What are people’s views on scientism?
I know there are many definitions of the term. Whether it is good or bad depends on the definition used, such as the one which merely holds it is a rejection of supernaturalism, a purely natural worldview. Michael Shermer for one holds it to be a good thing in this article: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000AA74F-FF5F-1CDB-B4A8809EC588EEDF
In a discussion on the philosophy of language (specifically Wittgenstein, who’s I dislike), Strafio seemed to suggest we should only scientifically examine claims/beliefs, and point out fallacies, if they are presented scientifically/empirically, e.g. “So if a person's religious practice isn't based in scientific claims then it is wrong to evaluate by scientific methods”
I completely disagree. I hold that if a belief or claim concerns nature/reality, then it is in the arena/interest of science, since science is the study of nature/reality.
I also hold that beliefs/claims do not have to be presented scientifically in order for them to be relevant to science, or to be examined scientifically. For example, some claims, such as “evolution is wrong” or “the second law of thermodynamics disproves evolution” are clearly calling for a scientific response since they are clearly and directly encroaching on scientific grounds. However other claims are far more subtle, such as “I believe Jesus rose from the dead.” There is nothing explicitly scientific about this belief or claim, nor is it present as scientific, but it certainly still affects and encroaches on science so we can look at it and respond to it scientifically.
Apparently this was “scientism.”
So how do people define ‘scientism’ and what’s your view of it?
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan