Friday, June 02, 2023

Progress? Maybe…

On the other hand, the form which this world-historical thought has assumed in modern times, is a mixture of Biblical teleology and an Idealistic or Naturalistic theory of the evolutionary process in History. The belief in progress which, especially in the last century, was the hope of the nations, cannot, indeed, be conceived apart from the teleology of the Bible; but here it is in a secularized form. Four elements combine to create this belief: the Biblical Hope, the Idealistic idea of development, the causal theory of Evolution of Natural Science, and the experience of the progressive technical domination of Nature. The two World Wars, the menace to humanity of the Totalitarian State, and the development of technics, which has outstripped man's power of dealing with it, have cut away the ground from under the feet of those who believed in Progress. Humanity oscillates uncertainly between absolute despair and an optimistic view that still believes in "progress".—Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption, 197

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