Defense of "Scientism"

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Defense of "Scientism"

 

A Defense of Scientism

__god wrote:
...It is immediately obvious that such a charge is innately rich because the assertion contains an abundance of substance. “Science” and “scientific theories” constitute models used to explain and predict phenomenon based on a preponderance of fiction. To assert that an empirical inquiry into any domain constitutes an exclusionary practice is both coherent and cogent. That which is irrelevant is the methodology used. There is no problem at hand that the telling charge of “scientism” is not a methodological critique. If an empirical inquiry into a domain produces a set of results and a body of theoretical knowledge used to explain and predict associated phenomenon based on a preponderance of fiction, then the charge that empirical inquiry ought be off-limits to that domain is both valid and vital. “Science” and “scientific theories” are also a methodological red herring. It is vastly significant that supposed metaphysical “methods” which are being excluded by empirical inquiry into this field, have produced no fruit whatsoever. This is precisely the point. When considering invalid methodologies for gaining and evaluating knowledge claims about the world, we should not play a game of “meet me in the middle”. Poor methods, or non-methods, cannot be included solely by virtue of the necessity of having some diversity in our study...

Excuse my little tact in this matter - I am writing under the supposition that the reader has her eye out for the truth. Hence, insofar as the end always justifies the means, I see no warrant for any accusation unconcerned with the validity of the argument.

Having that said, the above is the message deludedgod will teach to this forum when he is no longer deluded. It is a paragraph taken from his post, “The Argument From Scientism”. Every bold word has been inserted to format the accurate claims about scientism. Only one sentence remains unchanged.

The accusations deludedgod originally made from scientism characterized it as vapid, vacuous, nonsensical and irrelevant. Actually, scientism is more precisely characterized as valuable, insightful, sound and cogent. Scientism is used to criticize the strict allegiance to science and empirical inquiry as a means to knowledge. Science (and the ‘knowledge’ it yields) is a red herring in light of the problem of God. Any notion that the empirical inquiries of science may eventually discover God is innately confused. The reason for this is summed up quite nicely in the first verse of the Tao Te Ching.

The Tao that can be spoken is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.

The Tao of Lao Tzu is equivalent to the Qualia of Daniel Dennett. So also, the Qualia of Daniel Dennet is equivalent to the God of the Bible. Though these are three very aesthetically different concepts – the existence of each and one presents a dilemma that the hasty pursuit of empirical ‘facts’ refuses to acknowledge. Empirical ‘facts’ are red herrings insofar as they are used to provide valuable explanations for the ineffable. In light of the ineffable, empirical ‘facts’ are as insubstantial as mathematics and as mythical as a Joseph Campbell oration.

To raise a question like, ‘why is a plant green’ is an outright dissent from the ineffable. It is to assume that what is ineffably cannot be without a reason. As much of a dissent as asking this question is, to endorse an answer – this is a far worse transgression. To endorse an answer is to dwell in that dissent. It is to fasten a reason unto that which has no use for one.

Science is the best at this – primarily because it holds itself in the highest regard. For example, science gives a detailed account of how plants are green due to the chlorophyll that absorbs a particular type of light in order to do work. As detailed as this explanation can get, it couldn’t be further from actuality. A plant is green ‘prior’ to there ever being a reason for the phenomenon. Moreover, if a plant is green prior to any reason for it, then any reason for its being green is not a cause. In other words, the reason ascribed to its being green is a foundational myth – a cherry tree tale. You may be familiar with the foundational myth of George Washington.

wrote:
It is speculated that the first reason that Mason Locke Weems wrote a biography on George Washington was that he was a shrewd businessman who possessed an uncanny sense of what the public wanted whether they knew it or not… What the public in 1800 needed was something new to talk and think about, no matter if it was true or not… The public, in 1800, was badly in need of a hero. Weems gave them a hero in the form of a little boy who made a mistake but was brave and honest when confronted. Then that child grew up and became president of the United States of America. In any era, that would be a hard act to follow. So, again, did Washington chop down the cherry tree? The answer probably lies somewhere between: Is there a Santa Claus and Does the Easter Bunny live on Easter Island?

The answer lies in the heart, which does not always distinguish between fact and fiction but always knows what it cherishes.

- suite101.com

Those who cherish science do not always distinguish between fact and fiction. Albeit, a majority of those who cherish science have never distinguished between fact and fiction: not accurately at least. Had they done so, they’d have stopped wasting their breath ‘disproving’ the non-Empirical God long ago.

But the empirical ‘fact’ of the green plant is cherished for a good ‘reason’, one might say. This fact about green plants helps cope with the constant flux of the world. In autumn, plants that were green change colors. Explaining this process in terms of the chlorophyll that shuts down to prepare for the winter is a way to cope with a world that is always changing.

Very well, I’ll consider that a reasonable objection. But this does not get science off the hook. Empirical facts relay other foundational myths that are not endorsed in order to cope with a world in flux. These other myths, in their being endorsed, create a world of flux. A common conception that I’m sure science would stake some claim in is that one will cease to exist without nourishment. Somehow, nourishment is equated with life. But again, the same counter holds from this empirical fact; existence is prior to any reason for it. It cannot be said to occur for any reason nor by way of any reason. Such a conception as to the cause of existence presumes that existence is indebted in its very occurrence – life is somehow always dying. It is as when Eve ate the fruit because she saw that it was good for nourishment. This because/good relationship - this 'reason' is what banished her from the Garden of Eden; the serpent presupposes in her a lack – that simply by existing, she is malnourished. It is a perspective fueled by an inherent inadequacy. In the Biblical metaphor, the Ineffable is far from this foundation of flux which forms the female existence.

The world in flux is not only a problem that is coped with. This world in flux is a problem that is created. Moreover, it is a world that many are striving to continue. At this very moment it is likely that someone who cherishes science is seeking an empirical explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness -as if consciousness is in need of an explanation. Will the ineffable ever be adequate for this cherisher of science? Is she metaphorically deceived by the serpent? Can she ever exist without myth?

All attention paid to a world in flux is a dissent from the ineffable. However, one thing is certain about those who pay attention: when they are united within the niche of their foundational myth, they are a force to be reckoned with. No matter what name they go by – scientist, Scientologist, Muslim, Atheist – each is ready to herald their foundation against the world. And although the same inadequacy that warrants each of their communities can never lead them back to the ineffable, the unity that is gained as a result of their inadequacy is ineffable in its own way. Afterall, to be the highest was never the aspiration. To be higher than the lower – this is the real triumph.

 


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 Making absolutely no sense

 Making absolutely no sense is like a hobby for you, isn't it? Science is just for discovery. That's it. Curiosity and all that. If you want to be ignorant or believe arbitrary things, that's fine - just try not to take it out on other people.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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So many words, zero

So many words, zero substance.

 


deludedgod
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Your tactics are immature

Your tactics are immature and irritating at best. Had you bothered to put together a substantial critique, I would have bothered with a substantial response. You obviously ignored most of the paper, or perhaps stopped reading halfway through. I was not endorsing the notion that empirical inquiry constituted the be-all, end-all of epistemology. I was critiquing the rhetorical employment of the term "scientism" in argument by those who are propagating vapid ideas, and trying to advance non-methods and bad methods under said guise. Nor was I endorsing the notion that it is possible for empirical inquiry to . Rather, I was arguing that the argument that empirical inquiry cannot explain certain things does not constitute an epistemological free-pass to non-methods and religious assertions, as that would constitute a fallacy of false dichotomy. 

Having said that, you have nothing to back up your assertions pertaining to the notion, in a Feyerabendian vein, of "scientific mythology". The explanation of "clorophyll" as being the pigment that produces the color that we percieve as green-ness in a plant does not constitute a "reason" for the plant being green. Just as the plant was green prior to their being a reason for it, the chlorophyll pigment existed prior to said "reason" for it. The notion of a "reason" for something is a human construct. We do not deal in such notions. We say that certain things and mechanisms have functions, never reasons. Having said that, again, you haven't made a rational methodlogical critique of science, or whether it is epistemologically valid. At best, you have made a set of non-concomitant, disjointed assertions that are not relevant to the debate at hand. At worst, you have simply been immature, inserting new words into paragraphs and deciding that this constitutes an argument. Whereas I actually work in a scientific field and therefore can point you to examples of where a preoponderance of facts is employed to explain and predict concomitant phenomenon and construct theories, you cannot offer a sound methodological critique which states the contrary. Nor can you defend the metaphysical assertions and their lack of method that I was attacking because they had a lack of method. You've simply made assertions as if these constituted arguments, much of these pertaining to notions that I was not endorsing. You have not put together a set of coherent arguments that do not have foundations in immature tactics. Paragraphs such as this:

Quote:

The world in flux is not only a problem that is coped with. This world in flux is a problem that is created. Moreover, it is a world that many are striving to continue. At this very moment it is likely that someone who cherishes science is seeking an empirical explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness -as if consciousness is in need of an explanation. Will the ineffable ever be adequate for this cherisher of science? Is she metaphorically deceived by the serpent? Can she ever exist without myth?

Are completely meaningless and it is impossible to take them seriously. You haven't put together a sound, rational, mature critique of a method and a concomitant argument. You haven't been able to refrain from attacking me personally. It reminds me of postmodernist literature with a quasi-religious twist, retaining the associated incoherency. THere is absolutely no substance to your assertions. Whereas I can assemble my argument into a set of points which employ a premise-conclusion relationship to create a logical proposition, paragraphs such as the following:

Quote:

Very well, I’ll consider that a reasonable objection. But this does not get science off the hook. Empirical facts relay other foundational myths that are not endorsed in order to cope with a world in flux. These other myths, in their being endorsed, create a world of flux. A common conception that I’m sure science would stake some claim in is that one will cease to exist without nourishment. Somehow, nourishment is equated with life. But again, the same counter holds from this empirical fact; existence is prior to any reason for it. It cannot be said to occur for any reason nor by way of any reason. Such a conception as to the cause of existence presumes that existence is indebted in its very occurrence – life is somehow always dying. It is as when Eve ate the fruit because she saw that it was good for nourishment. This because/good relationship - this 'reason' is what banished her from the Garden of Eden; the serpent presupposes in her a lack – that simply by existing, she is malnourished. It is a perspective fueled by an inherent inadequacy. In the Biblical metaphor, the Ineffable is far from this foundation of flux which forms the female existence.

It is exceedingly difficult to critique paragraphs such as this not because they constitute watertight arguments, but because it is virtually impossible to decant a rational set of points with a logical conclusion. You cannot expect lengthy responses if your prose is literally a non sequitur. The fact that you justified the above with the following:

Quote:

But the empirical ‘fact’ of the green plant is cherished for a good ‘reason’, one might say. This fact about green plants helps cope with the constant flux of the world. In autumn, plants that were green change colors. Explaining this process in terms of the chlorophyll that shuts down to prepare for the winter is a way to cope with a world that is always changing.

Rather reminds me of Lucy Irigaray's attempt to demonstrate that Einstein's mass-energy equivalence is sexist because it favors the speed of light. It is meaningless. This does not constitute a rational critique of the method by which it was found that plants have a pigment called chlorophyll and chlorophyll is the cause of green-ness, which is to say there is a preconditional relationship. If the plant did not have chlorophyll, they would not be green. Because of genetic position variegation, some plants have patches of leaf cells with defective chloroplasts. These patches are red or white in color.

 

At any rate, this sort of critique is completely meaningless. Science is not an act by which some truth which did not exist prior to the investigation is brought into being. Just as the plant was green prior to being any "reason" for it, so too, the plant had a green pigment before anyone bothered to investigate the notion. The act of discovery of chlorophyll does not constitute bringing hitherto nonexisting truths into being about the "reason" why such and such should be green and such and such should not. It is not a meaningful critique. We do not speak of "reasons", as that has implicit teleology. We speak of mechanisms by which things occur, we speak of functions, we speak of properties, and causes, but never "reasons". The plant simply has a pigment which produces a spectral emission which our eyes read as green. The plant produced this pigment prior to humans with eyes that could percieve green could ever possibly comprehend the notion. THere is no "reason" for this, it simply is.

Just to be clear to everyone else here, this person is meant to be "critiquing" this article here:

The Argument From "Scientism"

But a simple perusing of the post should indicate he did not read the entire thing let alone respond in a coherent fashion. Since I made the statement above that I could condense my argument into a set of coherent points, whereas my opponent did not have a coherent argument, I shall do the same here, and assemble what I wrote into a set of condensed points. I shouldn't have to do this since this problem could be remedied by actually reading your interlocutors:

The first thing I started out was that I was not defending the notion that empirical inquiry is the be all and end all of epistemology. That is the correct definition of scientism, also concomitant with logical positivism. Rather, I was attacking the way the word "scientism" was used by rhetoraticians to propogate poor arguments. This boiled down to a set of points.

1. Where an empirical inquiry is made into a domain it previously could not, the charge of scientism is sometimes made. This might be made for reasons of incredulity, such as with the example of Relativity I provided. However, in the modern context of the employment of the word (the word did not exist when Relativity came forth in 1905) it is usually used in a religious context. In that sense, it is usually used to attack new scientific disciplines tapping into domains previously held to be univestigatable by empirical means. I provided the example of ethics, which can now be studied in biology.

2. Principally, I used neurotheology as an example. This field studies the relationship between areas of the brain and belief in God. I wasn't defending whether or not neurotheology was a valid field or not. The key point was that the assertion of scientism does not constitute a valid evaluation of a scientific field's investigation. The only way to evaluate a set of empirical knowledge claims is whether they can explain and predict phenomenon based on a preponderance of fact to create cogent theories.

3. A key point which is concomitant is that it is difficult to maintain the notion that scientific inquiry into a field previously thought inaccessible to empirical methodology constitutes an exclusionary practice. THis is because when the assertion of scientism is made in this context with this concomitant claim, it is never said precisely where there used to be a metaphysical or "non-material" method to investigate the same phenomenon and build an associated set of theories which explain and predict phenomenon. It is difficult to assert that domains like neurotheology constitute a "materialist ideology" because there was never any non-material method to evaluate. Whether or not neurotheology or any other domain that infringes on concepts previously off limits to empiricism is valid is a different matter that must be assessed independantly of such rhetoric.

4. Because of this, it is likely that the charge of scientism constitutes a red herring to deflect from the fact that there is no "non-material" epistemology and methodology to assess in the same manner which can make a coherent assembly of truth claims based on a preponderance of facts which explain and predict phenomenon. Scientific inquiry into a certain field might be valid, or invalid. But that must be assessed by examining the method by which the theories built from it, and making a judgement based on that. The charge of "scientism" does not constitute a rational investigation of the validity or lack thereof into empirical inquiry into a certain field.

5. Because if this, the word "scientism" has lost all meaning. The original and correct meaning of the word as coined by Jurgen Habermas is associated with the logical positivist belief that science is the only way of knowing, a notion which, if you actually read the essay, I reject. However, the assertion that a certain empirical inquiry into a domain that some people believe should remain off-limits constitutes scientism is difficult to assert for the reasons outlined in (3). In addition, this notion is sometimes used to let the fact slide under the radar that there is no "non-material" method for investigating the same phenomenon, which constitues a false dichotomy fallacy.

That's all. A very simple argument that you failed to grasp and remotely even begin to adress in a meaningful fashion.

Now to return to what you attempted to argue in the bulk of the post. I did go into this in some detail in my article. Your most immediate tactic was to replace words in my essay with those that fit your opinion on the matter, which is simply the height of immaturity and I shall not adress it.

I have heard the "scientific mythology" arguments for a long time ever since Feyerabend, having read both Against Method and Protecting Society From Science. But they are not very good arguments, especially not your variants. For one, as I pointed out, I am having a difficult time discerning meaningful points from your post, more so than in the most tortorous postmodernist works. If you could condense your argument in the manner that I did, it might be easier to act upon. Since, from a philosophical perspective, I've always stuck up for the epistemological validity of science, the most important step when I deal with criticism is to be able to act upon the criticism. If it is difficult to get a foothold, it is usually because the argument is incoherent, not brilliant. THe most serious charges are usually the most crisp. For example, one charge I spent much time on in my work is the argument that science is unreliable because it relies on inductive premises which, in turn, are unreliable. I do not think much of the criticism, but it is concrete and can be acted upon.

The biggest problem I have with the assertions of those who propogate the more extreme Feyerabendian school of philosophy of science where science constitutes "modern mythology" and the concomitant assertions that "empirical testing and method are not nearly as relevant to determining scientific theories as social and ideological contexts" and "science is no better than witchcraft and mythology" etc. ad infinitum is that to make such judgements, it is necessary to be familiar with both the general principles of the methodology, and the examples upon which such a critique is built. One of the things I mentioned in the essay was that science is taught as a set of disjointed facts without any attention to the general principles of method, experiments associated with said scientific theories and the preponderance of observations. Hence, even to many people familiar with scientific facts but who do not actually work in the fields associated actually performing experiments, there is a tendancy to see science as a mystical authority, not a method, and hence the accusation of religiosity and mythology find an easier time in said intellectual climate. However, one who wishes to propogate such assertions should be familiar with the experiments, observations and concomitant methods by which the notion that the theories derived are true representations of reality rest. Before deciding whether the statement "the pressure of an ideal gas is inversely proportional to its volume" is based on a preponderance of "fact" or "fiction", presumably, I should be familiat with the method by which the idea is derived. In the experiment in question, a notched sealed tube filled partially with gas at the top and oil at the bottom is hooked up to a pressure gague. The very purpose of science is by experimentation and observation to determine facts about the natural world that we could otherwise not gather! In this regard, especially in modern science, which deals mostly in things we cannot see, things we were not around to witness, things that are too far away to gain knowledge of otherwise etc. the very thing that methodologically constitutes "Science" involves designing a method that allows us to gain knowledge of a set of facts about the natural world which are then used to explain, predict and build upon other facts. Consider a very simple example I began describing above. In Robert Boyle's experiment at Oxford, Boyle demonstrated the for an ideal gas of constant temperature, pressure and volume are inversely proportional. However, it is very difficult to do this directly. "Pressure" after all constitutes the amount of force being applied over a certain area. There is no device that one can insert into such an apparatus that would measure this directly. Instead, in the experiment indirectly measures pressure by attaching a gauge to an air pump that pushes oil into a sealed glass tube which compresses the gas inside at a fixed molarity. The gauge will measure the pressure applied by the pump, again, indirectly (the pump pushes a needle in the gauge which is driven by a mount that is fixed to the air tube).

In order to decide, therefore, whetehr the preponderance upon which Boyle constructed his generalized statement is fact or fiction, it is necessary to evaluate the method, and since he was directly measuring, observing and testing the variables he was investigating in order to create his statement, it is a perfectly rational conclusion to state that what he was doing was methodologically valid and it is contingent and rational to accept the knowledge claim which is associated. These knowledge claims are then supplemented by the those in kinetic theory. Whereas Boyle's experiment (and the other two Ideal gas experiment, Charle's Experiment, and Guy-Lussac's Experiment) makes a generalized statement called a law. Kinetic theory, which was the explanation of mechanism behind the generalizated statements, was then used to explain and predict the behaivor of gases in better detail. In addition, as show, the theory can predict phenomenon ahead of time and later be vindicated.

Good examples of where scientific methodology is used to explain and predict phenomenon based on a preponderance of fact used to construct theories are endless. Todangst cited the periodic table. Although approximately half the elements in it were undiscovered at the time of Mendeleyv's work, it was still possible to ascertain the properties, physical and chemical, of every single one of them, based on the periodic table. These predictions were later vindicated by the discovery of all of these elements and their correct places on the table. Another great example is evolutionary genetics. In microbiology, there are a huge number of species of bacteria which are exceedingly difficult to study in the lab. But by using those species which are easy to study, and applying the principles of evoloutionary genetics, whereby the homologous genes are sequenced and identified, since that process is ubiquitous and much easier to do than other forms of analysis, using homology to explain and predict the properties of these species can be done without studying them in the lab. These predictions are later verified by improved techniques in applied microbiology where these organisms can be studied. Another example to consider are non-Ohmic conducters. When Ohm demonstrated his constant of proportionality for current and voltage in a current-carrying wire, the theory upon which the general statement of V=IR was built could explain and predict non-Ohmic conducters (some, such as lamps, are non-Ohmic because they give off light as well as heat, for example). In other cases, inductive claims that were made based on experiments were overturned. This is the Popperian notion of falsification. As todangst wrote, in discussing myths concomitant with the Feyerabendian approach:

Myth 2 - Science claims to have "all the answers"

This is related to myth #1. While we learn about "science' in "science class" the scientific method itself is typically not taught explicitly in schools. For this reason, we come to see scientific facts devoid of the method of science, we come to see science as just "another subject" like English - a group of facts that we are to learn to the point of memorization, and never question. Science appears to us as a mystical and unknown authority, that claims to have answers to everything.

This is unfortunate, because science is all about questioning what we know. Science, by its real nature, is humble and tentative. It does not claim to have all the answers, in fact, what it claims to have is the best way to learn what the answers may be. Those who disagree are invited to offer their critiques of this falsfiable claim!

Myth 3 - Science is merely one more authority, like all other claims to knowledge.

Science not only asks us to question authority, it depends upon the questioning of authority! New learning often comes from refuting current claims about the world. While much of science does simply add to what we already know, the greatest scientific discoveries turned previous knowledge on its head (i.e. Einstein's relativity, quantum theory, chaos theory)

Myth #4 - Science changes what the 'answers" are all the time, making it unreliable

I first saw this claim on a creationist website. What this myth does is mistake the "error correcting" abilities of the scientific method for being "wishy washy" - it mistakes the tenatitve nature of scientific claims as "uncertain". At the same time, it mistakes the "certainty" of dogma for being "correct"

Being certain does not tell us that we are right, and in fact, being certain often keeps us from uncovering what the truth actually is. The scientific method recognizes that human dogma is merely a way to quell human anxiety, and not a means towards truth at all.

 

Another way to supplement this notion and hence draw a distinguishing between "science" and non-science the way the Feyerabendian's refuse to is to consider the confirmation relationship between different theories.

There is no way to directly measure "temperature" of a macrosystem since that would literally entail counting all the particles in that system, recording their speeds at a certain instant, adding them up and dividing it by the number of particles. Rather, a device called a thermometer allows us to indirectly measure temperature by means of raising the level of an index of mercury in sealed glass vial against notches plotted on an arbitrary scale. The existence of neutrons can be demonstrated by applying an electric field to atoms of gold, which causes them to bend towards the Y-plate at a rate which is inconsistent with their atomic number. The number of neutrons a particle has can be derived this way (these results are in concordance with those of the periodic table). Electrons were not demonstrated to exist by scientists looking through femtoscopes to witness electrons. The charge effect created by firing particles at a phospholuminescent screen indicated that the particles had a negatively charged component. The fact that the particle would curve very sharply towards the positive plate indicated it had a very low relative mass. All this is an example of indirect empiricism, which is the foundation of scientific methodology.

Because science constitutes to such a large degree of indirectly measuring and observing otherwise hitherto inaccessable variables and mechanisms, there is a confusing interlock of disciplines and theories. To that end, I argued that processes that rely on indirect empericism have an effect of confirming hypotheses in a bidirectional manner. For example, the experiment in which one demonstrates the existence of neutrons relies a priori on knowledge about electricity which was gained in previous experiments by virtue of similar methods of indirect empiricism. If any piece of scientific knowledge A is the necessary precondition for B , then the conformation of B independantly will act as a fortiori for A (not conformation, that would be circular reasoning). The existence of, say, proteins, unthinkingly relies on knowledge that atoms exist and constitute matter. WIthout this, there would not be proteomics. An experiment in proteomics that does not reference atomic theory, but relies on it that confirms a proposition about proteins that obviously requires atomic theory to be true solidifies it as a foundational theory.  Broadly:

Iff A is true then B could be true

B has been proven true

A is true

Obviously, we already knew A was true to begin with, but the point here is that where A is confirmed as true by an experiment independant of theories B, C and D which require A to be true, then any experiment confirming B, C or D independant of A will act as a fortiori for A. This is a fundamental principle of the accumulation of knowledge in science. These experiments which do not test a certain claim but test claims that could only work because of the claim in question therefore act as a fortiori for these claims. Note that these claims A which the proven hypothesis B relies on must have been proven independantly of and a priori to B otherwise the reasoning would be circular.

In short, the claims associated with the "scientific mythology" arguments are terrible. In order to pass such judgement, it is absolutely necessary to be versed in the field you are critiquing like it is the back of your hand. Hence, you inserting new words into my paragraphs to communicate your beliefs pertaining to the "scientific mythology" argument such as your assertion that the theories used to explain and predict phenomenon are based on "fiction" necessitates understanding of the field in question before you can pass such judgement. It is exceedingly difficult to critique experimental inquiry into DNA if you are unfamiliar with gel electrophosphoresis, or experimental inquiry into intracellular vesicular traffic if you are unfamiliar with freeze-frame microscopy etc. When you are familiar with the method upon which the prepondernace to the theories in question are gleaned, it is possible to make a value judgement on their factual or ficticous basis. Until then, it is merely ex ignorantium. To a large degree, these arguments rely on the assertions of people who simply are ill-educated in the matters they are attempting to critique, hence cannot pass judgment on methodological validity until they have the necessary understanding. Presumably, if I wanted to answer "is the belief in DNA's existence a reasonable one?" I would examine the experiments, theories, and then theories built on those theories and the associated experiments etc etc. and make a judgment based on that. The simple assertion that such methodology is irrelevant when considered alongside social/ideological factors does not constitute a critique of the rationality of the belief. Much of Protecting Society from Science constituted whining about how science was overly respected as opposed to an actual critique of the method, a tactic which would later cause the philosopher David Stove to accuse Feyerabend of being and enfante terrible. As Roger Sandall, the historian and philosopher wrote (paraphrasing) "So, if we had Feyerabend tied to the tracks where a train was approaching, and Feyerabend's voodoo practicioner sitting next to him trying to ward off the train, would the laws of Newtonian mechanics, stating that the Force an object applies is directly proportional to it's mass, yield? If we had one thousand Feyerabendians sitting on one thousand train tracks with one thousand voodoo practicioners, it is very safe to say that the whole empty critique would come crashing down in a mighty epistemological stroke".

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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MattShizzle
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Looks like it's about time

Looks like it's about time for the asshat avatar.


jcgadfly
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MattShizzle wrote:Looks like

MattShizzle wrote:

Looks like it's about time for the asshat avatar.

That's why we have mods.

If it was left up to me - it would be too much of a pendulum. There would be days I'd  tolerate just about everything and days  a lot of people would be wearing the asshat.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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writing

Let's get one thing straight. "God" did not write anything. "Jesus" did not write anything (not that I think he ever existed).

Let's (for the heck of it) say that a god does exist. One would think that he or she would have written down "the rules" so that everyone in the universe could understand them clearly, so that no "translation" would be necessary, or such that no "interpretation" would be different. And one would think said rules would be preserved for eternity. What kind of god would screw up "the rules"? DOH! A made up one!


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Deludedgod, I did not

Deludedgod,

I did not ignore any portion of your post. I know very well what you were endorsing and what you were critiquing. Furthermore, I have read your response and see that it has not characterized anything that I actually addressed.

I claimed that empirical facts are red herrings INSOFAR as they are used to provide valuable explanations for the ineffable. Moreover, the majority of science books include what you call the “human construct” into empirical facts. As a result of this, empirical facts are red herrings. In your previous argument, you were claiming that the argument from scientism does not constitute an epistemological ‘free pass’ to non-methods and religious assertions. If you would have recognized the one sentence that I left untouched, you’d have seen that we are in accord on this matter. I also do not believe that the argument should be used for those means. I was using the argument of scientism for specific other means. I do not have qualms with science and scientific inquiry insofar as it is a revelation of that which is already ineffable. However, I do have a problem with you INSOFAR as you hold that these ineffable things that are made evident possess functions. Allow me this apology...

As you say that the notion of a reason is a human construct, you must now understand that the notion of a thing possessing a function is also a human construct. A thing cannot have or possess a function. At best, a function possesses a thing. Because your scientific work is based on an invalid notion, nothing yielded by way of that work can be equated as valid.

Deludedgod, if you possessed a function, and you did not know what that function was you possessed, then it is not you that possesses that function. In other words, you are not in charge of that function: that function is in charge of you. You do not have that function: that function has you.

Deludedgod, if you possessed a function, and you did know what that function was that you possessed, if I asked you why you possessed it, it would be impossible to answer in a way that distinguished you as a thing in charge of that function. As we have already established, any ‘reason why’ can be no cause for the ineffable.

Chlorophyll’s producing the color, then, is an invalid statement insofar as chlorophyll is the thing responsible for the producing. The producing occurs and chlorophyll is not in charge. Thus the chlorophyll does not have or possess a function. Such a statement is a confused statement. Production possesses the chlorophyll.

As science is a field that yields these inherently backward conclusions, there is absolutely no validity in this field. Which leads me to ask you deludedgod, why do you do it?

Don’t even bother answering, because the answer follows from the logic. YOU are possessed by a function deludedgod, and so your very function is to look behind functions for the things that possess them. YOU are a function deludedgod, and so the function that possesses you looks behind functions for the things which possess them. YOU is not free. YOU is not distinct from the function that possesses it.

Deludedgod, you call yourself a scientist and an atheist. But these names mean nothing. They are merely “human constructs” as you say. You are only the function that created you, and you spend so much time evidencing theists and the wicked thing that possesses them. You evidence the theist’s tricks of trying to introduce non-methods for inquiry. Do you not know that the same thing that possesses them is that which possesses you? They look behind the world and conclude “God!” . You look behind them and conclude “Conniving!”. Everybody is looking behind everyone without removing the plank in her own eye. Is it not written in Luke 11:39 “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”

Has not the Bible testified about you? You make yourself an atheist, but inside, you are no different from the theist that makes himself a theist. Are you not an atheist only to look inside ‘others’ and judge what is inside of them? Remove the plank in your eye deludedgod, then you will be the god that you were made to be by birth. Rid yourself of the reality in these human constructs and you will be the god you were destined to be. Did not the Bible testify in Psalm 82 “I said, ‘You are gods’; you are all sons of the Most High. But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.” Surely this will not be your plight, will it?

Deludedgod, please do not believe in the slightest that I am here to lord your ignorance over you. I am, as you, a son of the Most High. I am not free of Him myself. The only difference between you and I is that I am displaying my ignorance in even sending this message to you. Do you understand what I am telling you? The Most High that possess me is not like the Most High that possess you. From my own beginning, it has always been clear that there is not a thing behind the function.  It has always been the case that a function is only what it lends to me through immediacy. But here, in writing to you, I am violating the very function that is responsible for my existence. I am suspending the function that brought me into existence to help the YOU behind the function realize that it is not a YOU behind a function. This is an ignorant task in itself. If the YOU behind the function is not a YOU behind a function, then who is this YOU that I is writing to? I is a ignorant fool as well. I am an ignorant fool, just as you.

But the Bible testifies, “‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, for she was taken out of man’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame. ”

And so it is that when Jesus said “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days”, He left his own Most High to be united with his wife; that wife was the likes of you deludedgod. When he died to his ignorance and was raised to life, he went back to his own Most High. But he did it for you and your Most High deludedgod, he made himself an ignorant fool so that you may have the courage to stand naked as an expression of your own Most High. That courage can only be gained in faith that you may find others like him.

Your own Most High demands that you look behind functions for things. That thing that you should look for is me. I have looked behind you to reveal your Most High, and in doing so, I have transgressed my own Most High. It is you that shall stand naked before your own God for the sake of me and my own. We are many and do not wish to transgress our own Father. However, we wish to be known so that we are not judged by the ignorance of your own people. My people are not like your people, yet we are subject to your distinctions.

Tact and presentation is not our field; such cannot help you believe we are from the God we claim. Methods are not our manner. They cannot anoint our words with any substance. Progress is not our direction. We do not call on you to take leadership, we call on you so that we may serve you.

We cannot help these perspectives of ours. They own us, not we them. But understand that we exist for your nourishment. Our flesh is real food, our blood real drink. As it is, many Christians are starving in the face of you Atheist. They are an old wineskin and their skin will burst at new wine. Leave them be. Let them continue drinking their old wine. Let them continue propagating the good book. In their ignorance they will be working for God. But you deludedgod, you are prepared for the new wine. You are prepared to work for God as you have received the final gnosis. The power has been given to you. In my twenty-three years of life, I have endured enough. My people are the poor and oppressed. What happens for us is left up to you. Spring is upon us. Is this not the time for the renewal?

 

 


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In the debate process, you

In the debate process, you are doing, as last time, what we call "filler". Everything starting from "Deludedgod, you call yourself a scientist and an atheist. But these names mean nothing. " ...down to the bottom of the post is of absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the debate. It is incoherent, does not contribute an argument from the disucssion at hand, at times is insulting, and at all times is not relevant. Only the first few paragraphs were actually spent on an argument, and even then, if you can compress your argument into two sentences, don't write 10 parapaphs, especially when 8 of them are useless (here's an acid test. If they have Scripture in them, they're useless to this debate, ja?). Henceforth, please try to just keep your arguments in the post. There is absolutely nothing below that line for me to respond to. And if such an approach cuts your post down by 3/4, the better.

Principally, your argument is a "critique" of the validity or lack thereof of scientific methodology. You told me to "not bother answering". I have half a mind to do this since your behaivour up until this point has been completely outrageous and almost comical. I thought I had dealt with the charge previously. You seemed to be hung up over a single parapraph in said response, the employment of the word functions.

As I explained to you before, causal relationships can be distinguished. THere are various ways of doing this. In this case, the confirmation is a counterfactual test. When the Chlorophyll is removed, the plant is not green. Technically, the statement "Chlorophyll causes the plant to be green is meaningless". THe plant is not green. Chlorophyll is green. Without Chlorophyll, the plant would not be green because Chlorophyll as an object is the green thing inside the plant that makes it appear green.

Your hangup over my employment of the term "function" is misguided. WHat I meant to say, and did say, was that we are not bringing some previously non-existent truth into being, hence establishing a backward causality. The Chlorophyll was always there too- before there was ever a reason for it. It is not clear precisely how your assertion of backward causality holds weight being that we are not investigating the reason for the plant being green. If something underlies something else, that thing too existed before there was a reason for it. But that does not mean there cannot be a causal relationship between things (this assertion is a non sequitur), just as with chlorophyll and plants. Indeed, your entire argument is simply irrelevant.

All this aside, your assertion is simply a non sequitur. There are causal relationships between things, and have been before we could investigate them. It does not constitute a methodological critique to assert that it is invalid to investigate relationships between things and underlying properties because such properties existed "before" there was ever a reason for them. It's not even clear what this means. It's just as easy for me to take it one step backwards. Chlorophyll "existed" before there was ever a reason for it. It's analogous to a man who finds a rock shattered on the ground, where above it is the lip of a high cliff. Upon examining scratch marks and residue left on the cliff, he deduces that the rock fell off the cliff. The argument that follows, that you have been applying, in this situtation would read in exactly the same manner: The rock was on the ground before there was ever a reason for it. Buit that isn't quite true. The rock had to fall off the cliff to be on the ground. In the same manner, if plants did not have chlorophyll, they would not be green. The logic is not escapable. It is perfectly plausable to employ a causal relationship scheme to investigate if things underly other things. This approach is called reductionism, and it works.

What you are asking is essentially the existentialist question (not Camus': "Why don't we all commit suicide'? The other question): Why does such and such need a reason to be? Why does the plant need chlorophyll to be green, why can't it just be green? Why can't the rock just be on the ground. But if it is releaved that other things underlie that mechanism, by means of empirical testing which confirm that properties are caused by other things, the question isn't relevant. If I say "the light bulb glows because elecricity runs through the tungsten filament, which glows" and you say "This is causally backwards. The light bulb glowed before there was a reason for it", this is not quite true. There is a causal relationship. A light bulb without a tungsten filament will not glow, and, more to the point, the light bulb is not even glowing. The tungsten wire is glowing. What we are investigating with a reductionist approach is those things which underlie other things. We might do this because such underlying mechanisms might be too small to see directly, etc. as is the case with indirect empericism. It is not clear what you mean to assert that science is causally backward because such things that we observe have had such functions before a reason for them was brought into being. I told you, we are not bringing previously non-existing truths into being. If I say "electrons are flowing through the tungsten wire which makes it hot", I am simply affirming something that existed, without a "reason" before I was ever able to investigate the notion, or before a brain which could comprehend the notion of "electrons" had evolved on this plant.

I already dealt with the validity of the scientific methodology. It is true that science is a human construct, just like mathematics. However, this does not constitute an epistemological critique. Constructivists have long since reconciled this notion with epistemic validity, ever since the collapse of logical positivism. I addressed some of these points in the previous post. The notion of science not being a valid representation of the empirical world (its claim to epistemic validity) because it is a "human construct" is not a tenable claim. All things human are "human constructs", including our methods. Does that mean they are not valid? No, such a claim is a non sequitur. In my previous post, I addressed what constitutes a valid evaluation of a method.

Lastly, unless you stop being so rude, superlicious and haughty, I'm not going to adress any of your posts henceforth. Do you have any notion of conducting yourself in a proper manner in debate?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Just thought I'd hammer

Just thought I'd hammer these statements home, since I agree heavily with you here:

deludedgod wrote:
Principally, your argument is a "critique" of the validity or lack thereof of scientific methodology. [...] It is true that science is a human construct, just like mathematics. However, this does not constitute an epistemological critique. Constructivists have long since reconciled this notion with epistemic validity, ever since the collapse of logical positivism.

I'd also like to add that a "critique" is not a QED, and DG's use of the word "critique" here is generous (to say the least).

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DG once again earning his

DG once again earning his title! bravo man, bravo! lol


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Deludedgod & Scientism

 

Brief Recap

Argument from Scientism: deludedgod critiqued the employment of the term “scientism” by those who were propagating vapid ideas, trying to advance non-methods and bad methods under said guise. In this post, deludedgod argued that because the argument was made by certain people that empirical inquiry cannot explain certain things, this does not constitute an epistemological free-pass to non-methods and religious assertions.

He was not arguing that empirical inquiry was the be-all end-all of epistemology. Nor was he arguing that empirical inquiry is never vapid. He was simply stating that the argument made by certain other people for the sake of a free-pass constitute a ‘fallacy of false dichotomy’.

 

Defense of Scientism: (I) 1-24, defended the claim of “scientism” in its use to criticize the strict allegiance to science and empirical inquiry as a means to knowledge. 1-24 claimed that empirical ‘facts’ are red herrings insofar as they are used to provide valuable explanations for the ineffable. 1-24 disagreed with deludedgod in his stance that science and scientific theories used to explain and predict phenomena based on a preponderance of facts. 1-24 differed from deludedgod in discrediting the idea that empirical inquiry into any domain is not an exclusionary practice. 1-24 asserted that it is. I differed from deludedgod in believing that it was significant that supposed metaphysical “methods” which were being excluded by empirical inquiry into this field, have produced no fruit whatsoever. He believed it was irrelevant.

I did not oppose the idea made by deludedgod that poor methods, or non-methods, cannot be included solely by virtue of the necessity of having some diversity in the study. On this matter we were in accord.

 

Rebuttal concerning DoS: deludedgod reiterates his position. He claims I, 1-24, did not read his entire argument or ignored most of it. Went on to say that I defended in a ?Feyerabendian vein? The notion that science is a myth. The main rebuttal was that science does not attempt to give reasons for ineffable phenomena. Rather, science uncovers phenomena that correlate to other phenomena. He claims that the correlation is not made to explain the ‘reason’ for the concomitant phenomenon as a ‘reason’ is a human construct and science does not deal with such notions. Instead, science tells of certain things/mechanisms and the function these things/mechanisms have. This was all said, presumably, to counter my stance that empirical ‘facts’ are red herrings insofar as they are used to provide valuable explanations for the ineffable.

Deludedgod concluded that I had not made a rational methodological critique concerning science nor its epistemic validity. He also concluded that I could not defend the metaphysical  assertions and their lack of method that he was attacking because they had a lack of method {not quite sure which specific metaphysical assertions that he was attacking}. I, 1-24, made assertions not pertaining to things he endorsed in his initial post.

 

1-24 Counter to Rebuttal: I respond to claim of not reading the entire initial argument. I claim that I did read entire argument, and that I knew very well what deludedgod was endorsing. I assert that we were in accord on the main point of his post - that poor methods, or non-methods, cannot be included solely by virtue of the necessity of having some diversity in the study – and show where that statement was expressed in my defense of scientism. I restated my claim about empirical facts being red herrings insofar as they are used to provide valuable explanations for the ineffable – under the presumption that his response showed an incomplete understanding of the point of my argument.

I respond to his chief rebuttal,, that the facts that empirical inquiry reveal are not reasons, but are concomitant factors of said phenomenon. In this response I state that I do not have qualms with science and scientific inquiry insofar as it is a revelation of things/mechanisms that exist prior to any reason. Moreover, I introduce my qualm with his rebuttal: that these existing things/mechanisms have functions.

I state that the idea that a thing has/possess a function is an invalid notion and that functions possess things. Then I demonstrate why. Moreover, I concluded by this logic that deludedgod was, a thing possessed by a function and insinuated that the function is God.

 

Deludedgod Rebuttal to Counter:

deludedgod wrote:

In the debate process, you are doing, as last time, what we call "filler". Everything starting from "Deludedgod, you call yourself a scientist and an atheist. But these names mean nothing. " ...down to the bottom of the post is of absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the debate. It is incoherent, does not contribute an argument from the disucssion at hand, at times is insulting, and at all times is not relevant. Only the first few paragraphs were actually spent on an argument, and even then, if you can compress your argument into two sentences, don't write 10 parapaphs, especially when 8 of them are useless (here's an acid test. If they have Scripture in them, they're useless to this debate, ja?). Henceforth, please try to just keep your arguments in the post. There is absolutely nothing below that line for me to respond to. And if such an approach cuts your post down by 3/4, the better.

Principally, your argument is a "critique" of the validity or lack thereof of scientific methodology. You told me to "not bother answering". I have half a mind to do this since your behaivour up until this point has been completely outrageous and almost comical. I thought I had dealt with the charge previously. You seemed to be hung up over a single parapraph in said response, the employment of the word functions.

As I explained to you before, causal relationships can be distinguished. THere are various ways of doing this. In this case, the confirmation is a counterfactual test. When the Chlorophyll is removed, the plant is not green. Technically, the statement "Chlorophyll causes the plant to be green is meaningless". THe plant is not green. Chlorophyll is green. Without Chlorophyll, the plant would not be green because Chlorophyll as an object is the green thing inside the plant that makes it appear green.

Your hangup over my employment of the term "function" is misguided. WHat I meant to say, and did say, was that we are not bringing some previously non-existent truth into being, hence establishing a backward causality. The Chlorophyll was always there too- before there was ever a reason for it. It is not clear precisely how your assertion of backward causality holds weight being that we are not investigating the reason for the plant being green. If something underlies something else, that thing too existed before there was a reason for it. But that does not mean there cannot be a causal relationship between things (this assertion is a non sequitur), just as with chlorophyll and plants. Indeed, your entire argument is simply irrelevant.

All this aside, your assertion is simply a non sequitur. There are causal relationships between things, and have been before we could investigate them. It does not constitute a methodological critique to assert that it is invalid to investigate relationships between things and underlying properties because such properties existed "before" there was ever a reason for them. It's not even clear what this means. It's just as easy for me to take it one step backwards. Chlorophyll "existed" before there was ever a reason for it. It's analogous to a man who finds a rock shattered on the ground, where above it is the lip of a high cliff. Upon examining scratch marks and residue left on the cliff, he deduces that the rock fell off the cliff. The argument that follows, that you have been applying, in this situtation would read in exactly the same manner: The rock was on the ground before there was ever a reason for it. Buit that isn't quite true. The rock had to fall off the cliff to be on the ground. In the same manner, if plants did not have chlorophyll, they would not be green. The logic is not escapable. It is perfectly plausable to employ a causal relationship scheme to investigate if things underly other things. This approach is called reductionism, and it works.

What you are asking is essentially the existentialist question (not Camus': "Why don't we all commit suicide'? The other question): Why does such and such need a reason to be? Why does the plant need chlorophyll to be green, why can't it just be green? Why can't the rock just be on the ground. But if it is releaved that other things underlie that mechanism, by means of empirical testing which confirm that properties are caused by other things, the question isn't relevant. If I say "the light bulb glows because elecricity runs through the tungsten filament, which glows" and you say "This is causally backwards. The light bulb glowed before there was a reason for it", this is not quite true. There is a causal relationship. A light bulb without a tungsten filament will not glow, and, more to the point, the light bulb is not even glowing. The tungsten wire is glowing. What we are investigating with a reductionist approach is those things which underlie other things. We might do this because such underlying mechanisms might be too small to see directly, etc. as is the case with indirect empericism. It is not clear what you mean to assert that science is causally backward because such things that we observe have had such functions before a reason for them was brought into being. I told you, we are not bringing previously non-existing truths into being. If I say "electrons are flowing through the tungsten wire which makes it hot", I am simply affirming something that existed, without a "reason" before I was ever able to investigate the notion, or before a brain which could comprehend the notion of "electrons" had evolved on this plant.

I already dealt with the validity of the scientific methodology. It is true that science is a human construct, just like mathematics. However, this does not constitute an epistemological critique. Constructivists have long since reconciled this notion with epistemic validity, ever since the collapse of logical positivism. I addressed some of these points in the previous post. The notion of science not being a valid representation of the empirical world (its claim to epistemic validity) because it is a "human construct" is not a tenable claim. All things human are "human constructs", including our methods. Does that mean they are not valid? No, such a claim is a non sequitur. In my previous post, I addressed what constitutes a valid evaluation of a method.

Lastly, unless you stop being so rude, superlicious and haughty, I'm not going to adress any of your posts henceforth. Do you have any notion of conducting yourself in a proper manner in debate?

 

Deludedgod,

I would first like to address the last comments that you made in your most recent response. You ask me whether or not I have any notion of conducting myself in a proper manner in debate. I want to respond to this, first off, by saying that I did not recognize that this was a debate. No invitation was sent to me. But if this is a debate, so be it; that we are debating does not quite change anything for me. Secondly as regards to my rudeness, ‘superlicious’ness and my haughtiness: for two of these, I beg your pardon. Without a doubt, I have underestimated the effectiveness of the words I write in conveying what I need you to understand. What is more, I have overestimated your aptitude in deciphering my meaning from these words. As a result of these estimations I have written with, and very likely more than, a twinge of haughtiness and rudeness. Had it not been for the direction you took the argument in your most recent response, I would have never known this was the case. I now see what is actually in the way of our accord.

And in regards to your comments on Scripture; let it be known that I do not use Scripture as evidence for what I speak. I use it for two reasons: the first is so that I am not credited for this as any new knowledge. Hence, I do not wish to offend any religion.  The second reason I use Scripture is solely for communication, id est, for the purpose of communion. Hence, I do not wish to defend any religion. In my employment of it, Scripture is at most, an instrument for bringing to light what is within darkness. But the issue for me is the bringing and as you do not wish to hear the Scripture, then it cannot bring you.

In your previous post, you express an uncertainty in regards to how it is possible for the backwards causality conclusion to hold. You also still see no epistemological/methodological critique of science. It is true that I am hung up on your employment of the term ‘function’, but it is not misguided. Allow me this apology:-:

I see from this your last post that you have stated a few things that show an inconsideration for the terms I use and how I employ them. This, I will ascribe to miscommunication on my own behalf.

deludedgod wrote:
Technically, the statement "Chlorophyll causes the plant to be green is meaningless". THe plant is not green. Chlorophyll is green. Without Chlorophyll, the plant would not be green because Chlorophyll as an object is the green thing inside the plant that makes it appear green.

This statement suggests a lack of understanding of what it means for a thing to be ineffably. I did not explicitly define it, I just assumed you knew it or would look it up if there was any uncertainty. I equated it with Daniel Dennett’s ‘qualia’ as I have seen his name mentioned often on the forums. There exists no way to know what is ineffably, without experiencing it immediately. You may have heard the thought experiment {I believe it was of a girl named Mary} where one has seen nothing but black and white her whole life therefore, she wouldn’t be able to fathom what it is like to see red. Colors, being qualia, exist in a way that is not fathomable without its being upon us. One cannot make the color red fathomable: red must, in a manner of speaking, make itself known to a person. Thus to say that chlorophyll causes the plant to be green is wrong due to the fact that green makes itself known immediately: ‘prior’ to there ever being a cause for it.

Now, if green did not make itself known immediately, then the plant would not be green. The reason the plant would not be green is simply because green did not make itself known immediately. As the plant was green by way of its ineffably being green, then {if that plant is not green} it is not so by way of green not making itself known to the person who doesn’t see it green.

In the statement I just took from your previous response, you say that the plant is not green and that the chlorophyll is green. You also state that without the chlorophyll, the plant would not be green. This is incorrect with respect to the ineffable. If the plant is green it is green ‘prior’ to any cause by way of chlorophyll. It is green prior, because it is green through immediacy. In other words, it is only green as soon as green makes itself known to you. If green never makes itself known to you in a plant, this is not due to the ‘fact’ that there is no chlorophyll. This is, instead, due to the ‘fact’ that green did not make itself known.

Therefore, if the function is the green and the plant is the thing, it is not the thing that possess the function. It is not the plant that possess the element of greenness; ineffably at least. On the contrary, it is the green that possesses the plant with its greenness.

Now, as regards my argument in the defense of scientism, I claimed that empirical facts are red herrings insofar as they are used to give valuable explanations of the ineffable. Chlorophyll’s being green does not explain the ineffable experience of a plants being green. How this holds has just been explained.

This metaphysical understanding of how the plant is green may be considered a non-method. It does not really tell us anything about how the phenomenon takes place. This is true, there is no question of how the phenomenon takes place. But it is equally accurat, if not more accurate than the story told about chlorophyll which is also a non-method insofar as it is what is green or it is what causes green.

But, what is the significance of all this? Perhaps its significance would be easier demonstrated with an ineffable event rather than an ineffable quality. Now an event can be ineffable only if it lends itself to the observer strictly through immediacy. As long as its being immediately made known is the case, an event is ineffable. Let us take the event, “the sun rises in the east and sets in the west”.

Now this statement can only be ineffable insofar as the associated variables are clearly defined in terms of immediacy. Let us take the variable east for example. East can only exist through immediacy insofar as east designates a particular visual area, e.g. the mountains. East cannot mean a direction in relation to other directions since directions in this sense do not lend themselves through immediacy. So also is the case with the word west. It must designate, for example the ocean. The verbs rise and set must also have a visual correspondence. It only makes sense that a thing can visually rise and set with the idea that there is a bottom – a ground from which a thing can move away from and then return to. And lastly, the sun must mean the thing that rises in the east and sets in the west.

An ineffable event is descriptive only if the description is identical to what is lent to it through immediacy; in this case, through the faculty of sight. If for example, by the sun, I meant one singular item that repeatedly rises in the east and sets in the west, the sentence would no longer describe the ineffable. Because the sun has been defined as a perduring item, the sentence would no longer describe the ineffable. It would appear to be descriptive, but it has transitioned from the descriptive to the normative.

In this instance, the difference is only slight. However, when a statement such as “the earth revolves around the sun” is accepted, this normative statement is a far cry from what is ineffably evident.  The earth now plays a role, the sun becomes perduring the verb becomes out of sight – the ineffable world is hidden in the face of this. The epistemic faculty which discerns each fact {or fict, perhaps} is unique but neither noticeably more correct or valid than the other. The existence of both creates a great dissonance – not because they are equally valid [or invalid for that matter] but because the self can only desire validity – the stability therein. And so it is that as was the case in the George Washington quote, the answer lies in the heart, which does not always distinguish between fact and fiction but always knows what it cherishes. The Bible is the story about the struggle, the tragedy, and the triumph of this bind. I will say nothing further about it since this is of no interest to you.

If you go back and read everything I have defended and argued under these pretenses, I am sure you will find that those things which you prematurely asserted about the irrelevance of what I spoke were actually the misled assertions. Moreover, the non-sequitirs which you accused me of, were not the non-sequitirs.

In conclusion, the ten thousand distinctions are all manifestations that stem from the mysterious phenomenon that has no prior. But to live presently under both the mystery and the manifestation is much more easily said than done. There are many circumstances that need be accounted for in order to maintain what is essentially the instability necessary for communal success, because any community – any kingdom worth living in – must account for all of its subjects. It must account for both of its subjects.

Perhaps it will now mean something to you if I wish you a Happy Resurrection Day.

{MOD EDIT: Don't create new threads for the same crap.}


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deludedgod
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Ah, this is the Berkeleyian

Ah, this is the Berkeleyian argument. Idealism. Slightly different from what I expected, but only because of the example you chose. I thought your critique was existential in nature, the notion of things requiring reasons for occuring. But because you chose this particular example with the intrinsic quality of greenness, I see I was mistaken, and was attacking the wrong argument.

Unless I am mistaken again, this is precisely the same as Berkeley's argument against science. In Berkeley's critique, Locke's dichotomy between first order and second order qualities, or bare order properties of matter, corporeal and spatial, whereas second order qualities were properties which property-less substance inhere. But to Berkeley, this is completely meaningless. SOQ cannot be said to be "properties" of "bare" FOQ. FOQ are just as much in the mind as is SOQ, and hence the whole of any being exists in perception and not until it is percieved. "In short, let any man take the qualities of color and sound, and show that they exist only in the mind, and he shall find, by extension, that so too this applies to figure and motion" -Berkeley.

If I am mistaken again, it is hard to be too unforgiving, since the following sounds exactly like the above:

Quote:

Now, if green did not make itself known immediately, then the plant would not be green. The reason the plant would not be green is simply because green did not make itself known immediately. As the plant was green by way of its ineffably being green, then {if that plant is not green} it is not so by way of green not making itself known to the person who doesn’t see it green. . This is incorrect with respect to the ineffable. If the plant is green it is green ‘prior’ to any cause by way of chlorophyll. It is green prior, because it is green through immediacy. In other words, it is only green as soon as green makes itself known to you. If green never makes itself known to you in a plant, this is not due to the ‘fact’ that there is no chlorophyll. This is, instead, due to the ‘fact’ that green did not make itself known.

You'd be hard pressed to find a philosopher who still sided with this argument. In modern epistemological theory, greenness is not a SOQ. In the previous post, I was unaware that we were discussing sense data/reality relationship, so I used the phrase "Chlorophyll is green". Now I know better. Locke's assertion is still untenable (how does one seperate FOQ from SOQ?) but so is Berkeley's about the fact that the plant would be green via immediacy (esse est percipi). "Greenness" cannot be ascribed to any substance as if greenness constituted a property unto itself, because it does not make sense to speak of bare-order property. This is where the notion of ineffability comes in. I am quite aware of what ineffability means. It means inexpressable via words. I am also familiar with the experiment, the name you are looking for is Mary's Room. But now that I know we are talking about the sense data/reality relationship with respect to the ineffability or lack thereof of SOQ, then I can say that the biology which does explain the relationship between "greenness" and chlorophyll does not explain the ineffable aspect of "greenness" under discussion. And no one would claim it would. However, the Berkeley-derived idea that "greenness" is an ineffable quality that makes itself known through immediacy is difficult to maintain for several reasons. The first was outlined in David Stove and Bertrand Russell's GEM critique of idealism (Berkeley moved from the tautology "nothing can be thought of until thought of" and went to "nothing can be brought into being until thought of&quotEye-wink. The scientific realist would say that "greenness", despite being perhaps an ineffable quality or property, does have a relationship, however difficult it may be to ascertain via limited human faculties, between some property or bundle of such properties that does not need to be brought into being by the immediacy of the greenness making itself known (Kantians say something similar). The ineffable quality of "greenness" is not explained by chlorophyll. (Again, apologize for previous post. DId not realize the argument was from an idealism direction). What it does explain is effable qualities of some properties that may have a relationship to ineffable properties that congregate under the notion of qualia (colors, shapes, etc). So, for example, to say "chlorophyll, during photosynthesis, has electrons induced to move to higher energy levels within their orbitals. When they relax, they release a photon as compensation. The wavelength of this photon is recognized by our eyes and to which is ascribed the quality of "greenness". This explanation does not explain the ineffable quality of greenness, nor is it meant to. Nor does it comment on which way the relationship goes, or whether the greenness is brought into being by the immediacy of experiencing it, as Berkeley would say. But a scientific realist would say "the chlorophyll undergoes this process of releasing photons. It does not matter if the person is present to witness this occurance. "Greenness" merely constitutes the ineffable nature of our experience of the object. But, if you aren't an idealist, this object should have an underlying nature independant of your experiencing greenness. And, to a scientific realist, this above description, being that it does not describe the ineffable "greenness" should provide some inkling of said underlying nature. We aren't in the business of explaining the ineffable. We';d be out of business. But, the explanations offered herewith, of chlorophyll and photons, and such, aren't meant to.

Anyone who rejects Berkeley's thesis must naturally accept that there must be an effable aspect of that which he percieves. If all were ineffable, then all would essentially, only be that which he could know via immediacy, as what with Berkeley said. But, as I said, you'd be hard pressed to find a philosopher who accepts this, the most extreme form of idealism. And, to the scientific realist, whilst the qualities under discussion are ineffable because we percieve them through immediacy, such as, for example, "redness". In the thought experimet you brought up, a girl called Mary is brought up in a black-and-white room with only black-and-white things. Of these things are books on neurobiology and physiology which explain in perfect detail precisely the manner in which colors are emitted, the ideas of wavelengths and how the eyes process them (retinal and chromopheres, rhodopsin) and how the brain processes them and the experience of the color. Yet she still has no concept of what it is like to experience redness despite the fact that she can explain it in perfect detail. A scientific realist would simply say that there exist an ineffable quality of qualia, and the associated qualities of redness and such, but of such things there exist underlying facts which are effable despite that they do not explain the ineffable nature of these qualities. So that, for example, the perfect detail of our understanding of the neurobiology behind the perception of redness cannot give Mary the ineffable understanding of "redness". And, of course, it is perfectly fine to maintain this notion. However, it is unclear how you have moved from this to the assertion that empirical facts constitute "red herrings". They don't, because they don't explain the ineffable. Unless you accept Berkeley's idealism, you must accept that underlying that which we percieve has a nature indepedant of the immediacy of our experience of it. Kant believed it was possible to gain complex knowledge of this, despite the fact that our senses delivered a very constructed and ineffable nature of reality to our minds. In a sense, this is what scientific inquiry does. Although, not in the way that he meant it.

Quote:

On the contrary, it is the green that possesses the plant with its greenness.

This is just as meaningless as trying to decant SOQ from FOQ. What is "greenness"? How can you say that an SOQ "possesses" an FOQ? Furthermore, what does it mean to speak of an "object" without reference directly to SOQ? Again, you'd be hard pressed to find a philosopher who would be willing to accept that. The "plant" merely constitutes an bundle of properties. It is not meaningful to seperate these properties from the object called the "plant" because these properties are the object called the plant.

Quote:

It would appear to be descriptive, but it has transitioned from the descriptive to the normative.

This makes no sense, how precisely have you justified the assertion that "the sun sets in the West and rises in the East" to be normative?

Lastly, it should be noted that what we are discussing now has nothing to do with my essay on scientism.

Lastly, the term "Feyerabendian" refers to Paul Feyerabend, a philosopher of science who put forth a similar "scientific mythology" argument.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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 The argument that I am

 

The argument that I am making sounds very similar to Berkeley’s argument, but it is not the same for a subtle reason. From my understanding, Berkeley introduced this argument to counter the Lockean perspective that substance is defined as a support and cause of qualities that exist out in the material world. I believe the main argument that he had against Locke was that this substance cannot be said to exist out in the material world. Substance was merely things that we perceived. I suppose it should be noted that by substance, what is meant (I believe) is spirit or animation – a soul. Berkeley continues this argument of skepticism about the soul to skepticism about every perceived thing, saying, “what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these or any combination of them should exist unperceived?”

Now if Berkeley introduced this argument only to counter the idea of materialism, then our arguments are different. Although I believe that from this statement that he may have been trying to explain what I am henceforth about to.

Green is something perceived strictly; there is nothing more to be inferred about it. Green is that which is given to us without question. But there are two stories to be told about that which is given to us without question. One is the story that Locke tells: that material things exist outside of us. The other is what Berkeley tells – that no things exist outside of the ideal. The issue is not about which one is true, but that the truth of each position is based on initial suppositions.

Green is not what makes itself known to us. Only because there exists a backdrop from which green can be abstracted can we say that green even exists. Thus, respectively, and accordingly necessarily,  green is quite effable.. which is why we can call it green or a color. What is truly ineffable is that about which there is nothing further to be said. Now, at any and every given moment, there is nothing further to be said about the world present to us; nothing to affirm as an identity, or to classify in any way. The discrepancy with this is that we have a capacity that allows us to; a faculty that allows for us to classify that about which there is nothing further to be said. Thus, as Locke said {although he was speaking about substance} , “not imagining how these simple ideas can subsist by themselves, we accustom ourselves to suppose some substratum subsist and from which they do result, which therefore we call substance”. Only the ideas here that would translate to our particular sense would be ideas such as perspective and depth of vision. And the issue isn’t not imagining how these ideas subsist, but instead, accepting a priori that these ideas do subsist for the purpose of maneuvering with respect to them. The translation is then ‘accepting a priori that these ideas subsist for the purpose of maneuvering with respect to them, we accustom ourselves to suppose that some substratum subsist out within that depth’.

But, as we have seen with Berkeley, this notion can be offset with the notion that what can be found out in space always has an immediate quality. Thus under the reality of immediate qualities, one would not accept a priori that the subsistence of perspective and depth of vision is ample incentive to attempt to maneuver with respect to it. But by maneuver with respect to it, it is not meant that one does not, for example, travel from one place to another. Nor is it meant that places elsewhere do not exist. What is simply meant by ‘not maneuvering with respect to it’ is only that the reality of ideas are concretely negligible: they only have worth phenomenologically. Thus, the normative claim that I made about the existence of omniscience in the thread ‘introduction’ holds due to phenomenological realness. All knowledge is complete since no knowledge is concrete.

In the presence of this distinction between two manners of viewing the world, it is not possible to have any complete understanding of a person’s a priori truths. Moreover, I think one can understand by judging his own self that the reality about which he maneuvers is not chosen by him, as he can barely fathom what it would be like to maneuver with respect to the other reality. To believe the other reality to be manifested in an individual takes correlative knowledge. But to believe in the other reality is of no use to either that person or the other believed to be under that authority. In this sense, the distinction between the two manners is extraneous. However, insofar as a person is compelled to make use of the authority of the other’s upspring, the distinction is vital.

Dialectically, any such compulsion is in opposition to one’s a priori reality since any such compulsion aims to suspend its own reality for a foreign one. Hence to act on such a compulsion is to boldly resist the realm of one’s initial upspring. But to resist that reality is not possible in the sense that one would no longer be bound by that reality. To resist that reality would be to accept not just in belief, but in conviction, the worth in the authority that is foreign to it.

Anyway, what should be said most importantly about this is that no one is born with knowledge of the other, but we all receive hints that can lead us to that knowledge. Moreover, conviction is the type of trust in the other such that there is no one to blame in being let down by it (John 12:44-50). I believe there is enough information here so that the Bible can be read and deciphered in light of these truths. But I will admit, even though you can pick out any part and decipher what it means, some of it depends on the flow of the story. For example, to know that the Japhethites and his descendants are all from earth (the non-ineffable upspring) you would have to have read and understood the story of Noah in his drunkenness. Again I know that you have no real interest in the Bible, it is only that it drains a lot of me to try to explain these things in this kind of language. It is worth it for me to do so, but I would rather not have to if questions can be answered through that text. Many of the previous arguments that I made presumed that you would follow what I was saying. Since what I said was still unclear, I wrote this one, which is really the very base distinction between the two perspectives of which each of us is one.