Scientism - Nothing But a Childish Insult?

by cofty 147 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • John_Mann
  • tepidpoultry
    tepidpoultry

    PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS!!

    Quite a powerful caption indeed!

    I look forward to reading about same in a Peer Reviewed Journal

    sometime soon

    I am after all a closet practitioner of the Scientistic Arts

    :0)

  • cofty
    cofty

    In that four year old thread Terry was illustrating how theists are easily satisfied with anything that seems to support their beliefs. It is not a defense of the ontological argument - quite the opposite.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    It was you who asked if there is knowledge outside scientific method. Well there is. History is one example, there are others. Lesson learned.

    You do have a rather amusing tendency to call any point you don't agree with "semantics". You can call anything semantics if you like, it doesn't change the situation.

    There are important ways in which science and history (and other forms of knowledge) are distinct, not simply part of a continuum. For example emotion and empathy are no help and likely a hinderance to a chemistry experiment. The same is not true of history. If you remove emotion and empathy you don't get better history you get worse history. Science and history are different kinds of knowledge with different procedures and results. Scientism is the attitude that other forms of knowledge don't really count as knowledge. That attitude certainly does exist and is worth describing as such. Frankly I don't know if you have a scientistic outlook or not because your position changes from post to post. I'm not sure even you know what you think.

    Many theists would say God acts through the physical world or that the physical world is an expression of God rather than that God acts "in" the physical world. As if he's yet another empirical object that could be captured and defined. It's by no means a necessary part of theism that God should break his own laws to make himself somehow conspicuous.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    I made the above post yesterday in reply to a post a few pages back. It only just arrived so it's a bit out of context now.

  • John_Mann
    John_Mann
    Frankly I don't know if you have a scientistic outlook or not because your position changes from post to post. I'm not sure even you know what you think.

    Well I think your conclusion is what are really happening about Cofty's position.

    Honestly I also can't call him a scientimIST because as you said his very position is totally ambiguous.

    Sometimes he demands scientific evidence about the existence of God (which is scientism) but sometimes he says he never asked for scientific evidence and even accept other/any types of evidence.

    His clear position is atheism (based on the problem of natural evil).

    This topic is about three points:

    1) if there's knowledge outside the scientific method.

    2) if scientism itself is a philosophically well defined worldview.

    3) if Cofty is a scientimIST.

    I think we have exhausted the debate.

    1) yes.

    2) yes.

    3) impossible to conclude.

    Anyone still disagree with some point?



  • cofty
    cofty

    Yes

    Perhaps

    Absolutely not

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Sometimes I wonder if it's simply trolling. Like this exchange of comments on the second page where one poster made a long thoughtful post citing the example of mathematics, but also saying:

    There are many examples I could offer, but the arguments are complex and I fear they might lead to off topic detours, so instead of discussing Leibniz, I will use a simple example that anyone can understand and agree with: mathematics... I could give you other examples but I trust I have made my point.

    Cofty didn't respond to any of the part of the post discussing mathematics, instead simply making the comment:

    I get the impression that the only example of things that cannot be known through empirical scientific evidence is pure mathematics.
    Is that correct?

    That's more than simply being obtuse, is it not? That's got to be deliberate trolling.




  • John_Mann
    John_Mann
    Yes
    Perhaps
    Absolutely not

    Well I will not debate about the third point anymore. I decided to be impossible to conclude about your position because your position is contradictory. Reason can't cope with contradictions. Reason demands clear definitions and positions.

    But why perhaps about the second point? I noticed you always write "scientism". Why do you not accept scientism is a well defined term? My first post is about a link from AAAS about scientism. So why a very respected scientific institution would even talk about something that doesn't even exist?

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    "Scientism" tends to be used as a pejorative rather than a self-designation, we can probably agree on that. But the question is whether it can be well defined and has valid application. I think it can and it does. The original question was whether scientism is "nothing but" an insult. I would agree it's mostly used as an insult, but that it also has substance.

    Scientism is the view that only science or the scientific method can deliver real knowledge. Other kinds of knowledge are either either collapsed into science or else they are not classed as real knowledge. Dawkins tends to do this when he disparages philosophy. And Harris does this when he claims ethics can be reduced to a branch of science. Dennett does this when he says consciousness can be reduced to physical properties. It's an extreme form of materialist reductionism. It is a fundamentalist position held by people who claim to oppose fundamentalism.