Not a day goes by without some bit of news which demonstrates the moral and intellectual strangeness of the times we live in. That “bit of news” may well be a conversation you have had with a someone at your work or in your class. With his usual brilliance, C.S. Lewis vividly and diabolically describes our day and there’s an article which nicely puts it in our context. Here’s a teaser…
“The West is a civilization in moral and intellectual freefall, not just because of materialism or pagan spirituality, but because of a paradoxical synthesis of the two—one that a devil named Screwtape predicted half a century ago.”
“C. S. Lewis, writing as the senior demon Screwtape, speculated that this day might come. When asked by Wormwood, his junior tempter nephew, whether devils should reveal themselves to humans, Screwtape replies that the High Command has forbidden this—at least for the present age:
We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy [God]. The “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of the war will be in sight.[Emphasis mine.]”
“Let’s be clear about what we’re facing. The true materialists—atheists like Christopher Hitchens—are a sideshow, and probably always will be. And the actual occult remains on the margins of society. It is a hybrid between the two—a religion without a god—that’s establishing itself in our courts, capitals, schools, media, and living rooms. Like all false religions, it carries the seeds of its own destruction. But in the meantime, it’s allowing the principalities and powers sport like they’ve rarely had before. Screwtape must be proud.”
Take a look here for more: Screwtape’s Materialist Magicians Are Here.