THIS IS NOT A LOGICAL SYLLOGISM!

THIS IS NOT A LOGICAL SYLLOGISM!

Previously, I summarized my argument as follows:

  1. Human beings evolved from animal ignorance into knowledge over time.
  2. Human beings formed societies long before they came into scientific knowledge.
  3. Science was first supressed - and later employed in the service of ideological power.
  4. Acting upon ideological falsity within a causal reality is the cause of extinction threats bearing down upon humankind.
  5. Therefore, humankind must accept a scientific understanding of reality in common in order to survive.

This list was intended as a summary of the argument I’m making - but not unnaturally, some people assumed it was a sylogism gone wrong. The misunderstanding caused was entirely my fault, and I can only offer my apologies for the confusion. The thread descended into considerable acrimony - with only Moreno escaping with any dignity intact, but also with a post unanswered. I reproduce and answer Moreno’s last post here - just to get the ball rolling. It’s worth checking out because my responses to Moreno’s determined incomprehension answer most FAQ’s.

"mercury wrote:
What was the aim - in each of these cases? Was it systematic knowledge? It wasn’t for Copernicus - though he probably did instinctively adopt almost the whole of scientific method, his aim was a singular truth. I understand what you are saying, and it’s a very reasonable observation. Your knowledge is good, and I am happy to concede that there was a great deal of knowledge in existence before Galileo’s publication. But it’s knowledge of tool use, of herblore, of construction - of artizanery, whereas science is knowledge for the sake of knowing.

Moreno replied: 1) I Think that is an oversimplification of what science is 2) are the motives really the issue and 3) I don’t Think one can really assume the motives of people long dead and I see no reason to assume they, unlike Galilleo - if even this is true - lacked a generalized curiosity. Why should I assume that they only wanted to solve a specific problem. And would this mean someone like Linus Pauling was often acting like a pre-scientist?“”

I say: 1) My little dictionary defines science as ‘systematic knowledge of natural or physical phenomena; truth ascertained by observation, experiment and induction; ordered arrangement of facts; theoretical knowledge as distinguished from practical; knowledge of principles and rules of invention, construction, mechanism etc, as distinguished from art.’
There’s no doubt that some or many of these criteria are met by areas of knowledge long before Galileo was a twinkle in Mr Galilea’s eye, but if you read Descartes’ Meditations - an exact contemporary of Galielo, it’s clear that the basic epistemic questions: ‘What can we know?’ and ‘How can we know it?’ are thought to remain unanswered by the foremost philosophers of the age. I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but still think that identifying Galileo as the ‘father of modern science’ is perfectly reasonable.

  1. Motive is a fair way to condense the argument I made - that science is systematic, knowledge for the sake of knowledge - as opposed to knowledge of tool use, herblore, construction etc, which isn’t generalizing toward universal principles for the sake of explanation. But I fear that when we unzip the concept of motive again, all sorts of monsters leap out. Let’s remember the emphasis is on the definition of science - not the definition of motive. I don’t want to have to imagine what Newton’s motive was for sitting under an apple tree for example - or explain how Flemming’s neglected cheese sanwhich was in any way systematic.

  2. I can’t look up Linus Pauling right now. I’m writing at home - and don’t have internet access. Pauling rings a bell but I can’t place it. Your arguments are argumentative - without really making any point. I seem to recall your first reply to this thread assumed a much earlier origin of science than does my definition. If it’s still your concern to defend that assumption - you’ve done so more than adequately. I admit you have some reasonable points. But unless you think that my employing the term science to refer the method described by Galileo, and body of knowledge, commonly understood as scientific knowledge - is unreasonable, or problematic to my argument, it would help me if you’d explain why, because here again:

"“mercury wrote: I sympathize. That’s exactly how I feel. I don’t think I am missing the point - I understand what you’re saying, and it’s a reasoanable observation, but there is an important distinction between knowledge, and systematic knowledge seeking to etsbalish valid, generalizable principles.
“Moreno replied: But they did that also. And today’s scientists are often seeking to solve specific problems. Are they not scientists? Or not when they do that?””
I say: …I cannot do more than understand your point and recognize the reasonableness of your observations, while nonetheless maintain that my use of the term ‘science’ is entirely reasonable, and accords with common usage.

mercury wrote: All science was supressed
Moreno replied: Um, no. They has been steady increase in knowledge going as far back in time as we can check.
I say: If you will now accept my use of the term ‘science’ as meaning the method described by Galielo - and the practice and body of knowledge commonly understood as science, you don’t need to answer the following question, but if not, please explain what it was that made Galielo ‘vehemently suspect of heresy.’ Explain why Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ raised such a storm of controversy 200 years later - while Flemming’s discovery of penecillin in the midst of WWII was welcomed - if not by the British, by the Americans. My argument is that if science is useful it’s welcome, and if it’s profitable it’s applied, but where it challenges, or disproves ideas which justify the asymetrical distribution of power, wealth, work and resources, it’s ignored. Marx called it hegemonic ideology - I’m being specific in saying that society’s relation to scientific knowledge is the cause of extinction threats bearing down upon humankind. The religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society is false - inconsistant with a scientific understanding of reality, and consequently we use science as a tool while ignoring the meaningful implications of scientific knowledge. But that’s precisely why the world is so screwed up. That’s why humankind is headed for extinction. And that’s what needs to change if we are going to survive.

mercury wrote: …and remains supressed, because we apply science and technology to achieve ideological ends, but do not allow scientific truth to inform those ends.
Moreno replied: Sure, and this includes interscientist suppression. But then this new argument means that we are still not in the scientific period. It did not start to end with Galileo, it still hasn’t arrived. Sicne there was science and suppression Before, and to you that means it was suppressed Before. And it is still like that now.
I say: Interscientist supression - whatever that is - is utterly irrelevent to my theisis. You haven’t understood my argument but are taking a point by point approach, disgareeing with each line - line by line, and consequently failing to see how each line is justified within the context of the overall argument. Please look to the big picture.

Moreno quotes himself: I made the specific Point that Gallileo was challenging something that could make Christianity look wrong. Much of science does not. Darwin was also.“”
Moreno quotes mercury: You can’t pick and choose like that. That’s the significance of the distinction between knowledge and scientific knowledge.
To which Moreno responds: You know what, you are Reading me so terribly, and it favors your generalizations that it is getting offensive. I am not saying it is OK to suppress Galileo. What I have been arguing against is the notion that empirical research began with Galileo. You are picking and choosing. You give me examples of suppression AS IF that demonstrates that there was no science Before those instances, which is a seriuosly flawed argument. My Point was that yes, Galileo was suppressed, because his research challenged specific knowledge of the Church, but knowledge that did not do that was not suppressed by the Church. That was my Point. Not that the Church’s position is OK on Galileo. That other knowledge would still be scientific knowledge, even if other knowledge is being suppressed. Otherwise we have never had scientific knowledge since, as you say, science is suppressed even today.
I say: You can’t pick and choose like that because of the nature of reality and the nature of scientific knowledge. Reality is web of cause and effect relations, and scientific knowledge reflects this. Science generalizes toward universal principles because reality is all inter-connected, and so is scientific explanation. The same physical principles that explain planetary motion are the same principles that explain the motion of waves in the ocean, or how computers work, or crash test dummies. And these physical principles blend into chemistry, which blends into biology. Whereas, the same cannot be said for example, of herblore and metallurgy - which are knowledge, but not systematic.

mercury wrote: After 1650, when the Holy Roman Empire disbanded and the Treaty of Westphalia established nation states as soveriegn entities - such a grip on the mind of Kings had the Empirical norm, each of the newly established European nation-states went out into the world and tried building itself an empire. By some considerable margin the British Empire was the largest, and at one time 2/3rds of the globe was Imperial Pink - and it was said, the sun never sets on the British Empire. In defence of the enslavement of the native peoples of the Empire, Empirical ambitions were defended as a ‘Christian civilizing mission’ - and forced conversion to Christianity took place on a massive scale.
Moreno replied: You seem to be confusing my posts with posts that support imperialism or Christianity. Notice that. That said, you cannot have an empire like the British empire without science. Even if some or even most science is suppressed. So some of your earlier assertions are simply wrong.
I say: I’m not confusing your posts with posts that support Christianity or Imperialism, but trying to explain how the Church’s attitude to scientific knowledge back in the 1630’s effects us even unto this day. This passage is intended to explain the historic background to the development of the nation state concept, and how it was imposed upon the rest of the world - in response to your argument that ‘Christinaity isn’t everywhere.’ At the Treaty of Westphalia (1650) national soveriegnty was premised upon ‘the divine rights of kings’ - and thus, nation states inherited a backward relation to scientific knowledge from the Church. Nation states were no more able to acknowledge rational knowledge than the Church was, for fear it could contradict the basis of the authority of the monarch and aristocracy. I’m not saying science wasn’t used. From the 1730’s onward - science was applied to industrial production, giving us the period commonly known as the Industrial Revolution, (which is not to say no industry or production took place before then) but the meaningful implications of scientific knowledge were still ignored, and remain so unto this day. This is the supression of which I speak - i.e. using science as a tool while ignoring scientific knowledge as a rule for the conduct of hman affairs.

Mercury wrote: If you look at a map, you’ll find that the prime meridian runs through London, so the whole of the world’s calanders and clocks are set with reference to how far east they are from London. Then the mapping of territories, divided up with a ruler (look at Africa) and claimed by European powers. Then there’s capitalism - a development from the promissory note invented by the Church, to the founding document ‘The Wealth of Nations’ written by a Bristish economist, Adam Smith in 1776. Add to this the dominance of American culture since - a cineplex showing the Matrix, a Gap, a Starbuck’s and a McDonald’s on every high street in every two horse town in the world. But I sense you’re going to dismiss all this by saying…there’s a tribe in Paupua New Guinea (who’s children have never worked in a Nike factory for thruppence a day. Well, they will.)
Moreno replied: I just want to Point out one more time what I pointed out above but in context now. You are basically defending the rationality of science against anything else. While doing this you respond to me as if I have made arguments I have not made, and repeatedly.
I say: I’m simply trying to explain my argument. This isn’t personal. I’m not accusing you of anything more or less than not yet understanding my argument.

mercury wrote: ‘I’ve made comments on this subject above - and I stick by my distinction - that while there was a great deal of knowledge in the world before Galielo, it was not the systematic knowledge for knowledge sake that is science. I’m not seeking to exclude all other knowledge from any merit whatsoever…
Moreno replied: Hm, so now it is knowledge. BEfore there was no knowledge except scientific knowledge. And this must be non-scientific knowledge - even though it led to heleocentric conclusions - and on good grounds - Before Galileo, and a whole mass of technological devices, agriculture, architecture, and so on. So note, you have either acknowledged that there was scientific empiricism Before Galileo OR you have acknolwedged that there are other routes to knowledge. I am happy with either concession.
I say: I have repeatedly conceded that there are other forms of knowledge than scientific knowledge, earlier than Galieo. I don’t know if you’ve read Homers’ ‘Odyssey’ - but it’s amazing to think that was 5000 years ago. I confirm there was knowledge of literature, art, architecture, mathematics, herblore, navigation, and so on. It seems to me though that you don’t appreciate what makes science different from other bodies of knowledge. I’m not sure I can do so in a very few words - it’s something that has to be understood. But I’m not trying to fool you - or just win the argument. Science as I’ve defined it, in accord with common usage - is distinct from the supernaturalism of religious ‘knowledge’ - and the practical knowledge of agriculture, pottery, construction, etc - that preceeded it. Science is not just made up but what’s scientifically valid is necessarily so because it explains the evidence. What makes it different is the systematic nature of scientific knowledge, the exclusion of unnecessary factors, the generalization toward universal principles or laws - all things I have cited in my previous explanations, but which don’t seem to satisfy you or enlighten me as to the nature of your issue.

Moreno: ““As a tangent, we will never get away from values dictating the use of scientific knowledge.””
mercury: But there’s a significant difference between values informed by valid knowledge - and values drawing upon the false understanding of reality described by religious, political and economic ideology.
Moreno: NO, there isn’t. A communist or capitalist can be informed by utterly immaculate scientific research and use it the wrong way according to some really quite rational people and the right way according to some other really quite rational people. Why? Because science doesn’t generate values.
I say: Direct contradiction is problematic because all I can do now is re-contradict. So, YES, there is…a significant difference between values informed by valid knowledge and values drawn from an ideological misconception of reality. For instance, the Cold War - and the policy of mutually assured destruction. This collective insanity occured because one group of human beings identified by belief in one set of ideological lies disagreed with another group of human beings identified by beliefe in another set of ideological lies. If both groups accepted that, in fact - the scientific truth of the matter is that all human beings are members of the same species, all living on the same planet, they wouldn’t have had the motive to build 70,000 nuclear bombs and threaten the world with destruction. That was the world I was born into. I remember upon learning this - I thought: ‘How dare they?’ But it’s not really anyone’s fault. It’s a consequence of the exclusive nature of ideologies, that divide humankind into ‘us’ who believe in ABC, and ‘them’ who believe in XYZ. But neither ABC nor XYZ are true. Science is *true. Drawing your values, your motives and purposes from ideas that are untrue divides humankind. Communists value ‘equality’ and capitalists value ‘liberty’ - but should instead both value TRUTH. Sceintific knowledge may not achieve TRUTH in an ideal sense - but always aims at truth, while remaining open to revision in face of further evidence. And this is ultimately what my pohilosophical aim is, to show that science is the perfect ligua franca for humankind, now coming to realize that the world isn’t as big as it once seemed.

mercury:A value consistent with a scientific understanding of reality might be environmental sustainability
Moreno: Sure, I would love that, but that means priorities you and I have, which cannot be proven correct scientifically are put first. The social darwinists may even Think they can demonstrate we are being unnatural.
I say: Proven?? Is ‘private profit’ proven? Is ‘national interest’ proven? I’ve had a lot of grief with the ought-is argument, but it’s not the huge problem philosphers seem to think it is. What’s the alternative to sustainability? Not sustainable? It’s not an option, while nonethless being the likely consequence of continuing in the course of religious, political and economic ideology. The current ideological architecture describing our jigsaw puzzle world made up of nation-state shaped pieces in capitalist competition is not sustainable - and we need a new way forward. I believe the right, and only viable way forward is to accept a scientific understanding of reality in common as a basis to apply technology - not irrespective of national economic interests exactly, but looking at it scientifically first, identifying the problems and devising the best technological solutions, and only then considering the implications for ideological entities such as nation states, banks and companies.

Moreno: Though it would also be an idealogy that would lead us to invest that Money.“”
mercury: Money is not a real thing. It’s an abstract representation of the value inherent to goods and services. But we think of it as a real thing, and value, and seek to accumulate money for its own sake. This compound of fictions fundamentally changes our relationship to reality; to knowledge, to people and to ‘resources’ - which is what we used to call the natural world. On knowledge think of pharma comapnies that spend on R+D for the ailments of white, fat, bald, flaccid men because that’s where the money is - while millions die of preventable disease, for which cures exist under patent. On people, your own example above is fine so long as you recognize the economic motive driving the particular application of technology, i.e. the production line, that so dehumanizes workers. On resources - well, there’s simply no recognition anywhere in the cannon of capitlast theory that there’s limits to resources, but there a universal motive, nay - obligation to exploit them to exhaustion. The sum total is extinction - no pounds, no pence, a value of zero.

Moreno: Sure, fine, but that’s not really the Point. The Point is to carry out your plan would mean convincing people that it was the right thing to do. YOur whole Money thing here is a tangent. I couldn’t know I should have used language that fits a barter-based anarchistic society that I would likely love, but which does not exist.
I say: On money - I’m not suggesting a return to a barter system. That would be impossible on anything but the smallest scale. All I’m doing is, again, trying to explain the considerations that bring me to the conclusion that humankind must accept a scientific understanding of reality in common to survive. One of those considerations, I was trying to explain here - is that money isn’t a real thing - and so what’s profitable isn’t the same as what’s true or what’s right. Treating money as if it were real, distorts our motives and makes civilization unsustainable. But that doesn’t mean Government issued denim overalls and Soylant Green for tea. In the short to medium term, everything would stay just the same as it is now, except that - accepting a scientific understanding fo reality in common we’d have a basis for addressing the energy crisis and climate change as the global reality that it is. Further change would occur as a consequence of solving the energy crisis in such a way as to address climate change - for this would give future generations the ability to overcome poverty without simply adding 3 billion consumers to the already unsustainable bonfire of the vanities that is capitalism.

Moreno quotes mercury: I just don’t see it that way, perhaps because I don’t have a false wall up between science and the rest of the world. I don’t accept that any science has ever suggested, less yet proven that ‘humans and other life forms are…(only) very complicated chemical Machines.’
Moreno replies: You need to convince the scientific and Medical communities of this.
I say: As for this suggestion that scientific knowledge diminnishes what it is to be a human being - I don’t buy it at all. It’s a justification of the supression of science by ideology, and it’s wrong. Yes, medicine is science, and the human body can be viewed as a chemical machine, but there’s 7 billion of these machines on the planet. If medicine is guilty of the dehumanization of which you accuse it, why struggle to save every life? And don’t say that’s the law, or government policy. Doctors believe in what they do. They swear an oath!

mercury: It’s a religious terror of truth that makes these implications without understanding.
Moreno: What?! From my Reading of your posts, frankly, I Think you have less of a scientific education than I do.
I say: From not understanding what you’re reading - you mean!

mercury wrote: In the ‘Origin of Species’ Darwin wrote: ‘There is gradeuar in this view of life…’
Moreno replied: Darwin is not evidence of the current paradigm. Did you Think I was something like a creationist? Man you have too few boxes in your worldview. I don’t have the slightest problem with the theory of evolution. It may surprise you to know that the Chemistry of genetics started a good ways after Darwin. Why…I don’t know how to put this, but DNA wasn’t discovered until long after him, and then, well today, hm, the notion of us as chemical Machines is, well, pretty common and not just in technology. And hell, grandeur of Machines is not a contradiction. There is so much confusion in this response, I don’t even know where to begin.

I say: Well I do. My comment about Darwin here is not directly addressing the people as machines issue, but making a more general point about the many different facets to the supression of science. One of them is your suggestion that science treats people as machines, because science is spiritually bankrupt and morally vacuous - if not actually evil. I’m not seeking to suggest that you are particularly religious - I don’t know your personal views, but the origins of this mistake are religious - and the ideological architecture of society: religious dogma, political philosophy, and economic theory are overlapping areas of ‘knowledge’ - each developed within a social context described by the others, and which have to belittle science because they are not true.
For what it’s worth - I see what you’re saying when you say that DNA wasn’t discovered until after Darwin’s theory of evolution was published, that’s true - but it doesn’t have the implications you imagine. The modern paradigm is callled the neo-darwinian synthesis, and is a combination of Dariwnian evolutionary theory proven by genetic science. Nonetheless, there is no less grandeur today than when Darwin published Origin; science as medicine is no more mechanistic today for the discovery of DNA.
Rather, as is consistent with my theory - what you are saying about medicine treating people as chemical machines is saying essentially the same as a thousand Hollywood movies, where the mad professor threatens to unleash some scientific horror upon the world, until men of faith, draped in the American flag, ride in and save the day. Like ‘cowboys and Indians’ movies sought to justify the genocide of the Native American people. But science isn’t really wearing a black hat, or a feather head-dress, science isn’t savage, nor evil, nor horrifc - but relative to religious, political and economic ideologies that are just made up, science is true, and that’s the real problem for a world that’s a lie from top to bottom and from east to west. That’s why science is supressed, which is not to say that science isn’t used, but it’s used to further ideological ends, while scientific knowledge is not allowed to inform those ends. So we end up drilling for oil in the arctic - rather than using renewable energy. It’s why we’re burning the forests rather than developing wasteland for agriculture. Because it’s profitable or in the national interest - when money and nation states are not real things - scientifically speaking. Scientifically speaking we can easily solve these problems and live well and indefinitely, but carry on as we are and we are doomed. Choose!

Moreno wrote: LOL. You seem like a nice guy, but this was a really rude, but more importantly confused post. Mull over your own assumptions or don’t. Up to you. But if you Think the only critique you are going to get is from monotheists, you are seriuosly confused about your own position and the World and its inhabitants. I don’t Think you understood the Point that led you off on the anti-creationist rant. And then the other loopiness I already pointed out above. You’ll pardon me but I won’t read your posts any more. My sense is that you need to learn more about philosophy, the philosophy of science and history of science - and toss in some Feyarabend, please, you won’t agree with him, but I Think his position will show your a very informed non-religious critique of your position - AND LEARN TO ACTUALLY READ THE PEOPLE YOU ARE RESPONDING TO. Because for a defender of reason against ideology, you come off really rather extremely ideological. take care.

TO ALL POTENTIAL POSTERS: It should be obvious to you that Moreno doesn’t understand the argument I’m making, and therefore doesn’t understand how each of my comments fit within the context of the overall argument. It’s quite reassuring in a way, for it confirms I am saying something that puts such an entirely different spin on so many issues, someone who doesn’t understand where I’m coming from is cast into utter confusion - or rather, assumes that I am. If however, it seems to you that I’m “seriously confused about [my] own position and the world and its inhabitants” then let me assure you - you haven’t understood the argument. There is a consistent theory behind my arguments, but it’s rather counter-intuitive and difficult for some people to grasp. The chief virtue of my philosophy is that it explains the cause of threats to humankind, and the solution in the same terms - which I hope you would agree, is worth a little extra effort to get your head around before disagreeing with every little point - and so never seeing the overall picture.

mercury.

You idealize scientific knowledge and demonize other kinds of knowledge.

You have the one true solution to our problems.

Anybody who does not agree with you, does not understand.

Interesting. Sounds like a religion. :-k

Phyllo,

“You idealize scientific knowledge and demonize other kinds of knowledge.”
I wasn’t asware that I ‘idealized’ or ‘demonized’ anything or anyone? You suggest unreasonableness, but can you indicate what exactly it was you think unreasonable??

“You have the one true solution to our problems.”
Problems? The human species is headed for extinction - but we needn’t be. It’s not inevitable. That’s what I aim to show.

“Anybody who does not agree with you does not understand.”
That’s a generalization based on a single example - that of Moreno, who clearly doesn’t understand. That’s fine - not least because it’s quite useful to me to further explanation of my argument. But like I said, it’s a rather counter-intuitive argument likely to be misunderstood by people who take a line by line approach. You have to look at the whole thing first - then each line makes sense. Are you saying you understand what I’m saying - but disagree?

“Interesting. Sounds like a religion.”
Perhaps that’s because what I suggest should have happened back in the 1630’s - that didn’t happen, is the Church should have recognized science as the means to establish valid knowledge of reality/Creation. Had they granted scientific knowledge spiritual worth, rather than casting science as something between vacuous and evil, scientifically valid knowledge would have been respected and integrated on an ongoing basis into the political and economic ideological architecture of society. That kind of sanctification of science is probably unlikely this far down the wrong road - and would in any case be of dubious worth to science and humankind.
Wierdly, the Church accepts heliocentrism and evolution now, but with qualifications - like they have the right to impose conditions on truth. As bizzare as that is, what’s worse is accepting scientific truths on a case by case basis, which is of course ludicrous, for science is an inter-related, mutually affirming body of knowledge. This only demonstrates that they haven’t addressed the epistemic fault I call the Grand Mistake made back in the 1630’s - and how can they? They have nailed their flag to the mast of faith, an epistemological approach proven wrong by Galielo, and every scientific discovery and advance since then.
Ultimately what I’m saying is that science should have been part of the spiritual life of the species, but whether that can ever be achieved now, I don’t know. I’m not promoting the religious observance of science - but merely trying to show why valid knowledge is necessary, and the right way, and a sufficient basis to address threats caused by ignoring the meaningful implications while using science as a tool to achieve ideological ends.

mercury.

Phyllo,

“You idealize scientific knowledge and demonize other kinds of knowledge.”
I wasn’t asware that I ‘idealized’ or ‘demonized’ anything or anyone? You suggest unreasonableness, but can you indicate what exactly it was you think unreasonable??

“You have the one true solution to our problems.”
Problems? The human species is headed for extinction - but we needn’t be. It’s not inevitable. That’s what I aim to show.

“Anybody who does not agree with you does not understand.”
That’s a generalization based on a single example - that of Moreno, who clearly doesn’t understand. That’s fine - not least because it’s quite useful to me to further explanation of my argument. But like I said, it’s a rather counter-intuitive argument likely to be misunderstood by people who take a line by line approach. You have to look at the whole thing first - then each line makes sense. Are you saying you understand what I’m saying - but disagree?

“Interesting. Sounds like a religion.”
Perhaps that’s because what I suggest should have happened back in the 1630’s - that didn’t happen, is the Church should have recognized science as the means to establish valid knowledge of reality/Creation. Had they granted scientific knowledge spiritual worth, rather than casting science as something between vacuous and evil, scientifically valid knowledge would have been respected and integrated on an ongoing basis into the political and economic ideological architecture of society. That kind of sanctification of science is probably unlikely this far down the wrong road - and would in any case be of dubious worth to science and humankind.
Wierdly, the Church accepts heliocentrism and evolution now, but with qualifications - like they have the right to impose conditions on truth. As bizzare as that is, what’s worse is accepting scientific truths on a case by case basis, which is of course ludicrous, for science is an inter-related, mutually affirming body of knowledge. This only demonstrates that they haven’t addressed the epistemic fault I call the Grand Mistake made back in the 1630’s - and how can they? They have nailed their flag to the mast of faith, an epistemological approach proven wrong by Galielo, and every scientific discovery and advance since then.
Ultimately what I’m saying is that science should have been part of the spiritual life of the species, but whether that can ever be achieved now, I don’t know. I’m not promoting the religious observance of science - but merely trying to show why valid knowledge is necessary, and the right way, and a sufficient basis to address threats caused by ignoring the meaningful implications while using science as a tool to achieve ideological ends.

mercury.

Demonize:

You frequently write things like that. It can’t all be false, it can’t all be untrue. Nobody would base civilization on a complete falsehood. All those areas contain truths.
Idealize:
You make it sound like there is one agreed scientific truth. That’s not the way science works.
The jury has ruled on a 400 year old theory. A current theory is not yet ‘true’. Theory A has a number of supporters and theory B has a number of supporters. Experiments may be interpreted in a number of ways. Data is rarely completely conclusive. The ‘truth’ of the theories is uncertain.

Scientists are human. They have their own interests and agendas. They try to get funding for their own projects. They lie about the merit of their own and other projects. They distort the value of research.

One solution:
You have an interest in hydrogen and geothermal. If you interviewed scientists and engineers, you would get a wide range of proposed solutions to the problems. There is no true solution… there are multiple possibilities and an enthusiast behind each one. And no scientific way of deciding between them. You can run small scale trials and evaluate the results. And you will get disagreement on what the results mean and how to proceed in the future.

Yes. Your concept is not particularly complex. It’s just impossible to implement because it is based on various misunderstandings of science, ideology and human nature.

It’s not ludicrous at all. We are proposing theories, using approximations, guessing about important factors, interpreting imperfect data. We do not have a puzzle and a picture on the box. We are forming the pieces of the puzzle… one which we do not fully understand. Some theories are completely wrong and some are partially wrong.

I still think history has shown us that radically unscientific belief systems or political theories are widely capable of dealing with society’s problems, and that gigantic catastrophes are more often than not caused by revolutionary changes to society like the one the OP proposes.

Why do we need science? Because those who proposed it want it.

What do you have to prove as a Scientist? Want.

Were human kind living naturally, the answer is yes. Were human kind cared for, the answer is yes. This is an informed review also substantiated via objective study via the ancient incidences providing the medicinal evidence of caring for humanity.

Then there is introduced life style…this supports the Scientific exploration and what exploration provides…without thinking about the implications it causes.

When do human beings question the reality of their life…when something goes wrong.

Does Science provide the evidence for the “something that goes wrong” or does common sense provide the evidence.

Common sense actually provides the evidence because Scientific exploration supports the life style and how many humans would actually question the life style until that style begins to destroy their ability to live?

Argument…scientist against scientist arguing over theories, ethics and data.

Common sense…can see it all.

Some feedback on the way you think in writing. 1) Notice how two of my points are about motivation, since you raised the issue of why people are trying to find knowledge and made some assertions about their motivations. Nothing in the dictionary or your response addresses my points. Nevertheless you write as if you are responding to these points. This is confusing for a number of reasons, since I am left unsure if you understood or if you understood by decided not to respond to points you had no argument against or some if there is some other kind of confusion or rhetorical manipulation on your part. 2) You manipulatively reframe the issue in your conclusion. You frame the issue, now, as calling Galileo is the father of modern science is perfectly reasonable. This was not the kind of assertion I objected to in the other thread, where you made blanket statements about what went on before Galileo and about knowlede in general. 3) You have a cherry picking style. In a very non-scientific way, you move from the fact that Descartes raised epistemological issues to the conclusion that epistemological questions remained unanswered then, and draw the conclusion that therefore nothing before that could have been modern science. This is confused reasoning on a number of levels. AND NOTE AGAIN: it is not science. You are stating as if it is knowledge conclusions not drawn from scientific research. In fact you are drawing conclusions from a reading of descartes and some pretty wild deduction from there. IOW not empirical research. For example you could find epistemological arguments today amongst philosophers. Does this mean that modern science has not happened yet? Does it matter that you only cite one philosopher? Does empirical research show that what prominent philosophers mull over in their works is a good indicator of what has gone before and what goes after in terms of the history of science?

Your main idea is that without science being the only agreed on route to knowledge, we will have worldwide problems. Yet, your own way of demonstrating this is to use ‘knowledge’ you have arrived at through non-scientific processes. Add into to that that the non-scientific processes you use, you do not use well, and it is even more strange. Add in beyond that that you are not really addressing the issues I raised in this first point, despite shifting to a whole new thread to begin again on more solid ground. Last add in that you are, perhaps accidently but conveniently, reframing issues and your own position without acknowledging it, and the whole thing seems fairly absurd to me.

Frankly I get tired of the science is the only route to knowledge crowd that allows itself to arrive at knowledge through non-scientific routes AND does not seem to notice what they are actually doing in their own ‘reasoning’. It comes off as religious posting and/or political rhetoric. Which is ironic in the extreme. Get it, ideology. You are an ideologist arguing against ideology, using the common tricks and fallacies of ideologues.

Now perhaps the rest of this post did not include this kidn of mess. But frankly I don’t have the energy to try again, given what I experienced in the last thread. That first paragraph was enough. Seriously mull it over. Why do you get a pass on ideology but those you are arguing against do not? Waht is actually going on?

Point of order - it’s always employed in the service of ideological power.

No, there are lots of extinction threats that have nothing to do with ideology.
Viruses aren’t political, except for the engineered ones - and who’s to say there’s an ideological falsity there? It’s precisely the profound scientific understanding of the universe that allows them to be created.
A town-sized meteor is profoundly unideological, besides its unswerving obedience to the laws of gravity and momentum.

The common understanding won’t matter a jot without a common ideology. Science tells us how things are, and with more limited success how things could be; how things should be is ideology’s job. Policy is at base a matter of values, priorities and risk acceptance.

In any case, all you can say is that scientific understanding gives us a better chance of survival, because the knowledge is not complete. If scientists calculate mass immunisation within a week is the only protection from a world-ending plague, but an unknown side-effect in the new vaccine kills everyone after ten days, the religious nuts who thought immunisation was against the will of God will inherit the earth. The danger of knowledge is the seduction of thinking that it extends beyond its boundaries, and misunderstanding the complexity of the systems you tinker with. Heuristics can be much safer than knowledge.

Phyllo,

‘…all those areas contain truths.’

As part of the background of my theory I speculate on the origin of the concept of God in the evolutionary history of humankind. Stripping the concept of God down to its most basic state - it’s the artifact/artificer relation. Creator and created is the same relationship between the made object - i.e. the artifact, and the maker of the object, i.e. the artificer. The concept is present in the instinctual behaviours of animals - like the smells or sounds of animals that suggest predators or prey.
Thus, I suspect, in the upper neolithic a homo-sapien, (of the kind that had been wandering around the plains for about 1.5 million years with little change in physique, diet or behaviour in all that time) - came across an artifact of some kind, like a footprint in the mud, and for the first time ever intellectualized the question: ‘who made this?’ Once that question had been asked it could be applied to anything - ‘who made this?’ ‘who made that?’ ‘who made me?’ ‘who made the world?’ - and we can know this because soon after humans began asking: ‘what can I make?’ Described as the ‘creative explosion’ (Pfieffer) - there’s a sudden flowering of art, impoved tools, decorated graves, jewlery and so on, that didn’t exist before.
The point of all this is identifying the ‘truth’ underlying the God concept - and I’d concede that the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society is made up of ideas of this kind, with some sort of underlying intellectual basis coupled with a degree of utility, but which are not ‘true’ in the sense that a scientific fact is true.

‘Idealize…’
The picture of reality described by well-established, middle ground scientific facts is not at all disputed. The earth is spherical, in orbit around the sun, is 4 billion years old and wieghs 16 quadrillion tonnes, is 7/10ths covered in water, which is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. This level of factual understanding is not a matter of dispute - even if quantum physics remains to be integrated, even if the ‘first cause’ question remains unanswered, we know enough we need to know to know that cutting down all the trees is not a good idea - but are doing so anyway. A couple of hundred years ago, we thought we could plunder the natural world without consequence. It’s in the Bible: man shall have dominion… It was in this context the nation state and capitalist system were constructed - and we continue to this day without regard to limits to resources…even while knowing they are limited. That’s the problem in a nutshell. That’s what I mean by untrue.

‘Scientists are human…’
Scientists work within the context of the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society. Governments do what’s in the national interest. Companies do what’s profitable. Neither of these are the same as what’s necessary to the survival of the human species. That question can only be addressed on the basis of the kind of factual understanding of reality described above.

‘One solution…’
There are perhaps many ways to address the energy crisis in a manner consistent with addressing climate change. I favour a global solution - and I favour tapping into the heat energy of the earth, because I think that would be the most effecient solution, and would require the global cooperation necessary to address further threats such as poverty/population, deforestation and overfishing, pollution and so on. We could clad all the building in solar panels, put windmills on every hilltop, electric snakes in the waves off every shoreline, and maybe gather the same amount of low grade energy as is present as high grade heat energy in the earth’s molten core - but I suspect it would require a lot more machinery. Isn’t that a scientific reason? I would expect expert advice would be sought between this page and the big switch on!

‘‘Yes. Your concept is not particularly complex. It’s just impossible to implement because it’s based on various misunderstandings of science, ideology and human nature.’’
Ouch! Would you care to elaborate?

'‘It’s not ludicrous at all…’
It says in the Bible that the earth is fixed in the heavens. Is it? The Church now accepts heliocentrism, so no. So, is the Bible the word of God? If so…was God lying or mistaken? That’s what’s ludicrous. The only answer is to accept that human beings evolved from ignorance into knowledge over time, and wrote the Bible on the way. Which would have been fine if in 1630 they’d have embraced Galileo and thanked him for giving them the ability to establish valid knowledge of reality/Creation - but they didn’t, and so now the political and economic ideological architecture has no formal relation to truth, and you can’t accept the obvious truth, but surrounded by science based technological miracles, run down scientific knowledge like it can’t distinguish between an arse and an elbow. That’s ludicrous. That’s the human nature I don’t understand, and why these ideas are so difficult to put accross - because they’re contrary to the whole of the ideological structure of society. But I’m right - all alone, but right nonetheless.

mercury.

Uccisore,

It’s a good point and quite concisely put. Quoting from the OP:

‘…is not sustainable and we need a new way forward. I believe the right, and only viable way forward is to accept a scientific understanding of reality in common as a basis to apply technology, not irrespective of national economic interests exactly, but looking at it scientifically first, identifying the problems and devising the best technological solutions, and only then considering the implications for ideological entities such as nation states, banks and companies.’

Initially at least, I’m not suggesting anything more than agreeing a scientific understanding of reality as a basis to address the energy crisis and climate change - which isn’t that revolutionary. You might even argue that the concept of a ‘public good’ has long been recognized in capitalist political theory. The reason I think the energy crisis and climate change are global scale puiblic goods is that acting in the course of ideology - nation states at climate change summits cannot look beyond the national economic interest to the global reality of the matter. They don’t even talk about the looming energy crisis, but the limits of fossil fuels are on the horizon, while nations are technologically and economically addicted. They’ve serially failed to make real progress on climate - and are leaving the energy crisis to the market - in the hope that somehow it will become economically rational to stop using the established technology and invest in a whole new infrastructure? It’s not going to happen - so they’ll run out and nuke eachother. There’s about 50 years worth of oil left. I don’t see any solution coming out of the accident of inter-ideology that is international relations. We need a different basis of analysis, and science is the only concievable basis upon which I suggest all can agree, because, as well as being valid knowledge, it’s objective with respect to all particular interests. (Further though, because reality is causal, there’s a relationship between the validity of the knowledge bases of action and the ultimate consequences - which is to say, because it’s true, it’ll work.)
I appreciate that seems wrong, because we’ve been acting upon ‘ideological falsity’ all this time - and have built societies that, while far from being perfect are pretty damned good if you’ve got a roof over your head and enough money to live on. But even so we’ve gone from hunter gatherers to looking extinction in the eye in a few thousand years. Stacked up against the millions of years of our evolutionary history - civilization is a disaster for humankind and for life on earth. We’ve decimated the planet and will kill ourselves if we carry on like this. If civilization fails then it’s all been for nothing, and humankind will have been nothing but a scourge.

mercury.

Phyllo,

‘…all those areas contain truths.’

As part of the background of my theory I speculate on the origin of the concept of God in the evolutionary history of humankind. Stripping the concept of God down to its most basic state - it’s the artifact/artificer relation. Creator and created is the same relationship between the made object - i.e. the artifact, and the maker of the object, i.e. the artificer. The concept is present in the instinctual behaviours of animals - like the smells or sounds of animals that suggest predators or prey.
Thus, I suspect, in the upper neolithic a homo-sapien, (of the kind that had been wandering around the plains for about 1.5 million years with little change in physique, diet or behaviour in all that time) - came across an artifact of some kind, like a footprint in the mud, and for the first time ever intellectualized the question: ‘who made this?’ Once that question had been asked it could be applied to anything - ‘who made this?’ ‘who made that?’ ‘who made me?’ ‘who made the world?’ - and we can know this because soon after humans began asking: ‘what can I make?’ Described as the ‘creative explosion’ (Pfieffer) - there’s a sudden flowering of art, impoved tools, decorated graves, jewlery and so on, that didn’t exist before.
The point of all this is identifying the ‘truth’ underlying the God concept - and I’d concede that the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society is made up of ideas of this kind, with some sort of underlying intellectual basis coupled with a degree of utility, but which are not ‘true’ in the sense that a scientific fact is true.

‘Idealize…’
The picture of reality described by well-established, middle ground scientific facts is not at all disputed. The earth is spherical, in orbit around the sun, is 4 billion years old and wieghs 16 quadrillion tonnes, is 7/10ths covered in water, which is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. This level of factual understanding is not a matter of dispute - even if quantum physics remains to be integrated, even if the ‘first cause’ question remains unanswered, we know enough we need to know to know that cutting down all the trees is not a good idea - but are doing so anyway. A couple of hundred years ago, we thought we could plunder the natural world without consequence. It’s in the Bible: man shall have dominion… It was in this context the nation state and capitalist system were constructed - and we continue to this day without regard to limits to resources…even while knowing they are limited. That’s the problem in a nutshell. That’s what I mean by untrue.

‘Scientists are human…’
Scientists work within the context of the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society. Governments do what’s in the national interest. Companies do what’s profitable. Neither of these are the same as what’s necessary to the survival of the human species. That question can only be addressed on the basis of the kind of factual understanding of reality described above.

‘One solution…’
There are perhaps many ways to address the energy crisis in a manner consistent with addressing climate change. I favour a global solution - and I favour tapping into the heat energy of the earth, because I think that would be the most effecient solution, and would require the global cooperation necessary to address further threats such as poverty/population, deforestation and overfishing, pollution and so on. We could clad all the building in solar panels, put windmills on every hilltop, electric snakes in the waves off every shoreline, and maybe gather the same amount of low grade energy as is present as high grade heat energy in the earth’s molten core - but I suspect it would require a lot more machinery. Isn’t that a scientific reason? I would expect expert advice would be sought between this page and the big switch on!

‘‘Yes. Your concept is not particularly complex. It’s just impossible to implement because it’s based on various misunderstandings of science, ideology and human nature.’’
Ouch! Would you care to elaborate?

'‘It’s not ludicrous at all…’
It says in the Bible that the earth is fixed in the heavens. Is it? The Church now accepts heliocentrism, so no. So, is the Bible the word of God? If so…was God lying or mistaken? That’s what’s ludicrous. The only answer is to accept that human beings evolved from ignorance into knowledge over time, and wrote the Bible on the way. Which would have been fine if in 1630 they’d have embraced Galileo and thanked him for giving them the ability to establish valid knowledge of reality/Creation - but they didn’t, and so now the political and economic ideological architecture has no formal relation to truth, and you can’t accept the obvious truth, but surrounded by science based technological miracles, run down scientific knowledge like it can’t distinguish between an arse and an elbow. That’s ludicrous. That’s the human nature I don’t understand, and why these ideas are so difficult to put accross - because they’re contrary to the whole of the ideological structure of society. But I’m right - all alone, but right nonetheless.

mercury.

Uccisore,

It’s a good point and quite concisely put. Quoting from the OP:

‘…is not sustainable and we need a new way forward. I believe the right, and only viable way forward is to accept a scientific understanding of reality in common as a basis to apply technology, not irrespective of national economic interests exactly, but looking at it scientifically first, identifying the problems and devising the best technological solutions, and only then considering the implications for ideological entities such as nation states, banks and companies.’

Initially at least, I’m not suggesting anything more than agreeing a scientific understanding of reality as a basis to address the energy crisis and climate change - which isn’t that revolutionary. You might even argue that the concept of a ‘public good’ has long been recognized in capitalist political theory. The reason I think the energy crisis and climate change are global scale puiblic goods is that acting in the course of ideology - nation states at climate change summits cannot look beyond the national economic interest to the global reality of the matter. They don’t even talk about the looming energy crisis, but the limits of fossil fuels are on the horizon, while nations are technologically and economically addicted. They’ve serially failed to make real progress on climate - and are leaving the energy crisis to the market - in the hope that somehow it will become economically rational to stop using the established technology and invest in a whole new infrastructure? It’s not going to happen - so they’ll run out and nuke eachother. There’s about 50 years worth of oil left. I don’t see any solution coming out of the accident of inter-ideology that is international relations. We need a different basis of analysis, and science is the only concievable basis upon which I suggest all can agree, because, as well as being valid knowledge, it’s objective with respect to all particular interests. (Further though, because reality is causal, there’s a relationship between the validity of the knowledge bases of action and the ultimate consequences - which is to say, because it’s true, it’ll work.)
I appreciate that seems wrong, because we’ve been acting upon ‘ideological falsity’ all this time - and have built societies that, while far from being perfect are pretty damned good if you’ve got a roof over your head and enough money to live on. But even so we’ve gone from hunter gatherers to looking extinction in the eye in a few thousand years. Stacked up against the millions of years of our evolutionary history - civilization is a disaster for humankind and for life on earth. We’ve decimated the planet and will kill ourselves if we carry on like this. If civilization fails then it’s all been for nothing, and humankind will have been nothing but a scourge.

mercury.

I have already tried… unsuccessfully.

Let’s say that an event takes place which makes everyone adopt your idea.

What does the scientific knowledge of the structure of the hydrogen atom ( assuming our current standard model is correct) tell you about how to solve the energy problems?

How do you decide between the hundreds of proposed solutions offered by hundreds of scientists?

How do you know the long term consequences of the proposed solutions?

What do scientific facts tell you about the ethics of any solution? Some people will die, some will suffer, some will benefit … all depends on which option you choose.

:confusion-shrug:

Science has no ethics.

Who is a Scientist to propose that a choice will cause other human beings to die or suffer…how does this suit your ego drive? You do not concern yourself with the spirit of truth, that you disclude your own person from those who will suffer or die…up until you yourself die. Typical b…human being selfish, dishonest and cruel…that is what science causes.
Why would a Scientist not include themselves in the proposal of self destruction…because they are supported by the rich and greedy, those human beings who also propose that they will not die either…it is always the phlebs that die (so they think).

As this is a Philosophers Forum, I would take your thoughts back to the Roman Empire and look at their situation…they ignored the Teachings of the Christ until the Revelations were proved to them. Funny how years afterwards they suddenly chose to follow the teachings of Christ.

Only Humean,

  1. Human beings evolved from animal ignorance into knowledge over time.
  2. Human beings formed societies long before they came into scientific knowledge.
  3. Science was first supressed - and later employed in the service of ideological power.

“Point of order - it’s always employed in the service of ideological power.”

That’s true in a sense - but the developmental context within which the line is set infers more than is summarized; not least that scientific knowledge is not allowed to inform the ends to which it is put. Science serves ideological ends - where ideologies are maintained in contradiction of scientific facts. So, policies are couched in terms of the national interest regardless of the fact that the earth is a single panetary environment. The sum of national policies does not equal a global policy. The global reality is not addressed - and consequently, the main threats are global in nature.

  1. Acting upon ideological falsity within a causal reality is the cause of extinction threats bearing down upon humankind.
    “No, there are lots of extinction threats that have nothing to do with ideology. Viruses aren’t political, except for the engineered ones - and who’s to say there’s an ideological falsity there? It’s precisely the profound scientific understanding of the universe that allows them to be created.
    A town-sized meteor is profoundly unideological, besides its unswerving obedience to the laws of gravity and momentum.”

If bio-warfare is ever used - and I do hope no-one is ever that stupid, the underlying motive for creating and deploying it will be ideological; religious, political and/or economic motivations, played out against ideologically defined enemies - in denial of thre fact that humankind is a single species. Naturally occuring viruses and asteroids are natural hazzards - real extinction threats, but an aside to the topic under discussion. Note - I did not say ideologies are the cause of ‘all’ extinction threats…

  1. Therefore, humankind must accept a scientific understanding of reality in common in order to survive.
    “The common understanding won’t matter a jot without a common ideology. Science tells us how things are, and with more limited success how things could be; how things should be is ideology’s job. Policy is at base a matter of values, priorities and risk acceptance.”

Religious, political and economic ideology constitutes a (mis)conception of reality, from which values are inferred in the ‘is-ought’ manner so condemned in these pages. For example - it’s claimed that Queen Elizabeth II is appointed by God, and rules by divine right. That’s makes truth claims about the nature of reality, and draws from those truth claims a justification of hierarchy - i.e. who ‘should’ rule. The soveriegn nation state is a truth claim, on the basis of which are inferred values such as legitimacy of governance and ownership. The abstract relation between money and the value of goods is a truth claim, and worse - for acting as if money were a real thing people value and seek to accumulate money as if it had value of itself. It’s a psychosis - from which all kinds of values are inferred, and not merely - who gets what.
A scientifically valid understanding of reality in common would serve two main purposes: first, it would get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet - rather than pulling in opposite directions, and second, it would externalize misconceptions of reality and the false motives inferred from them, like national economic interest that stand in the way of what’s necessary to the continued survival of humankind. (In particular, addressing the energy crisis and climate change.)

““In any case, all you can say is that scientific understanding gives us a better chance of survival, because the knowledge is not complete. If scientists calculate mass immunisation within a week is the only protection from a world-ending plague, but an unknown side-effect in the new vaccine kills everyone after ten days, the religious nuts who thought immunisation was against the will of God will inherit the earth. The danger of knowledge is the seduction of thinking that it extends beyond its boundaries, and misunderstanding the complexity of the systems you tinker with. Heuristics can be much safer than knowledge.””

I appreciate the warning, and would certainly support initial limitations upon the political legitimacy of science, to that of a basis for addressing the energy crisis and cliamte change. I have said many times I wouldn’t tear down the churches, banks and borders 9am Monday morning - though I’d be suprised if they remained in a thousand years time. Your example is a clever one that illustrates the point that you cannot certainly know - for instance, that if we agree a scientific understanding of reality in common, God won’t drop down from the sky and set us all at odds again because it amuses him to watch us kill eachother. Hahaha!

mercury.

Moreno,

I wrote so much because I wanted to be sure I’d replied more than adequately. I addressed your three points as best I could, given that I don’t have internet access at home. I’ve looked up Linus Pauling since then - a two time nobel prize winning chemist. But your arguments are argumentative, attempting to trip me on definitions in common use rather than on substance. And the more I try and answer your objections - in hope you’ll see the overall picture, the further you find fault with my examples - as if that were a fault in my reasoning, but that’s not where the meaning of my argument is. Galieo did write a treatsie on scientific method supressed by the Church, while shortly afterward, almost the the same time - Descartes wrote a treatsie on the same subject, and came to conclusions consistent with the doctrine of the Church. Galieo was right, but arrested and tried as vehemently suspect of heresy, while Descartes went on to teach in the court of Queen Christina of Sweeden. So, that’s a pertinent example for lots of reasons - and your objection that ‘‘you can still find epistemic debates today’’ is bizzare.
It was you who assumed a much ealier origin for science - conflating it with human knowledge in the first line, resulting in you defending the position that that they couldn’t have formed societies without science…as if the first proto-human to tie a rock to a stick was a scientist. And then you come at me telling me I’m evasive, cherry picking and manipulative - when all I’ve done is try to explain, and it’s you who’s ignoring the overall argument to defend your ego. Let me ask you - what should I do? I use the word science as everyone but you does, to refer to: ‘systematic knowledge of natural or physical phenomena; truth ascertained by observation, experiment and induction; ordered arrangement of facts; theoretical knowledge as distinguished from practical; knowledge of principles and rules of invention, construction, mechanism etc, as distinguished from art.’ If you have a problem with this definition, write to the OED - and if they take your suggestions on board, I will too. How’s that?

“Your main idea is that without science being the only agreed on route to knowledge, we will have worldwide problems.”
Now who’s manipulatively rephrasing ideas to fit their arguments? You continue:
“Yet, your own way of demonstrating this is to use ‘knowledge’ you have arrived at through non-scientific processes.”

I’m a philosopher - not a scientist. I’ve not once suggested, but often denied your suggestion that (I’m saying) science is the only route to knowledge. Neither of these things you attribute to me are consistent with what I’m saying. What I am saying is that we need to accept a scientific understanding of reality in common - over and above ideological misconceptions of reality. This is a statement of political philosophy - not a scientific fact, but an opinion of how to secure the good. It’s an opinion informed by scientific facts - arrived at in light of a scientifically valid understanding of reality, but is itself a statement of political philosophy.

““Frankly I get tired of the science is the only route to knowledge crowd that allows itself to arrive at knowledge through non-scientific routes AND does not seem to notice what they are actually doing in their own ‘reasoning’. It comes off as religious posting and/or political rhetoric. Which is ironic in the extreme. Get it, ideology. You are an ideologist arguing against ideology, using the common tricks and fallacies of ideologues.””

What crowd is this? I’ve never encountered anyone making a similar argument to mine. Mine is political rhetoric - or rather a statement of political philosophy. I reserve the term ideology to refer to the religious, political and economic architecture of societies. Ideally, had the Church embraced science 300 years ago, we might now have a scientific ideology, but that’s not what I’m suggesting. This is more like a policy approach in International Relations - where the political legitimacy of science is recognized in relation to specific policy areas: principally, the energy crisis and climate change. Otherwise, we cannot solve these problems.

““Now perhaps the rest of this post did not include this kidn of mess. But frankly I don’t have the energy to try again, given what I experienced in the last thread. That first paragraph was enough. Seriously mull it over. Why do you get a pass on ideology but those you are arguing against do not? Waht is actually going on?””

You tired? Not to worry Mo’ - have a nap…perchance to dream up more mad things to accuse me of.

mercury.

And just to be very clear: my arguments above were not for the position that science is an ideology. It was, Mercury, that your approach to the issue and your arguments are ideological.

Moreno,

‘Ouch! Would you care to elaborate?
I have already tried… unsuccessfully.’
Writing coherent sentances is a skill that improves with practice. Keep trying!

“Let’s say that an event takes place which makes everyone adopt your idea.”
Okay, let’s make that massive hypothetical assumption.

“What does the scientific knowledge of the structure of the hydrogen atom ( assuming our current standard model is correct) tell you about how to solve the energy problems?”
Why knowledge of the structure of the hydrogen atom? Perhaps you are being so terribly clever here you have stumped me, but that particular information has no particular relevence to the energy solution I suggested. Of course I’d remain open to expert advice, but my example shows that it’s not inevitable we run out of oil and nuke eachother, because there’s such a vast, high grade, clean energy source available - it can supply energy for domestic and industrial uses, and for transport without dimminishing availability.

“How do you know the long term consequences of the proposed solutions?”
As opposed to running out of oil and nuking eachother? It doesn’t get much worse than that. I don’t really know how to answer this question. You apply reason I suppose - but you cannot know with absolute certainty. All you can do is act for the best on the basis of the best information available.

““What do scientific facts tell you about the ethics of any solution? Some people will die, some will suffer, some will benefit … all depends on which option you choose.””

Like I said above, this is a statement of political philosophy. The ethical guiding star is the continued existence of the human species. In order to achieve this, it’s necessary to prevent the catastrophic failure of civilization I believe will occur as a consequence of continuing in the course of the prevailing religious, political and economic ideological architecture of societies - because they are inconsistent with a scientifically valid understanding of reality. After 20 years concerned with this question, I am truly convinced that agreeing in common, and acting upon - a scientific understanding of reality is necessary, and the right answer. However, my ethical concerns are twofold and related; the first concern is disenchantment, and the second concern is that disenchantment results in a prevailing state of anomie - and brings about that which it is intended to prevent. People really believe in, and draw their identities and purposes from the ideological architecture of society. That’s where I was twenty years ago. Then there was a recession, and I was suddenly ‘no longer required.’ I lost my job, my girlfirend, my home and my motorbike. I began questioning things and it all unravelled - my belief in God, the hierarchy of society, the nation state, my racial identity, my economic class stautus. All the elements of my identity - I pulled it all apart and saw the inferred institutional establishement for the facade it is - but did so without anything to replace it. I lost my mind…and that’s what scares me, that putting forth these ideas, I only succeed in destroying people’s faith in the religious, political and economic ideological architecture of society - and fail to communicate what only at long last I found. It’s something that has to be understood - for no few words can express it adequately. It requires one truly accept that that the human mind is a product of the dynamics of reality, and that the ideological architecture is a few thousand years worth of groping toward the ability to establish valid knowledge. In this context, accepting a scientific understanding of reality is right in every respect. Not simply because, in the same terms it explains why we’re threatened with extinction and provides a common basis of analysis and the technology to address those threats, but it unifies metaphysics and epistemology: it’s the universe knowing itself. In evolutionary terms - every organism had a valid relation to reality in line with its nature - in order to survive, primitive organism were physiologically correct to reality, animals behaviorally correct to reality, and we human beings, the only intellectually aware creatures yet known to exist - have to be intellectually correct to reality in order to survive. In terms of causality, there’s an obvious relation between the validity of the knowledge basis of action and the rightfulness of the outcome. Indeed, with so many arrows pointing to the giant X that marks the spot upon which shines a shaft of brilliant white light from the heavens, it’s astonishing to me that I’m the only one who seems to see it.

mercury.

I asked those questions so that you would imagine a future state and how scientific knowledge would be used to make decisions.
I think you largely managed to avoid doing it.

Maybe this real-life example could prove illustrative, for any side of this debate…

I suspect that those two things are related.

Your worship of Science is invalid. Science is a tool. Like any tool, the good or bad of it depends entirely upon who is using it, not how accurate it is. Science merely allows the insane to be more effective. As you display, worshiping a microscope isn’t making you wiser. It merely narrows your focus.

It is NOT a question of religion being right or Science being right. They are NOT opposite each other. And neither are right. That is the problem. The SAME PEOPLE are ruining the world today as always, merely more efficiently now that they have Science to help them do it more accurately. Scientists are servants, not architects nor leaders.

This really has nothing to do with religion one way or another. There is no such thing as a “scientific view of reality” and the closest thing they have come up with happens to be incorrect.

Phyllo,
Had you just asked, I’d have said that my aim is to show that extinction is not inevitable, for reasonable concessions to the superior legitmacy of scientific knowledge are possible - that enable us to begin to address the crises ahead without turning the world upside down. I see it as my vocation to communicate the principles of the argument, but how it is recieved depends upon who humankind are. All evolving organisms require a valid relation to reality to survive - and if they’re wrong, they’ve got to go. I’m able to tell you, for it follows directly from a valid understanding of reality that we need a global solution to the energy crisis and climate change, but so much depends upon how this idea is recieved, and by whom. Consider for example the difference between the Church of Rome recognizing the Grand Mistake - and governments accepting a scientific understanding of reality in common as a lingua franca - and the people accepting the idea in opposition to government and Church - and one group of nations accepting it in opposition to another…any admixture of the above, or all the above ignoring it - running head first into the brick wall of the energy crisis and nuking eachother to oblivion. I can’t speculate upon a future state of affairs for that would be to tell people who they are. I don’t know that - but causality does. The judgment is already rendered - built into the dynamics of reality. If we are wrong - we’ll die out.
mercury.