Note: Below is the show notes/transcript of the podcast, A New Religion: Divine Atheism. Daniel does ad-lib some of the show so it is not a 1-1 transcript. Additionally, the formatting may be inconsistent due to time constraints surrounding the post.
We find ourselves in an odd age. All around us, the technological advances are occurring rapidly. In every sphere it seems there is a new plant of human innovation breaking ground in an arena that was previously believed impossible. Yet, many of us are unaware of these breakthroughs. We carry on in our daily lives, as if the world is changing and we are staying the same. When in actuality, technology is retaining its natural progression, while our human progression is being detoured by it. Technology is supposed to innovate and develop in new and exciting ways that humans cannot, but were humans supposed to become symbiotic with technology? Are there boundaries that technology should not cross?
Today we will discuss two great minds, one who is alive and active in the global discussion of technology and politics, and another who has left us breadcrumbs of a world he foresaw in his fictional works, titled the Space Trilogy. I’m speaking of Yuval Noah Harari, a historian and transhumanist, and beloved Christian philosopher, C.S. Lewis. Both men have a trilogy of books dedicated to the subject of spiritual-scientism. One author exposes its dangers, the other embraces these ideas as the next step in evolution. Today we focus primarily on Lewis’ books in the Space Trilogy, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. After discussing Lewis’ prescient themes and parallels to today, we will do a small introduction to Yuval’s Homo Deus. In light of these conflicting visions of the world, we will give an application for the Christian Intellectual life.
The Three Prophets
There are three books from the past that prophetically predicted our present conflicts: 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. If you’re familiar with these titles, there is an even greater chance you have read 1984 or Brave New World. But in my experience, few have read That Hideous Strength. I myself have read 1984 and That Hideous Strength, but not Brave New World.
All three of these books depict a dystopian world in which man’s freedoms are trampled and control of the masses is achieved. In 1984 it’s the iron rod of the government through dystopian surveillance techniques and psychological warfare. In Brave New World, it’s the appeal to our “pleasure” through a drug called “Soma”. In C. S. Lewis’ third installment of his Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, we find something unique to the other two: the spiritual and rational progression into a spiritual scientism, which highlights the spiritual motivation of our present day. The motivation C.S Lewis reveals, and Yuval explicitly argues for, is this: man, whether fallen or redeemed, has a deep desire for the divine, an eternal and blissful life. Not only does Lewis accurately describe the spiritual motivations of man, but he also describes a world not far from our own. What follows are several quotes from the book that highlight similarities to our own time.
In Lewis’ world, control of man is not done through technology or fancy drugs. It’s done through sociological propaganda, or what we would call today, “social engineering”. In Lewis’ fictitious world, man is controlled by “fake news” propagated in partnership with a large global company known as “N.I.C.E.” using academics, specifically sociologists, to manipulate language via media. Here is a quote discussing the importance of language and its ability to manipulate our perceptions:
You are what we need: a trained sociologist with a radically realistic outlook, not afraid of responsibility. Also, a sociologist who can write…[we don’t want you write this ‘up’] We want you to write it down—to camouflage it. Only for the present, of course. Once the thing gets going we shan’t have to bother about the great heart of the British public. We’ll make the great heart what we want it to be. But in the meantime, it does make a difference how things are put. For instance, if it were even whispered that the N.I.C.E. wanted powers to experiment on criminals, you’d have all the old women of both sexes up in arms and yapping about humanity. Call it re–education of the mal-adjusted, and you have them all slobbering with delight that the brutal era of retributive punishment has at last come to an end. Odd thing it is — the word ‘experiment’ is unpopular, but not the word ‘experimental.’ You musn’t experiment on children; but offer the dear little kiddies free education in an experimental school attached to the N.I.C.E. and it’s all correct. – Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 41.
An example from our own time came during COVID and the terms “Emergency Authorization” and “Vaccine”. I bring this up, not for political reasons, but Yuval is on the record stating the COVID will usher in an era of more government control, Klaus Schwab, leader of the World Economic Forum, echoes this in his work The Great Reset. Don’t call the Pfizer drugs, ‘experimental’ vaccines; this indicates that it’s untested. Instead call it “Emergency Authorized”. In substance, the drug is still experimental given that no long-term studies could have been done. Additionally, it was called a “vaccine” implying that because it conferred immunity, it was doing so via traditional virology. However, this also was a play on words. The vaccine was a gene therapy, and this was acknowledged later on in the pandemic by the CEO of Bayer. Cut #1 – Bayer CEO:
The Bayer CEO admits that the pandemic opened up perceptions, but prior to the pandemic they could not call it an MRNA gene therapy, instead they called it an MRNA vaccine. It’s clear from our current events and the fictional events in Lewis’ book, that we are living in a very odd time. Brace yourself, it will only get weirder from here. Additionally, Lewis describes the Christians who are “against organized religion” but hold to a “Jesus is Lord” theology. Mr. Straik is a priest in the book, and while he has a minor role in the story, his discussion with the main character, Mark, parallels the theology of many Christians today.
It’s not theology I’m talking about but the Lord Jesus. Theology is talk — eyewash— a smoke screen – a game for rich men. It wasn’t in lecture rooms I found the Lord Jesus…The powers of science are an instrument. An irresistible instrument, as all of us in the N.I.C.E. know. And why are they an irresistible instrument?…They are an irresistible instrument, because they are an instrument in His hand. An instrument of judgment as well as of healing. That is what I couldn’t get any of the Churches to see. They are blinded. Blinded by their filthy rags of humanism…I knew that He was coming in power. And that is why I find myself joining with communists and materialists and anyone else who is really ready to expedite the coming. The feeblest of these people here has the tragic sense of life, the ruthlessness, the total commitment, the readiness to sacrifice all merely human values, which I could not find amid all the nauseating cant of the organised religions [sic] – Ibid. 77.
There are many other parallels in the book that as a whole make the book feel very prophetic. Lewis, like other thinkers, has an uncanny ability of forecasting the future effects from immediate concepts and ideas. But a few more quick parallels: NICE goes through and purchases homes and villas on the campus grounds – this parallels Black Rock, a major investment company, who is doing similar things. Additionally Mark the protagonist, and his wife Jane are in a modern marriage where children are an afterthought to their careers. Jane is a modern feminist and portrays many of the attitudes of feminism that women today would admire. Protests and riots are used for political gain of trust in the N.I.C.E., rather than the government. This parallels our “woke” companies, like Big Tech, that regularly excite protesters through their political messaging and products. Finally, although there are more parallels in the book than I have listed here, the idea that our emotions and spiritual perceptions are all hormones, i.e., nothing more than something to manipulate and control is a major theme in Lewis’ work. This idea is all throughout both Lewis’ Hideous Strength, and is a major theme underlying Yuval’s philosophy of pleasure in Homo Deus. For a person following our current events, the books Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, highlight not only the transhumanist philosophy as the demonic combination of theism, atheism and technology (e.g. Atheism as the materialist foundation, theism in as much as man aims to become divine, and technology as the means to transcend materialism and to become gods), but they also get at the spiritual apathy of Christians, who believe that God has placed them in the time they are in solely to wait for his second coming, not to engage in the spiritual battle of ideas which wage daily in our politics and our communities: communism, Marxism, materialism, nominalism, and rigid biblical fundamentalism, meaning that if its not mentioned in the Bible explicitly, then the means we use for our happiness are permitted. But one last, and important prescient quote from C.S. Lewis, before introducing you Yuval Noah Harari, a contemporary thinker who emulates and embodies the ideas of Lewis’ characters. The primary villain is not a particular individual or demon in That Hideous Strength, but rather the N.I.C.E. N.I.C.E. stands for, “National Institute of Co-Ordinated Experiments”, and is an international organization similar to Google, Facebook, or Microsoft of our own day. These companies have a reach that is international and our dependence on them is even greater than the dependence of the citizens on N.I.C.E. in the book. In this particular quote, Mark recognizes that the company he has decided to work for is involved in some dark stuff, and he doesn’t want any part in it. They have blackmailed him by framing him for a murder their own organization committed. Once you arrive at “Hotel NICE, you can stay, but you can never leave”.
Even the vague idea of escaping to America which, in a simpler age, comforted so many a fugitive, was denied him. He had already read in the papers the warm approval of the N.I.C.E. and all its works which came from the United States and from Russia. . .Its claws were embedded in every country… – Ibid. 210.
When you hear this, you should think of the humanitarian efforts that many tech companies invest in. Well, it’s debatable how much abortion is considered a “humanitarian effort”, but none the less, it’s safe to say that many global citizens look favorably on the Big-Tech companies and the ease they give their lives. But the most concerning quote from C.S. Lewis that parallels, not the mainstream thought of the culture, but the thought of the elite leaders of our day, is the goal of immortality. To become gods.
It means that if this technique is really successful…people have for all practical purposes discovered a way of making themselves immortal…It is the beginning of what is really a new species [(e.g. a new nature replacing the old nature)] who never die. They will call it the next step in evolution. And hence forward, all the creatures that you and I call human are mere candidates for admission to the new species or else its slaves — perhaps its food. – Ibid. 194.
Today we would call this transhumanism, which is at its core a spiritualist-atheism. An atheism in that it denies the existence of God or any divine being, but spiritualist in that it still believes that man’s aim is to approximate divine power, knowledge, and omnipresence, and they mean this in its most literal sense. Now, this sounds weird, spiritualist-atheism, and maybe it’s because I made up the word or because we traditionally think of atheists as hyper rationalistic with no appetite for the mysterious. I would call this atheism the “classical atheism”. Then we had the neo-atheists, that were the likes of Richard Dawkins who held to a similar metaphysical atheism in that no god existed, but they did everything in their atheistic means to prevent there being a hint of the supernatural. The final iteration of atheism appears to be this: a naïve belief that science and technology lack any spiritual motives or effects. This atheism seeks to merge theistic aims with an atheistic metaphysic that sees the immaterial as having the same cause and effect relationship as the material world. We see this depicted in the Lewis’ character “Weston” whose aim was originally space exploration, but then after getting a some “Guidance” from the demonic, his aim shifts to an atheistic spirituality that believes that man can obtain divinity through technology. Weston, the fictional character, is a depiction of Yuval Noah Harari, and I believe Lewis had he not converted to Christianity. The following quote is from the second book in the trilogy, Perelandra:
“Your Devil and your God,” said Weston, “are both pictures of the same Force. Your heaven is a picture of the perfect spirituality ahead; your hell a picture of the urge or nisus which is driving us on to it from behind. Hence the static peace of the one and the fire and darkness of the other. The next stage of emergent evolution, beckoning us forward, is God; the transcended stage behind, ejecting us, is the Devil. Your own religion, after all, says that the devils are fallen angels.” “And you are saying precisely the opposite, as far as I can make out – that angels are devils who’ve risen in the world.” [Said Ransom] “It comes to the same thing…The thing we are reaching forward to is what you would call God.” said Weston. – (Lewis, C.S., Perelandra. 80-81).
After reading Lewis’ Space Trilogy, I was amazed at the cultural predictions he was able to make. He published the book in the late 1940s, and the accuracy with which he depicts the ideology of contemporary thinkers in our time some 80 years later, is both shocking and terrifying. This is most clearly seen in the ideas and writings of Yuval Noah Harari, an influential thinker, whose website at the time of this recording says:
History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods. – Yuval Noah Harari
WHO IS YUVAL NOAH HARARI and WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Who is Yuval Noah Harari? Well, in short he believes that the next logical step in human evolution is to become immortal gods:
Having secured unprecedented levels of prosperity, health and harmony, and given our past record and our current values, humanity’s next targets are likely to be immortality, happiness, and divinity. — (Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 24).
Now, I know what your thinking: “Daniel this guy is a quack, a real lunatic. I mean where did you dig this guy up, the dark web?” I understand the denial. After denial, we turn to apathy, after apathy, we find resolve. Resolve to join God and his truth, or resolve to accept the Devil’s bargain of worshiping him and in exchange receiving the comfort this world has to offer. This may sound a bit dramatic, but what was the point of learning about the politics and sociology of evil regimes if we believed we would never have to face our own demonic manifestation of these ideas in our own time? In the words of one of Lewis’s fictitious devils:
Like all you religious people. You talk and talk about these things all your life, and the moment you meet the reality you get frightened… – Perelandra, 81.
Needless to say, Dr. Harari is not some rando on the internet pumping blog articles. He is one of the most influential thinkers in the world. Here is a short excerpt from Yuval’s bio on his website:
Born in Israel in 1976, Harari received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002 and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2019, following the international success of his books, Yuval Noah Harari co-founded Sapienship with his husband and original agent, Itzik Yahav. Sapienship is a social impact company with projects in the fields of entertainment and education, whose main goal is to focus the public conversation on the most important global challenges facing the world today.Yuval Noah Harari gave keynote speeches on the future of humanity in Davos 2020 and 2018, on the World Economic Forum’s main Congress Hall stage. He regularly discusses global issues with heads of state and has had public conversations with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Harari has also met with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Shanghai’s Mayor Ying Yong. In 2019, Harari sat down for a filmed discussion on technology and the future of society with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and in 2018 he presented the first ever TED talk delivered by a digital avatar.Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold over 40 million copies in 65 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today.
Needless to say, the guy has some pull with some pretty powerful people and some very big reach with his ideas. But at this point I need to say something around conspiracy theories. There are many who believe that Yuval Harari is part of a global cabal to destroy half the world, and that his speeches and his writings are demonstrations of this claim. However, this misunderstands his position. While Yuval rolls in what I would say are questionable circles, it’s important to know that his argument is based on history and man’s habits of seeking the least amount of pain and the longest life he can. Man will continue to pursue pleasure and longevity, historically speaking is Dr. Harari’s argument. In short, when you read Yuval, think of the quote from Jeff Goldblum’s character about the Jurassic Park: You were so concerned with whether you could do it, you never stopped to ask if you should. Yuval is merely making the same observation: that man tends to seek progress at any cost and there is no exception to this habit today. That said, reading Dr. Harari thus far, he does seem to see himself as someone who has observed a train with limited space available, and he certainly seems to be aligning himself with persons that will increase his chances that he is not left behind on the train ride to transhumanist divinity. Before we go further, just a recap: Homo Deus, translated Man-God, is the title of a Dr. Yuval Harari’s book. Harari holds a doctorate from Oxford University, and lectures at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and is an advisor to the World Economic Forum (WEF). C.S. Lewis, was also Oxford educated, and a Lecturer at Cambridge. Here are two great men who appear to have walked the same road. Both walked the road of a prestigious Oxford education, both dabbled in spiritualist and meditative techniques, but here they diverge. Lewis embraced theism; Harari has rejected it. Lewis saw the dangers of materialism and recognized that the concrete philosophical walls it had built for itself would not satisfy the soul; man needs joy, and if God will not give it to him, then man must transcend his materialist cage by any means necessary. The organic becomes a cage inhibiting man’s potential to become a god himself. That said, let’s proceed to analyze Harari’s text.
HOMO DEUS: Mt. 10:28 “fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
At the opening page of Homo Deus, is a picture labeled “In vitro fertilization: mastering creation”. It is interesting that this, for Yuval, is the image he decides to lead his book with; the implication is obviously that of playing God. What is amazing in reading Yuval, is that many mainstream Christian denominations and pastors, lack the training in essentialist philosophy to make the arguments that Yuval is not only in error, but that his position is morally wrong. Certainly, anything that sets itself up as an idol against God, is immoral. Mainstream fundamentalist Christianity (I’m not talking Joel Olesteen types), will have no problem arguing against this point of claiming divine status through technology. However, many of these “orthodox” denominations lack the philosophical convictions necessary to combat transhumanist practices. As a result, they will most likely see the controversial technologies that Yuval describes as a “meat sacrificed” to idols discussion where the morality of the decision is ambiguous. Regardless, the transhumanist train has momentum which always begins with a shared Christian command to heal, and this inevitably becomes “upgrade”. Yuval accurately points out this is the way that we move from healing to enhancement. His example is Viagra.
Viagra began as a treatment for blood pressure problems. To the surprise and delight of Pfizer, it transpired that Viagra can also overcome impotence. It enabled millions of men to regain normal sexual abilities. But soon enough men who had no impotence problems in the first begin using the same pill to surpass the norm, and acquire sexual powers they never had before. . . Healing is the initial justification for every upgrade. Find some professors experimenting in genetic engineering or brain-computer interfaces, and ask them why they are engaged in such research. In all likely hood they would reply that they are doing it to cure disease…Maybe, but it will surely not end there. When we successfully connect brains to computers, will we use this technology only to cure schizophrenia? If anybody really believes this, then they may know a great deal about brains and computers, but far less about the human psyche and human society. Once you achieve a momentous breakthrough, you cannot restrict its use to healing and completely forbid using it for upgrading. – Homo Deus, 60; 63.
What Yuval demonstrates in these early pages, is that man is at an apex in his development. He desires pleasure and to cure death. The most frightening aspect is that much of these projects are not conjecture. They are already happening. You might be saying, the “Viagra argument” makes sense, but there isn’t anything else going on out there in the world. Well buckle up butter cup. It’s about to get wild. In 2013, Time magazine ran an article headlined: “Can Google Solve Death?”. That same year, another article went out from CNN. Its headline read: “How Google’s Calico aims to fight aging and ‘solve death’”. Yuval writes and provides in depth citations on this subject:
In 2012 [Ray Kurzweil (winner of the 1999 US National Medal of Technology and Innovation], was appointed a director of engineering at Google, and a year later Google launched a sub-company called Calico whose stated mission is ‘to solve death’. In 2009 Google appointed another immortality true-believer, Bill Maris, to preside over the Google Ventures investment fund. In a January 2015 interview, Maris said, ‘If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500, the answer is yes.’ Maris backs up his brave words with a lot of hard cash. Google Ventures is investing 36 per cent of its $2 billion portfolio in life sciences start-ups, including several ambitious life-extending projects. – Homo Deus, 28.
But what would the world be like for religious persons if death were actually solved? Yuval has an answer for that too:
Just try to imagine Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism in a world without death – which is a also a world without heaven, hell, or reincarnation…We don’t need to wait for the Second Coming in order to overcome death. A couple of geeks in a lab can do it. If traditionally death was the specialty of priests and theologians, now the engineers are taking over. – Homo Deus, 25-26.
The vision of the future that Yuval presents does not have room for old theistic religions. In one video, Yuval states that the new religions are in Silicon Valley; this appears to mimic the spiritualism found in That Hideous Strength, Harari dedicates his book to a Hindu spiritualist who has also spoken on the stage at the World Economic Forum. These similarities are not meant to convey conspiracy, but rather to validate that Lewis’ books in the Space Trilogy, have a relevance to our discussion today. The materialist-spirituality that permeates his books, is currently permeating our world today, and at speeds that no one can really comprehend, including Yuval:
Even if gods don’t walk our streets by 2100, the attempt to upgrade Homo sapiens is likely to change the world beyond recognition in this century. Scientific research and technological developments are moving at a far faster rate than most of us can grasp…Nobody can absorb all the latest discoveries, nobody can predict how the global economy will look in ten years, and nobody has a clue where we are heading in such a rush. Since no one understands the system any more, no one can stop it. – Homo Deus, 57; 59.
So why does all this matter, especially for the Christian intellectual life. It is because the culture we create, whether for good or for ill, has a philosophical and theological foundation; many Christians and religious thinkers have forgotten this. They have, in ejecting philosophy as a discipline or tool to study God’s natural order as it exists, created a vacuum. Vacuums, by nature, desire to be filled. The rejection of essentialist philosophy in the Christian faith, has rendered them vulnerable to the predations of transhumanist philosophy. The underlying philosophy they have replaced it with is very similar to Yuval’s underlying philosophy, mainly that while a human nature may exist, its barriers are meant to be broken, not adhere to. In some cases, Christians may implicitly reject the idea of a human nature all together. Here are a few examples that Yuval uses to depict transhumanist progress. These examples/practices have been unreflectively adopted by Christians without consideration of the spiritual-physical implications:
In vitro fertilization. Despite it taking lives of unborn children (i.e. zygotes are created in the process and the parents have to decide what they will do with them). I have met many orthodox and fundamentalist Christians who believe that this is permissible in the Christian faith. It is not. This does not mean that the children produced from this practice are not human. What it means is that in the same way knowledge was not something God wanted to withhold from Adam and Eve, they nevertheless chose to obtain it by their own means rather than the means ordained by God.
Birth control. This one is another example that Yuval gives as the natural progress towards one of man’s natural desires, pleasure: “The newly invented contraceptive pill made sex freer than ever.” I am not saying that all forms of birth control are off limits. But most Christians, including the most fundamentalist among us have adopted methods unreflectively and only in pursuit of preventing birth, and with no regard for the spiritual implications of their birth control choice.
Biological and Psychic enhancement. Given Christianity’s complacent attitude towards developments in these previous 2 areas, as well as others, the next logical progress will be in the areas of biological and psychological enhancement. Indeed, these examples are not fictitious, they are actively being developed and in some cases are already in the market:
The upgrading of humans into gods may follow any of three paths: biological engineering, cyborg engineering and the engineering of non-organic beings…Cyborg engineering will go a step further, merging the organic body with non-organic devices such as bionic hands, artificial eyes, or millions of nano-robots that will navigate our blood stream, diagnose problems and repair damage…A cyborg…could exist in numerous places at the same time…If you want to turn on the light in the kitchen, you just wear the helmet, imagine some preprogrammed mental sign (e.g. imagine your right hand moving), and the switch turns on. You can buy such helmets online for a mere $400…However, once technology enables us to re-engineer human minds, Homo sapiens will disappear, human history will come to an end and a completely new kind of process will begin, which people like you and me cannot comprehend.” – Homo Deus, 50-51; 53.
Christianity and Nominalism
You will not find a verse in the Bible that defines man, not in any biological or materialist terms. He is created in God’s image, but theologians and philosophers debate this idea as to what it is. Further, the soul, is not clearly defined. For a book on the complexity of such things, check out Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting by John W. Cooper to get a taste of how opaque the scriptures are to the lay reader looking for a definitive and encyclopedic definition of man. The truth is there, but its’ not self-evident or defined explicitly; nor does it need to be because God is the author of both the Bible and Natures. Our experience with reality is intelligible and thus the Scripture is intelligible; it describes that which is seen and that which is unseen. But for many Christians this is not the case, because they have inherently adopted an anti-realist perspective, one that says “I can’t trust my senses.” For a crude but simplistic definition of a realist view, look no further than Matt Walsh’s documentary What Is a Woman? In this documentary he visits a man and says “How do you know you’re a man.” To which the crotchety old man responds, “I guess cause I have a d***”. Although crude, this is a demonstration that man can know some aspects of reality without a bible verse to affirm it. The scripture obviously reveals that man is more than his genitalia, but having experiences with human beings is required to interpret the Bible correctly. Having a view of reality that God reveals his truth through both nature and revelation is a formidable opponent against the transhumanist philosophy that says man can abolish is nature, and exchange it for different one. There are those who may be discouraged hearing the way that things are going, or that books and ideas like Yuval’s are gaining so much traction among the most powerful and elite among us; he also is planning a pre-teens series. But do not fret. We have the true God on our side. He has placed us here for this time. It is our job to decide who’s side we are on. In the Lewis’ second book, Perelandra, main character, Ransom is complaining to God about why God won’t stop the demon possessed villain. How could God allow such an evil to move about freely? Suddenly, Ransom recognizes that God has sent him, weak though he may be, to fight this demonic force, and though doing it may kill him, it is his divine duty to stand between the evil and the good. Similarly, in That Hideous Strength, a new main character, Mark Studdock, emerges and is torn between joining the rebels and joining the N.I.C.E. He is confronted a Christian character, Dr. Dimble who offers Studdock an opportunity to leave N.I.C.E. :
“There is no time,” said Dimble. “And there is really nothing to think about. I am offering you a way back into the human family. But you must come at once.” “It’s a question affecting my whole future career.” “Your career!” said Dimble. “It’s a question of damnation or – a last chance. But you must come at once…I can offer you no security. Don’t you understand? There is no security for anyone now. The battle has started. I’m offering you a place on the right side. I don’t which will win.” — That Hideous Strength, 220.
We of course know who will win the war. But what will the fallout will be between those striving for divinity and those seeking to submit to it? This is unclear. So, what is one to do? Firstly, you must pick a side. Who or what, are you going to work for? When it comes to the conclusion of that Hideous Strength, the idol the protagonist has is not some desire for divinity, nor a desire for some hideous sin. Instead, it is the desire to be “liked”. The desire to talk big at parties about the company he works for. In the end, we must understand that where we decide to grow our careers may say more about who we are has Christians, than where we go to church. Finally, and most importantly What is clear from the scripture is that we are to “seek God while he can be found”. What kind of fallout will this attempt at becoming “god” by the most powerful and elite techno-crats be? We live in a time of unprecedented knowledge and we should utilize this time to seek God while he can be found. What that means for those gifted in the intellectual spiritual gifts: administration, teaching, writing, art, reflection, is to continue growing your mind and your craft to the glory of God. Lewis could not have known that his books would be guideposts for generation after generation, but thank God he wrote his books. We too should write books and sculpt our minds. Doing so with the goal, not of obtaining divinity, but of pleasing our Divine Father in heaven. We then take this knowledge and teach it to our children and those we are privileged to minister to, knowing that even in darkness and shackles there is freedom in truth. I talk a big game, I know. Whether I or you are able to live up to the demands is not the purpose of this episode. Rather, it is to inspire us to continue to discern our times and minister accordingly, in the wisdom of serpents and in the gentleness of doves. Seek God while he can be found, practice virtue, and develop a habit of prayer in your pursuits of goodness, beauty, and truth. In doing this, I believe that God will honor our attempts and that should we fail, we will be reminded of his redemptive power to restore us, despite our weakness. And one thing is definitely clear from reading Yuval and Lewis, apathy is not an option. Thanks for listening, I’m Daniel Roberts, keep thinking.
I am an application developer by day and a philosopher by night. I received my MA Philosophy from Southern Evangelical Seminary and I continue to pursue, in the words of A. G. Sertillanges, “The Intellectual Life”. My primary areas of study include, specifically: Natural Law, Natural Theology, Ethics, and the Problem of Evil.
Follow me on Twitter: @SolomonsCorner, Facebook: @RealSolomonsCorner.