Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ward - C. S. Lewis on Worldview Paradigms

The scientific method does not give us a new way of knowing, only a new way of testing.

To (C. S.) Lewis (as to [Owen] Barfield), scientists in the modern period were too often naturalistic in their worldview, apt to commit the error of removing their own minds and their thinking processes from the total picture of the world that they were trying to understand and inhabit. Their error necessarily de-spiritualises the universe, for the rational mind is itself spiritual, dependent upon the logos that saturates the universe and which, in turn, depends upon God Himself. The universe, perceived within such a naturalistic paradigm, becomes 'all fact and no meaning.' The incessant spiritual orchestration that accompanies it, that actually constitutes it, and that is normally inaudible, is now also considered incredible. The cosmos therefore comes to be regarded as nothing more than a very elaborate machine when in reality it is tingling with life; a star comes to be seen as no more than a huge ball of flaming gas when in reality the gas is 'not what a star is but only what it is made of' ...

Lewis was fascinated by the fact that identical phenomena could be perceived in diametrically opposite ways ... 'Spiritual things,' he wrote (quoting St Paul), 'are spiritually discerned.' When a Russian cosmonaut claimed not to have found evidence of God in outer space, Lewis's response was, 'Much depends on the seeing eye.'

- Michael Ward, Planet Narnia

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