It reminds me of what has happened to the humanities, which is to say, the Victim's Revolution. It's not really a revolution, rather, a counter-revolution against ordered freedom and spiritual individualism, even against reality itself. As Bawer writes, because of the great affluence resulting from these two (freedom + individualism),
by the late twentieth century virtually every young person in America had the opportunity to acquire a real higher education -- to devote precious time not only to training in some practical science or skill, but also to the contemplation of things like painting and poetry, music and literature.
Hmm. How's that working out? The fact is, in order to make higher education accessible to "virtually every person," we've had to dumb it down to the point of miseducation. And because of the inexorable law of supply and demand, there is a tremendous demand for idiot professors to indoctrinate an uneducable horde that has no interest in, or capacity for, higher education.
"This ignorance is not their fault. The simple fact is that they live in an almost historyless society in which nobody" -- least of all the educational establishment -- "has ever explained to them just how fortunate they are to live in the time and place that they do." Indeed, they are taught precisely the opposite, that they are -- of all things -- victims! Attending college in order to be indoctrinated into victimhood is truly like going to the hospital in order to get sick.
Nobody has ever helped them to understand just how different their lives are from those of their great-great-grandparents, and why. Nobody has ever told them that only a few generations ago, the lives of most human beings in even the richest countries in the world were poor, nasty, brutish, and short; that most people were illiterate; that there were far more teenagers working themselves to exhaustion in factories or on farms than sitting in classrooms reading Shakespeare.
Education is the very essence of slack, and yet, so few people realize it:
Indeed, from the beginning of recorded history until a time that is still within living memory, only relatively few people anywhere in the world had the time and the means to sit for hours at a spell.... Only a few had the privilege of being able to read great books, experience great art and music, and discuss these things seriously with others.
It reminds me of how police go to where the evil is, whereas satan goes to where the good is. Is it any wonder that he is most easily encountered in the blighted world of higher education? That's not ironic. It's inevitable. It is why academia is the leading edge of the Culture of the Lie: "the replacement of a true education in the humanities by identity studies is a betrayal, in the profoundest sense, of the promise of America."
Indeed, the purpose of the liberal arts is to liberate the soul; it is to equip the person "to make the fullest and freest use of one's mind." Instead, students are seduced into a spiritual servility through which they transform existential constraints into political categories, and project their self-imposed chains onto their imaginary oppressors. The snowflake movement is just the inevitable end result of this demonic trend.
How does it all start? It has to be with the elimination of God -- or, let us say the vertical -- which results in the flattening of the cosmos. Then, a being designed for transcendence is confined to immanence. No wonder they feel oppressed! Who wouldn't be?
It just so happens that I'm reading part 2 of the biography of our recent Pope Saint whose early life revolved around finding ways to nurture transcendence within two truly oppressive regimes that did everything possible to enclose man in immanence.
In this context, spiritual liberty -- verticality -- is both impossible and a crime. This is just the other side of a Marxist paradise that is both inevitable and must be forced upon us. For communists, "ideas were ephemera, the exhaust fumes of economic processes, and intellectuals were by definition incapable of coping with the 'real world'" (Weigel). Good thing we defeated those malevolent fools.
D'oh! American higher education is dominated by an identity politics that likewise reduces thought to race, class, and gender. So it's the same old prison, the same war on freedom and truth. Something tells me that this war will not only always be with us, but that our lives take place at its front.
So: no God, no science. How so?
First, not only does science always already presuppose a theology which is tacitly operative in its conception of its objects, but also it requires a true theology to be adequate to its own nature and to the world.
For, what does science presuppose in order to get off the ground? Well, for starters, that science is possible. And how is it possible? We'll get to that as we proceed.
Second, the content of this true theology is already operative to some extent within scientific reason despite its best efforts to deny it, because science and its objects are creatures.
A lot of this comes down to what Freud called (in a completely different context) the return of the repressed. In this case, it is the return and revenge of the missing complement, for example, Creator <-> Creature. Other irreducible complementarities include Subject <-> Object, Intelligence <-> Intelligible, Individual <-> Group, Time <-> Eternity, Absolute <-> Relative, God <-> Man, and Freedom <-> Order. In each case, people tend to default to one side of the complementarity and then deny the other. But it always returns.
I'm not sure what could be more absurd than the use of intelligence to deny intelligence, or of spirit to deny spirit. It's like birds using flight to deny wings, or a fish that swims in order to prove water doesn't exist.
You will note that in the case of each primordial complementarity, one side is ontologically prior, even if they are never (from our side) seen apart; thus, Subject, Intelligence, Individual (or better, person), Eternity, Freedom, and Absolute all give rise to their partners, for the converse could never be true: no amount of time, for example, adds up to eternity, just as no amount of matter adds up to the subjective experience of matter.
And no creature adds up to his own creator, even all the selfish genes in the world -- as if there are no prior conditions necessary for genes to even exist.
Bottom line for today: "because the world and I are distinct poles of a single actuality," there is "no real possibility of separating my subjectivity from this order." Indeed, "the world must be so constituted in the first place that the soul and its activities of life are genuine possibilities within it."
In short, it makes no sense to deploy a tacit scientistic metaphysic that renders both science and scientist impossible. To paraphrase Alan Watts, that's like jumping into a hole and pulling the hole in after you.