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Featured A Recent Axiomatic Observation ...

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by PureX, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    There have been a number of threads over the last year or so about the intellectual phenomenon of "scientism". But that isn't what this thread is really about. Although I am going to use "scientism" (and racism as well) to try and make a point I recently realized and think is important for all of us to consider.

    In one of the more recent threads about "scientism" someone posted a video discussion on the subject that opened with the speaker saying something like; "If you don't believe "scientism" is a real phenomenon that anyone actually adheres to, then you are probably one of it's adherents". (I'm paraphrasing.) And this comment struck me 1. as an interesting idea in itself, and 2., as being VERY apropos in regards to the many discussions I have had with a few of the more obvious adherents of "scientism" here on RF. So I had to spend a little time thinking on this. And something finally occurred to me that explains why the scientism adherents cannot see themselves, or anyone else for that matter, as being adherents of "scientism", when it is glaringly obvious to anyone NOT under it's influence.

    So let me use racism as a way of explaining why I think this is so. (And please, I am not accusing the adherents of 'scientism' of being racists.)

    To a racist, (a race based bigot), there is no such thing as racism. At least not of the variety that the racist, himself, is party to. And there is a very simple and obvious reason for this once we think about it. And the reason is because from the racist's perspective and understanding of truth and reality, there is no bigotry involved. Because his bigotry, TO HIM, is simply reality. It's neither biased nor mean-spirited, it's just the truth is he sees and believes it to be. And he will only be able to see other people's racism, so long as it is not of the same variety as his own. Anyone that sees the world as he does, though, cannot be a racist. Because that person would just be a realist. As the racist, himself, presumes himself to be.

    For example, if I believe that light-skinned people are inherently superior to dark-skinned people, then my thinking and saying so is not bigotry from my perspective. It's just reality. So should someone accuse me of being a racist, I would think they're quite wrong, since I neither thought nor said anything biased, bigoted, or mean-spirited. I simply stated a fact of reality as I see and understand it. And if someone told me that my next door neighbor, who also believes as I do, was a racist, I would likewise say and believe that he is not. That he, in fact, simply recognizes true reality, as I do. And that's not racism.

    This is why racists never think they are racist. AND it why it's nearly impossible to get them to see themselves as being racist. Because to do that, we would have to get them to change their understanding of reality and truth. Which no human being is going to do without a fight, and a significant internal struggle. So it very rarely happens.

    And this is why the adherents of 'scientism', here on RF, cannot see themselves as being adherents of 'scientism'. And why they cannot see anyone else being adherents of it, either. Because to them 'scientism' isn't a thing, it's just reality as they see and understand reality. And that reality does not extend beyond the parameters of 'scientism' such that it might be perceived and evaluated from an 'external' point of view. There is no other or external point of view to the adherent. It simply is what is.

    But I'm not posting this thread to attack the scientism crowd.

    The reason I think this is an important observation is because I suspect this kind of conceptual 'blind spot' exists within a lot of the reality/truth paradigms that we humans hold onto. Not the least of which would include a lot of theological paradigms. (Not to mention our economic and political paradigms.) Which is important to consider. Are the various truth paradigms that we hold to really as true as we think they are? Or are they just one of these self-blinding biases that we get ourselves trapped in, because we can't see past them?

    And I guess the tangential question would be, do we even care? Or are we willing to just sweep the whole question under the rug so we don't have to face the difficult internal struggle involved in correcting and changing our truth paradigm?
     
    #1 PureX, Nov 29, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
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  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    I have found that the best way to handle those blind spots is to hear opposing views and being open to have a change of mind.
     
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  3. Jose Fly

    Jose Fly Fisker of men

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    I'm wondering who you're referring to. I started a thread specifically asking who at RF adheres to scientism, and three members identified themselves as adherents.

    So who are these people who really do practice scientism, but won't admit it?
     
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  4. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    On a recent thread about scientism it seemed that people did not like the 'label' of scientism and saw it as an attack or negative instead of just descriptive.

    As an aside, "scientism" is a horrible word. Is an adherent to "scientism" a scientist? Maybe "sciencism would be better, with "sciencist" as the noun for the adherent.
    Then again maybe just forget the category altogether and just say they are empiricists.
     
  5. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Couple of thoughts...
    I like the thought process here of taking something, and then applying a similar pattern of thinking to see how it holds up. I've done the same to people at times to try and at least get them to understand (if not accept) why others are looking at something the way in which they are.
    I also completely agree with your premise that people often have blind spots relating to negative perjoratives and their own thinking processes. Mostly in my experience, people aren't deliberately being exclusionary (with exceptions) and instead they have a level of ignorance (in the true sense) or lack of framing which is limiting to them.

    Having said all that...and perhaps to address my own ignorance...what is 'scientism' to you?

    Of course I get the broad concept, but in trying to test my own perspectives against it, I need to have a better handle on what it is.
     
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  6. rational experiences

    rational experiences Veteran Member

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    Scientism..man theist inventor of the humans only practice

    The first ever cult group bullly involving rich man's human families enslavement.

    Racist bully historic men...rich men..men of theories the scientist.

    Who theories first to build a machine past his owned biological family life where the future was a human man baby. His future.

    Man with machine the designer. Process begins at Alchemy to build one design. One by one moments design beginning again builds machine.

    To react use machine to virtually shift the machine and living self by sun time nuclear.

    Scientism.

    Mind body sacrificed....memory gone.

    Man machine history now controls his theism that a man who had converted earth bases himself was now the God man who created creation and life itself of all things.

    Scientism.

    Machine AI life's destroyer in person.
     
  7. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Yes, but we have to realize they are there, and be willing to try and get past them. That seems to present a lot of difficulty for a lot of us. They are "blind" spots for a reason, after all.
     
  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It's the term that has stuck. Language is like that. We are always misusing and misapplying weird terms like that. "Gay", for example, to refer to homosexuals.

    But I understand why this term stuck. It is, after all, referring to an undue and exaggerated philosophical idealization and reverence for the scientific process.
     
  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    There is enough information about it out there to glean a decent description, I think. From my perspective it is an undue and exaggerated idealization and reverence for the scientific process based on philosophical materialism. And it's entrapping because the philosophical materialism cannot acknowledge meta-physicality. Which is required to get out of the intellectual trap.
     
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  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Mostly I was just seeking your perspective, so I'd then be able to respond based on that. I'm happy enough to accept however you want to define it, it's just one of those terms I'm not convinced all people use in the same way. So...first off...thanks for providing what you mean by it, I appreciate it.

    I'm not sure how I feel about what you say. At the risk of making this about myself, I reject philosophical materialism. I would instead self-describe as a methodological naturalist. That's a nod to the limitations of science, and in recognition that our ability to see and measure the world around us has always had limits, and so my strong supposition is that our ability to see and measure the world around us STILL has limits.

    Having said all that, I don't think I would really see meta-physicality as the 'unseen' item, although (and I swear I'm not trying to be obtuse) it does depend what you mean by metaphysical. I've heard that term used both to describe anything beyond our ken, or alternatively as a more direct description of items supernatural in nature. I'd tend to see us as having a limit to the nature we can see and measure, rather than there being something beyond materiality in the way you may mean.

    The intellectual trap I am more wary of, though, is reductionism. It's as much gut feel as anything, but the notion that we can truly understand things by breaking it down to component parts, and understanding each of those appears counterintuitive to me, and does not adequately explain my understanding and experience. Much as some people might suggest an atheist position does not adequately account for their experience of the world (although that doesn't apply to me).

    Dunno...these are things I do think about, but would not describe as having much certainty about, so your thoughts are interesting to me.
     
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  11. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    This is the good part: given enough time hearing opposing views you will understand your blind spots.

    This is generally how it works: There is a feeling (or a set of them) that drive any given discourse. If you can relate to those feelings, the ones that drive views opposite to yours, your blind spot will suddenly become apparent.
     
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  12. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Unless, of course, our ego is directing us to fight any incoming ideas or 'feelings' that contradict any we currently hold. Which is, in fact, the ego's job. So we have to first be willing to reign in that ego. And that is not something many of us have ever learned to do. Or even see a need for doing. This becomes even more apparent in a consumer driven culture, where appealing to ego is a huge driving incentive for all that consumption.
     
  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    "Meta", to me, meaning the conceptual framework through which we organize and assess our experience and understanding of reality. The meta-physical realm of existence being the realm of cognition. The realm that defines and determines physicality, for us. A realm of existence that the philosophical materialists are insisting is nothing more than imaginary figments being generated in the brain as the result of physical phenomena. And thus are excused as not "objectively real". Or as a form of self-entertainment: as in philosophy, religion, and art. Which is how, then, science becomes the only "objectively real" human endeavor pursuing the truth of existence, from their perspective. And this is how it has become so exaggerated and idealized in their thinking. And their "evidence" is alway science's contribution to human physical functionality. Because in the materialist's mind physical functionality is the measure of all "real" value.

    And I find that idea very frightening. And very reminiscent of the futurists movement at the turn of the last century that led us into two world wars, and organized, state sponsored mass murder.
     
    #13 PureX, Nov 30, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
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  14. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    I see the point you try to make with the racism analogy. And to an extent, I follow the logic and don't consider it a bad argument in and of itself.

    However, I should also add that I am one of those people who's been "accused" of "scientism".
    But when I then ask those people what they mean by "scientism", it simply does not apply to me.
    They require to strawman my actual position to make it fit their idea / definition of the term.

    And more often then not, I see them do the exact same to anyone they accuse of "scientism" on this forum.

    In the same way, I've also been called an islamophobe, an anti-christian, etc.
    They also need to strawman my actual position in order to make that accusation.

    I would be critical about the religion itself and "attack" the underlying reasons for beliefs and call such irrational etc. And in their heads, that then translates into me being "against" muslims or of the opinion that all religious people are irrational, full stop.

    And try as I might to correct them and explain how that is not what I'm saying, they will simply not hear it and stick to their guns.

    So yeah.... not much else I can do at that point.
    These are not people who are interested in open honest discussion.
    Instead, these are people who are hellbend on slapping labels on people's foreheads to artificially create an "us versus them" scenario where one is required to pick a side and everyone not in their camp is "the enemy".

    In a sense, it's really just tribalism in action.

    I don't play that game.
     
  15. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    I feel like this is entirely too vague.

    Define "exaggerated idealization".

    What that means to you might not mean what it means to others.

    I know that, for example, there would be people who would find it an "exaggerated idealization" for people to turn to science to deal with a certain medical problem while not even considering that "praying it away" will accomplish anything.
     
  16. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Veteran Member

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    Is it?
    Don't those people appreciate art, music, poetry,...?

    I think you'ld be hard pressed to find even the most "radical" of materialist who isn't capable of recognizing that art is more then just paint strokes on a canvas.

    I have no idea what Godwin is doing here.
     
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  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    But perhaps the real question is why? Why would anyone bother to "straw man" you in this way? Or could it be that you are presenting yourself is some way that causes them to see you in a way that you don't see yourself?
     
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Sure, as forms of entertainment and self-meditation. But not as examples of 'objective truth or value'. 'Objectivity' being the determining factor for the philosophical materialist.
     
  19. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Honestly, I have never come across someone that matches your description.

    When I think of scientism what comes to my mind is something like Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape.
     
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  20. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    It is not like everyone has a perspective that gives rooms to nuances. A simple example: I have been called anti-semitic for being in favor of making infant circumcisions (for non-medical reasons) illegal.
     
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