All things have a negative side. Every light casts a shadow. One can feel that they don’t entertain a thought, but you can’t avoid entertaining negatives. They are an inherent part of the equation that allows you to arrive at positives.
Scientism: The precept that science is the foundation of all knowledge and that all truth can be arrived at by empirical method.
Does this seem presumptuous, even crazy? The scientific method is a relatively new fangled thing. To think it can have all the answers seems crazy? Well, let’s embrace a more critical mindset as they would favour.
All truth is objective according to them. So the motivation to perform an observation has no relevance. Necessity has a mixed motive (if it has any objective motive at all), and thus there is no grounds for invention. Because, in fact, our biology is sufficient for preservation of the species. We can reproduce like rabbits and let predators cull our population letting only the biologically strong survive… Hence using the scientific position to refute scientism itself.
Scientism is the religion referred to in the Foundation series and is based on Asimov’s work who is not strictly a fiction writer. His fiction is rather dry, because he himself is an adherent of scientism. He couched his work in a fiction setting, but he has written non fiction work also. I have heard his non fiction is quite good, but little heard of course.
Scientism isn’t so fictional, it’s just not official. It is more a body of philosophy at this point, but they are pushing. It serves the fat cats well. They used to be kings, now they are tycoons. What’s the difference, really? Humans still have so many hard wired behaviours that sabotage us in the 21st century, but supposedly subjectivism is without substance. It is just something we can ignore. Long live science!
Asimov’s theory that people’s action in aggregate can be predicted and manipulated is a notion of scientism. In fact, scientism denies the scientific validity of sociology since it includes too much subjectivity in its observations. Their rejection of metaphysics and subjective experience denies the metaphysical elements in it. So only actions impacting physical objects are relevant according to scientism. Relevant in what way? They adopt a reductionist view of all experience to any perception of truth. I will point out this isn’t my personal philosophy, but here we discuss all world beliefs and scientism is quite prevalent.
What is truth, then? Truth, according to scientism, is objective fact. Anything perceivable by the senses. Although science has proven that the senses and the brain do not leave sense data undistorted. What we perceive is colored by our neural interpretation. So their objectivism has serious holes in it, but it is still being adhered to. They are just paying lip service to being open to subjective experience as being valid. This method has been criticized as doomed. To not know the truth, by the quandary that we’re looking at it. Maybe there is truth, but we will never know it? It’s like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that we can’t arrive at the ideal because the method denies the ideal. So for myself, science to me is metaphysics. This is one of my little heresies.
Is it a waste of time to strive for an ideal? Not according to scientism. To those thinkers, our ideal life could only be reached by science. They are looking for freedom through science, with the idea that freedom from physical want would lead to freedom for individuals, and that through objective understanding of the social and physical world, government could be rendered obsolete. Ironic, since so much of our apparatus is still primitive in nature, and the idea of a post industrial age techno utopia has proven to be a serious delusion. Yet humans cling to what they think they know so tightly. Our delusion of all that free time technology was going to give us, in fact, seems quite the opposite. We have changed our living condition. yes, but here is where that evil word subjectivity creeps in. We have changed our living conditions, but are they better? Can science evaluate that idea?
Many of us do not succumb to childhood infectious diseases anymore, but they haven’t been eliminated. Scientific evidence shows, with the methods we are using, viruses are just adapting. They are breeding super viruses through ignoring epigenetic balance. Many say we are in a temporary reprieve from massive outbreak. We aren’t creating them of our own accord, but a new rapid jump in viral complexity has been observed that is unprecedented in history.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.