In other words, the "materialism explains everything" school had less to do with explaining the world — the true aim of science — and more to do with changing the world.
This goes right back to the 16th century and the father of science, Francis Bacon, who thought the point of scientific inquiry was not the advancement of knowledge but to bring about utopia. Then scroll down to the 19th century when Auguste Comte propounded the doctrine of "positivism", in which science would supplant Christianity in Europe in an attempt to liberate humanity by reason from the "arbitrary" wishes of an absolute Being to whom men were deemed to be slaves.
Comte openly presented positivism as a religion with scientists becoming the new clergy. And as the priesthood of humanity, positivists would allow no deviation from the one received truth. They alone would decide what was to be thought; there would be no freedom of thought or conscience in the form of any dissent.
But here's the thing. Comte wanted reason to replace religion. But he also thought that knowledge had to be based upon experience. And since experience is subjective, his thinking inevitably detached the mind from objectivity — and thus eventually from science.
As a result, so-called "rational" positivism plunged headfirst into deepest irrationality as Comte eulogised fetishism, or the worship of objects which were invested with spiritual qualities.
In a similar way, "directed panspermia" — or "little green men" planting the first seeds of life on Earth — also shows how, by fetishising material explanations, scientific atheism leads directly into irrationality and absurdity.
Scientism, materialism, environmentalism and all the other secular ideologies claim to be based on unchallengeable truths. In fact, they all manipulate, twist and distort the evidence to support and "prove" their governing idea. False beliefs are thus presented as axiomatically true. Moreover, because they proclaim the exclusive truth they have to maintain at all costs the integrity of the lie. So all dissent has to be resisted through coercive means. Knowledge is thus forced to give way to power. Reason is replaced by bullying, intimidation and the suppression of debate.
In the 20th century, the political totalitarianism of both Communism and fascism echoed the pre-modern despotism of the church in declaring themselves the arbiters of a totalising worldview which would crush all dissent. With both Communism and fascism defeated, however, the West has fallen victim to a third variation on the theme: not religious or political but cultural totalitarianism.
If religious totalitarianism was rule by the church and political totalitarianism was rule by the "general will", cultural totalitarianism is rule by the subjective individual. With morality privatised so that everyone becomes his or her own moral authority, the laws and traditions of the West rooted in Christianity and the Hebrew Bible have come under explicit attack. With no purpose or order in the world, it's everyone for himself. Moral and cultural relativism are the order of the day. Any attempt to prioritise any culture or lifestyle over any other is illegitimate. Subjective individualism is the one revealed truth, the old order of Western civilisation has to be destroyed and any dissent is to be stamped out.
Medieval Christianity — like contemporary Islamism — stamped out dissent by killing or conversion; Western liberals do it by social and professional ostracism and legal discrimination. It is a kind of secular Inquisition. And the grand inquisitors are to be found within the intelligentsia — the universities, the media, the law and the political and professional classes — who not only have systematically undermined the foundations of Western society but are heavily engaged in attempting to suppress any challenge or protest.
It is hard to overstate the influence of these left-wing doctrines on our culture. They form the unchallengeable orthodoxy within academia, from which base-camp they have set forth on their "long march through the institutions" which they have colonised with stunning success. They have managed, furthermore, to shift the centre of political gravity so that anyone who does not share these values is defined as extreme.
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