Lesson 119- Brave New World part 2
We are moving towards the homestretch in my description of Fr. Tielhard de Chardin’s theistic view of the theory of evolution that is based upon “intelligent design.” Chardin proposed that there were three levels of evolution: the Chemical, Organic, Mental and a fourth, the Spiritual that was yet to come. Each level went as far as it could go in terms of complexification and then, at a certain point which he called “complexification and centricity”, it leapt qualitatively over into the next higher level. Thus, non-living chemicals, when they reached the level of inorganic compounds, became organic compound that took on the qualities of life, such as growth, reproduction, sensation and self-movement.
This next level, the Organic or Life Level, then proceeded to follow the same path of complexification as simple one-cell creatures evolved into multi-cell creatures, which then, through the law of Organization and Specialization, began to move from the stem-cell stage, where all cells were identical in appearance and function, to the organ stage, where each of them started to take on a specialized functions, such as heart, liver, pancreas, eyes, ears etc… From this point on, the various species of living beings evolved into higher forms of life by incorporating previous steps with newer adaptations. How, or even if, this happened, no one knows because although “micro evolution”, that is evolution within the species in which various types of dogs evolved from one prototype, is a fact, “macro evolution”, that is evolution between species in which a hippopotamus becomes a horse, is still very much a theory with no little or no evidence to support it. When, and if, this is ever proven, should have no significant impact on our Christian view because it will merely describe the “how?” and still leave unanswered the questions of “who? and why?”. No matter how much the atheistic supporters of the theory of evolution try to present it as a totally accidental phenomena, they are still stuck with the problems of why does a totally accidental process seem to follow laws that move it towards higher and more complex forms, and who created the laws.
Based on the evidence, evolution is directional as it moves from a simple hydrogen atom to complex beings such as ourselves. Even if one could believe that non-conscious atoms could accidentally form a human body, why should they then stabilized into a form that is capable of reproducing itself? And how is it possible that these same non-conscious atoms accidentally formed both a female and male version of the same species who accidentally possessed all the intricate equipment necessary for reproduction? The atheistic evolutionists are confronted with so many impossible questions to answer that one can only conclude that their commitment to an atheistic answer is based on philosophy rather than science. Their faith in an accidental universe, because that is exactly what it is, dwarfs the faith of those who believe in “intelligent design.”
And, how, one might ask, does an accidental universe, which lacks any intelligence, produce a third level of evolution, the Mental or Cultural Level, that contains human beings who possess a rational mind. One of the principles of logic is “all effects must be proportionate to their causes.” In other words, “you can’t give what you don’t have.” To produce intelligence, the universe must contain intelligence, and the is why the ancient Hebrews believed that human beings were “made in the image and likeness of the Creator.” How, they wondered, was it possible for a creature to have intelligence if the source of the universe lacked it?
Some atheistic evolutionists think that they have solved their problem by saying that it is possible for an accidental process to create intelligent results if a selecting agent is added. For example, is it possible for a chimpanzee to produce a Shakespearian play if he keeps pounding the keyboard of a computer for a billion years? Their answer is “Yes!” if there is a selecting agent who could pick out from the mass of accidental letters, the ones needed to form the words of the play. In other words, if there was a Natural Selector that would determine the Survival of the Fittest, which in this case, would be the text of the play. This, of course, solves nothing for them because the Natural Selector indicates an intelligence that is selecting towards a rational end. I have already indicated that, from a Christian perspective, the Natural Selector is the Logos or Logic of God, who, according to St. John, is Jesus. Thus, no matter how you “spin it”, an evolutionary process that is moving directionally toward higher forms of life suggests “intelligent design.”
And now, according to Fr. Chardin, we have reached the Mental, or third level, of evolution and, through the Law of Complexification, are moving rapidly towards the point where, based on the previous levels, we should go through a qualitative leap onto the next level. In other words, we are headed towards the Omega Point, which is the Spiritual Level where Mankind will discover fire for the second time.
The first time was physical fire that released the energy that powered civilization. The second time, he says, will be the fire of love, which will usher in the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold of a time when, “men will take the weapons of war and beat them into tools for farming and the lion, symbolic of violence and force, will lie down with the lamb, symbolic of peace and cooperation, and justice and peace will kiss.” In other words, the human race will finally break free of its animal roots based on dominance and territorial defense and come to realize that we all belong to the “brotherhood of Man” under the “Fathership of God.”
This of course, has always been the vision of the Judeo/Christian Linear Utopian Concept of History but it is also the vision of the Secular Humanists who led the French Revolution and the Communist revolutions that followed. Their motto was “Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality” and thus we are faced with two competing visions of what the final conclusion of history should be. The problem is that they both sound very similar in ends but they differ immensely in means and that is why many liberally-minded Christians are pulled into the Secular Humanist camp by their counterfeit version of the Kingdom of God.
The basic difference between the two visions has to do with “freedom” and both visions speak of it but they have different interpretations of what it means. Both the Judeo/Christian and Secular Humanist visions speak of a time when we will be free of war, poverty, disease, crime, and all the other ills that plague Mankind. To the humanist the “ends justify the means” while the churches are committed to “moral means to reach moral ends.” Thus, humanistic forces will eliminate the problems of Mankind by creating a super-welfare state that will eliminate the people that are identified with the problems through abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, human experimentation, behavior modification and whatever techniques that science and technology provide.
One famous Secular Humanist, B.F. Skinner, Harvard professor and psychologist, epitomizes this view in his book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” where he takes a mechanistic view of human beings who can be manipulated to serve whatever ends those in charge desire. Freedom and free will, he says, are an illusion because we are all products of our environments and thus who or what we are is determined by the environment to which we are exposed. Skinner, in accordance with his own theory, placed his daughter, during her infancy, in a “Skinner Box”, a glass-walled room in which all environmental conditions were controlled by him. In this way, he intended to shape her to his specifications. Other well intended humanists would like to do the same to the rest of us.
Another famous Secular Humanist, Dr. Jack Kavorkian, who is now in jail because of his involvement in assisted suicides, once proposed on a talk radio program that criminals who have been sentenced to death should be used for medical experimentation that would end in their death. Why, he argued, should we not get some practical benefit from their death? Here we see the philosophy of Pragmatism taken to its logical conclusion.
And, of course, all these things were done before by Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime that wanted to create a Master Race by the elimination of inferior types and the propagation of Arian types through a genetic breeding program. It amazes me that Jewish Secular Humanists fail to recognize the premises of the Holocaust in many of the programs they support.
All this suggests that we should beware of utopian-minded people who do not accept or recognize any higher moral law that constrains the methods that they use. In other words, beware of atheists who want to lead us to the Promised Land. Since they recognize no power or law greater than their own, there is nothing to limit the methods that they use and eventually their methods result in the dehumanization of other human beings.
The Church, on the other hand, wishes to address the same problems through a Principle of Subsidiarity that challenging all of us to accept personal responsibility for their solution on whatever level is feasible. Now let me return to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
As I ended my last program, I was describing Aldous Huxley’s book, “Brave New World”, that demonstrated what could happen when utopian-minded leaders were free to use science and technology to eliminate the problems created by human freedom. When I ended my program, we had already heard:
1. That babies were created through “in vitro” fertilization from eggs that were harvested from females and sperm from males. Impregnation took place in a soup-like mixture and each egg was microscopically inspected to see that it came up to the “quality-control” standards set by the leaders. Those that didn’t were discarded.
2. The fertilized eggs were placed in bottles that were lined with uteruses taken from pigs. This is reminiscent of a radio program that I heard in which two female doctors were arguing about the effectiveness of testing new drug on human embryos. One pointed to a study conducted in California as
proof of the effectiveness of this while the other protested the results because the fertilized human embryos had been placed in the wombs of female rats who were then injected with the drug to be tested. Thus, without objecting to the method used, she argued that the inclusion of the rat in the experiment tainted the results. I wonder how the mother of those embryonic children would feel if they knew that there were placed in the uteruses of female rats.
3. While on its 9 months trip on the conveyor belt, the embryos in the bottle were subjected to Pavlovian conditioning designed to shape their minds to accept the conditions that the leaders had pre-destined them to assume. Thus, those destined to work in the tropics were alternately sent through tunnels that were hot and cold. While in the cold tunnel they were subjected to X-rays that caused them discomfort. As a result, they developed an inherent aversion to the cold and an affinity for the heat.
4. Each developing child was assigned one of the five social classes in “Brave New World.” The Alphas and Betas were predestined to become leaders while the Deltas, Epsilons, and Gammas were predestined to serve the more menial jobs. And each, through the manipulation of the oxygen going to their brains during their gestation period, were given an I.Q. that was most compatible with their assigned role in life.
5. Upon decanting, the word they used for birth, each child was dressed according to its class and then through sleep teaching methods and neo-Pavlovian conditioning mentally and emotionally shaped to fit the role that the state had assigned them. Although we might find it hard to believe that anyone would use these methods in the shaping of children, Pavlovian conditioning was used in the Soviet Union under Communism in an attempt to shape children who wouldn’t cry and, thus as adults, wouldn’t complain.
6. As I ended my last program, I had just finished describing how Pavlovian conditioning was used to teach children to hate books and flowers but to love to go to the country. Your might remember that the Director explained to the students that this was done to instill in them a love for the country but a hatred for flowers because, while their love for the country kept transportation workers employed, their love of flowers did not. Therefore, they were taught to love country sports that required the purchase of expensive equipment. This, I pointed out, refers to one of the basic flaws in Capitalism that, because it has tied production and distribution together, can’t stop one without stopping the other. We are on an eternal treadmill of producing economic goods whether we need them or not because if we ever stopped, we have no other way for people to earn the income they need to buy them.
However, Brave New World did not stop with the use of electric shock to implant in the mind a distaste for flowers based on negative reinforcement. They also used positive reinforcement through “sleep teaching” to motivate people to desire those things that the state wanted them to desire.
This tool was discovered in the period preceding Brave New World, when the parents of Reuban Rabnovitch accidentally left the radio in his room on over night. The Director explains:
“While the child was asleep, a radio broadcast program from London suddenly started to come through; and the next morning to the astonishment of his parents, he repeated word-for-word the program. The principle of sleep- teaching had been discovered; but many years were to pass before the principle was applied usefully.
"The case of little Reuben occurred only twenty-three years after Our Ford's first T-model was put on the market." (Here the Director made a sign of the "T" and all the students reverently followed his example.) "And yet these early experiments were on the wrong track. They thought that sleep-teaching could be used to teach facts, whereas, it was far more effective in moral education which shapes attitudes. Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstance, to be rational, (that is (based on facts rather than feelings.)”
Thus, as part of the brain-washing program designed to shape the children as willing slaves of the state, they were subjective to hour of suggestions and slogans that were repeated through speakers under their pillows while they slept.
The Director led the students to the nurseries upstairs where a sleep-teaching lesson was taking place. Huxley writes:
“Just then they approached the dormitories where young children were kept. A nurse rose as they entered and came to attention before the Director.
"What's the lesson this afternoon?" he asked.
"We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes," she answered. "But now it's switched to Class Identity and Acceptance."
The Director walked slowly down the aisle between the beds in which small children of Beta class lay sleeping. The tape-recorded voice of a "sleep-teaching" lesson could be heard coming from beneath the pillows. The Director halted, and bending over one of the little beds, listened attentively. At the end of the room a loud speaker projected from the wall. The Director walked up to it and pressed the switch.
"Alpha children wear gray. They work much harder than we do because they're so very clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work as hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no! I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write besides they wear blue which is such a beastly color. I'm so glad I'm a Beta... Alpha children wear gray...."
Then the Director said
"They'll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. A hundred and twenty times, three times a week for thirty months. The greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time. Like drops of water wearing away a hard stone till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adults mind too- all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides-made up of these suggestions. But all of these suggestions are our suggestions!" The Director almost shouted in triumph. "Suggestions from the state." He banged the nearest table. "It therefore follows..." A noise made him turn around. "Oh Ford!" I've gone and awakened the children."
It is interesting to note that the leaders of Brave New World realized that slogans repeated over and over again are far more effective in shaping values than are rational explanations based on facts. Consider for example the repetition of slogans like “different strokes for different folks!” or “Just do it!” These slogans and suggestions are directed at the right lobe of the brain, which, because it doesn’t censor and is suggestible takes them in without any critical evaluation.
Later in the book we are told that some of the suggestions implanted into the minds of the children are “Ending is better than mending”, “Ending is better than mending”, and the “less stitches the more riches”, “the less stitches the more riches” which were designed to keep consumer purchasing at a high level in order to keep the factories and their workers going. Once these suggestions were firmly implanted in the minds of the children, they would become part of the “throw-away” society that was necessary to solve the basic flaw in capitalism.
Of course, nothing like this could ever happen. No one could ever create a culture in which people were taught and motivated to throw things away rather than repair them in order to keep people working. Why if people ever did that, there would have a horrendous trash problem that would eventually deplete natural resources and pollute the earth.
You might wonder how, according to Huxley, Brave New World came about. As the students are finishing their tour of the Hatcheries, where babies are created, it is announced that one of the world Ten Controllers, Mustapha Mond has arrived and he is going to address the students. The book continues:
"His Fordship, Mustapha Mond!" The eyes of the saluting students almost popped out of their heads. Mustapha Mond! The Resident Controller for Western Europe! One of the Ten World Controllers...and he sat down on the bench with the Director, he was going to stay, yes , and actually talk to them... straight from the horse's mouth. Straight from the mouth of Ford, himself.
"You all remember," said the Controller, in his strong deep voice," you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's:' History is bunk!' That's why you're taught no history. But now the time has come..."
The Director looked at him nervously. There were those strange rumors of old forbidden books hidden in a safe in the Controller's study. Bibles. poetry... Ford knew what.
"It's alright, Director. "Mustapha Mond said, "I won't corrupt them."
Mustapha Mond leaned forward, shook a finger at them. "Just try to realize it, " he said. "Try to realize what it was like to have a natural mother. " That dirty word again. But none of them dreamed this time of smiling.
"Try to imagine what "with one's family' meant. and do you know what home was?" they shook their heads.
"Home, home- a few small rooms, stuffy, overcrowded. No air, a space, and under-sterlized prison; darkness, disease, and smells." His description was so vivid that one of the students got sick.
"It was a rabbit hole, reeking with emotion." Our Ford- or Our Freud (this is a take-off on Sigmund Freud whose psychoanalytic theory had the same effect on the theories of human behavior as Henry T. Ford's had on the production of goods and services) as, for some unknown reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychoanalytic matters had been the first to reveal the awful dangers of family life (Oedipus Complex). The world was full of fathers- was therefore full of misery; full of mothers- therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts- full of madness and suicide. And there was also husbands, wives and lovers. There was monogamy with one husband or wife and romance. Though you probably don't know what those are, "said Mustapha Mond. They shook their heads.
"Family, monogamy, romance. Everywhere exclusiveness, a narrow channeling of energy and impulse. ‘But everyone belongs to everyone else,' he concluded, repeating the '"sleep teaching" proverb. The students nodded, emphatically agreeing with statement that upwards of sixty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made them accept, not merely as true but as axiomatic, self-evident, utterly indisputable.
"No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad wicked and miserable. Their world didn't allow them to take thing easily without a struggle ; didn't allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the moral laws they were not conditioned to obey; what with the temptation; what with the uncertainties and the poverty-they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly, how could they be stable? Stability, said the Controller, "stability". No civilization without social stability. (Order) No social stability without individual stability. "Fortunate boys!" said the Controller. "No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy (soft slavery?)- to preserve you, so far as possible, from having emotions at all…"
"Consider your own lives, "said Mustpha Mond. "Has any of you ever had any difficult problem?"....
"I once had to wait nearly four weeks before a girl I wanted would let me have her," a young student said...
"And you felt a strong emotion as a result?"...
"Horrible." said the student.
"Horrible! Exactly," said the Controller.
"Our ancestors were so stupid and shortsighted that when the first reformers came along and offered to deliver them from those horrible emotions, they wouldn't have anything to do with them. Take the Hatcheries. Would the government look at it ? No! There was something called Christianity. Women were forced to have their own children. Sleep-teaching was actually forbidden in England. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the individual. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole. The resisted the Caste System. Every time it was suggested, it was rejected. There was something called democracy. As though men were more than physico-chemically equal." (Here Huxley is referring to B.F. Skinner’s observations about humans.)
"Then came the Nine years' War, the great Economic Collapse. There was a choice between world control and destruction (Note: Will Durant, the historian, said "When freedom destroyed order the need for order will destroy freedom.") Government's an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with the brains and buttock, never with the fists. For example, there was a law requiring consumption (buying goods and services). Every loyal citizen was required to buy as much as he could. There was conscientious objection on a large scale. They did anything not to consume. There was a movement back to Nature. Back to culture. Yes, actually to culture. You can't consume much if you sit still and read."
(In the Nurseries on the floor above them, the Elementary Class Consciousness lesson was over, and the voice of the tape recorder was adapting future demand to industrial supply)
"I do love flying," the tape whispered. "I do love flying, I do love having clothes, I do love clothes. But old clothes are awful," continued the untiring whispered. "We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending; ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; the more stitches' the less riches. I do love flying...I do love..." The Controller continued:
"Eight hundred Simple Lifers (People wanting to go back to nature) were mowed down by machine guns. Then came the famous British Museum Massacre. Two thousand culture fans gassed with poison gas. In the end," Said Mustapha Mond," the Controllers Realized that force was no good. The slower but surer method of artificial birth, Pavlovian conditioning, and sleep-teaching were introduced. Then there were blowing up of historical monuments and the suppression of all books published before A.F. 150(After Ford). There were books like the Bible and Shakespeare. You've never heard of them of course. Such are the advantages of a really scientific education. Then came the introduction of Our Ford's first T-Model which was chosen as the opening date of the new era. There was a thing, as I've said before called Christianity. It was the ethics and philosophy of under-consumption (e.g. Mother Theresa of Calcutta). It was necessary when there was under-production; but in the age of machines, it was positively a crime against society. All crosses had their tops cut off and became "T's". There was also a thing called God. We have the World State now, and Ford's Day celebration,`and Community Sings, and Solidarity Services. There was a thing called a soul and a thing called immortality. But the people used to take morphine, cocaine, and heroin.
"Two thousand pharmacists were paid by the government in A.F. 178 to find a perfect drug. Six years later it was being produced commercially. All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of the defects. Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache."
It only remained to conquer old age. Today at sixty our powers and tastes are what they were at seventeen. Old men in the bad old days used to retire, take to religion; spend their time reading, thinking, thinking. (Note: the word amusement means “without though and Gehenna, the Old Testament’s word for hell means “empty thought”) Now- such is progress - that the old work; the old men have sex; the old men have no time. No rest from pleasure, not a moment to sit down and think. And if by some chance they should find time to think and worry (face an antithesis?), there is always "soma pills" (happiness pills)- "a gram is better than a damn!” he said, repeating the sleep-teaching slogan that had been programmed into their heads with over two thousand repetitions. “A gram for a weekend, two grams for a longer trip.”
"Go away, little girl!" shouted the Director angrily. "Go away, little boy! Can't you see His Fordship is busy? Go and do your erotic (sexual) play somewhere else."
"Suffer the little children to come unto me." said the Controller. (This is a takeoff on a scene in the New Testament of the Bible where Jesus' Apostles are shooing children away and he reprimands them with the same words.)
It should be clear that Huxley meant Brave New World to be a description of an Anti-Christ society that would enslave people through a process called “soft slavery.” But how serious is Huxley about the possible reality of Brave New World? In 1958 he wrote that the twenty-first century would be the era of World Controllers who would establish a scientific and technological dictatorship that would never end because:
" "The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with
enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles and mysteries. Under a scientific
dictatorship education will really work-- with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.”
In his book, Brave New World Revisited, one of Huxley’s characters quotes from a work by the Russian writer Dostoevski. He says:
"In the end they (the people) will lay their freedom at our (the controller's) feet and say to us 'make us your slaves, but feed us,”
This is the basic flaw in the secular humanist position. They believe that “man can live by bread alone” and that if you provide for his physical needs it will be enough to make him happy. St. Paul says that the Gospel message is the message of the Cross which seems foolish to those who are perishing. Hegel says that the law of life is struggle and without antitheses we are incapable of developing. Brave New World is an anti-Christ society that has dedicated itself to removing all antitheses and crosses from its people’s lives and, in the process, it has prevented them from moving from what Eric Fromm calls a destructive relationship based on dependency to a productive one based on freedom and love.
That is why the Church supports the Principle of Subsidiarity because it requires that each of us accept the responsibility for our own lives to the degree that we are capable. The problems and crosses of life are there to help us grow and only those who face the Crucifixion will experience the Resurrection. Thus, to be truly free and to experience the fullness of life we have to move from “other control” to “self control.” EVIL is LIVE spelled backwards and it suggests that everything that is anti-life is evil. If this is so, then Brave New World epitomizes EVIL.
Well, I see that my time is up. Here’s Dom!