Last post I discussed how in Baconian (i.e., modern) science, truth takes a back seat to useful production. It recently occurred to me that the inevitable consequence of setting results (or desire) over truth is the cultural chaos we now live with: in which everyone exalts himself as a little god to reinterpret the world (reality, life, texts, other people) as suits his whimsy or to be pampered by our consumer culture.
Bacon identifies knowledge with production1: man does not so much receive already created forms into his mind, as impose his will on moldable material. To say that we only know in making is to set ourselves up over the whole universe—to usurp a Divine prerogative.2 The simple fact is that only for the Creator is knowledge everywhere identical to production.
The promise to be as gods was first spoken by the Serpent in the Garden. It is likewise the Baconian temptation to which modern man has succumbed, and with whose consequences we now tragically live.
1. This assertion is the basic premise of the modern project, which goes back to Machiavelli, who put ends before truth, but even before with the Nominalists like Occam, who put the will before the intellect.
2. Of course, strictly speaking man creates nothing: he simply rearranges preexisting things. So it should be no surprise that modern philosophers, who take Bacon's premise as an implicit starting point, should conclude that we can likewise know nothing.