There is much truth behind jokes. The joke of the divine trickster is that he’s serious.
Shall we begin the critique? I had a hard time keeping away from it.
We see in the history of empiricism the same human drama that played out in previous religious conflicts, the notion that a greater ideal or noble truth is being neglected or even profaned by the attitude or disposition of those who do not subscribe to it.
At the time that empiricism was emerging as an independent philosophy, empire and authority rested in the hands of orthodox religious thinkers, and the precepts behind empirical thinking more or less mandated a disregard of the doctrines of the church. So questioning their doctrines was literally synonymous with challenging their authority, which was the same as treason. This made you an enemy of the state, especially if you wanted to spread such inflammatory views.
Empiricism arose against a backdrop of broad human cognition. If it weren’t for advances in social stability and even a “technology” of a sort, empiricism as a developed point of view could not have arisen. Technology arose well before industry. Well, before anyone had the notion of technology as a virtue in its own right.
We now pursue technology for technologies sake, and there were many critics of that even during the rise of the age of reason. The notion didn’t set well at all with many reputable thinkers, but the point is, the process that lead to empiricism and science was operating well before there was any such notion as science, and left unmolested it operated in what I offer was a holistic and healthy way.
It’s said in some of the older medieval texts that many of the sciences and arts were taught by demons, everything from salesmanship to agriculture to medicine were thought to be available at the risk of your soul. Other cultures had done well before the rise of Christianity. Their culture and general world view allowed for insights that outsiders perhaps thought unnatural.
The “infectious” nature of the attitudes held by these foreign powers was seen as a supernatural influence, and they blamed them on the gods of the locals, saying that they were corrupting spirits, demons. Occasionally there were valid observations made of those peoples social faults as well, but usually not. If an “all is fair” attitude is the rule of the day, then there are bound to be problems, no? Yet how well does extreme legalism serve the public good?
It thins the population. Unfortunately that it does. It serves the strength and influence of organized institutions very well, gives them license to delete any disagreement in the name of “righteousness.”
When you said extreme legalism I thought of holocausts and the like. Wars too? Oh indeed, it serves war well, and war is good business. It can take even more from individuals in the name of “protecting” them.
Extreme legalism of religious thought also wipes out peoples in a flash. The Nazi’s thought their campaign stood on solid moral ground. They honestly believed they were doing the righteous thing.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.