It was in the nineteenth century that sciences began to determine the total worldview of man. Prior to that century it was not so clear that science’s theoretical grasp of natural order based on the purely quantitative aspect of phenomena had anything to do with the reality of human existence. Prior to nineteenth century in which science snatched the right to veto man’s every move, especially his perennial relation with the spiritual order, prior to that uproar and fuss about endless prosperity, prior to all that man was still spirit, a being essentially beyond and above the natural order whose hidden machinery was unveiled and exploited by his superior intelligence. The very success of sciences was telling of man’s supranatural dominion over nature, for if he were like all other beings fully subject to the same limiting laws and conditions, if his sole motivation was the prejudice of survival, then how could his science possess any objective value!?
Science began when man responded to his wonder about the world, when he realized that perhaps his mortality in flesh could be compensated by his immortality in intelligence; he wanted to know the world as it transcended the spatiotemporal limits of his finite existence; he wanted to know the world in itself. In other words, science began when man made a distinction between reality and appearance: Thus man entered the theoretical attitude, knolwedge for the sake of knowledge, episteme rather than doxa, truth in place of opinion.
However, when man initiated himself into the business of disinterested inquiry it was not as if he faced the world in an originary manner; it was not as if his starting point was a nature bare naked before him devoid of prejudice. The world that became man’s object of disinterested inquiry was the same world in which his all too practical existence was rooted. The object of his disinterested inquiry was already something in which man was spiritually, emotionally, and existentially invested, and it was such investments in which man’s theorizing was made possible in the first place. To be more precise, the world of facts that became man’s object of disinterested inquiry was a world already contaminated with prejudice.
It is not that science’s quantitative-theoretical attitude toward the world began with prejudice; rather, science’s quantitative-theoretical attitude toward the world is the prejudice. That the quantitative grasp of phenomena in general, and of human existence in particular, reflects the world as it is, and even worse as it should be, is the very prejudice upon which the total worldview of modern man is founded.
Science, of course, is not the source of problem; but the fact that science should determine man’s worldview and spiritual worth, that science as that which is determined by man is now to determine man, and that man has become enslaved to and suppressed by his own creation, man’s utter oblivion to the in principle blindness of science is the source of problem. A science that makes its master irrelevant, the very master who is the source of all relevance, including that of science, is none but the Judas of human existence.