished from the new paradise, not man.  In this, we see the birth of the modern state and atheism, which are the two greatest myths of modern time.

In order for the modern state to become a god in the eyes of the majority of people, they would have to believe it had the power to save them and deliver them from the forces beyond their control.  These forces would include natural disasters, diseases, the very forces of nature, even death.  In order to accomplish this, the state would need to have a mechanism to convince the people that it was their true savior and not religion.  It would also need a discipline that could be used to support it. That discipline was found in the new field of science.  It is self-evident that science and the state have grown together and are very much dependent on each other.

And since the time of the Enlightenment the state has continued to annex more and more of the scientific enterprise for its own selfish ends, those being ultimate authority and domination.  In the last few decades science has been increasingly controlled by the flow of money provided by the state to support its research.

Another great myth of modern man is Darwinism.  The thinking of the Western world has been controlled by the concept or myth of undirected evolution since the time of Darwin.  In fact, it has become the dominating concept behind most science and thinking in general.  For many, the concept is now a self-evident truth.  To most, everything is getting bigger and better, moving from the simple to the more complex.[3]  Of course, this concept fits well into the ideological concept of progress that was implanted in the midst of the Enlightenment by Christian millennialism[4] and was the foundation on which they built the humanistic project of replacing the concept of a heaven up there with a heaven down here.  It also fit well as it supported the ideology of a capitalistic system, which was the prevailing economic ideology during the time of Darwin.  Darwinism has always been strongly supported by the ruling class, which maintains its place through the educational system of the state.

You could say that Darwinism was the missing link that the humanist skeptics of the Enlightenment (not science) needed to banish God from the earth.[5]  They needed a theory of how things could be explained without an appeal to a deity.  So the maxim was created that everything in the new discipline of science must be explained by natural causes without an appeal to a deity.  Of course, this sealed the faith of the new discipline of science as the weapon of choice for the skeptics and atheists to support and spread their unbelief or should I say their new belief?

However, true science was not created to banish God from the earth and many of the greatest scientists have been believers.[6]  Science as a discipline is the study of nature and has little to say about the existence of a God who stands outside nature.[7]  Science can make the statement that it has not found God in nature, which is a statement that theologians could make as well; on the other hand, many men of science can and do say that they see things in nature that seem to point to a deity who had organized all things.

To the thinking person and the person who truly understands science, science explains nothing; it only describes things.  It answers the “how” question not the “why” and “what” questions.  For example, when it speaks about light, it does not explain it but rather describes the way it behaves.  Sometimes it behaves like a wave and sometimes it behaves like a particle, but these are metaphorical descriptions and do not tell us what light is.  In fact, if we where to ask science to explain itself, it could not give an explanation without the aid of philosophy; in itself it could only tell us what it does, not what it is.

What are the great myths?  They are the myths of the mega state and the myth that it has the power to save, which is the myth of modern science-ism.  It is the belief or myth that everything in reality can wholly be explained by the theory of materialistic evolution.  Evolution is surely a large part of the circle of existence, but it is not the whole.  It may help us with a number of how questions, but it never answers the why questions of existence, and it is the why questions that gives life meaning.

In view of the above, the question must be raised as to how many of the new myths really square with reality and how many of them are simply illusions.

[1] Babel means confusion.

[2] Note: The Myth of the Machine by Lewis Mumford.

[3] This view of evolution is not based on science and is believed by the masses.

[4] The Christian faith believes that everything is moving toward perfection and completeness.  This concept evolved in the West into a strong belief in the concept of progress.  Without the Christian faith, the question must be raised as to whether or not there are any grounds for a belief in progress.

[5] Of course, true science explains nothing; it simply describes things.  When it slips into explaining things, it ceases to be science and becomes philosophy or something else.

[6] To name a few: Nicolas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein.

[7] The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world.  It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes.  Science can say nothing about the supernatural.  Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”  This was taken from Who Made God?: A Searching for a Theory of Everything by Fay Weldon.