The Cult of Knowledge as Power

“Knowledge is power” – Words rooted in the worship of human strength – hideous with all the foolish stupidity that comes with our thinking. Power to do what? Some say to rule, others to make good in the world. Some desire to accomplish both. Unfortunately, we shall reap neither. The more total the rule, the more thorough the destruction. The good made decays with corruption. What more to expect from those who learn to acquire power? Aye, more so when there is poor discernment in the knowledge sought.

These seemingly noble ambitions are made a danger when set upon the imperfection, the sinful existence of man. The objection: Yes, humans are imperfect but we must progress to what is better for the good of humanity. If only a stained washcloth could help set fine dishes for a meal. Perhaps everything on the table will look clean, only the food is still contaminated by our folly. Good enough, at least we are trying, so is said. This arrogantly stated until those soaked in sludge, Lord forbid blood, take over hosting.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), a witness to the bloodbath of the English Civil War, wrote “Leviathan,” a book of lasting influence which calls for “consent” to a king and government with absolute power. It is worth noting that he is the focus of the above theme illustration for this post. He had this to say about knowledge (Scientia/science) and its relation to a person:

“The Power of a man (to take it universally), is his present means to obtain some future apparent Good. . . . The Greatest of humane Powers, is that which is compounded of the powers of most men, united by consent, in one person, natural or civil, that has the use of all their Powers depending on his will; . . . The Sciences, are small Power, . . . not acknowledged in any man; nor are at all, but in a few [only some can possess this power]; . . . The Value, or Worth of a man, is as of all other things, his Price; that is to say, so much as would be given for the use of his Power: and therefor is not absolute; but a thing dependent on the need and judgement of another. . . . For let a man (as most men do) rate themselves at the highest value they can; yet their true value is no more than it is esteemed by others. . . . The public worth of a man, which is the Value set on him by the Commonwealth, is that which men commonly call Dignity. And this value of him by the Commonwealth, is understood, by offices of Command, Judges, public Employment, or by Names and Titles, introduced for distinction of such Value.”

from chapter 10 of “Leviathan” (1651)

Now, do people really benefit of good (& peace as Hobbes would have it) when absolute power is given to us mortals, whether one or the few? Most are hesitant, perhaps for now, but if we only seek to improve our lot in the world by our own means for what we desire, it is tempting to have faith in sinful souls for a perfect way of life. Did not God warn His chosen Hebrew people not to put their trust in the might of a mortal king – 1st Samuel Chapter 8. Even after explaining the oppression and tragedy a ruler would set on them, they still demanded it, so as to become rich and powerful like other nations.

Instead of gaining the knowledge of God, to be only subject to Him, independent of human power, we often choose the security promised by others, often believing we too shall share in the power. But no, the earthly powers that be think too highly of themselves, categorizing everyone into mere tools for whatever Good they deem worthy. Why fear God, who is supposedly love? Well, because Christ is truth, goodness, and beauty, being the perfect Creator, we too share in these blessed things, gifted through absolute power. On the other hand, we will have to admit the raw fear of a fellow fallen man, either of us being corrupt enough in our knowledge to be sure we have the authority of the Almighty in our own position of life. In reality, behind all our pride, a spiritual power of dark principalities are the ones really pulling the strings of puppets too intoxicated by their lies to see the way, truth, and life God offers as our birthright.

Do these modern men of science and politics believe there are no spiritual higher powers? Trailer for “Symmetry” – hadron collider project https://youtu.be/Cllqr1nmdYk & ceremony for this project attended by world leaders – https://youtu.be/2YS8r6pg9NM

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

2 Timothy 2:20-26

“Then the Lord told Moses, “Early tomorrow morning present yourself to Pharaoh and say to him: Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: Let my people go to worship Me, or this time I will hurl all my blows upon you and your servants and your subjects, that you may know that there is none like Me anywhere on earth. For by now I would have stretched out my hand and struck you and your subjects with such pestilence as would wipe you from the earth. But this is why I have spared you: to show you my power and to make my name resound throughout the earth! Will you still block the way for my people by refusing to let them go? . . . Some of Pharaoh’s servants feared the warning of the Lord and hurried their servants and livestock off to shelter. Others, however did not take the warning of the Lord to heart and left their servants and livestock in the field.”

Exodus 9:13-17; 20-21

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