Monday, May 08, 2017

Scientism is as Scietism Does


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In discussion with atheists on CADRE "Skeptical" and "Pixey"  divert attention from my last missive with knit picks about the definition of scienitism Instead of focusing on the point m that the Institute of health defining scientism against Thomas Kuhn did not understand Kuhn, they choose to throw up smoke screens about which definition do I accept?I have maintained that all the definitions they offer are just different versions of the same concept any idea oriented around the hegemony of science overall other fields and forms of knowledge. Eric Sotnak said...



One problem with the term "scientism" is that is is far too often little more than the defensive accusation that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." That is, it is an accusation of narrow-mindedness. But as such it has far more bark than bite.  That may b but not the way I use it,My accusation is not narrow mindedness but ideological hegemony,


Webster’s defines ideology primarily as “visionary theorizing.” Secondly, it defines ideology as a “systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture.” Here it makes three subdivisions: “a :  a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture b :  a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture c :  the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.” [1] So we see that scientific ideologies are about theorizing, not the great fortress of facts that some wish the mystique of science to imply. An ideology is a social movement or a political movement. Another dictionary brings this out more clearly:

Ideology

1.
the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.
2.
such a body of doctrine, myth, etc., with reference to some political and social plan, as that of fascism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.
3.
Philosophy .
a.
the study of the nature and origin of ideas.
b.
a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensation.
4.
theorizing of a visionary or impractical nature.[2] 

According to John Adams, Napoleon popularized the word “ideology,” which was used by the French philosophes. They used it in a positive light to highlight their own ideas, and in a negative sense to characterize the folly of others. Adams said that ideology was an attempt to explain reality because it was too complex.[3] According to Terry Eagleton, there is no one single meaning of the term, yet he seems to have clear enough idea what he means by it. It’s very common to find Marxists and other kinds of social and political revolutionaries using the word as though it means the legitimating storytelling of the dominant social project. As Eagleton points out, does that mean the rebelling faction doesn’t have their own ideology? That they never exaggerate or justify but always tell the truth? He says, “If, for example, ideology means any set of beliefs motivated by social interests, then it can’t simply signify the dominate forms of thought in a society.”[4] Ideology is what the other guy has, he claims. No one owns up to being ideological. In his review of Dawkins’s book The God Delusion, it’s pretty clear where Eagleton thinks Dawkins can be placed in relation to ideology:
Card Carrying Rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist that we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first year theology student wince.[5]

For practical purposes I define ideology in a general sense as : one idea that defines the world and determines how one sees everything, filtering all perceptions through the lens of its truth regime.

Ideology and Science

It seems that from the upper echelons of the world of books to the mid-level management of opinion leaders in movements such as new atheism, to the popular level of the internet and message boards, a truism has spread far and wide that science is the only form of knowledge. James Felton Keith quotes the architect of physicalism, Otto Neurath, as saying: “according to physicalism the language of physics is the universal language of science, and any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on physical objects.”[6] In 1964 George Richmond Walker wrote: “the thesis that art is important because, like science, it gives us knowledge of reality, has not fared well in modern philosophy [among logical positivists and the analytic school] …all cognitive experience belongs to science and they hold that the business of the philosopher is to analyze the methods, terms, and laws of science in order to clarify their logical structure and empirical content.” Even though this was written in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists way back in 1964,[7] it apparently has filtered down to the masses. We find the whole movement of new atheism thriving on this idea: the mid-level management of that movement and the popular level are both abuzz with it. As Mark Thomas of “Godless Geeks” tells us:

Our understanding of the world around us, and our abilities to predict what will happen are based on naturalism — the basis of science.  Naturalism is also the basis for how all people live their lives most of the time.To be explicit, modern science relies on methodological naturalism.  This means that science doesn’t incorporate any supernatural or religious assumptions and doesn’t seek any religious or supernatural explanations.  Science is the use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.  Science also depends on mathematics, which likewise has no religious or supernatural component.[8]


On the strictly popular level, Answers.com tells us “Science is the only form of knowledge. There is no way to know something without it being scientific in some way.”[9] As Stephen Barr comments:

“From the positivists this is to be expected.”[10]25

That’s what the positivist movement was about: philosophy embracing that it was not science and seeking to gain its share of control through the priesthood of knowledge. That Walker in 1964 analyzed the fortunes of art as an epistemic resource, was merely the valid job of a top-level thinker in the world of letters; it’s what they do. But when popular sources start saying things like “naturalism is the basis of science,” then we have cause for concern. Naturalism is not the basis for how we know things, nor is it the basis of science. Naturalism is a philosophy and an ideology— and science is the basis of it.

I can understand why one would say that science is naturalistic, because science must assume naturalistic means of knowing. But there’s a big difference in saying that science must make naturalistic assumptions and that “naturalism is the basis of science! The poppycock that “there is no way to know anything unless it’s scientific” is just popular twaddle. I know what I had for breakfast without using science. They are making a leap from “scientific knowing” to “naturalism” as though they are the same thing. Naturalism is an ideological understanding of the world. If science is so ordinary and so all-encompassing that ordinary observations that have no systematic nature are part of science, then religious belief is part of science too. These are actually philosophical statements, not scientific statements. They represent a philosophical doppelganger of science that rides on its coattails. Science is not a sweeping proclamation on the nature of all reality.


The problem is that no one actually sticks to this. Many people who do science for a living, and people who just love science and read about it in their spare time, as well as people who know almost nothing about it other than that society reveres it as the umpire of reality, all confuse the ends of science with their own agendas. They all baptize their own projects, beliefs, ideologies and prejudices in the light of science and confuse the goals and ends of the latter with the former. Richard Dawkins confuses the goals of science with his own distaste for religion. Others try to expand science into the realm of ethics, while still others, regarding it as the only form of knowledge, use it as a replacement for metaphysics and epistemology (all the while denouncing metaphysics and epistemology as “stupid philosophy that makes stuff up”). It’s hard to find pure scientific motives and at the same time stay within the domain of science, which is firmly planted in the department of “workings of the physical world.” Those who love and do science are humans, and they are prejudiced and biased and they mix their own motives, agendas and ideologies with the doing of science. For this reason science is a relative human construct. It is not the only form of knowledge and it is not the arbiter of all reality. These ideologies that attach themselves to science are the “others” of science.

Byron Jennings, Physicist from Canada, writes In Defense of Scientism.[11] He asserts that science should be able to determine the existence of God and he's going to do that the basis of a physical trace of phenomena they same way he would determiner any other kind of physical object, this is exactly one of the major arguments I've made against reductionists. They assume reality hasto be has we know it because we can control it. Anything that can't be controlled by our methods can;t exist, He uses the example of a tree, We know there;s a tree because we find its leaves, So God must shed physical qualia or there's no God. He says we should be able to prove God by our scientific methods, This obviously fits the basic concept of scientism even though we might subdivide it under different degrees. All the definition they taught in an attempt to confuse the issue are but various degrees of the same idea, Why should we assume God must be physical? They want to assume on ly physical things can exist because they can't control non physical.

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic, gave the commencement address at Brandeis University in 2013. Peter Lawler wrote an article for The Standard based upon that speech.[12] He pointed out the threat to the arts and thus to freedom from scientism and technologism. He points to Neuroscientists who seek to displace theology, philosophy, poetry. This is the idea that there is a ready genetic explanation for all we do and that understanding brain function is to understand all that there is to know. We can see that through Cyone’s literalistic approach to literature. The technologism of which he speaks is a good example of what I talk about in chapter one under the heading of “illusion of technique.” the idea that we can do anything, we can manipulate the world to match our desires, thus we control meaning and truth. Yet this only applies to one form of knowledge, science, and all other forms will all but wither away. This is because science feeds technology, the basis of manipulation and control.

In popular terms, the site “debate.org” has a debate on the question “is science the only source of true knowledge.” That should at least reflect the fact that people are asking the question. Their straw poll, which is of course not scientific and not representative, shows 44% of people who visited the sight, says yes science is the only form of true knowledge.” 56% say “no.” It’s true that even with a specialized computer going audience the ‘no’s’ have it, yet 44% is a large percentage.[13] They quote Hume: 
“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”[14]

They try to deny the validity of the term but we have major publishing figures using it and they deny anyone thinks that way but half the atheists in a poll do think that way even though an unscientific poll that is not no one, I have disproved Everything they said. The term has some vegness it is's like saying that Trump is a fascist, it has to be pieced together out of things peple say. But they so say scinetistic things.




Sources



[1]Marion-Webster’s dictionary online, “Ideology,” URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology, accessed 9/19/13.


[2]Dictionary.com, American Heritage new Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 3d edition, Houghton Mifflin Company 2005, online resource, URL: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ideology, accessed 9/19/13


[3]Jospeh J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, New York, New York: Vintage, 2005, 238.Adams was explaining to Jefferson that he had been too idealistic in accepting all the French revolution has to offer, and the meaning of the term “ideology” indicated a false infatuation with things only partially understood; that Jefferson was carried away with the romance and was too open to the entire program of the philosophes without understanding it well enough.



[4]Terry Eagleton, Ideology, London, Brooklyn New York: Verso, 1991, 2.Eagleton is professor of English at Lancaster University (England) and is a major literary critic.



[5]
Terry Eagleton, “Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching,” London Review of Books, Vol. 28, No. 20 (19 October) 2006, 32-34.

[6]James Felton Keith, “Integrationalism: Essays on the Rationale of Abnundance.” Detroit, Michigan: Think ENXIT press, no date listed, online URL: http://books.google.com.br/books?id=dgOinwwR-FoC&pg=PA12&dq=%22According+to+physicalism,+the+language%22#v=onepage&q=%22According%20to%20physicalism%2C%20the%20language%22&f=false, visited 1/11/11.


[8]
Mark Thomas, “Why Atheism?: History and Development of Science and Scientific Naturalism.” Web page URL:http://www.godlessgeeks.com/WhyAtheism.htm visited 1/11/11.Thomas apparently has some kind of job in computers and belongs to an organization called “godless geeks.” I quote him because his view illustrates the thinking at the popular internet level.



[9]
Answers.com, Wiki Answers.”Is Science the Supreme Form of Knowledge?” online resource: URL:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_science_the_supreme_form_of_knowledge, visited 1/11/11.


[10]
Stephen M. Barr, “Re-Telling the Story of Science,” Op cit.

[11]
Byron K.  Jennings, In Defense of Sciemtism MUSQUOD (April 9, 2015)

[12] Peter Augustine Lawler, “Defending the Humanities,” The Weekly Standard, Jun 17, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 38, 2013.  from the Online copy Jan 1, 2014



[13] Debate.Org, “Is Science the Only True Source of Knowledge?” owned by Juggle, LLC   online resource:

[14] Ibid.


55 comments:

Anonymous said...

You dedicate a fair chunk of your post to making clear the definition of ideology, but then carefully avoid defining exactly what you mean by scientism - the very subjkect of your post, and something you have been asked to define in the last few days.

Pretty good evidence that your definition changes according to the needs of the argument, and you want to avoid getting pinned down.

Get back to us when you are prepared to state exactly what you mean by the term.

Pix

Joe Hinman said...

I think you really justified my surmise that you do not understand how ideas work, you are so ingrained in science that you can't reason discursively very well anyone can understand when I say all the versions of the idea you bring up re the Salem idea,all the different ways to say it you are treatment different t wrongdoings as though they are different concepts.

How old are your children? what are the ages of your children,How long have your children been alike, how long since your children were born? these are all the same idea.

Scientific hegemony
science supersedes all other forms of knowledge
science is the only valid from of knowledge

these are all the same idea you have no actually offered any definitions that differ significantly.
Since I it;s an ideology then ideological concepts Lionel naturalism superconducting science also count as scientism. I should not have to fill in the gaps this.

im-skeptical said...

Scientific hegemony
science supersedes all other forms of knowledge
science is the only valid from of knowledge

these are all the same idea you have no actually offered any definitions that differ significantly.
Since I it;s an ideology then ideological concepts Lionel naturalism superconducting science also count as scientism. I should not have to fill in the gaps this.



Joe, you are so full of it. All these things are a figment of the religionist imagination. I wrote a whole article that addresses the issues you raise. I cited an article by Pinker that specifically answers the charge of scientific hegemony. You are the one who has failed to respond.

The truth is that science does not detract from human knowledge. It enhances our ability to know and understand our world. Religion detracts from human knowledge by denying the realities revealed by scientific inquiry.

7th Stooge said...

If you believe that the only truly justifiable or the most justifiable knowledge must derive from science as commonly understood, I would label that as "scientism." It is ideological because it's implicitly stating "only this kind of knowledge, the kind that's discoverable and verifiable by science counts as legitimate knowledge." It's circular and can;t be falsified. Pinker is confusing the findings of science, which are always open to revision, with the underlying assumptions of scientism as defined above.

im-skeptical said...

Pinker is confusing the findings of science, which are always open to revision, with the underlying assumptions of scientism as defined above.

Did you even read what he said? I think you're confusing religionist propaganda with reality.

7th Stooge said...

Yes, I did read what I said. Questioning scientism does not equal pro-religionism. You know that,I hope?

7th Stooge said...

On the contrary, the defining practices of science, including open debate, peer review, and double-blind methods, are explicitly designed to circumvent the errors and sins to which scientists, being human, are vulnerable. Scientism does not mean that all current scientific hypotheses are true; most new ones are not, since the cycle of conjecture and refutation is the lifeblood of science. It is not an imperialistic drive to occupy the humanities; the promise of science is to enrich and diversify the intellectual tools of humanistic scholarship, not to obliterate them. - Pinker

How does this refute what I wrote? He's'saying that his view of 'scientism' does not mean that all current scientific hypotheses are true. Scientism isn't about the findings of science but about the assumptions behind the ideology of science, ie 'scientism.'

im-skeptical said...

Scientism isn't about the findings of science but about the assumptions behind the ideology of science, ie 'scientism.'

Your problem (and Joe's) is the fact that you are much more willing to listen to people who are afraid of science (because it tends to support non-religious beliefs) and who create a false view of the philosophical and ideological beliefs of those who practice it, rather than to the people who you accuse of these things. Why do you refuse to take their word in explanation their own beliefs? Aren't they in a better position to explain it than religionists? What would you think if atheists tried to define what you believe?

Joe Hinman said...

all you do when you label valid historians and philosophers of science like Kuhn and Popper as "afraid of science" is admit to your ignorance,you are unaware of the intellectual world in the academy.Look up those guys in any standard reference work it does not say they afraid of science i says they were great thinkers.

your them-vs-us mentality is a dead give away, real science allows criticism of itself,

Joe Hinman said...

thanks for your excellent points 7

im-skeptical said...

I wasn't talking about Kuhn or Popper. I was talking about YOU. You keep hurling these ridiculous accusations about scientism, and then you say that MY attitude is "them-vs-us". What a laugh.

Joe Hinman said...

why ate they ridiculous, don;unknowable bulletin of atomic scientists? you have no respect for your own guys, you don't know science you only know atheist apologetic.

Popper warned of asceticism, so have a lot of people. I've quoted valid respectable thinkers.

you also have the ideology of naturalism at work in your thinking. that disguises itself as science but its really an ideology that extends behind scientific analysis,

im-skeptical said...

you have no respect for your own guys
- ??? I'm not part of any "them-vs-us" camp. That's your thing. I call out bullshit wherever I find it. And please note that I wasn't speaking about Kuhn or Popper. I was speaking about YOU.

Popper warned of asceticism
- ??? I never heard that. But if he did, so what?

Joe Hinman said...

so what is that you are treating it like I made it up and it;s some little creationist thing, I;ve already quoted some major people talking about it.

im-skeptical said...

I;ve already quoted some major people talking about it.

That just goes to show that you can't believe what those religionists tell you. I don't care how "major" they are. It IS made-up bullshit. It doesn't reflect what real people actually believe. I keep telling you that.

7th Stooge said...

IM -- You misunderstand. I am not making assumptions about what all scientists believe. For all I know, most of them do not subscribe to scientism. All I am saying is that there is an ideology of science that one often finds among secualr, educated people, some of them being scientists, most not.It is the idea that truly justified knowledge can only come by way of science, as commonly understood. If I have a belief that cannot be scientifically verified/falsified, at least in principle, it must be rejected. Do you think there are some people who believe this? What would you call this belief system? Maybe the term "scientism" is what upsets you; choose the term you like. How 'bout "scientific expansionism"?

7th Stooge said...

If scientism doesn't accurately reflect what people actually believe, please tell us what it is that you think most people believe. Do you think that it's possible to gain justified knowledge throuhg other means than science?

7th Stooge said...

This is not fundamentally a science vs. religion debate. It's a debate between people with a faith in the all-explanatory power of science vs. people who think this is a mistake. Nagel, Popper, Putnam, et al none of these guys are religionists. Most are atheists.

im-skeptical said...

You can quote all the atheists you like, but you can't provide a quote from that confirms the all things you say about scientism. That's because your idea of it comes from your fellow religionists - not from them. You interpret what they say based on your own religionist "them-vs-us" ideology, in a way that does not accurately reflect what they are saying. Statements such as the ones you quote in this article, don't really support your point as much as you think they do because you just don't get what they are saying (and to be fair, there may be a lack of clarity).

I will make another attempt to clarify what I'm saying in the hopes of clearing up some of the confusion. Give me until tomorrow.

Joe Hinman said...

first of all we already established that we do not qualify for your silly idea of religionists. Because we don't believe in religion taking hegemony over science. You are using that tern as an insult term instead of a true descriptor, We are using scinetism with objective detachment.

As for the idea that we don't have a quote by someone who says "Joe's idea on scientisim are true" you do not have one that says sKeptoical's ideas of relgionism are true,

You are merely denying my analysis but you are not able to answer it logically.

im-skeptical said...

I have analyzed your so-called "analysis" here.

7th Stooge said...

It's interesting that you keep saying that you're not into the "us vs. them" mentality but you keep maintaining that this is a "science vs. religionism" debate. It's more nuanced than that. To be critical of scientism does not commit you to religionism, as much as you want to make it that simple of a dichotomy.

Gary said...

Science cannot answer all questions in life.

"Is the Mona Lisa a beautiful piece of art?"
"Is War and Peace a great piece of literature?"
"Does my wife love me?"

But science can and has answered many, many important aspects of our lives, and for those aspects of life that science can answer, aspects which are NOT subjective, such as personal taste in art, films, or lovers, then I suggest that western societies have made a wise choice in choosing the scientific method as the best method of determining truth for our laws and general rules for our societies.

Can science determine the existence of a Creator God? Answer: No, not at the moment, at least. But that doesn't mean that science will never be able to answer this question. Until we have an answer to that question, we should all be honest and admit..."we don't know".

However, there is one question that science can answer and that is the question of whether or not three day brain-dead corpses can come back to life, eat broiled fish lunches, and levitate into outer space. The answer to that question is an absolute, no doubt about it: NO! And no amount of complicated, sophisticated-sounding theological psychobabble is going to change that fact.

Gary said...

The existence of God we can debate, but the existence of walking/talking/broiled fish eating corpses is a settled issue. Mountains and mountains of complicated theology and philosophy…all based on a two thousand year old claim by a small group of wild-eyed, superstitious peasants that they had seen a ghost...to the contrary.

We really must stop giving respectability to this nonsense.

7th Stooge said...

Okay, there are several issues to unpack here. I can't speak for Joe but only speak for me.

Scientism is the belief that only what can, in principle, be known scientifically constitutes justified knowledge. So the whole issue with formal laboratory science is a bit of a red herring. I don;t know of any definition of sceintism that would be that ridiculously restrictive. That's clearly a strawman argument. Dennett calls his approach "third person absolutism". If you think that empirical knowledge is the only justifiable form of knowledge, keeping on mind that empirical knowledge is IN PRINCIPLE knowable through science, this would be scientism. It's an a priori restriction on what can count as human knowledge.

Scientism is not a religionist term. Think of it in terms of a Venn Diagram. Most religionists would not subscribe to scientism, but many people who are not religionists are also critical of scientism.

Scientism, conversely, is not an "atheist" belief system. Most atheists do not subscribe to scientism. This issue does not cut neatly along the "atheist/theist" axis. That's a polemical cartoon version of this debate.

Since the term "scientism" seems to get your undies in a bunch and impairs your ability to make distinctions, why don't we switch to "third person absolutism"? Do you think that empiricism is the only true form of knowledge?

im-skeptical said...

It's interesting that you keep saying that you're not into the "us vs. them" mentality but you keep maintaining that this is a "science vs. religionism" debate.
- When did I ever say anything about "science vs. religionism"? For that matter, it isn't me who keeps bringing up the issue of "them-vs-us". What point are you trying to make? All I have been trying to do is to clarify this misunderstanding of what atheists believe.

Joe Hinman said...

Science cannot answer all questions in life.

"Is the Mona Lisa a beautiful piece of art?"
"Is War and Peace a great piece of literature?"
"Does my wife love me?"

But science can and has answered many, many important aspects of our lives, and for those aspects of life that science can answer, aspects which are NOT subjective, such as personal taste in art, films, or lovers, then I suggest that western societies have made a wise choice in choosing the scientific method as the best method of determining truth for our laws and general rules for our societies.

Scientific method does not determinism laws for society,nor can it, scientific method can never say "should." It can't tell us what we should do.

Can science determine the existence of a Creator God? Answer: No, not at the moment, at least. But that doesn't mean that science will never be able to answer this question. Until we have an answer to that question, we should all be honest and admit..."we don't know".

yes it does, not even philosophy can d that,it's beyond the domain to even talk about it.

However, there is one question that science can answer and that is the question of whether or not three day brain-dead corpses can come back to life, eat broiled fish lunches, and levitate into outer space. The answer to that question is an absolute, no doubt about it: NO! And no amount of complicated, sophisticated-sounding theological psychobabble is going to change that fact.
11:07 AM

Not just any dead guy can do that He had to have God's approval. Science can't determine that.

Joe Hinman said...

Gary you are a preterm,with all your brave talk about science you will not face the realty that science comes down on the side of God if you go by scientific work that backs God argumet. It can't say "the official ruling of science is that God exists" but valid scientific work backs up god arguments sch as fine tuning and my experience arguemtes, read my book.

The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman.

Joe Hinman said...

The existence of God we can debate, but the existence of walking/talking/broiled fish eating corpses is a settled issue. Mountains and mountains of complicated theology and philosophy…all based on a two thousand year old claim by a small group of wild-eyed, superstitious peasants that they had seen a ghost...to the contrary.

We really must stop giving respectability to this nonsense.

Gary you really don't get modern science. Science has let atheism down because their wavering on physical law lets miracles in the back door. Physical law is not law anymore it's observation observations vary, there is the B rung of observation; the outcast the marginalized observes,they see the universe includes resurrections, 40 in Vatican archives.

im-skeptical said...

Gary you really don't get modern science.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Gary said...

"Scientific method does not determinism laws for society,nor can it, scientific method can never say "should." It can't tell us what we should do."

Nonsense. We convict people based on evidence evaluated by the scientific method (DNA testing, etc.) not by "praying about it".

Ghosts are not real, Joe. I don't care how many thousands of people claim they saw the ghost; I don't care how elaborate the details of the alleged behavior and actions of the ghost; it is still a ghost story and ghosts DO NOT EXIST.

Joe Hinman said...

"Scientific method does not determinism laws for society,nor can it, scientific method can never say "should." It can't tell us what we should do."

Nonsense. We convict people based on evidence evaluated by the scientific method (DNA testing, etc.) not by "praying about it".

you are really out of it. I can quote any number of scientists saying laws of phyiscs are not prescriptive but descriptive, that's a common place,

A Canadian Physicist, Byron Jennings, expresses it like this: “It is worth commenting that laws of nature and laws of man are completely different beasts and it is unfortunate that they are given the same name. The so called laws of nature are descriptive. They describe regularities that have been observed in nature. They have no prescriptive value. In contrast, the laws of man are prescriptive, not descriptive.” i

Byron Jennings, “The Role of Authority in Science and Law,” Quantum Diaries: Thoughts on Work and Life From Particle Physicists From Around The World. (Feb.3,2012) Online resource URL:
http://www.quantumdiaries.org/tag/descriptive-law/ Accessed 8/31/15

Santo D’Agostino tells us, “...[T]he laws of science are not like the laws in our legal systems. They are descriptive, not prescriptive.”i

anto 'D Agostino, “Does Nature Obey The Laws of Physics?,” QED Insight, (March 9,2011). Online resource, URL: https://qedinsight.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/does-nature-obey-the-laws-of-physics/ accessed 8/26/15.

Ghosts are not real, Joe. I don't care how many thousands of people claim they saw the ghost; I don't care how elaborate the details of the alleged behavior and actions of the ghost; it is still a ghost story and ghosts DO NOT EXIST.

Jesus was hot a ghost, He came back to life and that is factually true people have, that is not unknown my farther was clinically dead for 11 minutes then came back., Moreover you don[t know Therese no ghosts you ae asserting it with no evidence because you have faith in an ideology,

what we have here is a clash of religions,your religion tells you not to believe in ghosts, you are not doing science you are doing the religion of atheism,

Joe Hinman said...

Skep you don't get anything

Joe Hinman said...

Gary why do you think using ghost as a pejorative proves something? there is no reason to think of Jesus in those terms, you are chaining the concept from resurrection to ghost and somehow attaching shame to it,what do you think that get;s you?

Gary said...

Behind the smoke screen of your very sophisticated sounding theo-babble is the core of your belief: a ghost lives inside your body, giving you instructions on how to live, protecting you from evil. The only way to break through the carefully constructed defenses of this delusion is to bluntly tell you the truth: Your ghost does not exist.

Gary said...

If one reads enough scholarship, from both conservatives, moderates, and liberals, one can see the most probable cause of the Resurrection belief: Simon Peter had a grief/guilt hallucination in which Jesus appeared to him, forgave him for his denial of him, and commanded him to preach the resurrection to the world. Peter convinced an ecstatic/hysterical group of disciples to believe his experience was reality, and voila...the Resurrection belief was born. Soon, everyone and his brother (literally) was "seeing" Jesus.

It's as simple as that. No need for complicated theology or sophisticated philosophical theories.

Peter thought he saw something. Soon, a lot of believers thought they saw something. But thinking you saw something does not mean you really did. If a thousand people today claimed that a dead corpse walked out of its tomb, ate lunch with its former friends, and then flew off into the night sky, no educated Christian would believe this ridiculous tale. Christians believe the Jesus tale only because it is the accepted fable of their culture.

The Jesus resurrection tale is an ancient ghost tale. It didn't happen. Educated people need to stop believing it did.

im-skeptical said...

you are really out of it. I can quote any number of scientists saying laws of phyiscs are not prescriptive but descriptive, that's a common place

Joe, this just illustrates your lack of understanding. Yes, you the laws of physics are descriptive, and everybody who knows anything at all about science knows that. But you seem to believe that this is something that only the insiders (like yourself) are aware of, and that we dumb atheists had no idea of it. And this is because you yourself had no idea of it until you took a course in "History of Ideas", which is what makes you the world's biggest expert in science, and makes you think you can go around lecturing all of us on science as if you actually understood it. But you are a dilettante. The descriptive nature of physical laws has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with morality or its relationship with science. You are only showing that you have no clue what you are talking about.

Joe Hinman said...

you are really out of it. I can quote any number of scientists saying laws of phyiscs are not prescriptive but descriptive, that's a common place

Joe, this just illustrates your lack of understanding. Yes, you the laws of physics are descriptive, and everybody who knows anything at all about science knows that. But you seem to believe that this is something that only the insiders (like yourself) are aware of, and that we dumb atheists had no idea of it. And this is because you yourself had no idea of it until you took a course in "History of Ideas",

you don't know anything about the subject matter of the courses I took, so what if I did learn it in history of ideas I did learn it,that;s what school is for, But I said it because of the way Gary was talking.

while we are on the subject your glossing over the fact that you essentially admitted I'm right.



which is what makes you the world's biggest expert in science, and makes you think you can go around lecturing all of us on science as if you actually understood it.

you are so hung up over expertise, that must be because you worship science so nonworking about science is the way to chive status in atheist social groups,


But you are a dilettante. The descriptive nature of physical laws has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with morality or its relationship with science. You are only showing that you have no clue what you are talking about.

you have much lower level of learning than I do. I am far better educated and read than you, science is not even that import in terms of erudition.

Logically you have not addressed the issue I raised about descriptive, you are totally off the beam.I said nothing about morality,it was a totally epistemic point.

The descriptive nature of physical "law" opens the door to the possibility of contradicting previously held ideas about universe behavior.

Joe Hinman said...

Gary said...
Behind the smoke screen of your very sophisticated sounding theo-babble is the core of your belief: a ghost lives inside your body, giving you instructions on how to live, protecting you from evil. The only way to break through the carefully constructed defenses of this delusion is to bluntly tell you the truth: Your ghost does not exist.

Gary it is always a mistake to assume your enemy conforms to stereotypes. That is laziness, you don't take the time to learn my true opinions. It also adds up to disrespect, you think no Christian can very intelligent so you assume all christian ideas are stereotypical.

Modern thought abhors ghost in the machine (GITM), Modern liberal theology is obsessed with being modern therefore, modern liberal theology avoids GITM. I went to major liberal seminary.

In accord with German idealism of late 19th century i se spikrit as mknd,

im-skeptical said...

Logically you have not addressed the issue I raised about descriptive, you are totally off the beam.I said nothing about morality,it was a totally epistemic point.
- The issue I raised is that you don't know what you're talking about. Please explain how a recognition that the laws of nature are descriptive has some effect on morality.

The descriptive nature of physical "law" opens the door to the possibility of contradicting previously held ideas about universe behavior.
- You seem to be hung up on the word "law". The scientific perspective has always been that we can always learn new things about reality, and we revise our formulation of physical laws accordingly. The religionist perspective is that we know the ultimate reality, and it is not subject to question or revision.

Gary said...

Joe. I do not question your intelligence. But I do question your ability to distinguish objective truth from subjective delusion.

Joe Hinman said...

Gary said...
Joe. I do not question your intelligence. But I do question your ability to distinguish objective truth from subjective delusion.

all you have backing you view except opinion. I have 200 peer reviewed studies, which one is objective?

Joe Hinman said...

im-skeptical said...
Logically you have not addressed the issue I raised about descriptive, you are totally off the beam.I said nothing about morality,it was a totally epistemic point.

- The issue I raised is that you don't know what you're talking about. Please explain how a recognition that the laws of nature are descriptive has some effect on morality.

you are getting worse, now you do';t even read my posts,I just expanded that why should I do it again,you have failed to consider the issue you did not respond you lose, just go back to my previous post and read what you should have,

The descriptive nature of physical "law" opens the door to the possibility of contradicting previously held ideas about universe behavior.

- You seem to be hung up on the word "law". The scientific perspective has always been that we can always learn new things about reality, and we revise our formulation of physical laws accordingly. The religionist perspective is that we know the ultimate reality, and it is not subject to question or revision.

what bull shit you don't evenunder the basic concepts I'm working with,

im-skeptical said...

you are getting worse, now you do';t even read my posts,I just expanded that why should I do it again,you have failed to consider the issue you did not respond you lose, just go back to my previous post and read what you should have,
- OK. Let me rephrase. Your statements about whether the laws of physics are descriptive or prescriptive was part of a discussion of science has value in determining the laws of man. My point is still valid. It is a completely irrelevant point. It has absolutely nothing to do with the topic that was being discussed. And you can provide all the quotes you want about whether physical laws are descriptive. Yes, we KNOW they are. But that does nothing to address how that affects morality or questions of human law. It is completely non-sequitur.

what bull shit you don't evenunder the basic concepts I'm working with
- Please enlighten me. What basic concept is that? You seem to be saying that a more complete understanding of science (such as your own) allows for miracles and all kinds of bullshit like dead guys getting up and walking. I always thought that was a strictly religionist notion. I am not aware of this new "science" that you allude to. But then again I only studied "normal" science. I didn't take "History of Ideas" at a bible college like you did.

Joe Hinman said...

m-skeptical said...
you are getting worse, now you do';t even read my posts,I just expanded that why should I do it again,you have failed to consider the issue you did not respond you lose, just go back to my previous post and read what you should have,

- OK. Let me rephrase. Your statements about whether the laws of physics are descriptive or prescriptive was part of a discussion of science has value in determining the laws of man. My point is still valid. It is a completely irrelevant point.




It has absolutely nothing to do with the topic that was being discussed. And you can provide all the quotes you want about whether physical laws are descriptive. Yes, we KNOW they are. But that does nothing to address how that affects morality or questions of human law. It is completely non-sequitur.

I quoted two atheists two both answered an argumnet law implies a law giver their answer is they are not real laws. That is still their answer it stands under any context they are not really laws. So that still is their answer, transplant it to a new context, talking about how merely descriptive laws opens reality up to possibilities of miracles, that's the bit you have not answered yet.

what bull shit you don't evenunder the basic concepts I'm working with


- Please enlighten me. What basic concept is that? You seem to be saying that a more complete understanding of science (such as your own) allows for miracles and all kinds of bullshit like dead guys getting up and walking. I always thought that was a strictly religionist notion.

if you are not going to read my answer there's no point in pretending to converse. I just explained what you just ask so look immediacy above, nothing to do with pissoir understanding it's just the fact that merely descriptive laws allow for describing because no one has contemplate perspective,


I am not aware of this new "science" that you allude to. But then again I only studied "normal" science. I didn't take "History of Ideas" at a bible college like you did.

not very well apparently, How do you complaisance the fact that I quoted two major physicists agreeing with me about descriptive laws?

im-skeptical said...

OK. Let me get this straight. You quote scientists saying that the laws of physics are descriptive and not prescriptive. Fine I already knew that, and I don't dispute it. But then (if I follow your line of "reasoning"), you think that because these human formulations of physical laws are not prescriptive (which is to say that man does not tell nature how to behave), then it follows that nature isn't bound by them, and therefore, any behavior is allowed. So miracles can happen. Is that what you are saying?

This is stunning. You have apparently no grasp whatsoever of what physical laws are. It is true that we don't tell nature how to behave. Nevertheless, we observe that nature does behave according to some set of rules that are never violated. This has nothing to do with whether there is a law-giver. It's just how nature works. It's what we observe. And it is the fact that we observe these regularities of behavior that we can conclude that there are no miracles. A miracle would, by definition, be something contrary to the way nature works. But nature doesn't do that - it works the way it works. And the way nature works is what we call the laws of physics. There are no miracles. Period.

Joe Hinman said...

OK. Let me get this straight. You quote scientists saying that the laws of physics are descriptive and not prescriptive. Fine I already knew that, and I don't dispute it. But then (if I follow your line of "reasoning"), you think that because these human formulations of physical laws are not prescriptive (which is to say that man does not tell nature how to behave), then it follows that nature isn't bound by them, and therefore, any behavior is allowed. So miracles can happen. Is that what you are saying?

that's like saying isn't it amazing that all these state lines just happen to fall the way the rivers flow? TRY IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! since there is no law-like force that tells nature what to do and since our descriptions of what happens can't be totally actuate the objection to miracles that we never see them has to be flawed,since our observations are not complete maybe we do see them,when we have examples those expels could be true.

This is stunning. You have apparently no grasp whatsoever of what physical laws are. It is true that we don't tell nature how to behave.

Obviously I do since you just agreed that what I say about it is right,what you really mean is, in addition I am taking a step further that takes you down the road that you have not considered and you are disinterested philosophically, That makes you afraid so you cling to the ideology all the more. then you have to evoke the "you don't know anything I'm smarter than you in an attempt to convince yourself you are on the right track.

Nevertheless, we observe that nature does behave according to some set of rules that are never violated.

Lesson from Popper you can never say "never" because you can't observe it forever.So any assumption of never is always just an assumption; since the argument is that our observations can't be 100% then there is always room for a miracle. Don't try to pretend that you have some kind of mathematical accuracy that proves your judgement of "never." your"never" is not mathematical it's probability and that means always open to difference.


This has nothing to do with whether there is a law-giver. It's just how nature works.

I am not makimng a law giver argument,I am just setting the context, that was explaining the context of the quotes.


It's what we observe.

I'm not predicating my argumemt on the basis of need for lawmaker but we do not observe the lack of a lawmaker,that's begging the question.

And it is the fact that we observe these regularities of behavior that we can conclude that there are no miracles.

you only conclude that on the basis of the circular reasoning that allows you to ignore the previous examples of miracles.

A miracle would, by definition, be something contrary to the way nature works.

Don't you know what descriptive means? IF DESCRIPTION IS NOT 100% you can't say never.


But nature doesn't do that - it works the way it works. And the way nature works is what we call the laws of physics. There are no miracles. Period.

Period is prescription. you can't say period when it's descriptive unless you know your observations are 100%.

im-skeptical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

I'm not predicating my argumemt on the basis of need for lawmaker but we do not observe the lack of a lawmaker,that's begging the question.

Period is prescription. you can't say period when it's descriptive unless you know your observations are 100%.




Are you joking? The thing we don't observe is this lawmaker, or God or whatever mythical being you think exists because of YOUR circular reasoning. What I'm saying is that in 100% of our observations, there is a regularity of nature. Now that doesn't preclude the philosophical possibility that there could be some as yet unseen thing that violates natural laws, but it does provide justification for inductive conclusions consistent with what we see. You, on the other hand, have never seen this lawmaker - you have 0% of all human observations to back up your contention, but you still insist that he must be there, and miracles must exist, because if these fantasies weren't true, it would really upset your apple-cart. And you think that I'm the one who isn't being logical.

Joe Hinman said...

I'm not predicating my argumemt on the basis of need for lawmaker but we do not observe the lack of a lawmaker,that's begging the question.

Period is prescription. you can't say period when it's descriptive unless you know your observations are 100%.



Are you joking? The thing we don't observe is this lawmaker, or God or whatever mythical being you think exists because of YOUR circular reasoning.

that is not the same as observing there is no law makimng. Obviously there is reason to think there is one since there is a law-like regularity you can't assert that not seeing a lawmaker is the same as seeing there is none, We don't see air.


What I'm saying is that in 100% of our observations, there is a regularity of nature.

Nope, you that;s BS. there are anomalies, especial in terms of healing and miracles,(btw the term anomalies comes fr alpha privative for "not" and Greek word nomos for law so it means not a law).

Now that doesn't preclude the philosophical possibility that there could be some as yet unseen thing that violates natural laws, but it does provide justification for inductive conclusions consistent with what we see.

It also opens the door to marginalized observations being accepted since there is no law or structure forbidding such behavior it's purely a mater of what we see we konw we don't see it all.


You, on the other hand, have never seen this lawmaker - you have 0% of all human observations to back up your contention, but you still insist that he must be there, and miracles must exist, because if these fantasies weren't true, it would really upset your apple-cart. And you think that I'm the one who isn't being logical.

I felt his presence and seen his work. One should not expect to see God like saying why believe in subatomic particles if you haven ever seen then,we don't have no pictures of them ,we have no pictures of stings but science is willing to accept them purely on the bass i of theory,

im-skeptical said...

I'm not predicating my argumemt on the basis of need for lawmaker but we do not observe the lack of a lawmaker,that's begging the question.
- Take away the double negative. We do not observe a lawmaker. That's a fact, and it's not begging the question.

you can't assert that not seeing a lawmaker is the same as seeing there is none, We don't see air.
- I don't assert that there is no lawmwker because we don't see it. I assert that there is no observation that supports belief in it. And that is not the case for air. Usually, we don't see it. But there are many other observations that support out belief that it exists. We can feel the wind. We can measure its density. We can can detect it in many ways. There is NO objective observation whatsoever of this lawmaker that your circular reasoning insists must be present.

Nope, you that;s BS. there are anomalies
- Yes, I know. There are healings where a panel of religious doctors working for the church couldn't provide the medical explanation. But that doesn't mean there IS NO medical explanation. (This is your own argument - see previous comment.) But in no case is there ever a situation where there is NO POSSIBLE natural explanation. All your faith supposed healings are just unexplained cases of natural healing, and nothing more.

It also opens the door to marginalized observations being accepted since there is no law or structure forbidding such behavior it's purely a mater of what we see we konw we don't see it all.
- This is where religionists make a leap of faith. Humans have been observing nature for thousands of years. And not once has there ever been a fully documented observation of something that violates the regularity of behavior that we call the laws of physics. Those laws are universal. There IS a structure of physical law, even if we don't have a complete understanding of it. For example, we can guarantee that dead bodies don't ever reverse their decomposition and live again. Why? Because there is a law of thermodynamics that is never violated by anything, and assures it. While it's true that we don't watch every single dead body to make sure that it doesn't come back to life, we don't have to. We know (as well as it is possible to know anything - by induction) that this cannot happen. Period.

I felt his presence and seen his work.
- You felt chemicals in your brain. It's called emotion.

JBsptfn said...

Typical Skep answer. He doesn't accept the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but he will believe that life can come from non-life.

im-skeptical said...

Resurrection is a GROSS violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Formation of life isn't. And I don't care what your idiot friend Pogge says.

JBsptfn said...

A consciousness (God) made the Resurrection happen. Non-life has no consciousness.

im-skeptical said...

The consciousness that creates a resurrection is called imagination.