When I was 20 my Physics professor taught us that physics was the granddaddy of all sciences. It came first and all other scientific disciplines were derivatives or sub-sciences of Physics itself. Indeed, the success of these sub-sciences could be directly attributed to their adherence to the engine of the Physical Sciences: The Scientific Method.
Who can deny that technology has improved the standard of living for all of us? And the source of this technology is Physics. Technology is merely applied Physics. Without it we would be living in caves scratching fleas, and most of us wouldn’t be alive today. I for one would never have been born without the medical knowledge and technology available at the time.
And who can deny that science has solved so many of mankind’s problems? Cures for disease, transportation, communication, shelter, food production & storage etc. But can it solve ALL of our problems? Many think so. I used to think so. My Physics professor thought so.
It was his contention Physics could unlock the mysteries of human behavior just as it did for those of the cosmos. In his opinion physics was mankind’s only hope for solving our most pressing and colossal problems. Man’s salvation was to be found only in rationality and the scientific method, not in the brutal death of a well-meaning but misguided and irrational man on the cross.
Is belief in the salvation of mankind through the work of Jesus on the cross misguided, naive and untrue? Was Jesus a chump? Are we on our own, with no one to save us? Is it up to us to get ourselves out of this mess before we eradicate ourselves in WWIII?
The premise behind the belief that we can fix it ourselves is that man himself is not the problem -it’s merely his environment. We are a fish out of water. It’s not our fault. It’s not a permanent condition. With the right society evil and suffering would be an aberration. With the right structure man would flourish. The injustice and evil we see in ourselves and others is merely a side effect of a bad socioeconomic infrastructure.
There’s a word for this.
Hitler’s Third Reich was a Utopia. Stalin’s Russia, Mao Zedong’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Ho Chi Minh, Idi Amin, Kim IL Sung, Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Brezhnev… the list goes on.
The thinking of each new Utopian leader goes like this…
“Well of course the last guy didn’t succeed! He doesn’t know what I know! He did this wrong and forgot that! He wasn’t serious enough! He wasn’t fully dedicated!”
So you see a new Utopia is created. Another hell on earth is born.
The next new Utopia may appear different in the beginning. But in the end man’s inhumanity to man will be magnified by the very Utopian solution intended to end that inhumanity!
If you proceed with the premise that it’s man’s environment rather than man’s nature that is broken you will always fail. That is why man’s evil nature is more evident when he executes a plan to solve that evil! The truth of his ugly nature is laid bare by the failure of his plan!
When it’s clear the “solution” is failing, as it must, the “believers” become incensed, militant, brutal sociopaths on steroids. They refuse to reexamine their premise. If they did they would see that they can’t fix it because they are the reason it’s broken!
Science can’t solve this problem. Man can’t fix this problem with science. Something that is broken cannot fix itself -it needs external assistance. We need someone who is not broken to fix us.