Thursday, July 09, 2009

For your consideration...

I have no time to write today, and rather than produce a quarrel by my writing, I shall just give you an excerpt from GKC for your consideration, and let you mull over it.
--Dr. Thursday.

The obvious truth is that the moment any matter has passed through the human mind it is finally and for ever spoilt for all purposes of science. It has become a thing incurably mysterious and infinite; this mortal has put on immortality. [1Cor 15:54] Even what we call our material desires are spiritual, because they are human. Science can analyse a pork-chop, and say how much of it is phosphorus and how much is protein; but science cannot analyse any man's wish for a pork-chop, and say how much of it is hunger, how much custom, how much nervous fancy, how much a haunting love of the beautiful. The man's desire for the pork-chop remains literally as mystical and ethereal as his desire for heaven. All attempts, therefore, at a science of any human things, at a science of history, a science of folk-lore, a science of sociology, are by their nature not merely hopeless, but crazy. You can no more be certain in economic history that a man's desire for money was merely a desire for money than you can be certain in hagiology that a saint's desire for God was merely a desire for God. And this kind of vagueness in the primary phenomena of the study is an absolutely final blow to anything in the nature of a science. Men can construct a science with very few instruments, or with very plain instruments; but no one on earth could construct a science with unreliable instruments. A man might work out the whole of mathematics with a handful of pebbles, but not with a handful of clay which was always falling apart into new fragments, and falling together into new combinations. A man might measure heaven and earth with a reed, but not with a growing reed.
[GKC Heretics CW1:117]

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about anyone else, but after having listened to Chuck Chalberg on The Apostle of Common Sense, when I now read Chesterton, I hear Chuck's voice saying the words. For me, it adds to the pleasure of reading Chesterton's words. Thanks Dr. Thursday! And are you going to be able to make the Conference this year?


Join our FaceBook fan page today!