Wandering Thought # 68

The concern of the inventors of what we today call magical or mythical powers was not factual; the truth of an event was not their primary concern. The motive behind their attempt to explain was the need to place the event under some form of control — and what they placed under the control of a deity the modern scientist places under that of scientific law. Explaining the event in such a way, as the act of a god, placates the fear of being utterly at the mercy of a chaotic unknown acting with complete unreason. Lightning falls because the lightning god wills it — having a reason gives the person a certain measure of control. The lightning god can be propitiated. It was this and not a concern for truth that was behind the first impulse and need for knowledge. Science as refined magic, and man still expanding his horizon of domination and control.

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