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Saturday, March 22, 2014

V J Torley on Scientism

V J Torley (at Uncommon Descent): Why science cannot be the only way of knowing: A reply to Jason Rosenhouse

It's a very good essay or discussion about scientism, and I encourage Gentle Reader to read it (*). Yet, sadly, Mr Torley himself subscribes to scientism, if not as thoroughgoing (nor as blatantly absurd) as Mr Rosenhouse’s scientism.

Consider merely Mr Torley’s title: "Why science cannot be the only way of knowing" ... which implied question falsely assumes that 'modern science' even is a way of knowing. The truth is this: what we call 'modern science' is not at all a way of knowing.

The problem is this: the claim to know something is the claim that some certain proposition one believes (or at least avers) to be true is, in fact, true. BUT, 'modern science' doesn't start with truth, doesn't deal in truth, is uninterested in truth, doesn't uncover truth (except accidentally), and, importantly, 'modern science' contains no means to distinguish a scientific statement or claim that happens to be true from one that happens to be untrue.

Ergo: what we call 'modern science' is not at all a way of knowing. If one does believe some particular scientific proposition to be true, one does not, and logically cannot, believe so on the basis of science: science simply doesn't go that far.

And people, for the most part, refuse to understand this.


(*) at the same time, his deliberate use of "gender inclusive language" -- that is, his deliberate violation of English grammar by using leftist politics-as-language -- demonstrates that he is willing to trim the truth in a vain attempt to get a pat on the head from the cool kids (who would murder him if they could).

Edit 2014/03/23:
William J Murray makes a good comment:
Science isn’t a way of knowing – at least, not knowing anything significant; science is a way of collecting data. For that data to be useful in any meaningful way, it must be interpreted through a model of one sort or another. You have described some of the fundamental structure of one conceptual model used to interpret data into facts, evidence and theories.

The problem with many atheists/materialists/physicalists is that they have lost sight that they are interpreting data through a conceptual worldview which while perhaps useful, may or may not be true. The method of science is only about collecting data, while it is philosophy that interprets that data into meaningful (and useful) categories and relationships.

A/M/Ps are mistaking their philosophy of data interpretation for reality.

4 comments:

RD Miksa said...

Dear Ilion,

If you or your readers are at all interested, I have posted a commentary on your blog post here:

http://idontgiveadamnapologetics.blogspot.ca/2014/03/quick-thought-can-science-give-us.html

Take care,

RD Miksa

Ilíon said...

Here is RD Miksa's URL as a clickable link Quick Thought: Can Science Give Us Knowledge?

Ilíon said...

By the way, thank you for the link. I've also added your blog to my blogroll.

RD Miksa said...

Dear Ilion,

Sorry for the late reply. Just wanted to thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I will be doing the same with yours shortly. Truth be told, I am just building up my blog slowly, and that is why your blog (and a number of other blogs that I read) have not yet been added to my own blogroll.

Thank you again.

Take care,

RD Miksa