The Belief in Authority has moved from Religion to Science

Nowadays, the human being proudly tells himself that he only believes in what he can grasp within himself. However, to one who can look deeper, it seems the belief in authority that used to belong to the religious confessions has merely sprung over to another sphere. Moreover, this sphere is, indefinitely, but with an all the stronger belief therein, what is abstractly called “science”. As soon as the word “science” falls, there rises to the surface in contemporary humanity, the belief in authority from a completely different direction than previously.

To what science establishes as valid, an authority of much higher power than ever before is attributed – for reasons that, in widespread circles, are not entirely clear.

How often one hears today, as the answer to a question arising from the inner being of a person: “Science says this or that.” This generally acknowledged power, namely science, has now claimed all authority for itself. This authority is accepted by those who consider themselves to be knowledgeable of the times they live in, even concerning questions that relate to their worldview as well.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 77a – Die Aufgabe der Anthroposophie gegenüber Wissenschaft und Leben – Darmstadt, July 28, 1921 (page 56-57)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger