Priestcraft, then & now

“We must follow The Science,” I have often heard, from blithering idjits who know nothing about science, except that those who question “The Science” must be smeared. The scientists, meanwhile, contradict each other, but this is never an issue until one strays from the party line. That is more serious, for it might shake someone’s faith in Scientism: our established religion, above friends, family, and even the state.

It is a religion that claims infallibility, based on a mystical principle called “Scientific Method,” which does not actually exist and never did, except as a popular delusion. Yet it inspires a welter of banal platitudes, also contradicting one another, as banal platitudes have always done. Unlike, for instance, the Catholic religion, in which a pope has claimed dogmatic infallibility only a couple of times, Scientism claims it every morning with its Corn Flakes, and every evening with its Pringles. It is there at the top of everyday’s world news — which, like all scientistic propaganda, isn’t “world” and isn’t “news.”

For consider, the mediaevals didn’t have newspapers and meejah to black out errant facts, or suppress errant opinions. They weren’t there to demand that everyone “Follow The Science” over hill, dale, and cliff. The mediaevals didn’t have Hollywood or Netflix, either; or modern pharmaceuticals, to pacify the mad. Things were much different.

The modern peasant believes in the pronouncements of Scientism to a far greater degree than the mediaeval peasant believed in Christian Revelation, and is far more obedient to the scientistic authorities than his ancestors ever were to pope or parish priest. Indeed, the more I read of the Dark and Middle Ages, in the West or in the East, the more I learn of times when the world was crawling with atheists and agnostics, heretics, “freethinkers” (though not quite as ridiculous as they are today).

And, too, of the usual “silent majority” of people who are “going along to get along,” as they have done in all ages. They have done this because the alternative is to think for oneself, which is very, very painful. And from fear of what happens if they step out of line, and break the overwhelming solidarity, so that they might be abandoned before scary, violent hordes. (We have Antifa, they had Viking raids.)

Friars, nuns, and theologians were always a minority, as “research scientists” are today, except that the latter are not subject to the public mockery that the former had to endure, when they were exposed as greedy, shameless, rapacious, shysters.

Our modern peasant wouldn’t dare. The moment he is in the presence of a Labcoat, he adopts a submissive posture — usually abject sycophancy — unlike his forefathers, a thousand years ago (except perhaps in the worst Oriental despotisms) when presented with a man wearing clerical robes. Nor would the cleric speak with such casual arrogance, nor pretend to that knowledge of the heavens that the scienticist just smugly announces. Nor, even in pharaonic Egypt, was he enfolded within a quaint moral order (“political correctness”) which changes from day to day, often at his whimsical suggestion.

For our ancient priest had no choice but to be comfortable with genuine variety in appearance and thought. He could not demand enforcement of official “Diversity,” while stomping on the human face.

What the priest had to back him up, in Western Christendom, was a consistent and rational Church doctrine, from which his superiors often deviated, as they do today. There were also scandals, of which many might be vaguely aware, but the mediaeval peasant no more assumed that the scandals undermined the teaching, than the modern peasant thinks that the debaucheries of Labcoats undermine “The Science.”