…your merchants were the great men of the earth, all nations were led astray by your sorcery. (Rev 18:23)
The Greek word for “sorcery” is φαρμακείᾳ (pharmakeia) — “the use of medicine, drugs or spells”
The second half of the message, then, is the same outcome as Eden: apostasy from God, where man puts himself in the place of God (cf. 2 Thess 2:4). How many have lost their faith in God and His power to heal and deliver us and have closed their churches, depriving many of the sacraments, whilst placing all their faith and hope in science alone (see The Religion of Scientism and The Rise of the Antichurch)?
In order to find an answer to this we must take a look at the foundations of the modern age. These appear with particular clarity in the thought of Francis Bacon. That a new era emerged—through the discovery of America and the new technical achievements that had made this development possible—is undeniable. But what is the basis of this new era? It is the new correlation of experiment and method that enables man to arrive at an interpretation of nature in conformity with its laws and thus finally to achieve “the triumph of art over nature” (victoria cursus artis super naturam). The novelty—according to Bacon’s vision—lies in a new correlation between science and praxis. This is also given a theological application: the new correlation between science and praxis would mean that the dominion over creation—given to man by God and lost through original sin—would be reestablished.
Anyone who reads and reflects on these statements attentively will recognize that a disturbing step has been taken: up to that time, the recovery of what man had lost through the expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith in Jesus Christ: herein lay “redemption”. Now, this “redemption”, the restoration of the lost “Paradise” is no longer expected from faith, but from the newly discovered link between science and praxis. It is not that faith is simply denied; rather it is displaced onto another level—that of purely private and other-worldly affairs—and at the same time it becomes somehow irrelevant for the world. This programmatic vision has determined the trajectory of modern times and it also shapes the present-day crisis of faith which is essentially a crisis of Christian hope… [We] were wrong to believe that man would be redeemed through science. Such an expectation asks too much of science; this kind of hope is deceptive. Science can contribute greatly to making the world and mankind more human. Yet it can also destroy mankind and the world unless it is steered by forces that lie outside it… It is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi,n. 17, 25-26
|↑1||see Warp Speed, Shock and Awe|