Men and Mechanism

In 1901, during an interview with a correspondent of the New York Herald, Mrs. Eddy was asked about her attitude toward modern material inventions such as the steam engine and the telephone. It was evidently thought that as a religious leader, deeply committed to the contemplation of spiritual things, she might consider the science of electricity or of engineering too material for consideration.

To the question, "But the pursuit of modern material inventions?" Mrs. Eddy replied: "Oh, we cannot oppose them. They all tend to newer, finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer essences. They light the way to the Church of Christ. We use them, we make them our figures of speech. They are preparing the way for us." The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 345;

However ingenious and helpful a machine may be, it never is more spiritually real than the mortal mind that makes it. Its component parts, skillfully fashioned and assembled by men's hands, are material. And since, as Christian Science explains, matter is the subjective state of mortal thought, a machine can never attain an individuality or status of importance and authority independent of the mortal mind that made it. When this is understood, no engine, computer, or other mechanical gadget can ever become a danger to men's lives or threaten their character or well-being.

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October 10, 1970

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