Why is Scientism so pathetically funny?
The emperor admires his new clothes in a very small mirror.
(In the fairy tale, he was naked.)
Modernity: Harnessing the laws of nature to empower fallen humanity. Get lost, God. Here comes...
Scientism: The progressive rejection of a God-created, God-centered universe, a new mythology that was not without significant casualties. Despite amazing scientific progress throughout the 19th century, fundamental questions were still being asked.
D'où venons-nous ? Que sommes-nous ? Où allons-nous ? Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? (Words inscribed in the upper left hand corner of the painting.)
Paul Gaugin, 1897-98, Tahiti. He took a trip to an island also, but he came back without answers, only questions. None of the questions for Gaugin or Scientism included "God" in the answer. A fitting prelude to a new century of advances in sciences, miracles in medicine, nuclear power in war, and a lot of existential angst. If God is not our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Hope, what do we have? Sartre called it le néant. Nihilism. Nothingness.
"And Man became a living soul." Just a famous painting.
Carl Sagan, perhaps Scientism's most famous modern prophet answers the questions:
"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." (Seems kinda grim, Carl.)
"So, you’re the product of a DNA genetic baton relay race. Not one of your ancestors—in an unbroken chain going back BILLIONS of years—dropped their DNA baton for passing it on to their offspring."
Yep, that pretty much explains how I got here, who I am, and where I'm going.
Looks like a lot of batons to me.
So why is Scientism so pathetically funny? The pompous are always funny in a pathetic way. Scientism's arrogance and self-centered vanity blinds its practitioners to accept its inane and simplistic explanations for everything. The tragedy is that so many swallow this asinine line, apparently satisfied, without asking any deeper questions. The Emperor is buck naked, but no one has the guts to tell him so. And there's a whole lot of himself he cannot see.
So why the [Dante's Inferno] do we study Dante's Inferno? Do not the extravagant claims of Scientism negate the validity and relevance of the core disciplines in the Humanities and Fine Arts? Are Sagan's answers the best Scientism can do to articulate the meaning of life? Why don't we just go ahead and blow ourselves up right now?
- The stinging Horsefly, Satirizing Scientism. (Mocking Scientism, Evokutionism and the Arrogance of the Academy)