Home » Culture, Darwinism, News » Thirty-year-old book more true now than ever: Today’s irrationalism is a product of naturalism

Thirty-year-old book more true now than ever: Today’s irrationalism is a product of naturalism

A friend has been re-reading R. F. Baum’s Doctors of Modernity: Darwin, Marx & Freud., and writes to say,

Written nearly thirty years ago, it is perhaps more pertinent even today than when Baum (who died in 1986) first wrote it. I think its essence can be distilled in one paragraph, which I offer as food for thought:

Yet today must we not acknowledge that naturalism has failed to deliver the progress promised by its champions? The hopes it once engendered no longer fire adult imaginations: we know that man is not evolving toward perfection, that in fact man is not significantly evolving; where Marxism has triumphed it has established tyranny, not a realm of freedom; instead of uplifting the instinctive animal in us, Freudianism has licensed him.

For over a century naturalism has drawn thought and practice into conformity with itself, at once persuading men that they are essentially brutes yet encouraging them to develop and augment their powers without let or limit–and the results in this century’s indices of war, tyranny, fiscal profligacy, suicide, and discontent, and in the dark overhang of nuclear and biological weaponry, look more and more like human regress. Do we not simply pay the evidence its due if we view enthusiasm for the naturalistic doctrines examined in these pages as symptomatic of a singularly bloody century’s deep demoralization?

From the Amazon site,

What, often obscured by the commentaries they inspired, did Darwin, Marx, and Freud actually assert? What in the end did they withdraw? Here, in one well documented book, are concise and accurate statements of doctrine whose impact on the modern world can hardly be exaggerated. In Doctors of Modernity R. F. Baum, whose work has been applauded by thinkers as diverse as Sir Karl Popper and the late P. A. Sorokin, provides critical assessments of Darwinism, Marxism, and Freudianism in the light of empirical fact and logic. So doing, Baum uncovers in their propositions a denigration of mind and reason that undercuts the same propositions’ claims to rationality and truth. Baum traces this irrationalism to Darwin’s, Marx’s, and Freud’s common naturalism or atheism. Pointing out, perhaps to the reader’s surprise, that what is most convincing in Darwinism, Marxism, and Freudianism was anticipated long ago in the teaching of Doctors of the Church, Baum’s conclusion argues briefly for reconsideration of non-sectarian theism. A substatial contribution to this generation’s re-thinking of fundamental issues, Doctors of Modernity will prove invaluable to college students and reflective adults.

Fact and logic were racing truth to the bottom as the first casualty, and it is going to take a long time to clean up the mess.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

9 Responses to Thirty-year-old book more true now than ever: Today’s irrationalism is a product of naturalism

  1. In deciding whats one should go with the winners.
    Darwin was just a member of a dying Anglican English establishment that was destroyed. Freud and Marx ideas were wrong and worthless and did not contribute to worthy societies. They also were Jewish Europeans and not really of the success that built Europe, as far as it went, but Johnny comes lately and not really understanding core ideas of European civilization and why it prevail over the rest of the world.
    its from the Anglo American civilization that all worthy progress has come.
    therefore study them and just study the winners.

  2. “its from the Anglo American civilization that all worthy progress has come.” – Robert Byers

    That’s worth keeping for my own records. No, it is not necessarily an ‘ID’ view. But it is welcome – until someone would speak against it – in the ‘big tent’ nevertheless.

  3. I guess to answer that one from Robert one would have to start with what constitutes worthy progress.

    The ancient Sumerians seemed to corner most of the good ideas, like writing, astronomy, maths, the wheel, the city, kings, priests, laws, literature, Abraham… maybe they were honorary Americans…

  4. Not to mention Greek philosophy and the democratic ideal, Chinese inventions, the exquisite craftsmanship and beauty of Japanese artisanship, French, German, and Italian music, questing into the nature of spiritual truth from India, China, and the Middle East, cuisine from France, India, and China, etc., etc., etc.

  5. I thought Einstein was Jewish, Bohr, half Jewish and Planck, one sixteenth or some such. At least we, Brits, have Newton, Faraday, Kelvin, Rutherford et al.

    Who do you have? Feynman? Besides, without Judaism, there would be no Christianity.

    And Robert, unlike their de facto atheist, right-wing counterparts appear to have done, they didn’t defraud the world to the brink of economic catastrophe.

    Freud, admittedly was a “nutter”, but Marx was a very penetrating analyst of the initially homicidal, and then suicidal nature of capitalism. Furthermore, in China, his ideas led to a what once amounted to almost a third of the world’s population’s being fed, clothed and housed. No small thing on a nation’s cv.

    Would that a Christian country had achieved anything comparable. Or comparable to Cuba’s achievements in the teeth of the effective blockade by its gigantic neigbour.

    However, more was given to us, so atheist Communism, by its very nature, doctrinaire, taking no account of grace’s need to build upon nature, never mind the nature and gift of divine grace, was bound to be a very different and inferior animal in the West, in the eastern bloc countries.

    And look at the US now. A more dystopian country, it’s difficult to imagine; nor is the UK far behind it, in its race to the bottom, although its true that, as empires go – and they have always gone with great brutality and cruelty.

    Nevertheless, to quote Max hastings in the Daily Mail, “In 1922, the American philosopher George Santayana enthused (on edit: of the British empire): ‘Never since the days of heroic Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, churls and fanatics manage to supplant him.’”

    Hastings goes on to describe the above as “gush”, but equally points out that there was much truth in it nevertheless. Ghandi remarked that ‘passive resistance’ would not have worked with any other empire. The Americans would simply have shot them.

    However, acknowledging the positive achievements of the British empire, such as they were, should not blind us to the debt we all, as Christians, owe to Judaism. The Old Testament is not redundant, Very far from it. Moreover, Christ was born of a people specially prepared spiritually, over two millennia, in a blind and brutal, pagan world.

  6. I thought Einstein was Jewish, Bohr, half Jewish and Planck, one sixteenth or some such. At least we, Brits, have Newton, Faraday, Kelvin, Rutherford et al.

    Who do you have? Feynman? Besides, without Judaism, there would be no Christianity.

    And Robert, unlike their de facto atheist, right-wing counterparts appear to have done, they didn’t defraud the world to the brink of economic catastrophe.

    Freud, admittedly was a “nutter”, but Marx was a very penetrating analyst of the initially homicidal, and then suicidal nature of capitalism. Furthermore, in China, his ideas led to a what once amounted to almost a third of the world’s population’s being fed, clothed and housed. No small thing on a nation’s cv.

    Would that a Christian country had achieved anything comparable. Or comparable to Cuba’s achievements in the teeth of the effective blockade by its gigantic neigbour.

    However, more was given to us, so atheist Communism, by its very nature, doctrinaire, taking no account of grace’s need to build upon nature, never mind the nature and gift of divine grace, was bound to be a very different and inferior animal in the West, in the eastern bloc countries.

    And look at the US now. A more dystopian country, it’s difficult to imagine; nor is the UK far behind it, in its race to the bottom, although its true that, as empires go – and they have always gone with great brutality and cruelty – to quote Max hastings in the Daily Mail, “In 1922, the American philosopher George Santayana enthused (on edit: of the British empire): ‘Never since the days of heroic Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, churls and fanatics manage to supplant him.’”

    Hastings goes on to describe the above as “gush”, but equally points out that there was much truth in it nevertheless. Ghandi remarked that ‘passive resistance’ would not have worked with any other empire. The Americans would simply have shot them.

    However, acknowledging the positive achievements of the British empire, such as they were, should not blind us to the debt we all, as Christians, owe to Judaism. The Old Testament is not redundant, Very far from it. Moreover, Christ was born of a people specially prepared spiritually, over two millennia, in a blind and brutal, pagan world.

  7. Sorry about the retrospective editing and effective double-post.

  8. Furthermore, in China, his ideas led to a what once amounted to almost a third of the world’s population’s being fed, clothed and housed. No small thing on a nation’s cv.

    A quick internet search reveals that Marxist agricultural policies adopted in China resulted in 30 million deaths.

    At the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949,
    89% of the population resided in rural areas. At that time heavy
    industry was a major characteristic of the economic structures of
    developed countries. To enhance national prestige, the government
    in 1952 adopted a Stalinist development strategy oriented toward
    heavy industry.

    Farms were enlarged rapidly
    through successive alterations of the farming institution from mutual
    aid teams, to primary cooperatives, to advanced cooperatives, and
    finally to communes in 1958.

    Billions of man-days were mobilized, as expected, but the movement toward communes led to a profound agricultural crisis between 1959 and 1961.

    A careful study of recently released demographic data indicates that this crisis resulted in about 30 million additional deaths

    source

  9. Just look at some of the sources…..! The Rockefeller Foundation, Kellog Fundation, World Bank!

    The default position, when we read or listen to the news purveyed by the corporate-owned and driven Western media and most resarch establishments is a pack of lies. It is almost, if not indeed absolutely invariably, the case.

    A more independent study found that 40% of the deaths attributed to Mao’s agricultural policies would have been a natural, cyclical disaster.

    However, even were the figures cited true, they certainly pale in comparison with the deaths in the Third World caused by the predations of the West, just since WWII; and, unlike the Marxists, for the ignoblest of reasons: blind, lethal avarice. AND IT’S STILL GOING ON!

    I believe even now, instead of installing corrupt puppet despots in African countries, in order to plunder them, the Chinese have been building roads, schools, hospitals, telecommnications.

    I wonder if it was Christ had in mind when he recounted the parable of the two sons: one who said he would do what his father asked hi, but didn’t; and the other who said he wouldn’t, but did.

Leave a Reply