Scientism teapot

From Wikinormous


Bertrand Russell from ”Is There a God?”

”If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

another cup

I'll argue that this can be very much applied to not only any type of religion, but any type of conviction, be it animism, objectivism, anarchism, naive realism, liberalism or any type of ideology, model, method, no matter how emotional, traditional, logic, scientific or empirical causal.

When any belief uttered in language, symbol or form, you've more or less captured it, or yourself in dogma. Not even Dao escapes it (maybe). And naturally neither myself. I tried. – I'll never have dogmas! Therefor I'm dogmatic.

Scientism has its teapots indeed (not raking on science per se but science stuck all too dogmatically) and an opponent 'heretic' is easily spotted and smeared or hung up.

the biscuit crumbles

As a true skeptic or perspectivist, one has to be skeptic to the very language, semiotics and instruments one uses to perceive and explain ones science and theories. The language is not perfect to say the least, it is in fact very crude. Language is symbol for reality, or ”the map is not the territory”. What ever 'reality' is seems to be forever revised by new discoveries.

No idea, theorem or theory is more vague than that claimed to be a law. If a theory or law has a 'natural' strength against critique and endures many years of discourse and innovation, does not de facto make it more rigid than any other idea. It is merely an issue of time, motives, trends of human thought stuck or even purposefully hindered in its processes. Development is not to walk yesterdays paths, but to find new.

So no law has ever withstood its own revisions. Laws are therefore a false notion and futile for means of evolution, ideology or ruling in any type of venture. A bit harshly we could say – nothing is certain, since sooner or later there will come new worldviews and novelties. So all laws are 'false' from the get-go, no matter how long they last. I do not suggest however that every idea or concept is unworkable, indeed the contrary, but as we say, they are bound to a specific culture [1], tradition or scientific matrix (paradigm). The context or the matrix itself is weaves of ideas and thought patterns and likewise up for modification. There might well be working constructs, but there may well be infinitely many more. And again, the matrix construct is a model, a smaller scale interpretation of 'actual reality'. The day when we obliterate semantic, mathematic and all perceptive paradoxes, we might grasp wholly what infinity means (maybe) or what ever the whole should be called. 'Virtual reality', more appropriate to call what we normally perceive as 'actual reality', is only as far as our perception and insight takes us. And we are not done yet ...

So ’everything is possible’ (a creative variant of above 'nothing is certain') is not just a cute phrase, but the key to our survival and evolution, in small as well as grand scale.

”This philosophy [technical philosophy] derives its inspiration from science in several different ways. Take first its best aspect, as developed by Dewey. He points out that scientific theories change from time to time, and that what recommends a theory is that it ”works”. When new phenomena are discovered, for which it no longer ”works”, it is discarded. A theory–so Dewey concludes–is a tool like another; it enables us to manipulate raw material. Like any other tool, it is judged good or bad by its efficiency in this manipulation, and like any other tool, it is good at one time and bad at another. While it is good it may be called ”true”, but this word must not be allowed its usual connotations. Dewey prefers the phrase ”warranted assertibility” to the word ”truth”. Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, 1952 pg. 99

have a little objective faith

Aren't most of us searching perfection? Ultimate scientific truth, authentic societal system, spiritual Oneness, purest objectivity? But doesn't the essence of all these efforts lie in the 'search for'? We can in fact not 'have it' but merely 'try to reach it', like the utopia. The word itself suggesting the 'non place'. It is the ideal place, the idea of a method perfected. It is not what we can ever gain, but ever strive for. We certainly can reach goals, but we irrefutably will seek new ones.

The scientific method is at best 'perfect' as an idea. Like many other tools and methods. But applied, with our fallible human efforts it is not. Likewise Buddhism, politics, art or whisky distilling. Like all above pitfalls of human language, we mustn't exclude Our motives, our human psyche; careerism, mammon, nepotism, fear ... So to claim to have an infallible method is quite dangerous whatever human endeavors we throw at it. If you explicitly play your 'perfection game' conservatively, we might say it is 'more' dogmatic. But is it perhaps not more precarious claiming you are perfectly free from dogma? (and others not) The Goethean "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free". Whatever method You have is best in comparison to? Who/what is to judge? Empirical evidence? Epistemology? Objectivity? These examples are all but human fallible constructs, naïve realism or phenomenology. Objectivity tries to jump out though.

Objectivity, a concept, an ideal, or in fact a belief of an 'unbiased non subjective reality', something external to or independent of the human mind and perception. It takes faith for such a notion of an 'all incorporating independety'. As a symbol for being more emotionally detached and thinking independently out of the box, it is a great allegory, and quite self explanatory. However, true objectivity might 'be out there', just like Love, God-dess, sacred geometry or nihilism ... but they still are 'just' ideally thought up. But I have seen God! I have touched sublimity! I've felt the singularity! All the best to you, but try to describe that in human finite communication.

Science per se can never be a 'one singular objective truth'. It is ideally an accumulated knowledge base, or rather many, from the beginning till today, and yet, many things are either purposefully left out, forgotten or based on half-baked consensus ('what works'). There is 'perfect truth' too (I believe), but where, what, when?

A glass bead player would possibly say – Take in every aspect of human existence and beyond. Exclude nothing. There are truths in lies and vice versa. There is no One perfect path, unless you encompass it all ... but it's still just a concept



A-u-m silence

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