in “intellectual patterns… which simplyncannot assimilate such an event as an’miracle.'”nMost religionists, of course, professnmerely the title appropriate also to scientists,nthat of “believer.” However,nprophets and saints—including especiallynthose responsible for the scripturalnteachings which incubated Westemnscience—often claim certainty andnactual knowledge, a “more sure word ofnprophecy,” as the Apostle Peter called it.nAnd because such prophets aver directncontact with the inikute mind of God,ntheir claims have at least an epistemologicalnconsistency. Of course, claimantsnto divine revelation have oftenncomplained about the impossibility ofnadequately expressing their experiencenin finite language, have sometimes disagreednwith one another—even withinnthe Judeo-Chrtstian tradition—^and havenprovided no means for an unequivocalnpublic verification of their message.nConsequentiy, attempts to impose universalnacceptance of such propheticnburdens have often resulted in inquisitorialnpersecution and protracted war.nUntil God sees fit to rend the veil andnrender apocalyptic judgment Himself, itntherefore seems best to leave the evaluationnof allegedly inspired testimoniesnlargely to private conscience and prayer.nUnfortunately, however, many championsnof science, with no consistent claimnto anything but provisional faith, havenarrogantiy assumed the task of adjudicatingnpublicly and absolutely all assertionsnof transcendent certainty. The terriblynhubristic character of this adjudicationnis all too evident in social scientistnKen Wilber’s A Sociable God Despite thensubtitle of his book, Wilber is miraculouslyncertain that there really is nontranscendent realm above nature, onlynterrestrial “transpersonal possibilities,”nand that therefore belief in and worshipnof God as an omniscient Father in Heavennis but “childish illusion, magic, myth”ngrounded in “wishful, defensive, compensatorynbelief, created in order to assuageninsecurity/anxiety.” Accordingly,nhe rejoices in the destruction of traditionalnreligion by rationalistic science,nwhich he sees as “perfectly religious” innthat it is “necessary, desirable, appropriate,nphase-specific, and evolutionary.”nThe last adjective is a key term for Wilber,nwho believes, a la Hegel and Tcilhard denChardin (at whose altars he genuflects),nthat mankind is evolving into a gloriousnnew race. More specifically, Wilber hasnno doubt but that men will progressivelyndiscover that “God” is simply “thencrowning level” of our own potentialn”strucmral adaptation,” with pantheistnHindu and Buddhist sages leading thenway to godhood through their “yogicnenlightenment.” But if he is a professedndisciple of the gurus of the Orient, he isnalso clearly in the mrbulent wake of thenWesterner Nietzsche both in his demandnfor a superman and in his expressed willingnessnto cast aside “society’s norms”nand allow the more highly evolved individualnto “norm the norms” himself in annact of radical transvaluation.nNaturally, like a demi-Nietzsche,nWilber is irreconcilably at odds withnJudeo-Christian revelation and henceneither throws it onto a procrustean bednof reinterpretation (Paul’s theophanynon the road to Damascus was just a misinterpretedn”peak experience”) or peremptorilyndiscards it as primitive “myth.”nThe Genesis account of the Fall, recognizednby Kolakowski as “one of the mostnpowerfiil symbols” ever employed bynmen “to grasp, and to make sense of,ntheir lot and their misery,” seems especiallynobnoxious to the god-scientistnWUber:nPostmythic men and women did notnget thrown out of Eden; they grew upnand walked out, and, now assumingnrational and personal responsibilitynfor a measure of their own Uves, standnpreparatory for the next great transformation:nthe God within, not thenFather without.nThe kind of being Wilber wants man tonbecome is precisely “the man-god” predictednand applauded by the Devil in hisnconversation with Ivan in Dostoevski’snnnBrothers Karamazov:n’As soon as men have all denied Godn… the old conception of the universenwill fall of itself. . . and what’s morenthe old morality and everything willnbegin anew…. Man wlU be lifted upnwith a spirit of divine Titanic pridenand the man-god will appear. Extendingnhis conquest of nature by his wiUnand his science, man will feel suchnlofty joy… that it will make up for allnhis old dreams of the joys of heaven.’nHowever, if Wilber’s vaunting rhetoricnonly suj^estively reminds thenreader of Ivan and his encounter withnthe Devil, Kolakowski makes an actualnquote fi-om Dostoevski’s character thenbasis for a brilliant and lucid argimientnwhich, by contrast, makes Wilber’s carefiillyndiagrammed plan Ibr man’s evolutionarynascent to “heaven,” with itsnexplanatory verbiage of pseudoscientificnjargon, seem like nothing more thannthe blueprint for a modem Tower ofnBabel. Using as his point of departurenIvan’s declaration that “If there is nonGod, everything is permissible,” Kola-nSend for your complimentaryncopy of The Rockford Institute’snAnnual Report featuringnthe work of the eminentnartist and designer WarrennChappell.nMail this coupon to:nThe Rockford instituten934 North Main StreetnRockford, IL 61103nNamenAddressnCity State ZipnJune 1983n