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I do not like the pretensions of Government -- the grounds on which it demands my obedience -- to be pitched too high. I don't like the medicine-man's magical pretensions nor the Bourbon's Divine Right. This is not solely because I disbelieve in magic and in Bossuet's Politique. I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands 'Thus saith the Lord', it lies, and lies dangerously.
On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants' 'science'-- they didn't think much of Hitler's racial theories or Stalin's biology. But they can be muzzled.
C. S. Lewis (more quotes by C. S. Lewis or books by/about C. S. Lewis)
(1898-1963), British novelist
Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, first published in The Observer on July 20, 1958
Censorship, Government, Integrity, Medicine, Obedience, Politics, Religion, Science, Theocracy, Tyranny