This one comes from Soren Kierkegaard’s journal (VII A 186) the same year he published his Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Fragments (1846), and it forthrightly witnesses to his repulsion at the triumphalistic Enlightenment perspectives that were carving up the world to quantify it and master it. Here we see Kierkegaard’s heart to preserve the capacity for awe in the face of rumors of intellectual comprehension, and he, better than most in his day, foresaw the risks:
Almost everything that nowadays flourishes most conspicuously under the name of science (especially as natural science) is not really science but curiosity. In the end all corruption will come about as a consequence of the natural sciences… But such a scientific method becomes especially dangerous and pernicious when it would encroach also upon the sphere of spirit. Let it deal with plants and animals and stars in that way; but to deal with the human spirit in that way is blasphemy, which only weakens ethical and religious passion. Even the act of eating is more reasonable than speculating with a microscope upon the functions of digestion… A dreadful sophistry spreads microscopically and telescopically into tomes, and yet in the last resort produces nothing, qualitatively understood, though it does, to be sure, cheat men out of the simple, profound and passionate wonder which gives impetus to the ethical… The only certain thing is the ethical-religious.