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Featured Why are the Sciences Empirical?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Sunstone, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Recently, I heard someone allege that the sciences are empirically oriented because they are dominated by atheists who wish to deny the existence of God. Going beyond the obvious truth of that [/sarcasm], what other reasons might there be for why the sciences are empirically oriented?
     
    #1 Sunstone, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  2. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    That's foolish.

    The sciences are empirical because they were spawned by empiricists.
     
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  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Patty, may I ask if you are offering that as a genuine reason for why the sciences are empirical, or are you just being sarcastic? Either way is ok with me. I'm just looking for clarification.
     
  4. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Both.

    There are no sciences without empiricsts.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Or in other words, if it's not wet, it can't be water.

    It would be possible to conceive of knowledge about how the world works without empiricism. It might be direct knowledge without proof but it would have to take into account that the world works in ways that baffle the senses as we have them today.

    For example, we might be able to "see" quantum mechanics in operation without a lot of math and experimental observations. But that would not be science.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Since information about our universe isn't provided (outside of science),
    we must discover it for ourselves. Empiricism is a method, ie, observing
    that universe's phenomena & properties. And it's the only method with
    results which are accessible to any intelligent person. This is as opposed
    to something personal, eg, intuition, faith.
     
    #6 Revoltingest, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  7. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    Intuition is much like imagination...

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." ~ Albert Einstein
     
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  8. Labourwave

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    Without basic materialist & empiricist assumptions you cannot have science.
     
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  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Empiricism allows testing what we imagine.
     
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  10. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    And imagining new ways to test it - which, if Einstein really said what the quote claims, is probably what he had in mind.
     
  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    There is actually a fairly long history leading up to the scientific revolution and the adoption of the scientific method. And this happened before the concept of a profession of 'scientist' was invented.

    One of the most important changes for the rise of science was the determination that ideas about the natural world could be subject to testing within the natural world. That is what ultimately became empiricism.

    But it should be pointed out that, contrary to your friend's claim, the original exponents of empiricism were religious people thinking they were investigating God's plan for the universe by considering how His work functions.

    Ultimately, empiricism showed its value because of the results of the scientific revolution and the realization that simply 'sitting and thinking' was not enough to determine truth.

    The dominance of atheists (such as it is) came much later.
     
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  12. Cooky

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    Actually, the point is that imagination is larger than science. Because without imagination, there would be no science.
     
  13. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    Yes, someone had to invent science. That invention was based on imagination and not empirical evidence.
     
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  14. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    I agree, except for the ampersand.

    We do not directly observe ampersands.
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I do.
     
  16. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Much of empiricism is idealist, so not limited to materialism.
     
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  17. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    "Invention" is the wrong verb. Science describes what is observable.
     
  18. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Well the second part is basically what I said - isn't it? And the first part...is it not also true that the number of ideas is larger than the number of good ideas?
     
  19. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Only to the extent that experiments fail.
     
  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    It goes further.
    The more the verification, the greater the usefulness.
     
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