Monday, September 26, 2005

For God's Eye

For God’s Eye by Charles Murray was first published in the October/November 2003 edition of The American Enterprise magazine. In the article, Dr. Murray discusses human achievement, specifically in the arts and sciences, and why that achievement has slowed in the 20th Century (and, by extension, in the 21st).

His thesis is as follows:

“One of my most basic conclusions is that a major stream of human accomplishment is
fostered by a culture in which talented people believe that life has a purpose. Likewise,
human accomplishment is fostered by a culture that encourages people to believe they can act efficaciously as individuals, and enables them to do so.

“On both these fronts, Europe is an oddball.Why? The conclusions
I came to are far from original with me, but they have not been fashionable for some decades, so I should state them explicitly: The Greeks laid the foundation for Western achievement in the arts and sciences. But it was the transmutation of that intellectual
foundation by Christianity that gave modern Europe its impetus and that pushed European accomplishment so far ahead of all other cultures around the world. I will add that I reach this conclusion not out of personal religious conviction but as an
agnostic who became persuaded of Christianity’s transforming role by my reading of the historical record.”

Go and read the rest of the article where Dr. Murray makes the case for Thomas Aquinas and what happens when the intellectual elite lose their appreciation for transcendence. It’s well worth the effort. And you’ll discover the reason behind the title of the article and this post.

(H/T: LaShawn Barber )