Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Monday, July 15, 2013

Misplaced Trust In Science

Did you know that there are people on this planet (atheists to a person) who believe, they actually believe AND they will say it out loud, “Science is the only way to know truth.”
That of course is an unprovable philosophical statement. In fact:
. Science can't tell us why kindness is better than cruelty - yet we still believe it to be true
. Science can't tell us how the laws of mathematics and logic came to exist or why they came to exist, but we still live as though they do exist.
If the genius who made the first statement says these laws exist to prove science, s/he is arguing in a circular manner. But that's not all -
. Science can't explain or prove these metaphysical truths;
- there are minds other than my own
- the external world is real
- the external world didn't begin to exist ten minutes ago appearing as aged.
. Science can't prove or disprove ethical beliefs
- Whether the Nazis did anything evil
. Science can't rule on aesthetic judgements
- Beauty and goodness can't be proven
. Science itself can't be justified by the scientific method of enquiry.
Don't get me wrong. The scientific method of knowing is a masterful way of learning about physical matter. It does indeed lead to some truths regarding matter. Science however will never help humans “cure” their most desperate need; that of overcoming human nature.
Nevertheless, those who have thrown their lot in with science are prepared to wait until their dying day for a scientific answer to why this mathematically precise, life-supporting, moral universe exists.

(((Yawn . . .)))

1 comment:

  1. As usual, you are conflating subjective, deductive, and inductive truth. As you seem to be bored, here's some reading matter on it.

    As a hint:
    Kindness and cruelty are societal categories, observably subject to changes over the years.
    So are all ethical statements. The OT finds it legitimate to stone unruly children. Truth?

    Please show how mathematics and logic exist separately from matter.

    Metaphysical questions are subject to philosophical methodology, which is different from scientific methodology (see deductive truth) Science does not pretend to be able to end up with "truth", as it is connected to reality. Deductive thinking can be totally abstract ("All Gronks are green. Fred is a Gronk. Fred is green"), scientific thinking cannot, it has to begin with factual, intersubjective observation.

    Aesthetic, beauty and goodness - all those categories have undergone heavy changes over the last 40,000 years. Cf Venus of Wilmersdorff, Rubens, Schiele. What kind of a truth can change so much? But of course science can (and does)find explanations for those changes.

    "why this mathematically precise, life-supporting, moral universe exists"
    Baal help me!
    mathematically precise -
    Well, mathematics is anything else but easy, transparent, and intuitive (have a look at Riemann functions and weep). Math is as complicated as the universe, derived from its structure (it has, e.g., nothing to do with counting)
    Practically all of the universe is deadly for life as we know it: merely vacuum, hard radiation, temperatures either -273,15° C or in the thousands. One tiny place, in a forgotten, off-center galaxy is inhabitable. You call that life-supporting?
    moral universe
    Oh yes. Galaxies colliding, black holes eating suns, novae eating planets, and on-planet. one half of living beings eating the other one alive. What high-standing morals.
    The only morals I can see are human-made. That doesn't make them less good, as they are by definition open to improvement. Which can be observed through all of history.