chapter  4
The irresistible escalator
Pages 6

This chapter focuses on prophecies, because they provide a specially clear example. It is a standard charge against religion that it panders to wish-fulfilment, consoling people for their present miseries by promising wonders in the future, thus dishonestly gaining support by dogmatic and unwarranted predictions. Ambiguity of the same fruitful but dangerous kind affects the names of other complex human concerns - names such as morality, politics, art, sport and indeed science. A surprising number of the elements which used to belong to traditional religion have regrouped themselves under the heading of science, mainly around the concept of evolution. Accordingly, 'the aristocracy of scientific intelligence' would give rise to new developments and create a world run increasingly by scientific experts. Scientific institutions would gradually become the government and thus achieve 'a further stage of the Marxian hierarchy of domination'.