Re: MD On Faith

From: David Morey (
Date: Thu Oct 14 2004 - 19:21:37 BST

  • Next message: macavity11: "Re: MD On Faith"

    Hi Horse

    However, governments do claim to make rational decisions
    based on scientific facts, often covering up that they are
    really dealing in values. Also they fund science and can
    control the science we get. But overall I don't think we are
    that far apart. I just have a suspicion that the science we have
    because of its metaphysics is giving us technology, coupled
    with consumerist short termism and dumbing down, etc,
    is part of the problem. Better science, however, I hope is
    part of the solution.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Horse" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2004 12:08 AM
    Subject: Re: MD On Faith

    > Hi David
    > On 11 Oct 2004 at 18:38, David Morey wrote:
    > > > > It is only in memory of these tragedies that a scientific outlook
    > > > > can avoid & resist the temptation to lose contact with the humanity
    it needs to inspire rather than obscure.
    > > >
    > > > What tragedies are we talking about here. I'm aware that _technology_
    has been
    > > > misused over and over again but this is not the point I'm making.
    Science as a belief
    > > > system has not instigated violence against those that do not accept
    its beliefs. Religion
    > > > has and continues to do so. Scientists have not burned people at the
    stake for heresy or
    > > > tortured people in order to convert them to their system of beliefs.
    > >
    > > Well it depends on how far you want to associate science with secular
    > > forms of government and society that are on occassions violent, etc.
    > I think you can associate Science with most modern governments as most
    will fund it to
    > some degree in order to reap the benefits of the technologies that fall
    out from it.
    > However, this does not mean that governments are centered on Science or
    that any
    > government is acting to bring about a Science-based belief system. Far
    from it.
    > > Also there is the link between science and authority and control and
    defining normal
    > > as described by Foucault and experienced by Pirsig as ECT. Do not
    misunderstand me,
    > > I am pro-science, but not rosy-tinted pro.
    > There is a tendency to confuse Science with technology which leads to the
    idea that
    > because some form of authority uses technology it is acting on behalf of
    Science. This
    > needs to be corrected. Science has it's shortcomings and it's bigots but
    it is a very
    > Dynamic system and, in my opinion, has much more to offer in many ways
    than other
    > systems. As you say though we should not see it through rose-tinted
    glasses but should
    > be critical of its shortcomings and bigotry where it arises. I think this
    would be welcomed
    > by most in the scientific community and is the best way for it to evolve.
    > > Also maybe the excessive violence of
    > > any system of belief occurs when it has to defend itsself, and to date
    > > has been without challenge.
    > In modern terms I would broadly agree with you but if you look back over
    the centuries I
    > think Science has been attacked many times and has only survived by the
    tenacity of
    > those who understand it's value. Galileo and Darwin come to mind.
    > > I think it is due a number of challenges, that somehow
    > > full human flourishing will need to go hand in hand with a
    re-enchantment of the cosmos
    > > and this would require a very different sort of science, one that
    > > DQ as much as SQ I would suggest.
    > I think so too. Materialism has been the dominant belief in Science for a
    long time but as
    > Science struggles to explain phenomena beyond the merely physical this
    will eventually
    > change. As with other systems though, there is still a lot of momentum to
    be overcome.
    > > > > But can science inspire humanity? Does it deliver community and
    shared values?
    > > >
    > > > Has religion inspired humanity or just scared them shitless? Science
    > > > and does inspire people (as opposed to humanity).
    > > > You may disagree with them or their beliefs safe in the knowledge that
    the equivalent of
    > > > the Inquisition won't be breaking down your door and requesting that
    > > > either do otherwise or they'll hand you your liver for closer
    > > > Science delivers community and shared values within the scientific
    belief system.
    > >
    > > I see your point, but maybe things are more subtle now, that people with
    > > challenging beliefs just don't get the jobs, eg Pirsig with his awkward
    > > questions.
    > Anyone who challenges an incumbent authority (in this case the authority
    is Science)
    > will have a hard time getting heard. This is the 'cultural immune system'
    to which Pirsig
    > refers. But to the credit of Science and scientists, if the ideas are
    fundamentally sound
    > they will eventually get through.
    > > > > Or does it deliver techno-fantasies where people live in luxurious
    > > > > Where more & more adults seem to be more & more like children?
    > > >
    > > > Not sure what you mean by this exactly. Is there something wrong with
    enjoying the
    > > > benefits that science has provided. I and the majority of people on
    this list are alive due
    > > > to the benefits science has delivered. I just wish that more people
    could enjoy these
    > > > benefits. I agree that sometimes scientists can run off at the mouth
    about their pet
    > > > projects but so what - you don't have to believe them or even listen
    to them. I seriously
    > > > doubt they will threayen you with visions of eternal damnation if you
    do so. Even the
    > > > more fundamental variety of scientist.
    > > > And what are these luxurious house-prisons you refer to. I don't know
    any - the only
    > > > house prisons that I know of are due to peoples fear of violence.
    What's this got to do
    > > > with science.
    > >
    > > Well science makes possible these attempts of people to cut themselves
    > > from social chaos, violence, etc. It seems an odd form of utopia where
    > > all fear each other and try to live on isolated islands. Don't you think
    we have
    > > lost our common life?
    > To an extent I do, but as I said above this is more due to technology than
    to Science.
    > However, technology also has it's up side in this respect. If not for
    technology, we
    > wouldn't be having this conversation and the Internet wouldn't exist. To
    many in political
    > and economic authority, the Internet is very scary which is why there have
    been so
    > many attempts to control it - so far most of them have failed (or had
    limited success).
    > This may not continue forever though.
    > >
    > > >
    > > > > Unless perhaps we can find that human beings have got more in common
    > > > > something like DQ than well made mechanisms.
    > > >
    > > > Can't we have both? A well made mechanism, such as a motorcycle, and
    it's use can
    > > > lead to high volumes of DQ. Wasn't there a book about it? ;^)
    > >
    > > Yes that's the goal, using technology to deliver more DQ, but are we
    > > that at the moment?
    > I'm really not sure. I think that there are certain vested interests who
    really don't
    > appreciate the freedom that could be accomplished by technology and will
    use violence
    > in various forms to suppress it. But I think that one lesson that should
    be learned from
    > history is that the move towards greater freedom will not be stopped.
    Hindered maybe,
    > but I still hold out great hopes for the tenacity of the human spirit and
    it's refusal to lay
    > down and die. Call me an incurable optimist if you want but that's what I
    believe - it just
    > takes time.
    > See ya
    > Horse
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