Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Why Scientists Have To Be Held Responsible For What They Do, Why Science Can Be More Dangerous Than Religion

Every single one of the myriad of materialist promissory notes issued in the biological sciences, cognitive and neuroscience, in theoretical physics and cosmology is proof of what I said yesterday.   The insistence is that materialism must be true because they insist materialism is true in every one of those.  It's a sort of meta-logical-fallacy, combining everything from question begging* to several fallacies involving other kinds of a priori orthodoxy instead of actual evidence and much more. And it is demanded that that be incorporated into everything science and everything other public discourse does.  And, as ideological materialism is a required article of faith for so many scientists, that kind of thing is embedded in what is considered to be science.  Scientists, especially those who reject philosophical analysis, demand that be included in scientific method.

I have said that I've generally dropped the conventional habit of putting scare quotes around the word "science" when I'm talking about obvious pseudo-science which was or is accepted as science by professional scientists but is now discontinued within science because it lets scientists and the imaginary thing which is science off the hook.

What science is is what scientists say it is at any time to the extent that there is really some thing that can be rationally talked about as "science".  It is whatever it is that scientists accept as being science.  That is as true as what the civil law, "the law"  is.  It is what judges and, under our system, the Supreme Court say it is at any time.  Only they don't claim to produce uniformly settled and eternally valid fact as science is taken as producing.  The holding that all knowledge within science is contingent, always vulnerable to further testing is a reasonable claim that is seldom actually treated as a fact.  It's certainly not the "public understanding of science".   Perhaps if Dawkins had spent more time as a chair dedicated to the understanding of science dedicated to such understanding instead of using his position to write anti-religious screeds, he might have helped change that,  Not that I ever believed he would have an interest in people understanding that.   Dawkins entire career has been spent in producing the kind of science I speak of here.

Science exists nowhere except in the minds and assertions of scientists and those who talk about science.  It is a human invention whose invention can be traced in history and in the history of science, it is a series of consensus agreements on what science is SUPPOSED to be.  That scientists often give their preferred ideas all kinds of exemptions from those supposed methods that comprise science is also a part of science and the history of science, that peer pressure and ideological pressure enter into that is also obvious from the history of science, that is the reason that formerly orthodox science is, when discredited, called "pseudo-science". 

I am through acting as if scientists who allow that are not to a large extent responsible for that situation because what gets called science has such demonstrable power to do harm.

It does quite enough harm by magnifying the power of people to put their will into effect when the science is accurate enough to do that.  When it is driven by ideology, class, gender, ethnic and national interest, financial interest, its potential doesn't only depend on its being an accurate representation of nature, it merely depends on it being believed and that belief controlling the actions of people, of governments, of courts of law.

That so many scientists. even as they shape what science is for their time, share the common prejudices of ordinary lay people, people in a majority of a society, of people whose wealth and power depend on such prejudices, confirming those as having scientific validity is one of the most dangerous forces in the modern world.  In that it serves no purpose different from the perversion of Christianity in the history of Europe but without the fact that virtually every instance of evil done by Popes and "Most Christian Majesties" etc. in history was done against the words of Jesus, of Paul, of The Law and the Prophets.   Science, being totally amoral, moral restraint being held immaterial to its conclusions by mutual consensus, has far more potential to do that than Christianity ever did, than Islam does now.

*  Question begging, begging the question, isn't demanding a question be formed, it is a bad name given for  a situation when a question incorporates the desired conclusions within it.  Where the conclusion is included in the premises of an argument.  The ideology of materialist monism within science and in the pronouncements of many prominent scientists is a massive case of question begging.  A better term for that, less prone to misunderstanding is needed.

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