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Babbage, Charles - The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise



Type of Spiritual Experience


It is perhaps one of the saddest reflections of the science of our times, that the concept of 'miracles' is not even on the agenda now.  Unusual or inexplicable phenomena are these days dismissed as being 'aberrations' -whatever an aberration is - something that will spoil some fondly held belief of some scientist somewhere.  Worse, those who are at pains to point out these aberrations are often ridiculed.  Occasionally the implication is that they have made the whole thing up.

Thus science has become a religion in which non believers are punished and those who point out the anomolies and the apparent one-off events [often these are not one off at all] are actually persecuted.  Thankfully scientists don't generally hang draw and quarter non believers these days, but as will be apparent from my sources, the non believers get the equivalent verbal treatment and suffer terribly. 

If I put Babbage's well phrased statement into slightly more crude language he was saying that those who don't take notice of the 'miracles' - the aberrations - are truly stupid - or as my mum would have said 'as thick as two short planks'.


A description of the experience

from The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A fragment - Charles Babbage

...........it is more consistent.... to look upon miracles not as deviations from the laws ... of the government of matter and of mind; but as the exact fulfilment of much more extensive laws than those we suppose to exist.  In fact if we were endued with acuter senses and higher reasoning faculties, they are the very points we should seek to observe, as the tests of any hypothesis we had been led to frame concerning the nature of those laws.  Even with our imperfect faculties we frequently arrive at the highest confirmation of our views of the laws of nature, by tracing their action under singular circumstances.


The source of the experience

Babbage, Charles

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





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