The Fear of God and Innovation

Many uncertainties and concerns were coming about in this new age of social, political, and technological revolution. Although quite fascinating, many people found these new technologies to be frightening and unnatural with their immense capabilities. An example of this fear being portrayed through the writing was when Van Helsing was attempting to convince John Sweard of Lucy and other things that he may not, or choose not to, understand. In this passage he said, “Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done today in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very men who discovered electricity – who would themselves, not so long before, have been burned as wizards.” (Stoker, 204) This quote exemplifies the concern and question of religious faith aligning with the innovations being created. Words such as “unholy” and “wizards” create many emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety among people. These emotions also seem to align with the thoughts and feelings about the overall new revolution at that time. For example, with new medical technologies, doctors were able to help people live longer and healthier with their innovations in medical procedures and medicines. Although this was beneficial to the overall health of the population, some were very against it because they saw these practices as interfering with the work of God and his plan for every single person. Interfering with God was especially distressing at this moment in time because a lot of persuasion used to get people to believe, and continue to believe, in God was fear based. Consequences like His wrath and burning in Hell were common themes for people who do not seem to abide by His holy ways. Because of this, people did not want to be seen in any association with something that could be deemed “unholy” by other people, the church, our God Himself. 

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